At the beginning of 2016 we visited their workshop and made this video-
3KOA Custom Tenor
These are “raw” sound samples with no compression of mastering. Use quality headphones or monitors for most accurate sound.These first instruments we’ll feature are from Kala’s custom shop in California. This tenor has a dark, rich curly koa body framed off with thick paua abalone shell purfling and maple wood binding. The tone is deep but clear with excellent balance and sustain.
Kala uses the same UV cured gloss finish as Taylor Guitars, and Kanile’a Ukulele. It gives a clean glassy finish that shows of the beautiful woods and protects it, while still being thin enough to let the wood speak.
Hawaiian Style 4CUSTOMThis Hawaiian themed tenor features a Hibiscus flower wood inlay on the fretboard and a gorgeous master grade koa wood body. Other features include bloodwood top and back binding with red wood purfling and a bloodwood and koa “poi pounder” end graft inlay. The wood rosette is a swirl design made from koa and mango also outlined in red purfling. Even the inside back center strip features a Polynesian triangle design! It’s finished in a perfect gloss finish for an exquisite looking tenor and a one-of-a-kind from the best builders at the California Kala custom shop.
Mango 4CUSTOMThis custom tenor features solid premium mango with curly maple bindings and padauk appointments, a beautiful gloss finish, and Honduran mahogany satin finished neck. Mango is a wonderful tonewood with a nice mix of mahogany like warmth and koa brightness. Mango as curly as this is a rare treat!
This, like most Elite USA Kalas has the 1.5″ inch width at the nut. Kala Elite’s now are also offered as a slim neck “SN” at 1 3/8″, but they are normally slightly wider than the average ukulele at one and a half.
3-Cord KoaDesigned in conjunction with Tyler Joseph of Twenty One Pilots, this is a new model from Kala’s custom shop. Here’s a video Kala shot while building one with Twenty One Pilots playing in the background.
3-Cord Cedar Top Walnut
It features a cedar top, walnut sides and back, a bound Florentine cutaway, koa bindings, a koa and maple wood rosette, and custom koa-maple-walnut “3 cord” wood marquetry inlays on the koa faceplate and walnut end graft. These are all outlined with perfectly mitered wood purflings and shown of with a glassy smooth finish for a well protected and exquisite looking custom ukulele.
The tone on this ukulele shows the continuity of a custom made ukulele voiced for maximum projection and warmth.
This is one of the custom Kala models that Corey plays and gigs with. Even though a maple top can sometimes lack depth and warmth this all Maple tenor has an extremely round, and resonant tone.
Poi Pounder Tenor
“Inspired by the traditional Hawaiian pestle used to pound taro root into poi, the Poi Pounder is made from the finest Hawaiian Koa. The koa features the fullest and widest curling of any model we offer, hand selected by our passionate luthiers. The binding and inlay are African Padauk, while the rosette is a Padauk/ Koa swirl. The striking Poi Pounder shaped end graft highlights the beautiful, reserved padauk trim.”
Mahogany Concert MHG-C
The Elite MHG series offers a US made all solid mahogany wood in an affordable package. Most impressive with this model line is the tone. It features an updated version of the classic all mahogany warmth with more punch and clarity.
The elite line now comes in two different nut widths. 1 1/2″ is the width commonly given to Elite models and is best for those that prefer more space when chording or picking. 1 3/8″ is the classic width, and what you get with their import line, but now you can get that on these as well with the “SN” models, like the one you see in the videos.
Mahogany Tenor MHG-T-SN
This new offering from Kala’s USA factory in Petaluma. It’s a modest, classic look, and a mid rich voice with plenty of body and sustaining warm tone.
This is a UV-cured acrylic urethane semi-gloss finish with a very smooth feel and transparent look. Kala used the dark filler for a cool look sort of like a reverse “doghair” pore-fill finish that Collings offers. The result is quite a handsome instrument in it’s own unassuming, non-flashy way. The sound, the feel, and the look make this tenor an excellent choice in this price range.
Doghair Mahogany Tenor
This finish is done in a unique process. It’s basically finished in the same way as there regular gloss but with a black sealer coat and white pore filler. The result is quite a unique and handsome instrument. The tone is pure classic mahogany tenor. The sound, the feel, and the look make it one of our favorites.
Mahogany Baritone MHG-B
This baritone has an incredible huge round tone with a ton of projection and a smooth wonderful feel.
Made in Petaluma, California, this uke has a Honduran mahogany body and neck. Like all Elite models, it has a bone saddle, graphtech nut, and oval mother-of-pearl fret markers and logo. And like all custom Kala’s it features a hand tuned top, bracing for optimal tone and volume, and includes the Kala hardshell wood case and Nomad humidifier.
