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View Full Version : Mahogany soprano choices??



Astein2006
02-16-2019, 06:51 PM
I知 in the market for an all solid mahogany soprano. I have been considering a build by Rob Collins but the build date is roughly May into July. I have been considering the Martin S1 also. The Kiwaya KTS 4 is out of what I want to spend. Trying to keep it under $500 I like my ukuleles plain. I知 not interested in vintage ukes. I like to make my own memories and marks. I like classic looks and wood choices. Any suggestions or advice would be great. Any other builders I知 not thinking about please chime in. I致e seen Wunderkammer ukes also and those intrigue me also.

Thanks all!

rainbow21
02-16-2019, 06:53 PM
Used Kiwaya KTS-4 in UU marketplace for under $400 currently.

Ziret
02-16-2019, 06:55 PM
Used KTS-4 are about $400. I'd get that.

kerneltime
02-16-2019, 07:08 PM
Ohana SK-39, other Ohana models are nice too SK-28. Mim carries them.
Jake Shimabukuro super soprano line is pretty good though laminate.
Spruce House also makes a lightly built soprano and does Mahagony as well.

EDW
02-17-2019, 12:25 AM
I also think that a used Kiwaya KTS-4 would be a fantastic choice. They are beautifully built and are very light and responsive with great feel, sound and intonation. As others have mentioned:

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?137697-Kiwaya-KTS-4

Swamp Yankee
02-17-2019, 02:27 AM
+1 for that used KTS-4. With the Gotoh tuners and hard shell case, that's a decent deal.
I have three other solid hog sopranos, a Mainland, an Ohana SK-28 and a Bruko No. 6. I'd be happy to trade all three for that KTS-4... even though I already own one.

ProfChris
02-17-2019, 02:36 AM
I think you'd find that waiting fro Rob Collins or Liam Kirby of Wunderkammer was worth it. The other ukes mentioned are nice, but don't have that indefinable extra from a good builder.

Rllink
02-17-2019, 03:07 AM
Mainlands are nice and very well priced.

Jerryc41
02-17-2019, 05:02 AM
Used KTS-4 are about $400. I'd get that.

A brand new is listed for $419 at a couple of sites, but "Out of Stock." Someone must have some available.

Penny Lane has one. I've bought from them, and they're very good.
https://pennylaneemporium.com/products/ukuleles/martin-s1-solid-mahogany-soprano-ukulele-with-gig-bag/

Most of the mahogany sopranos I came across are Kala and Ohana.

Swamp Yankee
02-17-2019, 07:07 AM
A brand new is listed for $419 at a couple of sites, but "Out of Stock." Someone must have some available.

Penny Lane has one. I've bought from them, and they're very good.
https://pennylaneemporium.com/products/ukuleles/martin-s1-solid-mahogany-soprano-ukulele-with-gig-bag/

Most of the mahogany sopranos I came across are Kala and Ohana.

Dat'snotta Kiwaya KTS-4, it's a Martin ;)

I think the lowest price I've seen for a new Kiwaya KTS-4 is $607 at Uke Republic.
Second hand they typically price in $400-$500. Sometimes they dip below $400 and are usually snapped up pretty quickly at those prices, from what I've seen watching them over the past 9 months or so.

EDW
02-17-2019, 07:30 AM
I think the lowest price I've seen for a new Kiwaya KTS-4 is $607 at Uke Republic.
Second hand they typically price in $400-$500. Sometimes they dip below $400 and are usually snapped up pretty quickly at those prices, from what I've seen watching them over the past 9 months or so.

Yes, that is typically what I have seen as well. Amazing price for a killer instrument

Ruben Mutiny
02-17-2019, 02:33 PM
Brko offers some fine solid mahogany sopranos: https://ukulelen.brueko.de/screen/page/sopran-ukulele-klassiker. They may not quite measure up to Kiwaya KTS-4 standards, but they’re well-made and considerably less expensive. For a bit more, you can get something more conventional: https://ukulelen.brueko.de/screen/product/sopran-ukulele-mahagoni-gewoelbter-boden-1.

Jerryc41
02-18-2019, 01:13 AM
Dat'snotta Kiwaya KTS-4, it's a Martin ;)

I think the lowest price I've seen for a new Kiwaya KTS-4 is $607 at Uke Republic.
Second hand they typically price in $400-$500. Sometimes they dip below $400 and are usually snapped up pretty quickly at those prices, from what I've seen watching them over the past 9 months or so.

The KS-5 is not solid, but it's a "solid" uke for a good price. I bought one, encouraged by a review by Baz. If I recall, I added Gotoh tuners.

kerneltime
02-18-2019, 01:27 AM
G
The KTS-5 is not solid, but it's a "solid" uke for a good price....
https://www.elderly.com/kiwaya-kts-5-soprano-ukulele-recent.htm
KTS 5 is solid and not laminate as per elderly and what I have read.
I believe KS 5 is laminate?

EDW
02-18-2019, 01:28 AM
The KTS-5 is not solid, but it's a "solid" uke for a good price. I bought one, encouraged by a review by Baz. If I recall, I added Gotoh tuners.

Looking online, it seems prices have shot up. I bought a new one from Elderly for $312 a little over a year ago and sold it for $265. Now they are listed for considerably more.
https://www.elderly.com/kiwaya-kts-5-soprano-ukulele-recent.htm

The KTS series are solid instruments, while the KS are laminate. You can see specs here under the Eco and Artist series instruments

http://takumiukulele.com/product_cat/kiwaya-ukuleles/

Swamp Yankee
02-18-2019, 01:55 AM
The KTS-5 is not solid, but it's a "solid" uke for a good price. I bought one, encouraged by a review by Baz. If I recall, I added Gotoh tuners.

