View Full Version : Kelii soprano koa/mahogany review

01-28-2010, 07:37 AM
Just got my new Kelii yesterday. Bought from MGM. Here goes:

Features 9

* Brand new, made in Hawaii
* 12 frets to body, 16 total
* Solid curly koa top
* no pickup
* neck, body and sides are solid mahogany
* Satin finish
* Soprano
* Rosewood bridge, fretboard, saddle, and nut
* open geared tuners
* came with MGM setup, aquila strings, case, humidifier, tuner.

Sound 10

* How does it suit your music style I primarily strum and sing. Perfect sound for strumming
* It's difficult to describe the sound... very rich, full sound with clear treble and deep resonance. For a soprano, it is very resonant and sustains well. Has that traditional woody sound that I was looking for. Not at all nasally or thin.
It might sound good amplified, and I might consider adding a pickup later down the road for performing. Otherwise, it is loud with that koa bark.

Action, Fit & Finish 10

* Because I got it from Musicguymic, it came perfectly set up. Frets are smooth on the edges.
* Top is bookmatched
*Bridge and saddle seem to be set just right
* Did the ukulele contain any flaws? I can't find any flaws at all on the uke. All edges and seams are smooth and perfectly aligned. I scrutinized it for any problems when it arrived. I can't find anything to complain about. Even the label inside is straight. No messy gluework.

Reliability/Durability 10

* Will this ukulele withstand live playing? It feels very well built. I don't have any reservations about gigging with it.
* Does the hardware seem like it will last? yes
* Is the finish good enough to last, or does it seem thin and easy to wear off with lots of playing? I haven't had it long enough to test the finish, but it is a satin finish that allows the woodgrain detail to come through.

Overall Rating 10

* How long have you been playing? I've been playing music since I was 6. However, uke is my most recent thing, so I've been playing uke for only a few months
* What other gear do you own? I have a Kala tenor archtop and a Koa Pili Koko soprano. Otherwise, I have a violin, Seagull acoustic guitar, Ramirez classical guitar, Charvel electric guitar, Fender Jazz bass.
* Is there something you wish you had asked before buying this ukulele? I have no regrets at all
* If it were stolen or lost, would you buy it again or get something else? I would definitely get another of the same, unless I had the money to get something custom built
* What do you love about it? The sound and looks are amazing. I am a big fan of simple and unadorned. This uke has no fancy inlay or trim.
* What do you hate? nothing so far
* What is your favorite feature? I love the koa top.. beautiful wood
* Did you compare it to other ukuleles? Which ones? I was also looking at a solid all-koa Kelii, basic koa Honu, Mele, Mahoghany Mainland, vintage Kamaka, Koalana, and solid koa Lanikai.
* Why did you choose this one? I had a long chat with Mike from MGM on the phone. He talked me out of the Koalana and even out of the all-koa Kelii. And I'm glad he did... He really knows his ukes!
* Anything you wish it had? I'm undecided about pickups right now. Kind of wish it had a strap button, but I'll prolly get a soundhole strap instead. Otherwise, it is everything that I was looking for.
* Anything else you'd like to share?... I'll attach a couple pics. Sun isn't out today, so it's indoor flash photography, and not my best, but you'll get an idea of what it looks like.

01-28-2010, 08:33 AM
Dang that thing is GORGEOUS! Congratulations!

01-29-2010, 04:18 AM
congrats, great review and a great looking uke too!

01-29-2010, 04:53 AM
Thanks for the review, paraclete.

That's some striking wood there!

03-06-2010, 02:11 PM
Beautiful uke and a great review paraclete! Congrats and have fun playing!!! That wood is awesome!!

11-30-2010, 07:30 PM
absolutely beautiful ukulele

12-02-2010, 12:16 PM
Great review and nice uke! I'm looking forward to mine arriving.....damn this UAS