Where Are Kala Ukuleles Made? [Comprehensive Answer] - CGAA.org (2023)

Author Peter Brady

Posted Jan 27, 2023

Reads 426

YouTube Answers

Kala ukuleles are one of the most popular and beloved instruments around the world today. Their beautiful sound and aesthetically pleasing design have charmed players of all ages and abilities, prompting a surge of interest in their production. But where exactly are Kala ukuleles made? Let’s explore the source and history behind this beloved instrument.Kala ukuleles are predominately manufactured and assembled in overseas factories in China, but each instrument is designed right here in sunny Petaluma, California. The company’s founder, Mike Upton, was inspired to launch his own company to create innovative musical instruments after witnessing a street performer using a Hawaiian instrument called a “hula ukulele” on the beach in San Francisco back in 2005.Since then, Mike and his team have persevered with quality control standards that adhere to American values – e.g., outstanding craftsmanship, thoughtful design and use of top quality materials – using sustainable practices whenever possible. Although Kala's Chinese facility produces some of the parts for their ukuleles (such as necks), every piece must pass a rigorous visual acuity inspection before it is approved for sale by Kala's Quality Control Department located at their headquarters in Petaluma.

In addition to overseeing parts production, this talented team also meticulously assembles each Kala ukulele at the headquarters location with great attention to detail and tremendous care – truly bringing the company's motto “Love Play Repeat” to life with every instrument they produce! That passion is embedded within every stage of production, ensuring Kala customers are receiving an outstanding ukulele with excellent playability that will last for years to come.From its inspiring beginnings at the San Francisco beach nearly16 years ago until this very day, one thing remains clear: Kala Ukes are crafted with love -- from start to finish -- no matter where they're made!

Related Read: What are lipsticks made out of?

YouTube Videos

Where Are Kala Ukuleles Made? [Comprehensive Answer] - CGAA.org (2)

(Video) Sweet Home Alabama - Lynyrd Skynyrd Ukulele Tutorial with Tasty Riffs

Where Are Kala Ukuleles Made? [Comprehensive Answer] - CGAA.org (3)

What country is the origin of Kala ukuleles?

The Kala brand of ukuleles is a mainstay on the global music scene, and many people mistakenly believe that the instrument originated in Hawaii or even Japan. In fact, Kala ukuleles are actually manufactured right in America, but their humble origins can actually be traced back to England!

The instrument's roots stretch all the way back to 1879 when George Formby Sr. invented a unique ‘banjo-ukulele’. He patented his design and had it made exclusively by Birmingham musical-instrument manufacturer C.F. Layland & Co. By 1905, this 'banjolele' was being shipped to Hawaiian musicians, sparking a wave of interest that helped cement its place as part of the Hawaiian music tradition for good!

Kala ukuleles first entered mass production in 2005 at the factory in Petaluma, California - but their design drew heavily from George Formby Sr.'s classic banjolele. No wonder that modern Kala models look so familiar! And from smaller soprano ukes to giant baritone models, this versatile range of instruments appeals to music fans of all ages and abilities all over the world. So next time you pick up your Kala ukulele for a jam session remember – its origin country is England!

Related Read: What are veneers made out of?

Who manufactures Kala ukuleles?

Kala ukuleles are the product of a family-owned music business based in Petaluma, California. Kala Brand Music Co. produces over 200 types of ukuleles, ranging from simple yet sturdy entry-level instruments to finely crafted professional-level models. Founded in 2005 by husband and wife Mike Upton and Jamie Maser, the company is dedicated to making quality instruments that are both accessible and sound terrific.Kala’s instruments are constructed from wood, including mahogany, koa, spruce and acacia as well as synthetic materials such as graphite and carbon fiber. Many models feature classic designs with detailed appointments like clear acrylic knobs or binding strips. In addition to producing fretted ukuleles such as soprano, concert and tenor sizes, Kala also offers baritone models as well as unique bass ukulele variations that provide an extra deep range for your musical style.Thanks to the highest quality components and attention to detail in the craftsmanship process, playing a Kala ukulele is an experience of a lifetime! The bright tones of their solid body electric models offer a unique blend of flexibility for performers who need it. Their acoustic instruments offer an impressive range of dynamic articulation to adapt easily to any style or genre. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or you have years of experience under your fingers - Kala ukuleles have something that will make your performance remarkable!

