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View Full Version : Any thoughts on Ohana's Vita Uke?



mythidiot
02-28-2011, 04:44 AM
I've been saving my little pennies and its coming up on buy time. I've really wanted something a little different and I came across this little guy.
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Has anyone played this pear shaped uke? Any thoughts. Is it really louder as it claims. Does it sound different... can I get a hard case for it? (the site (http://ohana-music.com/conc/ckp70/master.html) claims that I can, but I think it says that on every page and I know people have had problems getting anything for the sopranino)

Anywho, I'm pretty excited about it, but before I drop the cash I thought I'd ask the experts.

kenikas
02-28-2011, 05:12 AM
I just got one from another member in the marketplace a week or so ago, and although I really haven't had a lot of time to spend with it I really like it so far. It's definately louder than any of my sopranos and seems like it will hold it's own against my concerts too. I like the shape and it seems easier to hold while standing than most. I was worried about it only being a soprano scale, since my old fat fingers usually have a hard time on sopranos, but the fretboard seems a wee bit wider and feels pretty comfortable so far. As for a case, I just got a Lanikai concert hard foam black canvas case from Musiciansfriend and though not a perfect tight fit, it fits pretty well. All in all I'd definately recommend one if your looking for something a bit different, I'm very happy with mine.

TCK
02-28-2011, 06:26 AM
I just got one about two weeks ago because I needed a loud short scale for when I was playing at my computer along with my music library. This TOTALLY fit the bill. It is louder than my tenors and it is comfortable to hold, especially when standing. It is light too. I would say it sounds like all my others, with the exception that the volume is much louder, and the sustain may be a little less than my Kala Lacewood (which is a solid).
It will fit in a Uke Crazy hard case for a concert sized Uke- I know because mine came with one.
My one complaint is the fit and finish. There are a few unforgivable blems on the ukulele, including a spot near the fretboard where it appears that they allowed a gerbil to chew off extra glue. I am pretty picky though, and as I bought it for a beater (I was bouncing my Martin off the desk too often which made the need for this one evident) I am over it. It is quickly becoming my favorite uke, or at least my go-to for everyday practice.
Oh yeah- and it drives people wild- they have never seen anything like it so they all want to know what it is.

RyanMFT
02-28-2011, 06:29 AM
I have played a friend's and I agree with TCK's comments. It was loud, easy to hold and play and IMO a really cool looking uke. I would get one if I didn't have this particularly virulent strain of V-UAS (vintage).

Ken Middleton
02-28-2011, 07:36 AM
... Does it sound different... can I get a hard case for it?

I work for Ohana. Let me answer a few questions.

Yes, it certainly does sound different.
Yes, it it is very loud.
The hard case is not available yet, but it will be soon.
The hard case for the sopranino has been available for a while (dealers may be reluctant to sell hard cases without instruments because they are costly to get owning to their weight).

Hope this helps.

WhenDogsSing
02-28-2011, 07:44 AM
I'd like to see a tenor version...Whooooaaaaa...!!!

Jnobianchi
02-28-2011, 07:51 AM
I really love mine. Like Dave (TCK) I've also got a Martin, which I've had forever, and I wanted a uke in it's price range that I could take with me wherever and which also had good quality, plus a vintage style and feel. CK-70 just caught my eye one day and another member was kind enough to sell me his.

The solid spruce top gives it a really bright sound, it's lightly constructed and really responsive, has good sustain, and can be played loudly. I love the neck, and hey, it's got a soprano scale-length despite being called a concert, though the lower bout and overall length are concert-sized. Here's me playing it, though hitting the top a little too hard with my finger - I was actually playing a banjo-uke and my wife told me to quiet down because the kids were sleeping. Ahh, what would I do without her? So that explains the hitting the head bit.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsbT-4iTxXs

The one negative, the action being a little higher than I like, was easily rectified by sanding the bridge down about a 16th of an inch, but I'm a nut for low action.

I couldn't recommend this one highly enough - I think, for the price, its a very good value.

