View Full Version : Reviews on KoAlana Solid Koa Concert?

11-23-2009, 06:32 AM
Greetings all,

has anyone of you has had the chance to get their hands on one of these? thoughts? Reviews? Btw, I have already heard the youtube soundbit by MGM. Not bad for a budget solid koa uke. thanks.


11-23-2009, 12:23 PM
no way they're solid koa. The wood itself cost more than that! I thought they were made of sapele .

11-23-2009, 12:47 PM
no way they're solid koa. The wood itself cost more than that! I thought they were made of sapele .

Mike there is a solid koa model. It is select koa which is not rally grained at all. It's just plain koa and these are made in china and they are machine made.

11-23-2009, 01:07 PM
Exchange rates being favourable, this $275 uke was precisely the one I treated myself to when I decided to step up from the cheap Mahalo. I've had it for less than a day, and with little else to compare it to, I cannot give a very deep review.

The good: The colour is nicer than in MGM's photos or the photos on KoAloha's website: Deeper, richer. There are little "waves" in the wood, like (but much less than) the gorgeous curly koa models you've no doubt seen around. It plays easily, cleanly up the fretboard, loudly, etc., but that's what I expect from any uke this expensive, and I cannot say how it compares to others, so I won't even try to review the sound.

The bad: The finish isn't perfectly smooth: Some rough patches on the soundboard and along the soundhole. The characteristic end of the fretboard over the soundhole looks rough - downright sloppy. Unless you hand-pick the instrument, I guess you always risk defects like these in this price range. It's not that bad. It's cosmetic, only, and nobody but I will notice it ;)

I notice the newest listings now say: "We now also change out the plastic black friction tuners for better deluxe friction tuners with amber knobs." The photo in my listing showed black tuners, but I got amber tuners too, KoAloha-branded. These seem easy enough to operate, but as I said, I have nothing to compare to, and no long-term experience.

Am I happy with the KoAlana solid koa concert? Yes. I think I made the perfect choice. I could have bought a very decent ukulele at half the price, but that would have left me wanting to try something even better. (I bet I would also have regretted not taking more advantage of the weak dollar.) The next step up would be hand-built instruments at 2-3 times the price, and that's just out of my league, so I'm not likely to regret that.