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ukulelearp
02-10-2010, 11:43 AM
The first "real" ukulele I bought (after my $40 Hilo) was a laminated Koa tenor. It has a gloss finish, chrome tuners,and abalone binding and soundhole rosette. At the time I preferred the glossy, flashier look. I think after I kept playing my taste shifted toward much more simple instruments. I just bought a Koa Pili Koko tenor that has almost zero aesthetic add-ons. No binding, no rosette, nothing. That same theme carried with my guitars, since I just bought a satin finish acoustic with no binding. I seem to now lean toward simpler, more understated designs. That's why I can never warm up to the Koalohas, though I'm sure they sound amazing.

So, what do you prefer? Flashy or plain?

ukeskywalker79
02-10-2010, 11:52 AM
I am in the same boat however I absolutely love Koaloha and can't wait to get one on my next trip to Hawaii. When I shop for a uke I'm more interested in contruction, types of woods used, and beautiful wood grains. All the other "bling" doesn't really matter to me. I like the "less is best" approach.

nohandles
02-10-2010, 11:55 AM
I have and like both. Depending on the crowd I'm playing for I use both. I've played at a local area winery and had my most flash Ukulele and I believe I got more tips that way.
I just like playing so what ever is closest is the one I use.

dkcrown
02-10-2010, 12:07 PM
The first "real" ukulele I bought (after my $40 Hilo) was a laminated Koa tenor. It has a gloss finish, chrome tuners,and abalone binding and soundhole rosette. At the time I preferred the glossy, flashier look. I think after I kept playing my taste shifted toward much more simple instruments. I just bought a Koa Pili Koko tenor that has almost zero aesthetic add-ons. No binding, no rosette, nothing. That same theme carried with my guitars, since I just bought a satin finish acoustic with no binding. I seem to now lean toward simpler, more understated designs. That's why I can never warm up to the Koalohas, though I'm sure they sound amazing.

So, what do you prefer? Flashy or plain?

Perhaps you should check out the Pikake KoAlohas. Satin finish, straight cut fretboard, no bindings, rosettes, or purflings. Just that magnificent KoAloha sound.

PaulGeo
02-10-2010, 12:24 PM
Perhaps you should check out the Pikake KoAlohas. Satin finish, straight cut fretboard, no bindings, rosettes, or purflings. Just that magnificent KoAloha sound.

That's a beautiful stand for that KoAloha. Make it yourself?

As for the original question, I tend towards the more conservative.

haole
02-10-2010, 01:35 PM
I'm all for blinging responsibly. A few inlays here and there are nice, and some pretty wood is a plus. But there needs to be a balance. Abalone purfling looks great on plain-looking wood, but it's way too busy-looking on especially curly koa.

I don't find KoAlohas flashy in general. The Sceptre and Juke, maybe. But the pointy headstocks and bridges don't bother me.

dkcrown
02-10-2010, 01:46 PM
That's a beautiful stand for that KoAloha. Make it yourself?

As for the original question, I tend towards the more conservative.

Thanks Paul. I did make it. I had a couple of threads about my stands back in December. Uke stands part one and uke and music stands part2. I don't know how to attatch the threads here, Maybe the mods can help me out.

ukulelearp
02-10-2010, 02:00 PM
I should add that for whatever reason I prefer straighter-grain Koa. But one blinged-out feature I LOVE is vine inlay on the fretboard.

wickedwahine11
02-10-2010, 02:04 PM
Thanks Paul. I did make it. I had a couple of threads about my stands back in December. Uke stands part one and uke and music stands part2. I don't know how to attatch the threads here, Maybe the mods can help me out.

I'm not a mod but I found it...http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?22856-Uke-and-music-stands

The only way I search the forums now is to go to google and enter in the search box site:ukuleleunderground.com/forum and then the search terms I want, in this case it was site:ukuleleunderground.com/forum dkcrown stand

Those stands do look great. :)

As to the OP's original question, I guess I like both equally. I certainly have some "blingy" ukes like my PS and Kanile'a K2, but I actually deep down probably still think my satin finish Kamaka looks the most traditional. Oh heck, I'm just indecisive on everything!

