View Full Version : Leho Ukulele and Koa wood/company

05-07-2018, 09:42 PM
In addition to my other thread about which tenor ukulele company is best or preferred, I have two new question.

I would like to know your opinions and suggestions on Leho Ukulele's. Are they good, bad, average? They can be purchased on line in country in Thailand which should remove the customs and shipping problems.

Also, I see many ukulele's listed as Koa on the internet with no reference to what company makes them. Is Koa a company name? Or, are they made of koa wood by a company with a different name? I know koa is a wood from Hawaii and considered one of the best.

Thank you, johnny

05-08-2018, 01:52 AM
Koa is a species of tree that grows exclusively on Hawaii. It's in the acacia family, and many ukes list acacia as the wood used in their construction. I doubt you would notice a difference in sound between a koa uke and one made from acacia, but koa is more prestigious because it is relatively rare.


05-08-2018, 04:03 AM
Also, I see many ukulele's listed as Koa on the internet with no reference to what company makes them. Is Koa a company name? Or, are they made of koa wood by a company with a different name? I know koa is a wood from Hawaii and considered one of the best.

I can't tell you about the ukes you are looking at without seeing the listings, but there are ukes by a company called Koa Pili Koko that are not made out of koa (they are made from Acacia that is very similar to koa).

05-08-2018, 05:43 PM
The listing where I find these ukulele's in Thailand is on, www.lazada.com. They are in Thailand as Amazon is internationally.

05-08-2018, 08:17 PM
So is this the sort of thing you are looking at? https://www.lazada.co.th/products/koa-concert-ukulele-bundle-with-bag-tuner-strap-extra-aquila-strings-polishing-cloth-2-pins-installed-instructional-book-kuc-70-hankey-intl-i201661816-s303330386.html?spm=a2o4m.searchlist.list.14.6033e 340wKhJB8&search=1

It says it's a Hankey in the fine print. I've never heard of them before. It also says it is laminate. What this means is that little if any of the tonal characteristics of the koa will be heard when you are playing it. It will just look pretty.

05-09-2018, 12:34 PM
Aren't Koaloha Opio ukes made in Thailand?

They have a great reputation, solid wood, including koa models... Just a thought.

05-09-2018, 03:23 PM
Our big music chain store in Canada, Long and McQuad is carrying Leho and I have had a chance to play them. Played against a similar priced and appointed Kala the Leho sounded just as good or better. I have done this a few times at different stores with different instruments and they all sounded good. The body seems deeper than the same size Kala so I am sure that adds to the nice depth and resonance I was hearing.

05-10-2018, 02:03 AM
If you're in Thailand, get a KoAloha Opio or a Rebel. Both are made in the same factory in Thailand and sold by Baan Ukulele in Bangkok:


As others have pointed out, Koa is a type of wood that grows only in Hawai'i. It is very rare and prestigious for ukulele and therefore extremely expensive. A set of raw wood costs more than some of the ukes that are advertised as "Koa". So most of them are not built from real Hawaiian Koa, but probably some other type of Acacia that looks similar, but is more abundant. They may sound just as good as a uke made from real Koa, but it is dishonest to advertise them as Koa, and I wouldn't support a company that is so dishonest (imagine what else they lie about).

Talking about marketing strategies: look for the word "solid" wood, or else it will most likely be laminate. Then it is just a thin layer of wood glued on top to make it look nice. Not necessarily a bad thing, if the instrument is well made, just something to be aware of.

05-10-2018, 07:39 AM
Yes, I live in Korat, Thailand. About a four hour drive from Bangkok. I went there last week and when my wife called on telephone she got no answer. On FB or somewhere she got the information that they were under construction and would be back in business later this month. When I got home I checked facebook myself and all I can see is that they are up and running. So soon, I will go back to Bangkok and I will go to their location and see for myself. I do not think my wife lied, but, this language barrier Thai/English is a real problem. She speaks English, so she and other Thai's say. I speak some Thai and Thai's say, oh you speak good Thai. ce Nonesense, I cannot only make myself half understood in Thai. Probably for the same reasons is why Baan Ukulele and Rebbie company never answer my e-mails. I started searching for a baritone ukulele last August and finally ended up ordering my first ukulele through Amazon. Duty fee at customs and shippin cost make me want to buy locally. Hard to find a baritone here, however, I got a nice one through Kala. Sounds nice and plays well. Now I am a crazy uku lover and want a tenor uke. Upsetting, but I guess part of life if you live in a country and cannot read and write their language. In all of my searching since last August I just now, on here, found out that good ukuleles are actually made in Thailand. I found one ukulele that I love searching on Opio Ukes, Koaloha. A solide acacia, tenor,$700. Only twice my intended budget. However, by the time I go back to Bangkok, maybe I can convience my wife (boss-mother) that it is worth $700. Maybe I find something in my budget. Time will tell.

05-10-2018, 10:37 AM
I bought a Leho ukulele when I was travelling in Singapore. It was an impulse buy (why do we do stuff like that?). It was an all solid (cedar top) soprano. I thought it was very well made, sounds good, very playable and is a good value. It even has a very slightly radius fretboard, which is unusual in that price range.

05-20-2018, 07:09 AM
Well I went back to Baan Ukulele, Bangkok again this weekend. Just got home with my new Melokia Tenor, Solid Acacia. gCEA. Paid 7760Baht, about $250. with a free bag. Not sure about the high g string. I am use to a low mellow sound instead of - bing. Maybe I will learn to like it. If not, it only costs set of strings to change it.

My wife was correct, they are under construction. Half of the place is still a mess but they are doing a good business in spite of construction.

I saw many opio's and Rebel's. Expensive. I was playing a Rebel that had no round sound hole. Instead it had two long hole's, one on each side on the front. Made from Koa wood. Cut away. I loved it. It was beautiful. Then I looked at the price, 41,000 baht, about $1,300. Out of my range. I felt sad, but I hung it back on the rack. I think I would have streached my budget and bought it if it was only half that price.

05-21-2018, 03:59 AM
Congratulations to your new uke, Johnny! Looks like you got a great instrument for a modest price. If I remember correctly, those Melokia ukes are identical to what was sold in the U.S. as "Koa Pili Koko", among other brand names (one other name is "UkuMele" in Germany). They were generally well respected.

07-27-2018, 09:54 AM
I happily received my Leho LHUT-MM yesterday and wondered if I should keep the Aquila's on... it currently has a sweet sound, but usually my strings of choice are fluorocarbon (Martin or Worths). For those that have a Leho, what strings do you prefer?