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View Full Version : Maybe a KLOS carbon fiber ukulele in the works?



besley
12-04-2017, 05:06 PM
There is a carbon fiber travel guitar made by a company called KLOS. It's a pretty neat and affordable option too. Well the company has a Ukulele page where they have posted:

"We listen......to what our customers want. If enough people express interest in a ukulele, then we'll begin prototyping and developing a carbon fiber ukulele to meet your needs!"

So, if you have any interest, stop by their web site and let them know.

https://www.klosguitars.com/ukulele

besley
12-31-2017, 03:26 PM
I just got an end of the year email from Klos Guitars, in which they mention "Looking forward to 2018, we have the carbon fiber ukulele coming out in late March". Considering that their base model carbon fiber travel guitar sells for $600, I'm hoping that their carbon fiber uke will sell for a similar price. Should be interesting.

DownUpDave
01-01-2018, 03:27 AM
I just got an end of the year email from Klos Guitars, in which they mention "Looking forward to 2018, we have the carbon fiber ukulele coming out in late March". Considering that their base model carbon fiber travel guitar sells for $600, I'm hoping that their carbon fiber uke will sell for a similar price. Should be interesting.

Hey Besley thanks so much for sharing this. I signed up to show my interest in a ukulele. If any other members are interested they are should sign up as well, obviously there is no obligation. As a point of interest click on the guitar header and watch the youtube review done by Tony Policastro. He is a high respected guitar player and reviewer, I have watched tons of his reviews and he tells it like it is. He liked it

besley
01-01-2018, 04:44 AM
I still don't know what size they're considering, but I sure hope it's a tenor. And based on their carbon fiber guitars I'm pretty sure the neck and fretboard will probably still be wood.

jer
01-01-2018, 07:16 AM
I still don't know what size they're considering, but I sure hope it's a tenor. And based on their carbon fiber guitars I'm pretty sure the neck and fretboard will probably still be wood.
To me, that would be a deal breaker. If I'm buying carbon fiber, I want the whole instrument to be carbon fiber. I've played on quite a few carbon fiber guitars over the years (Emerald, CA, Rainsong) and one of the original carbon fiber Blackbird tenors (I got to play on the road trip one that Michael had at MacNichol). The main reason for having one for me would be less maintenance and worry over humidity and temperature issues, durability in general. Emerald was my favorite design, by far, with the molded in bridge and overall comfort. Alistair's harp uke is surely more involved than a standard uke. It's interesting he has that in the lineup and not a regular uke. It seems a regular uke would sell more.
That reminds me, the only exception to what I said above would be Emerald's wood veneer bonded with fiber tops that are just as durable apparently. I really like the look of those.

It'd make more sense to me if Klos did something with the wood like Orca is doing:
http://www.orcaukuleles.com/
Edit: Looks like he's considering carbon fiber in the necks now too...I missed that when I first skimmed the page.

All that said, I can be perfectly happy with the Outdoor Ukulele at a fraction of the cost. That's just me though. I know there is definitely a market for expensive carbon fiber instruments...I used to be an occasional buyer in that market myself.

Patrick Madsen
01-01-2018, 08:08 AM
I'm thinking of buying a Carbon Fibre guitar by Composite. It's a few years old and the owner bought years ago when they were like 800.00. He's going to Hawaii in Feb and will give me first crack at it when he gets back. Has anyone played a guitar from Composite? He's a luthier and has set it up really nice.

besley
01-01-2018, 09:26 AM
To me, that would be a deal breaker. If I'm buying carbon fiber, I want the whole instrument to be carbon fiber. I've played on quite a few carbon fiber guitars over the years (Emerald, CA, Rainsong) and one of the original carbon fiber Blackbird tenors (I got to play on the road trip one that Michael had at MacNichol). The main reason for having one for me would be less maintenance and worry over humidity and temperature issues, durability in general. Emerald was my favorite design, by far, with the molded in bridge and overall comfort. Alistair's harp uke is surely more involved than a standard uke. It's interesting he has that in the lineup and not a regular uke. It seems a regular uke would sell more.
That reminds me, the only exception to what I said above would be Emerald's wood veneer bonded with fiber tops that are just as durable apparently. I really like the look of those.

It'd make more sense to me if Klos did something with the wood like Orca is doing:
http://www.orcaukuleles.com/
Edit: Looks like he's considering carbon fiber in the necks now too...I missed that when I first skimmed the page.

All that said, I can be perfectly happy with the Outdoor Ukulele at a fraction of the cost. That's just me though. I know there is definitely a market for expensive carbon fiber instruments...I used to be an occasional buyer in that market myself.

Well I hear you, and I agree all carbon fiber is the way to go. But I also think there's value to being able to develop it at such a low price as they currently do with their CF guitar that has a CF body but a traditional wood neck. I enjoy the worry free aspect of all carbon, but if the price is right I'm willing to make an exception for the neck, as it's easy to handle the effects of low humidity on the fret ends.

besley
01-01-2018, 09:31 AM
I'm thinking of buying a Carbon Fibre guitar by Composite. It's a few years old and the owner bought years ago when they were like 800.00. He's going to Hawaii in Feb and will give me first crack at it when he gets back. Has anyone played a guitar from Composite? He's a luthier and has set it up really nice.

You probably mean Composite Acoustics, also known as CA, formerly on its own, now bought out by Peavey. You should head over to the carbon fiber forum at the Acoustics Guitar site and ask the question there. But of course, they will want to know which model it is, and to see pictures and so forth. At that price it sounds as if it was the Cargo model, which is a really great guitar, IF you like the 22.75" scale length that is.

http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48

Alytw
01-01-2018, 12:04 PM
I tried a CA parlor a few times. It was pretty good, much better than i expected.

Adam

Choirguy
01-01-2018, 12:20 PM
This popped up into my feed today. Maybe the ukulele version would make a better replacement for an iron.

https://youtu.be/4bCmBki6TsU

M3Ukulele
01-01-2018, 12:40 PM
I’m all for experimentation. I’m ok with carbon fibre and wood. A neck and fretboard in wood would be easy to humidified. It’s all about feel and sound. Price point would be great just like Orca I think Farallon is well priced for what you get. More ukuleles, yes please . More innovation, yes what not. I signed up to support the ukulele. Cool add choirguy.

besley
01-01-2018, 03:41 PM
This popped up into my feed today. Maybe the ukulele version would make a better replacement for an iron.

https://youtu.be/4bCmBki6TsU

I REALLY doubt that hitting golf balls with your musical instrument is the best way to get people to buy them. On the other hand, the founder of Composite Acoustics used to demonstrate the durability of his guitars by laying one on the floor and standing on it (with the top down). I own one of those (a GX), and it does indeed feel like a tank. If I hit something with it like a door jam, the door jam looses.

besley
01-01-2018, 03:48 PM
Black is a colour that absorbs heat. I would like to see some cool white, or other non-energy absorbing colour, carbon fibre guitars which wont get hot in the sun.
Also canvas is a carbon fibre, rice paper is a carbon fibre, silk and polyester are carbon fibres. Is it possible to get some resin onto a low cost carbon fibre material to make hard rigid and tonally nice sheets to make musical instruments? Do we need to be paying a fortune for a licenced patented fabric that makes the instruments expensive to make? The news says it is cold in North America today, if you work with carbon fibre and are stuck indoors and are bored, maybe find an old polyester business shirt and a piece of canvas and a a piece of rice paper or cotton rag watercolour paper and dump it in some resin to see what happens. If you can use a fabric which is much cheaper and easier to get than Carbon Fibre, you may be able to make instruments at a lower price with more profit. I have made some panels with resin and rice paper which are rigid, I have no idea how strong they are.

Most carbon fiber instruments are black because that is the natural color. And part of the appeal to many is to see the carbon fiber. It also saves money, in that you don't even have to finish them, as the resin itself is a great finish just as it comes out of the mold. Though many are painted or given a fancy gloss coating. I've played my black GX carbon fiber guitar out in the sun, and yes, it does get too hot to touch in places.

As for using a different fiber, that's exactly what the Farallon tenor uke is made of. It's a composite instrument made of a linen and resin composite called Ekoa. Someday that might be as inexpensive as regular old fiberglass, but for now the small volume production of Ekoa keeps the price pretty high. That, and the fact that only Blackbird Guitars gets to use it.

besley
01-01-2018, 07:23 PM
Just heard back from Adam at KLOS marketing. Their carbon fiber uke will indeed be a tenor size.

jer
01-02-2018, 05:15 AM
Well I hear you, and I agree all carbon fiber is the way to go. But I also think there's value to being able to develop it at such a low price as they currently do with their CF guitar that has a CF body but a traditional wood neck. I enjoy the worry free aspect of all carbon, but if the price is right I'm willing to make an exception for the neck, as it's easy to handle the effects of low humidity on the fret ends.
Good points. I can definitely see where you're coming from there.


