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View Full Version : New Long-neck Soprano Sound banjoey!!!! Should I return it??



GldnGrk88
12-07-2015, 02:36 PM
Hi everyone,
I just bought a new Koa Pili Koko solid acacia long-neck Soprano. I realized right away that it was a lot thinner and twangier than I expexted. I have a week to decide if I want to return it.

My girlfriend owns the same size Kala (laminated koa) and it sounds great.

I'm a beginner, I only owns a plastic soprano before this. I'm a classical viola player so I'm a little picky with my ears and what sound I like, but maybe I would be happier with a concert or a tenor?

Nick

Jon Moody
12-07-2015, 03:27 PM
You can't be too picky; you play viola...! I kid, I kid...

Seriously, if the sound is not to your liking and its within the return timeframe, send it back. If your girlfriends ukulele also a longneck soprano, or just a regular scale? If you like hers, I'd return the one you just got and either get one like hers, or that has similar woods in a different brand.

ukuleleden
12-07-2015, 03:50 PM
I will echo Jon's advice, return it if it isn't to your liking. The Kala SLNG and SSLNG are quite nice and for a decent price each respectively. I haven't had the chance to try the laminate Koa, however, and that one is priced much higher so I would be more apt to go for the Solid top version that goes for about $149.00. If you're set on a long neck soprano. But your complaint harbored on thinness, so maybe you should be looking at concert bodies that can provide a bigger tone since you're already sold on a concert scale neck...?

PhilUSAFRet
12-07-2015, 04:19 PM
Trade it in for the concert size, doubt you'd be disappointed. I have the long neck soprano pineapple and although it sounds decent, can't hold a candle to my concert size.

Jim Hanks
12-07-2015, 04:44 PM
Interesting. I also have a KPK SLN and I would not describe it as thin or twangy at all. I also had a Kala SLNG and liked it but sold it when I got the KPK as I liked the KPK better. What strings are on it? I did get mine with a low G string so that might be part of it but the others are Worth Clears I think and again, not banjoey at all. If you like the uke otherwise (playability and feel for example), it might be worth trying something like Worth Browns on it. Of course that would be extra money and might go behind your return window.

Ukulele Eddie
12-07-2015, 06:40 PM
I agree with Jim that changing strings can make a huge difference if you otherwise are happy with the feel and looks. However, in most cases as far as I know, changing strings would effectively void your return option (you could, of course, replace identical strings to what were on there when you got it if it didn't change your opinion, but...). There's always a risk of leaving some small mark when changing strings, so proceed with caution.

Kayak Jim
12-08-2015, 03:39 AM
Another +1 for the string change.

I have a long neck Mainland cedar top soprano that came with Aquilas. Now I'm not a big fan of them but they make this uke sound "twangy and banjo like" which makes a nice contrast from my other instruments in koa and mahogany with fluorocarbon strings. So I'm sticking with them.

In your case I can't imagine swapping a solid wood uke for a laminate and expecting the sound to be fuller.

UkerDanno
12-08-2015, 04:17 AM
it might be worth trying something like Worth Browns on it.

+1...Worth Browns will mellow it out, Fremont blacklines will too...

In about the same price range, and for a fuller sound, I would suggest an Islander concert in your choice of mahogany or acacia, I've had both and they sound great!

GldnGrk88
12-08-2015, 05:32 AM
I really like this brand and how beautiful they are---could I solve the issue and stay with KPK? Maybe this is trait of all longneck sopranos?

I'm thinking of either returning it and getting another longneck soprano to see if this was a dud, or just getting a concert.

My gf has a kala KA-SLNG koa longneck soprano. It sounds great but it's way more expensive, and it's not as good-looking as KPK for me.

Any thoughts? This is really bugging me!

Thanks for all the help

RichM
12-08-2015, 05:47 AM
I really like this brand and how beautiful they are---could I solve the issue and stay with KPK? Maybe this is trait of all longneck sopranos?

I'm thinking of either returning it and getting another longneck soprano to see if this was a dud, or just getting a concert.

My gf has a kala KA-SLNG koa longneck soprano. It sounds great but it's way more expensive, and it's not as good-looking as KPK for me.

Any thoughts? This is really bugging me!

Thanks for all the help

Definitely not a trait of longneck sopranos. You may simply not like the tone of this brand, and sure, there's always the possibility that you got a dud.

Dumb question, but I'll ask anyway: Are you certain it's tuned to pitch?

jollyboy
12-08-2015, 06:11 AM
Stuff I would consider doing (based on your reasons for not being entirely happy with the instrument, ie "sounds thin and twangy")...

1. Exchange it for either a pineapple long-neck or a concert. That should help to fatten up the sound.

2. Try a low-g string. Buy one that is available as a single (eg Fremont soloist - which is compatible with concert scale) and carefully remove the existing g string so that you can put it back on if needs be.

