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View Full Version : KoAloha v Kamaka Long Neck soprano opinions



andy2353
04-24-2019, 02:43 AM
Iíve narrowed down my next uke to one of these; looking for informed opinions on the two. Iíve listened to all the sound samples but canít decide. UU forum users seem to own the KoAloha about 5 to 1 over the Kamaka. Do you have an opinion?

Thanks
Andy

bynapkinart
04-24-2019, 03:15 AM
Haha, I recently had this Kamaka vs KoAloha tenor question and I ended up with the Kamaka, but in the case of a long neck soprano I may actually suggest KoAloha as a general rule since they really shine in the soprano. But I ended up with the Kamaka, so you really can’t go wrong.

andy2353
04-24-2019, 03:29 AM
Haha, I recently had this Kamaka vs KoAloha tenor question and I ended up with the Kamaka, but in the case of a long neck soprano I may actually suggest KoAloha as a general rule since they really shine in the soprano. But I ended up with the Kamaka, so you really can’t go wrong.

I definitely read thru your thread glad you found the right one for you

Andy

natchez
04-24-2019, 04:09 AM
I would ask the sellers to play the instruments for you over the phone, or better yet in a video chat. I bought a used Kanile'a soprano from Elderly and they were happy to have someone play it for me over the phone. I think sellers for higher-end ukuleles would be willing to do that for you. HMS and Mim both sell those brands.

glennerd
04-24-2019, 05:00 AM
Listening over the phone is better than nothing, but keep in mind that the sound quality is even worse than YouTube. Nothing beats trying in person, but unfortunately that's not an option for many of us.

Only my opinion, but my Koaloha Opio soprano is amazing. Kamaka sopranos never really left an impression on me. If I was buying a concert or tenor, I suspect I might flip my opinion.

WestyShane
04-24-2019, 06:25 AM
The Koalohas that I tried sounded too "boomy" and loud for my taste. The Kamakas sounded more "ethereal" and in line with what strikes me as a more traditional Hawaiian sound. If I was playing for an audience perhaps the Koaloha would be my choice. But, for what I was after, the Kamaka was my choice. A Kanile'a would have been my second choice for the same reasons.

It didn't hurt that it was a 100 year anniversary model either and I appreciate Kamaka's history.

uketanzon
04-24-2019, 07:05 AM
I have a long neck koaloha soprano, ( for trade) a Long neck Koaloha Opio soprano, A kamaka 100 year soprano and a loprinzi soprano.

the koaloha long neck has the most volume and projection out of all of them...

janeray1940
04-25-2019, 09:04 AM
I've had both. I still have the Kamaka HF-1L and play it daily; I rehomed the Koaloha very soon after I bought it. It's really a matter of personal preference but I find Kamakas have a deeper, more resonant sound and for some reason a much more comfortable neck.

Koalohas are easier to find an a little less spendy, which I think might be why it appears that more folks on UU have them. I also suspect they come up for re-sale more frequently; I've sold a fair number of ukes in my day but I'll never part with the longneck Kamaka!

RafterGirl
04-25-2019, 12:01 PM
I recently acquired a KoAloha longneck soprano. At first I wasn’t sure about the sound. It has a cedar top, so a little more mellow than all koa, but still has that soprano bark that people talk about. My Islander soprano is super mellow by comparison. After playing it a lot at home and taking it to a couple jams, the sound is growing on me. I tried a banjo uke a while back and definitely didn’t dig that. This KoAloha LN is giving me the fun tone of the banjo uke without the over the top banjo sound. It’s definitely a loud uke, for sure.

sam13
04-25-2019, 02:19 PM
I have owned:

KoAloha Super Soprano and Long Neck Concert
Kamaka Super Concert

The only one I would want back is the Kamaka Super Concert ... for a tall person it really is the perfect "Soprano". Tenor scale and the concert sound board ... I only sold it because I had lots of Ukes and was trying to drive the sound board for more sound.

DownUpDave
04-25-2019, 02:41 PM
Kamaka super soprano pineapple. Done and done. Play one and you will settle for no other soprano.

Rakelele
04-26-2019, 08:11 PM
I'm leaning towards the Kamaka: In a Soprano, I want that traditional Hawaiian sound which I'd associate most with the brand that has been around for over 100 years. And just like Dave suggested, I'd make it a Pineapple, both for sound and originality, as this shape was Kamaka's own invention. I also much prefer their use of Gotoh Planetary tuners over the friction tuners which KoAloha uses on their Sopranos and Concerts. If you're curious about the KoAloha sound, you can always try that in their Opio line for about half the cost.