I'm thinking of buying a Carbon Fibre guitar by Composite. It's a few years old and the owner bought years ago when they were like 800.00. He's going to Hawaii in Feb and will give me first crack at it when he gets back. Has anyone played a guitar from Composite? He's a luthier and has set it up really nice.
I agree with Besley. That sounds like the Composite Acoustics, aka CA Guitars, Cargo 3/4 size (Best to make sure though as he could've gotten special pricing on another model or something). It is a really good instrument. It's the only one I remember ever being $800. They started them at $600 then jumped up to $800...but they still weren't turning that much of a profit when all was said and done apparently. The sound is way bigger than the size of the instrument. Out of the carbon fiber guitars, I'd say the CA are usually the warmest sounding. I've played on both the original CA and some Peavey made ones, and they were all good. To me, they seemed built more heavily and they had more weight to them...yet they still produced good sounds to my ears. Those Cargos go for about $1600 new now I think...


I think it was Bill who mentioned colors. There are painted carbon fiber guitars out there...even sunbursts. CA used to make some white guitars. Emerald will paint whatever color you want if you want to pay for custom paint. Some cover up the fiber completely and others are colored yet still expose the carbon fiber weave. I painted a carbon guitar I had years ago myself. It takes paint (at least the kind meant to bond to metal and plastic) quite well.

AlohaKine
01-02-2018, 02:30 PM
Sweet...

Hmm this reminds me of RainSong, maybe we can get them to make a carbon fiber Uke too... :)

besley
01-02-2018, 02:52 PM
…..Every natural fibre is made out of hydrocarbons, so cotton, linen, silk, wool are actually all carbon fibre materials. Polyesters and nylons are also carbon fibres. They can be printed and dyed all sorts of colours so that the weave is not the only decorative effect. Look at any fashion show to see the weave take a back seat to colours, prints and the cut of the cloth. And they can be spun and woven into very strong low cost fabrics. Polyesters and nylons in particular are also very low cost. If a company like KLOS wants to grab some big market share, when it makes a ukulele it could move out of the esoteric world of expensive CF and find a way to use the lower cost fabrics, with some nice decorations, to market a true outdoor rated uke at a price to compete with mid-range Kala and Ohana wooden ukes. If you read ukulele bulletin boards a holy grail for uke owners is to get a low cost uke that has a great sound, this is a strong market force. The experience with CITES and rosewood is already causing some buyers to be wary of various woods, the market might start to accept low cost alternative which sound good, they have to sound good.

Well it’s a little more complicated than that. The properties of a composite depend on both the resin and the fiber. Carbon fiber composites work as well as they do because the carbon fibers are so strong themselves that a very thin layer provides great strength. So you can build a panel that is strong enough to support the instrument, but thin enough to still resonate. If you could achieve the same thing with polyester or cotton composites I’m pretty sure Rainsong would have tried it by now.

And not to get too pedantic about it, but while natural fibers all contain the element carbon, none of them are hydrocarbons. And a fiber containing carbon is not the same as carbon fiber.

Croaky Keith
01-03-2018, 12:45 AM
Just heard back from Adam at KLOS marketing. Their carbon fiber uke will indeed be a tenor size.

That's just plain bad news.........

........that's my scale.......

...&, I'd just got over my UAS......

.....must resist.....

.....perhaps it will be just too expensive.....

.....especially by the time it gets to the UK. :biglaugh:

besley
01-03-2018, 03:27 AM
That's just plain bad news.........

........that's my scale.......

...&, I'd just got over my UAS......

.....must resist.....

.....perhaps it will be just too expensive.....

.....especially by the time it gets to the UK. :biglaugh:

Don't forget that there's supposed to be a carbon fiber tenor coming from Orca too!

http://www.orcaukuleles.com/

http://www.orcaukuleles.com/orca1_3.JPG

sunshiNee
01-25-2018, 06:31 AM
Orca sound sample was posted in 2015 on the website? It's been two years so maybe we shouldn't hold our breathe for it?

I'm hoping the Klos Uke pans out. I would love to have a carbon fiber Uke under $500 considering the Klos guitar is $599...

Iulia
01-25-2018, 07:07 AM
That's really funny, I was just thinking this morning I wonder if they make outdoor guitars like the plastic ukes ;) and there we go, answer supplied

besley
01-25-2018, 08:26 AM
Orca sound sample was posted in 2015 on the website? It's been two years so maybe we shouldn't hold our breathe for it?

I'm hoping the Klos Uke pans out. I would love to have a carbon fiber Uke under $500 considering the Klos guitar is $599...

