View Full Version : Islander Affordable ukuleles from...Kanilea?

01-14-2011, 03:33 PM
Hey what? Kanilea now has its own import line check out Joe in this Video
opps 29 mintues processsing time

01-14-2011, 03:53 PM
Hey what? Kanilea now has its own import line check out Joe in this Video
opps 29 mintues processsing time

Wow. Can't wait to hear what those sound like. Anything like a Kanilea?
Do they have a similar UV gloss finish?

01-14-2011, 07:21 PM
Can't wait to see what's up in the vid! :)

01-14-2011, 09:52 PM
That sounds interesting. However, I am even more interested in this rumored "peg-pals" coming out of Kanilea. :)

03-25-2011, 08:33 AM
Anyone heard when the Kanilea Islanders will appear?

03-25-2011, 10:44 AM
What's a peg pal???

That sounds interesting. However, I am even more interested in this rumored "peg-pals" coming out of Kanilea. :)

04-05-2011, 05:29 PM
The folks at Kanilea said they are preparing pics for the website now, and islanders should be out in May sometime.

05-11-2011, 10:29 AM
I don't like the headstock decal, but otherwise, except for the bridge pins, the solid mahogany tenor looks like the Kala, tortoise binding and all. I can't wait to hear them either.


05-11-2011, 10:44 AM
I don't like the headstock decal, but otherwise, except for the bridge pins, the solid mahogany tenor looks like the Kala, tortoise binding and all. I can't wait to hear them either.


Yeah that headstock decal is a bit over the top for my tastes.

05-23-2011, 07:45 AM
Still no arrival of the Islander ukuleles?

05-23-2011, 08:37 AM
Looks like their website is active and taking orders.

05-26-2011, 01:26 PM
Anyone ever hear one? I saw the interview with them but the sound didn't tell me much? I love Kanilea but if it is a repackaged Kala, that would be a big disappointment. Kala makes great stuff but I would rather buy a Kala then.

05-27-2011, 05:05 AM
While Kanilea makes some outstanding ukes, these Islanders ukes don't seem to be anything special. They don't even resemeble Kanilea at all except for maybe the bridge pins. I haven't played one or seen one in person but there seem to be nicer offerings from Kala, etc.

05-27-2011, 05:18 AM
Yeah, I just wonder. It would be great if they were special though! Thanks for your guesses.

07-26-2011, 07:55 AM
According to Kanile'a Facebook page, they changed the headstock logo.

Don't bother watching this video which was uploaded yesterday (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QoJ4Igo2vQ) of Joe Souza talking about and holding an Islander uke. You can't see the uke up close, nor did Joe play it so you can't hear what it sounds like.

07-26-2011, 08:01 AM
I called and asked also about if they were going to use the TRU bracing and they said "No". I have recently been on a Kanilea buying kick and their stuff is out of this world. Totally different level than all the others I have played. If their Mohag. Islander was made the same, I would buy one without hesitation. I don't suspect it will be though(insert sad disappointed face here).

07-26-2011, 08:06 AM
I'd like to try out the spruce top/koa one, especially if it comes with a MiSi pickup.

07-26-2011, 08:15 AM
I want to see what the new headstock looks like? I can't even look at the current one! That tacky.

08-17-2011, 11:36 AM
Here's a video that shows the sound of some of the Islander
ukuleles. I bought the soprano and concert versions and really
like the sound that comes out of these ukuleles. My wife and I
are beginners and we previously played with a Braddah soprano
purchased in 1997 and a Kamaka Keiki soprano made in 1969. We
like the Islanders because they are easy to hold chords on the
fretboard. The sound is also louder and richer than our Braddah
and Kamaka. Since we live on Oahu, we actually bought the
ukuleles from the guy in the video.

MS-4, MC-4, MT-4, MSS-4, MST-4

08-17-2011, 03:36 PM
I got a lamin. Concert and it is really great! I don't think they are pretty at all but it sounds pretty darn good.

08-18-2011, 02:47 AM
Does anyone know the neck width at the nut for the Islander concerts?

