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View Full Version : New ukulele, a honu maybe?



UkuLeLesReggAe
03-10-2011, 05:11 PM
Aloha fellow UUers...

If you know me, dramatic person that makes out everyone else is a drama queen except me, I recently bought a Kanilea ukulele with a pickup. Well, I SOLD IT!

turns out, a pickup installed in an acoustic ukulele wasn't what I was looking for. Even though I paid $1468 for the ukulele all up, I ended up getting $710 for the ukulele.

All problems aside, I want another ukulele, this Lanikai is hurting me.

While the Australian dollar is still strong, I want to buy another ukulele. An expensive one, maybe around the $900 mark. I woul like either a kanilea, kamaka or Honu.

I tried looking on youtube etc etc.... however, I really like this ukulele:
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/HONU-SOLID-KOA-TENOR-UKULELE-KXXX-TR-W-Deluxe-CASE-/370491522785?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564303fee1

However, I loveddddd the tone the Kanile'a had, and I want one similar..... not sure what to do... I wouldn't mind getting a Kanilea k1t from hawaiimusicsupply.com, but I don'tee it there anymore, as it was only $720.

a bit bias towards tenor... maybe I should get something around the $500 mark for now? I'm not sure. Thought I would let youse know!

bye!

Plainsong
03-11-2011, 12:44 AM
There's not much difference between an acoustic uke with a pickup or one without. If the uke is good and the electronics are good, they don't weigh much, it's not enough to change the acoustic sound...

What was it that made you unhappy with the Kanile'a that made you sell it? I ask because you should avoid that with the next uke. Just having the pickup in there doesn't change the sound, so that's not it. It was something else. If we know what you didn't like in the Kanile'a, then we can narrow down to which ukes you should be looking at.

ukeeku
03-11-2011, 01:48 AM
I played this one at NAMM and it also rocks
http://cgi.ebay.com/MIM-Big-Island-Solid-Koa-Tenor-Ukulele-U-BI-KTO-TR-/170612549536?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b94ce7a0
It does not have all the turtle stuff, but it also is $100 cheaper. Both are REALLY nice ukes. I love BI

Skitzic
03-11-2011, 02:40 AM
Aren't you going to Hawaii soon? Perhaps you should wait until you're there to pick one out in person.

JMHO.

Snorky
03-11-2011, 03:23 AM
Please please please don't choose the Honu over the Kamaka. If you can possibly wait and save towards a Kamaka or Kanilea you should. While the that honu you're looking at is quite pretty, I found the sound of mine a bit dead, whereas Kamakas really sing. Tried a variety of different strings on my Honu and eventually found something to make it better but it will never be my favorite uke. BI might use some nice materials but I can't help but feel there was no passion in the creation.

Nat

HornedOne
03-11-2011, 03:32 AM
I tried some honus in the uke store in in the netherlands and I wan't impressed, for that price you can get something much nicer sounding

Kauai808
03-11-2011, 03:47 AM
Are Big Island ukes handmade? Or is the koa grown on the big island then shipped off to be assembled somewhere else?

Ukulelesreggae. If you already owned a Kanilea, your expectations will be high.

haolejohn
03-11-2011, 03:56 AM
Are Big Island ukes handmade? Or is the koa grown on the big island then shipped off to be assembled somewhere else?

Ukulelesreggae. If you already owned a Kanilea, your expectations will be high.

big islands are handmade in vietnam.

Here is my opinion on the big three imports Mele, Pono, and Big Island/Honu

Best sound and all around playability-Mele
Best quality-Pono
Best looks-Big Island/Honu

Matt, I agree with Plainsong, since you already owned a kanilea and was not impressed, don't get another one. I'd look into Kamaka or KoAloha. Heck if you want to save a little money, I'll sell you my ana'ole if you want it.

ukeeku
03-11-2011, 05:00 AM
although not a tenor, this uke was one of the best sounding ukes I have played
http://ukeeku.com/2010/09/03/big-island-ukulele-co-sp-krgt-full-review/
the others I played at NAMM were no exception.
but this is just my opinion, get a K brand if you can, everytime

lkdumas
03-11-2011, 05:52 AM
I completely agree with "Snorky". I've owned two Honus - the key word here is "owned". The visual is as good as they get; the tone is muted - no way to get around it. I'm currently enjoying my Kamaka and Kanile'a tenors.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-11-2011, 06:43 AM
The accepted definition of "hand made" means being made by one pair of hands. So no, Big Island Ukuleles are NOT hand made but rather, made by many hands in a factory like setting.