Skitzic
02-10-2010, 02:06 PM
I like both worlds. It depends on the song I'm playing. Some songs call for a simple uke, some call for the purple dolphin. It all depends.

ukecantdothat
02-10-2010, 02:23 PM
I'm all for utilitarian ukes - plain Janes as it were - but there is something to be said for ornamental showmanship, too. If I could afford it, I would love to have one of Chuck Moore's most heavily inlaid, bookended koa masterpieces, just for the pure drool factor, if not the wonderful sound and playability.

Sambient
02-10-2010, 04:40 PM
Variety does it for me.

Ronnie Aloha
02-10-2010, 04:46 PM
I'm not a mod but I found it...http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?22856-Uke-and-music-stands

The only way I search the forums now is to go to google and enter in the search box site:ukuleleunderground.com/forum and then the search terms I want, in this case it was site:ukuleleunderground.com/forum dkcrown stand

Those stands do look great. :)

As to the OP's original question, I guess I like both equally. I certainly have some "blingy" ukes like my PS and Kanile'a K2, but I actually deep down probably still think my satin finish Kamaka looks the most traditional. Oh heck, I'm just indecisive on everything!

No offense Staci but your Kamaka is the bling, blingiest of your heard! Get a brush for those curls!

wickedwahine11
02-10-2010, 04:50 PM
No offense Staci but your Kamaka is the bling, blingiest of your heard! Get a brush for those curls!

LOL! It is definitely curly, but I guess I think of the PS as more bling due to its unusual shape, and the Kanile'a as more bling because it has the binding, gloss and gold tuners. But yes, the Kamaka does have a bit of curl to her. ;)

Brad Bordessa
02-10-2010, 05:01 PM
I like both worlds. It depends on the song I'm playing. Some songs call for a simple uke, some call for the purple dolphin. It all depends.

Right on! It could almost be a threat: "don't make me get the purple dophin!".


So, what do you prefer? Flashy or plain?

Well, sound is most important to me. If it looks good but sounds bad, it still sounds bad. If it looks bad and sounds good, it still sounds good. That said, there are some big-time-bling 'ukuleles that sound great (Chuck's come to mind). Personally I'd rather have people sit and listen to my music than say "wow check out his uke!". So I guess I'd take plain, but it would be sick to have my name inlayed somewhere.

ukulelearp
02-10-2010, 05:11 PM
LOL! It is definitely curly, but I guess I think of the PS as more bling due to its unusual shape, and the Kanile'a as more bling because it has the binding, gloss and gold tuners. But yes, the Kamaka does have a bit of curl to her. ;)

I'd say the Kanile'a is the least flashy of your instruments. But they're all great looking!

cornfedgroove
02-10-2010, 05:21 PM
somewhere in the middle...I dont care for overdone rosettes, but I do like binding and fancier fret markers. At the end of the day, for me its a balance between aesthetic and sound.

Zaza The Rebel
02-10-2010, 06:02 PM
Personally, I tend to go for at least a binding, whether it's fancy or plain. My guitar has a simple black binding and a few circles around the soundhole, while my ukulele has off-white binding and abalone purfling/rosette. Other than that, anything is fine with me as long as it's not -too- flashy. But like others have said, sound matters more.

Ahnko Honu
02-10-2010, 11:26 PM
The most bling I have and can tolerate is my Mainland with rope binding, pretty and practical. My custom S&J Milo wood could have had any bling I wanted but I wantede and got a player. I let the wood itself and it's sound do the talking.

Skrik
02-10-2010, 11:53 PM
Well, here I am to introduce a third concept: familiarity. I like the comfort of a familiar instrument, whether it blinks or is invisible. Having said that, it takes time for any instrument for become familiar, and so it is not a buying point.

scottie
02-11-2010, 12:41 AM
Visually I prefer gorgeous wood and let it carry the visual aspect of the instrument. Why take attention away from a beautiful piece of flamed koa with some flashy stuff. Perhaps a simple abalone ring as a rosette or even none at all. . . I like binding that doesn't contrast too much with the main wood of the instrument. As far as fretboard inlay is concerned I remember seeing one that has an image based on Japanese doors or something, it was quite beautiful, and something to consider but the cost of that could be put into some really special figured wood that would be more to my liking as far as the overall visual statement of the instrument is concerned.

Anyone familiar with Grit Laskin, I think his work is beautiful but I don't generally like my instruments that overstated.

csibona
02-11-2010, 04:41 AM
I have a fancy glossy koa ukulele - it's probably more glossy than I would have gotten if I was building it from scratch. But heck it plays beautifully and is pretty.