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Thread: Reasons -NOT- to buy a Kala KA-ATP-CTG?

  1. #1
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    Default Reasons -NOT- to buy a Kala KA-ATP-CTG?

    Hey folks,

    Interest in a cedar topped tenor has got my UAS cravings up, and I was thinking about the Kala KA-ATP-CTG, as seen here:

    http://kalabrand.com/Models/Kala/Sol...darAcacia.html

    and in this photo:




    I'm not really a fan of bling, but the rosette and binding are very nice and not overstated to my eyes.

    I have several other tenors, and the main thing here is to get my feet wet with owning a cedar topped tenor uke.

    So while I'm not looking to spend much more than the ~$267 that this one is going for (and there are plenty of ukes in the $350+ range), by the time you add a case and shipping (or if I buy local, case and sales tax) I'm near $300 anyway.

    My birthday is coming in March, so that will help with my lack of UAS funds at the moment.

    Also since NAMM2015, they have a 5-string model, which has the option for both high and low G, which adds a wrinkle. I wonder if I can get this model, and if later on, I find that I dont want the 5-strings, is it still playable as a 4-string (removing on of the G's).

    [EDIT]: Uke Republic has a video demo of this 5-string version going back to Nov 2014, so my awareness of this model was not until as per above.

    I know many fellow UU members have bought one of the ukes in this series from Kala, and I'm putting the call out for you to please share your experiences with how they are holding up over the long term now that you've owned and played them for a while...

    Any reasons NOT to get one?
    Last edited by Booli; 02-11-2015 at 02:21 PM. Reason: added bit about Uke Republic
    Guinea proverb: "A cow that has no tail should not try to chase away flies."

  2. #2
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    I have the Kala KA-KTG-CT tenor, which is very similar to the model you're looking at-- the soundboxes are virtually identical. I've been more than happy with mine, and have kept it as other ukes have come and gone. Hard to tell someone else they'll like what you like, but I feel like I got a lot of bang for the buck with my Kala. I've had mind for about six years now-- it was the first of many ukes I bought from MusicGuyMike backin the day.



  3. #3

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    I should probably get my flak jacket out because the large number of members with Kalas will probably pound all over my post. But. You get what you pay for. If Booli was getting his first uke and didn't want to spend too much, I'd say the Kala is a great idea. But he's already got ukes and he's got tenors. A cedar top isn't going to turn a Kala into anything but a Kala with a cedar top. I've bought and sold way too many ukes, and to me the Kalas are just OK. For around $500 you can get a uke that makes tradeoffs but in terms of playability and sound can come close to the very finest instruments. But at the type of manufacture of this Kala, the cedar top is just for show.

    Also a five string is a five string. It's its own unique thing. If you want a uke with a doubled string, then fine. But if you want a uke for high G and one for low G, just get a high G and low G uke.

    You want to be talked out of it? Wait until you are willing to spend around $500 and get something like a cedar topped Pono that will be a much better instrument.

  4. #4
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    Maybe someday I'll have some good ukes to compare it to, but until then, I'm quite pleased with my Kala.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by katysax View Post
    I should probably get my flak jacket out because the large number of members with Kalas will probably pound all over my post. But. You get what you pay for. If Booli was getting his first uke and didn't want to spend too much, I'd say the Kala is a great idea. But he's already got ukes and he's got tenors. A cedar top isn't going to turn a Kala into anything but a Kala with a cedar top. I've bought and sold way too many ukes, and to me the Kalas are just OK. For around $500 you can get a uke that makes tradeoffs but in terms of playability and sound can come close to the very finest instruments. But at the type of manufacture of this Kala, the cedar top is just for show.

    Also a five string is a five string. It's its own unique thing. If you want a uke with a doubled string, then fine. But if you want a uke for high G and one for low G, just get a high G and low G uke.

    You want to be talked out of it? Wait until you are willing to spend around $500 and get something like a cedar topped Pono that will be a much better instrument.
    Thanks for your reply. No need for a flak jacket, katysax. In fact your comments are just the kind of reality check I was hoping for, in contrast to all the love letters about Kala.

    I have tenors in high G and one in low G, and yes they have a different purpose as we know, but I guess my thinking is that in my mind, the 5-string with the both G's, 'should be the one to rule them all', but maybe this is flawed logic, and the 5-string is neither, and something unto itself as you've said.
    My concern was that if I hate the sound, don't bond with it, or cant deal with whatever added string tension for the doubled string, if there is a fall-back position (to 4-string), or do I have to either return or sell the 5-string...

    As far as Pono, it seems that there is also lots of love for Pono too, and seems well justified. My problem is that I'm impetuous and impatient and would either have to 'save up' for a uke in that price range (which I've never been good at doing), or put it on a credit card (bad ju-ju there)...

    so not sure what to do, or pine for still...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichM View Post
    I have the Kala KA-KTG-CT tenor, which is very similar to the model you're looking at-- the soundboxes are virtually identical. I've been more than happy with mine, and have kept it as other ukes have come and gone. Hard to tell someone else they'll like what you like, but I feel like I got a lot of bang for the buck with my Kala. I've had mind for about six years now-- it was the first of many ukes I bought from MusicGuyMike backin the day.
    Quote Originally Posted by RichM View Post
    Maybe someday I'll have some good ukes to compare it to, but until then, I'm quite pleased with my Kala.
    RichM - thanks for your comments. I will keep these in mind.

  7. #7
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    Bought one. Loved it. Decided my stubby fingers do not like tenors. I loved it so much I bought the exact same concert model. Hard to beat for the price.
    Kala KA-ACP-CTG. Had the tenor version. Decided tenor's not for me. Got the concert.
    Mainland Classic Concert Solid mahogany, no bling, beautiful.
    Bonanza Concert Oreo Slimline black walnut and cherry CNC marvel.
    Ohana SK-39 Great little Martin wannabe.
    Mahalo Smiley Face. Cute little bugger and Jake signed it!
    Kala KA-15S. Good starter.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RichM View Post
    Maybe someday I'll have some good ukes to compare it to, but until then, I'm quite pleased with my Kala.
    List of ukes in signature: Anuenue 1879 Soprano * Compass Rose Walnut Tenor * Covered Bridge Walnut Concert * Michael Dunn Maccaferri Tenor
    Eastman EUC3 Concert * Gold Tone BUC Banjo Uke * Kala KA-KTG-CT Tenor * KoAloha Super Concert
    Ludwig Wendell Hall * Mainland Red Cedar Soprano * Martin 1930 Style 0 * Maui Music T-4KDLX Tenor
    Luis Feu de Mesquita Amigo II Ukaferri * Oscar Schmidt 1920 Soprano * Dave Talsma 3K Concert

    A little sarcasm. Huh?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by katysax View Post
    A little sarcasm. Huh?
    Nope, just a different perspective.



  10. #10
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    Great looking ukulele, except for the gloss finish. I'm mighty tempted by it, too. My first uke was a spruce top Kala tenor that I got from MGM. It sounded great and I wish that I could have kept it.
    cletus

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