Mouthy1
03-11-2011, 08:08 AM
What strings did you use? I have a fancy rope one that is the most beautiful uke ever but sounds isn't 100% of what I want. needs another 10%. Strings may be the answer? What did you use?


Please please please don't choose the Honu over the Kamaka. If you can possibly wait and save towards a Kamaka or Kanilea you should. While the that honu you're looking at is quite pretty, I found the sound of mine a bit dead, whereas Kamakas really sing. Tried a variety of different strings on my Honu and eventually found something to make it better but it will never be my favorite uke. BI might use some nice materials but I can't help but feel there was no passion in the creation.

Nat

molokinirum
03-11-2011, 08:29 AM
Try this site...Bounty Music in Maui Hawaii. I have dealt with them many times and I got my Kaniel'a 6 string from them. I dealt with Paul Weinstein, the manager. He even came down in price and threw in some extra things for free.

http://www.ukes.com/kanilea-ukulele.html

Snorky
03-11-2011, 08:41 AM
I went with D'addario Pro.Arté Classical Guitar strings (hard tension).

J4601 E string for the A
J4602 B string for the E
J4603 G string for the C

For the G string I had a few different options you could use another J4601 E string if you'd like a high G, this found had the best sound balance across the strings.
Or try the wound J4604 D string for a low g but this leaves you with a wonky balance as the wound string is ALOT lounder than the rest.
Or you could try the good old Worth non-wound low g, probably my favorite for low g stringing.

You might have to pick/strum slightly harder than you're used to, but you'll get a nice clear and bright sound out of it.

I used:
http://www.stringmail.co.uk/index.htm
to get all my single strings here in the uk.

Uke-lahoma
03-11-2011, 09:04 AM
I have a Big Island Honu rope series concert (like this soprano (http://cgi.ebay.com/MIM-Big-Island-Honu-Solid-Koa-Soprano-Ukulele-KRP-SP-/170612553835?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b94cf86b)). It had Aquila strings when I got it, and the sound was somewhat quiet and not bright. I changed the strings to Fremont Black Lines and - besides looking really nice - they made it louder and brighter sounding. The Honu's koa is beautiful and I like its sound now, but if my house was on fire and I had to save one uke, it would be my KoAloha.


What strings did you use? I have a fancy rope one that is the most beautiful uke ever but sounds isn't 100% of what I want. needs another 10%. Strings may be the answer? What did you use?

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-11-2011, 04:12 PM
I'm not sure, I believe putting a whole in the body of an ukulele would HAVE to altar the sound, to the extent... there is a reason why there aren't holes in acoustic instruments.

I' m not sure, I did't like the look of it, the wood was really dark.... There was also a distinct difference between the 2 kanileas that I had.. the darker one wasn't as bright, and I want a bright sounding ukulele.

I love Kanilea... I want another one... However, I am very disappointed that I sold one with an added $250 pickup, for $700, when I find them on the internet without pickups for $900.... Not sure what to do.

Maybe I would be happy paying $400 for an ukulele and it doesn't sound too bad?

ukeatan
03-11-2011, 04:38 PM
If you want a really bright sounding uke, get one with a solid spruce or cedar top. And chances are you'd be happy with something in a lower price range--I really liked the Ohana spruce top I had. Also, I'd suggest you try to buy domestically if possible, given all the hassles you went through buying interationally. Either way though, hope you end up with a great uke!

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-11-2011, 04:51 PM
too hard to buy domestically. Australia is the country of making things IMPOSSIBLE!

Hippie Dribble
03-11-2011, 05:04 PM
get on ebay. Look up some local luthiers. use google. There are heaps of ukes available in Australia that are good players and, like the last poster said, at good value prices. Spruce, cedar, mango...many choices hand made or factory made. Australia is not the country of making things impossible. And even if you go overseas, fine too, just keep the price under 1000 and there's no tax. It is one's attitude tends to make things impossible. Maybe if the glass was 1/2 full it wouldn't be 1/2 empty.

haole
03-11-2011, 05:55 PM
It's not hard to find another Kanile'a tenor, but I understand your concern about buying from out of the country. As far as Australian-made ukes go, see if you can track down some ukes made by Scott Wise. He's in Western Australia and makes fantastic stuff. I met him at the New York Uke Fest last year and was really impressed with his instruments.

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-11-2011, 06:32 PM
eugene do no make personal attacks at me saying that I think of the worst in situations. Don't say I'm a pessimistic person..... I see ukuleles in Australia, I'm not blind, but I'm not looking at mahalo of kala, I'm looking at kanilea, kamaka, koaloha etc.... I have searched ebay, google, etc, find what I want in Australia? No...........

