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Thread: Comparing Kala KA-SCG and KA-ACP-CTG

  1. #1
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    Default Comparing Kala KA-SCG and KA-ACP-CTG

    I'm looking for a concert-size uke, and am limited to those I can find here in New Zealand or are below the threshold for import tax (adding import tax and shipping can essentially double the cost of the instrument).

    Essentially, that means for a solid-top instrument, the choice is between the KA-SCG (solid spruce top) and the KA-ACP-CTG (cedar top). The latter is considerably more expensive (both here, on HMS, and in Kala's pricing). Is there a reason for this? Is it just that cedar is a more expensive wood? I like the cedar uke; I haven't had a chance to try the spruce yet (it needs to be ordered in), but would probably go for the less expensive instrument if they are equal in all other terms other than the wood choice.

    The cedar (bought locally) would cost NZ$425; the spruce (shipped from HMS, and therefore set up properly) would cost NZ$360 including shipping.

    What would you suggest?

  2. #2
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    Generally speaking, cedar has a warmer tone than spruce, & yes, it is more expensive, but strings also play a part in the overall tone.

    In your situation, it might be best to have a well set up uke take priority.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
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    From my experience with Ohanas of identical scale, cedar is warmer and spruce is brighter. I'd always opt for a uke with good setup. If you take your chances and get one that's not set up properly you'll wind up paying someone to do it for you anyway.
    Martin C1K KoAlana KCA-010 mahogany concert <VBG> Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top, willow back/sides) Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany gloss finish soprano <yay!!> Fluke natural concert <BG> Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> Flea koa soprano Islander MAT-4 spalted maple tenor Makala MK-CE concert Lanakai LU-21 baritone Kala KA-EBY-S ebony soprano

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  4. #4
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    Agree with the above. Set up is important. Take it from me, I have made that mistake before. The same Uke with a good set up could feel like an entirely different instrument to you. I have an Uke that went from almost unplayable to being one of my favorites just by correcting the set up. HMS, Mim's uke, uke republic, elderly all do an excellent set up job. Check with them about their international shipping rate.
    Tenor: Mya Moe 2052, Mya Moe Resonator 1581
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  5. #5
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    Nov 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    In your situation, it might be best to have a well set up uke take priority.
    Quote Originally Posted by hendulele View Post
    I'd always opt for a uke with good setup. If you take your chances and get one that's not set up properly you'll wind up paying someone to do it for you anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lapyang View Post
    Agree with the above. Set up is important. Take it from me, I have made that mistake before. The same Uke with a good set up could feel like an entirely different instrument to you. I have an Uke that went from almost unplayable to being one of my favorites just by correcting the set up. HMS, Mim's uke, uke republic, elderly all do an excellent set up job. Check with them about their international shipping rate.
    Thanks everyone for these tips about setup. And thansk, Lapyang, for the recommendations. Mim seems to have good shipping rates to NZ, so I've just written to her now.

  6. #6
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    CH
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    I think the Cedar model has wood binding that adds to the cost. Out of the two models, I'd go with Cedar, both for tone and the added beauty of wooden binding.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    I think the Cedar model has wood binding that adds to the cost. Out of the two models, I'd go with Cedar, both for tone and the added beauty of wooden binding.
    Ah, that explains it. Thanks! The binding is indeed beautiful (though at this price point I'm not terribly concerned about cosmetics; I'd rather get a simpler-looking, good-sounding uke, and put any savings towards a high end uke in the future). For tone, are you comparing the cedar and spruce new? Is your comparison of these two models specifically? (I have indeed read many positive comments about this cedar model on these forums, so I wonder if the uke is actually a better uke than the spruce model from Kala.)
    Last edited by wherahiko; 11-23-2017 at 08:38 AM. Reason: Correcting grammar

  8. #8
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    Nov 2017
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    Default Kala KA-SCG or Ohana CK-16A? (was: Comparing Kala KA-SCG and KA-ACP-CTG)

    UPDATE: after reading the above comments, and others elsewhere, about setup, I have decided to buy from Mim, especially since my local shop told me that "the Kalas don't need setup, because they are so good already"(!). Unfortunately, buying online rules out any ukes over $200 USD for me at the moment, as at that threshold import tax and duty will apply, adding another $100 USD to the cost.

    So, I'm now looking at a comparison between the Kala KA-SCG and the Ohana CK-16A. Both are spruce-topped, laminate-back instruments; both are the same price. Does anyone have experience with both of these, and any suggestions? Right now I'm leaning towards the Ohana.
    Last edited by wherahiko; 11-23-2017 at 08:42 AM.

  9. #9
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    An update from Mim: "I do like the cedar a lot more. It is a better quality instrument and a better quality sound and definitely worth the money." Such a pity it's not feasible to have that one shipped from Mim to here, and that there are no dealers offering a good setup nearby!

  10. #10
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    Sep 2013
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    Mim recommended the Kala cedar (tenor version) to me and I went for it, my go to gig uke now.

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