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View Full Version : New Uke Day - KoAloha Longneck Soprano Edition!



OldePhart
05-03-2011, 12:28 PM
Well, new to me anyway! :) Received my new baby from John (WestPhillyUke) today in spite of the USPS' best efforts (see the picture of the box).

Thank goodness for a good solid case!

The uke arrived with Worth browns on it and I didn't care for them. I don't think it was because they were browns but I suspect that they were the BL (light) strings because they felt thinner than the Worth-CM-equivalent Seaguar leaders I usually use.

I checked with a good tuner and everything but the C string was about 20 cents sharp at the twelfth fret. I've no doubt Worth browns are good strings, but they're not a good match for this uke.

Anyway, by the time I took the pictures I'd already waxed it up good and put my Seaguar's on it. Brought the intonation to what I am used to, i.e. a bit flat on the outer strings. I'll probably swap the saddle that I compensated on my KoAloha concert over to this uke to cure that. Also brought the tone up a bit louder so I'm reasonably sure those must have been BLs that were on it. Just goes to show how important it is to match the strings to the uke - going from the strings that were on it took the outside strings from almost twenty cents sharp at the 12th to almost fifteen cents flat, there! That's about 35 cents difference in intonation from changing strings!

Waiting for the strings to stretch in a bit so I can put in some serious playtime, hopefully later tonight and a video this weekend, maybe.

Beautiful grain on this one - especially the sides. As with my KoAloha concert the wood of the back is very nicely figured but a completely different shade (more yellow/greenish) than the front and sides. I guess maybe KoAloha does that on purpose? Maybe it's just coincidence, though.

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v30
05-03-2011, 12:40 PM
Congrats, its a beauty!
Looking forward to the video.

mds725
05-03-2011, 12:42 PM
Beautiful ukulele! Congratulations!

One thing I noticed when I was at the KoAloha factory tour a few weeks ago was how beautiful the grain was in all the koa I saw there. I didn't notice differences in the tone of the wood used for backs -- what, no photo of the back of your new uke?!? -- but it wouldn't surprise me if they saved what they thought was the most beautifully-grained wood for the more visible parts of the ukulele. Anyway, yours is definitely eye-catchng!

By the way, the box my new Kamaka was shipped in from Kaua'i looked just as beat up as yours by the time it got here. I believe that "fragile" must mean "punch and kick here" in some language. I agree, though.... thank goodness for hard cases!

sukie
05-03-2011, 12:54 PM
Very pretty. Happy New Uke Day! Thank goodness it was Fed Ex. (I usually stand behind USPS -- no, I don't work for them. Just have friends that do.)

ENJOY!

fitncrafty
05-03-2011, 12:56 PM
Happy New Uke day!!! She's a beauty!!

Skottoman
05-03-2011, 01:20 PM
YAY! Seeing as I just had a happy new uke day, you are now sharing the JOY!!!

Really nice KoAloha! I have a concert, and love it. That's a nice looking one you got!

Cheers,
Skottoman

OldePhart
05-03-2011, 02:11 PM
Thanks, y'all. I love it when a plan comes together. I went ahead and moved my compensated bridge from my concert to this uke and it left the setup almost identical to that of my Kiwaya longneck. Woo-hoo! I love "dangerously low" actions and now my two strumming axes have basically identical feel - I can Keep the KoAloha safe at home and take the Kiwaya camping and whatnot.

John

mm stan
05-03-2011, 03:58 PM
Aloha John,
Congratulations...I am soo jealous...I always wanted a long neck soprano..I agree, with matching the strings to the uke and also having the right tuning for each uke too..it is a beauty, have
fun and enjoy,...Also what case is that you have.. looks similar to one I got...but yours has a badge plate in it...oh yeah, you think you shipping box was bad...your didn't see mine for Autarallia..
it was 5 times a s worse and it had creases and folds all over...sheesh..Thanks for sharing, Your friend, Stan

OldePhart
05-03-2011, 04:53 PM
Aloha John,
Congratulations...I am soo jealous...I always wanted a long neck soprano..I agree, with matching the strings to the uke and also having the right tuning for each uke too..it is a beauty, have
fun and enjoy,...Also what case is that you have.. looks similar to one I got...but yours has a badge plate in it...oh yeah, you think you shipping box was bad...your didn't see mine for Autarallia..
it was 5 times a s worse and it had creases and folds all over...sheesh..Thanks for sharing, Your friend, Stan

The case is an O'ahu - I didn't know they made them for longneck sopranos but it fits perfectly. It is a good snug fit with the KoAloha body and there is maybe an inch of clearance at the end of the KoAloha crown headstock.

I just spent about two hours playing it (the uke, not the case). The action is almost identical to the Kiwaya but it's got a slightly different feel. I finally realized that the body is slightly wider than the Kiwaya and the headstock tilts back a little more leaving a bit less room for those E7 chords and such. Still, they feel very close to the same. When I bought the Kiwaya I expected to get a KoAloha later so I'd have matching "road" and "home" ukes and the plan seems to have worked out pretty well.

I plan to sell my KoAloha concert as it will probably get even less play now that I have my longneck soprano. I'm going to wait until the current KoAloha concert on the marketplace goes away though - I'm not in a big rush to sell and there's no use flooding the market. :)

If I get time this weekend I'll do a head-to-head comparison of the Kiwaya and the KoAloha longneck sopranos. They're set up with identical strings, an action very nearly exactly the same, and both have compensated bridges. I think some folks will be surprised. The KoAloha doesn't have as big an edge over the much cheaper ($300 set up by MGM with a tweed hard case) Kiwaya as you might expect. Not knocking the KoAloha by any means - it's just that for a laminated uke the Kiwaya is a stunner.

John

erivel
05-03-2011, 09:23 PM
Very nice, congrats! I hope to own one of those someday!