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View Full Version : total n00b, Kamaka or KoAloha concert



n0otro
06-05-2009, 01:49 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm a total n00b and have been trying to decide for a few weeks now what kind of Ukulele to go with as a beginner. For the longest time I was convinced that I wanted a Kamaka Soprano, partially because of the Kamaka name, and partially because I know it's a quality instrument that would be very hard to go wrong with.

Over the past week or so I changed my mind and decided to get a Concert instead of the soprano, and decided that I also like the look of the KoAloha concerts.

At any rate, I have two options that have presented themselves to me:

1) Buy a second hand Kamaka Concert that was never used and stored in the closet for the past year so it's in mint condition - $600 for just the Ukulele

2) Buy a brand new KoAloha Concert + tuner + hard case + humidifier - $660

I'm really having a hard time trying to decide where my money is best spent. It's really hard to go wrong with either instrument, I guess all i'm asking is if anyone here owns, or has played both a KoAloha & Kamaka Concert and can tell me which way I should tip the boat.

Thanks and Aloha!

deach
06-05-2009, 01:51 PM
Koaloha .

JT_Ukes
06-05-2009, 01:54 PM
Hi Guys,

I'm a total n00b and have been trying to decide for a few weeks now what kind of Ukulele to go with as a beginner. For the longest time I was convinced that I wanted a Kamaka Soprano, partially because of the Kamaka name, and partially because I know it's a quality instrument that would be very hard to go wrong with.

Over the past week or so I changed my mind and decided to get a Concert instead of the soprano, and decided that I also like the look of the KoAloha concerts.

At any rate, I have two options that have presented themselves to me:

1) Buy a second hand Kamaka Concert that was never used and stored in the closet for the past year so it's in mint condition - $600 for just the Ukulele

2) Buy a brand new KoAloha Concert + tuner + hard case + humidifier - $660

I'm really having a hard time trying to decide where my money is best spent. It's really hard to go wrong with either instrument, I guess all i'm asking is if anyone here owns, or has played both a KoAloha & Kamaka Concert and can tell me which way I should tip the boat.

Thanks and Aloha!

nice expensive choices for a noob....

can't go wrong with either.

But I'd get the Ko'aloha, (as that is the one i'm drooling over)

ukeatan
06-05-2009, 01:58 PM
Holy crap, those ain't no noob instruments. But yeah, get the KoAloha.

Spooner
06-05-2009, 02:03 PM
Holy crap, those ain't no noob instruments. But yeah, get the KoAloha.


Why not? :confused:

deach
06-05-2009, 02:05 PM
Why not? :confused:

I agree .

JT_Ukes
06-05-2009, 02:28 PM
Why not? :confused:

Depends on definition of Noob...

One who wants to se eif he wants to spend the time to learn.

Or someone who Knows he wants to learn and will stick with it.

If he is the 2nd kind, why not get a quality instrument first?

or.. he has money (or someones money) to spend, why not?

Waterguy
06-05-2009, 02:40 PM
Holy crap, those ain't no noob instruments. But yeah, get the KoAloha.

I could have saved myself some bucks if I bought my Kanile'a as my first uke, but I get what you are saying.

Lots of different economic levels post on this board. If you have never played, then what you need to think about before buying either uke is that the uke may not be for you. If the uke is for you, then you are looking at some fine instruments. If the uke is not for you, but you have lots of disposable cash then your are looking at some fine instruments.

But

If you have to live on some kind of budget, there are lots of decent instruments out there that cost 1/3 to 1/4 what you are talking about paying. Thats the route I took at first. My thinking was "If I don't stick with this, I'm only out 170$". Turned out that the uke jumps into my hands every day.

I hope that's how it turns out for you. The ability to make your own music is a wonderful gift.

Roy Jovero
06-05-2009, 02:45 PM
Here's another vote for KoAloha.

ukeatan
06-05-2009, 03:12 PM
I could have saved myself some bucks if I bought my Kanile'a as my first uke...

Hah, yeah that's actually what I meant...

n0otro
06-05-2009, 03:24 PM
Thanks for all the responses guys.

I was leaning toward the KoAloha anyway, but getting a second hand Kamaka Concert in mint condition for $600 seemed like a really nice deal.
I personally like the look of the KoAloha uke more. I know it really comes down to how it feels in your hands and how it sounds, unfortunately i'm too much of a n00b and haven't experienced the sound of enough different Ukulele's to be able to choose an instrument that "sounds better" so I mostly have to go on how it looks and feels, and how other people say it sounds.