It isn't ones attitude at all, depending on what the situation is, and you approach it in a realistic way, is what makes me approach it the way I do. Do you honestly think I haven't tried looking? jeez.....

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-11-2011, 06:34 PM
and I tried local luthiers, for a local luthier, he was not good at what he did at all.... he placed a piece of random wood, connecting the bottom and top half of the body inside, which killed the sound completely. It's doing a good job so far

Mouthy1
03-11-2011, 06:47 PM
Thanks bro, I will try those. My last set I didn't like but it was on a mele and I don't think I would have anything on that uke. Thanks again.

I have a Big Island Honu rope series concert (like this soprano (http://cgi.ebay.com/MIM-Big-Island-Honu-Solid-Koa-Soprano-Ukulele-KRP-SP-/170612553835?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b94cf86b)). It had Aquila strings when I got it, and the sound was somewhat quiet and not bright. I changed the strings to Fremont Black Lines and - besides looking really nice - they made it louder and brighter sounding. The Honu's koa is beautiful and I like its sound now, but if my house was on fire and I had to save one uke, it would be my KoAloha.

Hippie Dribble
03-11-2011, 09:36 PM
eugene do no make personal attacks at me saying that I think of the worst in situations. Don't say I'm a pessimistic person..... I see ukuleles in Australia, I'm not blind, but I'm not looking at mahalo of kala, I'm looking at kanilea, kamaka, koaloha etc.... I have searched ebay, google, etc, find what I want in Australia? No...........

It isn't ones attitude at all, depending on what the situation is, and you approach it in a realistic way, is what makes me approach it the way I do. Do you honestly think I haven't tried looking? jeez.....

personal attack? don't think so. Matt, I have posted a number of times offering you encouragement and support in different threads since I joined 9 months back. I live in Tasmania and I've bought at least 20 ukes from overseas with no probs. Just accept we live where we do and wear the cost. Big deal. get over it mate. Compared to us in Australia, the US customs duties are much harsher from what I can gather. As for your kanilea issues, sometimes you just gotta cut your losses and move on. That's life I'm afraid. You said you're going to Hawaii soon anyway, so why not just buy one on the trip if you want a Hawaiian K brand ukulele. Or, if you want to go a custom within Aust. some names to think about off the top of my head: Jim Williams, Scott Wise, Gerard Gilet. you could start there. If they can't do what you want I'm sure they could point you in the direction of someone who can.

PhilUSAFRet
03-12-2011, 05:16 AM
Interesting comparison on YouTube re: $399 Kamoa all solid spruce top mahogany vs similar $799 Pono to illustrate what on poster said about spruce top on less expensive uke may do it for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYLr7BH8E9s

haole
03-12-2011, 10:11 AM
Keep haolejohn's Ana'ole in mind too! They're amazing, and new ones are usually $1500+.

Plainsong
03-12-2011, 10:49 AM
I'm not sure how we can help. I'm not really understanding why you said you liked the Kanile'a sound, but then on further description, it seems it's too dark for your purposes. If that's the case, you really shouldn't get the same thing again and be unhappy again, and sell it for a loss again. I have a blonder Kanile'a, and the sound is plenty dark.

You seem unhappy with the sale you made, and you say you're not sure what to do. Does that mean the sale isn't final? Are you thinking of getting it back?

But I don't think anyone has attacked you, we just don't know what you're looking for. At first you said something expensive, and now you say 400 bucks. If you're thinking expensive, and koa is too dark, luthiers the world over come into play, as has been suggested. They could make something with a cedar or spruce top that's a bit brighter for you. For example, an MP tenor would be less than 1000 bucks and he's awesome to deal with.

Do you know if you prefer custom, or the more instant gratification? Hows about a Mainland cedar topped tenor? I know it's cheap, but the mahogany concert I got blew me out of the water, I was so shocked by how good it was.

If you feel koa is the way to go, then Koaloha would be brighter than Kanile'a, wouldn't it? Isn't that the general thought? Others can chime in there.

But I'm not sure why you got so upset there dude. I think everyone's only trying to help.

eugene do no make personal attacks at me saying that I think of the worst in situations. Don't say I'm a pessimistic person..... I see ukuleles in Australia, I'm not blind, but I'm not looking at mahalo of kala, I'm looking at kanilea, kamaka, koaloha etc.... I have searched ebay, google, etc, find what I want in Australia? No...........

