Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 Kala KA-ASAC-T Tenor Ukulele Review

Aloha!

My dad recently sent his ukulele to my aunt so she would have an instrument to play again, as years ago she gave her uke to a friend. I found him a new uke, a Kala KA-ASAC-T, and it has turned out to be a fantastic instrument.

The KA-ASAC-T is a tenor ukulele that is part of Kala’s solid acacia series, meaning that it comes with a solid acacia top. The acacia is also called the mimosa or shower tree, and is a close relative of the Hawaiian koa tree. This is a handsome wood, and provides a nice tone an instrument’s sound. The top has herringbone purfling and is bound with strips of rosewood (the back is bound too). The back and sides are made of lacewood.

Mahogany is used for the neck, and Kala uses rosewood for the fretboard and bridge, and ebony for the nut and saddle. There is some nice detail work here, with customer mother of pearl fretboard inlays and a laminated headstock that makes the beveled slots for the tuners look fabulous. The tuners are geared units from Grover, and they are really neat looking pieces.

The build quality of this uke is good, and all 19 of the silver nickel frets have nice smooth edges. The binding, purfling and fretboard inlays are also well done, and with its flawless satin matte finish, it is quite attractive.

This one came set-up with premium Aquila Nylgut strings, and it plays very smoothly with no buzzing or other problems. It has a sweet and mellow tone, and I really cannot think of anything bad to say about it. This thing only weighs 1 pound, 3 ounces, and it would be a nice travelling companion!

If you like the looks of this but need another size, Kala also sells this uke in soprano and concert versions, but you will not get the slotted headstock or cool geared tuners.

As it is a quality instrument, the Kala KA-ASAC-T is a bit more expensive than your basic starter ukulele, and it has a list price of $519.99 and a street price of around $364 (case not included). But it plays well, sounds good, and it looks nice so it is worth every penny. My dad certainly loves his!

Mahalo!

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