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View Full Version : Ko'aloha Sceptre or Kamaka? Which is bettah?



pebbleInDaPacific
09-11-2008, 06:11 AM
Ok, so i've only just begun playing, but UAS is starting to creep on me! :uhoh: and I just wanted all the opinions on these two, both in the concert size and tenor size. I'm currently playing a Kamaka soprano. I love the sound so much, and I've actually gotten a chance to play it before I bought it at Dusty Strings which is an authorized Kamaka retailer. I mentioned to them Ko'aloha, because they do not carry them there, and they said that they would look into it. I wasn't sure if I was talking to the right guy though because he seemed puzzled when I mentioned the name. I've always loved the look of them, but I would like to hold one in my hands and hear their sound in person before I decide. Well, I just saw the sceptres, and read some reviews of them saying that they had a loud voice. I am totally diggin the story behind how they came to be as well, and what the design means. Well, I just want to know if anyone out there has had experience with both and what you thought of them when compared to Kamaka's because they are my two choices and I am so close to giving in to my UAS creep! :p thanks ukenians!

HI@heart
09-11-2008, 06:37 AM
Bad stuff that UAS! Good luck with your infection :D

I've been eyeing a [used] Koaloha too the past couple of weeks. I've been resisting pretty well so far. I just don't have the clams to shell out for one at the new prices.

I too am drawn the Koaloha story and design esthetics but have never actually played one either. I'm sure it's high quality as well. The Sceptre and the Pineapple Sunday appeal to me less than the more trad shapes but that's just my personal taste.

BTW how was the Aloha Fest? I didn't make it due to kid stuff going on.

Kanaka916
09-11-2008, 07:30 AM
I like 'em both (Kamaka & KoAloha) but the Sceptre look is kinda to bling for me. Each one has different characteristics and you gotta play 'em both. I've played both brands (Tenors, but not the Sceptre) and the KoAloha seems to be louder but I prefer the tone of the Kamaka. That's just me. You may feel differently about it but the thing is which one will have the comfortability and playability that suits you. Good Luck iwith your decision and regardless of which one you select, you'll have a quality instrument..

deach
09-11-2008, 07:36 AM
Aldrine - I play a Kamaka and it's awesome.
FaceMeltingUke - I play a Scepter and IT'S awesome!
Jake - I play a Kamaka and IT'S AWESOME!
UkulelesReggae - Can you play Dragon?

haole
09-11-2008, 07:48 AM
Never played a Sceptre, but in general KoAloha and Kamaka both make great-sounding ukes. I wouldn't say either one is better; it's up to your ears and your hands to decide. :D

NukeDOC
09-11-2008, 09:04 AM
Aldrine - I play a Kamaka and it's awesome.
FaceMeltingUke - I play a Scepter and IT'S awesome!
Jake - I play a Kamaka and IT'S AWESOME!
UkulelesReggae - Can you play Dragon?

deach - i can strum the rhythm to im yours on a kamaka
deach - i can pick the solos to im yours on a scepter
deach - i can sing im yours while holding a kala
deach - i can give em all away because IM AWESOME

:bowdown:

deach
09-11-2008, 09:11 AM
deach - i can strum the rhythm to im yours on a kamaka
deach - i can pick the solos to im yours on a scepter
deach - i can sing im yours while holding a kala
deach - i can give em all away because IM AWESOME

:bowdown:

LOL ! wrong, wrong, wrong, 2nd 1/2 - wrong.

ke leo
09-11-2008, 02:12 PM
You can't go wrong w/ either cuz! They have different sounds and feel. Pick the one you like best, then by the other when UAS returns! :D

thejumpingflea
09-11-2008, 06:30 PM
You can't go wrong w/ either cuz! They have different sounds and feel. Pick the one you like best, then by the other when UAS returns! :D

I second that. :D

experimentjon
09-11-2008, 07:16 PM
I'd go with the sceptre. I have played a tenor one, and it's sick...not quite the projection of a Kanilea (but really, what has that sound other than a kanilea), but I would compare it in terms of playability and sound to a kamaka concert. And I'm biased here because I personally think that kamakas are good, but (I'm going to say it) a tiny bit overrated for the high prices. I own a kamaka soprano, and I like it too, but I'm not sure it was worth that much.

I'd say the sceptre, because it does play very well, but most importantly, its one of the sickest looking non-custom ukes out there....no not one of them...it is THE sickest looking non-custom uke.

