|Body And Neck:|
Part of Kala’s flagship Satin Mahogany series, this KA-B baritone ukulele from Kala is a popular model with ukulelists adding their first baritone to their collection, as well as those making an upgrade. At under $200, it is still very much an affordable uke, but promises a little more than something you’d find in the entry-level market. Let’s have a look…
As looks go, there are certainly more elegant and elaborately styled ukuleles on the market. In fact, the KA-B is a little plain in comparison to some. However, it’s still quite attractive, with a timeless non-cutaway baritone body, with a total length of just over 30”. As a part of Kala’s Satin Mahogany series, there’s no surprise that the body is made entirely of a mahogany laminate, finished in satin, with simple cream binding around the top and back.
Joined at the 14th fret, the neck is also mahogany, and sports either a rosewood or walnut fretboard (depending on the marketplace), and 18 frets. It’s a comfortable ukulele to play, and well-suited to those with bigger hands, or players moving over to the uke world from guitar. Out of the box it’s very playable with a low action and slick feel, although it would benefit from a good setup, as we found a little string buzz (although you may be luckier!). Otherwise a solid, if unspectacular body.
Looking for electronics? Look elsewhere, because the KA-B is a solely acoustic uke, although it comes with some decent hardware for the relatively small price. It features a set of sealed, chrome die-cast tuners, which – after a little slipping while the strings were new – hold the tuning pretty well. The bridge is made of the same material as the fretboard (so either rosewood or walnut), and features a saddle and nut made of GraphTech’s NuBone material. Finally, this baritone uke comes strung with a set of Aquila Super Nylgut strings, which are always a welcome addition.
For a ukulele that is still very much in the middle of the affordable market, the tone on offer from this baritone is very pleasing. It’s deep and mellow, with plenty of projection. The mahogany lends itself well to a well-balanced tone, although borders on the darker, warmer side of things. Surprisingly, it offers good sustain for the price category.
Overall, consider us impressed. While it won’t turn any heads visually, it still looks attractive and feels great to play. Plus, it makes a lovely sound for the price. It’s usually hard to go wrong with a Kala, and this affordable KA-B goes another step to proving it.