I'm hoping for the same thing. I think a $500 carbon fiber tenor uke (admittedly with a wood neck) could be a big seller.

lifereinspired
02-19-2018, 10:55 AM
That's really funny, I was just thinking this morning I wonder if they make outdoor guitars like the plastic ukes ;) and there we go, answer supplied

Maybe you already saw this but Outdoor Ukulele is actually working on their new Outdoor Guitar. Sounds like they are planning to release it this year. They even have some prototype scemetic/blueprints on the Facebook pages (for both OU & their new Outdoor Guitar pages). They should be really durable. :)

Iulia
02-19-2018, 09:36 PM
No I hadn't - that'll be one to watch out for for sure :D

sunshiNee
02-20-2018, 01:07 AM
Klos has posted a pic of the Uke!! only a couple more months they say. I think I will order one when available! Pricing should be less than the guitar for sure.

https://klosguitars.com/pages/ukulele



https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2547/8010/files/Uke_Front_Angle_Full_Gradient_bc0642ce-0815-4320-8ce3-b227e845957f_1000x.jpg

bsfloyd
02-20-2018, 01:37 AM
^^ very nice!! Curious what pricing will be....

DownUpDave
02-20-2018, 05:30 AM
I'm hoping for the same thing. I think a $500 carbon fiber tenor uke (admittedly with a wood neck) could be a big seller.

Besley I just wanted to say thank you for starting this thread. I had signed up as an interested party when you mentioned it. I received notification this morning about the upcoming release. I asked if a radius fretboard will be available and am awaiting a reply. That will be the only deal breaker for me if it is not available but thanks again for informing us of this company

besley
02-20-2018, 06:35 AM
Besley I just wanted to say thank you for starting this thread. I had signed up as an interested party when you mentioned it. I received notification this morning about the upcoming release. I asked if a radius fretboard will be available and am awaiting a reply. That will be the only deal breaker for me if it is not available but thanks again for informing us of this company

I hadn't thought to ask about a radius on the neck, but I did get this in reply just today. I encouraged them to make strap buttons available.

"We're thinking we will make strap buttons an optional upgrade since many leisure players do not play uke with the strap pins.......mahogany neck and blackwood fretboard and bridge. Nut width is 1 3/8"..."

DownUpDave
02-20-2018, 06:50 AM
I hadn't thought to ask about a radius on the neck, but I did get this in reply just today. I encouraged them to make strap buttons available.

"We're thinking we will make strap buttons an optional upgrade since many leisure players do not play uke with the strap pins.......mahogany neck and blackwood fretboard and bridge. Nut width is 1 3/8"..."

I just got a reply from Adam informing me that they are introducing this with a flat fretboard only at this time. Very quick and thoughtful reply from this compnay. I told him of UU and your thread. Good call on the strap buttons as I am a devoted strap user.

sunshiNee
02-26-2018, 12:50 AM
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/klos-carbon-fiber-ukulele-world-s-best-ukulele-guitar/coming_soon/pies#/

The indiegogo page where you can buy early and get a 23% discount. There is also a video of Jake playing the ukulele... to be honest I'm not really impressed by the sound. May need to think about buying it now......

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQqXohopsvE

besley
02-26-2018, 09:15 AM
Well I decided to pull the trigger and order one on the early bird discount of $419. The receipt said I was order #11.

Choirguy
02-26-2018, 11:43 AM
What is the ETA?

kvehe
02-26-2018, 01:11 PM
Some time in June. (LOL September? Sorry. I’m still waiting for something that was supposed to be available in mid-December).

besley
03-12-2018, 07:53 AM
Just received an update on the KLOS uke, with more details.

https://c1.iggcdn.com/indiegogo-media-prod-cld/image/upload/c_limit,w_695/v1520406521/jy16vsnxwwzsuwl52e4s.jpg

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/klos-carbon-fiber-ukulele-world-s-best-ukulele-guitar?utm_source=KLOS+Guitars+Newsletter&utm_campaign=9c25dbc7f9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_03_10&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a77f67eea1-9c25dbc7f9-249056021&mc_cid=9c25dbc7f9&mc_eid=ae7e05edb1#/


There is also a video in which they show the body of the uke surviving having a cinder block dropped on it, and even having a car drive over it. Not sure I agree with that as a marketing focus, but we'll see.

https://youtu.be/jf_EYNfEM3k

lifereinspired
03-13-2018, 07:30 AM
Klos just added several more sound samples of their new uke as well as a review on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2VIZcRfnLIOxsfnOPVvo-Q. I also found out that this uke will be available with Low-G. Klos will be doing a survey after the campaign closes offering a few options (including the Low-G, strap buttons, & I believe the carbon fiber stiffening rods). FWIW, they plan to specifically file the nut on the folks' ukes that will want Low-G so that it will properly hold the string. Nice attention to detail. :)

besley
03-13-2018, 05:40 PM
........I would be more interested if it was built to cut down absorption of sunlight so it wont get boiling hot in summer, and if it was all non-wood that wont warp when it gets hot. But the market for the product is North America, so I don't expect to see any versions which are made for any other parts of the planet.

