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View Full Version : what strings do you have on your Kiwaya laminate?



janeray1940
07-18-2011, 06:42 AM
Okay, so... over the weekend a Kiwaya thinline pineapple laminate made its way into my life. I got tired of stressing out about bringing my Kamakas to the beach, and was incredibly impressed with the sound of this thing. It will be arriving with Aquilas, but I'd love to hear string recommendations from other Kiwaya laminate owners. Mahalo!

didgeridoo2
07-18-2011, 07:00 AM
Okay, so... over the weekend a Kiwaya thinline pineapple laminate made its way into my life. I got tired of stressing out about bringing my Kamakas to the beach, and was incredibly impressed with the sound of this thing. It will be arriving with Aquilas, but I'd love to hear string recommendations from other Kiwaya laminate owners. Mahalo!
I have worth browns on my KS 1 and have had worth clears in the past. Both work well, IMO. It is a louder laminated uke so I would think that aquilas may sound a little brash. On my KTS 5 I have savarez alliance strings and I would guess that they would sound good, but maybe a little muted on the KS 1.

janeray1940
07-18-2011, 07:09 AM
I have worth browns on my KS 1 and have had worth clears in the past. Both work well, IMO. It is a louder laminated uke so I would think that aquilas may sound a little brash. On my KTS 5 I have savarez alliance strings and I would guess that they would sound good, but maybe a little muted on the KS 1.

Thanks! I just learned that Savarez sells uke strings in sets now. I was always too intimidated by having to pick out individual strings to try them before, so I'll keep those in mind. The little thinline uke is pretty darned loud for its size - I'm not sure if I want to bring out the volume, or dial it back and make it my playing-late-at-night uke.

So you have two Kiwayas? Nice. I've encountered a few recently and they're starting to run a close second to Kamaka for me - I really, really like them.

didgeridoo2
07-18-2011, 07:18 AM
Thanks! I just learned that Savarez sells uke strings in sets now. I was always too intimidated by having to pick out individual strings to try them before, so I'll keep those in mind. The little thinline uke is pretty darned loud for its size - I'm not sure if I want to bring out the volume, or dial it back and make it my playing-late-at-night uke.

So you have two Kiwayas? Nice. I've encountered a few recently and they're starting to run a close second to Kamaka for me - I really, really like them.
The quality of the KS 1 sold me on getting one of their solid wood ukes. I couldn't be happier with the sweet sound of the KTS 5. The KS 1 is sort of a beater/travel/ beach and park uke, now.

As far as the savarez strings are concerned, I bought them as individual strings, but I'll check out their sets.

OldePhart
07-18-2011, 07:27 AM
I had Aquila's on my Kiwaya KSL02 until they wore out (about three or four weeks for me because I was playing that uke a lot). They sounded pretty good - that's about the only "good uke" that I've really liked the Aquila's on but it may have simply been that they were such a huge improvement over the black strings that came on it. Anyway, when those wore out I put my "homebrew" fluorocarbons on that I use on most of my concert and tenor scale ukes and I've been very happy with them (it's basically a Worth CM set with a slightly lighter-gage E string).

John

Jane
07-18-2011, 03:17 PM
My KS-1 came with Hilo strings which were soon switched to Aquilas, then, Worth Browns, and, now, Fremont Blacklines - Medium. I like the sound, though, I won't say I've finished experimenting quite yet!

redBee
07-18-2011, 10:53 PM
Those thinline ukes are great!

I use Worth BM on my FS5 (I think it's called KS5 abroad?).
I tried Aquilas on it, but I wasn't very thrilled.

janeray1940
07-19-2011, 04:33 AM
Sounds to me like the general preference is for fluorocarbons over Nylguts. Thanks for the suggestions so far, and please keep them coming!

janeray1940
07-22-2011, 06:48 PM
So... the Kiwaya thinline arrived, with Aquilas, and sounded pretty... meh. I had Worth CLs, Fremont Black Hards, and Martin M600s on hand to choose from and went for the Martins and - wow. What a difference! Much louder, and much fuller sounding. And it sounds pretty great tuned ADF#B... been messing around with 1920s songs on it and thinking I *do* have justfication for a couple more ukes, as long as they are mahogany :)

redBee
07-22-2011, 07:22 PM
Nice... Enjoy your new Kiwaya!

janeray1940
07-22-2011, 07:41 PM
Thanks redBee! I can hardly wait to take it to the beach :)

hmgberg
07-22-2011, 08:22 PM
Congratulations, Jane! Your next ukulele... Martin O?

janeray1940
07-22-2011, 08:39 PM
Congratulations, Jane! Your next ukulele... Martin O?

Hmmmmm... that was actually the first uke I ever wanted, but never could find one for a good price. Maybe the new Martin S1. Need to track one down and play it... I'm also intrigued by the Kiwaya KSL-1, which doesn't seem to be made anymore.

Ernie
07-22-2011, 08:54 PM
I have a KSL-1 and I LOVE it!! A soprano voice, but with more sustain, thanks to the concert neck. Just an excellent ukulele.
These were originally made (including mine) with solid tops. Later they switched to laminate tops, I guess... I didn't realize they were discontinued?? That's a shame. Kiwayas are my favorite production ukes on the market today!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-22-2011, 11:58 PM
Congratulations on the new uke!!

Sambient
07-23-2011, 01:08 AM
Okay, so... over the weekend a Kiwaya thinline pineapple laminate made its way into my life. I got tired of stressing out about bringing my Kamakas to the beach, and was incredibly impressed with the sound of this thing. It will be arriving with Aquilas, but I'd love to hear string recommendations from other Kiwaya laminate owners. Mahalo!

