PDA

View Full Version : All koa???



The_Oddness_of_It_All
10-29-2010, 05:34 AM
I have a Koaloha kc-00 concert, which is the one that is all koa.. as in the neck too...and i was wondering if you guys thought that could be a problem one day. I geuss I'm just worrying about the strength and stability of a koa neck. What do you guys think?

cletus
10-29-2010, 05:42 AM
Lifetime warranty. No worries.

Mandarb
10-29-2010, 05:55 AM
From mgm's site.... Koalohas are played by some of the worlds best ukulele players...Herb Otha Jr, Daniel Ho, Britiny Paiva, T-Rock, Victoria Vox, Riatea Helm among others. This is their most popular model, the concert and comes with a "Better Than the Weather" warranty that even covers cracks and warping unlike most other manufacturers.

dnewton2
10-29-2010, 06:31 AM
I do not know specifics about the wood but I wouldn't worry about it. If it would be an issue at some point I don't think koa would be used as a neck, esspecially with the Koaloha warrenty. I am pretty sure other builder have used koa necks as well.

Ronnie Aloha
10-29-2010, 06:54 AM
The all koa models are very rare. I think Paul said they don't even make them anymore although their website says its available by special order.

The older ukes by Kamaka used koa necks and there doesn't seem to be an issue. I think a lot of luthiers use alternative woods for the necks due to cost.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-29-2010, 07:08 AM
You really can't make a blanket statement about koa since it's characteristics vary so much from tree to tree and from board to board. Personally I'd only use koa is it were straight grained and stable. Also, koa tends to be heavier than most traditional neck woods.
Having said that, there's is still something very cool about an ukulele where every wood component is made of koa.

spruce
10-29-2010, 07:16 AM
You really can't make a blanket statement about koa since it's characteristics vary so much from tree to tree and from board to board. Personally I'd only use koa is it were straight grained and stable. Also, koa tends to be heavier than most traditional neck woods.
Having said that, there's is still something very cool about an ukulele where every wood component is made of koa.

+1...

What wood would make a better neck than a well-selected piece of koa??

clayton56
10-29-2010, 07:38 AM
maybe maple would be better. In general the hardest wood you can get helps the vibrations. Banjos are usually made with maple necks, as are violins and cellos. I had one or two banjos with mahogany necks and there was a difference. Also electric guitarists will probably have an opinion on the issue.

I bet a koa neck would add to the sound quality, especially because koa has a magic quality. If you tap on some woods they are dead sounding but koa has a lot of sound inside when you do that. Some vibrations do come through the neck, so it might be worth a shot.

I do like mahogany necks on my ukes though, I guess I'm not as concerned about a hardball sound coming from them.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-29-2010, 08:08 AM
Honduran mahogany is a traditional favorite but my personal favorite is Spanish cedar. I've used koa before for necks but I just don't care for the extra weight. My own belief is that a ukulele should be light and lively. In theory, a koa neck should give you a little extra sustain though.

southcoastukes
10-29-2010, 08:27 AM
Another vote for Spanish Cedar / Light / Lively

spruce
10-29-2010, 08:41 AM
I've used koa before for necks but I just don't care for the extra weight.

Not all koa is heavy....
It varies quite a bit, just like any other wood...

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-29-2010, 09:04 AM
It varies quite a bit.

I've already said that. My point is that I would choose other woods before choosing koa for necks. What would you prefer?

haole
10-29-2010, 09:24 AM
My KoAloha has a (very thick) koa neck, and I can attest to it being heavy! The balance is hard to get used to, so it's a good candidate for a strap.

Chuck: Are there any non-traditional woods that make a good uke neck? I think it would be neat to have a custom uke made entirely of wood grown (hopefully sustainably) in Hawai'i. Your macadamia/spruce uke knocked me off my feet, and I've seen some interesting ukes made with strawberry guava, 'ulu, etc. as well. But it seems like these are mostly used for backs/sides or fretboards rather than necks.

southcoastukes
10-29-2010, 09:48 AM
We have a native Central American wood called Cenizaro. We have used it for bodies and necks, and love the sound.

It is a beautiful ornamental tree that was imported to Hawaii years ago. There they call it Monkeypod, and I have seen it used for ukuleles. Am not that familiar with Koa, but I think the Cenizaro should be lighter - it's close in weight and hardness to Mahogany (Caoba).

spruce
10-29-2010, 09:50 AM
What would you prefer?

Like you said, "there's is still something very cool about an ukulele where every wood component is made of koa." ;)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
10-29-2010, 09:53 AM
I've built ukes before using all Hawaii grown woods. They're fun. Ulu for the sound board, Milo for the sides and backs, hala (male pandanus tree) fret board, koa neck, kiawe bindings, etc. The problem for me is two fold. Availability of these woods can be sketchy as they are not grown or milled on any large commercial scale to the extent that koa is for instance. Most of what's available to me is the result of downfalls on the road or in someone's yard. There use to be a lot of milo more around but not so much any more. The other issue for me is from a business stand point. Since I don't work with these woods on a daily basis I don't know how these woods will respond five, ten or twenty years down the road. It's best to stay with woods that I know well. Unfortunately that means I can't afford to experiment too much.
BTW, ulu (bread fruit) is a killer tone wood. I also think monkeypod is under rated.

Ooops, southcoast responded while I was typing. Good call on that monkeypod. Jeffery Yong has received high accolades for his all monkeypod guitars, having won a blind sound test in 2006 at a GAL convention. Still, I don't have the experience to know how it would be as a neck wood.

southcoastukes
10-29-2010, 10:03 AM
The Cenizaro or Monkeypod is probably a lot more plentiful where we are, being native. It has been used for generations for all sorts of things from millwork to furniture to musical instruments. No need to worry about stability.

The one thing you will notice about it over time (a decade or three), is that as the wood oxidizes, it will change color from a golden brown to a geenish brown - somewhat like Ziricote without the black grain. Try a little potash on a piece of scrap, Chuck, and you'll see it in a minute or two.

Cenizaro Soprano (w/cenizaro neck & little bitty pictures):

http://www.southcoastukes.com/index_files/sopuke.htm

haole
10-29-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks for the great info, Chuck and southcoast! I can see why the limited demand and for unconventional woods would make it difficult to find a reliable source, and some have yet to stand the test of time, but it's still cool to see luthiers who don't mind taking a chance on something a little out of the ordinary.

The_Oddness_of_It_All
10-29-2010, 11:37 AM
My KoAloha has a (very thick) koa neck, and I can attest to it being heavy!


My KoAloha is one of the lightest ukes I've played. I don't need a strap at all. But it doesn't have a very think neck like yours

The_Oddness_of_It_All
11-01-2010, 05:00 AM
Well thank you all for responding. When I bought this uke I was a little worried that there many be a stablilty issue but I wasn't sure. So thank you for ending my worrying!

spruce
11-01-2010, 06:41 AM
Well thank you all for responding. When I bought this uke I was a little worried that there many be a stablilty issue but I wasn't sure. So thank you ending my worrying!

Here's (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?37664-An-8-String-Kanile-a....) another all-koa instrument....

No issues yet...