Cedar Top Ziricote Tenor ZTP-CTG
This is a new tenor that that we had Kala make exclusively for us. We have been serious fans of the solid cedar top models in Kala’s line. We asked them to combine that with the striking beauty of their Ziricote line. This exotic hardwood is a three piece laminate but carries all the look of a super high end custom instrument and the sound of this tenor is absolutely fantastic! The volume is exceptional and it has that “open” or “broken in” quality you can get from a high quality solid western red cedar top.
This new offering comes in both the regular tenor you see in the pictures and cutaway version with a pickup like you can see in the video.
Cedar Top Acacia Concert ACP-CTG
This was the the first Kala concert with a slotted headstock. It is light weight with excellent balance. Aside from being absolutely gorgeous, this is quite possibly the biggest sounding concert Kala has ever made. We need to do a new sound sample for this model because this one is years old, but we love this new model and think you will also.
I am mostly featuring these models here without talking about what we offer our customers that buy through us, but just in case you weren’t aware, we set up each instrument to ensure you get the absolute best for your money! This includes Saddle and Nut heights, fret work and intonation checks, and a thorough inspection for cosmetic flaw. And always, we are dedicated to giving you honest and expert service and advice!
Cedar Top Acacia Tenor ATP-CTG-CE
This is a gloss tenor slothead with cutaway body and a pickup system including onboard tuner & eq. It has a solid cedar top and beautiful acacia sides and back. What really sets it off is the paduuk wood binding on the top, back and fretboard. Just a beautiful design and a beautiful tone to match. On top of that it’s quite affordable. Check it out at our website and you’ll be surprised at the value Kala is offering.
Cedar Top Acacia Tenor 5 String ATP-CTG-5
A lot of people are confused with the 5 string ukulele. Some think it plays differently, or would be harder to play. It’s not, especially after we set it up. But basically there is a low and high G played together so you get the best of both world’s in one uke. The bright classic sounds of high G and the depth and range of low G.If you’re looking for something a little different, something that you’ll feel right at home playing but will give a unique sound, then this might be a perfect choice for you.
Cedar Top Acacia Baritone ABP-CTGThis solid cedar top baritone ukulele sounds huge! We are super impressed with the volume, sustain, and rich overtones that come out of this amazingly affordable baritone.
On top of sounding fantastic, the woods are beautiful! Warm tones of western red cedar and acacia are framed of with the seductive Padauk binding and shown off with a thin, glassy finish. The padauk bound fretboard and slotted headstock add to the classy, yet natural style this model has.
If you were considering baritones in the $300 range then this is an excellent choice.
Cedar Top Acacia Baritone 8 String ABP-CTG-8
A baritone scale 8 string is a rare find, but it’s such a great model. The baritone tuning has a much more relaxed tension and this is an 8 string that’s easy to chord with a great feel after setup, and the sound is awesome! One thing to note about 8 strings, while it does take longer to tune and more accuracy to fingerpick, it’s actually easier to strum, and allows for triplet, fan, and other fancy strums much easier. This instrument is a joy to play and a joy to hear.
STG Spruce Top Gloss TenorThis video shows the solid spruce top tenor but with the cutaway and pickup. The STG and the various sizes in Kala’s Spruce Top Gloss line. For an amazingly low cost these models give you a fantastic ukulele and these are the instruments that I suggest to customers on a daily basis.
Take a listen to the concert and baritone versions from this line as well. Super wonderful ukes at a bargain price.
Solid Spruce Top Figured Maple Sides and BackThe FMTG is another great seller at our store. It sounds wonderful with a solid spruce top and mini x brace that gives a strong projection and excellent clarity. It also has a beautiful look with each one having a unique spalting pattern to the figured maple sides and back. It’s framed off with mahogany wood binding and protected with a thin glassy finish.
Travel Series SopranoThe travel series was introduced by Kala nearly 10 years ago and it’s been surprising people with it’s big sound ever since. These ukuleles are less than half the width of a regular ukulele but with their solid spruce top and extremely arched back they really put out a punchy tone with a ton of volume. They come in soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone, and all include a deluxe padded gig bag.
Solid Spruce/Rosewood w/ Scoop CutawayThis is a fairly new model from Kala with the finest solid tonewoods and a smooth bevel cutaway. It demonstrates the quality and tone capable in Kala’s affordable import line. Kala continues to advance their building techniques and the quality of their offering and this is another example of that.
Of course we couldn’t feature all of the Kala models we carry here, but this was to highlight some of them. See more at our web store HERE.