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View Full Version : Ohana Koa vs. KoAloah?



mthurman52
06-12-2011, 06:14 PM
My buddy is still looking for a solid koa. I talked him into spending a little more (he can afford it)! Lol He is looking at the Ohana CK-350G which is the top-of-the-line Ohana and is $375 and the KoAloha Concert for $500. Is the extra bill worth the quality? What about re-sale?

haolejohn
06-12-2011, 06:23 PM
My buddy is still looking for a solid koa. I talked him into spending a little more (he can afford it)! Lol He is looking at the Ohana CK-350G which is the top-of-the-line Ohana and is $375 on Elderly and the KoAloha Concert for $500. Is the extra bill worth the quality? What about re-sale? Here are the links to the two:
http://elderly.com/vintage/items/180U-1589.htm
http://elderly.com/vintage/items/180U-1581.htm

i have never played a solid koa ohana (didn't even know they made one) but I have owned and played a koaloha concert. Koaloha concerts are the best concerts in my opinion. As far as resale, look at elderly's site. that ohana's msrp was $750 new. about the same as the koaloha. used the koaloha is bringing more than $100.

mm stan
06-12-2011, 06:28 PM
I love the KoAloha's Sound ...never heard too of the solid koa Ohana..but for resale, the Koaloha will hold it's value alot better..well worth the extra bengi....

mds725
06-12-2011, 06:44 PM
What John and Stan said.

mr moonlight
06-12-2011, 06:47 PM
I don't think there should be any question of what to do here. It's not just that Koaloha is a higher end instrument, but getting one of their concerts for $500 is just too good a price to pass up!

Dan Uke
06-12-2011, 07:03 PM
Wow...Koaloha Concert for $500...good deal!!...Mouthy just picked one up for a little bit more and that was a good deal. Ohanas are made in China while Koaloha made in Hawaii!!

TCK
06-12-2011, 07:40 PM
KoAloha concert is to this day the sweetest sounding uke I have ever played. I know tone is totally subjective, but this one is a winner- period

countrybumpkin
06-12-2011, 08:15 PM
Koaloha is the answer.

Teek
06-12-2011, 09:46 PM
Grab the KoAloha!

If I was someone who had the money and zero integrity, I'd a sent them an email and called in a hold on it. Don't be posting those links, just ask the questions, lol. (I actually have the money but also a ton of integrity).

I turned down TWO KoAloha concerts 2 years ago for $350 and $400 respectively, one a local, when I chose my Kamaka instead, but I saw the Kamaka first and had to have it. If I had had the money then would have bought the local KoAloha at the same time.

iDavid
06-12-2011, 09:46 PM
My KoAloha concert is one of the few ukes that I have never thought about selling. It is a prefect high-g concert. It is loud than many tenors, stays in tune and sounds fantastic.

Get one!

Really!

Pippin
06-12-2011, 10:25 PM
Both are great ukes, but the KoAloha is a great price. You would have higher re-sale value, but I'd hope that once you play it you would never consider selling it.

The Ohana CK-350G is a beautiful uke. If you went that route, no, you would not have as much re-sale value, but you would be able to get a really nice hardshell case for it and still have money in your pocket. I would not sell either one if I had them in my collection.

byjimini
06-12-2011, 10:42 PM
Based on aesthetics I wouldn't touch the KoAloha with a bargepole. Looks very plain, and the headstock is just ugly, in my eyes.

iDavid
06-12-2011, 11:10 PM
Based on aesthetics I wouldn't touch the KoAloha with a bargepole. Looks very plain, and the headstock is just ugly, in my eyes.

Man, do I disagree with you. Mine has gotten tons of complements, it does have more interesting wood, however.

In terms of sound the Ohana cannot touch the KoAloha. I find it funny to even compare the two.

Lexxy
06-12-2011, 11:11 PM
Based on aesthetics I wouldn't touch the KoAloha with a bargepole. Looks very plain, and the headstock is just ugly, in my eyes.

To my KoAloha's defense, it sounds magical. :P

byjimini
06-12-2011, 11:13 PM
Shows how shallow I am. :D

iDavid
06-12-2011, 11:22 PM
Shows how shallow I am. :D

I hear ya, I don't dig the new bridge on the KoAlohas, but the sound is impossible to match. I don't think their tenors are anything special, not bad, but nothing that unusual. The concert just sings.

