View Full Version : Kilin Reece at krstringrepair@gmail.com

Mark Nickson
09-10-2015, 06:45 AM
Hello Ukulele Fans,

I have had such a positive experience with Kilin Reece at KRStrings that I felt compelled to post about him and his work. Kilin's main line of business is the repair of quality stringed instruments, he purchased the repair side of Ko'olau Guitar and Ukulele Company from John Kitakis in 2010 after many years of work there. Killin was also the first non family member to work at the Ko'olau Company. But Kilin also has Pono ukuleles and guitars for sale, as Pono is a more affordable offshoot of the Ko'olau Company, and Kilin is able to use his insider connection to cherry pick the best instruments from the factory floor.

Kilin's generosity with his time in answering my numerous emails before purchase is remarkable. I ended up getting a Pono A2D2 tenor ukulele, solid cedar top with solid acacia back and sides. Kilin's insight and guidance helped me to choose an ukulele that suited my needs and within my budget. Now that I've received the instrument, I am overwhelmed with the value and quality. The sound of the ukulele is tremendous, and it is beautiful to behold.

I've also been in the market for a quality parlor guitar, perusing the web for a used Santa Cruz Firefly (can't quite afford a new one), it has proven to be elusive so far. After receipt of my ukulele, the craftsmanship and tonal quality of the instrument led me to consider purchasing a Pono parlor guitar to hold me in good stead during my ongoing Firefly hunt. Again Kilin persevered through my numerous questions and vacillation as I considered the alternatives. In the end I have ordered a Pono OP-10C from Kilin, and I eagerly await its arrival.

Kilin's background working at Santa Cruz Guitar Company and Ko'olau Guitar & Ukulele Company should provide the bona fides to satisfy the most scrupulous of customers. I can't speak highly enough about him, particularly his attention to customer service. My only connection to Kilin is through the purchase of my Pono A2D2 ukulele and Pono OP-10C guitar, so please accept this as an unbiased and unsolicited endorsement. If you would like to do business with a genuine human being who loves his craft then I suggest you contact Kilin Reece at krstringrepairATgmailDOTcom because my experience suggest that you will be well satisfied.

Mark Nickson

Mandatory Pics:

09-10-2015, 06:51 AM
Thanks for sharing. Just wondering where he's located?

The Big Kahuna
09-10-2015, 07:08 AM
Did he give you permission to post his email address in unobfuscated format on a public forum? If not, you need to sit down and think before you do something like this.

And considering that a member of the Kitakis family is a well respected member of this forum, and a personal friend of a great many UU members, I wonder how he might view the suggestion that someone is using his "connections" to cherry pick the best Pono instruments from a family run business. Does that mean that the Pono instruments bought from other dealers by UU members are sub-par?

Half of the language and writing in this post just reads like advertising copy.

Mark Nickson
09-10-2015, 07:10 AM
I forgot to mention Kilin's website at www.krstrings.com
Kilin's shop is in Kailua, Hawaii.

Mark Nickson
09-10-2015, 07:24 AM
Big Kahuna, sorry for the perceived offense if any was truly given. Kilin's email address is in the public domain on his website, I apologize to him if posting this is a problem. My posting was not intended to insinuate that any Pono instruments are sub-par, quite the contrary. Buying an instrument sight unseen over the internet can be a dubious undertaking, that someone with Kilin's bona fides had chosen a particular instrument from among many might serve to inspire confidence in prospective buyers. My intention was to promote the Pono product on the whole, and to bring to this community my satisfaction with my interaction with Kilin.

As far as my post reading like advertising copy, I tried to do justice to Kilin for his service to me, and spent some time crafting the post.

Uke on,

The Big Kahuna
09-10-2015, 07:42 AM
Fair enough mate, but the danger in posting his email here, rather than on his website, is that crawlers will deliberately target forums in order to harvest email addresses for spam mailing lists. This is more common than individual websites being scanned, as forums often yield more email addresses. The best way is to use the format "krstringrepair AT gmail DOT com"

No offense taken, and apologies for any given. If it's any consolation, I, and I'm sure many others, are already aware of Killin and his reputation.

09-10-2015, 07:46 AM
Thanks for this information, now if you could please fix those sideways photos... :)

09-10-2015, 09:09 AM
Thanks for this information, now if you could please fix those sideways photos... :)

Aren't ukes typically played sideways?

Jacman Rasta Bicycle
09-10-2015, 09:41 AM
Aren't ukes typically played sideways?

Not if you are lying down on a couch. :rofl:

09-10-2015, 04:55 PM
Aloha Phil,

I am in Kailua HI, please give me a call and feel free to stop by and say hello! -Ki


09-10-2015, 05:33 PM
Thanks all for the kind words, and caution regarding SPAM....I get enough of that stuff from the lunch wagon.


Just to add a touch of clarity to a couple points-

Most of my searching at the warehouse is in the showroom where John offers amazing deals on ukes with minor (even to my eyes!) visual blemishes. Being a professional musician, as well as a luthier, I do look for certain qualities in purchasing instruments, be they for myself, friends and family or for customers. There is a vast spectrum of tonal qualities in stringed instruments, not only with regards to tone wood combinations, but even from one "identical" model to the next. One can truly only attribute this uniqueness to the magic of luthiery, and the influence of an artist/craftsman in the design and building process. Matching instruments with players/collectors is a side of this business I personally enjoy. I approach it with a very open mind and try leave "good" and "bad", "right" and "wrong" out of the conversation. Bright, Dark, Rich, Mellow, Sweet, having great projection, having Growl in the low end, being even in response across the entire fingerboard, possessing clarity, sustain, a strong fundamental in the note, etc... These are all ways and terms I try to use to describe variety in great sounding instruments. I had a good friend once say that 'Talking about sound, is like reading about food... it kind of misses the point'. I think there is no substitute for actually spending time with an instrument and seeing if there is a spark in person, of course thats not always possible.

Im also happy to announce that KR Strings is now officially a PONO dealer, and our showroom is available on the windward side of the island by appointment. As an endorsee of the PONO guitar line, I am thrilled to offer my personal impressions of all the great instruments the Kitakis clan are cooking up. This latest batch of guitars has me floored.

I count myself lucky to be here in Hawaii where the tradition of a family run business is still alive and well, and am proud to help spread the word about instruments I can stand behind, on stage, or anywhere else.

Aloha all and Mahalo, -Kilin Reece

09-12-2015, 05:01 PM
Yeah, Kilin is the best. He recently replaced a fingerboard on a uke for me. Looking at it now you would think it was part of the original build. In addition to being a superb repair person, he can do remarkable restoration work. Check out last year's thread on a vintage Nunes: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?97106-Looking-at-an-M-Nunes-uke%85what-do-you-think&p=1615225#post1615225. But this is just his day job. The man is an excellent musician. Here he is doing a demo of a Pono guitar for the folks at Hawaii Music Supply:


10-16-2015, 11:38 AM
Kilin is extremely knowledgeable, skilled and very helpful. He has helped me out in several situations with Ukes and I am grateful for his integrity and trustworthiness.

10-16-2015, 12:59 PM
Another positive write up about Kilin. Extremely kind and very generous with his time, he has helped me a few different times. He personifies what is right and I won't hesitate to recommend him or use him again.