View Full Version : Kohala KP-T Tenor...

08-30-2014, 03:19 PM
Kanikapila 'ukulele with gig bag, songbook and tuner for $49 bucks at Guitar Center for Labor Day weekend through 09/01/2014. I'm picking mine up this evening and will try to get a review posted for those interested. Ric


08-30-2014, 05:00 PM
That's a pretty good deal Ric. Let's hear the review. Thanks.

08-30-2014, 07:10 PM
Every now and then there comes a bargain instrument that is playable with good intonation and action. The Kohala KP-T Kanikapila Series Tenor 'Ukulele is definitely one of them. I comes with a thick (not padded) gig bag, a chromatic clip on tuner and an instruction booklet to get you started playing.

The construction is very nice for the price. The chrome tuning machines are adjustable for tension. I used a Philips Head screwdriver to turn them all snug before tuning up the GHS strings that came with the package. After properly stretching and tuning the strings, it was ready to play. I used the simple, chromatic tuner that came with the kit. It shows you the note, sharp, flat or Green when dead on.

Intonation was decent on all four strings up to the 12th fret (octave). The action (height of the strings over the frets) is nice and does not have a great effect on intonation across the length of the scale.

It produces a full sound, being a tenor.

Bottom line - It's not a Kala or Ohana. Definitely not a Pono or a real "K" brand. What it is, is an nice playing 'ukulele for the beginner or a second 'ukulele for a friend to play along with you. It's also a nice 'ukulele to leave in your car or office for impromptu jams. The sale ends 09/01/2014, so don't wait if you are interested. Entry level soprano 'ukulele can often be found on sale. A sale tenor 'ukulele is an even more rare item. Ric




08-31-2014, 02:13 AM
Great deal. These all laminate ukes often sound better with Aquila strings. A bone nut and saddle can be had on ebay for $5+. The satin finish can be brought up to a nice low "gloss" for a richer look. In all, good choice for the price.

08-31-2014, 03:52 AM
Heading to get one today. Easier to get $50 past SWMBO than the $100+, and I can give it to the kids when I outgrow it as my first. Can you point me to directions for glossing it up?? Never a fan of the satin finish.

08-31-2014, 05:01 AM
Lots of approaches. Insuring all products used are "silicone free", some kind of scratch/haze remover and polish. Many use auto products and many "favorite" products for the job out there. I just ordered 4oz bottles of polish, one fine, one swirl remover. I figured what the heck, I might as well use products designed for the purpose. I have also used some Kit SratchOut and Flitz metal/plastic/fiberglass/paint polish. 0000 steel wool (cheap and locally available), lightly rubbed parallel to the grain, a going over with a good magnet to get the metal "dust" and a final polish has some very satisfied users. I would also imagine the new headlight lens restoring kits will work. Just keep in mind being "gentle." You don't really know how thick the finish is. It's not likely to achieve a "high gloss" but I have achieved a gorgeous, deep, low to medium gloss showcasing wood grain contrast I didn't know was there.

08-31-2014, 08:42 AM
That's an incredible deal, especially for someone looking to get started on a budget. I will be passing this one along.

08-31-2014, 08:45 AM
Heading to get one today. Easier to get $50 past SWMBO than the $100+, and I can give it to the kids when I outgrow it as my first. Can you point me to directions for glossing it up?? Never a fan of the satin finish.

LOL, Staredge. I had to look that one up:


I would not bother shining this one up, before seeing it. It's a very nice 'ukulele out of the box. Save the gloss for your next one :) Ric

08-31-2014, 09:04 AM
Went and got it today. They didn't have them on the floor.......they had to pull them out of the back. I had him bring a few out. Out of the three, the first one I looked at seemed to be the best. Frets weren't sticking out, and the headstock actually color matches well to the body (which the others didn't). I've been tuning it up for the last half hour or so :rofl:. Seems to be a decent little uke. They didn't have Aquila or Martin strings for the tenor. I'll probably pick some new strings up this week. Will have to look into bone nuts/saddles.

08-31-2014, 09:31 AM
The good thing, Staredge, is that it made SWMBO's approval ;) Make sure and tighten the tuners with a Philips head screwdriver. That helps prevent slippage when tuning. new strings are always an annoying process, until they settle in. Always tune up. If you tune a string sharp, back it off flat and tune up to the note again. this also helps prevent slippage. Let us know as you progress with your 'ukulele playing. Before long, this will be your second or third 'ukulele... Ric

08-31-2014, 01:27 PM
I picked one up I am having a hard time getting it to hold tuning. I will change the strings tomorrow.

08-31-2014, 02:04 PM
Congratulations! I hope you lucked out and got a good one. I've had good luck twice with cheap ukes, they were both won in raffles.....both were very playable, still have one of them. The only thing I don't like is the soft wood the fretbaord is made of, it's already wearing out...and it has an annoying buzz on the C string when fretted low on the fretboard. The other cheap uke i had, I bought, and I never got rid of the buzzes, so I got rid of it.

08-31-2014, 05:35 PM
Yeah, she tolerates my craziness. This one might be a keeper. :D

First thing I did was break out the screwdriver. Screws were already nice and tight. I've noticed the wound C seems to be staying closer than the nylon strings, which leads me to believe that its more the string than tuner slippage. We'll see.

08-31-2014, 06:35 PM
After a lot of stretching and retuning since I got it yesterday, it's holding it's tuning. Uncle Harry Akioka played a half hour set with it at kanikapila at Ukulele Sundays at Molly Bloom's in San Clemente, California tonight. This is a nice way for one to get their foot in the door playing 'ukulele. It's also nice to have as a spare for others to play. I know many that still play their plastic body Makala Dolphin Sopranos after many years and they are happy in their zone. The Kohala KP-T is a nice playing 'ukulele, especially in this price bracket. The sale ends Monday night 09/01/2014... Ric



09-04-2014, 05:34 AM
You can still buy them, except that now they are only $109 bucks:


09-04-2014, 04:30 PM
I'm actually quite pleased with mine. The strings are finally starting to stay close to in tune overnight. Been playing it in the evening after everyone goes to bed......learning the chord patterns. I play in a local acoustic jam band. May have to break it out for a gig we have on the 20th. Train Day at a local museum. We usually have too many guitars. I have an extra instrument mic. ;)

09-05-2014, 01:10 AM
i changed the strings on mine and it has seemed to settle in as far as tuning. It's a little rough (finish) but sounds good. It's the uke i am going to take on vacation. Overall i am satisfied with my $49.95 purchase.

09-05-2014, 07:57 AM
I'm actually quite pleased with mine. Been playing it in the evening after everyone goes to bed......learning the chord patterns

Best chord chart and lesson plan I've run into for learning the 'ukulele. Acoustic jam bands are fun.


Here's an inexpensive, but effective way to put a pickup in your 'ukulele:


09-06-2014, 05:46 PM
Wonder what the sound quality on that pickup is?

09-06-2014, 05:48 PM

09-06-2014, 05:53 PM
At the bottom of page 2, I show a pictorial of doing my own. I've done well over a hundred of these:


09-15-2014, 09:42 AM
Thanks for the good review, Ric. I just had the parent of a student contact me asking about this model, so it was nice to find a thorough appraisal from a reliable source. Much appreciated!