(Video) "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright" || Bob Dylan Ukulele Lesson for Beginners and up!

Related Read: What are shingles made out of?

Where Are Kala Ukuleles Made? [Comprehensive Answer] - CGAA.org (5)

What is the brand of Kala ukuleles?

Kala ukuleles are one of the leading names in the ukulele industry, and it's no wonder why. Dedicated to delivering quality instruments with an ear for design and innovation, Kala takes pride in bringing impeccable sound combined with perfect playability. Founded by Mike Upton and Bryan McClure in 2005, they have developed an exceedingly popular global brand.

Kala ukuleles come in a wide variety of sizes and materials, such as soprano, concert, tenor and baritone models, as well as mahogany, acacia, and koa bodies. This gives players options when it comes to find the perfect fit for their playing style. Additionally, Kala produces a range of special-edition instruments that feature finishes such as flame-maple Vsacoop or koa top paired with an abalone rosette. These special models are designed to produce rich tones reminiscent of high-end Hawaiian koa ukuleles.

In addition to high-quality instrument construction and innovative technology that enhances the playability of their instruments, Kala also offers educational materials aimed at helping players become more talented musicians. They provide books like "Ukulele First Time Players: Simple Steps To Learn How To Play", along with tools while providing interactive tools so people can learn at their own pace. Their commitment to helping people get into the craft goes further than just providing lessons or materials - they also donate up to 10% of each purchase towards music education initiatives around the world! Whether you're a beginner looking for your first instrument or a professional looking for something new that can truly make your performance stand out - Kala has something for everyone!

Related Read: What is glucofort made of?

What material is used to make Kala ukuleles?

Kala ukuleles are among some of the most popular instruments today- they are well known for their bright, twangy sound and affordability. Many visitors to the Kala website may be curious to understand what material is used to construct their beautiful ukuleles.

The most common material used in making the Kala ukulele is mahogany, particularly for the trademark Mahogany line. Mahogany is renowned for its acoustic properties- it projects a warm and punchy tone for any size or shape of instrument, making it ideal for ukuleles. It's also an attractive wood choice, so many of its models can feature an exciting range of finishes. Kala also uses solid woods such as spruce and cedar that come from sustainable forests, making their instruments both socially conscious and tone enhancers.

In addition to traditional woods, Kala also produces ukuleles made from ABS plastic, which many players use for outdoor events due to its weather resistance. This plastic composite is lightweight and durable, helping it retain tuning longer than typical wooden ukuleles when exposed to colder climates. The special air tight seal of these models provides advanced moisture protection and produces amazing projection when amplified acoustically or plugged in via a speaker/amp clip on.

Ultimately, whether you decide on a classic mahogany or an experimental ABS model- you cannot go wrong with Kala’s selection of quality build materials!

Related Read: What is bellafill made of?

Where do Kala ukuleles get shipped from?

Kala ukuleles are one of the highest quality instruments a musician can own, and they are shipped from a place in Richmond, California that’s as special as the brand itself.

(Video) City of New Orleans | Arlo Guthrie | Ukulele Tutorial + Play Along

Kala Musical Instruments has been located in Richmond, California since its conception in 2005. Employees at Kala use expert craftsmanship to carefully construct each instrument with precision and passion. Whether it be concert ukuleles or classic mahogany tenor ukuleles, each model will be fine-tuned and perfected before being shipped out. Every ukulele carries with them a quality guarantee that makes sure the creator’s vision is realized - something an artist can not put a price upon!

Kala ships out their ukuleles far beyond their hometown in Richmond, California from all over the United States to countries around the world. Their instruments have become immensely popular due to many of their unique designs and sound quality.

The skilled production process for Kala's Ukuleles allows them to ship out instruments with pristine sound quality regardless of their location around the globe. From exotic woods to custom ebanol bridges and tuners – each instrument says something unique about the person playing it. When you purchase a Kala Ukulele you’re not just buying an instrument – you’re buying into a piece of art that comes straight from Richmond, California!

