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View Full Version : Thin bodied- travel ukuleles



Uke Republic
01-26-2011, 03:50 AM
There popping up from a lot of makers- Kala, Koaloha, Vineyard (zebra demo vid up) and Kiwaya. sopranos,concerts,tenor and even pineapple soprano
I'm enjoying this size for lots of reasons, how about you?

ukeeku
01-26-2011, 03:58 AM
Love the kala travel ukes, the tops are so thin and it has a violin back that kicks the sound out. it blows my mind socks off.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
01-26-2011, 04:46 AM
I've enjoyed my Kala Soprano Travel uke a lot.

Lots of sound an volume in a smaller form factor.

I like their form-fitting gig bag as well. Snug and
easy to pack around.

I'd like to see/play that thin pineapple soprano.

Keep uke'in',

Mouthy1
01-26-2011, 05:16 AM
I love the volume with not much to play around with. I have a travel tenor and I love the fitted case too, nice touch and fun instrument to play too!!!

I am curious, who makes the pineapple travel? I couldn't find one? Maybe it was a NAMM video I missed?

I Ukulista
01-26-2011, 05:18 AM
I'm a big fan and have a Kala soprano, I've fitted a pick up and get even more volume.
I'm using a nice little amp that clips to my belt.

I also have an Ohana Sopranino and comparing the two in their cases I believe the Kala is smaller. Out of the case it's different and to be fair they are different instruments.

I have started a travel uk appreciation group on this forum. I you care to contribute..

Richie23
01-26-2011, 06:51 AM
I would love one day to get a Bruko thinline soprano in natural (not painted) wood.

Uke Republic
01-26-2011, 08:47 AM
The pineapple is by Kiwaya and we expect to have them in February/March
I love the volume with not much to play around with. I have a travel tenor and I love the fitted case too, nice touch and fun instrument to play too!!!

I am curious, who makes the pineapple travel? I couldn't find one? Maybe it was a NAMM video I missed?

Mouthy1
01-26-2011, 09:07 AM
Thanks, I think that is pretty cool. Kiwaya makes great stuff.

dnewton2
01-26-2011, 09:18 AM
Never played one but I really don't get it.

bazmaz
01-26-2011, 09:24 AM
I used to own a Bruko slimbody uke - absolutely loved it, but sadly, was sold to fund another uke...

Mouthy1
01-26-2011, 09:30 AM
Play one and you will get it....nuff said.

dnewton2
01-26-2011, 09:41 AM
Play one and you will get it....nuff said.

What exactly will I get. Is a thin body Koaloha better then a regular body Koaloha in any way except the body being thinner?

bazonkers
01-26-2011, 09:43 AM
I like the idea of a travel tenor but then again, a tenor isn't exactly small. I keep getting hung up on the idea that yes, it's thinner but it's still longer and wider. Maybe I need to find one somewhere and hold it.

SweetWaterBlue
01-26-2011, 10:02 AM
I personally believe that some people are fooled by the spruce tops common on a lot of "travel" ukes into thinking something is going on that is not. Its not that it is a high tech design travel uke that makes it kick - its the top. There is also the surprise/novelty factor working there, and they are cool. Many beginners are used to playing either a laminate or even some more subdued solid woods and pick up a travel uke with a spruce top. The loudness and tone blows them away. I have done several A-B tests of the Kala travel tenor against the regular KA-ST and even a Lanikai ST. Surprisingly the travel uke was almost as loud, but not surprisingly it didn't have as much mid-range and bass.

Uke Republic
01-26-2011, 10:04 AM
The travel tenors are really cool. The shallow body makes them nice to snug up to you. The Vineyard is broad @ the nut but has a lean neck. The others are great also.
I like the idea of a travel tenor but then again, a tenor isn't exactly small. I keep getting hung up on the idea that yes, it's thinner but it's still longer and wider. Maybe I need to find one somewhere and hold it.


Never played one but I really don't get it.
You really should try one. When Kala first came out with theirs I wasn't sure . I ordered some in and was wowed along with all who tried them out. Different in a very good way these thin bodied ukes.

SweetWaterBlue
01-26-2011, 10:05 AM
What exactly will I get. Is a thin body Koaloha better then a regular body Koaloha in any way except the body being thinner?

I haven't played a Koaloha travel uke, but I suspect since they both are consructed of high quality Koa by a great maker, what you will get is a somewhat quieter uke especially in the bass and mid range region.

bazonkers
01-26-2011, 10:27 AM
The travel tenors are really cool. The shallow body makes them nice to snug up to you. The Vineyard is broad @ the nut but has a lean neck. The others are great also.


You really should try one. When Kala first came out with theirs I wasn't sure . I ordered some in and was wowed along with all who tried them out. Different in a very good way these thin bodied ukes.

