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View Full Version : Impressions of my Ko'aloha Concert after a week...



sbpark
07-24-2011, 07:23 AM
So about a week ago i picked up a used Ko'aloha Concert KCM-00. I've ben playing it all week and just thought I'd follow up with my impressions, so here goes...

First off, this instrument sounds wonderful. There really isn't much more to say. It's bright but not harsh or tinny, to my ear it's very well balanced and sounds great both fingerpicked and strummed and note clarity and definition are just great. To me it just sounds perfect. Initially it came with Worth Clear mediums, so I ordered a few sets from Elderly since they aren't available around here at any shops. While I was waiting for them to arrive I put a set of Martin M600 on. They were alright, but lack the separation and clarity of the Worth Clears. My biggest complaint about the Martin strings were how they felt. I guess I prefer the higher tension and feel of the Worths because the Martin M600's were spongy, rubbery and loose in comparison, so when the Worths came I put those on and for now these are the strings that are going to stay on this uke. They just sound wonderful. I had ordered a few sets of Ko'olau Mahanas to try as well, but these strings are so thick in diameter they won't fit in the string slots in the bridge, and i wasn't about to widen the slots to accommodate the Ko'olaus.

With that said, as much as I love the sound of this instrument (and I know I am going to get trashed for my next statement and couldn't believe this myself actually!) I actually prefer the feel and playability of my Ohana CK-35. Crazy, right?! I think it's because the Ko'aloha has a pretty thin neck, and I guess my hands prefer the slightly beefier neck on the Ohana. The action on the Ohana CK-35 feels a little better, too (I never had the Ohana set up and it's as is the way it came from the factory, but I replaced the Aquilas with Worth Brown Mediums), but I think the Ko'aloha could be set up a little better. The original owner (the guy I bought it from) told me he bought it from the Ko'aloha factory when he was over there a couple years ago and they set it up there for him. it's not a bad set up, but I feel like my repair/set-up guy can make it even better.

So at this point it's still a keeper because the sound coming out of this thing is amazing. Just think it needs a little tweaking as far as set up goes and some more time for my hands to get used to a thinner/lower volume neck. Still very happy with it!

fabioponta
07-24-2011, 07:46 AM
What strings you have in your Koaloha?

sbpark
07-24-2011, 08:03 AM
Worth Clear Mediums.

hmgberg
07-24-2011, 08:11 AM
I just replied to your other thread and see now that you have Worth clears on the Koaloha, why not try the other halves on the Ohana? Also, the Koalohas I've played have had thin necks and high frets. The combination may be what you are struggling with in terms of "feel." If you are having the Koaloha set up, you might consider having the luthier lower the frets. Only a good luthier though.

sbpark
07-24-2011, 08:27 AM
I just replied to your other thread and see now that you have Worth clears on the Koaloha, why not try the other halves on the Ohana? Also, the Koalohas I've played have had thin necks and high frets. The combination may be what you are struggling with in terms of "feel." If you are having the Koaloha set up, you might consider having the luthier lower the frets. Only a good luthier though.

i thought the same thing. luckily the owner of the repair shop i have always brought my guitars to also plays a concert uke AND his speciality is fret work (and he also makes some darn good bone nuts and saddles).

Lanark
07-25-2011, 05:01 AM
I'm going to say give it some time. If you've had the Ohana for a while and gotten very used to it there's always going to be some adjustment to a different neck. Once you've gone back and forth for a while it will seem like less of a jump. (I kind of keep all my ukes in a rotation of sorts (mostly based on whim) so I don't ever get to stuck on one particular type.)

One thing I have found about the thinner neck profiles of the Koalohas is that I do think it helps just a little for reaching for that extra fret when you want it. Perhaps I just imagine it, but I feel like the thinner profile affords a better angle to reach further.

Harold O.
07-25-2011, 12:50 PM
I have an Ohana TK35G as my go-to uke. There's also a couple of Vineyards, a Kala, and a Tahitian. They were joined by a Koaloha concert two years ago.

The Koaloha is a very different sort of instrument. All my other ukes are strung with Aquila's. It's what my fingers are used to finging on. The Koaloha came with Worth clears and will stay that way. While I can wail away on the other ukes, the K calls for a more relaxed approach. The sound is terrific, the instrument is lightweight, and I treat it as a special piece.

My two cents.

sukie
07-26-2011, 07:05 AM
The thinner neck is what I miss most about not playing a KoAloha anymore. I think the KoAloha concerts are wonderful.

DreamerZz
07-26-2011, 07:27 AM
what are you playing now?

sukie
07-26-2011, 08:06 AM
Me? A Moore Bettah. :-) (I do think it's nicer than a KoAloha)

sbpark
07-26-2011, 11:09 AM
Just dropped off the Ko'aloha at the repair shop for a set up. The owner who also sets up my guitars also plays ukulele, and he was pretty stoked when he opened the case. He kept commenting on how nice this instrument sounded. Just needs a basic set up with some nut work and action adjustment. Should have it in about a week since they're swamped right now.