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View Full Version : Choices, Choices, Choices



uker62
04-07-2011, 09:40 PM
I know this will make someone sick, but I'm about to buy my ultimate uke. I live in the North of British Columbia and will never be able to try out the instrument before I buy.
I've narrowed my choice to a tenor, all koa. Kamaka, Mya Moe, or Collings. Can't really decide. How about some help here.

Uncle Leroy
04-07-2011, 09:46 PM
I have owned or still own Koaloha, kanilea and Kamaka. You cannot go wrong with any of these. I have also owned a Pono Mahogany Tenor, also a very good uke. I recommend any of these being purchased without trying in person. Right now, I am a Kamaka guy with kanilea being a close second.

iDavid
04-07-2011, 10:05 PM
What size?
I have a KoAloha Concert with the Satin finish and it is very close to perfect. Perhaps a bit bright.

Just got a Mya-Moe Tenor and to say I am trilled is a complete understatement. If you go with Mya-Moe, Gordon and Char with work with you and make sure you get the right uke. They are great people and their communication is unparalleled. The is a bit smaller than my Kanilea, which makes it more comfortable to hold and it has the sweetest sound ever. I keep thinking of selling my other ukes, since I am not playing them much. Mine is all Myrtle and is has this shimmer to and soooooo playable Here she is http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/gallery.php?pageNum_matchingInstruments=4&totalRows_matchingInstruments=10&searchSize=%25&searchBodyBinding=%25&searchModel=Black+Stripe&searchFretBinding=%25&searchBackWood=%25&searchFinish=%25&searchTopWood=%25&searchTuners=%25&searchHeadplate=%25&searchButton=Search+Now

I waiting until my Mya-Moe opens up some more and then a few ukes may need to find new homes. I have had it for about a month and the volume has increase a fair amount already. The other difference with the Mya-Moe is the dynamic response. It differently change tones has you play harder. I find this to be true of the KoAloha, but not to the same extent.

However, the KoAloha Concert is really sweet and you would be very happy with one. MGM has them in stock, while the wait for a Mya-Moe is like 6 months. I do NOT care for KoAloha tenors. Their tuners are heavy and throw off the balance. I also do not care for their high-gloss finish.

I bought a Collings Concert and sent it back. The workmanship and playability was spot on, but the sound was nothing special, IMO.

Hippie Dribble
04-07-2011, 11:19 PM
I know this will make someone sick, but I'm about to buy my ultimate uke. I live in the North of British Columbia and will never be able to try out the instrument before I buy.
I've narrowed my choice to a tenor, all koa. Kamaka, Mya Moe, or Collings. Can't really decide. How about some help here.

hey uker62! And warm welcomes to the UU!!! :)

Love your question! It is a bit like saying to someone, "I'll have to give you $999,999.00 instead of a million!!! Is that OK?" You can't lose!!!

You just named my 3 favorite uke builders!!! (though I've never played a Moore Bettah). Sorry I can't really be of more specific help. If you hook onto my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/eugeneukulele you could listen to some sound clips of the 3 names you listed...I pretty much use a Collings or a Mya Moe in most of the videos. I've also used a Kamaka in a couple...

Happy shopping! :drool: It's weird, but you seriously have listed the 3 names whose ukuleles I shamelessly covet too! So far I have 3 kamakas, 3 mya moes and a collings but I aint stopping there. :o They're all amazing...Blessings. :)

iDavid
04-08-2011, 02:12 AM
With your quest in mind I went back and tried all my ukes. Keep in mind, that I have been going uke crazy for about a year and a half. I am incredible pick and may not be the best player, but I'll put my ears against the bet of them.

So, without any reservations I would say get a Kanilea Tenor. Mine is getting better by the day and I thought it was already as good as it could get... seriously.

dkcrown
04-08-2011, 02:41 AM
Welcome uker62. I have two Collings tenors and a Kamaka HF-3 tenor. I also have tenors from Kanilea and Koaloha. I don't have a Mya Moe. However, if you are looking for a Koa tenor as you said in your initial post, I would recommend getting one of the Hawaiian K brands. First choice would be Kamaka, second would be KoAloha.

johntz
04-08-2011, 05:03 AM
I will pile on with the Mya-Moe recomendation. Simply amazing instruments and the service is first rate. These folks really care about their customers and their reputation. You can't go wrong with them. Give them a call, you won't be sorry.