GX9901
09-12-2008, 04:37 AM
I have played one Kamaka tenor and a few tenor Sceptres. I thought the Kamaka was pretty good, but I was really impressed with the tenor Sceptre. I likened the Sceptre's sound to a more "macho" sounding Pineapple Sunday, if that makes any sense.

However, if I had to decide between the two, it would actually be a pretty tough choice. I do value the Kamaka "mojo", so for me it's on equal standing with the Sceptre. I guess it would come down to whether I wanted a normal looking uke or a more avant-garde looking uke.

thesoobz
09-12-2008, 05:01 AM
kamaka! wait what size? tenor. casue kamka tenors sound so sexy! haha i love them!

pebbleInDaPacific
09-12-2008, 05:42 AM
Thanks for everyone's feedback! I really dig the design of the sceptre too and I know that I've heard a few times that both are going for different sounds. Could someone please enlighten me as to what sound Kamaka as a company is going for with their instruments as opposed to the kind of sound that Ko'alohas are going for?

When I bought my Kamaka soprano, I fell in love with the sound but it's pretty much the only sound I heard. I thought my collection would grow with me staying loyal to kamaka, but when I saw ko'aloha uke's in general, I thought that the Koa patterns and uke designs were so much more appealing. haha, I know that it's all in the sound and comfort of the instrument, but if my skills don't speak for themselves, i'd like the uke to. haha.. anyway, i'm thinking that variety is the spice of life, so i'm kinda leaning towards the sceptre. Any thoughts on the concert size comparison? or should I just graduate from the soprano onto the tenor? Thanks again in advance!

Papamonty
09-12-2008, 03:09 PM
I would go with the Kamaka. Sound of course is subjective, you may like one type of tone/sound/volume/resonance/sustain over another. But how will that Sceptre's lower bout feel on your lap if you rest it there while playing? The crown points may not be an issue if you are always standing up playing uke. Just a thought. Although I own three KoAlohas myself, two concerts, one tenor.

Jon M

ke leo
09-13-2008, 10:59 AM
Thanks for everyone's feedback! I really dig the design of the sceptre too and I know that I've heard a few times that both are going for different sounds. Could someone please enlighten me as to what sound Kamaka as a company is going for with their instruments as opposed to the kind of sound that Ko'alohas are going for?

When I bought my Kamaka soprano, I fell in love with the sound but it's pretty much the only sound I heard. I thought my collection would grow with me staying loyal to kamaka, but when I saw ko'aloha uke's in general, I thought that the Koa patterns and uke designs were so much more appealing. haha, I know that it's all in the sound and comfort of the instrument, but if my skills don't speak for themselves, i'd like the uke to. haha.. anyway, i'm thinking that variety is the spice of life, so i'm kinda leaning towards the sceptre. Any thoughts on the concert size comparison? or should I just graduate from the soprano onto the tenor? Thanks again in advance!

It sounds like you've made up your mind on the sceptre but are hesitant in pulling the trigger. Go for it!!! I will guarantee w/ in 2 years, you will own them both anyway. Stop analyzing and have fun playing your new uke!!!!!!

Lanark
09-14-2008, 03:11 AM
It sounds like you've made up your mind on the sceptre but are hesitant in pulling the trigger. Go for it!!! I will guarantee w/ in 2 years, you will own them both anyway. Stop analyzing and have fun playing your new uke!!!!!!

This.

I'm not a fan of the Sceptre's styling personally. Kind of gimmicky to my tastes, but I do quite enjoy my Koaloha concert. Fantastic player. loud, bright sound.

pebbleInDaPacific
09-17-2008, 06:19 AM
awwright, thanks everyone for all the feedback and the info on the whole King of K's. I have been coming back to this thread and reading it multiple times to really digest what each one of you are saying. Now, comes the interesting question of what size to get? I know that i've been reading that people usually start with the soprano and graduate up to a tenor. Jake being one of them. Is this inevitable (love that word) or is it preference? Can/should I just skip the concert size altogether and get a tenor if I save up a little more? Or maybe I should wait for Deach to send me one? :D Thanks once again for all the jedi guidance.

deach
09-17-2008, 06:22 AM
....Or maybe I should wait for Deach to send me one? .....

You just made the list....

pebbleInDaPacific
09-17-2008, 06:38 AM
You just made the list....

hahaha, You just got me goin all Tyrone Biggums at work now! :eek:

Howlin Hobbit
09-17-2008, 07:56 AM
...i've been reading that people usually start with the soprano and graduate up to a tenor.

