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View Full Version : Island Ukulele, All Koa concert size made on Kauai



strumsilly
01-18-2011, 03:48 PM
anybody seen/played one of these. looks nice in the pictures.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Island-Ukulele-All-Koa-concert-size-made-Kauai-New-/280617395400?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item415619a4c8

didgeridoo2
01-18-2011, 04:00 PM
Haven't played one, but heard good things about Raymond Rapozo's ukes. Seems like a good deal for all Koa, handmade uke. You should go to Scotty's and try it in person though. I highly recommend it.

rayan
01-18-2011, 04:44 PM
This is the extremely rare situation where I feel that being silent is worse than intervention. UU is based on Kauai so we're very familiar with this brand. I don't know this maker personally, I have never met him, I'm sure he's a nice guy and is trying to make great looking instruments. The following is just my experience and opinion from playing multiple instruments from that company and does not necessarily reflect the views of UU as a company or my partners.

I honestly do not think you should buy this (or any of his) ukuleles unless all you plan to do is hang it as a display piece. They are great looking instruments as he knows how to choose nice looking woods and applying finishing technique but there are too many flaws in craftsmanship that cannot be overlooked. Tonally i've found his ukes tend to be very bad, tinny sounding without any kind of resonance or sustain. Every Islander uke I've touched had multiple spots with buzzes throughout the fretboard which would require a lot of work to just get them playable.

This post is really hard for me to make because I never want to prevent anyone from making a living, but I would hate for any UU member to spend $600 and not be completely satisfied with what they purchased. I think this is my first on record negative post about any ukulele brand so you know this is an extreme circumstance. This is more to protect UU members than to put down this guy, I hope he does try harder to improve so we can recommend him as he is from the same Island we grew up on.

didgeridoo2
01-18-2011, 04:47 PM
yikes. well I still think you should go to Kauai and try some ukes out in person. way to look out Rayan.

rayan
01-18-2011, 05:06 PM
yikes. well I still think you should go to Kauai and try some ukes out in person. way to look out Rayan.

Yeah some people might like it so it might be best to try it out for yourself but here's a comparison video with a Kamaka. Now keep in mind, almost anything will not sound as good as the Kamaka, but you can hear what it has to offer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtklqJLBL58

pithaya9
01-18-2011, 05:49 PM
Thanks for looking out for us UU members Rayan.

Pippin
01-18-2011, 10:43 PM
What a huge difference. The Kamaka buries the Island Uke.

strumsilly
01-19-2011, 02:44 AM
thanks Rayan. I know what you did is hard to do. UU rules.

Ronnie Aloha
01-19-2011, 05:57 AM
Thanks Ryan! We know the staff must try and stay impartial but there is a balancing act when trying to protect the community too. I think you made the right call.

808boy
01-19-2011, 06:38 AM
Mahalo rayan for looking out for your Ohana..........way to go...............

Skottoman
01-19-2011, 07:27 AM
I happen to have an Island Ukulele soprano. I purchased it on a trip to Kauai, to play at my friends wedding.

Thread is here - http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?29926-Back-from-Kauai-Island-Ukulele-acquired!

Now for me, to purchase a Kauai built ukulele, and play at a wedding on a Kauai beach, was awesome.
Regarding the ukulele itself, I purchased at Scotty's, and was looking at Kamaka's etc. This one stood out to me as "The one" to have for my friends wedding, due to the local production, look, and it plays pretty nicely.

That said, I have 9 ukes, and this is not my fav to play. It lacked sustain, so I changed strings to a clear KoAloha set I had around. This helped things. It really does sound like the one in the comparison video posted earlier in this thread. A bit "plucky" on the high strings... The size is slightly larger than a standard soprano, and it sounds it. Mine is Mohagany with a Koa front and Fretboard. It is a very nice looking uke. I am very impressed with the workmanship, and it seems to be finished as nice or better than my Pineapple sunday. It's a looker for sure.

