View Full Version : Kanile'a and I not gelling

09-25-2017, 08:08 PM
Hi everyone,

I have a beautiful Kanile'a all solid koa slot head concert but we don't seem to be getting on. I've changed the strings and keep persevering but it and I just don't seem to mesh.

I'm interested to know if anyone else has had this problem or found the kanile'a slot head not immediately "wow"? I'm not sure what it is, I just haven't found this as playable as my other ukuleles. It sounds lovely and when other people have played it they were impressed (although I had a bit of a moment when I restrung it so that the tuning pegs turn in different directions...it was late!)

Might need to sell if it continues.

09-25-2017, 10:14 PM
I can't speak specifically for a Kanilea slotted headstock, but a slotted headstock have an increased break angle at the nut. Legend has it that the sharper break angle and additional headstock weight adds to the tone and sustain. The sharper angle also increases the stiffness/perceived tension of the strings due to more downward pressure on the nut. Whether or not this a enough to effect playability is up to each person.

I will say that different ukuleles with the same strings, scale length, and setup (string height) do not always have the same feel. One uke may feel effortless to play while another just feels like more work.


Edit added: Changed headset to headstock.

09-26-2017, 05:14 AM
Try some Living Water strings, I struggled with finding strings with a sound and feel I liked, for mine when I first got it, finally put some Living Waters on it and haven't looked back since.

09-26-2017, 07:48 AM
or try PhD strings

09-26-2017, 08:00 AM
I had a different experience with a Kanile'a Super Tenor I had. I never jelled with it either, even though it was beautiful and great to play. One day I changed it from a high G set of strings to a low G, and it completely changed the complexion of the sound. So I would definitely try out some other strings in your shoes.

09-26-2017, 08:04 AM
I have some slotted heads and regular. Both in concert size and tenor. I am not a big fan of the slotted head. For me, the extra weight on the end makes it harder to play, esp with the tenor when I am mostly a concert size player. I will only buy the regular now. Unless you throw me a really really good price... Then I will probably break down and definitely have to buy it...:D

09-26-2017, 09:10 AM
So what exactly is your problem: sound or playability? There are some good answers above as to why a slotted headstock may have an effect on both sound and playability, but are you sure your problem is caused by the slotted headstock? Or is it rather the specific voice or build of Kanilea? Kanilea has a wider nut/neck than what is standard, so perhaps this makes it harder for you to fret (or harder to adjust, coming from another uke)? If it is the voice you don't like, then keep trying different string sets/brands.

09-26-2017, 10:31 AM
I think it's the sound... But I played it today and I think it's getting better. So probably also a bit of the playability of it but I think that might be getting better as I play it more and adjust. Some great things for me to try, thanks everyone! Will definitely try some of the strings suggested. And give it a little while longer for us to become friends!

09-26-2017, 01:44 PM
A friend of mine bought a Martin bluegrass guitar with a fat wide neck. At first he found it to be a tough transition, but once he fit used to it, it turned out to be the best choice for him. I have a chunky, almost baseball bat, neck on one ukulele. Just didn't care for it and almost got rid of it. Today it is one of my favorites.


09-27-2017, 02:56 AM
+ 1 on the Living Water strings. So far I've had them rescue three ukes that i thought were major mistakes, although a Kanile'a was not among them. It's worth a shot.

09-27-2017, 09:18 AM
+1 more on Living Water strings! Oasis Brights and Worth Clears also sound really good on my K-brand Koa ukes. :cool: