|Body And Neck:
When shopping for a budget ukulele, you could quite easily end up with something that’s no better than a toy you’d find in a child’s ‘My First Ukulele’ set. The budget market is filled with these kinds of instruments. Which is why we’re very keen on this KA-15S soprano ukulele from Kala. It proves an incredibly popular budget model among beginners and experienced players alike, and it’s easy to see why.
Kala produce some seriously good-looking, high-end ukuleles, although at under $60, this little model is far from premium. Yet, while there’s nothing special about the design, it still shows very commendable craftsmanship for an entry-level uke. As we’ve mentioned, it has a full-size soprano scale body with a length of around 21”, so is particularly good for those with smaller hands.
The traditional non-cutaway body is made from mahogany, which is obvious from the lovely deep brown grain, all finished in a natural satin. The neck is also mahogany and features 12 silver nickel frets (all in the clear) on either a rosewood or walnut fretboard. Playability is great – a fun instrument – and the neck is comfortable. It’s hard to do the attractive little uke justice, it just feels like it should cost a lot more.
Set on the bridge (which, again, will either be rosewood or walnut) is a GraphTech NuBone saddle, matched with the same material for the nut – for a budget instrument, it’s refreshing not to see the use of cheap plastic, and NuBone goes a long way in producing a consistent sound. The open-gear tuners on this guitar do the job, but would be the first thing we’d change, as their ability to hold tuning can be a little temperamental, especially when the strings are new.
Finally, this uke comes string with a set of Aquila Super Nylgut strings, which is the industry standard, and one of the better string sets around. Again, for a budget guitar, you couldn’t ask for much more.
Tonally, the KA-15S is fantastic for the price and, listening to this uke in action, it’s hard to believe it’s so cheap. It offers the clear, bright, happy sound that everyone craves from a ukulele, with good warmth from the mahogany. It’s certainly not the loudest uke we’ve heard, but projection-wise it’s very satisfying.
As you may have gathered, the KA-15S is undoubtedly one of the best ukuleles you can find for this kind of price. We’re impressed with its offering. It looks and feels quality, and sounds beautiful. For beginners and experienced players alike, this is a solid choice for an affordable ukulele. Top marks to Kala.