Kala KC02 Ukulele Tuner - REVIEW

12 Aug 2011

Kala KC02 Ukulele Tuner - REVIEW

Realised that I had never given my readers my review of the Kala KC02 clip on ukulele tuner, so here we go!

kala ukulele tuner

The KC02 is a very simple tuner that works in the same way as the dozens of these that exist. I'll be honest, when I was in need of a new tuner as my previous Cherub broke, I probably did pick this because it was branded Kala.  That said, obviously Kala dont physically make these, they just badge them and its merely a generic Chinese model.

It has the usual clip with padding protection to clip on the headstock and a clear LCD crystal display.  There are no other switches on the tuner other than a large on off button at the base.  This (obviously) switches the tuner on, but tapping it again cycles through the functions it offers, namely C tuning, D tuning and Chromatic (which basically can be used to tune anything).  It is made of plastic with a slight rubberised coating to it with the Kala logo in red screen print.

Like many other tuners, when clipped on you pluck a string and an LCD needle moves to register the note, and when central (pointing at 12 o clock)   turns green to signify the string is in tune.  It also shows the note that you are tuning in the top corner.  Sadly, unlike other models that use a variety of colours, this moves only between a pale blue that is used to signify a string that is either sharp or flat, and green for "in tune".  The display is clear enough, but it is small and because of that the needle cannot show an accurate number of positions for each note.

And that really is it. Its a simple tuner, and I suppose it works ok.  The gripes I have though are that this tuner is still selling for a price (circa £13 - £15) for which you can get superior tuners that offer much more.

Lets look at what is missing

- no multicolour display
- no ability to "tune" the tuner to another frequency or instrument
- no microphone option meaning it only works clipped on.  (Some tuners have a feature where you can set it on a table and tune the ukulele acoustically via a microphone)

Above all else though, I don't actually find that this tuner is particularly accurate.  When the notes are "on", sure the uke is fairly well in tune, but there seems to be quite a lot of "give" or "play" in what it considers to be in tune.  I suppose it is probably a feature of the small and fairly simple display that doesn't allow it to show a needle that is very accurate, but you should bear that in mind.

To add to that, I also don't find it particularly sensitive either and you need to really pluck the strings quite hard to register them.  This is not only bad practice as tuning a stringed instrument works better when you pluck a note cleanly, but it also tends to confuse the tuner and have it throw up some odd notes nothing like the one you plucked.

Oh, and the battery cover is rubbish and has worked loose meaning most times I take it from my case, the cover has fallen off and the battery fallen out....

For my money though, I would shop around and look for more features for the same money.  My top recommendation for a tuner that still amazes me at how sensitive it is, look no further than the Snark range of tuners. They are hard to beat in my opinion.

As for the Kala - 5/10


  1. Funny, My tuner life cycle has been :-
    Cherub : rubbish
    Kala : OK
    Snark : So cool

    The Snark is what the best dressed Ukes are wearing this year.
    Even my Grandson said "cool tuner gramps"


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