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Thread: first uke - kala ka-st or ka-t

  1. #1
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    Default first uke - kala ka-st or ka-t

    My first post here. I'm a pianist but have always wanted to learn the guitar. Then I was introduced to the ukulele and really like the sound of it. I was trying to decide between a baritone vs tenor, but now leaning towards a tenor ukulele. I like the brighter (and seemingly lighter) sound of the tenor. I've been reading quite a bit here and I'm now trying to decide on either the kala-st (solid spruce top) vs the ka-t from MGM. I'm looking for something under $200. Is it true that the ka-t has a laminent top? I would have to order this online and trying to figure out how the two ukes compare. Or if there are other ukuleles I should look at before order. My friend just purchased a Lanikai baritone ukulele. I was hoping to learn from him. But now I'm not sure I can do that since the fingering would be different between the tenor and baritone (is that right?) Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to Ukulele Underground

    I would think most people would agree that a that a Tenor would be a better starting point than a baritone. It is just more commonly used.

    I am not familiar with the ukeleles you are considering getting but I would recommend shooting MGM an email or even calling. He would definitely be able to explain the differences to you.

    Then if you need some more help after that then ask away on the forums.

    Daniel

  3. #3
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    The KA-ST is a solid top laminate body. The KA-T is all laminate.
    I have played both and own the KA-T it was my first Tenor and I wasnt sure I was going to like the size (I'm a Soprano player) so I took the less expensive route it plays nice and sounds good for the $$$.
    It's not a KoAloha or even a Pono by any means and the Kala ASMT (All Solid Mahogany Tenor) does sound better Than the KA-T but I have no regrets.

    The Spruce will make it sound brighter but that will also depend on the strings you are using.
    My KA-T with Aquilla strings is brighter sounding than my Kala Spruce top Maple Tenor that has D'Addario Pro-arte strings on it.

    Comparing the two is like comparing 2 apples, a Red Rome to a Pink Lady....
    They are both apples...

    About the Tenor/Bari thing that will depend on the tuning and that will effect the chord shape (fingering) a C chord is a C chord just with the fingers in different places.
    If he is using Bari tuning dGBE you can tune a Tenor that way and its the way they used to be tuned or so I understand, but most Uke music today is in gCEA tuning.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by freedive135; 03-19-2009 at 05:32 PM.
    Ukulele, the most fun I've had being bad at something!!!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueskyuke View Post
    My first post here. I'm a pianist but have always wanted to learn the guitar. Then I was introduced to the ukulele and really like the sound of it. I was trying to decide between a baritone vs tenor, but now leaning towards a tenor ukulele. I like the brighter (and seemingly lighter) sound of the tenor. I've been reading quite a bit here and I'm now trying to decide on either the kala-st (solid spruce top) vs the ka-t from MGM. I'm looking for something under $200. Is it true that the ka-t has a laminent top? I would have to order this online and trying to figure out how the two ukes compare. Or if there are other ukuleles I should look at before order. My friend just purchased a Lanikai baritone ukulele. I was hoping to learn from him. But now I'm not sure I can do that since the fingering would be different between the tenor and baritone (is that right?) Any help would be appreciated.
    Hello and Welcome, I sell both models and have to say Ka-St would be my choice. It has more volume with the solid spruce top and a beautiful gloss finish. I have a Ka- TE with pick up for around the same $. Its a nice option as well.Then the KA-SC concert sounds plenty good too and its a bit more portable. I hope this helps.

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  5. #5
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    Mar 2009
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    Thanks everyone. I ordered the KA-ST. ETA: this coming wednesday. I'm really excited!

  6. #6
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    Good choice, I'd take a solid top over a laminate any day. Not familiar with the KA-T but played a KA-ST recently and it was very sweet sounding and in my opinion bang-for-the-buck bargain. Congratulations on your choice.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum

    I ʻike lākou, ʻo ʻoe, ka mea wale nō nona ka inoa ʻo IĒHOVA;
    ʻO ʻoe nō ka Mea kiʻekiʻe loa ma luna o ka honua a pau.
    Nā Halelū 83:18

  7. #7
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    i love the combonation of quila string and kala ukes they have the best sounds

  8. #8
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    Aug 2009
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    Sorry to bring up an old thread but I thought I'd ask this question in the help threads rather than start a new topic.
    I need advice on what kind of ukulele to buy, tenor or concert?

    I've bought a Lanikai Pineapple and Lanikai LU-11, both entry-level sopranos. I've started practicing the ukulele and learned afew chords/songs to sing along with. I don't feel that the soprano accompanies my deeper and rough voice very well.

    Would a tenor be a good way to go or should I try a concert soprano?
    I read that tenors are tune with a low G, are the chord fingerings the same?

    I'm barely learning the uke and would hate to have to learn different chords.
    I don't want to try a baritone, the small and easy-to-carry ukulele is what attracted me to the instrument in the first place.
    I've seen vidoes which compared the different kinds of ukes and there is no music store in the area to try different ukes at, which is why I ask.
    Ernest

    PS: Whichever I end up buying, I'll buy from MGM. He has great looking concerts and tenors.
    Chiun: It would be better for you to eat this can than what is inside of it. Why must everything in this country be coated with monositi-... monosoti...
    Remo Williams: Monosodium glutamate. You can't even say it.
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  9. #9
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    Oct 2009
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    UK
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    try a low G string in place of your high G to get it a bit more bassy...?
    cheapest option, and then gives you a true purpose for two sops.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_e View Post
    Would a tenor be a good way to go or should I try a concert soprano?
    I read that tenors are tune with a low G, are the chord fingerings the same?
    Kinda sounds like you WANT a tenor. Go for it! The chord fingering is the same for high or low g. If you buy from MGM, you can ask him to string it high G if you want to go that route. But if you do the low g, you might love it.
    Last edited by HoldinCoffee; 10-26-2009 at 12:06 AM. Reason: helping verbs

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