View Full Version : Bought A KoAloha!

06-22-2009, 01:11 PM
what an adventure. I started off wanting to buy another Bruko. Bruko are quality and CHEAP especially some of their Special models. However I never liked the "all wood" construction. They also don't have the Hawaiian feel.
But never-the-less I went hunting. Went to the German uke forum and got some great offers. But upon researching like a mad fool I soon realized that Bruko isn't all what it's cracked up to be. From searching high and low translating french, german, dutch... I found that wood quality isn't the 'best' They allow sub standard models to be on the market and that was a bit scary (PM me if you want to know what I'm talking about) and the neck joint isn't... great. That said I have bought some amazing Bruko Ukes and they have their own unique sound...

Now I started looking at alternatives in the same price range. 300-500+++ usd. ( this is my first uke that I will keep and not gift to my father ) I wanted something special.

Another week of late night searching forums, looking up reviews, posting WTB ads, getting all the information I could get. Getting offers negotiating a price that I believe is fair for what's been offered ( I'm an economist so I can sniff out a deal on anything. ) It all boiled down to Koaloha Kamaka and a few unique custom pieces.

Now I looked at opportunity cost of owning each uke. All are identical IMHO. But I did want something a little more hefty in my hands. so I opted for a KoAloha.

Now The shexy curves of the mini-guitar or the obese Pineapple style. I was really shooting for the Pineapple with it's fuller sound. But The one's I was looking at Didn't have the beautiful Koa of the shexy one Craig Davidson was offering. The images he sent are breath taking.

Then I realized who Craig is. And I knew the uke has been cared for. And he's no obscure person selling on an unnamed forum. So I snapped it up. ( I think it's even the 100% Hawaiian model, He wasn't 100% sure )

So, I'm waiting on the post man...

And I'm about to close a deal on another Bruko for my father and a Kamaka for the GF.


06-22-2009, 01:36 PM
( I think it's even the 100% Hawaiian model, He wasn't 100% sure )

I do believe that all Koaloha's would qualify as 100% Hawaiian models.

congrats. I play the hell out of mine. I recommend it.

06-22-2009, 01:43 PM
Congrats! You'll love it. Join the KoAloha Krowns.

06-22-2009, 01:45 PM
Pics or it didnt happen1 Congrats bro. Koaloha and Kamaka? Nice.

06-22-2009, 02:15 PM
Ooops I mean 100% Koa not Hawaiian

06-22-2009, 03:04 PM
It would be solid koa too.
You should dig it.
and yes.
pics will be called for.

06-22-2009, 03:29 PM
It would be solid koa too.
You should dig it.
and yes.
pics will be called for.

Yes yes I will post some pics when it arrives. I can join the crown club. :)

Questions though:

-I'm wondering if I should bother getting a humidifier for it... I do live in a temperate rain forest... Rainy Vancouver BC. And there's about 1-2 months where the humidity is just under what is recommended for ideal acoustic guitar keeping. I know that time of year my father keeps all the guitars in a cool room which isn't dried by the heaters.

-Also regarding the tuners, I can get some nice ( very expensive ) light geared tuners. Now cost doesn't matter here. Would switching them over increase playability? ( ease of a quick and precise tune up )

- If I find the action a bit high [ I got my new Gibson guitar's action lowered and it was already pretty low but just not ideal ( if you have a chance buy a Gibson 'songwriters deluxe' great investment and the thing sings...) ]
Where should I go to get it lowered? Send it to koAloha? or just my Luther? ( I use Long & McQaude's luther, He restored my 72 telecaster and did a damn fine job )

06-22-2009, 03:35 PM
Two strikes today....

Craig Robertson ( not Davidson )

06-22-2009, 08:06 PM
You should be fine without a humidifier, as long as the humidity stays relatively stable. Keeping them in the cool non dried room during those dryer months is a good idea.

As for the tuners, it's a matter of opinion. We don't mount geared tuners on our standards and concerts, because I haven't found anything that's afforable on a production scale and doesn't suck. I can find cheap tuners that will fit, no problem. It's finding good quality affordable tuners that's the hitch. The expensive ones like Gotoh work great, but they would add a lot at the retail price. If you're switching to some good geared tuners, fine tuning the pitch of the strings will be much easier. I don't know how old Craig's uke is, but if it has our newer brown knob tuners, they're much better than the Schallers. They're still friction, but just about the best frictions I've come across so far.

If you send the instrument back to us, we can adjust the action for free, but the shipping is probably going to cost more than it would to take it to your local luthier. I would suggest staying local. Shouldn't be more than a 10 minute adjustment. If he does cut the saddle or nut too low, we use Tusq. I'm sure he has some around his workshop. If not, send me an e-mail and I'll mail you an extra set.


06-23-2009, 01:42 AM
I'm not completely convinced that you'd need to switch out the tuners though.
My Koalohas have the Schallers and I find they're perfectly adequate for the job. They hold tune well and the weight is balanced. (It looks like Bruko uses friction types, so I assume you already know the idiosyncrasies of friction tuners.) MGM had the newer brown knob ones for sale separately for a bit too IIRC. Geared tuners might give you a bit more finesse in fine tuning, but it hasn't been an issue for me with these.

Generally speaking about all I really have to do from day to day is tweak the tuning a hair when I first pull one out of the case and I'm good to go. And speaking from a strictly aesthetic sense, I rather prefer the look of the friction tuners on this uke.

And since you're getting the uke from a serious player, I'd be pretty confident that it's going to set up to play right out of the box.

I mean, I really wouldn't worry too much about changing anything at this point. It's not a problem until it is. Though I suppose it is something to do to tide you over in the endless wait before it arrives...:D

06-23-2009, 04:25 AM
Ooops I mean 100% Koa not Hawaiian

haha I always think of my KoAloha as 100% hawaiian and Koa. After all they're made in Hawaii.

Craig Robertson
06-23-2009, 05:33 AM
here's what I do when I get a new ukulele...I don't change anything and just play it for a month. By that time I will have a better idea of what its sound is and if it needs something else.

By the way, Peter, I doubt you will need a set up on this ukulele; it plays super right now.

06-25-2009, 01:30 PM
endless [/I]wait before it arrives...:D

Yes... Exactly.

I'm all for the adding premium parts to good quality instruments. I'm happy spending 200 on a set of tuners. just nothing that is.

Craig from the pictures the Koa looks Pink/light purple... Which I believe ( from my reading ) is softer better sounding board...

Man I can't wait... I'm hoping that is surpasses the custom Bruko sitting on the couch beside me. ( both cost about the same )