PDA

View Full Version : Favorite "K" Brand Uke



molokinirum
10-15-2010, 05:58 AM
Here is a poll to see what "K" brand uke is your favorite. Just tell us why or if you don't like any "K" brand uke!

molokinirum
10-15-2010, 06:01 AM
My favorite is Kamaka....simply tradition!!!

misterpk
10-15-2010, 06:06 AM
I'm a KoAloha guy. Screw tradition! :-P

Lexxy
10-15-2010, 06:07 AM
I tried a Kamaka, but it had factory strings and i thought that it dulled the sound very much, so i can't decide wholly. But i DO have a KoAloha Tenor strung with D'addario T2's, and i absolutely love it. :)

Coconut Willie
10-15-2010, 06:11 AM
Kanile'a....it's the only one I have!

BadLands Bart
10-15-2010, 06:29 AM
Kamaka for me. I'm saving up money for a Kamaka Concert!

janeray1940
10-15-2010, 06:30 AM
Hi, my name is janeray1940 and I have a Kamaka problem :)

dnewton2
10-15-2010, 07:08 AM
Right now I would say none. My uke is Moore Bettah than most Ks

I have played some K ukes, not Kamaka or Kelii and of those my favorite has been Koaloha.

mds725
10-15-2010, 08:19 AM
I wish there was a poll option like "None because I don't have any experience with any of them yet." That's the one I'd pick right now. I'm planning to go to Hawaii sometime next year and try out (and possibly even buy) one of the listed K brands, but it's difficult to have a favorite when I've only tried one or two fo the listed brands, and I can't truthfully say "None... I prefer other ukes instead." Interesting poll, though. I hope people who answer give reasons for their preferences. It's the reasons for preferences, not the vote totals, that's going to be most informative for people like me who aspire to a K brand ukulele but haven't begun shopping for one yet.

Teek
10-15-2010, 08:39 AM
I have two vintage Kamakas and love both, a Kanile'a and it's a great uke but isn't getting out much as it is a tenor and I have been in a soprano mode lately. I would dearly love a KoAloha and am waiting for the right one to come along. Keli'i is very similar to Kamaka to my ears, and I have come this close maybe 3 times to getting one.

Ko'olau may be too expensive and too closely associated with Pono to get many votes. I have not seen one in person but their customs are gorgeous on their website. I have owned a Pono. With the right strings they are decent ukes but IMO overpriced unless on sale.

Ingrate
10-15-2010, 09:16 AM
I just returned from Kaua'i. I spent hours at both Larry's locations and played every Kamaka and KoAloha soprano they had. I bought the KoAloha pineapple. None of the others was noticeably better sounding than my Kamoa pineapple. (In no way am I insulting those fine instruments. I'm complimenting the Kamoa.) Both Joe and Sam (Larry's proprietors) prefer the Kamakas. To each his own.

harpdog
10-15-2010, 09:23 AM
KEPASA is my favorite K uke!

http://kepasaukulele.com/

Pondoro
10-15-2010, 09:47 AM
Nothing against those brands, I just don't own one (yet?). I have two Lanikai's, an Ohana and a Pono. I would like a Kala archtop though...

GX9901
10-15-2010, 10:11 AM
Assuming the poll is about just the Hawaiian "K" brands, and not including custom offerings from each brand, I think I would favor Kamaka. I actually think Kanile'a consistently sound the best from my personal experiences, but I think Kamaka looks the best with their MOP logo and one-piece necks (one-piece necks is one of the most high-end things you can have on a uke, IMHO of course). Plus Kamaka is the most synonymous with Hawaii.

Now, if we're just talking about all brands that start with the letter "K", I guess mine would be King. As in William King.

molokinirum
10-15-2010, 10:20 AM
I'm a KoAloha guy. Screw tradition! :-P

Ouch!!!!!!!! :)

wickedwahine11
10-15-2010, 10:27 AM
Hmm, I am a K brand polygamist.

I started with a lovely Kanile'a, it is feather light weight, and has a gorgeous, stunning, UV finish. She has a tad bit of bling, with her gold tuners, and the K2 package features. I thought that was it for me. I took a tour of the factory in Kaneohe and adored both Joe and Kristen Souza. They have been so wonderful to me in each and every dealing I have ever had with them. I liked the fact that Joe was a firefighter (as I'm married to a police lieutenant). And I had a huge chip on my shoulder when it came to Kamaka, as I had a bit of the "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" complex over them as a Kanile'a fan ("Brady Bunch" reference for you kids too young to know that).