Actually, I see they now have the specs listed here (http://www.islanderukulele.com/page111.aspx)

08-18-2011, 05:22 PM
1.5 inches

10-10-2011, 12:05 PM
I recently received an Islander laminate tenor (MT-4) from HMS. I bought it so I could keep it in the office without having to worry about temp/humidity or abuse or theft.

The build looks very nice for the price, but is not perfect. Even though it's a laminate, it looks like they made sure the outermost veneer appears bookmatched. Makes for a very nice looking top and back. Less refined is that the sides have a slight but visible join at the tail that has been filled, but within expectations at this price. Inside, the kerfing could be a little cleaner (there are visible little splinters in the cuts), but it's clean without any visible glue overflow or droplets. The bracing looks clean and nothing is rattling around loose. The wood laminate is thicker than I thought it would be (about 3/32" at the soundhole). So the ukulele is a bit heavier than I expected but fortunately not enough to make the instrument feel unbalanced when holding it in playing position. For those that care, the smell at the soundhole is wood with just a hint of wood glue.

(Update: Upon more critical examination, the "bookmatching" of the veneer is off-center by a little under 1/16" on the top soundboard. The back is better but is still off by about 1/32". Purely cosmetic and I didn't notice it until I really started to stare.)

The tuners are open-backed Grovers with black plastic buttons. Well, at least Grover is stamped onto the back plate of the tuners. I would say that they feel similar to the closed tuners on my daughter's Kala, but not even close to the smoothness of the tuners on my Ko'olau. However, they do seem to do their job of staying in tune.

The neck at the heel where it meets the body is four layered pieces and tapers to 2 pieces at the headstock. I think I got a bit lucky with the headstock which has an interesting swirly grain pattern. The feel of the neck is very comfortable. To me if feels as if the curve of the neck's back is not perfectly round, but rather comes to a subtle peak near middle of the width. This gives the neck a nice ergonomic feel...but maybe it's my imagination. There are inlay (fake?) markers on the fretboard at the 5th, 7th, 10th, and 12th frets and plastic embedded markers of the side of the fretboard (I expected painted dots at best).

The bridge is fairly substantial and the shape is evocative of the Kanile'a look. However, it is not finished as nicely; in particular, the saddle does not blend into the bridge like it does on a true Kanile'a. It does use a pin bridge which is remarkable for this price. The pins are simple black plastic with a white plastic embedded at the center. The pins appear to be the grooved type, but I won't be sure until I get around to restringing it.

Intonation is very good up and down the neck on the 2nd to 4th strings, but on my sample the 1st string goes slightly flat as you get to the 12th fret. This is with an Aquila set and I wonder if that will change once I switch to flourocarbons (I like to use Fremont blacklines or Worths)...although I'm not sure if that's the right choice for a laminate. The action is very playable up and down the neck without buzzing anywhere, although how much is due to the factory setup versus HMS's vaunted setup is unknown. FWIW, HMS does claim that the Islanders need the least amount of setup work in this class.

The tone is pleasant and sounds similar to my daughter's solid mahogony Kala. I note that the Islander can be played very quietly while still sounding musical, but that may be due more to the Aquila string...again it will be interesting to see how flouro strings effects this. One notable criticism is that the sustain is greatly attenuated compared to the solid Kala and definitely much much less ringing than my solid Koa Ko'olau. However, I expected this from a laminate and I am not at all disappointed given the price and the intended purpose (keeping an uke in my office).

Finally, the logo on the headstock. Yeah, I'm not a fan and on my sample it's not even properly centered on the headstock (it's shifted to the left by 1/8"). However, I find that it's actually kind of hard to look at the logo and play at the same time, so I'm ignoring it. :-)

10-10-2011, 01:01 PM
I got my concert and would have to say for the price, I can't believe how good it is. I just wanted to get one to test to see if it was worth springing for a solid version and I ended up playing it all the time! Even over my many many many choices(got I need to sell some ukes!) of other ukes. Great uke and I would have to say I am very happy with it and will get a solid concert when they are available.

Thanks RedmondDad for your review. They are a great find.