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View Full Version : Best traditional off the shelf Soprano made today.



wearymicrobe
06-17-2011, 09:04 AM
Any idea's on who is making the best traditional bodied full Koa soprano's right now for pure strumming? I have been looking at the usual K brand suspects and I have not been blown away. Have not had a chance to give a Ko'aloha a swing yet. This is just for basic on the porch style playing no recording or anything else, just for fun.

Looking for a really laid back sound, something with astonishingly good wood but not to much bling. Like to keep it under 3K if possible. The few that have played my ukes know my taste.

ukeeku
06-17-2011, 10:26 AM
Any idea's on who is making the best traditional bodied full Koa soprano's right now for pure strumming? I have been looking at the usual K brand suspects and I have not been blown away. Have not had a chance to give a Ko'aloha a swing yet. This is just for basic on the porch style playing no recording or anything else, just for fun.

Looking for a really laid back sound, something with astonishingly good wood but not to much bling. Like to keep it under 3K if possible. The few that have played my ukes know my taste.

How about a .3K? Brad Donaldson make awesome koa ukes. find him here under bradford.

bbycrts
06-17-2011, 10:34 AM
I played with a Brad Donaldson (thanks to Ukeeku) at UWC quite a bit and it is something really special!

Uke Republic
06-17-2011, 10:50 AM
Well you might consider ... Ko'olau, Kiwaya and LoPrinzi ukuleles. We often build to order LoPrinzi ukuleles so you get a chance to do some customizing . The model A series is a bargain in the koa world and it's made in USA. We like the aNuiNui 1879 for a classic too, Ah we like a lot of them:)

SailingUke
06-17-2011, 11:42 AM
Well you might consider ... Ko'olau, Kiwaya and LoPrinzi ukuleles. We often build to order LoPrinzi ukuleles so you get a chance to do some customizing . The model A series is a bargain in the koa world and it's made in USA. We like the aNuiNui 1879 for a classic too, Ah we like a lot of them:)

I like the aNuiNui 1879 big time, but I am not a soprano guy.

mm stan
06-17-2011, 12:01 PM
Aloha WearyMicrobe,
Depends greatly on you budget...premimums or customs....or lower level ukes... for off the shelf and for the best deal for your money.....KAMAKA...

wearymicrobe
06-17-2011, 12:45 PM
Budget is under 3000$ us. Like I put in the first post. I have tried all of the K brands and find them a little lacking. Well at least not up to my spec, most are not custom ones though. I really don't want to have to go through the wait this time of ordering another custom so needs to be in stock or easy to get a hold of.

mm stan
06-17-2011, 12:53 PM
Budget is under 3000$ us. Like I put in the first post. I have tried all of the K brands and find them a little lacking. Well at least not up to my spec, most are not custom ones though. I really don't want to have to go through the wait this time of ordering another custom so needs to be in stock or easy to get a hold of.
What kind of sound are you looking for....when you get in the custom range and spend alot of money..and order one, you won't know what you are getting until you play it...
I would go to a High end music shop as Pua Pua and try all the ones out and pick the sound you like best...without looking at the builders or brands.. so far Lymana is the best I played...

PhilUSAFRet
06-18-2011, 02:19 PM
For that budget, can get a MooreBettah...... with as little "bling" as you like!

Laouik
06-18-2011, 02:45 PM
It's not koa/acacia, but... +1 on the Kiwaya.

But for under $3000, I'd approach my favourite luthier (http://www.lfdmguitars.ca) and have an incredible instrument made.

Coconut Willie
06-18-2011, 03:09 PM
Yes you take your chances on a custom build...sound might not be to your liking!! Stck with one of the "K" brands and you will do fine. Just play a bunch of them!

bbycrts
06-18-2011, 03:16 PM
Budget is under 3000$ us. Like I put in the first post. I have tried all of the K brands and find them a little lacking. Well at least not up to my spec, most are not custom ones though. I really don't want to have to go through the wait this time of ordering another custom so needs to be in stock or easy to get a hold of.

If that's your budget and the K brands are lacking then stop looking at production ukes and just go through the wait. I think your standards are incredibly high if a K brand is still lacking, so you really need to work with someone who will build your uke to be exactly the way you want it. It really doesn't sound like you'll be happy with anything less.

savagehenry
06-18-2011, 03:19 PM
Order a custom $2000 Uke and pay the extra $1000 for them to rush it, haha!

Laouik
06-18-2011, 03:23 PM
If that's your budget and the K brands are lacking then stop looking at production ukes and just go through the wait.