Then I began to secretly lust after a Kamaka. It started innocently enough, I begrudgingly began to respect their almost 100 years in the business, and my two favorite uke players (Jake and Aldrine - who at the time was playing Mika) both played Kamakas. I am a huge fan of Hawaii as I have traveled their at least a couple of times a year since I was a kid and my grandmother's ashes are scattered off the coast of Kauai. So I decided I would save up to get a Kamaka for the historical and Hawaiian purposes, almost just as a collectible. But it couldn't be just any Kamaka, I wanted a curly one. After a lot of searching, I found my beloved Pele. I fell instantly in love with the feel of the uke, the playability of it, and the curl of the koa. Suddenly my Kanile'a sounded thin compared to the Kamaka's rich tones. Mind you, I got rid of those god-awful Kamaka strings. If there was one thing they could do to improve their sales, it would be that. Because I still believe that they lose so many people (particularly to KoAloha) in side by side tests in stores due to those things. So I bought Pele, and still love that uke dearly.

At that point, the collector in me began to rise up, and I decided I wanted to have a pineapple uke. I figured as long as I was buying a new uke, I might as well buy one from another K brand Hawaiian manufacturer, so there was only one pineapple that really stood out to me -- the Pineapple Sunday by KoAloha. It is a long and winding tale of how many PS ukes I went through (I think 5 was the final count?) before finding the right one for me, but now I have her. I think the KoAloha engineering designs allow for them to make simply spectacular ukes. Their volume, and tone and projection are (in my mind) second to none. If I had to get a uke sight and sound unseen, for the best quality sound, I would recommend the KoAloha. That being said, I think that the PS, while lovely, is not a very versatile uke. It is a bit uncomfortable for me to play (at least without a uke leash) and the sound is a bit Tin Pan Alley on occasion, which is great for that type of music, but doesn't work on everything I like to play. I would love to get a tenor but I don't care for the bowtie style, so that looks like it is out of the picture for me. But the Okamis are wonderful people and they make fantastic instruments.

I've never played a Koolau or Kelii so I can't speak to the attributes of those.

If someone asked me for a recommendation on what they should buy, I would tell them a KoAloha for the combination of the best sound and the best warranty. But if I had to run into a burning building and rescue only one of my ukes, it would be my Kamaka. That one has the sentimental attachment for me of not just being made in Hawaii, but BEING Hawaii. It is also the most comfortable for me to play, and everytime I hold it, or watch "Heart Strings" I feel like I have a tangible piece of the place I love. I may not be able to live there, or visit as frequently as I like, but with a Kamaka, you hold a piece of Hawaii in your hand.

mm stan
10-15-2010, 12:16 PM
Aloha molokinirum,
With your list as it is, Kamaka.....you should add Koa works on there...he he
but then again..simply put...any uke that sounds good!! preformance over preference...no matter what brand....any day...MM Stan..

janeray1940
10-15-2010, 12:18 PM
Mind you, I got rid of those god-awful Kamaka strings. If there was one thing they could do to improve their sales, it would be that. Because I still believe that they lose so many people (particularly to KoAloha) in side by side tests in stores due to those things.

This is *exactly* why my first K-brand uke was a Koaloha and not a Kamaka - it just wasn't possible to test-drive a Kamaka that sounded good to me in a shop, due to those darned factory strings. Side by side, Koalohas sounded far superior - until I got my hands on a used Kamaka and changed the strings.

Landshark
10-15-2010, 12:28 PM
I have an example from 4 out of the 5 listed, they are all cool in their own unique way

wickedwahine11
10-15-2010, 02:53 PM
I'm actually surprised that Kamaka is doing as well as it is. I thought UU had way more KoAloha fanboys and fangirls than it did Kamaka. Or did I speak too soon? ;)

haole
10-15-2010, 02:58 PM
I'm biased toward Kamaka and KoAloha for no particular reason, but I've played examples of all five and they're all about equally good! (Yes, the $300-500 Keli'i ukes compete with $400-900 ukes from the other K's, minus cosmetics).

Big Bob
10-15-2010, 03:20 PM
Well I have 2 Kanilea's and a Lanikai. So I can only say I LOVE my Kanilea's.

thatukuleleguy
10-15-2010, 04:17 PM
I wish there was a poll option like "None because I don't have any experience with any of them yet."
I'm in the same boat.

cletus
10-15-2010, 04:31 PM
I'm in the same boat.

Road trip to Acoustic Vibes in AZ. Play them all!