Related Read: How are bellows made?


What is KALA Ukuleles?

KALA Ukuleles is a leading brand that produces quality, innovative ukuleles for all levels of players worldwide.

Where did the ukulele come from?

The ukulele originated in Hawaii in the late 1800s from immigrants from Portugal and other countries who brought with them their small string instruments called machete de braga or “braguinhas”, which are believed to be the forerunners of the modern-day ukulele.

What is the Kala brand?

Kala Brand is an industry-leading manufacturer of high-quality sought after acoustic and electric fretted instruments including ukuleles, guitars, banjos and mandolins as well as niche products for professional musicians and beginning student models.

What is a ukulele in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, a ukulele is used both musically and spiritually – it evokes feelings of connection to island culture! It has become one of Hawaii's signature icons along with hula dancing and leis around the neck upon arrival on Hawaiian soil!

Where did the ukulele originated from?

The Ukulele originally came from Portugal but was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants in 1879 through immigration labor contracts organized by King Kalakaua to work on sugar plantations throughout Hawaiʻi’s development era following contact with Europeans & Americans until 1901 when immigration laws tightened up further limiting new arrivals other than family members already here as contract laborers before that time).

Where does the word ukulele originate?

The term "ukulele" comes from two Hawaiian words: "uku" meaning flea or jumping insect; combined with "leLe," meaning share or glide - thus possibly referring to how one can play this instrument quickly over strings like a jumping flea gliding over its string surface creating beautiful music!

(Video) Craig and Sarah Presents Intro to Theory on ‘Ukulele and Intro to Solo-ing!

What is the best beginners ukulele?

The best beginner's ukulele depends on individual needs and preferences, but overall the Kala KA-15S is a great price point for quality and sound.

How is the ukulele got its name?

Ukulele is thought to have derived from the Hawaiian phrase "ukeke lele," which roughly translates to "jumping flea."

Who makes KALA Ukuleles?

KALA Ukuleles are made by an American company of the same name that specializes in stringed instruments like ukuleles and guitars.

Who plays Kala instruments?

Kala instruments are played by some of the top names in music including Jason Mraz, Twenty One Pilots, Steven Tyler, Train, Kings Of Leon & more!

Used Resources


Where are Kala ukuleles manufactured? ›

Nestled in our hometown of Petaluma, CA is Kala Manufacturing: the workshop facility responsible for building our Kala Elite USA Ukulele and California U•BASS® collections since their inception in 2015 and 2011, respectively.

Are all Kala ukuleles made in USA? ›

All Kala models are designed in California and manufactured by teams in select locations throughout the globe, depending on the model; we have a variety of products manufactured in China, Indonesia, Portugal, Vietnam, and India.

Are Kala ukuleles made in Hawaii? ›

All of our Kala Elite USA Koa Collection ukulele are built by hand here at the Kala Shop in Petaluma, CA. The entire line are made from Solid Hawaiian Koa.

Which country is Kala from? ›

Kala language
Native toPapua New Guinea
RegionHuon District, Morobe Province: Salamaua Rural LLG and Morobe Rural LLG
Native speakers2,200 (2011)
Language familyAustronesian Malayo-Polynesian Oceanic Western Oceanic North New Guinea ? Ngero–Vitiaz ? Huon Gulf North Huon Gulf Kala
4 more rows

Are all Kala ukuleles made in China? ›

All Kala models are designed in California and manufactured by teams in select locations throughout the globe, depending on the model; we have a variety of products manufactured in China, Indonesia, Portugal, Vietnam, and India.

Is Makala and Kala the same brand? ›

Makala ukes are made by Kala, one of the best known ukulele brands in the world. Stick some Aquila strings on it and you're good to go.

Which is the best company to buy ukulele? ›

Top 10 Most Trusted Ukulele Brands
  • Kala. Kala offers a wide range of products and caters to ukulele players of all skill levels. ...
  • Kanile'a. ...
  • Kamaka. ...
  • Cordoba. ...
  • Oscar Schmidt. ...
  • Lanikai Ukuleles. ...
  • Ohana Music. ...
  • Martin & Co.

