PDA

View Full Version : What’s the difference...



Kibes37
04-09-2019, 01:02 PM
Between the bodies of the Koaloha Opio açacia and the Koaloha acacia series. I know the Opio is built in Thailand and doesn’t have as nice specs or bling, but the body itself?

hendulele
04-09-2019, 01:27 PM
I'm pretty sure the Koaloha is built in Hawaii. Design may be similar or you may be able to add more options to the Koaloha to customize it.

Kibes37
04-09-2019, 01:42 PM
Thanks for the reply. Pretty surprised I can’t easily find info on this.

Kibes37
04-09-2019, 03:13 PM
Maybe I’m completely ingnorant on this topic, but I’m perplexed. Why would you buy an acacia series for example: Kcr10AC for $1050 (Acacia series) When you could get a KCM-00 for $1220 (Koa and raved about model)? I was under the impression Acacia Ukes were (depending on the model/builder) a nice runner up to Koa.

That’s why I just purchased an Opio.

I read a lot about wood and all material options. I must have missed something...


I should add, I’m not saying $170 dollars is any amount to sneeze at. I know everyone has different monetary situations and obligations. However, if you are already considering a Koaloha at that price point, why not save a little more?

Jim Hanks
04-09-2019, 04:16 PM
Koa is a kind of acacia but pretty much isolated to Hawaii. They can sound very similar. Close your eyes and listen to this. Can you tell which is koa?
https://vicsukuleleblog.com/2018/02/06/comparison-koaloha-opio-and-koaloha-longneck-ukuleles/

If you're asking why you might want an acacia Koaloha, I think you probably answered your own question. It is a cheaper material since it is not as rare but you're still paying for Koaloha labor and expertise so it isn't drastically cheaper.

Kibes37
04-09-2019, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the info and video Jim! I’m aware it’s all the same family and acacia varies from location and climate. I’m just still confused such a small price difference considering the overall price. Are there really a lot of people choosing the acacia series over the Koa.

I totally understand the Opio line. I purchased one, like I said. A great uke for over $500 cheaper than the Koa model makes sense. I think acacia is great, but at that point between the two “expensive” models, don’t you want the more coveted Koa wood?

Then when you start talking used models it makes even less sense to me, as you can get great deals on the Koa models...

Croaky Keith
04-09-2019, 10:32 PM
I chose to buy my acacia OPIO on sound & looks, I like a plain looking uke, most people who buy koa like a patterned look, it seems.

(Even if I had the money to buy koa, I'm sure I'd stick with a plain acacia.)

DownUpDave
04-10-2019, 02:35 AM
I didn't even realize Koaloha was making an Acacia model in their main line up. I personally don't think this is a good idea. I owned a Koaloha Opio concert and Koaloha KCM-00 at the same time. They both were so similar in sound and build quality I sold the KCM-00 and kept the Opio. I eventually sold the Opio, learning I was not a concert guy, I prefer tenors.

I always though it was smart of Koaloha to keep the KM series koa and Opio a different wood. Now they have blurred the lines, but it is easy to be an armchair quarter back. They are way more successful at building and selling ukuleles then me:p

Kibes37
04-10-2019, 03:58 AM
Thanks for the replies guys. So I found the Acacia Series is an environmental option that can be shipped anywhere with no issuses with material used. They assemble the Uke in Thailand and it gets the neck and finishing adjustments in the main Hawaii factory.

I have never played a Koaloha, but I’ve listened to almost evey sound sample I can find and have read nothing but great things about the company and their amazing Ukes. However the price points still confuse me.

Cluze
04-10-2019, 05:33 AM
Thanks for the replies guys. So I found the Acacia Series is an environmental option that can be shipped anywhere with no issuses with material used. They assemble the Uke in Thailand and it gets the neck and finishing adjustments in the main Hawaii factory.

I have never played a Koaloha, but I’ve listened to almost evey sound sample I can find and have read nothing but great things about the company and their amazing Ukes. However the price points still confuse me.

I am a really big fan of KoAloha instruments. I find that I play mine more than anything else I own.

The Koa series are their top of the line, made in Hawaii, line. They use their best wood and, I assume, the best quality control of any of their line. But, there is only so much koa to go around and not everyone can afford the price, so this can't be all they have. (I have a Koa soprano, and it is great!)

The Mango series is the same idea, but with mango wood instead.

The Acacia series is the next step down. Not koa (which is a type of acacia) but unspecified origin acacia, and mostly build in Thailand. Less expensive wood and labor costs, but final assembly takes place in Hawaii, so the quality control should be pretty much on par with the koa series.

The Opio line is, in my opinion, the best of everything. My wife and I own three Opio instruments, and love them all. Here, they again use unspecified origin acacia, the entire assembly is done at the factory in Thailand, but they are made to the same specifications as the other KoAloha instruments. This means same process, same design (minus some cosmetic differences), but much lower price. They are amazing value for any player looking for their "good" instrument. I love them and can't say enough about how great they are.

The Koalana series are laminate instruments, and are the entry level of KoAloha.

I have been told that the koa and acacia instruments sound different, but the difference is subtle. I doubt you could tell in a blind test that an acacia KoAloha wasn't a koa KoAloha unless you heard them played back to back. And even then, you might personally prefer the acacia to the koa, who knows? Tone is such a personal preference, and not an absolute. (I personally suspect that the string choice might influence the sound more than the acacia vs. koa, to tell the truth.)

Bottom line: I recommend the Opio series to anyone looking for a well made instrument with a great sound at a good price. If part of the attraction is the "made in Hawaii" appeal, then save up and jump straight to the koa series. If you like the aesthetics of them, the acacia series is a perfectly sound choice.

glennerd
04-10-2019, 05:53 AM
I have an Acacia Opio and already feel like it's above my comfortable price range so wouldn't get the KoAloha unless it was Koa, or more possibly Mango as that wood is interesting me right now. The main reasons I'd get koa is if I was in love with the looks and the idea of a Hawaiian made instrument with Hawaiian wood.

Hawaii Music Supply just posted a video recently where they're comparing tone woods in blind tests and even they're getting confused as to which is which - and there's mahogany in the mix!


https://youtu.be/1msEUUJDb9g

Kibes37
04-10-2019, 06:03 AM
Appreciate all the info. So why would one not buy the Koa model or the Opio? Why the Acacia series? Ok I’m done asking. Thanks for anyone who took the time to help.

I saw that video when it was posted, very interesting. I like those guys a lot. Thanks!

RafterGirl
04-10-2019, 06:09 AM
Opio Line - Built, assembled, finished in Thailand. Acacia body, sapele fretboard & bridge, maple fret markers, semi-gloss finish.

Acacia Line - Body built in Thailand. Neck build, assembly, finish in Hawaii. Koa fretboard with ebony binding. Ebony bridge, fret markers, and rosette. Satin finish. I believe this line was meant to replace the former koa Pikake line with the satin finish. Depending on where you buy & available discounted price, $200 - $500 more than the Opio line. Around $400 - $500 less than the Koa line.

I have a koa concert, and was looking at the differences in finishes & price a few weeks back. There have been some Acacia line models with discounted pricing around. All depends on your budget, and what you desire in finishes.

Kenn2018
04-10-2019, 11:41 AM
Are the Opios still being made by Rebel in Thailand?

I notice that Rebel no longer shows all of the ukulele companies that they make instruments for. There were some rather high end ones shown about a year and a half ago.

AustinHing
04-10-2019, 02:52 PM
The Koalana series are laminate instruments, and are the entry level of KoAloha.

I had the opportunity to play the current Koalana concert, which is made in Indonesia. It is just as well made as a opio concert.