Kala 'Metropolitan Series' All Solid Cedar/Trembesi Wood Baritone Ukulele w/Deluxe Gigbag #1
Take a look at one of the very first models of the new Kala metropolitan series baritone ukuleles. Made with all solid cedar and trembesi wood, this is a very special new ukulele.
The Kala metropolitan series has been quietly simmering behind the scenes for years now. Kala have made it their mission to offer a ukulele for every kind of player which has resulted in everything from the makala dolphin ukes for young beginners to artisan one off custom shop pieces manufactured in Petaluma, California...
The one thing that has always been missing is a ukulele that sits just above the average beginner/intermediate players budget that offers something really special. They like to call it 'a ukulele series for fast developing players' and you can see why as this metropolitan series offers both solid mango and solid trembesi, java Indonesian made ukuleles that meet the requirements of an advanced player.
For many moons, Pono have been at the forefront of the market with the similar pro classic series manufactured in the same country as these ukuleles. The similarities are undeniable but on closer inspection we found the body shapes of the tenors and baritones to be quite different with the Kala skyline series having a pinched waist, creating more pronounced lower and upper bout widths and to my ear a slightly better 'ring' to the sound. Certainly this baritone with its sleek cutaway and elongated body design is a unique step into the high end for Kala.
Trembesi is a new kid on the block in the world of tonewoods being used sparingly by KoAloha in the past on some special issue ukuleles and not really much else that ukulele aficionados or enthusiasts would immediately know.
Trembesi is a variation of monkey pod and tonally looks very similar and sounds very similar to acacia. It is grown in many hot climates around the world and makes for a good stiff wood with mellow tonal properties. The stiffness directly translates in the attack when you strum the ukulele which is clean and clear without being too loud or overdriven.
This baritone ukulele likes arpeggios and you will love playing them on it... Kala's choice to pair the trembesi on the back and sides with a cedar top is inspired offering something stiff, clean and clear but with a mellow undertone and amazing bass response.
The high gloss finish accentuates the stiffness of your strum and brightens up the mellower sound of trembesi wonderfully... Kala have also spent a lot of time working on the headstock shape, creating the more rounded and instantly iconic looking 'horizon' design.
Finally, the neck on this ukulele is high gloss and feels much more refined than the more moderately priced Kalas. In my opinion, the biggest improvement on the classic Kala design is the feel of the neck which reminds me of Imuas, Ko'olaus and even some Japanese builders like Kiwaya and TkiTki.
A final note; this particular ukulele is actually the first metropolitan baritone to be released to the public having been shown to us by Kala president Mike Upton at Grand Northern Ukulele Festival in June 2022... this is a chance to grab a piece of Kala history. Listing shows actual instrument
Solid cedar top
Solid trembesi back and sides
High gloss body/satin neck
Ebony front and back binding
D'Addario titanium nylon strings DGBE
35mm nut width
20'' baritone scale
28mm string spacing at nut
Bone nut and saddle
Gold custom Grover open back machine heads
Kala's headstock design
Please note: In some online media, us and other dealers refer to the series as the 'Skyline' series... Frustratingly the name was changed by Kala at the 11th hour so please forgive us for being a little bit too ahead of the curve with out videos.