What brand of ukulele is from Taiwan? ›

PukanaLa – Taiwanese company making a range of ukuleles.

Which ukulele is not made in China? ›

Bruko ukuleles are made in German.

Where are Kala instruments made? ›

The Kala® Elite USA Series is designed and handmade at our shop in Petaluma, California. Every instrument is an individual, from the handpicked wood to the tiniest of structural pieces.

Are all lanikai ukuleles made in Hawaii? ›

The Lanikai Makau Series ukuleles are 100% made on the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu and make use of only the finest tonewoods and materials available.

Who owns Kala? ›

Michael Upton - Owner - Kala Brand Music Co.

What does Kala mean? ›

Kala (Sanskrit: काल, romanized: Kālá/Kālam, lit. 'Time'), IPA: [kɑːˈlə]) is a Sanskrit term that means "time" or "death." As time personified, destroying all things, Kala is a god of death, and often used as one of the epithets of Yama.

Is Kala a good ukulele? ›

Kala is a great ukulele brand. Despite being relatively new, Kala has become a leader in creating affordable but well-built instruments at a variety of price points. Kala has a good reputation in the ukulele community and offers some of the best starter ukes on the market, including the Makala line and 15 Series.

Where does Kala ship from? ›

All orders placed through our website are processed in-house at our facility in Atkinson, New Hampshire. Most orders are processed and shipped within 1 business day. During the occasion of a store-wide sale, our processing times may take a bit longer.

Where are the best ukuleles made? ›

It's hardly surprising that some of the world's best ukuleles are still made in Hawaii. And it happens that four preeminent makers whose names begin with K—Kamaka, Kanile`a, Ko`olau, and KoAloha—are based on Hawaii's third-largest island, Oahu, “The Gathering Place.”

Are lanikai ukuleles made in China? ›

Lanikai are part of the Hohner music company. Initially their ukuleles, being made in China and laminated, were at the cheaper end of the scale (although they are increasingly moving into higher end ukes) but that hasn't stopped them getting some high level support.

How much should you pay for a good ukulele? ›

You can get a well-made ukulele for as little as $100, with the midrange capping off around $250-300. This is the sweet spot where you get the most value. A good compromise between quality and cost.

Where are Kala Ubass made? ›

These basses are handmade in California using the finest woods and custom-made parts, including the Kala + LR Baggs preamp that delivers a huge low end and versatility.

Is Makala the same as Kala ukulele? ›

On the low end, the kala and makala are almost the same. But Kala has such a wide range of ukes, and they are different. The slot head ones tend to have thicker necks than the regular head ones. Each kala model is its own thing really.

Which is better Lanikai or Kala? ›

These special woods provide unique tones as well as beautiful appearance due to natural patterns of the trees they are built from. The Lanikai LU Series is more affordable and is an excellent choice for those less concerned with fancy details. Kala offers a lot more options for beginner players, hobbyists, and kids.

What ukulele do professionals play? ›

The tenor size is the most popular among professional players, but is great for any skill or experience level. A tenor ukulele may be even more comfortable for those with larger hands and fingers than the concert size. The larger size gives the tenor a deeper, fuller sound with a resonant, almost bass-y tone.

What wood makes the best sounding ukulele? ›

Mahogany. Mahogany is among the most widely used woods for Ukuleles. It's a reddish-brown tropical hardwood known for providing a well-balanced and moderate tone. A solid mahogany ukulele often emphasize bass and treble with more overtone coloration a "woody" sound.

Who made the ukulele popular in Hawaii? ›

While King Kalākaua, who reigned from 1874 - 1891, is largely credited with bringing the ukulele to the masses by incorporating it into performances at royal gatherings and luaus.

How can you tell a good quality ukulele? ›

As a general rule, a bigger body means a bigger tone. Concert and tenor size ukuleles tend to be warmer, richer, and more resonant than soprano ukes. The larger body sizes also produce more bass and volume. Sopranos are typically a little quieter and have more of a “tinkly” that is more treble-heavy.

What is a decent ukulele brand? ›

Kamaka, Ko'olau, Kanile'a, and KoAloha

If you are looking for a traditionally built, Hawaiian Koa, professional-level ukulele, one of these four brands is a very good choice. These authentic Hawaiian-based companies carry a price tag to match the quality and reputation that precedes them.

