Kala Round About Amp Review

6

May 4, 2011 by Tim


How many amps can you think of that are marketed specifically to the ukulele players? I only know of one and it is the Kala Round About. Sure there are plenty of acoustic amps that work with a ukulele, HERE is a great thread on Ukulele Underground.

Kala was nice enough to send me the Round About when they sent the travel soprano that I reviewed last February, and I have been playing with it ever since. (Sorry to have it so long Rick) I have tried it with every ukulele that can plug into it, and my Martin guitar also. The current list is a soprano Risa solid, the Eleuke Acoustics I recently reviewed, and a Eleuke solid.

I did this as close to my regular reviews as I could, but since some things don’t apply, like intonation, I made some small changes.

Specs:

Kala Round About Amp
Output: 10 amps
Speaker: 5″ 8 Ohm
Input Jack
Headphone Jack
Volume (Master)
Treble Control
Bass Control
Power Switch
Full Specs:
http://www.kalaukulele.com/Amp.asp

Looks

First look: (5) When I saw the Round About for the first time it was at summer NAMM last year and thought they looked really fun. The tweed caught my  eye the most. it is so old school rock that I had to check it out. It looks so simple and fun. I was skeptical of its size, it is only 10″ tall, but is seemed like it could be fun.

Fit and Finish: (4) This thing is cute and all and there are no cosmetic issues with it. it is tight as can be with nothing out of place or crooked. My issue is that 1. I can’t see what is inside of it. The screws are for decoration. I like to know what is inside. This is the first amp I have had that does not come apart. Also I am not a fan of an attached cord. Being a computer nerd I have a ton of those 3 prong cords and I like the fact that I can pull them off of my other amps and throw them in a gig bag and not worry about having to wrap it up around the amp.

Sound:

Sound Type: Clear. Since you only have treble and bass, it is really simple to balance out the sound. Wish it had some effects or chorus to play with.

Volume: (5)  It is a practice amp and does not need to make your ears bleed. I did turn it all the way up and it did great. gets loud enough to piss my wife off and make the dog run away.

Final Thoughts

If I read one more thing about how it is the same as this, I will scream. It is twice the power and not run on batteries. Yes it is going to be twice as much, it is twice the amp! Yes they are both round and have similar knobs, but that about all they have in common.

As I see it, it is a good practice amp or something that you would bring onto a small stage to be heard. I like how simple it is to use, no fiddling with tone and gain to get a nice clean sound. If you want to change the sound then get a Zoom pedal like this one. I used it several times and found that it sounded better coming out of the Kala amp than my little Fender Frontman 15. mainly because It was just a clean sound and did not distort the pedal at all.

Could you buy a cheaper amp?  Yes.
Would it look as cool? No.
If you bought it  would you be happy? Yes, for sure

All Rating on a scale of 1-5
Click here for an explanation of reviews

First Look 5
Fit and Finish 4
Sound Type clear
Volume 5

Places to buy on the web:

Amazon – $89
Kala – $89

Gallery:

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6 thoughts on “Kala Round About Amp Review

  1. Matt P says:

    Very cool. I will definitely be looking for one of these.

  2. Chris Blood says:

    Looks cool. Great review. Oh btw that should be 10 watts for output not 10 amps.

  3. pepamahina says:

    Thanks for this, I’ve been wondering about ukulele amps and where to start. Nice post!

  4. Donald Doss says:

    Nice. I only have 2 questions:
    1. I don’t want to piss my wife off. Do they have one with knobs that only goes to 8?
    2. Does it come with a smoking jacket?

  5. joyce davis says:

    great review. nice little amp – surprized that it’s a nice 10 amp with a bass and treble control even. thanks for the info as usual. btw, you’re really rocking on these reviews! ♫

  6. Chuck says:

    I wish Kala would come out with a practice amp that is battery operated. My little lunchbox amp is similar to the one that is now on sale on Etsy, and is a great little practice amp. Ten amps would be even more fun.

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