View Full Version : Questions re my re-discovered love - KoAloha Conert

03-14-2010, 06:52 PM
Hi everyone!

On a lark after a trip back from Hawaii, I visited a local store and bought a Lanikai laminate concert ukulele. After about 8 weeks, I went back and "traded it in" for a KoAloha concert. The owner of the store said that having a better instrument would inspire me to play more.

Over a year, I've switched to Aquila strings, and switched back to Worth browns. I had a weird buzzing open E string, but it seems to have stopped. I bought my 7 year old daughter a "flea" and my 5 year old a Makala (with the dolphin bridge thing).

So, my UAS is a bit under control. Lately, as I am trying to move into fingerpicking, I have been eyeing hawaiian tenors.

While looking at other ukes, I have re-discovered my love for my Concert. I have a newfound appreciation for the coloring and the koa pattern on the back.

Here are my questions, the inside of the uke is stamped with "May 2007"

Is the uke, ALL koa? It certainly looks like the headstock and neck appear to be one piece and looks the same as the body. Also, the fretboard appears to be koa, it's a touch darker, but I don't know. It certainly looks like bridge is the same type of wood as the body also. I know there are some discussions of older KoAlohas being all koa, but I can't figure out when they stopped doing that.

It certainly looks like the top piece and the back piece are solid 1-pieces, as opposed to book-matched halves. (Though I will confess, I can't really tell). Does anyone know if that is true?

Silly as it sounds, I was attracted by the "musubi" sound hole. Strange, that it's the silly things that people like.

What is the difference between Worth Clears and Worth Browns?

I'm just trying to "learn" more about my instrument.

Thanks everyone in advance and happy uke-ing...


Ronnie Aloha
03-14-2010, 06:57 PM
All Koa Concert KoAlohas are an option.

Kaneohe til the end
03-14-2010, 10:31 PM
all koa ukes are an option, but because our backlog is so long, and theyre so rare (i work here and i havent seen one), my guess is its a stock mahogany neck. our soprano and concert fretboards and bridges are made of koa. unless we see it, we cant really tell if its a bookmatch or not, but its not impossible for it to be a one piece. try look at the middle of the face, is it perfectly symmetrical across both halves? if it is, then its a bookmatch.

and to tell you the truth, before i worked here, i was a customer, what attracted me was definitely the musubi soundhole, the the crown bridge and the unique crown headstock.

03-15-2010, 12:54 AM
All koa KoAlohas are an option now but I'm thinking the earlier ones had koa necks, my 2000 soprano does. The top, sides and back on this one are one piece also. My 2006 Pineapple also has a one piece top and back but two piece sides. That's one of the things I like about KoAlohas, it seems no two of them are alike.:)

If you can post pictures of your neck and head stock someone will know what wood it is. The fingerboard is koa on the concert.

Worth clears are brighter in tone than the browns. I like the tone of the clears better on KoAlohas but like D'addario Pro Arte and Aquilla strings better.

You might want to consider a Super Concert as the next step towards a tenor. That'll give you a concert body with a tenor neck.

And the beat goes on..............


03-15-2010, 01:09 AM
It seems less likely that your neck is koa than not. One of my 2000 concerts has one, but they are harder to come by. (Mine both also have round sound holes from before the musubi.) I've got one piece tops as well. But without pictures, it's much harder to tell what you have besides a nice uke.

From what I understand the difference between the Worth Clears and the Browns is tone. The Clears are brighter and have more high end to them while the Browns are more mellow emphasizing more midrange. The preference is yours.( though for fingerpicking I lean towards the Clears myself)

03-15-2010, 06:34 AM
O.k., this is my first time trying to upload pictures. Let me know what you all think.

In this series, I tried to include pictures of the neck and the back. The neck may be a different wood, I don't know. The back sure looks like one piece.

03-15-2010, 06:35 AM
Here are some more

the headstock seems to be pone pice with the neck and you can easily tell that the sides are two pieces. Thoughts?

03-15-2010, 07:59 AM
Rich I would say that Worth Clear have a more cristallin sound compare to the Brown...

But having try back and forth and on different Koaloha ukes, I prefer the Brown...I think with them the tone is very ell balance.... It's still a very clear sound...but with a more mellow and more bottom end to the sound...

But again, it's really a matter of preference of each players since the both sound good.

03-15-2010, 09:29 AM
Beautiful! I like those Schaller tuners, wish they were on my 2006 Pineapple. I can't tell by the pics but it sure looks like the back might be one piece. The book-match is obvious in the top and sides. The neck is all one piece but I can't tell if it's koa or not. Are the colors in your pictures close to what the uke looks like?
Here's a great song to fingerpick, Ken Middleton's "Down In The Sally Gardens". See the Youtube video and link to the uke tab here-


03-15-2010, 12:01 PM
I have a KoAloha superconcert and a Pineapple Sunday. A few months ago I switched the PS to Fremont Black Line strings and found that I liked the sound better than the clear strings that the PS came with. Since then, I have switched the superconcert to Fremont Black Lines as well and am happy with that change, too. (Plus, I think the black strings look pretty nice against the koa.)

03-15-2010, 12:48 PM
Here are some more

the headstock seems to be pone pice with the neck and you can easily tell that the sides are two pieces. Thoughts?

I'd say that back looks bookmatched to me.
Nice uke. I love mine.

03-15-2010, 03:27 PM
O.k., I'm laughing at my crappy typing skills. Usually I'm pretty good, but it wasn't until you quoted it that I noted it:

"pone pice" should read "one piece"

that is very funny.

03-15-2010, 09:03 PM

You have a mahogany neck model. After 2000, we only made a handful of koa neck standards and concerts. We did a couple special runs to fill orders, but haven't been able to make any more since. I know 10 years seems like a long time, but there's only a handful of us in the shop who can hand shape the necks from scratch. In fact, aside from my father, brother, and myself, only my shop manager can shape them fast and accurately enough for production.

As Skottoman pointed out, the sides, top, and back are bookmatched.