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View Full Version : koa kalane ukulele in kona kmart



rar jungle
04-22-2011, 05:39 PM
has anyone heard anything about these ukus? i just bought a gorgeous tenor ukulele at the kona kmart. it's solid acacia of some kind, but claims to be solid acacia koa. anyways, the quality and setup is definitely top notch, for $199! holy cow! it appears to have almost the same measurements and similar specs to the deluxe version of the koa pili brand. it's got the same bridge shape, but bone nut and saddle instead of the wood saddle and nut that brand had, and it's got a little bit more bling. sound and tone is excellent as well. the one i got has some nice curliness to it. i googled the only info on the uk, and came up absolutely nothing. in the sound hole it says the name, and then the email address: koakalane@hotmail.com

here is some pics. if this was made by a local hawaiian luthier, and was definitely acacia koa, instead of what it probably is, some other acacia species, it would definitely be at least $1000. anyone got any info on this? there is quite a few more of the uks at this kona kmart. there are sopranos, concerts and tenors, with prices ranging from $129 to $199 for the most deluxe. Some of the various models have less bling but are still well made, and solid wood, and sound great.a

here are some pics:

808boy
04-22-2011, 06:01 PM
Aloha rar jungle,
Congrats on your new uke. It does reasemble my KPK Deluxe Tenor but not exactly. It may come from the same factory as KPK and Melokia. If you are happy with it then enjoy it...........................BO................... ....

GVlog
04-22-2011, 06:03 PM
I know nothing of these but that bridge reminds me of ukuleles by Oscar Schmidt. It even has the two pearl dots covering the screw-in/alignment holes.

rar jungle
04-22-2011, 06:14 PM
haha. yeah, i am happy with it. it's strange, it actually has more attention to detail than my first high quality ukulele i purchased, a gstring long necked soprano, and that ukulele cost $600, and had very little decoration or beautiful wood grain. i never heard of melokia. i guess i will have to read about those. i was just curious about the maker of this ukulele, where they sold them and stuff, how they could sell them at such a good price if they only sell them at this one kailua kona kmart, and have no other distribution, and not even a website. i emailed them a couple days ago, but of course they never replied. and of course also none of the employees at the kona kmart no anything about the maker or where it comes from.

Kalihonu
04-22-2011, 06:49 PM
Aloha rar jungle, congratulations on your new ukulele! Don't know the brand but it looks really nice.

Dotted
04-22-2011, 07:43 PM
I don't think I've ever wanted to go to a Kmart quite as much as I do now!

deezukes
04-22-2011, 08:06 PM
Tried those while at Kona in January and let me say you must of found one that was returned by someone. My experience while sampling the ukes they had which was about 8 Tenors, they all buzzed on the C and E strings. Unfortunate as it may be as they are nice. But I would not compare Gstring to those as I heard Gstring ukes being played and the depthness in sound should not be compared. Congrats on your uke and the main thing is that you like it.

rar jungle
04-22-2011, 09:15 PM
Tried those while at Kona in January and let me say you must of found one that was returned by someone. My experience while sampling the ukes they had which was about 8 Tenors, they all buzzed on the C and E strings. Unfortunate as it may be as they are nice. But I would not compare Gstring to those as I heard Gstring ukes being played and the depthness in sound should not be compared. Congrats on your uke and the main thing is that you like it.

I didn't try that many, just went for the fanciest looking one, and then took it home to properly tune it up and try it. Anyways, the intonation was almost perfect with the aquila strings it came with, and there was no buzzing. I switched the strings to fremont black fluorocarbon after I decided to keep it, and then the intonation went pretty much to perfect. Surprisingly also, these ukuleles I checked came set with fairly low action overall. The action at the nut is a little high, but causes no intonation problems really. But anyways, i am stil gonna lower it a little to be more comfortable.

Weird, that you got buzzing. You're sure they were tuned up properly to normal tension and everything, with strings mostly stretched out, after their initial unstable phase? All the ones I checked the strings were way loose, and with the aquilas it might take a while for them to stretch out properly. Also, maybe this is a different batch, if this isn't a different batch I would be surprised if I got the only good one. Like I say this ukulele has less flaws in it than my Gstring. The soundboard thickness is on the thin side, and the bracing is pretty light. Also the finish is pretty light. Overall the ukulele feels kind of heavy to me, but I am not normally a tenor player, so I can't tell for sure about that. Now we'll see how this ukulele holds up over time....

deezukes
04-22-2011, 10:27 PM
They were all a half step to a whole step down from the stretching. So I tuned them up. That was my other concern, the height at the nut was a mile high. I can only assume what the height was and from the gauge of things, it was at least 1.1 mm to 1.3 mm. I know for sure none was under 1mm. The height at the 12th was low. The consistency of the setup was the worse I seen even on cheap under $50 ukes as the heights were all different at the 12th. You may run into a problem when you lower the nut as the height at the 12th will drop to cause buzzing.

Overall, I wouldn't call it setup good with low action as its hard to tell as the height at the nut would compensate for the buzzing if any did not exist. The uke did feel heavy but coming from a guitar background, that did not influence any of my decisions at that time. Give us a review when you lower it and if any problems exist.

Also, since you have the uke, what is the height right now at the nut and 12th?

rar jungle
04-22-2011, 11:26 PM
They were all a half step to a whole step down from the stretching. So I tuned them up. That was my other concern, the height at the nut was a mile high. I can only assume what the height was and from the gauge of things, it was at least 1.1 mm to 1.3 mm. I know for sure none was under 1mm. The height at the 12th was low. The consistency of the setup was the worse I seen even on cheap under $50 ukes as the heights were all different at the 12th. You may run into a problem when you lower the nut as the height at the 12th will drop to cause buzzing.

Overall, I wouldn't call it setup good with low action as its hard to tell as the height at the nut would compensate for the buzzing if any did not exist. The uke did feel heavy but coming from a guitar background, that did not influence any of my decisions at that time. Give us a review when you lower it and if any problems exist.

Also, since you have the uke, what is the height right now at the nut and 12th?

I don't think I have any tools to measure those heights. Just clunky old tape measure. I think lowering action a little at nut should be okay, cause no buzzing when I fret at first fret.

mm stan
04-23-2011, 12:05 AM
Aloha rar jungle,
As mentioned before, this uke has design elements of several ukes..I have the deluxe KPK and while it looks similiar, the dementions and design look little different.Looks like the same type of wood and shell purfling
soundhole looks bigger, different bottom shape of the fretboard and headstock...but if it sounds good to you, nothing wrong with that..I like my Kpk, while others may not..it looks like it may have been made in
same factory or copied by them...and OS looking type bridge..Main thing is you enjoy it and play it all the time.. congratulations on your score..Happy strummings..MM Stan