View Full Version : Kiwaya KS-1...who has one and what are your honest opinions/impressions?

09-14-2011, 06:46 PM
In my search for a decent mahogany soprano that wont break the bank I think i have narrowed it down to the Kiwaya KS-1. Suprisingly it's a laminate, but from everything I have read these ukes are well received and loved by the people who own them, and sound pretty darn good for a laminate. I currently own two concerts, but want a soprano but don't want to break the bank. i'd like to spend around $250-$300 max. Even though the Kiwaya KS-1 is a laminate, Kiwaya is known for their great fit and finish, attention to detail and playability and am thinking about taking a chance in this laminate because I am thinking/hoping their wonderful reputation of making excellently crafted instruments will translate into a better playing instrument that will hopefully be able to be set up really well. Obviously there are other solid body ukes in this range but with my experience they do sound good but their playability is their shortcoming ( I have an Ohana CK-35 that in all honesty is a really nice uke, but it is what it is and even after a professional set up plays nice, but wish it was better, but for the money I can't complain i guess!)

So what do you think? Are the Kiwayas all they are talked up about being and worth paying the same price for one as i could pay for a lower end solid body instrument? Should I go for the laminate that supposedly sounds great and has an amazing fit and finish and excellent craftsmanship?

Opinions and comments are always appreciated! Thanks!

09-14-2011, 07:37 PM
Depends on what you're looking for. I have a KS-1 and a KTS-5. I keep the KS-1 as my beach/ travel uke. It has a great feel and it plays very smoothly. It's loud and responds well to fluorocarbon strings. It's not as sweet sounding as the solid wood KTS-5, but I expected that. I've had an Ohana SK-30 and I prefer the sound of the KS-1 even though the Ohana is a solid wood uke. You could probably find one to check out locally. McCabes in Santa Monica is a dealer, island bazaar in Huntington Beach is a dealer and Ron Fernandez in Irvine is a dealer. I got mine from him. I bought the KTS-5 because I was impressed with the KS-1 and I was right.

09-15-2011, 04:18 AM
I've always been attracted to the KS-1. I've only heard them play on Youtube. I have yet to hear one complaint about any of the Kiwaya products. I picked up an Ohana SK-35 new the other day. It's a good solid wood uke, but I'm having troubles bonding with it. This may seem crazy, but I keep picking up my Flea and Fluke to play. I think I need to clear out my heard of ukes and pick up a Kiwaya product. I have also been told by avery reliable source, one who is a member of the Uke builders guild, that Kiwii ukes are outstanding in both playability and sound and are a bargin for their price.

Too many Ukes, not enough time.