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Thread: A Kala Tenor success story

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Hudson Valley, NY

    Default A Kala Tenor success story

    I see a number of threads from around the time of the Kala tenor guitar's first release that wrestled with whether its 21.5 inch scale length and small body could produce satisfactory results retuned to GDAE and, if so, what the best string gauges would be. There was also a fair bit of angst expressed about finding a suitable case for it. As a very happy recent purchaser (an insane deal at $199 shipped direct from Kala with code KALAUKES10 once it's back in stock, NFI) who has it converted to GDAE and living in an off the rack case that's a perfect fit, perhaps my experience will be of some use for posterity.

    The instrument is finished to a high standard and the neck feels great. It arrived from Kala well set up in CGDA. My luthier Lyn Hardy of Woodstock, NY modified the saddle as shown for GDAE and from the big batch of single strings I provided for her tests chose D'Addario phosphor bronze 49, 36, 24 and high carbon steel 15. It has a surprisingly big, room-filling sound and rings out beautifully with perfect intonation up and down the neck with no dull thunk on the G or anything.

    It arrived in a very sturdy gig bag but I wanted a hard case for it and the Kala custom one is no longer available. I came across one previous commenter who claimed the SKB Mini Taylor case (Model # 1SKB-300)was a potential fit and, after measuring carefully to confirm, purchased one. You can see the result: while there's a little air space above the headstock, the neck is perfectly supported and the body snugly held on all sides like it was tailor made for it.

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    Some sound samples follow. Happy to answer any questions.

    Eastman MD315; Kala tenor guitar; Gold Tone GME-5 electric; Gold Tone IT-250R tenor banjo; Mini tele conversion to 5 string

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  3. #2
    Registered User fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Guernsey... small island just off the coast of France

    Default Re: A Kala Tenor success story

    Always nice to see someone enjoying their tenor guitar, I also think they are great although to me yours sound a little thuddy ... I would consider somewhat lighter strings like 49 32 22 13 that might offer a bit more sustain ?
    Just a suggestion of course

  4. #3
    Registered User BoxCarJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Brooklyn, NY

    Default Re: A Kala Tenor success story

    I bought mine directly from Kala also.

    But mine came with a huge bow in the neck.
    A truss rod adjustment put things right but it was a shock to see how bad it was.
    Your right it's a fine looking instrument.

    My CGDA experience so far is:
    D'Addario EJ66 10-14-22-32 sound full and have lots of tone.
    LaBella 700T 09-13-20-27 have a delicate and sweet sound.

    That case looks great. I might get one of those.

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