3. Fit a bone saddle. Looks like this model comes with a rosewood saddle as standard right? It also appears that a bone saddle is available as an upgrade if you are buying straight from source. Otherwise easily found on eBay. A bone saddle has the potential to improve both projection and sustain.

4. Swap the other three strings over to fluorocarbon. IMHO fl strings tend to sound rounder and fuller than other types.

Jim Hanks
12-08-2015, 04:03 PM
I really like this brand and how beautiful they are---could I solve the issue and stay with KPK? Maybe this is trait of all longneck soprano.

I think it is probably solvable. If you're sure it isn't tuned too high, your only real recourse is to try new strings. Worth Browns are probably your best bet, maybe Southcoast SLMU.

Another thing you can try. If you have any way to record the KPK and the Kala and post the results, some of us could compare with our KPKs and maybe tell if you have a "dud" or typical for the brand. Doesn't have to be fancy - even a voice memo on your phone would probably tell us something.

PereBourik
12-08-2015, 04:24 PM
I really like this brand and how beautiful they are---could I solve the issue and stay with KPK? Maybe this is trait of all longneck sopranos?

I'm thinking of either returning it and getting another longneck soprano to see if this was a dud, or just getting a concert.

My gf has a kala KA-SLNG koa longneck soprano. It sounds great but it's way more expensive, and it's not as good-looking as KPK for me.

Any thoughts? This is really bugging me!

Thanks for all the help

I'm sorry, I can't support keeping your KPK; send it back. I have a KPK longneck pineapple that just isn't ever going to sound good. If you are a musician who already has a trained ear, find an instrument that sounds good to you from the beginning. Play it. Love it.

GldnGrk88
12-10-2015, 11:28 AM
Here's a video I made of the issue. Please forgive the crappy playing I was in a rush and randomly looking for chords that most clearly showed the issue!


http://youtu.be/qFbhhgZ2vXQ

Peace Train
12-10-2015, 01:03 PM
I hear and see what you're saying, mostly at the beginning of the video. It's possible a string change would cure it, but call KPK first and make sure you're able to return after a string change.

Jim Hanks
12-10-2015, 01:22 PM
Hmm, I'm only listening over my iPad speaker at the moment but that almost sounds like some kind of buzz. Could there be a loose fret or string end or something. Do you hear it on all strings (played one at a time) or only certain ones? do you only get playing fairly hard like the video or also when playing softly?

GldnGrk88
12-11-2015, 05:22 AM
Thank you all for your sage advice. To answer a few questions, yes it does make this sound when I'm playing soft too. I tried to take the strong off half way and put it back on, and it got worse.

So maybe a more upscale instrument may take away the being tortured by small imperfections in sound. (Either that, or a KPK concert might sound better?)

I got my girlfriend a Kala KA-SLNG laminated koa soprano long-neck, and though I haven't been near it in while, I remember it sound pretty good with no issues. ---however I'm less in love with the factory-made look. KPK Has the look and even smell of something that was varnished by hand before it was shipped.

Can anyone recommend something that is both beautiful looking and sounding that's in the 200-250 price range? Concert or long neck soprano

Thank you all again for the advice!

GldnGrk88
12-11-2015, 05:25 AM
Not really a buzz--the Best way I can describe it is--it sounds exactly like an Indian sitar "twang!"

jollyboy
12-11-2015, 07:10 AM
Can anyone recommend something that is both beautiful looking and sounding that's in the 200-250 price range? Concert or long neck soprano

Mainland ukes (http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/category.sc?categoryId=3) seems like an obvious recommendation. Their Red Cedar Long neck Pineapple is quite a looker.

cpmusic
12-11-2015, 07:25 AM
Here's a video I made of the issue. Please forgive the crappy playing I was in a rush and randomly looking for chords that most clearly showed the issue!


http://youtu.be/qFbhhgZ2vXQ

I hear the sound you described in the OP, and I agree that it's not pleasant. I get a nicer tone from all three of my long-necks, and they're all inexpensive laminated ukes.

One thing that occurs to me is whether the saddle is seated firmly and evenly in the bridge. If not, it would tend to make the tone thinner than it would be if the saddle were seated properly.

However, very few examples of any given instrument are consistent from one to the next, and it's possible that you got one that's not quite up to snuff. If I were you, I'd return the uke and get something that sounds good to me from the start.

Jim Hanks
12-11-2015, 11:33 AM
Kinda starting to agree with the "just return it" idea. Did you buy it direct from Jason? It might be worth sending that video to him and see if he has any insight. Something is not right.

ukuleleden
12-11-2015, 11:30 PM
My vote stands for "Send it back".