PDA

View Full Version : First really nice uke for my son, KoAloha or Kanile'a



lancemanion
04-21-2011, 03:07 PM
My son, Logan is trying to learn bodysurfing and his soprano just doesn't have enough frets. I want to get him a longneck soprano (since he is only 9 the conert doesn't fit him well). The two I have narrowed it down to are the KoAloha and Kanile'a. I like the fret markers on the Kanile'a a little better and it's Hawaiian heritage. The KoAloha is actually a little better looking and cheaper. I am leaning towards the Kanile'a because we saw Aldrine play one and it sounded amazing. Unfortunatly we can't play them first to see which one we like. We are going to buy used from ebay. Does anyone have any experience with these two ukes who can help us make an informed decision? Thanks.

haolejohn
04-21-2011, 03:17 PM
doesn't koaloha have just as much of a hawwaiian heritage as kanilea?
i'm not a kanilea fan, except their sound monsters. That said, I love KoAloha and have owned 3 of them though i only currently own two. One is a long neck soprano. I love it and it sounds so so so good.

itsme
04-21-2011, 03:21 PM
I want to get him a longneck soprano (since he is only 9 the conert doesn't fit him well).
I don't know... I think I disagree with your logic here. There are plenty of "kids" who manage to play full-sized guitars, or even 3/4 or 1/2 scale ones, which are certainly larger than a concert.

Have you asked him what he'd like? Do you have a concert for him to try or a store (even a Guitar Center) you could take him to just to see how a concert feels in his hands?

souljam
04-21-2011, 03:21 PM
Since your son is nine, I would suggest the KoAloha. One, it is cheaper and he will eventually grow out of it. Two, the Kanile'a necks are fatter and he might have problems adjusting to it because his hands are small. Both are great though.

Nuprin
04-21-2011, 03:22 PM
I've owned 2 Kanile'as and thought they were alright. I've also owned some KoAlohas and liked them much more. I recommend KoAloha over Kanile'a.

Kanaka916
04-21-2011, 03:33 PM
I think both instruments will more than suit your needs and both do carry the heritage of Hawaiian made ukuleles. If you like what Kanile'a has to offer over KoAloha then go with your instincts. Before Aldrine got his Kanile'a, he played a Kamaka and with his mad skills, he can pick up any instrument and make it sound good.

Regster
04-21-2011, 03:37 PM
Koaloha for the best warranty and customer service around. I had a koaloha before, so dissapointed I let it go.

haolejohn
04-21-2011, 03:43 PM
Since your son is nine, I would suggest the KoAloha. One, it is cheaper and he will eventually grow out of it. Two, the Kanile'a necks are fatter and he might have problems adjusting to it because his hands are small. Both are great though.

I'm 34 and i haven't grown out of my long neck soprano:)

funnyguy0804
04-21-2011, 03:51 PM
hmm... this is too hard to decide...
Why not get both? :P
Then you and your can enjoy NEW UKE DAY together~
lol, just a thought...
I think I'd get a Kanile'a :)

CTurner
04-21-2011, 03:54 PM
Kanile'a is a wonderful choice. "Fatter"? I would say they are a bit wider <in comparison>, but this is part of the feel of the uke and not something that needs to be overcome somehow. If you have an instinct to go Kanile'a, you will be delighted with your choice.

Ukulele Dude
04-21-2011, 04:39 PM
You can't go wrong with either of those ukes. I have played a several by both of those builders, and I prefer the Kanile'as.

Also, I believe that a 'Soundmonster' is what Kanilea called their ukes a few years ago when they introduced TRU bracing, which is basically in all Kanileas now. So I think what haolejohn was saying, is that he likes Kanileas. :)

Ronnie Aloha
04-21-2011, 04:40 PM
What do you mean a concert sized body is too big???


http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=yE7waNi5dc0

scottie
04-21-2011, 04:49 PM
I agree with itsme. . . no ukulele, even a tenor, should be "too big" for a nine year old.

papplehead
04-21-2011, 05:13 PM
As far as sound goes, I think that Koalohas have a lot of volume than any other ukueleles and that Kanileas have the sweetest sound. As far as playability, the Kanilea has a different nut width which makes the strings a little further apart. If you're worried about small hands not being able to play, I'd go with the Koaloha for playability. If thats not an issue, i'd go with the kanilea. I have a kanilea tenor and i love it so much.

CoLmes
04-21-2011, 05:18 PM
Kanile'a isn't fatter but it is def. wider and a bit of a challenge at first but it's not impossible even for a 9 year old esp. if he's serious. If he's trying to learn body surfing at 9 by himself, i'd say he'd be fine. Plus if you get him a tenor, it will last him forever. He'll def. outgrow a soprano. Esp. since a soprano uke can kind of have a tinnie sound. If he wants that full warm sound, get him a tenor. Plus he won't have to adjust when he's older if he ever wants to move up. Imagine having one great uke from 9 years old until he's an adult. Not only will he have a bond with that one uke, but it will open up and sound even more amazing. I wish I was 9 when I started playing.