What country is the ukulele most popular? ›

The ukulele (/ˌjuːkəˈleɪli/ YOO-kə-LAY-lee; from Hawaiian: ʻukulele [ˈʔukuˈlɛlɛ], approximately OO-koo-LEH-leh), also called a uke, is a member of the lute family of instruments of Portuguese origin and popularized in Hawaii.

What is the most expensive ukulele brand? ›

Singer Kyar Pauk's Doodle Art Ukulele

The world's most expensive ukulele is Singer Kyar Pauk's Custom Doodle Art Blue Ukulele.

What is the most popular ukulele? ›

1. SOPRANO UKULELE. The Soprano ukulele is probably the most common ukulele and probably the instrument you think of when you picture a ukulele in your mind.

What ukes are made in Hawaii? ›

There are four major companies, building Hawaiian-style ukes in Hawaiʻi today. They are commonly known as the “Four Ks” – Kamaka, KoAloha, Kanileʻa, and Koʻolau. All four brands build high quality instruments and each has their own style of construction, resulting in subtle differences of sound, feel, and playability.

What ukulele did George Harrison use? ›

Lot #227GEORGE HARRISON OWNED AND PLAYED UKULELE. The Beatles (#3271) 04/10/2020 10:00 AM PDT CLOSED! A Hawaiian ukulele manufactured by Duke Kahanamoku and owned and used by George Harrison. Harrison gifted the ukulele to Jeremy Chamberlain, who was working as a subcontractor at Friar Park, Henley, in December 1999.

What ukulele does Billie Eilish use? ›

She can be seen on videos playing the Fender ukulele with her adopted pit bull puppy, Shark. “The ukulele was the first instrument I learned,” said Eilish.

Where are KoAloha ukuleles made? ›

All KoAloha instruments are handcrafted in small quantities and shipped from Hawaii to authorized dealers. They also have factories in Indonesia and Thailand that manufacture their KoAlana and Opio series, respectively. All 'ukuleles come with the signature Musubi soundhole and crown headstock.

Where are Cordoba ukuleles made? ›

Beyond looking great they sound… great. Cordoba has factories in Spain, Portugal, and Asia. I have always been most impressed with the Portugal factory even though their most expensive guitars are built in Spain.

Where are Mahalo ukuleles made? ›

MAHALO UKULELES enjoy an inherent uniqueness whereby each step within Mahalo's manufacturing process is undertaken exclusively by Mahalo employees in our company-owned manufacturing plant in Surabaya, Indonesia.

Are Cordoba ukuleles made in China? ›

Cordoba markets themselves as a Spanish styled company; however, they manufacture their instruments primarily in China, Portugal, and Indonesia while the company itself is based in Santa Monica, CA. In the ukulele world, Cordoba is best known for their mid-ranged ukuleles that emphasize look over sound.

Where is Kala Makala ukulele? ›

Handmade in California

Every Kala® Elite USA Ukulele is carefully built by hand at our shop in Petaluma, California. Each instrument is an individual—from the handpicked wood to the tiniest of structural pieces.

Is Kailua and Lanikai the same? ›

Yes - Lanikai is tiny and has no parking, limited beach depth. Also, no waves whatsoever. Kailua beach has great waves at appropriate times, parking in several area and is a much deeper stretch of sand, making it easier to sit and enjoy the day. Kailua is also typically breezier because it's more of an open area.

What age is Kala ukulele for? ›

It features a soprano (small-sized) ukelele, a carry bag, playbook, and access to an app that helps you learn to play. Great for children ages 6+ years old. This is the most popular size ukulele purchased.

Who is the CEO of Kala brand music? ›

Mike Upton, founder and owner of Kala Brand Music Company, is definitely high on the list of Worlds Coolest Bosses. His laid back personality makes everyone feel like family, but his hard work ethic has built Kala into the booming company it is today.

What is behind the name Kala? ›

Meaning and Origin of: Kala

Indian (Andhra Pradesh) : Hindu name from Sanskrit kalā with several meanings, including 'art', 'skill', and 'a part of division of something'.

