Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kala Tenor Ukulele KA-JTE-M


Today we are looking at a super Kala KA-JTE-Mahogany tenor archtop ukulele. This is a pretty rare one in the now-discontinued clear mahogany finish. Most of these you see are finished in various burst colors or are black.

I am impressed by the sound and the build quality of this ukulele, and even more by the price, which is quite reasonable.

It is a pleasant-looking ukulele, with a glossy clear finish, and classy mother-of-pearl body and fretboard binding. There is a cute mother-of-pearl palm tree inlay on the fretboard too.

The back and sides are mahogany and the spruce top is tinted to match. The neck appears to be mahogany and it has a rosewood fretboard.

The sealed tuners are nice quality and hold well. The bridge is made of rosewood with a synthetic saddle.

This model comes standard with the Shadow P3 pickup with volume and tone controls. The electronics are quiet and reproduce the uke’s sounds accurately.

The workmanship on this one is good: all of the joints are solid, and the fretwork is nice. The frets are level and the edges are neat.

It is nice and light, weighing in at a featherweight 1 pound, 11 ounces according to my scale.

So, overall it is a nicely-made ukulele that is made with solid materials. But, it sounds good and plays well too! It has a sweet, balanced tone. Due to the f-holes it has a little less volume than a conventional ukulele, but it still has some good low-end tone. It is pleasant to play, and would be great to gig with if you plug it in.

The MSRP on these is $395, with a street price of about $277. You will not find a better electric ukulele for the money.


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