When it comes to brand recognition and reputation, there are probably very few ukulele companies that come close to Kala. The company is well known for quality ukuleles. More importantly, they are known for comfortable, quality ukuleles for beginners. That is why a lot of their instruments end up on the best ukulele lists of the year. Their KA-15S-H1 is one of their more entry-level instruments and perhaps the best soprano ukulele for beginners.
One of the most beloved and popular ukulele sizes, the soprano is usually a great starting option for someone who has never held an instrument in their hands or wants an instant feeling of ease and comfort with an instrument. The KA-15S-H1 has an all-mahogany body which is pretty standard but good quality. The mahogany neck with walnut fretboard is pretty smooth and easy to glide your fingers on.
With some of the cheaper ukuleles, there is always an issue of the craftsmanship and while I cannot say that this instrument is as amazing construction-wise, as for instance a $200 uke, it definitely stands strong among instruments in its price range. The KA-15S-H1 has a satin finish that gives it its gorgeous look without hindering the resonance of the instrument. And finally, one of the main features of the design is the Hawaiian Islands laser etching which looks beautiful on this uke.
Kala used some of the more standards but decent quality hardware to feature on the KA-15S-H1. The standard headstock has chrome open-gear tuners to reduce the problems with tuning that are so prevalent with the less expensive models. While it is pretty good, I cannot say that you will not have to retune this instrument a few times in a beginner. That is just a given with a lot of the ukuleles. The nut and saddle are made from NuBone, a synthetic material. It is usually quite sturdy and resistant to damage. Overall, NuBone might not be as amazing as the real bone but it is enough for this uke. One great thing is that the action is pretty low which allows for easier and more comfortable playing. With higher action people, especially beginners, find it really hard to manipulate the strings and get the sound they want so low (not too low) action is a good decision on Kala’s end.
Kala KA 15S Sound
When considering the sound of the KA-15S-H1 you have to think of it in terms of a soprano ukulele. While this model has a very nice volume for soprano size, if you are used to, let’s say baritone, you might be disappointed. Apart from that, the all-mahogany body of this small, but strong instrument creates a sweet sound and balanced tone. With a thin-enough satin finish, you also get a good resonance. All in all, if you don’t have a problem with tuning quite a bit in the beginning, this is a perfect instrument for beginners.
Kala Mahogany KA-15S-H1 Soprano Ukulele offers playability, warm sound, and nice volume. It does have small issues with tuning but, unfortunately, a lot of other instruments in this price range have the same issue. This problem usually goes away the longer you play. Apart from that the only issue is not with Kala’s manufacturing itself but with certain resellers. Some people have complained that they ordered Learn and Play Qit (or sometimes it was free) and it either did not get delivered or was actually a subscription and not free.