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New Models from Kala Brand Ukulele Company

Kala Travel pocket ukeKala Ukulele has continued to grow in a positive and musical direction. Their owner, Mike Upton is a musician. He knows what’s good, but he also keeps an open mind towards the evolution of his company and this instrument. For instance, Kala is the only company that sends us prototypes for feedback on future models. I really respect that. Mike listens to everyone’s opinion and takes it into consideration as he steers the ship, so to speak. A smart man and a smart company. Here’s three great examples of their cutting edge quality and value.

There is a number of new models that will slowly go up at our web storeΒ TheUkuleleSite, but these are my three favorite.
First off is the new Pocket Uke. I was never a big fan of the pocket uke. It was always really hard to play and keep in tune. It was cool though, just not really practical enough. Well that has now changed. The new (and only) pocket uke has a 1 3/8″ nut width and lightweight geared tuners. Also, the thin body seems to have improved the tone. It chimes and sparkles with sustain. A really nice sound! To top it off this new pocket uke comes in at almost half the cost of previous ones. Corey gives it a go –

The next instrument is the KA-ACP-CT, a concert model with a slotted headstock. Some people think a slotted headstock is heavier. It can be, but more often it is not. It’s thicker, but the routed slots equalize the mass of a flat. This uke is light and balanced, so no worries there. It has a solid cedar top for a full, rich tone, and the padauk rosette and bindings make for a gorgeous custom look. This must be the finest sounding Kala concert I have heard to date. Take a listen-

The last new model I’ll show you is also from the ATP-CT series but a limited edition tenor in a satin finish. Just like the concert above this tenor will challange the tone of higher end models. Clean and open tones to match the woody look and feel of this tenor. We bought up the whole lot that came our way because this is a winner. Corey samples-

Kala ACP-CTKala ATP-CT satin

So that’s some new and impressive instruments from the Kala company. I’ll be posting them soon on the site for more details and photos. Of course you can take a trip to the north shore and try them first hand.

Thanks for stopping by TheUkuleleReview. Please share below with any comments or questions.

Comments 66

    1. Just recieved this kala concert for an early christmas present! Very impressive sound and projection.. and pretty too.. fits my hand well.. my new best friend! Thank you husband!

  1. Both the tenor and concert look really great! I’m assuming the tenor also has a sold cedar top, looks like it.

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  2. I forgot to add: I wish Corey would have played a more strumming style song with the pocket uke. I think that would have showed how it sounds in a more ‘normal’ playing situation. Not too many folks can play that classical demo like he does, he is so good…

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      ah, yes, I should have had him do that. If you want to hear an average player strumming I demo it here-

      Thanks Paul

    2. Know what you mean. Both Corey and Aaron are lovely to listen to, but wish they’d demo stuff us mere mortals will be playing – add a basic strum pattern to finish?

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        haha..he would have, I just forgot to ask him to. Get one and you’ll hear it πŸ™‚

  3. How is the pocket uke tuned? As I recall, the old pocket uke had a different tuning that meant you couldn’t play standard uke chords on the pocket uke. Is that true on the new one or is it tuned GCEA?

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      Hey Paul,
      I actually never tuned this one, just out of the bag and by ear. But I think it’s a step up. That’s how these sounds best but they can do GCEA fine, just less bright.

  4. Hi, that tenor sounds wonderful. But it sounds rather soft from the sound clip. Is it softer than a solid koa top / solid mahogany top? Thanks for the inputs.

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      No It’s louder than either with more body and low end. My recordings are just super dry now and I don’t do any post processing.

  5. Have a KA Solid mahog tenor and Pono solid acacia soprano from you and was all set to round it out with a Kala ASAC concert but then saw this new one – now I’m torn! Hear a lot about cedar but don’t get much selection in Chicago. How would you compare this APC concert to the ASAC if I only get one more (so says the wife).

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      Hi Tom, I would say this new cedar top is more of a big warm and the asac-c is brighter but less body and sustain. If you don’t mind slot heads this concert is pretty sweet, best sounding Kala concert IMHO. Thanks

      1. Thanks Andrew, you had me at “big and warm”! Ordered mine right after you reply -just waiting for Joel to work his magic… Oh and fresh stock on the SLNG for my wife. Our happy little Kala family will soon be complete.

