Kala Brand Music Co. is a privately owned instrument manufacturer based in Petaluma, CA. They’re known for their guitars and ukuleles. Their products are geared towards beginners and intermediate players and are considered a leader in the music industry. They created this Kala KA-15-H1 Soprano Ukulele, and we belive that thay did a great job.
Kala KA-15-H1 Soprano Ukulele
- Weight – 13,4 ounces
- Dimensions – 23 x 8.5 x 3.2 inches
- Neck and body – Mahogany
- Fingerboard and bridge – Rosewood
- Satin finish
- Geared tuners
With a full mahogany body and bridge topped with a satin finish, the Kala KA-15-H1 soprano ukulele has a beautiful look.
The fingerboard is rosewood with brass frets, but the open gear tuners only come in chrome. This particular model features a laser etched map of the Hawaiian islands.
Instrument’s comes in a variety of styles including a tribal tattoo band, a rosette design, a spruce top, a plain wood grain, and a few combinations of each at varying prices.
This soprano ukulele is a great deal for the price, but it’s not a professional’s instrument. The tuners are fairly tough, but aren’t made to look pretty.
Even so, you can expect a little frustration while trying to get it in tune. When it gets there, though, it tends to hold tuning just fine. The full wood construction gives this uke a sturdy feel that anyone can appreciate.
In comparison to other beginner ukulele, this instrument is miles ahead of the competition. Kala even strings this model with Aquila Nylgut (synthetic gut) strings, among the most popular in the industry.
There is a bit of disagreement on the sound quality of this uke. It has a rich intonation and good sustain, but there have been complaints of buzzing on the fretboard.
Being solid wood and not a composite, even beginners will be able to pull beautiful notes out of this uke with a nice, colorful tone that pleases the ear of even seasoned strummers.
The issue of tuning comes mostly from the strings themselves. When this uke is shipped, it is strung but not tightened, so it may take a week or so to really bring out the true sound as the strings settle.
Comfortableness of use
This one depends mostly on the player. As a soprano uke, it’s the most popular size and pretty much the standard when people think of ukuleles. However, people with larger fingers or those used to larger frets (like a bass player) might find this Kala difficult to play.
That being said, this instrument is geared towards beginners and most students will find it fits just fine. Playing comfort is enhanced by frets themselves being fitted smoothly into the fingerboard, a nice attention to detail that many student instruments ignore.
Check out Kala’s Tenor Ukulele KA-SSTU-T Review
Great way to go
If you’re just getting started or looking to upgrade from a First Act instrument, this Kala is a great way to go. It has a great construction backed by a leading manufacturer that seems to really believe it their product.
Kala guarantees their instruments for at least a year from defaults in workmanship. Their warranty process can be a little convoluted, but such is the way with musical instruments.
Their website is easy to navigate, though, and even has a number of resources and descriptions for people just learning, including lessons and how-to’s on stringing, tuning, and maintenance.
Put up against the best in the industry, the Kala KA-15-H1 Soprano Ukulele isn’t going to turn a lot of heads. The thing is, it’s not meant to be the very best out there. As a student instrument, it shines.
Full wood construction and the inclusion of some of the best strings in the business give it a surprisingly rich sound you won’t find in many other instruments aimed at beginners.
The quality of construction and materials for a starter or first upgrade instrument combined with the price point put this uke ahead of the pack.