SweetWaterBlue
02-28-2011, 08:20 AM
I've played it. It is very loud and very sweet. Its not my style of uke, but I think its a good one.

harpdog
02-28-2011, 12:13 PM
Loud, sweet - and old timey tone but it cuts through, plenty of sustain - a happy barking tone (like a seal!).
The action on mine was perfect. (Sold in a charity auction) I miss it and will have another.

PhilUSAFRet
02-28-2011, 02:50 PM
I'd never considered one until I started reading this post. I then went to YouTube and listened to several. A couple of sound clips made them sound so amazing that I have to find one to play, and if they sound as good as they did on YouTube, I may have to get one for the sound (I'm not that crazy about the shape).... but oh that sound for $149

pdxuke
02-28-2011, 02:56 PM
I really love mine. Like Dave (TCK) I've also got a Martin, which I've had forever, and I wanted a uke in it's price range that I could take with me wherever and which also had good quality, plus a vintage style and feel. CK-70 just caught my eye one day and another member was kind enough to sell me his.

The solid spruce top gives it a really bright sound, it's lightly constructed and really responsive, has good sustain, and can be played loudly. I love the neck, and hey, it's got a soprano scale-length despite being called a concert, though the lower bout and overall length are concert-sized. Here's me playing it, though hitting the top a little too hard with my finger - I was actually playing a banjo-uke and my wife told me to quiet down because the kids were sleeping. Ahh, what would I do without her? So that explains the hitting the head bit.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsbT-4iTxXs

The one negative, the action being a little higher than I like, was easily rectified by sanding the bridge down about a 16th of an inch, but I'm a nut for low action.

I couldn't recommend this one highly enough - I think, for the price, its a very good value.

Oh, John, that was awesome. And if your kids sleep through a VitaUke they can sleep through anything.

And now I want one.

Teek
02-28-2011, 10:13 PM
Have one love it! It has a very slick comfortable neck, smooth as butter, nice frets, really ergonomic shape, distinctive voice, and with Aquilas a very bluesy uke with a lot of sustain. Mine came pre-blemmed too and I paid more than the current going prices. Just love the snot out of it. If I could only have one soprano it would be a tough choice, even against the vintage ones I love so, I like that spruce top!

mythidiot
03-01-2011, 04:57 AM
Dude, I'm so getting one of these now. Thanks for confirming my UAS!

I think I'll wait for the hard case to come out. Ken, any idea of when that will be?

I love this place, you guys all rock.

Jnobianchi
03-01-2011, 05:07 AM
Hey, Thanks Thom - you were an enabler on that purchase!

Really, though, it's one of those ukes that once you hear it, you kind of have to have it!

Ken Middleton
03-01-2011, 05:18 AM
... I think I'll wait for the hard case to come out. Ken, any idea of when that will be? ...

No hard cases have been made yet, so it will be several months. There is a case available already that fits it. It is the ukulele case that a company called AXL import from China. I don't know whether they are available in the US. We can get them in the UK, but they often in short supply. I have bought lots of them because we turn the Vita into a high-end resonator and it is sold cased.

widespread
03-01-2011, 08:36 AM
I have an Ohana Vita. It was my first uke, and I bought it based on the positive online comments I read.
It's true that it's loud, and has a distinctive sound, but I don't play it much, for two reasons:

1) Hard action: I got it my Ohana from MGM, and was happy with it until I got a Hamano (also from MGM). The action on the Hamano is much easier. The Ohana's bridge came off after a year and a half, and I asked the luthier to lower the action while he was at it. He lowered the saddle a bit, but I don't think he lowered the nut. The action did improve somewhat, but it's still significantly harder than my Hamano's. Obviously, this is not a dealbreaker for those with the skill and/ or courage to file the nut, or those who don't mind a little stiffer action.

2) Narrow(er) fretboard: I've begun trying to play a little fingerstyle (I suck, FWIW), and the Ohana's narrower fretboard makes it more difficult. Also, since I'm used to the finger clearance provided by the round Hamano soundhole, my ring fingernail sometimes catches on the edge of the Vita's dolphin-shaped hole when picking the A string.

I still think the Ohana is a great value for the price, but in hindsight I wish I'd sprung for a better uke (the combined cost of the Ohana and Hamano was about the same as a Kiwaya KTS-4).

Hope this helps,
David