I would put myself into the latter category that JT_ukes described...

I know the ukulele is an instrument that I will eventually learn to play. I'd rather do it right the first time and buy a high quality instrument and be thoroughly satisfied with my initial purchase than to buy a decent-quality instrument and always wish I had just gotten the KoAloha (or Kamaka)

I will be buying this Ukulele with my own hard earned cash, but I consider it as a present to myself for finishing my PhD. I've been living in Honolulu for the past 5 years and will be moving back to the mainland within the year so i'd like to have a high quality souvenir to take with me to remind me of the awesome 5 years i've had on this rock. The only regret I have is that I didn't start playing the ukulele earlier!

Thanks and Aloha!

ukeatan
06-05-2009, 03:30 PM
Good choice -- and that is a good price for the Kamaka, but even if it hasn't been played, any used instrument could have issues that you wouldn't want to deal with if you're just beginning. So better to get the new uke with all the fixin's, especially as you seem to like it better anyway.

Enjoy!

JT_Ukes
06-05-2009, 03:49 PM
Congrats! on both!

david98116
06-05-2009, 04:29 PM
Hmm. Between Kamaka & Koaloha.....I too go with the latter. I am an avid Kanilea fan though. Surprise no mention of them.

drjond56
06-05-2009, 05:15 PM
Another vote for the KoAloha, although I am a tenor man, rather than a concert man. I would encourage you to go ahead with a quality instrument as your first purchase. A couple of years ago I decided that guitar wasn't enough to drive me crazy, so I wanted to get into ukulele. Someone actually gave me a Lanikai and the thing almost turned me away from the instrument completely. In my guitars, I don't have astronomically expensive instruments but I do have a high quality Spanish classical and a Martin small body steel string--they are very playable with superb tone. I decided to get an upgraded ukulele and a new KoAloha tenor came available. The difference was astounding in both playability and tone. The extra $400 or so was well worth it. Good luck.

Jon

grappler
06-05-2009, 05:51 PM
just to confuse for your choice. Ill go for kamaka

generem
06-05-2009, 06:06 PM
Another Vote for Koaloha..

specialmike
06-05-2009, 06:33 PM
Both are good choices. I play a KoAloha Tenor, and until I get the need to buy a kamaka HF-3, I don't think I'll be playing one of those soon :)

But I chose the KoAloha for two reasons.
1) consistency
2) beautiful

n0otro
06-05-2009, 08:34 PM
Hmm. Between Kamaka & Koaloha.....I too go with the latter. I am an avid Kanilea fan though. Surprise no mention of them.

Funny you said that, because after my last post I was looking at other Ukulele's that are being sold by the guy where i'll buy the KoAloha from (if I decide to go that route) and saw several Kanilea's that he's selling at a good price that look pretty nice. Just to add another level of indecision to my imminent purchase.

At any rate, i'm planning on stopping by his place of business sometime this weekend to take a look at the KoAloha's and Kanilea's and hopefully make my final decision then.

Thank you to everyone for your opinions (even though everyone except for one person gave me the same advice! :D ).

I'll take some pics and post them when I finally take the plunge!

Aloha! :shaka:

UkuEroll
06-05-2009, 08:43 PM
Oh to be able to have such a choice, I'd love to have either.

Kaneohe til the end
06-05-2009, 09:15 PM
nice expensive choices for a noob....

can't go wrong with either.

But I'd get the Ko'aloha, (as that is the one i'm drooling over)

just for the record, there is no okina in KoAloha.

JT_Ukes
06-06-2009, 03:09 AM
just for the record, there is no okina in KoAloha.

roger that, must have blanked while typing... and is that what that thing is called?

Kaneohe til the end
06-06-2009, 01:25 PM
roger that, must have blanked while typing... and is that what that thing is called?

yup, that apostraphe thingy is an okina. usually between vowels, ie, Kanile'a, Ko'olau etc. but not in KoAloha, probably better to ask Paul for a reason.

1014
06-06-2009, 02:53 PM
yup, that apostraphe thingy is an okina. usually between vowels, ie, Kanile'a, Ko'olau etc. but not in KoAloha, probably better to ask Paul for a reason.

probably cause no more `okina in "koa".

if i had to choose between those two, and i get chance to play them i'd play them first. plus, i'd play multiples of the same kind too. variations between brands and intstruments can be unreal.

things to keep in mind, the kamaka that sits in the closet for so long may have something wrong with it. i think playing it often also equates to trouble shooting it often. i mean stay hawai`i so humidity issues may be bad, but youshould still go check it carefully and play it.

if you tired of the `ukulele, you'll probably be able to sell the kamaka faster.

n0otro
06-06-2009, 08:00 PM
FYI, I took almost everyone's advice, and picked up a KoAloha Concert today. Beautiful instrument and i'm very satisfied with my purchase, absolutely no buyer's remorse.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in!