Coconut Willie
10-15-2010, 04:37 PM
I'm actually surprised that Kamaka is doing as well as it is. I thought UU had way more KoAloha fanboys and fangirls than it did Kamaka. Or did I speak too soon? ;)

LOL I'm with you wickedwhaine, I thought it would be a runaway with all the KoAloha fans!!

haolejohn
10-15-2010, 05:47 PM
My vote was simple. After going to the koAloha factory and havingmy first koaloha hand picked by Papa KoAloha himself and then having him bless me with it...I can't say enough. I have since owned 3 more but let one go in a trade for a Kamaka b/c of the curly aspect and the p/u. I still find myself picking up my koaloha concert more than any other uke I own. Anyone got a koaloha tenor that they'd like to trade?

Hippie Dribble
10-15-2010, 07:40 PM
I have a Pono PKC-2...beautiful, beautiful ukulele. Of the "K" brands I have only ever played one: the Kamaka, which I adore for its sound quality and the tradition / history of the name in Hawaii.

UkuLeLesReggAe
10-16-2010, 12:15 AM
the last choice just doesn't make any sense...

But I chose Kanile'a...

Derg
10-16-2010, 02:13 AM
I love my KoAloha pineapple. The sound and sustain are just insane for such a small body. It never fails to blow me away. Never had the pleasure of playing any of the other "K" brands though, but I bet they are all pretty damn good.

Nuprin
10-16-2010, 04:41 AM
I'm actually surprised that Kamaka is doing as well as it is. I thought UU had way more KoAloha fanboys and fangirls than it did Kamaka. Or did I speak too soon? ;)

I was surprised as well! It seems in all the K brand threads on UU, that the KoAloha fans speak out the loudest! For the record, I have owned some Kamakas, KoAlohas, and a Kanile'a. I ended up selling my Kamaka and KoAloha soprano to fund a custom uke (my BP) and recently sold my KoAloha tenor to fund my Mya Moe (coming in January). I sold my Kanile'a because I was very underwhelmed by it. I will not sell my Kamaka tenor...love it to tenor. So, I voted Kamaka.

bobby b
10-16-2010, 05:47 AM
Represent.

Keli'i. :shaka:

pithaya9
10-16-2010, 06:17 AM
I'm kind of undecided LOL

Jerlial Prophet
10-16-2010, 06:17 PM
I don't have a ton of experience with the K brands but I do own a KoAloha that I love and have played a friends Kamaka. His Kamaka had the stock strings (which most people seem to say are terrible) so maybe thats why I thought it was very nice but wasn't blown away by it. I really disliked the friction tuners on the Kamaka for some reason (but the KoAloha friction tuners are fine with me). Plus, I just really love everything I hear about KoAloha as a company. So I voted KoAloha.

Lexxy
10-16-2010, 06:21 PM
I'm kind of undecided LOL

I think with your signature..It's pretty self explanatory HAHAHHAA

UkuLeLesReggAe
10-16-2010, 07:52 PM
I think with your signature..It's pretty self explanatory HAHAHHAA

hahahahahaha, good eyes.

P-co
10-16-2010, 08:24 PM
I've got a vintage Kumalae in reasonable condition but not much experience with the others. One local shop has some Kamaka's but I have never been impressed with the finish. I like a matt finish but these ones always seem like the finish coating has dust in it, assume this is not typical.

Brad Bordessa
10-16-2010, 09:31 PM
I will stand firm behind the idea that the instrument will choose the player no matter what the brand.

SuzukHammer
10-16-2010, 10:48 PM
I put my Kelii vote in.

I have many opportunities to play Kamaka; but, I don't know why I don't get excited. SO many others here do and maybe its the ex punk/newwave sentiment I bring with me to go against the grain.

I have played a Koaloha and it was a sweet sopranino. The guy said I should buy it; but, I didn't and I usually buy things in a heartbeat.

I have a soprano and a tenor Kelii. Yep, I'm eying a concert to fill out the ranks.

Lori
10-17-2010, 09:38 AM
Here is a poll to see what "K" brand uke is your favorite. Just tell us why or if you don't like any "K" brand uke!
I'll get back to you in another year or so on this. I haven't had much experience with all the contestants. I am very happy with my Kanile'a though, and I am sure a KoAloha is next in line...
–Lori

Mandarb
10-18-2010, 06:34 AM
I voted for Kamaka. I recently purchased a Kamaka Tenor from Kamaka Hawaii and I love it. I wanted an all koa uke made in Hawaii. I chose Kamaka because of their great reviews, history, and tradition.

Mr Bill
10-18-2010, 06:59 AM
Kamaka concert for me, not an owner yet but pretty soon it'll be here.

mds725
10-18-2010, 07:32 AM
Kamaka has just retaken the lead over KoAloha, 25-24. This is exciting!