What does Kala mean in Hawaii? ›

Kala means to "let go or release" in the Hawaiian language. Kala and it's seaweed counterpart, limu kala (Sargassum), are used in hoʻoponopono ceremonies, a traditional Hawaiian process of forgiveness and reconciliation.

What is Kala in Hebrew? ›

to restrict, restrain, withhold, shut up, keep back, refrain, forbid. (Qal) to shut up. to restrain.

What is the prettiest sounding ukulele? ›

Top 7 Best Sounding Ukuleles within Budget
  • Ukulele Concert Size Bundle From Lohanu (LU-C) ...
  • Tenor Ukulele Ranch Professional Wooden ukulele. ...
  • Kmise Baritone Ukulele 30-inch Uke. ...
  • Everjoys Soprano Ukulele Beginner Pack-21. ...
  • Donner DUC-1 Concert Ukulele. ...
  • Kala KA-T Tenor Ukulele Bundle. ...
  • AKLOT AKEC23 Electric Acoustic Concert Ukulele.

What kind of strings come on Kala ukulele? ›

Soprano and Concert ukulele are usually strung with nylon strings. Tenor and Baritone ukulele often use a mixture of nylon and metal-wound strings. Metal-wound strings are used to add a fullness to the tone of the lower pitch strings.

Do Kala ukuleles have truss rods? ›

Most Kala ukuleles don't have truss rods, especially their soprano and concert size ukuleles. However, Kala does make baritone ukuleles that come with built-in truss rods.

Are Kala ukuleles good? ›

Kala is a great ukulele brand. Despite being relatively new, Kala has become a leader in creating affordable but well-built instruments at a variety of price points. Kala has a good reputation in the ukulele community and offers some of the best starter ukes on the market, including the Makala line and 15 Series.

Which is better Kala or Cordoba? ›

Cordoba vs Kala Ukulele Summary

If you're looking for a quality ukulele that's styled after a traditional guitar then Cordoba might be the choice for you. However, if you're a beginner or a fan of classic Hawaiian styled ukuleles and innovative design then Kala will give you a much better value.

Is KoAloha a good brand? ›

KoAloha is regarded here in Hawaii and all around the world as one of the premier ukulele builders. Their ukes have a unique tone that is vibrant and wonderful for many styles. You can hear this sound in professional players like Herb Ohta Jr., Daniel Ho, Raiatea Helm, and other great players.

What is KoAloha better than the weather warranty? ›

Koaloha "better than the weather" Warranty Info:

​KoAloha offers a limited Lifetime Warranty. The instrument is covered 100% for Manufacturer defects. This will be determined by KoAloha after visually inspecting the `ukulele. This applies to the first purchaser.

Are all Lanikai ukuleles made in Hawaii? ›

The Lanikai Makau Series ukuleles are 100% made on the Hawaiian Island of O'ahu and make use of only the finest tonewoods and materials available.

Do more expensive ukuleles sound better? ›

That's why skilled craftsmanship with quality wood and components is so important. Here's the short version of all of that: Quality ukuleles last longer, sound better, look better, play better, and inspire you to learn and play. Cheap ukuleles don't.


1. Riptide - Ukulele Play Along
(Ukulaliens - Ukulele Club)
2. Your FIRST ukulele lesson - a complete beginners guide! Learn TEN songs!
(The Ukulele Teacher)
3. How to Play the Ukulele (+4 Easy Chords & Many Songs!)
4. I’m Yours - Jason Mraz (Ukulele Tutorial) #shorts
(Ricky Somborn)
5. Important Scales to Learn on the Baritone Ukulele
6. Transphobia And Ukuleles DON'T MIX
(Ryan Beard)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Corie Satterfield

Last Updated: 01/26/2023

Views: 5549

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Corie Satterfield

Birthday: 1992-08-19

Address: 850 Benjamin Bridge, Dickinsonchester, CO 68572-0542

Phone: +26813599986666

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Table tennis, Soapmaking, Flower arranging, amateur radio, Rock climbing, scrapbook, Horseback riding

Introduction: My name is Corie Satterfield, I am a fancy, perfect, spotless, quaint, fantastic, funny, lucky person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.