Kala Acacia Ukulele

Koa is the ultimate ukulele but it gets more expensive all the time. So enterprising ukulele makers have started using woods from the same family as koa, acacia, to make ukuleles that look at sound like koa at a much cheaper price. The first ukulele I noticed doing this was the Koa Pili Koko. Which was a big success so it’s no wonder that other companies like Kala started doing the same thing.

Another notable feature of the tenor acacia ukulele is that it comes with a classical-guitar style slotted headstock as favoured by Jake Shimabukuro. Kala are the first brand I’ve seen that have put slotted headstocks on an affordable ukulele. A smart move given the number of people wanting to emulated Jake.

On Video

On eBay US

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On eBay UK

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Kala ukulele’s Mike Upton demonstrates a KA-ASAC-T.

Kala Acacia Tenor KA-ASAC-T Review

Kala Acacia Soprano KA-ASAC-S Specifications

Size: Soprano
Construction: Solid Acacia top, back and sides
Fretboard: Rosewood
Bridge: Ebony
Tuners: Friction
Finish: Clean satin.

Kala Acacia Concert KA-ASAC-C Specifications

Size: Concert
Construction: Solid Acacia top, back and sides
Fretboard: Rosewood
Bridge: Ebony
Tuners: Geared
Finish: Clean satin.

Kala Acacia Tenor KA-ASAC-T Specifications

Size: Tenor
Construction: Solid Acacia top, back and sides
Fretboard: Rosewood
Bridge: Ebony
Tuners: Slotted headstock
Finish: Clean satin.

11 Comments

  1. Vincent Wright December 7th, 2009 5:34 pm

    I have bought recently from musicguyMic (I don’t like giving people free advertising but this guy totally deserves it) a concert Kala ACACIA wood ukulele. I have already two tenor ukuleles a KALA Mango wood and a cheap lanikai which are both good ukuleles for there money don’t get me wrong. I was originally going to buy a soprano Ukulele when looking at various eBay stores but then when deciding on buying a kala ukulele I typed the name into the eBay search engine and up popped the Concert Kala ACACIA wood ukulele as one of the listed items.

    The verdict: well cosmetically it’s a very handsome uke it’s well constructed with funky swirly little pearl in lays in the fret board. The uke is very light weight but very sturdy. The machine heads are really good quality and keep the uke in tune really really well.

    Sound wise: well to me it keeps getting better and better each time I play it (seriously) and I find out each day the more how versatile it is. When I first got it the box I thought “yeah it’s ok” but I really love it and it projects great sound with a punch.

    As I said before this is the first concert ukulele I have bought and it sounds like a real ukulele as I have found with my tenor ukuleles they have a beautiful sound but they don’t have the stabbyness of a concert or soprano ukulele.
    This being my first concert ukulele I don’t think I would ever bother buying a tenor ukulele again this is already my favorite uke after only having it for a week or two.

    The down and up side: as I said before I bought this from musicguymic who is based in Hawaii and I am in the UK so if you are going to buy a ukulele from Hawaii or the USA expect to pay tax at least. Please see what I spent below:

    The ukulele was including carriage:

    £190.00 roughly (I think it was on offer when I bought it)

    The tax was:

    £28.50

    Parcel force charged (hander ling fee)

    £13.50

    So it was about another £40.00 on top. When I spoke to the guy at the parcel force desk I asked why we had to pay VAT (out of interest as I’m nosey) and he said that it depends on what customs and excise feel like at the time of when the package comes through. But near Christmas time they check every thing that comes through as people are ordering presents for people.

    The up side of ordering a uke from musicguymic is that he sets up the ukulele which hardly any music store dose and it makes a big big difference.

    That’s my two pennies worth.

    Vincent Wright

  2. Woodshed December 7th, 2009 8:44 pm

    Thanks very much for the review, Vincent. And particularly the import stuff – it’s always good to know what to expect.

  3. Steve January 8th, 2010 8:01 am

    I did a lot of back and forth between the Kala Acacia Soprano and Concert with the concert arriving “mistakenly.” No mistake at all. More like meant to be. Had I contributed to the confusion with a last minute change? It had no effect since my original choice arrived. This concert is here and here to stay.

    An amazingly bright yet balanced traditional ukelele sound at a great price. I should add that at the local dealer here in NJ, I was charged for the price of the soprano…sweet.

