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View Full Version : My New Kiwaya KTS-7



Chris Tarman
02-09-2011, 06:44 PM
Here are a few pictures of the Kiwaya KTS-7 I bought at the Denver Uke Fest. I have been REALLY busy since I got home, so I haven't had a lot of time to play it, much less do a video with it (but I hope to do that either Friday night or Sunday... I have a bass gig Saturday night, so we'll see!).
I hate whatever these black strings are... I need to order something better soon! I've never tried Worths, so I'm thinking about getting some of them. It sounds good with the strings that are on it, but I think it will sound a LOT better with different strings.

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Chris Tarman
02-09-2011, 06:47 PM
And a couple more:
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As you can see, it's pretty similar to its older cousins. It's rich in Martin-y goodness!

TCK
02-09-2011, 06:57 PM
It is absolutely beautiful...you are so stoked. Can't wait to hear it

roxhum
02-09-2011, 06:57 PM
It is beautiful and I love it. I can't wait to read a full review and watch a video. How does it compare to the cousins. I am growing a hankering for a Kiwaya.

Chris Tarman
02-09-2011, 07:05 PM
It feels a LOT like a Martin, and I would say tonally it's pretty similar (well, FAIRLY similar, given that one of my Martins is 50-60 years old and the other is around 80). The neck seems identical, from what I can tell so far. The balance is very similar. The Kiwaya's headstock is a little "clunkier" and less graceful than the Martins'. I might actually put a set of Martin Fluorocarbons on it for a while before I try Worths, because both of my Martins have Martin strings. That way I could compare them without wondering how much any differences were caused by different strings. I can't wait 'til the weekend (Sunday and Monday are my days off) so that I can spend a bit more time with it.

Ken Middleton
02-09-2011, 07:43 PM
One of the first ukes I bought was a Kiwaya KTS-4. I use Worth strings on mine, either the clear (CM) or the brown (BM), both sound great.

The high-quality woods that Kiwaya use and the incredible workmanship ensure that the instrument is wonderfully light. They have a sound all of their own.

didgeridoo2
02-09-2011, 08:00 PM
It's a real beauty, Chris. Congrats. I have worth clears on my kts-5. I'm sure martins will be better than the stock strings, but you'll really like worths.

mm stan
02-09-2011, 10:05 PM
Aloha Chris,
Congrats on the new Kiwaya KTS-7 it looks awesome...and thank-you for sharing the pictures..just can't wait for your review on it and also with the new Martin M-600 fleuro's ...Have fun and enjoy buddy!!
Happy Strummings!! MM Stan.

spots
02-10-2011, 05:36 AM
Lovely looking uke! Congratulations on the purchase!

I believe the stock black strings on Kiwayas are Freemont Black Line. I believe these are sort of Kiwaya's house brand.

I have a KTS-4 strung with Worth CM and like the sound. I found the Freemont Black Lines to have too much surface texture for my taste.

SweetWaterBlue
02-10-2011, 06:14 AM
Man that thing is just beautiful. I want one.

Chris Tarman
02-10-2011, 11:52 AM
Lovely looking uke! Congratulations on the purchase!

I believe the stock black strings on Kiwayas are Freemont Black Line. I believe these are sort of Kiwaya's house brand.

I have a KTS-4 strung with Worth CM and like the sound. I found the Freemont Black Lines to have too much surface texture for my taste.

I know what you mean about the texture. They feel like that vinyl lacing material you get at craft stores!

EDW
02-10-2011, 02:47 PM
I also agree that Worth Mediums in either flavor are a good choice. Congrats on the lovely uke.

pdxuke
02-10-2011, 02:53 PM
Welcome to the Kiwaya family! I love my KS1 and KTS4! Your 7 is beautiful!