I certainly agree that it would be nice if the KLOS were all carbon fiber, not a CF-wood hybrid. But if it were it would be closer to $1500 than $420, so I don't mind the compromise. As to the color, that too would be nice in white. But that again would add cost at a time when they are certainly trying to keep the price down.

cyber3d
04-02-2018, 06:56 PM
Well, damn it. UAS strikes again. I just ordered the Klos Tenor deluxe acoustic electric. I keep telling myself, "you're not good enough a player to keep buying more ukes" Of course that does no good when you have UAS! LOL.

Ctmpwrdcamry
04-09-2018, 05:12 AM
So who is looking at adding any of the options to their Klos? This will be my first Tenor size and I currently do not have strap bottons on my concert or soprano. I was also curious what everyone was thinking about the stiffing rods for the neck.

Sean

besley
04-09-2018, 06:44 AM
I would suggest going with strap pins on a tenor size. If you don't feel you need them they won't really be in the way - but if you do, they would be a bit harder to add later than as with a wood guitar. That's because they need to be through bolted, not just screwed in. (Just about everyone in my club who plays a tenor uses a strap.) As for the stiffening rods, it's probably unnecessary, but I plan to add them just because it seems as if it would help make the uke a bit more rugged, and could help make up for the neck being wood a bit - especially since there isn't a truss rod. I'm still a bit confused about just when we add the upgrade options, but I was told in an email that it would be after the campaign had ended.

lifereinspired
04-09-2018, 07:50 AM
So who is looking at adding any of the options to their Klos? This will be my first Tenor size and I currently do not have strap bottons on my concert or soprano. I was also curious what everyone was thinking about the stiffing rods for the neck.

Sean


I would suggest going with strap pins on a tenor size. If you don't feel you need them they won't really be in the way - but if you do, they would be a bit harder to add later than as with a wood guitar. That's because they need to be through bolted, not just screwed in. (Just about everyone in my club who plays a tenor uses a strap.) As for the stiffening rods, it's probably unnecessary, but I plan to add them just because it seems as if it would help make the uke a bit more rugged, and could help make up for the neck being wood a bit - especially since there isn't a truss rod. I'm still a bit confused about just when we add the upgrade options, but I was told in an email that it would be after the campaign had ended.

Yep, what @besley said. I would definitely recommend the strap buttons for the same reasons (not in the way and much harder to add afterwards) and I'm also considering the stiffening rods. It's probably fine without but since I've invested in the unit, I might as well be sure it's a durable as possible. I don't want to wish I had done that later on. ;) Plus, I'm not planning to add a bunch of other ukes to my stash so I want to make sure it's as durable as I can (I know, UAS is definitely REAL! But I'm planning to resist...).

besley
04-09-2018, 07:59 AM
I've also learned that we'll be able to specify low G once the campaign is over.

Ctmpwrdcamry
04-09-2018, 09:44 AM
Yep, what @besley said. I would definitely recommend the strap buttons for the same reasons (not in the way and much harder to add afterwards) and I'm also considering the stiffening rods. It's probably fine without but since I've invested in the unit, I might as well be sure it's a durable as possible. I don't want to wish I had done that later on. ;) Plus, I'm not planning to add a bunch of other ukes to my stash so I want to make sure it's as durable as I can (I know, UAS is definitely REAL! But I'm planning to resist...).

Glad I am not the only one who is thinking "Ive got this much invested...."

I think I will follow the lead you two have set and also upgrade these two parts. I thought about low G, but dont think I want to go that way now. That would be an easier change to make later than strap button or stiffening rods.

Now lets just hope that is not a ton more.

cyber3d
04-09-2018, 11:29 AM
I'm not so sure about needing a strap on this thing. CF is so lightweight and these ukes weigh in at 1.4lbs to 1.8lbs and the size of a tenor body makes it easy to hold or rest on your thigh if you are sitting. I would also think, being CF, squeezing it with your forearm to hold it won't affect the sound very much.
Thoughts?

Now, I admit to having 3M Command strip hooks on my ukes (no strap buttons) and occasionally use a strap if I am standing.

cyber3d
04-10-2018, 08:01 AM
If you guys are ordering the Klos. What strings are you going to try? Like any uke, the strings will have a big effect on the sound. I'm thinking a good match would be Romero set with a wound low G or a Worth brown low-G set.