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Thread: Best laminate concert uke player?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    st. paul, MN
    Posts
    195

    Default Best laminate concert uke player?

    Looking for a quality wood laminate concert player (not a Fluke) for a neice who is unwilling to commit to care and feeding of a solid top.
    Is the Kala KA-KCG all about looks, or does the koa laminate add something to the sound on that instrument? How does the Islander AC-4 compare, at nearly half the retail price?
    Others?
    [Edit: . I prob should have clarified: I'd already started these four girls, Kala KA-15S sopranos to the little ones and Luna concerts to the older ones (both lam hog ukes, COMPLETELY playable and sounding OK for the money, esp the Kalas), and promised them I'd buy them a better uke if they learned to play them. Two of them did, so now I'm on the quest for something prettier (prob a gloss finish with binding, though the Islander looks good to me!], with better tone if possible...]
    Last edited by ukeinfused; 08-28-2017 at 03:52 PM.
    Tracie

    Island Koa Instruments, prototype GBP soprano, Peter Howlett #153
    Weymann soprano, 20's or 30's?
    Martin O, 1961
    Kiwaya KTS-7
    Kala KA-ASOV-S
    Koaloha KCM-00
    Kanile'a K1 Concert
    Kamaka 1969 Tiki Concert
    Larrivee UT40MHO spruce/hog Tenor
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    st. paul, MN
    Posts
    195

    Default

    LOL. Looking for a uke, not opinions on 'players'... (sorry, can't change the title!)
    Tracie

    Island Koa Instruments, prototype GBP soprano, Peter Howlett #153
    Weymann soprano, 20's or 30's?
    Martin O, 1961
    Kiwaya KTS-7
    Kala KA-ASOV-S
    Koaloha KCM-00
    Kanile'a K1 Concert
    Kamaka 1969 Tiki Concert
    Larrivee UT40MHO spruce/hog Tenor
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    4,104

    Default

    I'm quite happy with Kala, & Baton Rouge laminates.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    137

    Default

    I love my Islander AC4, it's a joy to play. The fretboard and dimensions are the same as my Kanilea K1 concert.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    328

    Default

    If you can find an aNuenue she'll be set for life.
    Amazing quality and very affordable.
    If your uke is too loud, your neighbours are wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Nor Cal USA
    Posts
    1,128

    Default

    I really enjoy my Caramel CC-100 a laminate Zebrawood concert. Mine needed a bit of setup but I think Caramel has improved a good deal on the setups in the last couple of years. I always get compliments on its sound when I play it in public. For $55 delivered it beats a Kala mahogany that costs over $100. Also it comes with a builtin tuner and equalizer. A Caramel gig bag is cheap too. Add a Honeytone amp and she'll be set to shred for under a hundred clams.

    Check Amazon for all three.
    Last edited by JackLuis; 08-28-2017 at 01:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    PA & FL
    Posts
    268

    Default

    I have a Kala KA-SCG. It's my go to uke. Great sound.
    Collings UC2
    LoPrinzi Custom Mahogany Model A - Concert / Peghed tuners / radius fretboard
    Kala KA-ACP-CTG
    Kala KA-SCG
    Kala KA-ASOV-S

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    1,156

    Default

    How about that Enya X1 Concert that is made of HPL, and apparenlty now has the richlite radius fingerboard and the ritchlite bridge? The Enyas have a nice tone and should be pretty resilient. It is the same general construction as that little EUR-X1 that you played at Silver Creek (great to finally meet you, by the way). $115 with all the accessories...but you might want to buy other strings.

    NOT a referral link: https://www.amazon.com/Concert-ukule...NYA+X1+CONCERT
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    255

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ukeinfused View Post
    Looking for a quality wood laminate concert player (not a Fluke) for a neice who is unwilling to commit to care and feeding of a solid top.
    Is the Kala KA-KCG all about looks, or does the koa laminate add something to the sound on that instrument? How does the Islander AC-4 compare, at nearly half the retail price?
    Others?
    [Edit: . I prob should have clarified: I'd already started these four girls, Kala KA-15S sopranos to the little ones and Luna concerts to the older ones (both lam hog ukes, COMPLETELY playable and sounding OK for the money, esp the Kalas), and promised them I'd buy them a better uke if they learned to play them. Two of them did, so now I'm on the quest for something prettier (prob a gloss finish with binding, though the Islander looks good to me!], with better tone if possible...]
    I have an Islander AC-4 and it's a nice instrument IMHO, they seem reasonably priced in the USA. It needed setting up when I got it but that's normal. I can't see a time when I'll need a better instrument; it sounds fine, its plain looks are to my taste and I love the wider fret board and wider spaced strings. However your niece might prefer something more showy and for a young lady the wide fretboard and wide spaced strings might be no advantage or even a disadvantage (potentially too big for her hand?).

    Kala don't sell the cheapest or best value 'just now' Ukes, however they are a credible brand (for club and playground comparisons) and they do sell good instruments at reasonable prices. I am a bit of a 'skin flint' at times but still buy Kala. When I was in the market for a Concert Ukulele the Kala KA-CEM appealed to me, and additionally a couple of players in my Uke group have CEM's and they are happy with them. I wanted the wider string spacing hence the Islander was purchased instead, but IMHO you won't go far wrong buying a laminate Kala.

    I can't think that the finish material on a laminate will make any difference to the sound however my rough experience of Kala and Makala laminates is that the higher up the range you go the better they sound. So, to some extent, finish is broadly indicative of sound quality available from each Uke.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-28-2017 at 11:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    PHX, AZ
    Posts
    1,988

    Default

    I'm anxious to try out a HPL laminate from Bonanza Ukes/Pete Mai. I like the retro wild colors that really stand out/ the colors really "pop". I may order one soon as my travel knock-around ukulele.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

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