View Full Version : Does anyone have a Kimo Jones Tenor Uke?

05-18-2011, 06:27 PM
Aloha my fellow UU Peeps!

Are there any of you out there that are owners of Kimo Jones Tenor Ukes? I would like to know your honest opinion on the quality of craftsmanship, playability, and sound/tone of his instruments. Which ukes would you compare his to?

I grew up in Waipahu, HI where Kimo Jones now lives. I actually grew up right down the street from Sonny D's Ukulele Shop and I do have a 1995 Sonny D Koa Tenor. I am in the market to buy a new tenor uke and would like to know what the general consensus is about Kimo Jones ukuleles. Your perspective on his ukes would be of great help in my decision whether or not to buy an uke from him.

Mahalo nui loa in advance for any and all replies.

05-18-2011, 07:03 PM
I just noticed that allanr (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?25423-allanr) has a Kimo Jones sprucetop koa tenor listed in his sig. You might try contacting him directly. :)

05-19-2011, 01:38 AM
Hi itsme,

I see that you're here in SoCal, too! Mahalo for your reply. I actually PM'ed allanr a few days ago, but I haven't received any response from him. Hopefully, I will get some feedback soon from a Kimo Jones Tenor uke owner.


05-19-2011, 02:12 AM
The build quality and sound of my Kimo Jones are outstanding.

05-19-2011, 03:32 AM
Hello allanr,

Thank you for responding and giving me your perspective on your Kimo Jones Uke. It is greatly appreciated.


05-19-2011, 04:21 AM

I'll add a bit more detail.

As I said earlier the build quality and sound are awesome, and the looks are great too. Mine is #229. A gorgeous Koa body with a spruce top. The spruce top has a koa rosette and the sound hole is reinforced with double thickness for the first inch. This is not visible except that at first glance the top looks like it is too thick when looking at the sound hole. Kimo uses high quality Gotoh tuning machines. A nice low action.

The uke has a thin neck profile and is also skinnier at the nut than most tenor ukes. For someone with small hands/short fingers this is great as it makes barring really easy. Someone with bigger hands or long fingers might feel cramped though - especially if part of the reason they went for a tenor is to have more finger room.

When I first received the uke from a seller in Texas there was a lot of fret buzz on the C string, but only when fretted at the 2nd fret. I took this to my luthier and he did a bit of work on the frets which reduced, but did not eliminate the buzz. He told me not to do anything until the uke had a chance to "settle in" to the Toronto climate (very dry winters and very humid summers). Within a few weeks the buzz completely disappeared. This spring it reappeared, but only for a few days. My hypotheses is that the buzz issue is a result of the combination of the very slim neck, low action and the horrible-for-ukes Toronto climate - I think the neck may move a half-millimeter or so as the Toronto humidity shifts so radically.

Overall I am very pleased with this uke. It looks great. It sounds great. It is well made. It fits my hands. It cost me just over $600 including international shipping and Canadian customs clearance. That is a great price for hand-built professional quality tenor uke. I think that it easily stacks up for looks and sound with "K" brands of my friends at the Toronto Corktown uke jam.

05-19-2011, 04:23 AM
Check out his website - Kimo's Ukes & Woodcrafts (http://kimosukes.weebly.com/)

05-19-2011, 05:51 AM
Mahalo nui loa Kanaka916 for the info.

05-19-2011, 05:53 AM
Hey allanr,

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply with a very detailed description about your Kimo Jones uke. Your review has been a huge help.


05-19-2011, 08:13 AM
I too own a Kimo Jones tenor uke in koa. The workmanship is outstanding and quality of the sound is spot on. I would not hesitate to recommend a Kimo Jones uke.

Allen (what is it about Allan and Allen both owning Kimo Jones ukes?) JK

05-19-2011, 09:28 AM
Hello shrink9,

Thank you for taking the time to respond with your perspective on your Kimo Jones uke. It is greatly appreciated!


05-21-2011, 02:19 PM
I own Kimo Jones 249 and I am very happy with it. I am currently building several sopranos myself and I have to say the build quality of the tenor is excellent. The wood , all koa on mine, is very nice and I like the tru-oil finish vs a spray on finish. It sort of glows vs being shinny. My other ukes are a concert fluke and a cheap laminated zebrawood concert I keep at the office. The tone on the Kimo is much clearer. The sustain is also much better then the fluke when playing up the fingerboard. It is a bit heavy but that could be because I have only played other sopranos and concerts. My wife describes the difference between the fluke and the Kimo as the the fluke being a "factory" sound vs more of a "handmade" sound.

Hope this helps.

05-21-2011, 02:25 PM
Hi bigdog1002,

Thank you for taking the time to respond and giving me your input about your Kimo Jones uke. It is greatly appreciated.