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deachforpresident
03-31-2009, 03:15 PM
i am thinking about buying a koaloha from 2003. i was just wondering if there are there any major sound or physical differences with a koaloha from today versus the one from 2003?

thanks
brad

Ahnko Honu
03-31-2009, 04:04 PM
i am thinking about buying a koaloha from 2003. i was just wondering if there are there any major sound or physical differences with a koaloha from today versus the one from 2003?

thanks
brad

Solid wood Ukuleles get to sound better with age all other things aside. ;)

deachforpresident
03-31-2009, 04:10 PM
what about the tuners. the one that i am about to buy has the old white geared tuners and the new ones have a brownish color...are there any big differences? personally i think the white ones are more attractive and cool

GX9901
03-31-2009, 04:45 PM
An older KoAloha is more likely to have a one-piece top & back, as they are running out of boards wide enough to build one-piece top ukes now.

As for the tuners, what size ukulele are you looking at? Their sopranos and concerts used to have white tuners are Schaller tuners. Those have a big screw in the middle of the button and are friction tuners. A lot of people have complained about them being difficult to use and KoAloha switched them to the brown-ish Grovers (I think) in the last year or so. I haven't personally tried one with the Schaller tuners, but I'm guessing they are not a deal breaker. Older KoAlohas should be great sounding ukes.

deachforpresident
03-31-2009, 04:51 PM
i was thinking about getting a 2003 soprano. are the tuners really that bad? i thought they were kinda cool looking. please tell me if you think this is a good product to buy

experimentjon
03-31-2009, 05:01 PM
I have a KoAloha soprano from 2001. The tuners are fine. I've tried the new tuners on the current koaloha soprano. They do the job about equally well. My amatuer skills cannot tell the difference. The one piece top and back are cool features. But what's really cool is that it also has a one piece sides.

My main problem with it is that the action is considerably higher on my older one than on a Kamaka soprano. The saddle is not made out of nubone or whatever white material they use for them now, but is black and I think it's wood. Don't have it with me now, so I'm not sure. But that makes the action pretty high. And I don't really want to change it out for a new saddle since they don't make them like that anymore.

Still a good uke though.

deachforpresident
03-31-2009, 05:04 PM
would i be able to lower the action by sanding it?

HoldinCoffee
03-31-2009, 05:22 PM
changing out nuts and saddles is the easiest thing in the world and a pretty useful skill when buying from pawn-shops, antique stores, and ebay. Frets.com has in-depth descriptions of most of the procedures that are typically performed on string instruments.

But KoAloha makes some of the finest ukuleles in the universe so nine times out of ten, you're probably not gonna have to do much in terms of changing nuts, saddles and tuners. If you've found one at a good price and it sounds good, even if it has a bullet hole and a family of mice living inside, BUY IT!

Congrats on your new KoAloha!

Regster
03-31-2009, 05:31 PM
would i be able to lower the action by sanding it?

i have a koaloha 2003 that i just got today from the guitar shop. They lowered the action, i was going to do it myself but too scared to hurt my fav uke, but yeh i think you can do it yourself just becareful though.

the tuners are good for me so i have no complain.

the sound, i like the sound but i haven't compared it to the newer koaloha of today, i think the koaloha ukes is one of the best uke out there.

deachforpresident
03-31-2009, 05:33 PM
thanks for the help! when you play it alongside the other koalohas, will you tell me how it sounds?

experimentjon
03-31-2009, 07:43 PM
My only other KoAloha is a "current generation" SuperConcert from 2007 or 2008...I don't remember, and don't have it with me in the dorms either. But the comparison is sort of like apples and oranges. (or however that saying goes...I'm so braindead now.) But the super concert with the unibrace sounds way better to me than my older KoAloha soprano. It's louder, richer, and fuller. The soprano sounds more small and twangy. Of course, that's also because I dont really like the sound of sopranos in general.

But still, compared to some other sopranos, like the Applause soprano, two different Tangis, and a current generation Kamaka, it's pretty good, but not as good as the Kamaka. Still, I have been impressed with the current generation KoAloha soprano, and the older KoAloha soprano isn't bad at all either (minus that action problem which is just my fault because I don't want to fix it.)

koalohapaul
03-31-2009, 08:41 PM
Jon, bring your uke by the shop and we can adjust the action for you. Your standard has an ebony nut and saddle, before we switched to Tusq.

The year the ukulele was built will definitely have some tonal differences. Our sound has been refined over time, and the current models are not as loud as the frontier generations, but they are a little fuller.

As far as structural and aesthetic changes, we had the same format from 1995-1998. I believe we revamped our production process in 1999, altering the body shapes and sizes. We also did an oval hole for about two months, before we arrived at the musubi. This came later, about 2001.

We started unibracing about 2001, as well, if I can remember correctly.

Mahogany necks came in 2003. Before that, everything was made from koa.

As far as the book matching of sides and tops/backs, we started with the sides in '01, I think. Wide quartersawn lumber became really hard to find around '04 and we had a 25/75 book matched to one piece split at first. It slowly went to 50/50 and gradually decreased to the point where one piece tops and backs are now a rarity. If a board comes in, I'll make some one piece, but those days are very few and far between.

While it's my family's business to make them, I'm not the best historian, so my dates may be a little off.

Lanark
04-01-2009, 03:34 AM
I've got an April 2000 concert. (which I gather from Koalohapaul's post makes it a transitional instrument) It's got the white tuners, a round soundhole and one piece top and back. It sounds perfectly wonderful and is my weapon of choice for the Uke Orchestra since it pushes out that little bit of extra volume. Whoever had it previously set it up perfectly. Plays like butter.

Sukie's got a 2008 concert and I don't find it to be much different playing/soundwise beyond the subtle differences between individual instruments and string choices whenever I've played hers.

dominicfoundthemooon
04-01-2009, 04:32 AM
Jon, bring your uke by the shop and we can adjust the action for you. Your standard has an ebony nut and saddle, before we switched to Tusq.

The year the ukulele was built will definitely have some tonal differences. Our sound has been refined over time, and the current models are not as loud as the frontier generations, but they are a little fuller.

As far as structural and aesthetic changes, we had the same format from 1995-1998. I believe we revamped our production process in 1999, altering the body shapes and sizes. We also did an oval hole for about two months, before we arrived at the musubi. This came later, about 2001.

We started unibracing about 2001, as well, if I can remember correctly.

Mahogany necks came in 2003. Before that, everything was made from koa.

As far as the book matching of sides and tops/backs, we started with the sides in '01, I think. Wide quartersawn lumber became really hard to find around '04 and we had a 25/75 book matched to one piece split at first. It slowly went to 50/50 and gradually decreased to the point where one piece tops and backs are now a rarity. If a board comes in, I'll make some one piece, but those days are very few and far between.

While it's my family's business to make them, I'm not the best historian, so my dates may be a little off.


thank you paul for posting this info.. i have book marked it so i can use when dif years come up for sale.. my 2007 concert is LOUD and FULL.. so i wonder how much louder ones could be! i am anxiously awaiting my tennor!

peace and love