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Thread: comparisons -Kamaka vs. Ko'Aloha ukes

  1. #1

    Default comparisons -Kamaka vs. Ko'Aloha ukes

    How do Kamaka and Ko'Aloha concert and tenor ukes stack up against each other? About the same, one better than the other? And how about Maui Music ukes - they cost so much more - are they worth it?

  2. #2
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    Try this thread . . . Kamaka vs Kanile'a . . . Kamaka vs KoAloha I really think it comes down to personal preference. You gotta play each one and to find which one best suits your playing. Also take into consideration playability, comfortability and sound.
    Last edited by Kanaka916; 11-19-2009 at 11:14 AM.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  3. #3
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    I think you can't go wrong with either one. I don't have a KoAloha, but I have a friend who does, and her tenor sounds amazing. It is very loud and has a great tone to it. I have a Kamaka tenor that is my prized possession, it isn't as loud or powerful sounding as her KoAloha, but it has a sweeter tone to it.

    In terms of style, the KoAlohas are very mod. The Sceptre, the Sunday, the Jukulele, all have nontraditional looks to them - even the headstock and bridges of most "regular" KoAlohas are cutting edge (the crown bridge, etc.). They seem to be on the forefront of a lot of technology and design. One note: from what I have seen, the KoAlohas are very favored by people who are deeply religious, and I believe I have read that the Okamis used religious symbolism in designing some of the parts. If you are religious, that may lean you toward them, if you are not, it may sway you in the opposite direction.

    i think that Kamakas are the absolute opposite of KoAlohas (again, this is just my two cents). They are not flashy at all, very traditional looking, with often just a satin finish on the koa. Although mine is curly, and I have seen a few curly ones, most of them tend to have pretty straight grain koa wood. The thing with Kamaka is that they have not deviated a lot from the traditional style, which fits a company that has been making their ukes since 1916. They are the "granddaddy" of Hawaiian ukuleles, and a lot of their cache is based on the reputation behind their name and legend.

    A good compromise might be a Kanile'a. (I don't mean to hijack you in another direction and feel free to disregard this thought). My friend with the KoAloha and I both have Kanile'a tenors. She plays her Kanile'a 99.9% of the time, almost never playing the KoAloha. In the interests of full disclosure, I play my Kamaka 99.9% of the time. Kanile'a has a great TRU bracing system that allows it to be pretty much the same volume as the KoAloha, and their ukuleles can have a sweet tone similar to a Kamaka. They also walk the middle line in terms of style, with both traditional and modern touches. And their UV finish is terrific.

    That being said, all of this gets thrown out the window when you consider that while these are great companies that make great products, still, each ukulele is individual unto itself. Which means, if you can play them in person you can better judge the sound and style you like the best. Failing that, I would try to find as many sound samples (through YouTube or elsewhere) of the KoAloha and Kamaka to better determine which is the best for you.

    Sorry, I'm not familiar with Maui Music ukes. And again, this was all just my two cents...
    PO`IPU NO KA OI!
    Moore Bettah Kauai Dreams undersea inlay tenor "Hui Nani"
    Moore Bettah slothead offset soundhole tenor "Kula Leo"
    KoAloha KTMS-00 "Wiwinani"

    Building and Owning a Bettah Ukulele: The story of Moore Bettah Ukuleles
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story
    Listen With Your Heart: The KoAloha Ukulele Story e-book edition

  4. #4
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    Great info. and thanks for that from a person not asking the question. I have 9 great ukes and I play 2 the most and they are not the most expensive ones because my Bushman and Koloa were cheap and great so I don't mind messing them up. Off subject but I was glad to read the above review. Thank you.

  5. #5
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    As wickedwahine11 said "you can't go wrong with either one", although I have KoAloha UAS.
    Live Aloha
    ------------------------



    ------------------------

  6. #6
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    Maui Music 'Ukuleles are hand made on the island of Maui by Peter Lieberman. From my understanding (I may be wrong here), each is a one of kind instrument hence the price. I've never played one, so I can't tell you what it sounds like or it's characteristics. I know there are a couple owners on the boards and maybe they'll chime in.

    See this update about Maui Music and Peter Lieberman. You can find a sound sample of a Maui Music uke here.
    Last edited by Kanaka916; 11-19-2009 at 06:24 PM.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  7. #7
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    I have a Kamaka and a KoAloha tenor. They are both great instruments but very different. You really need to try them both and see which you prefer.

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    In fact you should try several of each.

  9. #9

    Default how are they different, Dibblet?

    Dibblet,

    Just how are the Kamaka and the KoAloha different in your experience? Thanks.

  10. #10
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    I just got my Kamaka while in Hawaii. I had intended on buying a KoAloha but none were to be had, they are VERY popular right now! Anyway, a deal for the Kamaka fell into my lap and I could not pass it up! I did get a chance to play a Pineapple Sunday and it was loud and beautiful, but a bit out of my price range. As others have said, you need to play several before you decide. You might want a KoAloha but like a Kamaka better or the other way around. However, you will have a blast playing some very fine instruments, I know I did!!
    Last edited by molokinirum; 11-29-2009 at 05:00 PM.
    Maui no ka oi !!!!!
    Kamaka HF-3, Vintage 1935 Kamaka Pineapple, Kanile'a Deluxe 6 string Tenor, Kamaka 1996 HF-38, Makala Concert

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