View Full Version : KPK tenor thoughts and suggestions needed

11-06-2015, 07:44 AM
I have enjoyed this forum from afar, so first post and looking for some guidance/suggestions.

I have played guitar for 20+ years, but at a pretty recreational level. Took me a while to find a sound I really enjoyed, went through 20+ guitars over the years(Martin, Taylor, Breedlove, etc) Finally settled on a Takamine with cedar top that was just really well balanced, and just a $500-600 guitar, so not super high end. This guitar is punchy, not to bright, not to warm....for my ear, seems to have all the qualities I enjoy.

Fast forward to Ukulele....started with cheapo Kala Pineapple. After 2 years of playing, decided time to upgrade a little, and after reading a lot on the forum, ordered a KPK uke about a month ago. Went with the KPK tenor, solid Acacia. BEAUTIFUL looking instrument. Has Worth Clears(?) on it and bone nut/saddle upgrade. Sound is pleasant enough, but just REALLY quiet. I have to really strum it to produce any volume at all. 2 weeks ago ordered an Ohana Soprano(sk-35gs) and it has all the qualities I have wanted in a Uke. This little thing really sings and very easy to get volume out of, and just sounds good to my ear. Definitely a keeper.

So the question is, am I just expecting to much out of the KPK? Can a string change make this thing louder? I'm pretty sold on my Ohana...would an Ohana Mahogany Tenor be a better instrument for me if KPK is just seeming to quiet and warm sounding? Starting to question if I even want a tenor as the soprano is getting a ton of attention! Thanks for any input/advice:)

11-06-2015, 09:34 AM
They are very different ukes. I don't have a KPK but those I've heard (as well as other all solid acacia ukes) are too warm/mellow/quiet for my taste. Fine ukes, just not what I personally wanted.

The question is, what sound do you want? If you want bright and loud, and maybe a tenor, you might consider something with a spruce top. I have a cedar top myself, but you already have a cedar top guitar. Keep in mind that sometimes but not always, the sound mellows as body size increases. It's subjective and you really need to play them... My experience has been that a solid mahogany tenor had a warmer, more mellow sound than a solid spruce top with mahogany back/sides. If you want bright and loud, try spruce/rosewood, though I can't think of one in a relatively affordable price range. Hopefully others will chime in.

FTR those of us who can't go out and try in person end up with the 20 ukes in 20 months path sometimes... Just to determine what we really want. Or some just do it for fun, but I found it more frustrating than anything. :o

Good luck!