I must say this is the friendliest forum i've had the pleasure of being a part of, I think it has something to do with the fact that people who play the ukulele are inclined to have at least a touch of the Aloha spirit.

Thanks and Aloha!
(and a special thanks to MGM for taking the time!)

grappler
06-06-2009, 08:39 PM
Congrats on the ukulele man
all the best

Kanaka916
06-07-2009, 04:51 AM
FYI, I took almost everyone's advice, and picked up a KoAloha Concert today. Beautiful instrument and i'm very satisfied with my purchase, absolutely no buyer's remorse.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in!

I must say this is the friendliest forum i've had the pleasure of being a part of, I think it has something to do with the fact that people who play the ukulele are inclined to have at least a touch of the Aloha spirit.

Thanks and Aloha!
(and a special thanks to MGM for taking the time!)
Whea da pikchas?

Ukulele JJ
06-07-2009, 06:25 AM
FYI, I took almost everyone's advice, and picked up a KoAloha Concert today.

Woo-hoo! :shaka:

JJ

CoffeeMate
06-07-2009, 01:56 PM
Wow, that's a nice present to yourself for a very nice reason. Congrats on the Uke and the PhD.:)

ukeatan
06-07-2009, 02:08 PM
FYI, I took almost everyone's advice, and picked up a KoAloha Concert today.

Nice!! That is a truly awesome graduation gift for yourself and souvenir from your time in Hawaii.

Now you just hafta play the heck out of it. :D

Lanark
06-07-2009, 02:35 PM
Congrats on the Uke.
I hadn't seen this thread until today and chances are you wouldn't have gone wrong with either instrument, but I do have to also say that it's not entirely accidental that I've got two Koaloha concerts.

Play the hell out of it.

n0otro
06-07-2009, 05:25 PM
Whea da pikchas?

Heh, I was too busy having fun trying to learn the major chords and how to strum & chunk correctly.

Here's some pics I took today while the lighting was good:


http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c16/n0otro/IMG_38981.jpg

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c16/n0otro/IMG_38991.jpg

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c16/n0otro/IMG_39001.jpg

http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c16/n0otro/IMG_39011.jpg

JT_Ukes
06-07-2009, 06:34 PM
beautiful...

Saving my pennies for the same...

Maybe when the kids are done with college .. in 14 years...

Spooner
06-07-2009, 06:43 PM
Obviously you made the right choice!
That uke looks gorgeous!

Touch her and love her and strum her and....:shaka:

n0otro
06-08-2009, 02:25 PM
beautiful...

Saving my pennies for the same...

Maybe when the kids are done with college .. in 14 years...

I had to sell a bunch of my fish tank equipment to be able to afford a such a beauty

I have a 2 year old so all of my meager graduate student paycheck gets used up VERY quickly for diapers / college fund etc.

JT_Ukes
06-08-2009, 02:28 PM
I had to sell a bunch of my high end fish tank equipment to be able to afford a such a beauty

I have a 2 year old so all of my meager graduate student paycheck gets used up VERY quickly for diapers / college fund etc.

Roger that

david98116
06-08-2009, 06:03 PM
Like a brand new baby from the hospital. Nothing beautiful like that. Congratulations man!! Play till it hurts your fingers but warms your heart.

14twelve
06-08-2009, 06:22 PM
Congratulations on the uke! That's gorgeous!! :love:

Roy Jovero
06-08-2009, 06:27 PM
Congrats! It's the same way I felt when I got my KoAloha tenor. I think I want to get a KoAloha super concert now.

Bender
06-08-2009, 06:40 PM
I will be buying this Ukulele with my own hard earned cash, but I consider it as a present to myself for finishing my PhD. I've been living in Honolulu for the past 5 years and will be moving back to the mainland within the year so i'd like to have a high quality souvenir to take with me to remind me of the awesome 5 years i've had on this rock. The only regret I have is that I didn't start playing the ukulele earlier!

Thanks and Aloha!

Nice, I bought a motorcycle when I finished my PhD. Compared to what I spent, you have budget to buy several more ukes! I strongly urge you to do so.