Looking online, it seems prices have shot up. I bought a new one from Elderly for $312 a little over a year ago and sold it for $265. Now they are listed for considerably more.
https://www.elderly.com/kiwaya-kts-5-soprano-ukulele-recent.htm

KS = laminated mahogany
KTS = solid mahogany

KS sopranos are wonderful things as well. On the second hand market one can get them pretty cheap. I picked up a KS-1 earlier this month for $150. They're very well made, light as feathers, made in Japan, and they sound great. But they're very plain looking and the finish is not as fussy as that on the KTS sopranos.

There are also the Famous FS sopranos, Famous being a Kiwaya brand name in Japan. I haven't seen many for sale here in the US, but for some reason, they seem to be even less expensive even though, from what I've read, they're the same uke as the KS-5.

Jerryc41
02-18-2019, 02:32 AM
G
KTS 5 is solid and not laminate as per elderly and what I have read.
I believe KS 5 is laminate?

Thanks! I made the correction. I was surprised by the substantial increase in price.

Croaky Keith
02-18-2019, 04:48 AM
I've been happy with my Ohana solid mahogany ukes.

Concert scale long neck soprano
Tenor scale giraffe neck soprano
Tenor scale long neck concert

70sSanO
02-18-2019, 06:43 AM
I don稚 play soprano; although my first ukulele was a KoAloha soprano. 的f I were to buy a mahogany soprano, it would be a Timms, 妬f I could find one. I realize a Ken Timms is out of your price range, but how does a Rob Collins compare? ...if that is a sound you want. If it is a favorable comparison, it would probably be be worth the wait. 4-6 months is not that long, especially if you end up with a lifetime ukulele.

John

Photodan
02-18-2019, 10:45 AM
I知 in the market for an all solid mahogany soprano. I have been considering a build by Rob Collins but the build date is roughly May into July. I have been considering the Martin S1 also. The Kiwaya KTS 4 is out of what I want to spend. Trying to keep it under $500 I like my ukuleles plain. I知 not interested in vintage ukes. I like to make my own memories and marks. I like classic looks and wood choices. Any suggestions or advice would be great. Any other builders I知 not thinking about please chime in. I致e seen Wunderkammer ukes also and those intrigue me also.

Thanks all!

At the risk of being the only one in this thread to comment on the Martin S-1 that you mentioned, I would definitely keep that one in mind. Solid mahogany, great build and in the price range you are in. I don't own one but have had a chance to check it out. I do own one of the Mexican tenors from the same plant and the built quality and sound is excellent.

Nickie
02-18-2019, 02:47 PM
I don’t play soprano; although my first ukulele was a KoAloha soprano. “If” I were to buy a mahogany soprano, it would be a Timms, “if” I could find one. I realize a Ken Timms is out of your price range, but how does a Rob Collins compare? ...if that is a sound you want. If it is a favorable comparison, it would probably be be worth the wait. 4-6 months is not that long, especially if you end up with a lifetime ukulele.

John

I agree. I'd be mighty tempted to hold out a little while for a Timms. You might wanna see Barry Maz's review of it on Got A Ukulele. It made him smile.

Kenn2018
02-18-2019, 05:57 PM
You might want to consider a Fred Shields custom.

Astein2006
02-18-2019, 06:47 PM
I致e seen the Timms auctions and they are upwards of $1000 or more. To be honest I don稚 like to buy used. Call it a quirk. I like to make my own memories even if it means spending a bit more on a new instrument. So far I致e narrowed it down to the Martin S1. Still have to try one though first. A Rob Collins build but it has to be Khaya w/ pau ferro fretboard to be CITES compliant. And Wunderkammer. Although I知 sure that will fall under CITES rules also. If my budget some how allows for a few hundred more then I壇 consider a new Kiwaya. I have an Ohana but I really wanted a step up from there.

CommonCurt
02-18-2019, 07:19 PM
I agree. I'd be mighty tempted to hold out a little while for a Timms. You might wanna see Barry Maz's review of it on Got A Ukulele. It made him smile.

I remember reading that review on Ken's sopranos.
That's actually how I first found out about them.
However, at the time that review was posted Barry mentioned that he got his directly from Tim for about $420
It was only later that I realized that I couldn't buy one directly from him, and had to bid for one. Which recent bidding prices seems to be around $600+ - $700+.
I still really want to get my hands on one some day.

Swamp Yankee
02-19-2019, 02:46 AM
I’ve seen the Timms auctions and they are upwards of $1000 or more. To be honest I don’t like to buy used. Call it a quirk. I like to make my own memories even if it means spending a bit more on a new instrument. So far I’ve narrowed it down to the Martin S1. Still have to try one though first. A Rob Collins build but it has to be Khaya w/ pau ferro fretboard to be CITES compliant. And Wunderkammer. Although I’m sure that will fall under CITES rules also. If my budget some how allows for a few hundred more then I’d consider a new Kiwaya. I have an Ohana but I really wanted a step up from there.

Have you considered Loprinzi? It looks as though Spruce Tree music has a mahogany soprano Loprinzi in stock. I hear a lot of good things about them.

EDW
02-19-2019, 05:07 AM
...So far I’ve narrowed it down to the Martin S1. Still have to try one though first. A Rob Collins build but it has to be Khaya w/ pau ferro fretboard to be CITES compliant. And Wunderkammer. Although I’m sure that will fall under CITES rules also. If my budget some how allows for a few hundred more then I’d consider a new Kiwaya. I have an Ohana but I really wanted a step up from there.

Make sure to look at https://www.gotaukulele.com and hear sound clips and read reviews. That would give you a good start. See what looks and sounds good to you. You certainly can't go wrong with any of them, although I would probably put the Kiwaya over the Martin. Good luck and out us know what you decide.