For me, feel is just as important as sound. I have a Kanile'a Sound Monster that Jon was talking about. It's a tenor with a satin finish and it sounds great. I plan to get a custom Kanile'a whenever I hit the lottery and I'll probably get gloss for looks with a satin neck for playability.

Koaloha's and Kamaka's are great too. It's really what he wants. To me, the Kamaka has a little bit of fatness to the neck but its kinda wide too. It can sound kinda boxy, at least some I've played.

Koaloha's are solid as well. You cant go wrong really with any uke. Your in Cali I see, you should really just take a ride I'm sure a uke shop somewhere will have some K brands.

olgoat52
04-21-2011, 05:21 PM
KoAloha makes about the best non-custom concert out there. The size difference between a concert and soprano body is negligible. The neck on the KoAloha is great and you will have a supremely marketable instrument to sell when in 2 years he decides he wants a strat.

If it were my kid he get a Makala until he could play "while my guitar you know whats". ;) but that's just me. You and my brother must belong to the same club.

Best of luck. Oh and at nine I was leaning play on a tenor guitar and I have always been a runt. I'm sure he can handle a concert. Tell him you're worried it will be too big for him. He'll love it

olgoat52
04-21-2011, 05:22 PM
What do you mean a concert sized body is too big???


http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=yE7waNi5dc0

I knew that what that video was going to be before I clicked on it. Pretty funny.

lancemanion
04-21-2011, 10:08 PM
Wow, thanks for all the response. I am rethinking maybe getting him a concert. I think we will head down to guitar center so he can try one on for size. If we do stick with a soprano I think we are going to go with the Koaloha long neck soprano, mainly because when given the choice it is the one he chose.

In response to some of the points raised:
"I agree with itsme. . . no ukulele, even a tenor, should be "too big" for a nine year old."
To all of you who said he could handle a concert or tenor I am sure you are right. The reason we became interested in ukes in the first place is their extreme portability and small size and we have only bought sopranos. He has played his travel Kala at the top of Halfdome and I have played mine at the top of Mt. Whitney. I want to keep it portable, but we will have him try out a concert before we make the plunge. Here he is on Halfdome in Yosemite:
http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/vv314/thecacyfamily/YosemiteHike174.jpg

"If it were my kid he get a Makala until he could play "while my guitar you know whats". but that's just me."
I have to admit that the uke is for me as much as it is for him, but he does already play very well. Some of you may have seen him play on stage at the sold out, "18th 'Ukulele Festival of Northern California" a couple of weeks ago. He has also played open mic at Mike DaSilva's shop, the last two Reno Uke Festivals and many others.

"hmm... this is too hard to decide...Why not get both? :P"
I would love to get both, the Kanile'a for me and the Koaloha for him, but it is really a stretch (and a lot of sweet talking to the wife) to just get one. We love our Kala's but I think you get to a certain point in your life where you stop and say, "no more particle board furniture in our house, time to go with solid wood" and that is where I am at with our ukuleles. Can't bring myself to spend a couple of hundred on another Kala, time to step up to a really nice uke that he can keep a lifetime.

"KoAloha is great and you will have a supremely marketable instrument to sell when in 2 years he decides he wants a strat."
Which ever one we buy I am sure it will stay with us forever. There are plenty of guitars in the house for him to pick up if he chooses (his brother plays guitar in addition to uke) but he still prefers playing the uke.
Thanks again for all the feedback, being honest with myself I think the reason I lean towards the Kanile'a is because Aldrine plays one and he has been such an inspiration to me.

guitharsis
04-22-2011, 12:53 AM
Nice pic. The KoAloha longneck soprano is a great choice and even better since that's the one he chose. The Kanilea'a in the near future will be yours. :)

sukie
04-22-2011, 03:19 AM
What do you mean a concert sized body is too big???


http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=yE7waNi5dc0

Wow!


Having had a KoAloha, I vote for one of those.

GX9901
04-22-2011, 04:28 AM
Either brand would be great. I don't think I've played a Kanile'a that I wasn't impressed with, and I can almost say the same about KoAloha (ironically the only KoAlohas I wasn't really impressed by were a Pineapple Sunday with skyscraper action and a tenor Sceptre that didn't blow me away). I have a 2007 model Kanile'a super soprano that has served me well. I would say just let your son pick the one he likes better. Both should be miles ahead of the Kala.

bbycrts
04-22-2011, 05:54 AM
Hard to answer the question - I've owned three Kanile'as (one was a Lanikai LK-1s, which is a rebranded Kanile'a K1-s). Two sopranos and a concert. I still have a soprano and love it thoroughly. There is no "outgrowing" ukuleles - you find what speaks to you and there you are. I've run the gamut from baritone down through tenor, concert, soprano and all the way to sopranino...then back up to soprano and thats' where I'll stay.

I would recommend Kanile'a because I know how much I have loved mine...but I can't speak to the KoAloha. Both are quality ukes with great reputations - you won't be wrong with either.