View Full Version : LoPrinzi Model 3 or Kamaka HF-3

08-07-2011, 08:46 PM
I know one's mahogany and the other is koa, but if you were to choose between a LoPrinzi Model 3 Tenor (http://www.augustinoloprinzi.com/prod03.htm#l3) and a Kamaka HF-3, which one would you purchase and why?

I've played my sister's Kamakas and am familiar with their build and tonal qualities. I've never held or played a LoPrinzi, but I have always associated the LoPrinzi name with uber-awesome guitars. I wasn't planning to purchase another uke until next summer, but who am I fooling trying to postpone happiness until then? =P

08-07-2011, 08:49 PM
I'd lean toward the LoPrinzi, myself. Augustino and Donna (his daughter) are great people and Donna does a fantastic job on the ukuleles.

08-07-2011, 08:57 PM
kamaka just because I like koa over mahogany.

08-08-2011, 03:07 AM
Kamaka in my opinon :). Love the look and sound of koa but that is in my opinion.

08-08-2011, 05:00 AM
LoPrinzi! They put so much time and care into all of their custom ukes, and they're from my hometown of Clearwater, FL :P

08-08-2011, 05:01 AM
I'd opt for the Kamaka as well -- I'm a koa fan. Plus, the Loprinzi has a bit too much bling (for my taste anyway). Good luck with whichever you choose.

08-08-2011, 11:20 AM
This is gonna be a tough decision for me, only because I know of no retailers in the area that have a LoPrinzi I can test out. It's really hard just going by what is available on YouTube.

If I go the LoPrinzi route, it's gonna be a total leap of faith based on their reputation.

BadLands Bart
08-08-2011, 11:31 AM
For me...Koa & Kamaka (perfect together!!!)

08-08-2011, 11:36 AM
Yeah. Kamakas really do sound perfect. I honestly don't know why I'm looking elsewhere, but there's a voice in my head that keeps whispering, "LoPrinzi." LOL. I wish I could just purchase both, but the wifey won't be happy.

08-08-2011, 11:51 AM
That's a tough call. I once had a LoPrinzi Type A mahogany tenor, and currently have a Kamaka HF-3. I think both are pretty much at the same level in terms of workmanship and sound quality. I personally like the sound from a koa ukulele a little more, but that's not to say one has a better sound quality over the other. I love bling though, so the LoPrinzi model 3 looks pretty attractive to me.

I guess if it was my call, I'd probably go with the Kamaka, because while I like the abalone inlays on the LoPrinzi, I would rather see that type of bling on a uke with blingly wood too (i.e. curly wood). All that abalone on a rather plain mahogany uke seem a little misplaced. And a Kamaka is Kamaka. Kamaka to ukes is almost like what Xerox is to Xerox machines. (or something like that...) :p

08-08-2011, 01:38 PM
do you already have a koa ukulele? what ukes do you own? I have owned a kamaka and I have played numerous loprinzis. I enjoyed both brands. I no longer own my kamaka and am planning a Loprinzi purchase in the future.

Uke Republic
08-08-2011, 03:53 PM
From a biased LoPrinzi dealer:
Lean fast neck, high quality construction, master grade tonewoods (Honduran mahogany is used) just like their guitars, great value, varnish finish. Those are some of the high points of the LoPrinzi plus they can make a custom instrument for you if you prefer koa. Very flexible company. Okay so I'm biased:)

08-08-2011, 04:32 PM
I have a LoPrinzi mahogony concert and absolutely love it. The build quality is first-rate, the tone is beautiful. I played about six instruments that day, and kept coming back to the LoPrinzi. Of course, I went in to buy a set of strings - forgot to buy the strings, but ended up with a uke that I prize.

08-08-2011, 04:38 PM
I have nothing more than a humble Leolani Mahogany Tenor that I purchased from the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet on July 10th during my vacation in Oahu. It's a nice uke, but I played guitar for 20 years and I'd like a much higher quality ukulele now. =)

08-09-2011, 12:21 AM
Another vote for Kamaka.

08-09-2011, 01:14 AM
For your first big upgrade, I'd vote Kamaka too. It's made in Hawaii, rich history, sound, quality, yada yada yada. I'm biased as a Kamaka owner/fan BTW. Although there is a part of me that wants you to get the LoPrinzi so we can get some first hand impressions of their tenor. Personally, I really like the bling. Obviously it's a great instrument too and we're splitting hairs in picking.

And face it, you'll probably have both by the end of the year. :)

08-09-2011, 03:22 AM
since you already have a mahog uke, then ge the kamaka and then save up for the loprinzi. I will say that Loprinzi surprised me with how well they are made and sound.

08-09-2011, 11:28 AM
And face it, you'll probably have both by the end of the year. :)

LOL. That's what I'm afraid of. I really don't need another _AS in my life. My bank account could use a break.

I've been giving this some thought. Perhaps I can upgrade in steps: purchase a lower-priced LoPrinzi first, follow that up later with an HF-3, and then a custom LoPrinzi later on down the line. I e-mailed LoPrinzi this morning inquiring about the differences between Model A, B, and C ukes. If the differences between the models are only cosmetic, I'd be content without the bling for now and will be willing to settle on a Model A (but with a gloss finish as opposed to satin). The money saved could go towards an HF-3 towards the end of the year (holiday gift from me to me). I'm hoping to receive a reply soon so that I can make my decision.

In other news, I received and installed my Worth CH-LGHD strings yesterday. They sound a lot "punchier" than the Aquilas I had on with the wound low-G. Lookin' forward to these strings to finish stretching and start settling in. =)

Coconut Willie
08-09-2011, 11:53 AM
Get the Kamaka...then save up for the LoPrinzi!

08-09-2011, 01:10 PM
I'm biased towards koa so Kamaka gets my vote. :P

08-09-2011, 01:23 PM
Tough decision. You can't go wrong with either, however I think everyone should have at least one Hawaiian made koa ukulele. I went with Kanile'a over Kamaka and have no regrets, but I am sure I would have been happy with a Kamaka too (or a Koaloha or a Ko'olau).

08-09-2011, 01:45 PM
Koa + Hawaii = (Kamaka or Kanilea or Ko'Olau or Ko'Aloha)