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Thread: Kala Rasta Tenor and Makala Dolphin Review

  1. #1
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    Default Kala Rasta Tenor and Makala Dolphin Review

    Ok so I got 2 new ukes in the mail yesterday. The first is the new Kala "Reggae" Tenor. I got it strung with Low G Kala Reds but it had some issues in the setup process. Apparently the Low G's are too thick to use without adjusting the saddle. So Mike (UkeRepublic) put in a piece of metal under the saddle to sit it up for the Low G and C strings. It works decently well but after the shipping, it seems the saddle has settled a bit and I am getting some buzzing on the 2nd fret G string. I'm going to keep the strings the way they are for a few days and see if it gets any better. If it doesn't, I think the first thing I will try is getting a High G Kala Red from a local dealer and try that, without the sheath under the saddle. Right now, Mike has an Aquila G string on there bc it is a little less thick and buzzes less.

    Anyway, I will have to update on the string thing later. For the record though, I REALLY like the sound of the Kala Reds, the buzz is the ONLY issue.

    As for the rest of the uke, it's pretty nice. There are various MINOR flaws (which I would be much more upset about had this uke been more expensive and not colored the way it is). Speaking of paint...Kala really needs to produce bottles of touch up paint for their ukes, bc the paint chips VERY easily. The color of the uke is awesome looking. The bronze frets look really nice. Mike setup is awesome, no sharp frets and the intonation is pretty spot on. There are some dings and scratches, which is pretty lame since it's BRAND NEW. Besides that, it's awesome! I'll have to make a video with it sometime soon. It has a nice FULL tone and has a nice mellow tone. Not quite as mellow as my Mainland Mahoganies but more mellow than many other ukes I've played.

    As for the Dolphin, this is my 1st one. Everything I have read and heard is CORRECT. It's awesome. Sounds awesome, feels awesome, looks amazing (I got the Orange Burst). The only issue AGAIN is the paint. It came with a small chip in the paint and I would love to be buy some of the orange paint to touch it up. It is strung with Aquilas and is a blasty blast to play.

    Videos will have to follow. Work is CRAZY busy nowadays though, so it may take a while...
    Your pal,
    ~Dustin~

    Mookulele ~ Kala Travel Tenor "Kaleakani" ~ Mainland Slotted Mahogany "Paula" ~ Mainland Honeybee ~ 1960s Martin "Style 0" (family heirloom) ~ and a couple others...
    "Sometimes people try to stick labels on me, but I have kinda oily skin, so they just fall off."-SailorQwest
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -Friedrich Nietzsche
    - Facebook - Twitter - Come SUB me, baby!!!

  2. #2
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    Congratulations on your new ukes... looking forward to the videos.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by phanzo View Post
    There are some dings and scratches, which is pretty lame since it's BRAND NEW. Besides that, it's awesome! As for the Dolphin, this is my 1st one. The only issue AGAIN is the paint. It came with a small chip in the paint and I would love to buy some of the orange paint to touch it up.
    Dings, scratches and chips on both? I think that would bug me
    Kala KA-MC, Lanikai LU 21-P, vintage Harmony

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitzy View Post
    Dings, scratches and chips on both? I think that would bug me
    yea, it does bug me. I just really like Mike (UkeRepublic) and don't want to bother him with sending them all the way back to Georgia and having to replace them. Not to mention, the cost of shipping there and back would be MORE than I paid for the Dolphin in the first place. I think the fact that the paint chips SO easily is a problem with Kala and NOT with UkeRepublic.

