Kala Waterman Plastic Ukulele Review

Nowadays, people are gravitating towards ukuleles the way they did with Facebook 15 years ago. A ukulele is definitely the most unique and casual instrument to own and play these days. 

Compared to other string instruments, it’s easier to play and relatively affordable to buy. Most ukulele lovers happen to own several ones due to their attractive price-points, adding to the fact that ukuleles have varying designs; there’s a design to suit every personality. 

The Kala Waterman Plastic ukulele is perceived by many as just a “toy” since plastic is not considered solid material for instruments. However, the Kala Waterman happens to be a fantastic ukulele that is very pleasant to listen to. 

In this review, we’ll provide you with detailed insight into what the Kala Waterman Plastic soprano ukulele has to offer.

At a Glance:

If you’re seeking the ideal blend between low price, amusement, and sound projection, the Kala Waterman Plastic soprano ukulele is an excellent call to make.

Its tone is widely described as “sweet,” charming, “and” cute “by its owners. It even works wonders with acoustic jams; its players never worry about the tone delivery. Therefore, it’s a reliable, waterproof, portable, and budget-friendly ukulele delivering superior sound clarity.

Pros:

● Sound clarity

● High volume

● Budget-friendly

● Water-resistant

● Colorful design options

● Glows in the dark

● Nickel plate tuners

● Suitable for all age groups

Cons:

● Not beginner-friendly

● Tuners are not easy to adapt to

● Shatterable

● Bridge plastic wears off eventually

● Fragile bag

Kala Waterman Plastic Ukulele Full Review

1. Design

The Waterman ukulele is made of high-grade polycarbonate translucent plastic, which means it will allow/absorb light in. It’s available in a variety of colors, with ones that glow in the dark. If you buy one in glowing colors, then it will provide a spectacular setting after you let it charge.

It is made out of two glued pieces of plastic, but the finish is artistic to the extent that you wouldn’t guess that it’s plastic.

As for the tuners, the Waterman has nickel-plated geared tuners, similar to those of Kala’s entry-level ukuleles. While they can be tough and have issues in tuning, they get the job done at the end of the day. They’re not the best option, however.

The frets are also plastic, molded into the fretboard itself. They are relatively thinner and lower than the typical metal frets, so you don’t really feel them when you push down on a string.

The strings themselves are Aquila Super Nylgut strings, which make the ukulele sound perfect right out of the box, with composite nut and saddles.

The soundhole on the Waterman has an extra round piece topping, giving it a distinctive shape, and it extends the soundhole length for better sound projection.

On the other hand, the Waterman’s material is a little bit glossy on the finish, getting easily marked and leaving stains of fingerprints all over it. It will not look pretty after each play.

The silver fret markers on the ukulele are spotted on the bridge and side spots of the instrument. These are most likely to wear off with time, again making the ukulele look less attractive after a length of playing time. 

2. Sound

The Kala Waterman definitely sounds better than anyone would expect from a plastic ukulele!

The sound is clear, but it’s not loud. Far from that, the sound is actually warm.

The sound would be best described as exceeding those within a similar budget range, but it definitely doesn’t compete with the sound of wooden ukuleles.

3. Playability

The Waterman ukulele has zero frets, which is a unique selling point! Zero frets make the action (distance between strings and frets) lower and the intonation better. 

Most ukuleles don’t have a zero fret; this causes the strings to loosen a bit with time, and it ruins the sound projection in the long run. Some ukulele players go as far as having to put toothpicks as alternatives for zero frets. Therefore, the Waterman wins at this point!

However, the action is somewhat high in this ukulele’s design, which makes it harder to play than other ukuleles designed for beginners.

4. Weight

The Waterman is slightly heavier than ordinary soprano-sized wooden ukuleles. They tend to be bulkier around the neck, but not to an abnormal extent.

Other than that, the weight is distributed evenly among the ukulele, weighing 12.8 ounces.

5. Size

The Kala Waterman Plastic soprano ukulele has a scale length of 13.6875 inches and an overall instrument length of 20.75 inches.

6. Price

The Kala Waterman ukulele falls on the cheaper end of the spectrum in the world of ukuleles. The price is more affordable than you would imagine, which takes most other budget-ukuleles out of the equation when it comes to comparison. 

Also, the price is ideal for those seeking to make a second purchase of a ukulele that they can carry around without having to worry or be careful about it.

7. Water Resistance

The Waterman is waterproof, hence the name! However, parts of its plastic, especially around the neck, could wear off due to erosion or water. While that is a disadvantage, it’s not so severe as to exclude it as one of the best waterproof ukuleles out there.

What’s in The Box

The Waterman ukulele comes with a “play ukulele today” DVD, a guide on how to play/use the ukulele for beginners. 

The Waterman is also accompanied by a Lumintrail cleaning cloth, a Kala tuner, and a song chords guide.

Amazon Reviews by Users

The overall ratings from users range between 4-5 stars compiled from 600+ buyers. It’s approved as a fantastic value for its price, and most of the comments are positive.

One particular user praised the durability of the Waterman even though it’s made of plastic, describing it as a perfect instrument for a youngster to start playing without any fear of it shattering it down. 

Other reviews revolved around the glow in the dark feature, which is really admirable for little children. It adds to the attractiveness of the ukulele, adding to the fact that it’s easy to play and is lightweight. 

On the other hand, the Waterman was criticized for going out of tune often, and taking time to re-tune and stay tuned. Some claimed that it takes two weeks of practice for the ukulele to tune in place. They nevertheless gave it a good rating.

Frequent reviews mention that this ukulele is perfect for outdoor kayaking, lake trips, bonfire camping, or any other outing activities without any potential problems. One of the reviewers mentioned that this is their most favorable ukulele to take out or leave in the car without any fear of erosion.

Final Thoughts

Although this ukulele is not advised for beginners to buy due to the tuning issue, most parents have gifted the Waterman to their kids, given the fact that they can tune it for them until they become experienced enough with the instrument.

It comes in an appealing design, and it’s translucent, which is not a common feature in any other wooden material ukulele, not to mention the glow in the dark colors.

It has an excellent sound projection, is equipped with high-quality strings, and is durable given the fact that it’s water-resistant, which is a package that is hard to refuse! This is the ideal ukulele for outdoor adventures.

Categories Reviews

Leave a Comment