Kala KA-BJN-BKC Concert Banjo Ukulele Review

The Kala KA-BJN-BKC Concert Banjo Ukulele is a banjolele with a unique look and feel. Some instruments are more modern looking. They have shiny chrome hardware and sleek finishes with see-through heads.

This is a banjolele that feels like it was created back in the early days of the banjo when animal skin was used on the head. The finishes are antiqued and really quite rich and warm.

The Remo Weatherking banjo head recreates the charm of old-time banjos.

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Specifications

  • Old-timey head
  • 8” hoop diameter
  • Black finish
  • Concert length
  • Antique brass hardware
  • Bag included

First Impressions

This banjolele is an easy to play banjo and ukulele hybrid. If you play a banjo or uke and want to add another instrument to your musical repertoire, this is a great banjolele to try.

It sounds incredible and looks even better. Customers have nothing but great things to report about the Kala Concert Banjolele. They love the tone as well as the appearance of the instrument.

When players describe the tone, it’s always with words like warm and rich. You’ll end up with a instrument that sounds more like the uke than the banjo. Most banjoleles fall on the spectrum of sound leaning towards the banjo or the ukulele, and this one really sounds more uke.

If you don’t like the sound right away, you can also fiddle with the strings, bridge and tightening the head a little. All those tweaks will bring about a sound that fits your needs.

Required Setup

Every instrument that is shipped to a person’s home has to be tightened or tweaked in some way. The bridge will be loose or out of the instrument completely. The strings won’t be tightened. The head might need adjustments.

Overall, the banjolele you receive will need work. Don’t judge the sound until you’ve tweaked it yourself or had a professional musician make those adjustments for you.

Once the instrument is tightened and tuned, you’ll hear the sounds and tones as they were meant to be heard. It’s a little unfair to judge the instrument directly out of the box.

Customers who understand the process have had amazing things to say about this instrument. We believe it’s a great choice for those who are new to the banjolele, but make sure you’re able to tune the instrument or bring it to a professional.

Instrument Materials

The back and sides of the instrument are made of a hard maple ply. The bridge is maple as well, but it has an ebony cap on it. The neck is hard maple and the fingerboard is rosewood.

Layered over all the wood is a lovely, black satin finish. The hardware is antiqued brass and the tuners are covered with black buttons. The Remo Weatherking head looks like stretched animal skin even though it’s a modern material that won’t have you feeling bad for tiny animals.

Overall, the materials and look gives the entire banjolele an old-timey feel. This is an instrument you’ll want to stick on the wall to admire when you’re not playing it.

Here is a selection of popular banjoleles that we recommend to anyone looking to take up the hobby!

How it looksOur Favourite Banjoleles - Editor PicksPriceFeaturesBuy Now

Gold Tone Banjolele$$
  • 8" arylic rim w/" head
  • 15" scale maple neck w/18 fret fingerboard
  • Maple with Ebony Cap Bridge
  • Sealed Guitar-Style Tuners
  • Gigbag Included

TFW Banjolele$$
  • Includes Banjolele, Hard Case, And More
  • Strings are preinstalled, comes with an extra additional set
  • Includes compact clip on tuner
  • String winder, tools, picks also included

Luna Banjolele$$
  • Body Material Maple
  • Neck Material Mahogany
  • Fretboard Material Walnut
  • Scale Length 15.5"(394mm)
  • Number of Frets 21

Resonator or Open Back

Most banjoleles are small concert-sized ones with a short scale length. This makes them small and portable. They’re usually pretty lightweight, too.

That’s true even when there’s a resonator on the back of the instrument. The resonator is what adds weight to the instrument, but it’s the reason that the banjolele is able to make itself known in a group of people playing instruments.

The resonator can also be removed from this banjolele. There’s hardware holding the resonator to the back of the banjolele, so you can have the hardware loosened to remove the back.

If you’re uncomfortable with that process, there are plenty of music shops where you can have work done.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this be restrung to be left handed?
There’s no reason why instruments can’t be restrung to be used by either hand. It requires some work in the beginning, so it’s not something that can be done all the time, but you can certainly restring it once to fit your needs.

Does the instrument come with a case?
It comes with a gig case that can be used to carry the instrument. It’s a soft case, so if you want a hardshell one, you’ll have to order separately.

How many frets and what’s the scale length of this instrument?
It’s 14.75 inches and is 19 frets long.

Conclusion

The Kala KA-BJN-BKC Concert Banjo Ukulele is an instrument that looks like an old-time banjolele that would have been played by your great-grandfather or his father.

While you might not have had an instrument passed down in your family, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this instrument and imagine that it was played by members of your own family generations ago.

It’s a beautiful-looking instrument with an incredible tone and sound.

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