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Finding the right ukulele to delve into the universe of ukuleles can be a tough call to make, particularly that they are having their moment right now and are selling more than ever, with unlimited options at different prices.
The Makala MK-S has gained full recognition as an entry-level ukulele from Kala, one of the top names in the business of beginner ukuleles. At the time being, the Makala MK-S is one of the most affordable soprano-sized ukuleles, leaning towards the cheaper end of the spectrum.
In this review, we dig deeper into the Makala MK-S to give you a comprehensive overview of what you need to know about it and examine whether its well-within-reach price is at the cost of its features.
At a Glance
The MK-S soprano is an affordable yet robust ukulele that produces solid sound projection while being comfortable to play.
It is an ideal stepping stone for beginners and provides the perfect harmony between price and features. For once, sound and playability are not suffering at the expense of affordable pricing, but you may need to set aside a different budget for new strings and a protective case.
- Simple playability
- Sharp and strong sound
- Quality build and construction
- Classy and sophisticated appearance
- Needs to be tuned often
- Strings are clipped too close to the fretboard
- Delicate case
Makala MK-S In-Depth Review
The MK-S soprano has a wide chromatic range and a lively sound projection. It’s ideally suitable for fingerpicking since it allows for the loud volume, enabling you to add dynamics into your playing.
Depending on the style you embrace while playing, you can encounter different tones on the MK-S soprano. Moderate motions will bring about a gentler, softer sound and comfortable playing, while stiffer and sharper motions will result in bright and upbeat tones.
Given its market value, the MK-S soprano is exceptionally well-built, with no visible flaws. Its top, neck, and sides are made of agathis wood while the fretboard is made of rosewood, making the body smooth and comfortable.
Furthermore, it has a satin finish that amplifies the color of the wood, conveying a polished and worthy exterior that’s more premium than the price tag reveals.
The nut and saddle are plastic, making it easier on the fingers than metal guitar strings, which is quite suitable for beginners, and the plastic also enables producing clear sound.
Nonetheless, an issue with the MK-S soprano is its set of strings that need to be tuned quite often at the beginning, but this shouldn’t be an issue for a long time.
The MK-S soprano is a soprano size ukulele, around 21″, which is the smallest size of the four primary ukulele sizes. They’re ordinarily the most affordable instruments when it comes to ukuleles, hence the budget-friendly price.
Given the size, the fingerboard tends to be shorter than other types of ukuleles, which could be a stumbling block for some, but it can be easily adapted to.
The MK-S soprano is distributed almost evenly, which makes it neither excessively heavy or excessively light as a toy. This makes it comfortable to play the ukulele whether standing up or sitting down, which is an element not generally exhibited in ukuleles, which will, in general, be of heavier weight.
Furthermore, due to weighing approximately 1.32 pounds, it becomes easily portable and won’t tire your arms from carrying it for a given amount of time.
The MK-S soprano is water-resistant. This may not be one of the typical factors to consider when purchasing a ukulele, but some situations are unforeseen, and the ukulele may come into contact with water under some random circumstance.
It’s not every day that we come across a musical instrument that is waterproof and durable, as is the case with the MK-S soprano. This is particularly convenient for those who prefer to perform outdoors and get surprised by unanticipated showers.
What’s Included In The Box:
The MK-S soprano is accompanied by a lightweight slipcover, preventing dust from reaching the ukulele. However, it’s recommended to invest in a harder case since the slipcover is composed of thin material.
Users’ Reviews on Amazon
The MK-S soprano has a 4.5 rating on Amazon, compiled from an average of 595 customer ratings.
The majority of the users are enthusiasts of the warm and musical tone of the MK-S soprano. Many also admire its physical appearance and find it of impeccable quality and price compared to ukuleles of comparable prices in the market with baffling quality.
Several of the users have even purchased it for their children after trying it out and finding it easy to use and ideal for learning how to play the ukulele. It’s very highly recommended for beginners and has been used by numerous people to get a head start on ukuleles.
On the other hand, most, if not all, of the complaints remarked on the idea that the MK-S soprano goes out of tune relatively quickly at the beginning before starting to hold a tune. Many have considered returning the ukulele altogether because of not being able to tune it.
Also, a few people have mentioned that the strings are very close to the frets, and the collision of both together causes buzzing sounds. Many recommended that the strings needed to be lifted so as not to touch the frets upon striking or changing the strings altogether.
Final Thoughts About The MK-S Soprano
If you’re seeking to learn how to play the ukulele or simply want to experiment with yourself to see if the ukulele is your undiscovered favorite instrument, yet don’t want to invest much, the MK-S soprano needs to be on your list.
The struggle of finding the perfect ukulele without exceeding your budget is real. It is highly likely that the ukuleles that fall within your budget will carry around some flaws, and that’s expected and fine until it hinders developing your talent and aptitude.
With the MK-S soprano, you get to have the best of both worlds, one of the least expensive yet best ukuleles for beginners!