Kala has some of the best ukuleles so it is not a big surprise that they excelled at creating quality banjo ukuleles. Their soprano banjo ukulele is a perfect balance between the two instruments. It brings out the best of the two worlds and offers a balanced tone, solid construction, and comfort at a reasonable price. This model is crafted after the 1920s banjoleles, making is an homage to the gold period of the instrument while also incorporating modern materials.
Kala equipped their soprano banjolele with five-ply maple back and mahogany neck. The neck beds the walnut fingerboard, a gorgeous looking and smooth material that adds to the overall playability and makes this instrument comfortable even in a novice’s hands. The Remo Weatherking head created an amazing projection that is so characteristic of banjos. Apart from solid construction and quality materials that Kala used for this instrument, you actually get a stunning-looking instrument with contrasting colors and rustic appearance that is accentuated with the black satin finish.
Most of our reviews have three main sections: build, hardware, and sound. And while they are all important on their own, one cannot really make the instrument great without the accompaniment of the other. That is why Kala’s persistence to deliver on all fronts is commendable. This open-back banjolele offers quality brass hardware with a maple saddle and standard headstock. The headstock beds deluxe open gear vintage tuners. These tuning machines are easy to use and hold the tune pretty well while also adding to the overall vintage aesthetic. One of the very few issues I have with this instrument is that the action is high. This is a common issue with a lot of banjoleles and while it does affect the overall performance, comfort and intonation, it is also pretty simply fixable. If you have never had any experience with that you can always take it to a shop and have a professional fix it. Quality-wise, I was pretty impressed by the materials they chose. Specifically, the choice of bone material is a nice touch. This banjo ukulele ships with Kala Fluorocarbon strings and gig bag. The gig bag is not too sturdy and does not do much protection-wise but if you want something just for transportation this gig bag will do the job.
Kala Banjo Ukulele Sound
You can have the best quality material for the banjo ukulele and on the paper, it might look good, but a lot of the time when you pick the instrument up, there is something intrinsically wrong. Build and hardware is important but there seems to be something in between them, some sort of a magic spark that makes the instrument what it is. Fortunately, Kala knows what they are doing and with their soprano banjolele they put all their expertise and created an instrument that has a sweet, balanced sound. While open-back banjoleles do not offer resonance that is present with other banjoleles, this little banjo uke gives all it has and can compare with much bigger instruments on that arena. I did discuss the problem with action and while it does affect the intonation a little bit, there is nothing major and unfixable.
Kala once again managed to deliver on the quality and uphold their reputation. This open-back soprano banjo ukulele is small but mighty. Its solid construction, quality hardware and close to perfect symbiosis of banjo and ukulele elements brings the player a beautiful, vintage looking and sounding instrument that is well worth the money.