OldePhart
02-10-2011, 03:35 PM
Yeah, those black lines are absolutely terrible. Worst strings I've had yet. They came on my Kiwaya KSL-2 that I just got and I changed them out straight off. They felt kind of wimpy. Individually they didn't sound too awfully terrible but the set just didn't work together. After I let them stretch in a bit I kept re-checking intonation because it sounded like it was out of tune when I would strum a chord. The intonation was fine (came from MGM and he does great setups) but chords sounded TERRIBLE. I finally realized that the problem was that the A string was about twice as loud as all of the others.

I'll probably eventually put my own recipe of Seaguar leaders on it even though it's laminated, but for now I put a set of Aquilas on and I kind of like them on this uke, so I'll at least wait until they wear out before trying the Seaguars.


John

didgeridoo2
02-10-2011, 03:41 PM
I'll probably eventually put my own recipe of Seaguar leaders on it even though it's laminated, but for now I put a set of Aquilas on and I kind of like them on this uke, so I'll at least wait until they wear out before trying the Seaguars.


John
Those Seaguars are probably not a whole lot different than Worth Clears. I use Worths on my KS1 lam, too and I really like the way they sound.

OldePhart
02-10-2011, 03:44 PM
Those Seaguars are probably not a whole lot different than Worth Clears. I use Worths on my KS1 lam, too and I really like the way they sound.

Actually, you're right, my recipe is exactly like a Worth CM set except the E string is a size lighter gage (.0244 instead of .0256). I like the balance better with that E string.

John

hmgberg
02-10-2011, 04:12 PM
Nice uke, Chris. I'm very interested in hearing your further comparisons to the Martins.

Chris Tarman
02-10-2011, 06:57 PM
I got to spend a bit of time with it this evening... and now I have the beginnings of a blister on my strumming index finger. I've never had that happen before, so I am blaming these strings!

beergeek
02-10-2011, 11:44 PM
I got to spend a bit of time with it this evening... and now I have the beginnings of a blister on my strumming index finger. I've never had that happen before, so I am blaming these strings!

I would change them out to either Martins or Worths. I currently have Worth Brown mediums on mine and I honestly liked the sound of CM's better on this uke. I haven't tried Martins on it yet so that's next up.

I got mine upgraded with a Fremont black rectangular case but would rather have an Oahu deluxe case. The Fremont has more room but the Oahu is just a nicer case. I'd bet that's what MGM is going to send you.

It appears that almost every Kiwaya owner changes the stock Fremont strings. Since almost every Kiwaya owner is also in agreement that these ukes approach perfection, someone should point Kiwaya to this thread ;)

Pukulele Pete
02-11-2011, 12:20 AM
I have a KTS-4 and I love it. For me, it's like having a brand new vintage Martin. I was disappointed with the original strings and I put on strings from Southcoast ukes and they made it sound the way I expected it to sound. I think it is the perfect uke. I know a KTS-7 is in my future, now I am really lusting for one.

Chris Tarman
02-14-2011, 04:20 PM
Update: The case for the Kiwaya arrived this evening. Mike had to ship it to me, since he didn't bring any to Denver. So now my Mainland can go back into its own case, instead of living in the cardboard box the Kiwaya came in (wrapped in the nice felt Kiwaya bag, at least). Mike sent a Kala "Uke Crazy" case in the brown "python" pattern. It's a nice case... a little big for this uke, but if I put the Kiwaya in its bag first, it fits snugly. Now... to sticker or not to sticker?

cletus
02-14-2011, 04:34 PM
Ixnay on the ickertay. IMHO.

pdxuke
02-14-2011, 06:48 PM
Now... to sticker or not to sticker?


20657

Love em. If you ixnay, ensay emthay to me!:o

Chris Tarman
02-14-2011, 07:01 PM
20657

Love em. If you ixnay, ensay emthay to me!:o

I bid on one of those Kiwaya stickers tonight on eBay... we'll see what happens.

Chris Tarman
02-17-2011, 04:44 PM
The Worth strings came today from Elderly, and a set is currently going out of tune on the Kiwaya. In a few days, it should actually be playable! So far, it seems like the Worths (CMs) aren't as loud as the things that were on it, but they feel a lot nicer and have a fuller, richer sound.