If at one point or another you decide to get a ukulele for yourself, or someone you know, or your kid, maybe shelling out a couple of hundred dollars on your first instrument is not the best idea. Going for something more affordable is always the best way to go, especially if you are not sure how committed you are to the endeavour. And the fact that there is a plethora of good quality, affordable ukes on the market. During your research if you happen to stumble upon the Kala KA-15S maybe you should take a minute or two and consider this model. This model is a great entryway into the world of ukes. Is it well-priced, good size (sopranos are the best way to go for a lot of people), comfortable and overall a nice option for any beginner.
The KA-12S features mahogany top, back, and sides. The mahogany neck with walnut fingerboard is smooth and easy to play. And, of course, soprano size ukuleles are easier to play. It is the most popular size and is often a starting point for a lot of beginners and kids. Of course, soprano will not have the same volume and big sound as, for instance, baritone but it definitely delivers on the sweet tone. To top the simple and elegant design, there is a satin finish that enhanced the natural colors of the mahogany wood and lets the ukulele vibrate freely.
As you might expect from an under $60 ukulele, the hardware on the KA-15S is not that complicated. Not complicated does not have to be a bad thing and it definitely is not in this case. You get a standard headstock with geared tuners, walnut bridge, NuBone nut, and saddle. Nubone is a synthetic material that has replaced more expensive materials like the real bone. And while it comes close to the sound of the other materials, it is not as durable. This uke also ships with Aquila Aquila AQ-S string set which is quite a nice addition. While a lot of instrument come with strings that do not do any justice to the sound of the instrument, this one is a pretty decent one. One issue with the hardware is that some beginners might not be that comfortable with the high action on the instrument. This problem is easily fixable.
This ukulele is a beginner instrument so if you are an intermediate player going in with an expectation of a nuanced, pro-level sound you might be disappointed. BUT for beginners, the resonance and sweet sound of the KA-15S will be pretty satisfactory. Most importantly, I think the comfort of this instrument will not only make you feel like a great player but will actually allow you to develop your skills. There are some issues with tuning but after a week or two of playing you will not have to tune as often. All in all, the sound is clean, bright and pretty consistent.
This beautiful, dark-colored ukulele will be a good starting point for someone who knows close to nothing about ukuleles. Durable yet lightweight construction along with simple and easy to use hardware are just a few great things about this instrument. AND if you are looking for something a bit different, Kala has a diverse range of an affordable instrument or you can check out our list of the best tenor ukuleles on the market.