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Thread: Sketch...yes or no?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by badhabits View Post
    Strange....and no so great looking, but the headstock, fret markers and bridge look right.
    I noticed that as well. The fret markers in particular point to this being a genuine Kala Elite but almost everything else is really suspect. The wood on the body looks awful, as if it's something else than koa. Bizarre. And why would you even mess with the serial number anyway? Would you be able to somehow use that to determine the authenticity of the uke? Is there a public database or something for Kala Elites?

    I would never pay that amount of money for a uke like that...

  2. #12
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    for me, the sketchiest aspect in all this is paying $600 for a Kala. All the denizens of this forum know the virtues of a Kala: it is a serviceable lower-end instrument. If you want to get a Kala, you can do so at a much lower price. I wouldn't pay $40,000 for a Ford Focus regardless of how painstakingly it was pimped-out. At the end of the day, it would still be a Focus. And for $600 someone could get a lot more ukulele than a Kala.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    for me, the sketchiest aspect in all this is paying $600 for a Kala. All the denizens of this forum know the virtues of a Kala: it is a serviceable lower-end instrument. If you want to get a Kala, you can do so at a much lower price. I wouldn't pay $40,000 for a Ford Focus regardless of how painstakingly it was pimped-out. At the end of the day, it would still be a Focus. And for $600 someone could get a lot more ukulele than a Kala.
    Remember when a VW cost $1,200? Now, they start at more than $25,000. The Kala Elite is not a run-of-the-mill beginner's uke. See recent sales below.
    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...t=nc&LH_Sold=1

    Kala Elite -
    https://kalabrand.com/collections/ka...te-usa-ukulele
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    for me, the sketchiest aspect in all this is paying $600 for a Kala. All the denizens of this forum know the virtues of a Kala: it is a serviceable lower-end instrument. If you want to get a Kala, you can do so at a much lower price. I wouldn't pay $40,000 for a Ford Focus regardless of how painstakingly it was pimped-out. At the end of the day, it would still be a Focus. And for $600 someone could get a lot more ukulele than a Kala.
    Hmm... interesting take. So if we would apply this to another brand, say aNueNue, you're essentially saying that there's no reason to get a Moon Bird at around $1000 since you can get a uke with aNueNue printed on the headstock at around $100?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    for me, the sketchiest aspect in all this is paying $600 for a Kala.
    It isn't really fair to compare a "Kala" and a "Kala Elite." The former are made in giant factories in the far east, and simply branded with Kala. Kala does a good job of partnering with decent enough factories, and the quality control is good enough that you are probably getting something pretty decent, but they are still mass produced instruments.

    Kala Elite are hand-made by a team of luthiers in California. They have their own sound and feel, and are very very nice instruments. I have played several and own one myself. My Kala Elite soprano is an amazing instrument.

    Now if you want to argue that given their reputation that Kala shouldn't use the Kala name on the higher end stuff, sure, that is a debate we can have, but these two things are NOT the same.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano | Rebel Double Cream mango concert
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2 (special) | Kanile'a K-1 C | Bruko #6
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohle View Post
    Hmm... interesting take. So if we would apply this to another brand, say aNueNue, you're essentially saying that there's no reason to get a Moon Bird at around $1000 since you can get a uke with aNueNue printed on the headstock at around $100?
    You can buy whatever you want. A cheap aNueNue is different from a $1,000 aNueNue - same with Kala. KoAloha has ukes selling for a few hundred, and others selling for a few thousand.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #17
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    Maybe Kala should have come up with another name just as Toyota=Lexus, Honda= Acura, etc

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDW View Post
    Maybe Kala should have come up with another name just as Toyota=Lexus, Honda= Acura, etc
    On a gut level, I totally agree. However... there are some issues with that. For better or worse, Kala is a known name. A lot of players, particularly new players, equate Kala with quality, since their first "real" instrument was likely a Kala. This establishes some brand recognition and (I suspect the hope is) brand loyalty. For the (relatively) small percentage of players, like the folks here, who really do get deep into the higher end stuff, we know that there is a lot more to "quality"...

    If they came up with a new name, whatever that might be, they would be starting from nearly square one with that brand name. Their hope, presumably, was that the "Elite" would be enough of a designator to make that work. But given their target audience, I think you are right, they should have gone with a completely separate name.

    Had they started with high-end bespoke instruments and worked their way down to the entry level stuff, it might be different, but we can look to other examples here. Look at the K brands that have done this. KoAloha, while it has blurred the line a bit, still make a distinction between the "regular" KoAloha line and the Opio line, even though the Opio instruments are really great in their own right. Kanile'a has a near complete re-brand for their lower end, Islander. And Ko'olau does the same with Pono.

    Sorry, I have wandered way off topic of the original post, but I think about this sort of thing a lot. It saddens me that the people who are never going to spend that kind of money on a ukulele think that Kala Elites are great, but a lot of the folks who could (and would) spend that kind of money often dismiss them since they say "Kala." The examples I have tried have all impressed me.

    As for this particular example, that serial number is super sketch. I would try to get in touch with Kala before I would even think of buying this one.
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano | Rebel Double Cream mango concert
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2 (special) | Kanile'a K-1 C | Bruko #6
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cluze View Post
    On a gut level, I totally agree. However... there are some issues with that. For better or worse, Kala is a known name. A lot of players, particularly new players, equate Kala with quality, since their first "real" instrument was likely a Kala. This establishes some brand recognition and (I suspect the hope is) brand loyalty. For the (relatively) small percentage of players, like the folks here, who really do get deep into the higher end stuff, we know that there is a lot more to "quality"...

    If they came up with a new name, whatever that might be, they would be starting from nearly square one with that brand name. Their hope, presumably, was that the "Elite" would be enough of a designator to make that work. But given their target audience, I think you are right, they should have gone with a completely separate name.

    Had they started with high-end bespoke instruments and worked their way down to the entry level stuff, it might be different, but we can look to other examples here. Look at the K brands that have done this. KoAloha, while it has blurred the line a bit, still make a distinction between the "regular" KoAloha line and the Opio line, even though the Opio instruments are really great in their own right. Kanile'a has a near complete re-brand for their lower end, Islander. And Ko'olau does the same with Pono.

    Sorry, I have wandered way off topic of the original post, but I think about this sort of thing a lot. It saddens me that the people who are never going to spend that kind of money on a ukulele think that Kala Elites are great, but a lot of the folks who could (and would) spend that kind of money often dismiss them since they say "Kala." The examples I have tried have all impressed me.

    As for this particular example, that serial number is super sketch. I would try to get in touch with Kala before I would even think of buying this one.
    The latest versions of the Opio and Koalana ukuleles have a Koaloha logo on the headstock, so Koaloha really is going the same route as Kala. The label in the sound hole will say it is made in Thailand. I know customers who think this marketing strategy cheapens the Koaloha name. Other people buy for the sound quality and don't care about brand names. I'm sure the company thought long and hard about this before doing it.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by man0a View Post
    The latest versions of the Opio and Koalana ukuleles have a Koaloha logo on the headstock, so Koaloha really is going the same route as Kala. The label in the sound hole will say it is made in Thailand. I know customers who think this marketing strategy cheapens the Koaloha name. Other people buy for the sound quality and don't care about brand names. I'm sure the company thought long and hard about this before doing it.
    I will add that the Opio line is *much* closer in quality to the KoAlohas than the Kalas are to the Kala Elites!
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano | Rebel Double Cream mango concert
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2 (special) | Kanile'a K-1 C | Bruko #6
    Anuenue UC200 Moonbird Concert | UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

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