Our philosophy behind the design of the Elite is based on The Sight, The Science, and The Sound. The Sight refers to the beauty of the grain, finish, and touches that attract one to them initially, and the features that are treasured for generations. The Science refers to each part of the Elite, from old-world craftsmanship and the use of modern technology we are able to produce the best possible ukulele. The Sound is the most important part of an instrument and the Elite produces a clean, clear, beautiful tone.
THE ELITE CAPTURES THE EYE WITH ITS STRIKING BEAUTY
We are using Solid Hawaiian Koa for all of our current offerings. We are using a modern UV finishing process that brings out the unique appearance of each instrument with incredible clarity. The UV finish is sprayed on in thin coats and uses far less material than a typical lacquered instrument. In essence, a UV finish is far less impactful to our environment than other finishes. It also keeps the instrument lightweight while providing a very hard durable finish. The Kala Elite instruments range from understated beauty to graceful appointments.
Solid Hawaiian Koa, long associated with the ukulele, is the primary wood that we are using to launch the Kala Elite ukulele line. We offer 3 levels of Hawaiian Koa, each level showing an increasing amount of flame and figuring.
Koa and Ebony headplates are used to top the necks of our ukulele. The logo and inlay are CNC'd for a perfect match of parts.
Using Rosewood and Koa the Elite fingerboards are also cut on CNC machines ensuring that each ukulele looks and plays beautifully.
With each wood we use a different style of UV finishing. The finish is hard and light protecting the instrument and also bringing out the Chatoyancy of the Koa wood. Chatoyancy, a term from the French words for "Cats Eye Effect" describe how the wood grain with certain finishes can achieve a striking three-dimensional appearance similar to a cat's eye.
THE ELITE IS DESIGNED AND ENGINEERED TO FEEL AMAZING AND PLAY EASILY
The fret spacing, nut placement and saddle positioning are all calculated to give the Kala Elite ukulele the best intonation available on any ukulele on the planet. This in combination with the Kala 16:1 and 14:1 ratio tuners and fluorocarbon strings allow these ukes the freedom to play tunes... in tune. The concert and tenor feature a 1 1/2" fingerboard width and custom string spacing that gives your fingers extra room to navigate comfortably on the fretboard. The Honduran Mahogany neck has been contoured and tapered to fit in your hand smoothly, comfortably with plenty of access to low and high notes.
Fret spacing, string diameter, string deflection and several other key variables were taken into account when calculating fret spacing and location. Taking all of these factors into account, the Elite ukulele line has the best intonation of any ukulele on the market.
NECK & HEADSTOCK
The Elite is designed to give extra space for the hand to come up into the headstock so that fingers can be positioned easily in the first position.
Kala has invested heavily into its finish process. We consulted with several key individuals with many years of hands on experience in finishing instruments using UV-cured finish materials. We are able to apply a thin, stable and beautiful finish on every instrument.
Designed with a wider string spacing than most ukulele, the Elite is comfortable and easy to play.
THE ELITE IS CREATED TO PRODUCE THE FULLEST, RICHEST, AND WARMEST SOUND
The tops are built to resonate in symphony with the entire instrument. The braces are designed to reduce weight while giving the instrument proper strength and stability. The back is slightly arched to focus the sound up and out of the instrument. The Fluorocarbon strings provide a clear, bell-like sound. We are using the string-through bridge string tying method. Instead of the string being tied on top of the bridge, the string is knotted at the end. This makes contact with the underside of the bridge thus transferring the string vibration more effectively to the top. This “vibration transfer” is key to allowing maximum resonance. In essence a Kala Elite Ukulele is created to be like an audio speaker cabinet - projecting sound, tone and musical nuance to the hearer.
BRIDGE & STRING ATTACHMENT
The visual elegance of the top is paired with a string-through bridge method, creating a sleek waterfall like effect. Passing the strings through the bridge so they contact directly to the bridge play ensures the energy passes directly to the resonating top. This gives a clean look and comfortable feel with no string ends to brush against as you strum.
INDIVIDUALLY BUILT AT KALA, BY KALA
Every instrument is completely built, set up and inspected at Kala ensuring you are getting an instrument that we know intimately and that has been built to be one of the finest ukulele on the planet in the way that it looks, the way that it is designed and in the way that it sounds when its played. The sight. The sound. The science.
Designed and braced for maximum strength and top resonance. Each brace is hand made, then glued and vacuum set into place.