Jeez. That's two threads in the last couple days that said something like that.

Playing a tenor is a choice, not something you "graduate up to" from soprano. You can choose a tenor for all sorts of good reasons, but "moving up to the big boys/girls instrument" isn't one of them.

I realize that neither of you that posted the phrase intended any harm, but the mindset just kills me. Soprano is not the poor step-child of tenor, it's the original, standard ukulele.

freedive135
09-17-2008, 08:31 AM
Here Here Hobbit!!!!

Even as a beginner, I at first fell into that "Move up to the Tenor thats what Jake and Aldrine play" mindset, while I do enjoy playing my different Tenor's for different songs I find that I keep going back to my Sopranos more than my Tenors.

I like the Soprano's so much I just ordered an other.... and am still looking for pennies on the ground for that Kamaka Soprano.

rayan
09-17-2008, 08:56 AM
Jeez. That's two threads in the last couple days that said something like that.

Playing a tenor is a choice, not something you "graduate up to" from soprano. You can choose a tenor for all sorts of good reasons, but "moving up to the big boys/girls instrument" isn't one of them.

I realize that neither of you that posted the phrase intended any harm, but the mindset just kills me. Soprano is not the poor step-child of tenor, it's the original, standard ukulele.

Double H is right, there's a lot of people who just like the sound and feel of sopranos best. I think what everybody means though is, because you can snag a laminate soprano for under $100, its usually the first uke everyone gets. After they play it for a while and decide, hey I really like playing the uke, they start to try other things and other sizes and often times they end up with a concert or tenor.

LoMa
09-17-2008, 09:09 AM
Well, I'm pretty much a concert person. They have a bit more depth to their sound as well as more room on the fretboard than a lot of sopranos, for a low G player anyway. And I've tried lots of tenors, but I don't dig 'em in my hands. I don't care for the higher string tension, and I can't seem to get the tone and dynamics out of a tenor like I can from a concert.

I know several people who were just aching for a tenor, feeling that was the size for them, and they were real disappointed when they got one. Other folks I know LOVE playing tenors. Different ukes work for different people...

Beleive me, Aldrine's Kamaka wouldn't sound like Aldrine's Kamaka if I was playing it...

freedive135
09-17-2008, 09:22 AM
Beleive me, Aldrine's Kamaka wouldn't sound like Aldrine's Kamaka if I was playing it...


so your tellin me that getting a Kamaka wont make my strings/frets quit buzzing and my fingers find the chords on their own!!!!!:(:eek:

pebbleInDaPacific
10-01-2008, 10:57 AM
Here it is gang! Thought i'd share my decision with you and a few thoughts on how they sound. I chose the KoAloha Concert Sceptre! It is still pretty new, but very noticeably different sounding than the Kamaka soprano. I know that they are different sizes, but what i've noticed is that the KoAloha has a brighter sound than the Kamaka soprano. I'm not discounting the Kamaka sound though, it's voice is a little deeper and to me, richer. I love both of them and don't regret my choice. The only thing I did notice, and I don't know if that's the case with most longer necks is that, my kamaka feels like it has a slightly wider fretboard than the sceptre. More specifically closer to the peg head. I just need to get used to it though. I'm still breaking in the Sceptre, but do I love it! Kamaka soprano bought 8/9/08. KoAloha concert Sceptre bought 9/19/08. I seriously better get my UAS in check. :rolleyes: Although...I do need an outdoor go anywhere Uke. huh? did someone say Fluke? haha.. Thanks again for everyone's feedback and help! :rock:

deach
10-01-2008, 12:27 PM
Wow! Congrats. If you need help breaking in either one, let me know.

pebbleInDaPacific
10-02-2008, 05:18 AM
sure! come out to the NW sometime and we'll jam! A big ups to MGM for his excellent service and attentiveness. He rocks! :music:

island_funk
03-29-2009, 02:35 PM
if you go for any uke go for a koaloha pineapple sunday superconcert, they play amazing and sound fantastic, especially if tuned a full step down. its definetely the best non custom uke out there.:shaka:

Kaneohe til the end
03-29-2009, 02:43 PM
if you go for any uke go for a koaloha pineapple sunday superconcert, they play amazing and sound fantastic, especially if tuned a full step down. its definetely the best non custom uke out there.:shaka:

he got the sceptre already.

island_funk
03-29-2009, 02:45 PM
yeah didnt see that, never played a scepter, i wonder if it sounds alot diffrent than the pineapple sunday, although the sunday is cooler looking in my oppinion