  4. Cole M March 11th, 2010 10:26 pm

    So i just bought the concert one and i love if sooooooooo much.
    the sound is like nothing ive ever heard
    the durability is outstanding
    i bought it also from musicguymic and it came with :
    A case, a chord book, a voice box thing, and the uke
    299.99 dollars later but 110% worth it

    Get this!

  5. Tinker May 13th, 2010 12:22 am

    I have one of these. I live in the UK like Vincent but didn’t have to go through MGM to buy the uke. I just bought it from The Southern Ukulele Store in Bournemouth and he posted it to be within 2 days to Warwickshire.

    Admittedly it cost £259 which is £29 more than Vincent but it was fast and the guy there gave me some pretty good advice about strings and all sorts. I don’t wish to plug anyone either but this guy deserves it too and he’s based in UK so it’s easy to communicate with him.

    With regards to the uke, it’s awesome. It really feels like a quality instrument. Well made, beautiful sounding, loud and with a distinctly Hawaiian feel to it. Very pleased. Didn’t have the problems the dude had on the Youtube vid regarding the ebony nut and saddle. I assume that’s been ironed out by now.

  6. KevinV May 23rd, 2010 4:52 am

    I purchased the tenor solid acacia model from MGM and love this thing. It gets a lot of use both at home and with my band, and it’s showing no signs of structural issues whatsoever. The playability is excellent, great intonation, looks very nice with all the flame and figuring in the wood, and the open slotted headstock is a nice touch…a favorite from my guitar days.

    I gave a 4 for construction because the inside holes for the tuners could have been drilled more cleanly. There’s a fair amount of chipping going on there and although functional, it’s a bit unsightly. A little more attention to detail and a sharp drill bit would have been all that was needed.

    The tone is very nice, but I’d prefer a little more volume. I’d like to see a spruce topped acacia model sometime…I think it would give it that extra push that I’m looking for.

    I added a Mi-Si Acoustic Trio pickup to my uke so I can plug in with the band and it complements it very well. I got positive comments from my 3 band mates on how great they thought it sounded.

    Overall I’d give this ‘ukulele a 4.5 out of 5. I like the appointments with the rosewood binding, multi-layered headstock that shows up nicely with the angled slots. Very efficient Grover tuners. And a finish that has held up well to both sweat and beer. It’s definitely a keeper.

  7. MrWally January 30th, 2011 12:25 am

    I just pre-ordered this from MGM today. The tenor model. I’m absolutely stoked and can’t wait for its (eventual) arrival.

    It cost me $325, including shipping and custom strings. It’s my first “real” ukulele (my current uke is a $99 Guitar Center Lanikai). I’m glad to hear that everyone seems to like it so far, and I’ll give a full review once it arrives!

  8. Smitty July 26th, 2012 3:55 pm

    I purchased the Concert size because I find them to be ideal overall in terms of volume, clarity and just in general a great playing experience, and this one didn’t let me down. I wanted a Solid Wood Koa, but after researching this Uke I went with it, and am surely happy that I did. Outstanding Job Kala!!!!

  9. John Higgins January 20th, 2013 4:03 pm

    I bought the KA-ASAC-TE/C Electro Acoustic Cutaway. It looks and sounds amazing, the shadow pickup means that also sounds great when plugged in. I got it from the Southern Ukulele Store in Bournemouth. I spent two hours trying out different Ukes (some much more expensive) and fell in love with this one. Because they are made fron solid wood every one is unique, I would advise anyone to go and try out at a uke store then you can choose the one with the grain / pattern which you like best. At £340 this sounded as good to me as ukes costing twice as much, all of the Kala ukes are good value!

  10. Tim January 25th, 2013 2:01 am

    Does anyone know what kind of strings the concert size comes with? I have a Kala and it came with Aquilas, but I’m not sure if that’s true of all Kalas.

  11. Casey April 21st, 2013 11:35 pm

    I got the tenor acacia kala awhile ago I am very happy with it. It came with Aquila strings which I used for awhile but I went to pro arte which I think I like more. I have had no complaints with it. I guess sometimes you get lucky. Its my second uke the first was a makala concert uke. The solid Acacia was a big upgrade im very happy with it.

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