Best Uke For Beginners – Kala Ka 15s Soprano Ukulele Review
As a beginner who is just starting out with playing the ukulele, you must choose your first ukulele carefully. If I were a beginner, I would look for a ukulele that is playable, solid, and easy to tune.
In this Kala Ka 15s review, I aim to provide details of the sound, playability, wood material and other vital information about the instrument. We shall also look at the pros and cons.
So read on to see if this is the best soprano ukulele to kickstart your musical career.
Is Kala Ka 15s Mahogany Soprano Ukulele That Good for beginners?
Table of Contents
- 1 Is Kala Ka 15s Mahogany Soprano Ukulele That Good for beginners?
- 1.1 1. What is Special about the Manufacture – Kala?
- 1.2 Kala Ka 15s Review – Specifications and Highlighted Features
- 1.3 1. The Playability
- 1.4 2. Sound Quality
- 1.5 3. Wood &finishing
- 1.6 4. Body shape & Size
- 1.7 5. Fretboard
- 1.8 6. Tuning pegs
- 1.9 7. Strings
- 2 Final Verdict on Kala KA 15S Review
This is one of the most important questions to ask as a beginner. Before you finalize plans to buy any instrument, you need to first know the worth of that instrument.
However, if you are looking for the best budget ukulele, then the Kala Ka 15s fits the bill. Now let’s look at other details about this brand.
1. What is Special about the Manufacture – Kala?
Kala has been doing great since they ventured into the ukulele making business. They have tried to remain consistent even in the wake of a highly competitive market.
They have successfully managed to gather the best designers, luthiers, and engineers, whose joint effort places them one step ahead of their competitors.
There were times where many players thought Kala would compromise quality for profit, but they never did. The solid reputation and integrity they’ve maintained all through these years have placed them where they are today.
Currently, the Kala KA 15s is among the best budget ukulele the company produces.
Kala Ka 15s Review – Specifications and Highlighted Features
- 21 inches total body length
- 9-3/8 inches body length
- 7 inches lower bout
- 5-1/4 inches upper bout
- Mahogany body & neck
- 12 brass frets
- 1-3/8 inches at nut
- Rosewood fingerboard and bridge
- Aquila nylgut strings
- Geared tuners
- Satin finish
- Sturdy and lightweight
- Portable to travel with
- Perfectly crafted figure-eight shape
- Comfortable to hold & play
- Perfectly fretted and has smooth action.
- Fretboard is resonant, delivers warn and soft sound
- No muddy lows or spikes in trebles
- Great string for fingerpicking/strumming
- Stable, easy to use and holds tune well
- Light finish makes it attractive and resonate freely
1. The Playability
The common thing with most entry level ukulele is that they come with high or low action. Having a high action means the instrument will be more difficult to play and play faster. In fact, you will require more effort to press the strings down to the fretboard.
On the other hand, low action can cause buzzing. The Kala KA 15s has a smooth and balanced action, which is not too high or low, making the instrument very comfortable to play.
It comes with 12 brass frets, perfectly seated to make the sound more pleasing to your hearing. There is no buzzing even during robust strumming.
2. Sound Quality
The sound of the Kala KA 15s is awesome. Though you might notice some lack in richness in sound, judging from experience with other very expensive ukuleles, but this is the best you can get at this price point.
In addition, there are no muddy lows or spikes in trebles. And it produces clear, resonating sound, especially when played correctly.
3. Wood &finishing
With the mahogany body and neck, this ukulele is sure to give you a great playing experience as a beginner. In addition to possessing a lightweight, the instrument is more comfortable to hold and play than others at this price point.
Though mahogany is not the only optional wood for ukulele, but it is a great substitute for the expensive and rare Koa wood.
The light matte finish gives the KA-15S a natural look. The wood is smooth to the touch, and you can see and feel the wood’s texture. The ukulele has a light finish which places it at an advantage over other inexpensive ukuleles with thick, plastic-looking finishes. The light finish allows it to resonate more freely and let you enjoy better tone.
4. Body shape & Size
The KA-15S has a figure-eight shape with no flaw or rough edges. The shape makes it more comfortable to hold while standing or play while sitting down. It will balance properly on your lap as you sit and play.
It has an overall body length of 21 inches, which is the normal soprano ukulele size. The soprano scale, which is the distance from the nut to saddle, measures 13.625 inches.
This ukulele is also very portable, and comfortable to carry along with you on your journey. It has lightweight which will not add to the weight of your order items.
Just like other ukuleles produced by Kala, the KA-15S is built with rosewood material. This wood has been rated by lots of players as the best wood for making musical instruments. The rosewood naturally tames unwanted overtone, giving you a bright and neat sound all the way.
The rosewood on the fretboard has a very tight grain and resonant. It is well-built, straight and has all the 12 brass frets accurately installed on the fretboard. The wood is also responsible for its softer and warmer sound.
6. Tuning pegs
This ukulele presents you with superior geared tuners, which makes the ukulele very easy and comfortable to tune. These tuners may not be the best on the market, but considering the price point and the fact that it makes tuning much easier for beginners, there is no issue with it.
The geared tuners will let you adjust the ukulele easily. It is last longer and is more precise than other tuning pegs. They also hold a bit tighter and holds tune better.
The KA-15S comes with superior Aquila nylgut strings, rated as one of the best sounding ukulele strings. These strings are great for strumming and offer sweet, bright tone. They also hold tune better when they break in.
Many expensive ukuleles come with the Aquila nylgut strings, so finding them on this fairly priced ukulele is a big plus.
What We Like
- Reasonably priced
- Great hardware
- Well-built with perfect finish
- Built with great tonewood for the price.
What We Dislike
- It needs proper setup on arrival before playing
- Has less bass and volume than the larger ukulele sizes
- Frets are too close which makes it challenging for players with large fingers to maneuver.
Final Verdict on Kala KA 15S Review
Kala has already built a solid reputation and won the hearts of many ukulele players with their high quality and affordable ukulele.
The KA-15s is one the best budget-friendly soprano ukulele in Kala’s range of ukuleles, and it is suitable for beginners and those with a little more experience.
Considering the price tag, playability, quality of tonewood and strings, I will not hesitate to recommend this brand to anyone looking for a solid and durable ukulele.