View Full Version : Kiwaya KTS-4 versus KTS-7

Pukulele Pete
03-18-2010, 01:39 AM
I have a KTS-4 and its great. I've been wanting a KTS-7 but I'm wondering how they compare in sound. Does the KTS-7 sound the same as the KTS-4? Does all the fancy stuff make it sound different? Thanks

03-18-2010, 03:49 AM
Ken Middleton in his YT review of the KTS-4 said it sounds the same as the ones with more bling, but I am not sure if he was basing that on an actual playing comparison. The KTS-5, KTS6, and KTS-7 all have more frets on the body. I am not sure if that deadens or enhances the sound. It does give you more notes (theoretically).

I note that the Kiwaya website lists the woods on the KTS-4 through KTS-6 as mahogany, but the KTS-7 as Honduran Mahogany. That could just be marketing, or something more meaningful.

The KTS-6 and KTS-7 also have body binding. I have seen several arguments on whether binding deadens or enhances sound. When I chose my Ohana SK-35G over the SK-25, I decided the binding probably didn't hurt the sound much, since its not in an area that vibrates much anyway.

This thread on FleaMarketMusic (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/bulletin/bulletin-nonpop.asp?BulletinID=22012) makes me wonder if the body sizes are slightly different? It would be interesting to hear from someone with experience playing both. The KTS-7 sure is pretty.

Pukulele Pete
03-19-2010, 12:13 AM
Come on, someone must be out there that knows

03-19-2010, 05:09 AM
I have a KTS-7 but have not played a KTS-4, so I don't know how much I can actually contribute. I think in theory, the KTS-4 would have better sound, or at least be more resonant, since it doesn't have the extended fretboard that reduces the soundboard surface like the KTS-7 does. The KTS-7 does sound great though. I once owned a '30's Martin style 1, which is similar to the KTS-4 in appearance (I think) and materials. The two instruments sounded really different, as the Martin had a loud "bark" while the KTS-7 sounded more like a concert sized ukulele in comparison, with more sustain and almost no "bark". I would guess the KTS-4 sounds more like the KTS-7 than a vintage Martin, but I can't say for sure.

I would put it this way. Even if the KTS-4 does sound better, I'm happy with the sound of the KTS-7 on its own relative to the price I paid for it. Here's a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6AZxh3G7pk) of mine, see if you can hear any differences compared to the KTS-7.

03-19-2010, 05:24 AM
The Martin forum has a section on ukuleles:


that you can search for threads about the Kiwayas. From what I remember Ken Middleton thought the KTS-4 sounded better than a blingier model and thought the extended fretboard had something to do with it. But another person wrote his model with an extended fretboard sounded better than a KTS-4 model he also had. maybe it had something to do with the mahoganny breaking in or opening up, I don't know. I don't believe it was a huge difference in either case, but the consensus on the Martin forum was the KTS model Kiwayas were highly thought of and seemed to be a good modern alternative to a vintage Martin in sound quality.

Convinced me enough that I just bought the KTS-5 that was listed on the Fleamarket despite the fact that my KoAloha Concert just arrived. ;-)

Chris Tarman
04-04-2011, 04:03 PM
I have a KTS-7, but haven't ever played a KTS-4. I would think that any difference in sound due to the extended fretboard would be pretty difficult to notice. Theoretically, yes, the fingerboard would have some effect on the top's vibrations, but I don't know if I would be able to detect it. I've played a Martin Style 3 (with the same extended fretboard) alongside my Martin Style 2, and I couldn't sense any difference in the way they resonated. The only difference I could tell from sound was due to different strings. Both tops seemed to be vibrating about the same as far as I could tell.
So, yes... the extra ornamentation on the KTS-7 is just that: Ornamentation. I bought one because I love the look of Style 3 Martins. The KTS-7 is a fantastic-sounding uke, and I can't imagine the KTS-4 would sound any worse... it'll just LOOK plainer.

04-06-2011, 05:11 PM
I'll chime in only to say that the Kiwaya kts4 I own can hold it's own against my Martin O. Different, but the same quality in build and pleasing sound.

04-09-2011, 06:11 PM
Okay, I played both today side by side and frankly, I think the kts7 sounded significantly better. My hearing aint that great but it sure sounded better(the kts7). I also played several major K brands, Loprinzi's, and the darn PONO's sounded the best to me. Very impressive. I have 3 pono's and I will be getting more!