New Uke Day (NUD) WHEW soprano

badhabits

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No, not a Wow or anything on par with the many fantastic ukes recently posted... sorry to get your hopes up! It's a Kala KA-P. The "whew" is because it was shipped in the just the rhomboid box that we all know and love... and arrived unscathed. Second or third time that has happened; call me lucky. This came from the 'bay at a good price; $33 and change including tax and free shipping (offer accepted). The seller had several and free returns too, so why not? I figured it could be fun to compare it with a double bout KA-S to see what a pineapple body adds.

The first thing I noticed was that it has the darker (nicer IMO) bridge and fretboard, not the pale wood they used recently and was shown in the listing. The next was that the pineapple body is not exactly symmetrical. That perception persisted after removing the very crooked strap button. It's subtle, but I think you can see it in the photos. Maybe it is a factory second, blem or whatever. The frets are perfectly fine, even though I was expecting to do some touch up. Action is a little high: 3.0 mm at 12 and a hair above 0.75 mm at 1, but the former is an easy fix and I think the latter will come down when the saddle is adjusted. I am surprised by the smoothness of the cheap tuners. Top seems kinda thick.

It's pretty identical to the KA-S (same length, even though the photo is distorted). The only real differences are the body (obviously) and a little bigger, blockier heel (no little triangle or point like on many other Kalas). After playing it a bit it does have a very slightly thicker neck at the lower frets. The overall sameness goes for the sound as well (not a bad thing). I don't perceive much if any difference strummed or plucked to my untrained ear. Sustain and intonation are good. Both have Aquila strings although the KA-S is well-broken in and the KA-P is new.

What else can I say? I like cheap ukes (matches my abilities). Overall I'm pretty pleased... my expectations weren't high so that is probably a big part of it. This one could be another good giveaway, travel beater and/or a bigger canvas for stickers. Ollie, however, doesn't seem too impressed...

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Seems like a good deal for some fun entertainment. You’ve piqued my interest. I’m off to “the ‘bay” now.
 
Looks like with a little adjustment you'll have a nice little uke that far exceeds it's $33 price tag. Enjoy!
 
I purchased this ukulele and received it Wednesday. The box was in ok shape, and immediately I noticed the label had been blackened to hide a specific markings. I’m assuming this was done to blot out the “blemish“ label coding. Attached are photos of the uke and box. You will see there is a blemish on the back of the body, perhaps some asymmetry on body shape and neck alignment, and some sound board miscoloring. I wasn’t able to capture the miscoloring as it’s only distinguishable in certain reflective lighting. These are almost fingerprints on the top stain. With its low cost (approx $42), I can’t complain. It will be a fun instrument.
Now to explain the arrival of yet another ukulele to the spouse. 😬🤭
 

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Interesting. I bought one too and got the same label modification.
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Although I can’t find anything wrong with the ukulele.
I was also thinking that maybe what was blacked out might be the serial number. If these dozen ukulele were acquired in a less than legal way maybe they wouldn’t want them to be traced
I hope that’s not the case.
I’m going to check and see if I have another Kala box to see what’s supposed to be under there.
 
The barcode could be blacked out for other reasons (no intention on the part of a vendor of matching an instrument with its original packaging, competing in-house barcode system, etc.).

The KA-_ model line are pretty nice for inexpensive ukes. Not so long ago, they were prominent in the entry-level and school markets and are generally decent out of the box (even if they sometimes benefit from a little setup work); you made a good call with these.
 
Great find!

I really wish Kala would ditch the tie bar bridges on sopranos. They take up SO MUCH real estate on those little sound boards. I have one of the (discontinued) mahogany sops with tortoiseshell bindings and upscale friction pegs. It’s a great uke, but that bridge is a monster. Ohana gets it right with slotted bridges on the shorter scales.
 
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