SweetWaterBlue
06-12-2011, 11:35 PM
I am an Ohana fanboy, but I also agree that the Koaloha concerts sound great. I have never played a koa Ohana, but if I had the money, I would go for the Koaloha. Other than the ugly-azz bridge on that one, its a beautiful instrument.

iDavid
06-12-2011, 11:46 PM
Save up a "bit" more and get this one

http://www.acousticvibesmusic.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=170_180&products_id=1499&zenid=2771cf0755546b0b888f1893e3c65f55

iDavid
06-12-2011, 11:48 PM
Black Bear would another great option.

http://www.blackbearukuleles.net/detail.html?itemid=277

I believe he can build you a uke in few weeks, or less.

guitharsis
06-13-2011, 12:14 AM
Grab the KoAloha!

If I was someone who had the money and zero integrity, I'd a sent them an email and called in a hold on it. Don't be posting those links, just ask the questions, lol. (I actually have the money but also a ton of integrity).

I turned down TWO KoAloha concerts 2 years ago for $350 and $400 respectively, one a local, when I chose my Kamaka instead, but I saw the Kamaka first and had to have it. If I had had the money then would have bought the local KoAloha at the same time.

You made a good choice. The Kamaka concert is also special. Find it interesting though that some people have a strong preference for my KoAloha concert and others definitely prefer the Kamaka concert, my instructor being one of them. I LOVE them both. :)

Back to the OP's question: no doubt about it, KoAloha! You won't regret it. Great price too.

mthurman52
06-13-2011, 01:27 AM
Sounds like KoAloha takes it by a long shot..and sounds like he'd better grab it before someone else does! :D

Lanark
06-13-2011, 03:57 AM
If I had the cash to spend, I'd snag the linked Koaloha in a heartbeat. (and I've already got two 2000 Koaloha concerts).

I find it kind of odd that nobody noted that this is one of the rarer 2000 models with the oval sound hole. If I remember from threads gone by, they experimented with that for a matter of months before going with the musubi shape. There just aren't too many of these floating around. The neck is koa and hand shaped. And from the looks of it, both the top and back are one solid piece of koa which I don't believe they can do anymore because the boards aren't available. I actually prefer this earlier simpler bridge style and for the most part I don't even notice. I'm usually too busy playing and listening to care what the bridge looks like. Some folks aren't too keen on these older friction tuners they were using at the time (They switched them eventually. But I don't remember which brand they switched to and from) Personally I haven't had any problems with them and rarely even have to tune at all once the strings settle. That Koaloha looks from every angle to be a complete keeper. The sound of the two I've got are pretty magical, both unique to themselves, but still Koaloha (They have the even earlier round sound holes.)

At $500 this is a freakin' steal and I would absolutely hold value over time given that it is a rarer design to begin with besides being a high quality handcrafted Hawaii made instrument. That Ohana could be a wonderful instrument in and of itself, but given the choice between the two, it's not even a contest.

olgoat52
06-13-2011, 04:54 AM
Shows how shallow I am. :D

Not shallow. In some respects you're right. KoAloha's finish is shameful for a uke that costs that much. No grain fill, no leveling. A cheap walmart guitar has a better looking finish. But the K brands all get away with murder in that respect. But when you take playability, tone and volume into consideration, the KoAloha is a great uke.

Kauai808
06-13-2011, 05:12 AM
Had the pleasure of playing a solid koa Ohana this weekend. Although beautiful, the finish is not pefect. There was some glue residue where the neck joins the body. The sound hole itself was rough and could have used some sanding. You won't find anything like this on a KoAloha. The Ohana is also considerably heavier. I wish I could have loved the Ohana but in terms of tone, it isn't even close to a Koaloha. It sounds damp and muted. Almost like the soundboard is too thick or something. Spend the extra cheese and get the KoAloha.

haolejohn
06-13-2011, 05:59 AM
Not shallow. In some respects you're right. KoAloha's finish is shameful for a uke that costs that much. No grain fill, no leveling. A cheap walmart guitar has a better looking finish. But the K brands all get away with murder in that respect. But when you take playability, tone and volume into consideration, the KoAloha is a great uke.

I have been told by a guitar friend of mine that the lack of grain fill is better for the instrument.

But I prefer the satin look of the koaloha. I think gloss looks like crap.

strumsilly
06-13-2011, 06:40 AM
Grab the KoAloha!

If I was someone who had the money and zero integrity, I'd a sent them an email and called in a hold on it. Don't be posting those links, just ask the questions, lol. (I actually have the money but also a ton of integrity).