Is this the one that was on ebay? I'd bid on that too. Color me envious of your new uke.

hmgberg
07-23-2011, 04:59 AM
Hmmmmm... that was actually the first uke I ever wanted, but never could find one for a good price. Maybe the new Martin S1. Need to track one down and play it... I'm also intrigued by the Kiwaya KSL-1, which doesn't seem to be made anymore.

I've played an S-1, side-by-side with some vintage Martins. It's pretty good for around $350.00, but not nearly as resonant as vintage O. Has an extended fingerboard, though. I understand that it is unlikely that you'll find an O for $350.00, but for a few hundred more, I think you'll be happier.

janeray1940
07-23-2011, 05:24 AM
Is this the one that was on ebay? I'd bid on that too. Color me envious of your new uke.

That's the one. I'm very happy with it - the pictures in the listing didn't really show that the uke looks brand new. It's a great little uke - I had only seen one of these before, and I knew I was taking a bit of a chance, but I'm very pleased.

If you're willing to spend a bit more, I think Uke Republic has them for around $289 right now.

janeray1940
07-23-2011, 05:26 AM
I've played an S-1, side-by-side with some vintage Martins. It's pretty good for around $350.00, but not nearly as resonant as vintage O. Has an extended fingerboard, though. I understand that it is unlikely that you'll find an O for $350.00, but for a few hundred more, I think you'll be happier.

It's that extended fingerboard that I want! So many of the arrangements that I play go beyond the 12th fret. One of each, a vintage 0 and a new S1, would be ideal :)

janeray1940
07-23-2011, 05:29 AM
I have a KSL-1 and I LOVE it!! A soprano voice, but with more sustain, thanks to the concert neck. Just an excellent ukulele.
These were originally made (including mine) with solid tops. Later they switched to laminate tops, I guess... I didn't realize they were discontinued?? That's a shame. Kiwayas are my favorite production ukes on the market today!

Kiwaya doesn't have them on their website, and nobody seems to be selling them. I played one in a shop a couple years back and am *still* kicking myself for not buying it.

I've encountered several Kiwayas recently, all laminates, and each time I've been surprised at how great they sound. I never thought I'd want anything other than solid wood insturments, and these have definitely changed my mind about that.

janeray1940
07-23-2011, 05:31 AM
Congratulations on the new uke!!

Thanks Ralf! And to you too on your new "Singing" Treholipee :)

Flockheart
07-23-2011, 07:29 AM
I put Worth Clears (CM) on my KS-1 a few weeks ago after having Aquilas on it for a few months. They completely transformed the uke and, to me, they sounded so much nicer on this particular model than the Aquilas did.

hmgberg
07-23-2011, 09:19 AM
It's that extended fingerboard that I want! So many of the arrangements that I play go beyond the 12th fret. One of each, a vintage 0 and a new S1, would be ideal :)

Or just get a vintage style 3! :D

janeray1940
07-23-2011, 09:22 AM
Or just get a vintage style 3! :D

An excellent suggestion!

OldePhart
07-23-2011, 11:46 AM
I've encountered several Kiwayas recently, all laminates, and each time I've been surprised at how great they sound. I never thought I'd want anything other than solid wood insturments, and these have definitely changed my mind about that.

Yeah, I've got longneck sopranos in the Kiwaya laminated and the KoAloha and I have to admit, the KoAloha doesn't edge the Kiwaya by anywhere near as much as one would expect. Yeah, if I had to give one up I'd keep the KoAloha - but I wouldn't be broken-hearted if I was "stuck" with the Kiwaya!

toobacat
07-24-2011, 07:33 AM
I don't have a laminate, but I have a KTS-4 that I bought used, that came with Aquila strings, and it sounds wonderful. It's really one of the nicest ukes I've played. I just wish they would make a solid wood, longneck soprano.

Ernie
07-24-2011, 01:10 PM
I don't have a laminate, but I have a KTS-4 that I bought used, that came with Aquila strings, and it sounds wonderful. It's really one of the nicest ukes I've played. I just wish they would make a solid wood, longneck soprano.
They DID- unfortunately, they changed it to laminate at some point, and now appear not to making them at all. There are Kiwaya KLS-1s out there with solid tops though, and if you can get your hands on one, I highly recommend buying it!

Ernie
07-24-2011, 04:41 PM
Janeray1940- Bernunzio as what looks like a KSL-1 (but they're calling it a KSL-2) for sale. It is of the laminate era, but they have a video demonstration on the sale page. Sounds very nice!
http://bernunzio.com/products/1116945

janeray1940
07-24-2011, 05:44 PM
Janeray1940- Bernunzio as what looks like a KSL-1 (but they're calling it a KSL-2) for sale. It is of the laminate era, but they have a video demonstration on the sale page. Sounds very nice!
http://bernunzio.com/products/1116945

Thanks Ernie - I saw that and have to say I'm tempted. If I've done my homework correctly though, the KSL-1 is mahogany (or mahogany laminate) and the KSL-2 is koa - and I already have 4 koa ukes. The only way I could justify another uke is if it was a mahogany one. Although I reserve the right to change my mind about that at a moment's notice :)

Ernie
07-24-2011, 05:58 PM
Ha ha! Understood! Ah yes- Koa... that's what I get for not reading the description carefully. I bought my KSL-1 from Musicguy Mike who was set up at a local Hawaiian festival a little over a year ago (I never would have known about the festival, if Mike hadn't posted on one of the forums). He had several tables full of ukuleles set up- many brands I had been curious about- and the KSL-1 was (in my opinion) hands-down the best sounding ukulele in the whole inventory. Apparently he had held on to it for a while, and I could tell it had been played. I count myself lucky that I got to it before someone else did. Good luck with the hunt! I'll keep my ear to the ground!