    1. Chet Atkins’ Smokey Mountain Lullaby played just as elegantly by Tommy Emmanuel-then again everything Tommy plays is elegant… when it’s not all out to the wall gonzo πŸ™‚

  6. I’ve been playing a Kala KA-SMHC for a few months now and really like it — good build quality and plays amazingly (especially with a HMS setup)!

  7. The slotted headstock on the concert is quite pretty but I’ve never played with one so I don’t know how it would impact my ability vs without a slotted headstock.

    1. The only thing it should impact is your patience when changing strings! This becomes quite a craft with slot heads. You may need to tie the strings off like on a classical to keep the ends from slipping back through the post holes. still it’s totally worth any trouble for that look & at least your fingertips won’t bleed when they get stuck by steel string ends like mine when changing my Gypsy….

  8. I’ve been playing a Kala Soprano for some months now, from HMS, the Lacewood/Spruce… but these new ones are very tempting!

  9. Truly Corey makes every uke sound amazing! I love the larger ukes, so the tenor appeals to my ear most, but I will need to learn to play that Pono Baritone I got from y’all last week before I buy anything new!

  10. Wow! I think I need to start saving up for the KA-ACP-CT. A beautiful uke with a gorgeous tone.

  11. I’ve got the Kala long neck soprano, and love it. It’s a perfect representation of Kala’s willingness to offer uncommon models that really work!

  12. I just traded in my guitar for a ukulele. Got a Makala Tenor, I didn’t have a lot if money to spend so I could only get something the value if my trade in.
    One of these days I’m going up get my dream Uke, a Kala KA-T Tenor and when I do it’s going to be from Hawaii Music Supply.

  13. All of those ukes look great! I am glad to see improvements on the pocket uke. I didn’t know that they sent you guys prototypes. Thats is pretty cool. You can tell they really want to produce the best sound they can.

  14. would love to try the pocket ukulele, I love my Kala acacia concert from Hawaii Music Supply

  15. Kala ukes are awesome and very reasonably priced. QA is far better than Lanikai and other similar brands. I just got a solid okoume tenor, and it is amazing. The tone is magnificent. I ordered it on The Ukulele Site, so the set up was perfect upon arrival. Very, very happy.

  16. I am a BIG Kala fan, especially since I own two Kala UBass models (a hollow body and a California model – both beautiful things) and a cute little concert model in a Uke Vrazy tweed case. Someday I will buy another Kala, probably an electric/acoustic tenor, since they are so well made and affordable.

  17. We own a Kala Tenor Thinline, which is my husband’s everyday uke.

    It’s surprising loud!

  18. I can barely play the uke I have but I have an nearly irresistible urge to buy the pocket uke. Thanks for putting up videos.

  19. First uke I ever got was a Kala, I still pick it up more often than my other ukes. They make a good product.

  20. Kala Baritones are a great value. I can only assume that these will be as well. My hat’s off to Mike and hope he keeps them coming!

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      Very little effect on tone if any. Of course it’s hard to measure exactly with so many factors in each individual instrument. The mass of slot head is the same as a flat. The break angle of the string could make a touch of difference. But mostly just a different style and look. Thanks.

  21. I played the KA-ACP-CT, and I think it’s the nicest concert that Kala has made so far, not only is it beautiful, but it’s also very playable with a wonderful tone… Seems to me the perfect combination , and everything just works together at a wonderful price.

  22. I have a Kala Concert and it is great, the sound that comes from it is heaven sent. Would love to try the pocket Uke.

  23. That Kala KA ACP CT concert sounds lovely and I like the slotted head. It’s really a classy looking ukulele.

  24. Now that tenor would make a nice companion for my Kala acia concert which has a lovelt tone too.

  25. Wow, it really looks like Kala is stepping up their quality in the ~$250 department. This looks so much better than my Kala KA-MT that I bought from MGM back in 2010. I love the slot head on these. I can’t decide whether I like the gloss or satin finish more though. Ahh, I want o__o

  26. i allready have 5 kalas but the cedar with slotted headstock is extremely nice do they also have it with cutaway and pickup? that would probably be my choice..

  27. Around me, Kala is mostly known as entry level ukes (they seem to make up the bulk of “in stock” ukes up here).

    Glad to see their work on the higher end.

  28. Received yesterday our Kala SLNG and ACP CT, wooooow…gorgeous and they deliver exactly what we were looking for. Love our Kalas!

  29. I love how Corey samples the ukes so beautifully, it makes me want to own all of them πŸ™‚

  30. Yup – I love my Kala as well – however everytime I visit HMS there seems to be something I want to love more!

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