BadLands Bart
10-18-2010, 09:37 AM
Wow...neck and neck!!!! I thought the Koaloha would be the overwhelming favorite. Seems like there are a lot of closet Kamaka fans out there!!!!!

joeybug
10-18-2010, 10:37 AM
I wish there'd be a "not had the chance to play a K brand" option since I have no idea how good they sound, but from the talk of them, I'm sure it's divine!

wickedwahine11
10-18-2010, 12:00 PM
Kamaka has just retaken the lead over KoAloha, 25-24. This is exciting!

I know, I feel like I'm watching a horse race, as though I'm jumping up and down at a racetrack as my fave has just edged into the lead. It is even more thrilling because I would have sworn that KoAloha would run away with it. :)

casarole45
10-18-2010, 12:22 PM
oooo Kanile'a is back in it

kenikas
10-18-2010, 12:31 PM
I've only played one Kamaka and one Koaloha, but I voted for Koaloha just because I like the looks of them! Especially with the crown bridge. When I get around to buying one I plan to spend a while back home trying everyone I can get my hands on before making a decision.

molokinirum
10-19-2010, 10:50 AM
Now it's a tie!!!!!

The_Oddness_of_It_All
11-16-2010, 05:29 AM
KoAloha. Of course I'm biased because I own a KoAloha and I have either never played the other brands or I played them very little.

The_Oddness_of_It_All
11-16-2010, 05:32 AM
Also when I played a Kanile'a I felt that it was a great sounding and looking uke, but it wasn't as playable as my KoAloha. But I take it into account that it was a soprano...so there's less room.

janeray1940
11-16-2010, 06:31 AM
Uh oh. Come on, Kamaka people, time to vote!

lambchop
11-16-2010, 07:37 AM
I voted wrong - I meant Ko'olau, not Koaloha. Living near Elderly instruments I've been able to play them all, and nothing, in my mind, beats a Ko'olau! Mike

fitncrafty
11-16-2010, 07:46 AM
Aloha molokinirum,
With your list as it is, Kamaka.....you should add Koa works on there...he he
but then again..simply put...any uke that sounds good!! preformance over preference...no matter what brand....any day...MM Stan..

This last part made me chuckle just a bit.. being you have a bakers dozen.. I would love see the rest of your uke collection :drool:

Hippie Dribble
11-16-2010, 08:55 AM
What's going on people??? :confused:

...I've just seen the most recent poll update and am very confused....how on earth can KoAloha have more votes than Kamaka!!!!..

hmmm... I guess it's because the discerning Kamaka owner is secure in the knowledge he / she possesses the greatest ukuleles being made today and has no need to self-defend or justify their choice.....(*ducking for cover*)...:)

Hippie Dribble
11-16-2010, 08:56 AM
This last part made me chuckle just a bit.. being you have a bakers dozen.. I would love see the rest of your uke collection :drool:

hmmmmm....how many in a bakers 4 dozen? :o

SweetWaterBlue
11-16-2010, 09:00 AM
The only K brand in my uke budget right now is K-Mart.

70sSanO
11-16-2010, 09:35 AM
I have a couple of "K"eith Ogata ukuleles that I prefer to the ones you have listed. But since there are only a little more than 100 of them out in the world, I would not anticipate more than a vote... or two.

John

koalition
11-16-2010, 09:48 AM
Kanile'a! No ka oi!

NatalieS
11-16-2010, 10:04 AM
Kamaka, hands down. If I had to choose one uke to keep the rest of my life, it'd be my Kamaka pineapple.

AzMichael
11-16-2010, 11:16 AM
One month ago this Thursday, I spent a couple hours at Acoustic Vibes with the intention of not buying a Kamaka. I was hoping to fall in love with a Koaloha...I was already in love with a Kanile'a...Kamaka meant the most $$$.

I left with a Kamaka!

~Michael

janeray1940
11-16-2010, 11:39 AM
I left with a Kamaka!

Excellent choice :)

Lexxy
11-16-2010, 12:38 PM
The only K brand in my uke budget right now is K-Mart.

BAHAHAHHA. this is too funny

OldePhart
11-18-2010, 03:26 PM
Gee, does Kala count as a "K-brand?" :rofl:

Seriously, the only one on the list that I've had the opportunity to play is the KoAloha concert that arrived today - I'd be playing it right now but I don't want to spill stew on it (my keyboard, on the other hand, I can easily replace).

John

caster
11-18-2010, 03:57 PM
Kimo Jones ukes should be on this list!!