Review Details

Kala Solid Cedar Top Baritone Slothead (KA-ABP-CTG)

Product Review (submitted on October 21, 2015):
I never thought I’d buy a baritone ukulele. I didn’t think I’d ever buy a Kala. This one purchase defied both those assumptions. This ukulele has opened up a new sonic and mental world for me. That is, the baritone sound is so different (depth, sustain, and the lower tuning) from even the tenors I usually play that I feel as if I’m playing a different instrument without having to learn a new instrument. The “mental” part is that for the most part I am transposing as I play (to accommodate the lower tuning).

I love the extra space on the fretboard (in both directions: fret spacing, and across the fretboard, which is 1.5” at the nut). The sound is full, and the (Aquila) wound strings that I thought I would not like (based on a wound C on a tenor I used to have) sound and feel great, although I’m not sure about the two higher strings, which seem a little harsh yet weak, so I’ll try another set (D’addario Titanium) when I feel like it. And one of the tuners is a little temperamental, but aren’t we all? (I don’t expect perfection at this price.)

It’s a great looking instrument. It’s a relatively easy transition from tenor. The neck is a little thicker than I prefer, and I sometimes get some left-hand pain, but hey — there’s a price for the pleasures of life. Oh, the price: under $300 for this instrument seems like a possible pricing error. The MiSi that I got with it works well, as does the Oahu case (once I aired out its case b.o. for a few days).

I could be wrong, but this might be the baritone ukulele that gets you the most for your money between an all-laminate and a more expensive all-solid brand or model.