View Full Version : Kiwaya kts-4

02-27-2011, 01:24 AM
Just ordered my KIWAYA KTS-4 from MGM (Just wait until the wife finds out. haha).

I asked MGM to adjust the action low and put on Worth or Aquila strings, whichever he thought was best for my skill level(just beginning fingerpicking).

what strings do you think he will put on? Am I correct about having to lower the action on a KTS-4? How will the sound and playability compare to my Kala KA-S?

My first post. slimbob

Ken Middleton
02-27-2011, 03:05 AM
What strings will Mike put on? Whichever he happens to have in stock.

To be fair, you can't expect Mike to choose for you. The choice of strings has nothing to do with "skill level". I personally would chooose Worths. That's what I have on my KTS-4. To me, Aquilas don't sound or feel right on such a light instrument.

Should you have the action set to "low"? I wouldn't. You can always take it down a little more when you have got the feel of the instrument. If he really does set it it to "low", you will certainly not be able to fingerpick, not with any volume anyway. Too many people think that a low action is good. Usually it is not. A low action certainly make it a little easier to play, but you trade off volume and tone.

It will sound nothing like a Kala. A Kiwaya has such an individual sound, it really sounds like nothing else. The tone is amazing (providing you don't have the action too low).

02-27-2011, 03:30 AM
I don't have enough knowledge to answer the action question, but I do agree that it's usually a personal choice regarding strings, I have Aquila's on my first three, but chose Worth Browns for my fourth as I felt Aquila would be too bright and I like the mellow sound of Worth Browns, it's nothing to do with skill level, I'm still very much a beginner, but more to do with what sound you're looking for!

02-27-2011, 03:56 AM
I agree with Ken that Worths are a good choice on these instruments. The only way any of us would know what MGM will put on would be to ask him. The action on my Kiwaya was just fine in the original set up.

Pukulele Pete
02-27-2011, 04:03 AM
The action on a Kiwaya is low to begin with. GREAT UKE.

Ken Middleton
02-27-2011, 04:39 AM
... The action on my Kiwaya was just fine in the original set up.

Yes, mine too. Kiwaya have been making instruments for the best part of a century. They know what they are doing. In my opinion they are up there with the very best manufacturers in the world.

02-27-2011, 04:41 AM
This is a $500 ukulele. Surely the $8 strings you have put on it the first time will not be the last set you purchase. I generally change strings every 2-6 months. I say try any good set now (Aquila, Martin, Worth, D Dadario) and another set later. On my Ohana sopranos I have enjoyed both Aquilas and Martins (similar to Worth). I agree with those that said the strings have nothing to do with whether you are a beginner - they are all about different sounds and which sound you like best. Aquilas tend to be bold and brash, while Worths tend to be more bell like.

I do not think beginners should have the action on a new uke fooled with, until they have played it awhile to see what suits them. I bought my Ohana SK-35 used. It was originally set up by a famous setup shop. I don't know if the original owner then lowered the action some more, but it was unplayable on some strings until I adjusted it. Its much easier to lower the action after you have played it awhile and decide its too high, than it is to raise it back up for playability, volume and tone. Kiwayas have such a good reputation for building a fine instrument that I can't imagine one of them needing much if any "beginner" setup out of the box.

Chris Tarman
02-27-2011, 05:54 AM
I bought a Kiwaya KTS-7 from MGM. He brought it to the Denver Uke Festival, and I don't believe he had done ANY setup on it. It was straight out of the Kiwaya box. The action was perfect. It's not what you'd call "low", but not high either. Just.... perfect. The factory strings sucked, though. When I got home, I ordered some Worth Clear Mediums, and I've been happy with them.

02-27-2011, 06:03 AM
Thank you all for the good advice. Bob

02-27-2011, 06:04 AM
I had Worth CMs on my KTS-5 and thought it sounded great. Last night, I put a set of Savarez Alliance strings that were the same dimension as the the Worths. Pete Howlett linked to William King's blog and he suggested that he used the Savarez over the Worths [on his own ukes, of course] because he thought them to be brighter. It was late and the the strings are still settling so I'm not sure if they're better for the Kiwaya. First impression is they're quieter, but when I pushed it, they were very loud and full. I'll check back in a couple days when I have a chance to break em in.

Also, I agree with the other posters. The action out of the box seems perfect, no need to adjust right away.