Mandarb
04-08-2011, 05:11 AM
As it has already been said multiple times - you would love any of the ones you listed. Let us know what you get.

Kauai808
04-08-2011, 05:24 AM
Welcome uker62. I have two Collings tenors and a Kamaka HF-3 tenor. I also have tenors from Kanilea and Koaloha. I don't have a Mya Moe. However, if you are looking for a Koa tenor as you said in your initial post, I would recommend getting one of the Hawaiian K brands. First choice would be Kamaka, second would be KoAloha.

I am really interested in Collings but haven't had the opportunity to even see one in person. Would you Collings owner's shed some light on how Collings compares to Kamaka, Kanilea, etc.... Hope this isn't considering hijacking as the OP could benefit from what you Collings owner's provide.

Bradford
04-08-2011, 08:51 AM
First let me say that I know Gordon and Char, so I may be biased. Here are a couple of reasons why I would lean toward Mya-Moe if I were you. With them it is a semi-custom uke, you pick the woods, finish and many of the details. The build is documented for you, while you wait. And they are fairly close to you, there is always the possibility of issues arising down the road, with any builder. I would prefer to have my luthier as close to me as possible. Just my thoughts.

Brad

70sSanO
04-08-2011, 11:16 AM
I have never played a Mya-Moe, but all the reviews give high praise for their work.


With them it is a semi-custom uke, you pick the woods, finish and many of the details. The build is documented for you, while you wait.

I'll second this for the following reasons...

IMO, there is a special bond to an instrument when you actually get to talk to the person who has or will be building it.

And... having the opportunity to discuss what sound you want with the luthier is a major plus.

John

iDavid
04-08-2011, 02:06 PM
Seems they have some in stock!

http://www.myamoeukuleles.com/browseAvailable.php

uker62
04-08-2011, 02:56 PM
Well thanks all for your advice. I've contacted Gordon. Now I await, Mid November, a Curly Koa Classic Tenor, ebony binding.

Bradford
04-08-2011, 04:38 PM
Cool, keep us posted on the progress.

Brad

iDavid
04-08-2011, 04:42 PM
Kanilea is still going strong

uker62
08-03-2011, 05:02 PM
The build started today!!! The curly koa Char selected looks fantastic. Stringing date is Sept. 1. Woot!!Woot!!

maclay
08-03-2011, 06:45 PM
Well thanks all for your advice. I've contacted Gordon. Now I await, Mid November, a Curly Koa Classic Tenor, ebony binding.

Congrats uker62. There is nothing like purchasing a custom instrument.......exciting!!

blue_knight_usa
08-20-2011, 06:50 AM
I finally made my choice and went with Collings for my first concert uke. I have a Pono MHT Deluxe which I am putting a MiSi in this next week for my amp'd uke. I own the 16th Collings UC-3K that was produced. I am so happy I did. I will never be selling this one as it's not only a master crafted piece of work, the sound is amazing and the wood is just stunning flame that moves in the light.
I never actually heard of Collings ukes until this year because I was not a big guitar player person, nor really looking hard at higher end handbuilt non-mass produced ukes. Now I know why people buy custom hand made instruments.
It sure sets your expectation for your next uke pretty darn high.

I'm no expert but I think it's safe to say you won't go wrong with Collings if that is your choice. I have photos posted of it here if anyone would like to see http://jaygoldbergphotography.com It is in the GALLERIES under Portraits/Ukuleles

Happy hunting!

Best Regards,
Jay

uker62
09-18-2011, 09:26 PM
Thank you all for your great advice. #524 arrived Sept. 8, and is everything I had hoped for. I was so impressed that my UAS got out of control and now I await the arrival, early April of a Sycamore/Spruce Tenor Resonator.

dredey
09-19-2011, 06:10 PM
Pics please?:)

marymac
09-19-2011, 08:05 PM
Thank you all for your great advice. #524 arrived Sept. 8, and is everything I had hoped for. I was so impressed that my UAS got out of control and now I await the arrival, early April of a Sycamore/Spruce Tenor Resonator.

Ooo nice! I ordered a sycamore/spruce tenor without a resonator that's due the end of March. Glad to hear you're liking 524!