Makala MK-T Tenor Ukulele

Makala are Kala's introductory range of ukuleles. If you're looking for the cheapest but playable tenor, this is a good buy. But it's worth getting one with set-up and some decent strings (like Aquila) if you can find them.

On Video

gnarlieone plays Roy Smeck's Magic Ukulele Waltz on a tenor Makala.

On eBay

On eBay UK

Video Review

One correction to that video, he refers to it as, "pure mahogany". It's not it's laminated.


Size: Tenor
Construction: Agathis (laminated) top, sides and back
Fretboard: Rosewood
Frets: 18
Bridge: Rosewood
Neck: Mahogany
Tuners: Geared Tuners
Finish: Satin


  1. Rebecca April 7th, 2011 3:57 am

    This was my first ukulele and I swear I like it better than ukuleles on the mainland that are 300$.

  2. Oliver González February 2nd, 2012 4:08 pm

    I must confess that I love the tenor size ukeleles; but since I also own a Kala Black Electric model and a handmade solid wood tenor (made from a Stew-Mac kit); the sound quality of the Makala Tenor MK-T is not as good as to be chosen by me.

  3. Yanina February 19th, 2012 4:40 pm

    I got a Kala Makala Tenor a couple of months ago. I didn’t know how to play at all. And it wasn’t difficult to get a nice sound out of it!
    Check this out:

  4. Melody April 15th, 2012 8:57 am

    My second uku.Great value:stay in tune,good and mellow sounds,comfort size.I do recommend use a soprano for starter and after you get comfortable with different tabs then switch to larger size.

  5. Jeff in NYC June 14th, 2012 12:27 am

    This will be my first Uke! I can’t rate it yet but I’m sure it will be a keeper! I just ordered a set up from Musicguymic. I was glad to track him down, and he’s feeling better again. Mike’s with Hawaii Music Supply and it was a treat to speak with him last night. Can’t wait to get this set up!

  6. Tim August 3rd, 2013 3:10 pm

    As it was my first Ukulele I took a friend who had been playing for years, we compared it to Ukuleles that were $290 and decided to buy it simply because it sounded much nicer than the others. It did have good quality strings on it though. Ive been travelling around the world with it and it has been getting beaten up but is still going strong!

  7. Mark May 2nd, 2014 9:01 am

    I bought one of these partly on the strength of reviews here, but also because I love my Makala Dolphin soprano. As a lefty, I buy mail order because I can’t try ukes properly in shops, so I hadn’t heard anything other than web clips. Mine is set up with Aquilas, but you get what you pay for. It is playable, it stays in tune, the action is ok, and the finish is acceptable for such a cheap instrument. But I find the tone incredibly harsh, so much so that I very rarely play it now. Annoyingly, shortly after buying it, I fitted a decent pickup so I sometimes have to play it in company and can’t really sell it on, but I would certainly advise listening before you buy if you possibly can. I had (and later sold) a Stagg concert that had a dull, muffled tone that simply wasn’t satisfying so perhaps I have form, but compared with all the other tenors at our uke club, I think my Makala sounds the worst. So, yes, it’s the cheapest playable tenor around, but perhaps you wouldn’t want to play it.
    If anyone has any tips on how to make a harsh instrument sound sweeter, I’d love to hear them.

  8. stan May 12th, 2014 7:34 am

    @Mark. Aquilas can sometimes sound harsh (too bright?) I have D’Addario ProArte on mine and it sounds pretty mellow. I hear Martin’s are warmish, too. (the original strings were quiet, too) But I don’t strum that loud. I just got a Mainland concert with Aquilas and its loudness and increased resonance was bugging me at first.

  9. Mark May 23rd, 2014 6:21 pm

    @stan. Thanks for that advice. I was recommended Aquilas when I bought my Makala, and am gullible enough to believe professional advice, but I’ll try D’Addarios and may even report back.

  10. Mark June 3rd, 2014 8:25 am

    I fitted D’addarios as @stan suggested and can report two things: first they bedded in much quicker than I expected. I had only two days of excessive string stretch compared with the five I have had with Aquilas; and secondly the tone is that bit warmer and more mellow than previously. This Makala still won’t be my favourite cheap uke, but it no longer has the fingernail-on-blackboard quality that the Aquilas gave it. Thanks.

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