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Thread: Kamaka tenor and Koaloha tenor

  1. #1

    Default Kamaka tenor and Koaloha tenor

    Hello everyone..

    I'm looking for any feed back on the Kamaka tenor and Koaloha tenor. I've never scene or heard these in person, but from some of the reviews I've read, and pictures I've seen, these seem to be the two that I'm looking for.
    I am absolutely [too many words fit here] in love with the way they look (from the pictures). They are golden...

    Anyway, how do these two sound in a back to back comparison? I like a deep rich but lively sound. I play a variety of songs, mainly contemporary (though i kick it old school to ) and some that I've made up. I also plan on tuning it low G because i love [s]teh basss[/s] the low sound of it, though I'll tune it for regular/high G sometimes.

    Durability?.. I am a hobbyist that moves on and back. I've been into longboarding, computers, audiophiling, cars, ect all of which I've spent good money into.. So I would like it to be something that I could keep for a looong time and since its an instrument, maybe pass it on to my children..

    So in summary which do you prefer/think is better? Why?

    feel free to add any other comments.

  2. #2
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    I'd go with Koaloha.

    Their customer service is top notch from what I have heard and I think they may have the tone you are looking for.

    They project really well and I think are perfect ukes for a Low G set up.

    Have you given any thought to Kanile'a or Ko'olau? I am not saying they are better, they are just comparable.
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    Aiyo where you from? If you can go to a store that sales both. Imo kamakas are a little overpriced. The older ones sound great. I prefer koaloha (own a concert and am in process of getting sceptre).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by haolejohn View Post
    Imo kamakas are a little overpriced.
    I both agree and disagree with this.

    When you get a Kamaka you are going to get a great uke that will be worth every penny, but you are also paying for that name. You could get a comparable uke for less, but it won't be a Kamaka. Does that make any sense? Haha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thejumpingflea View Post
    I both agree and disagree with this.

    When you get a Kamaka you are going to get a great uke that will be worth every penny, but you are also paying for that name. You could get a comparable uke for less, but it won't be a Kamaka. Does that make any sense? Haha.
    I totally agree with you. The first uke I heard was a kamaka and the second uke I ever heard was a mele. One day I'll own a kamaka but it'll be a soprano. I also think the kanileas are overpriced. It's all in the name. It is like motorcycles. I own a harley and I want a bigger bike I can get a brand new metric for a few grand cheaper than the used road king I got my eyes on.
    Last edited by haolejohn; 09-26-2009 at 05:37 PM.

  6. #6

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    Im from San Jose, CA around the Alum Rock area.

  7. #7
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    For the other side of the coin, I really prefer Kamaka over KoAloha. The KoAlohas are certainly well made and very loud, but I think the Kamaka sound is sweeter. I also really don't like the styling of any of the KoAloha bridges or headstocks. Plus, for passing down a ukulele, I think that tradition and history of Kamaka can't be beat. But I know you will probably get more votes for KoAloha as they are great ukuleles and super popular, they are just way too trendy for my liking (especially the jukebox and sceptre models).

    As a close second to Kamaka though I really like Kanile'a. I think their customer service equals that of KoAloha, while they also sound as loud as KoAloha while maintaining the traditional look of a ukulele. Plus, I think their uv finish is superior to the finish on either KoAloha or Kamaka. Just a thought...but as to your original question I vote Kamaka.
    It's interesting to me that people think Kamaka and Kanile'a are overpriced when KoAloha costs the same or more than they do. I think it is a totally subjective thing: people who like one brand over the other justify it's price while accusing the others of being overpriced. To me, my Kamaka and Kanile'a are worth every penny I paid while I wouldn't dpdnd the money on a KoAloha. To others it is the exact opposite. In the end, I think they are all a good value for what you are spending.
    Last edited by wickedwahine11; 09-26-2009 at 05:49 PM.
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  8. #8
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    WW I was thinking same thing. Koalohas are a little less expensive I think but I haven't looked in awhile at a kamaka or kanilea. I justify the cost of the koaloha. I can almost justify the kamaka but their prices just aren't steady. I think the difference is a koaloha has 2 prices for their tenors where as kamaka and kanilea have levels of tenors. It really does come down to personal preference.

  9. #9
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    I was in Hawaii and got to play a PIneapple Sunday and a Kamaka Tenor. Could not find a Koaloha tenor on Maui where I was. The Pineapple was BEAUTIFUL played loud but out of my price range
    I bought the Kamaka and love it a ton and play it all the time. You could buy either one and you will be happy plus I believe there is about a $30 difference in price or some where close.
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  10. #10

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    koaloha is super popular? o-o Amongst my friends, they only know of kamaka and Ko'olau. haha

    Anyway, price isn't too much of a worry, but saving cash is always good. Does anyone know of any stores near me that carry ukes (hopefully kamaka and/or koaloha tenors)?

    As for the kanile, I'm not to sure about that uke either. I only recently heard about them.

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