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Thread: Craving a Kala?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    st. paul, MN
    Posts
    742

    Default Craving a Kala?

    Received an email from Kala: they are offering 20% discount during May with KALAMAY20 (received via email) and free shipping above $99.

    That applies even to those ukes already discounted in Clearance, including this sweet all solid spruce/pau ferro tenor:

    https://kalabrand.com/products/ka-srt-sc

    Pretty tempting...

    'Course, ukes direct from factory may need a set up.
    Last edited by ukeinfused; 05-19-2020 at 08:21 PM.
    Tracie

    Island Koa Instruments, prototype sop, Peter Howlett #153
    Kamaka white label sop (Tiki added!)
    Martin O sop, 1920's
    Martin O sop, 1960's
    Bruko Cedar/Mahogany archback
    Anuenue Khaya I sop
    Kala Elite 1MHG sop
    Lanikai SPS-S spruce top sop
    Blue Frog semi-custom LN soprano #1, Vic Jones
    Sawchyn hog concert (Martin copy), Peter Sawchyn
    Kala KA-ASOV-C
    Kala Elite 1MHG tenor SN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Front Royal, VA
    Posts
    49

    Default

    I have a Kala Elite Spruce/Rosewood tenor arriving today. $300.00 off for a blemish, plus another $200 off from the discount code, free shipping, hard case and humidifier. Couldn’t resist.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default

    They have the solid spruce topped, flame maple back and sides concert on clearance fro $209. That's a steal! That is one of their real gems.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2A | KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia) | KoAloha Opio KCO-10S (spruce top)
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    This is a silly rookie question, but what does it mean that it will need to be "set up?" Can this be played out of the box, as these are such great deals, but I might not be able to get to a store for this set up for some time (lockdown).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by richntacoma View Post
    This is a silly rookie question, but what does it mean that it will need to be "set up?" Can this be played out of the box, as these are such great deals, but I might not be able to get to a store for this set up for some time (lockdown).
    Setup can involve several things, but the most important here are:

    1. Adjustments to the slots in the nut and the height of saddle. You want the strings to be high enough above the frets that it does not buzz when you play it, but close enough to the frets that you don't have to push down too hard to fret. (This is typically collectively referred to as "the action.") If the action is too high, you also tend to get intonation issues when you are fingering frets that are higher up the fretboard, as pushing the string down to the fretboard makes too big of an angle relative to the normal flat string.

    2. Ensuring that all the frets are level with each other, the entire way up and down the fretboard. Failing to do so will usually lead to buzzing when you finger certain strings on certain frets.

    3. Ensuring that the fret ends are well filed. Failing to do so leads to sharp fret ends sticking out, which can be quite uncomfortable while playing.


    Pretty much every manufacturer does at least a little bit on all three before it leaves the factory, but how much is "a little bit" can vary wildly. When you buy an instrument from a reputable dealer, they make all these adjustments before the instrument reaches you. The difference between a well set up cheap instrument and a poorly set up expensive instrument is night and day; and it favors the well set up one!

    All of these are adjustments that you, the end user *can* do, with some patience, experience, and the right tools. It is all relatively straightforward, but that is not the same thing as easy! Done poorly, it can lead to an instrument that is practically unplayable. (It can usually be fixed by replacing the nut and or saddle.) Those who are really good at it (like Mim from Mim's Ukes) are practically artists.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2A | KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia) | KoAloha Opio KCO-10S (spruce top)
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Tacoma, WA
    Posts
    30

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cluze View Post
    Setup can involve several things, but the most important here are:

    1. Adjustments to the slots in the nut and the height of saddle. You want the strings to be high enough above the frets that it does not buzz when you play it, but close enough to the frets that you don't have to push down too hard to fret. (This is typically collectively referred to as "the action.") If the action is too high, you also tend to get intonation issues when you are fingering frets that are higher up the fretboard, as pushing the string down to the fretboard makes too big of an angle relative to the normal flat string.

    2. Ensuring that all the frets are level with each other, the entire way up and down the fretboard. Failing to do so will usually lead to buzzing when you finger certain strings on certain frets.

    3. Ensuring that the fret ends are well filed. Failing to do so leads to sharp fret ends sticking out, which can be quite uncomfortable while playing.


    Pretty much every manufacturer does at least a little bit on all three before it leaves the factory, but how much is "a little bit" can vary wildly. When you buy an instrument from a reputable dealer, they make all these adjustments before the instrument reaches you. The difference between a well set up cheap instrument and a poorly set up expensive instrument is night and day; and it favors the well set up one!

    All of these are adjustments that you, the end user *can* do, with some patience, experience, and the right tools. It is all relatively straightforward, but that is not the same thing as easy! Done poorly, it can lead to an instrument that is practically unplayable. (It can usually be fixed by replacing the nut and or saddle.) Those who are really good at it (like Mim from Mim's Ukes) are practically artists.
    Thank you SO much for this response--it is so generous and helpful.

    Rich

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by richntacoma View Post
    Thank you SO much for this response--it is so generous and helpful.

    Rich
    My pleasure!
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2A | KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia) | KoAloha Opio KCO-10S (spruce top)
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Front Royal, VA
    Posts
    49

    Default

    It arrived. Looks good and sounds great. The blemish is less obvious in real life than in the pictures and the factory set up is actually pretty good. The also threw in a beachwood capo as a freebie for their “Christmas in May” promo.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    the we(s)t coast, Canada
    Posts
    741

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by richntacoma View Post
    This is a silly rookie question, but what does it mean that it will need to be "set up?" Can this be played out of the box, as these are such great deals, but I might not be able to get to a store for this set up for some time (lockdown).
    To add to Cluze’s very thorough answer, yes it can be played out of the box - once you tune it of course. And it will need to be tuned a lot until the strings settle in.

    I’ll go out on a limb and say the majority of Kalas never get anything beyond a factory setup. Yes, you can make minor improvements to the playability and intonation, but it can wait.
    Glenn

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,851

    Default

    Some good deals there! The slothead cedar top cutaway tenor with electronics KA-ATP-CTG-CE (well received here) usually $379.00 everywhere else online, is listed at $309.00. Then, less the 20% off discount, is $248.00. Sweet! But, the non-cutaway version, KA-ATP-CTG, is now listed as Discontinued

    The slothead all-solid cedar/pau ferro tenor KA-ASCP-T is $256.00 shipped, after the discount is applied.

    The tweed or faux-gator deluxe archtop cases are $49.99 +$10.00 shipping, but the 20% off discount doesn't work on those, still a good deal.

    Even the Elites are discounted.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 05-11-2020 at 12:04 PM.
    John

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