I also paid closer to $400 for it, and not $600. So I felt it was a good deal for what I was getting.

Would I buy it again? For my intended purposes, yes. I enjoy having it, and the memories it brings me. Do I play it often? Not as much as some of my others, but I do like having it in my "stable" of ukes. Would I purchase the one on ebay? Probably not.

Cheers,
Skottoman

http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_4.jpg
http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_6.jpg
http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_7.jpg
http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_8.jpg

Coconut Willie
01-19-2011, 07:43 AM
Thanks for looking out for us UU members Rayan.

Ditto!!!! Mahalo Rayan!!!

HojoKing
01-19-2011, 11:01 AM
I'm just gonna gonna repeat what everybody said. Rayan, YOU ARE THE MAN! We want quality for our money.

123456789
03-06-2011, 02:41 PM
This is the extremely rare situation where I feel that being silent is worse than intervention. UU is based on Kauai so we're very familiar with this brand. I don't know this maker personally, I have never met him, I'm sure he's a nice guy and is trying to make great looking instruments. The following is just my experience and opinion from playing multiple instruments from that company and does not necessarily reflect the views of UU as a company or my partners.

I honestly do not think you should buy this (or any of his) ukuleles unless all you plan to do is hang it as a display piece. They are great looking instruments as he knows how to choose nice looking woods and applying finishing technique but there are too many flaws in craftsmanship that cannot be overlooked. Tonally i've found his ukes tend to be very bad, tinny sounding without any kind of resonance or sustain. Every Islander uke I've touched had multiple spots with buzzes throughout the fretboard which would require a lot of work to just get them playable.

This post is really hard for me to make because I never want to prevent anyone from making a living, but I would hate for any UU member to spend $600 and not be completely satisfied with what they purchased. I think this is my first on record negative post about any ukulele brand so you know this is an extreme circumstance. This is more to protect UU members than to put down this guy, I hope he does try harder to improve so we can recommend him as he is from the same Island we grew up on.


Wow no class....name bashing, slander.....island ukulele is a beautiful sounding instrument.....maybe some people dont know how to play.....

123456789
03-06-2011, 03:01 PM
I own 2 Island ukuleles, a concert, and a standard, all koa with ebony fret.
My instruments are cosmetically perfect, wonderful craftsman ship, excellent sounding overall this is what drew me to island ukulele instead of other brands. I was sold immediatley....I have had my ukes for many many years....still perfect....As far as I know Island Ukulele has been around for over 20 years, and his craftsmanship is definitely upping the bar a little for its competitors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANtBXNtRzmA&feature=player_embedded

OldePhart
03-06-2011, 03:09 PM
Hmmm, so, who shall we trust? Rayan...or someone who shows up with a username of "123456789" apparently solely for the purpose of rebutting Rayan's extraordinarily rare warning?

Pretty much a no brainer for me. LOL

John

Edited to add PS - if that clip was supposed to be a "+" for the ukes in question I guess I have to confess to not getting it. The uke in that clip sounds pretty lifeless - maybe it's just a case of a poor mix or poor miking but it sounds about like the Lanikai laminated 8-string that I gave away because I couldn't bring myself to stick someone here on UU with it. (The Lanikai was great plugged in, though, I'll give it that.)

OldePhart
03-06-2011, 03:17 PM
Wow no class....name bashing, slander.....island ukulele is a beautiful sounding instrument.....maybe some people dont know how to play.....

Hmmm, maybe if you'd been around here for a while you'd know how rare it is for Rayan to criticize anything (and also know that the guys running this outfit are very accomplished and respected ukists.