It isn't ones attitude at all, depending on what the situation is, and you approach it in a realistic way, is what makes me approach it the way I do. Do you honestly think I haven't tried looking? jeez.....

GreatGazukes
03-12-2011, 01:14 PM
Hey Matt, The Acoustic Centre here in Melbourne has Kamakas in stock!!!

Hippie Dribble
03-12-2011, 01:39 PM
mmmm...... is it a bird, is it a plane. No! It's GreatGazukes!!!!! Yippeee!!!! Nicely spotted mate. A little exy though. There's also a store in WA that stocks them too, plus musiccitycairns in Nth Qld. And even cheaper Matt, check the anuenue OK 3 Koa tenors: http://www.acousticcentre.com.au/ukuleles. $799. Yummy looking ukes at a yummy price. Could be right up your alley maybe.

Lexxy
03-12-2011, 01:44 PM
Hey Matt, The Acoustic Centre here in Melbourne has Kamakas in stock!!!

Nice spot tony! But they sell for well around 2000...

Hippie Dribble
03-12-2011, 01:48 PM
you could also check MusicCityCairns who currently have some Kanileas at pretty competitive prices and you'll save heaps on shipping. here's the link: http://www.ukes.com.au/b/34508/1/kanilea.html though I don't know whether you necessarily want to go down that road again, given your experience last time. Something else to consider in any case.

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-12-2011, 07:13 PM
personal attack? don't think so. Matt, I have posted a number of times offering you encouragement and support in different threads since I joined 9 months back. I live in Tasmania and I've bought at least 20 ukes from overseas with no probs. Just accept we live where we do and wear the cost. Big deal. get over it mate. Compared to us in Australia, the US customs duties are much harsher from what I can gather. As for your kanilea issues, sometimes you just gotta cut your losses and move on. That's life I'm afraid. You said you're going to Hawaii soon anyway, so why not just buy one on the trip if you want a Hawaiian K brand ukulele. Or, if you want to go a custom within Aust. some names to think about off the top of my head: Jim Williams, Scott Wise, Gerard Gilet. you could start there. If they can't do what you want I'm sure they could point you in the direction of someone who can.

this isn't what i'm referring too, you said i approach everything with a negative matter. i know it's life... I'm only 19 and it feels like I've lived 100. I'm not complaining about "that's life, wear it". I am, I only mentioned it once and didn't complain or anything.

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-12-2011, 07:15 PM
I think I will maybe just find a nice pono or something.... then it's only $400-$500.... you can avoid tax's within porting an instrument in australia, label it as a gift. I mentioned it to Kanilea, but they didn't understand. I'll keep searching.. thanks everyone I'm looking at the websites now. I'll make a decision soon.

: D

Hippie Dribble
03-12-2011, 08:01 PM
this isn't what i'm referring too, you said i approach everything with a negative matter. i know it's life... I'm only 19 and it feels like I've lived 100. I'm not complaining about "that's life, wear it". I am, I only mentioned it once and didn't complain or anything.

OK lets get this straight buddy. I did NOT say you approach everything in a negative manner, nor did I label you pessimistic. I said it is one's attitude that can tend to make things impossible. You said Australia makes things impossible. I spent 5 minutes on google and found three shops in Australia that stock the instruments you're looking for and 3 luthiers that custom design instruments in Australia. I don't think you want to be helped. Next time I won't bother.

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-12-2011, 08:26 PM
get on ebay. Look up some local luthiers. use google. There are heaps of ukes available in Australia that are good players and, like the last poster said, at good value prices. Spruce, cedar, mango...many choices hand made or factory made. Australia is not the country of making things impossible. And even if you go overseas, fine too, just keep the price under 1000 and there's no tax. It is one's attitude tends to make things impossible. Maybe if the glass was 1/2 full it wouldn't be 1/2 empty.

quote: maybe if the glass was half full, it wouldn't be half empty. I used to say that to people at work, as a joke. I see ukuleles in australia, i been to places.. overrrrrpriceeeee'd....

i'll agree for you not to bother if you make quotes like that, "buddy"

Hippie Dribble
03-12-2011, 08:35 PM
quote: maybe if the glass was half full, it wouldn't be half empty. I used to say that to people at work, as a joke. I see ukuleles in australia, i been to places.. overrrrrpriceeeee'd....

i'll agree for you not to bother if you make quotes like that, "buddy"

I offered you advice as best I could give it. You took it personally. I wish to continue this charade no longer. At this point I opt out. Happy shopping.