Does it really make a tenor that much more travel friendly? When I think of a person needing a travel uke I'm thinking of someone that is taking their uke in a backpack or something equally tight on space. If I'm traveling in a car, I can take a full size. If I'm backpacking, I would think a tenor might still be too big.

I'm not questioning the sound, I've heard samples on youtube and they do sound amazing for such a thin body. I'm more hung up on just how much portability the thinner tenor size gets you.

SweetWaterBlue
01-26-2011, 10:35 AM
When the sopraninos first came out, they were reputed to be Babe Magnets, but I have seen no such claim for the travel ukes.

dnewton2
01-26-2011, 10:39 AM
I haven't played a Koaloha travel uke, but I suspect since they both are consructed of high quality Koa by a great maker, what you will get is a somewhat quieter uke especially in the bass and mid range region.

That is kind of what I was getting at. I wasn't just asking about the Koalohas. If I took a thin body and compared it to the regular body of any maker what exactly is it that is "better". I might save a few ounces in wieght and an inch or two in body depth, which ussually is not the dimension I am concerened with when traveling. I am not trying to bash these ukes or anything I just don't get it. It seem like more of a novelty then an advacement in the instrument itself.

Uke Republic
01-26-2011, 10:47 AM
Carrying a travel uke around is kinda like carrying a tennis racket around is how I compare it. I think that is great for an already portable instrument:)
Now some uke bags have great back pack straps (Steady and the new Vineyard H20 bags) that really make carrying any uke easy too.
I like the idea of a travel tenor but then again, a tenor isn't exactly small. I keep getting hung up on the idea that yes, it's thinner but it's still longer and wider. Maybe I need to find one somewhere and hold it.


Never played one but I really don't get it.


Does it really make a tenor that much more travel friendly? When I think of a person needing a travel uke I'm thinking of someone that is taking their uke in a backpack or something equally tight on space. If I'm traveling in a car, I can take a full size. If I'm backpacking, I would think a tenor might still be too big.

I'm not questioning the sound, I've heard samples on youtube and they do sound amazing for such a thin body. I'm more hung up on just how much portability the thinner tenor size gets you.

I Ukulista
01-26-2011, 11:27 AM
Bruko v Kala. Got to admit Kala is best for me.

itsme
01-26-2011, 11:43 AM
I have a Kala thinline tenor and like it a lot. But, apart from being thinner, it's really no smaller, so I don't really get the "travel" part either. Travel guitars are usually more compact than regular guitars in some way.

And the Kala fitted gig bag is really nice, but if the goal is to make it more portable, it would have been even nicer if they'd included a shoulder strap of some sort, and maybe an exterior pocket for spare strings and a tuner.

pdxuke
01-26-2011, 03:52 PM
The pineapple is by Kiwaya and we expect to have them in February/March

and I'd buy one, but not with geared tuners! :-(

SweetWaterBlue
01-26-2011, 05:04 PM
That is kind of what I was getting at. I wasn't just asking about the Koalohas. If I took a thin body and compared it to the regular body of any maker what exactly is it that is "better". I might save a few ounces in wieght and an inch or two in body depth, which ussually is not the dimension I am concerened with when traveling. I am not trying to bash these ukes or anything I just don't get it. It seem like more of a novelty then an advacement in the instrument itself.


No. I am not trying to bash em either. One of my buddies has a Kala travel tenor and it kicks azz and is beautifully made. I wouldn't mind having one in my collection, but only if I didn't have to give up my fat bodied tenor for it.

Tonight, I also got to play that Vineyard zebrawood travel tenor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Sg6fS1CAxo) that UkeRepublic did a video on today. Beautiful instrument and good sound. I really like the snake skin binding.

RPeoples
01-26-2011, 08:50 PM
I played the Zebra Vineyard this evening, very nicely built, unique binding and sounded great. I have played a Kala Spruce top, Maple sides and back my friend has and like it also, I like its tone and is very loud. It has an arched back and I have noticed a couple of other ukuleles I have played lately with arched backs seem to be loud???? Any thoughts? I don't remember now exactly what they were.

bahai1844
01-27-2011, 09:31 PM
Hi, I have a thin-bodied Kala Soprano travel uke and I LOVE it. Although, it is my first uke. Anyhow, I'm glad to find this board as I have some questions about why my correctly tunes uke goes out of tune when I place my fingers on the fretboard. If I retune to make an 'F' chord sound good, for eg, the rest of the tuning is out. All comments appreciated.

DukeOfUkes
01-28-2011, 04:59 AM
They are too small for me to play comfortably. The Uke is travel sized anyway when compared to the guitar I used to travel with!