:biglaugh:

haolejohn
03-06-2011, 03:25 PM
Wow no class....name bashing, slander.....island ukulele is a beautiful sounding instrument.....maybe some people dont know how to play.....

sorry 123456789 but i wouldn't call what Rayan did as name bashing or slander. He stated his opinion. Just like you. I'm glad you had a great experience with your two island ukuleles.
I'll keep your positive review in mind when I look into getting my next uke as well as the negative review.

philpot
03-06-2011, 03:33 PM
sorry 123456789 but i wouldn't call what Rayan did as name bashing or slander. He stated his opinion. Just like you. I'm glad you had a great experience with your two island ukuleles.
I'll keep your positive review in mind when I look into getting my next uke as well as the negative review.

personally I'd give Rayans review a bit more weight then the internet trolls review ;) They're pretty ukes, I'll give em that, but I'll never be owning one based on the comparison to the Kamaka.

haole
03-06-2011, 04:03 PM
I really hope 123456789 doesn't work for or represent Island Ukuleles, because making an account for the sole purpose of responding to a critical post in an old thread raises a lot of suspicions. This kind of conduct hurts a manufacturer way more than a negative review does, so assuming this guy is just a random person who likes the brand, he'd be better off editing those remarks. :B

haolejohn
03-06-2011, 04:18 PM
personally I'd give Rayans review a bit more weight then the internet trolls review ;) They're pretty ukes, I'll give em that, but I'll never be owning one based on the comparison to the Kamaka.

I won't buy one of those ukes. I have already decided on my next uke but i read all the reviews regardless and draw my own opinion.

philpot
03-06-2011, 04:31 PM
I won't buy one of those ukes. I have already decided on my next uke but i read all the reviews regardless and draw my own opinion.

As well you should :D everyone should do so.

Mraz
03-06-2011, 04:49 PM
Yeah, after re-reading my post I agree. My apologies. Just got caught up in the heat of the moment I guess.

Mraz
03-06-2011, 04:51 PM
Post deleted.

A FAYE
03-06-2011, 07:37 PM
Over the years, I have bought the following Island Ukulele made by Raymond Rapozo: (1) 4-string tenor 2002 for me, (2) 4-string concert 2002 for my wife, (3) 6-string Tenor 2009 for me, (4) 8-string tenor 2010 for me, (5) 4-string bass ukulele 2011 for me.

Every one of these instruments was made with curly koa. The last three were inlaid with maile/mokihana abalone on the fretboard and around the sound hole. The last three also have the Fishman Prefix Pro Preamps installed. ALL five of these ukuleles have been compared with Kamaka and Martin ukulele and all five have better sound all around, with and without guitar amplifier. As a result, there are 21 new Island Ukuleles made for friends over the past 3-4 yers, by Raymond Rapozo, based on the playing and sound of my variety of ukuleles. All 21 owner/players play ukulele together, off and on and would not chose Kamaka, Martin or Sussman.

The quality of workmanship is beyond expectation and value of each will do nothing but increase. Important for good sound is the selection of strings. One can make any ukulele sound "tinny" with the wrong strings. So when comparing with other ukulele, make sure you compare with the same kind of string. As in using "Savarez" strings.

I have been playing ukulele since age 7 and I am now 78. I was blessed in 2002 when I happened across a young boy of maybe 9-10, who was strumming and picking on the Hanalei beach park. I had to look inside and find out who in the world made such a super sounding concert ukulele. "Island Ukulele." My life changed. My mother had taught me ukulele in 1939 on her Martin standard. My wife started ukulele in Honoka'a with a Kamaka. Now, we will only play Island Ukulele. All you have to do is share your playing with another player and they say: "Hey, where you ben get dat wan?" True, so help me God. This is NOT advertising! It is sharing, from the heart!

wickedwahine11
03-06-2011, 08:18 PM
I think at this point everything that needs to be said on both sides probably has...and I'm leery of people creating new accounts just to post in this topic (particularly when they are blatant endorsements of this product). It may well be that they are legitimately happy customers, and if so, I don't mean to disparage them or they ukuleles they enjoy, but it could also be interpreted as suspicious. So I'm locking this thread at this point.