Kala KA-SRT-CTG-CE Comfort Edge Electro Cutaway Tenor Ukulele
There’s a lot more to the Kala KA-SRT-CTG-CE than its comfort edge, a bevelled top edge designed to make playing more comfortable – with no more red marks on your arm where it rests on the instrument. In fact, it is a really good value, good quality ukulele in its own right. It just happens to have an innovative and attractive feature like the comfort edge. When I sat down and thought about it – I wondered if such an embellishment was actually necessary? I mean, had I ever found a ukulele uncomfortable when playing any length of time? Then I remembered by own main ukulele (the Uluru Lehua IIICX) has a similar comfort edge, so no wonder I’d not suffered any issues!
Right, enough of my pearls of pointless wisdom, and onto the ukulele. The KA-SRT-CTG-E is an electro tenor from a recent line of solid cedar top ukes from Kala that are definitely well above average, and also very good value for money. With a solid rosewood back and sides, together with a built in tuner, preamp and pickup, you get a lot of uke per pound, particularly when it sounds as good as this one. Nice clear trebles and sweetness from the cedar, with a boldness to the tone that impresses. I want to say it is the opposite of thin. But that would make it thick, which is hardly the compliment it is meant to be!
Kala’s comfort edge series also has an active pre-amp, built-in tuner and undersaddle pickup. This is a Kala own brand unit, with bass, treble and volume controls. I like this unit as much as any factory-fitted mainstream electrics as it does give decent performance without costing the earth. In the band I’m in, there’s a player with two ukes, one fitted with a Mi-Si, the other with one of these. We can tell the difference, but not by a great deal. And I REALLY rate the Mi-Si, making this Kala own-make package pretty good in my eyes.
The cedar used to make this instrument has a nice tight grain and yellow-brown colour, something that contrasts nicely with beautifully patterned rosewood back and sides. Between the two, padauk binding – an exotic wood that is red in colour. That continues onto the KA-SRT-CTG-E’s comfort edge too, making it look stunning as well as exuding luxury! The padauk also features as binding along the fingerboard and in a strip on the bridge, a nice touch you don’t usually see. I think it looks really smart! The perfect balance between plain and exotic – nothing over the top but definitely out of the ordinary.
Without going to the Elite level, I think this is as good as Kala make a ukulele at the time of writing – and make it well they do. (Sounded a bit like Yoda there, inadvertently). Very good value with loads of plus points and very little to dislike.
If you click the 'additional info' link, you can see the non-cutaway version of this uke in action on video.