Agreed. I lucked out and a local luthier had a show piece he was willing to sell to me. But now that I've seen the difference, I'd gladly wait the 120 hours it takes him to craft one.

MGM
06-18-2011, 06:19 PM
best soprano i ever owned for sound and looks i waited three and a half years for.... a copy i a Dias Soprano made about the year 1899-1900's Made by the one of the best Dave Means. Here are photos of the original I am trying to find pics of Dave's copy

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/081-1.jpg
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/078-3.jpg
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/077-1.jpg
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/082-2.jpg

MGM
06-18-2011, 06:57 PM
Here GLYPH UKULELE by Dave means copy made for me

http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/mgmtop_800x466.jpg
http://i30.photobucket.com/albums/c345/musicguymic/mgmback_800x466.jpg

Raygf
06-19-2011, 12:47 AM
Dave Means is not taking orders at this time.
Regards,
Ray

garyg
06-19-2011, 02:14 AM
A great uke based on a Nunes design. I played 10-12 sopranos when I bought this and the 1879 was head and shoulders above every one. Great looking koa, peghead tuners and great sound!

iDavid
06-19-2011, 02:50 AM
A great uke based on a Nunes design. I played 10-12 sopranos when I bought this and the 1879 was head and shoulders above every one. Great looking koa, peghead tuners and great sound!

What makes this one so special? I've heard some of the Youtube's and it seems to sound fantastic?

Is it made in China?

Huna
06-19-2011, 02:51 AM
why not get Eugene's Koa Black Bear?

iDavid
06-19-2011, 02:57 AM
why not get Eugene's Koa Black Bear?

You can get a custom Black Bear in a matter of a few weeks.

CoLmes
06-19-2011, 03:31 AM
You could buy 75 Dolphins

Hippie Dribble
06-19-2011, 03:36 AM
You could buy 75 Dolphins

even better Col...he could buy my Koa Black Bear and 63 Dolphins...what sensational value for money :p

iDavid
06-19-2011, 03:48 AM
Black bear, an anunue, and 40 dolphins

garyg
06-19-2011, 04:09 AM
Try playing one and you'll see, yes they're made in Taiwan I think, superb craftsmanship, bowed back, good looking bookmatched koa, Pippin did a short review in Uke Player 19 and there are others on the board and web.

iDavid
06-19-2011, 05:20 AM
wish I could play one, I would have to buy it first.

maybe I should

didgeridoo2
06-19-2011, 05:26 AM
Kiwaya kts-7 for 1k now, 2k left to order a custom for later...

didgeridoo2
06-19-2011, 05:31 AM
Keep an eye on William King's blog, he recently had a couple of beauties on eBay with no reserve. Really pretty koa soprano went for around $800 a couple weeks ago.
http://www.chantus.com/journal/ (http://http://www.chantus.com/journal/)

Hippie Dribble
06-19-2011, 05:51 AM
Keep an eye on William King's blog, he recently had a couple of beauties on eBay with no reserve. Really pretty koa soprano went for around $800 a couple weeks ago.
http://www.chantus.com/journal/ (http://http://www.chantus.com/journal/)

Good call didge. Mmmmmm... I saw them too. They are amazing ukes but a touch out of my reach at the moment. Perfect for you weary .m :)

stanpeter
07-01-2011, 09:39 PM
favourite luthier (http://www.lfdmguitars.ca)

Wow, those are some very nice looking ukuleles!

Ataraxia
07-01-2011, 11:57 PM
Try playing one and you'll see, yes they're made in Taiwan I think, superb craftsmanship, bowed back, good looking bookmatched koa, Pippin did a short review in Uke Player 19 and there are others on the board and web.

They're actually made in mainland China, but the headquarters are here in Taipei. I know the president of the company, he's a really nice guy. Anuenue is a joint-venture between Taiwan and Japan. I got a chance to play the 1879 before it was released, sounds pretty nice.. I like that they use pegheds :D. I'd rather buy a Kiwaya for the $ though.

Uke Whisperer
07-02-2011, 12:39 AM
A beginner's question, I guess. I have to ask why no one has mentioned Martins? I have not played them but in comparisons and demos I have not heard anything better. Perhaps it is just I me that loves the struming sound of a quality Martin.

Huna
07-02-2011, 12:47 AM
I love my oxk martin. I got a coupon for 30 bucks off for Fathers Day at Guitar Center for purchase over 200 or something and Musicians Friend matched it. I like the OXK.