GreatGazukes
03-12-2011, 08:48 PM
I see ukuleles in australia, i been to places.. overrrrrpriceeeee'd....



I'd disagree with you Matt, comparitively Ukuleles here in Australia are not over priced. Unfortunately our small population makes the economics of range of products limited, but instruments that are available here tend to be on parity with the same instruments overseas. Of course with a small demand for more expensive ukuleles, a vendor takes a risk in holding such stock in his inventory and consequently that risk is transferred to a higher sale price. High turnover equates to lower costs, that is the rule of economics.

Cheers

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-12-2011, 09:25 PM
yeah, and that's fine. I seen a Lanikai Lu21t over here, for example, and it was over $200. I got mine 3 years ago, for $150 shipped.

I mean... fair enough there should be a slightly higher price, but there is a difference being being slightly higher, and being overpriced... and I stand by what I say... I don't even believe there is a discussion about it.

I remember seeing pokemon in the states for like $40 aussie dollars, $90 here! and there was no shortage of demand....

However, to sell my ukulele, I had to lower the price.... Not make it higher, and it's probably the only one in Australia!, if not, than one of a few.... If i was a shop, I wouldn't have paid $1446 for it or whatever and try to sell it for $1700 or whatever.

GreatGazukes
03-12-2011, 09:46 PM
Kanilea K-1, Music City Cairns (http://www.ukes.com.au/b/34508/1/kanilea.html)

Kanilea K-1, Music Guy Mic (http://cgi.ebay.com/K-1-SATIN-KANILEA-solid-KOA-SUPER-CONCERT-UKULELE-/330540042882?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4cf5b8ca82)

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-12-2011, 09:56 PM
ok fine i take back saying they are way overpriced, because this one here isn't... but i am still looking on google and seen a kamaka hf3 for $1800... LOL

it's still cheaper to ship from america. Which! shouldn't be.

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-12-2011, 09:58 PM
on the plus side, i found an ukulele group 5mins down the road

:D

haolejohn
03-13-2011, 03:56 AM
I think I will maybe just find a nice pono or something.... then it's only $400-$500.... you can avoid tax's within porting an instrument in australia, label it as a gift. I mentioned it to Kanilea, but they didn't understand. I'll keep searching.. thanks everyone I'm looking at the websites now. I'll make a decision soon.

: D

that is b/c it is kind of illegal. Business get fined for doing that. Not worth it in the long or short run for a business.

haolejohn
03-13-2011, 04:00 AM
on the plus side, i found an ukulele group 5mins down the road

:D

Nice. maybe one of the attendees will have a used uke they aren't playing and will sell it to you for a good price.

Plainsong
03-13-2011, 04:53 AM
that is b/c it is kind of illegal. Business get fined for doing that. Not worth it in the long or short run for a business.

It's illegal in the sense that jaywalking is illegal, but having said that, It's in really poor taste to ask a company to include fraudulent documention. I know at 19 it doesn't seem like a big deal and would save you money, but it's not ethical. It's not Kanilea's fault and it isn't fair to them to ask them to post fraudulent documentation, or to blame them for not obliging. The more I read, the less I understand really what Ukulelelesreggae seems to be put out about. I'm sorry we couldn't be more help.

UkuLeLesReggAe
03-13-2011, 08:02 PM
I never said it was Kanilea's fault. Where did you get that from?
They said it's ok we will, it isn't a problem. Lmao.
lie to your customers, THATS THE KEY!

I've looked for a few hours now. Looked at all the sites, I really liked the Kanilea k1t.

I have another one, I actually have a Kanilea right now. By saying that, the luthier ruined it, maybe I could get him to fix it?.. problem solved!

Plainsong
03-14-2011, 07:55 AM
I'm sorry, I don't really get it. We only have what you posted to go on. Your post came off as annoyed at Kanilea for not falsifying documents. Then you say you weren't annoyed, and again come off as annoyed and call them liars. Well there's a pot and kettle thing going on there. Obviously what happened is that the person handling the call was overruled by the person who is accustomed to logistics issues.

"I have another one, I actually have a Kanilea right now. By saying that, the luthier ruined it, maybe I could get him to fix it?"

Huh?

I read that as:

"By saying that I have a Kanilea, I mean that the luthier ruined it. I could get him to fix it?"

I'll respectfully bow out like others have already. I don't understand the underlying feeling of aggression and it feels like the posts are difficult to follow. I'm not having a go at you though, no worries... I'm just trying to explain what it looks like to me, and I suppose others since you already had a similar response.