The final secret weapon of this years NAMM show has finally arrived six months of patient waiting!
These twin Kala Elite Flamed Maple Super Tenors really are very special in a multitude of ways. Firstly, lets talk about how they look... There is something so authentic about a 20th century-esque three tone cherry sunburst that invokes the early days of blues music, smokey bars and a real vibrant pallet of americana that totally makes you want to pick up this instrument and play it with intent. The sunburst even extends to the neck giving the Ukulele something just that bit extra special.
Quilted maple has long been used in the guitar world as deluxe back and sides wood by many companies like Gibson, Godin, Martin because of its unique light colouring and because when you spray it like Kala have done here - you get just the most gorgeous looking grain patterns show through in ways that may not be quite as obvious on a natural finish.
The tonal properties of the Maple bodies on these Tenors are abundant too. They have a natural balance to the overall sound across the strings that makes for an ideal strummers Uke. If you are a band leader or a key rhythm player in an ensemble you will dig this. Your Low G string won't dramatically overpower your C string and the little details, flourishes and hammer-ons really come to the forefront of your sound.
It's hard to name a favourite feature of this Ukulele but the thing that drew me to them at the NAMM show is the Flamed Maple front and back binding that is a little bit larger than normal and when you look at the side profile of the Ukulele, they really stand out as something traditional and yet undeniably fancy.
On first impressions getting to grips with this Ukulele; Kala have refined their neck shape slightly and this Ukulele has a slightly slimmer neck depth in the first position to older Kala Elites which makes the 38mm Nut width feel a bit more natural - now you can have normal sized hands and still enjoy the benefits of slightly wider string spacing.
The Cherry sunburst model has been priced slightly cheaper than the Mocha burst model because of some slightly raised tiny bubbles in the paint on the front - invisible from 90% of the angles and a distance greater than a foot from the the instrument but still something that we feel warrants a 5% discount.
The whole thing is topped off with a subtle Ebony faceplate and a Maple inlayed Kala logo at the top of the headstock. Classy, classy, classy.
Flamed Maple top, back and sides
Cherry Sunburst finish 38mm Nut width Kala Elite Strings with Low G bone nut and saddle x braced internal bracing design satin finish sunburst satin neck Kala Vintage style Hard Case
Made in Petaluma, California, USA.