I turned down TWO KoAloha concerts 2 years ago for $350 and $400 respectively, one a local, when I chose my Kamaka instead, but I saw the Kamaka first and had to have it. If I had had the money then would have bought the local KoAloha at the same time.

mthurman52, is he going for it or not, or are you just testing my integrity. mine is a little better than 0, but I'm weakening, I've wanted one of these for a while, the only thing that has kept me from one is my better half, I'd spend myself silly without her.

mr moonlight
06-13-2011, 07:39 AM
Shows how shallow I am. :D

I don't blame you one bit. When it comes to instruments, I'm just as shallow. For that kind of money there are a number of great options out there so you don't ever have to compromise sound or playbility for beauty. Might as well have your cake and eat it too.

Heck, I ponied up a little extra to upgrade my Koa even though I know it was all just for looks.

hobblecreek
06-13-2011, 10:25 AM
The KoAloha’s looks may be incredibly monochromatic (maybe it should come with tan colored strings also), but its sound will have tons of color. If I may offer an alternative that has more visual appeal, yet retains sound and beauty of a made-in-Hawai’i instrument:

http://www.gryphonstrings.com/instpix/34159/34159.php

Either Elderly's KoAloha or Gryphon's Ko'olau are worth paying up for. (Gee, I just ended a sentence with 2 prepositions – is that permitted?)

olgoat52
06-13-2011, 02:23 PM
I have been told by a guitar friend of mine that the lack of grain fill is better for the instrument.

But I prefer the satin look of the koaloha. I think gloss looks like crap.

Gloss magnifies all the things I am talking about. Satin forgives a lot of it. I had a pikake before the current koaloha concert and the pikake looked better. I am not sold on the fact that filled grain affects the tone. The bracing is the biggest factor in my opinion.

olgoat52
06-13-2011, 02:25 PM
The KoAloha’s looks may be incredibly monochromatic (maybe it should come with tan colored strings also), but its sound will have tons of color. If I may offer an alternative that has more visual appeal, yet retains sound and beauty of a made-in-Hawai’i instrument:

http://www.gryphonstrings.com/instpix/34159/34159.php

Either Elderly's KoAloha or Gryphon's Ko'olau are worth paying up for. (Gee, I just ended a sentence with 2 prepositions – is that permitted?)

I have never played a Ko'olau but I hear they sound great. Very thin tops from what I have heard.

OldePhart
06-13-2011, 02:34 PM
I am not sold on the fact that filled grain affects the tone. The bracing is the biggest factor in my opinion.

Filling the grain adds mass and definitely affects tone - however, you are right that it has far less impact than proper bracing and the base thickness of the top. So, if you're one of those guys who likes having to endlessly polish fingerprints off the mirror finish of his axe then it's not costing you a lot in terms of tone and volume - just polishing time. LOL

John

MGM
06-13-2011, 05:48 PM
i didn't even see a real question there is really only one answer Koaloha

iDavid
06-13-2011, 07:44 PM
Not shallow. In some respects you're right. KoAloha's finish is shameful for a uke that costs that much. No grain fill, no leveling. A cheap walmart guitar has a better looking finish. But the K brands all get away with murder in that respect. But when you take playability, tone and volume into consideration, the KoAloha is a great uke.

Not all K-brands have low-tech finishes. Kanile'a has some of the nicest finishes on the planet, satin or gloss!

dnewton2
06-14-2011, 01:52 AM
i didn't even see a real question there is really only one answer Koaloha

The man has spoken.

70sSanO
06-14-2011, 04:34 AM
So what was the outcome? I see that both ukuleles are still available this morning.

John

Howie1947
06-14-2011, 04:39 AM
I agree with MGM.................

saltytri
06-14-2011, 05:05 AM
So what was the outcome? I see that both ukuleles are still available this morning.

John

At 9am EDT, there were two Koaloha concerts available: 1) the original subject of this thread and 2) an almost-new Pikake Concert for $450 with hard case. Both have disappeared!

strumsilly
06-14-2011, 10:46 AM
hope mthurman52 got it.

thegentlesurprise
06-14-2011, 11:19 AM
Seconded on the KoAloha, tho I seem to like their older instruments better. Dunno if that has to do with manufacturer or 'seasoning.' I have a concert stamped Nov 1998 that was my only (non-travel) uke for years. I got a koa Collings tenor last year, mainly because I could never find a KoAloha tenor to try out. I love the Collings, nice and loud, sounds like a uke vs. sounding like a tiny guitar (which is my main complaint about most tenors), magnificent tone, but I'm still looking for a KoAloha tenor to spend some time with, I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up trading for one if/when I get the chance.
As for finish, I could care less if the top looks like a trashcan lid, the sound's the thing, and yah, the KoAlohas generally have that in spades.

pithaya9
06-14-2011, 03:19 PM
i didn't even see a real question there is really only one answer Koaloha

I agree with this guy. lol