    It does make me a bit sad that I am afraid to "beat up" my "beater" uke because the paint chips SO easily. I understand that the uke is cheap but when the main attraction to the uke is the paint color, you would think it would be a bit more durable. And the same goes for the Rasta one. For $150+, you would HOPE the paint wouldn't chip when you bump it into something. And I mean BUMP...not slam or bash...BUMP. They're ok NOW, but who knows what they'll be like after a couple weeks of playing. These things should last a LONG time and I shouldn't have to worry about screwing them up within the first 24 hours...just sayin'
    Your pal,
    ~Dustin~

    Mookulele ~ Kala Travel Tenor "Kaleakani" ~ Mainland Slotted Mahogany "Paula" ~ Mainland Honeybee ~ 1960s Martin "Style 0" (family heirloom) ~ and a couple others...
    "Sometimes people try to stick labels on me, but I have kinda oily skin, so they just fall off."-SailorQwest
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -Friedrich Nietzsche
    - Facebook - Twitter - Come SUB me, baby!!!

  5. #5
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    Dustin,

    I wouldn't be happy receiving the ukes in the condition that you did. There must be a way to make the paint more durable than what Kala is currently employing.
    Aloha,
    Ronnie



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronnie Aloha View Post
    Dustin,

    I wouldn't be happy receiving the ukes in the condition that you did. There must be a way to make the paint more durable than what Kala is currently employing.
    I agree Ronnie, but what should I do about it?
    Your pal,
    ~Dustin~

    Mookulele ~ Kala Travel Tenor "Kaleakani" ~ Mainland Slotted Mahogany "Paula" ~ Mainland Honeybee ~ 1960s Martin "Style 0" (family heirloom) ~ and a couple others...
    "Sometimes people try to stick labels on me, but I have kinda oily skin, so they just fall off."-SailorQwest
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -Friedrich Nietzsche
    - Facebook - Twitter - Come SUB me, baby!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by phanzo View Post
    I agree Ronnie, but what should I do about it?
    complain to the manufacturer.

  8. #8
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    yea, the more I look at it, I am seeing tons more flaws. All kinds of knicks and dings and scratches, paint chips, etc. I asked Mike about it but haven't gotten a response yet. I guess it's time to email Mike at Kala and get some info on this bc it's pretty ridiculous. I would expect this from a factory seconds or a used one, but not something that JUST came off the assembly line 2 weeks ago. Disappointing...period.

    And for being my first Kala purchases, I'm pretty disappointed with both. That means Kala is batting .000 in my book. Hopefully after an email is sent, they can redeem themselves. The sounds quality is GREAT, the build quality is POOR.
    Your pal,
    ~Dustin~

    Mookulele ~ Kala Travel Tenor "Kaleakani" ~ Mainland Slotted Mahogany "Paula" ~ Mainland Honeybee ~ 1960s Martin "Style 0" (family heirloom) ~ and a couple others...
    "Sometimes people try to stick labels on me, but I have kinda oily skin, so they just fall off."-SailorQwest
    "Without music, life would be a mistake." -Friedrich Nietzsche
    - Facebook - Twitter - Come SUB me, baby!!!

  9. #9
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    30 miles west of Boston, Massachusetts
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    Dustin, the question I have is do you think all of those dings, scratches and paint chips, which are on both instruments, got that way during shipping? If not, then they had to be in that condition when they were packed into a box and sent to you. I agree with you that Kala needs to address some of these quality control issues with paint, ect., but I think your immediate problem has less to do with the manufacturer and more to do with who you bought them from. I've read other threads where people who had a specific ukulele on backorder would get a call from the merchant telling them up front that the instrument had arrived, but had a blemish or minor finish problem, thus leaving it up to the customers to decide if they still wanted it. If it were me, I'd be sending both the Dolphin and the Rasta Tenor back to UkeRepublic for an exchange - and with the hope that they will credit you for the shipping charges . . . if, however, your ukes were in mint condition when they left UkeRepublic, then the problem lies with Kala because it appears these specific ukes don't hold up well to every day conditions . . . just my 2 cents . . . peace, brother.
    Kala KA-MC, Lanikai LU 21-P, vintage Harmony

  10. #10
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    Sorry to hear about problems with your new uke's! I do have to say though we've had two Dolphins since August that my grandkids play regularly and the paint is still perfect on them, and they aren't at all carefull with them. I'm very interested to hear what you find out from Kala, keep us posted.

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