Getting a $200 first ukulele might be a nice thing but let’s be honest, pretty much nobody wants to spend that much money on an instrument that is partially so popular due to lower prices. Plus, you will always have time (and hopefully, money) to upgrade once you are sure you enjoy your experience with ukuleles to warrant spending over $200 on it. That is why heavenly forces (and by heavenly forces, I mean ukulele manufacturers and sellers) have come up with the idea of selling not only affordable ukuleles but ones that also come in a bundle. One of those “magical” creatures is Kala MK-C Makala Concert Ukulele Bundle. Without further ado, let’s talk whether this bundle is worth your money.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at the Kala MK-C Makala Concert is that this is a model that leans more towards affordable and beginner than anything else. That is why, if you are expecting the highest quality tonewood and sound, you might be a bit disappointed. BUT if you are just starting off and need a budget-friendly model, Kala has got you covered. With an Agathis body and mahogany neck, this model is able to produce a decent tone. Agathis and mahogany are decent quality woods that are pretty durable as well. The size of this ukulele is also great for good volume so if that is what you are looking for than this might be your choice. And it is all finished off with a satin finish which gives it the “I bought this unique guitar for a lot more than $100” look.
Hardware & Bundle
Hardware on the MK-C Makala is basic but decent. The headstock along with the geared tuners are pretty standard. While a lot of the sellers claim that the fingerboard and bridge on this model are rosewood Kala announced in February 2017 that they no longer use rosewood because of certain prohibitions. So while you might get lucky and get shipping of an instrument that was produced before that time you will end up with rosewood. Otherwise, they claim that the fingerboard is walnut. I have heard certain people complain about the fingerboard and bridge being a little too soft. The nut and saddle on this model are plastic but that is to be expected in this price range. On top of that, plastic materials (they do not specify which) have become more prominent nowadays even with more expensive ukuleles. The only item that I do not like at all are the strings that the MK-C Makala is shipped with. It definitely does not help the tone and generally needs quite a lot of tuning (while this is not entirely a string issue, I will talk a bit more about tuning in the sound section). When it comes to the bundle, what you get is a gig bag, tuner, and an instructional DVD. While gig bag will do a nice job for transportation, it is definitely not one of those super sturdy bags that will keep the ukulele safe at all times and all circumstances.
Kala Makala Sound
I have mentioned that there is an issue with the tuning of the guitar and that is often the case with most ukuleles. You have to take your time and retune for the first couple of weeks before the strings “settle in”. That being said, I do not think that these strings really help the tuning and tone situation so I would suggest changing them. Overall, the sound and tone of this model are pretty decent. It will probably not be that satisfactory for a professional player, but as an entry-level guitar, it does a good job. Apart from that, there are some issues with buzzing, specifically on the C string but it is not something unfixable.
The Kala MK-C Concert Ukulele is an entry-level instrument. It will do a good job of introducing you to the world of ukuleles and music. It definitely has certain shortcomings like the tuning and a bit of buzz but nothing that should deter your from trying it out. The bundle is basic but for the price you pay, you are getting a good deal. The hardware and accessories that were chosen will not be the highest quality but they will serve you well.
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