PDA

View Full Version : New Islander is here!



mandrew
11-02-2011, 03:49 AM
I just received my new Kanile'a Islander Concert, MC-4!Tis is the laminate model, so here is my take so far. . .

Quite frankly, I am totally blown away by the sound. This is so much better than I expected for a laminate. In fact, I will go so far as to say that I would rate this higher than the Kala concert travel uke that I had!
I had a low G string installed, and Joe put on a bronze wound string that is really well balanced with the regular Aquila strings. The sound is really sweet, typically mahogany, loud, and very well balanced through the range. Usually laminates suffer in sound u the neck on the C and E strings. Not so here! Bell tones all the way up!

Aron at HMS did great review of this line, and it can be found on their site, and on Ukulele Review. It was pretty obvious that he was greatly impressed also, and for good reason! This has to be the best value in the price range, Around $129 USS for a concert. the fit and finish is outstanding, just as you would expect from something from Kanile'a. A look through the sound hole shows that it is very clean, with high grade kerfed strips instead of the more common solid thin strips found on less expensive instruments.

The outside is a very attractive satin finish, evenly done. It sports open geared tuners which are a good choice for this size, and it is well balanced. The neck is very comfortable.

But, the real story is about sound, and this sounds more in league with many instruments, even solid top instruments, int the $300 price range. I cannot imagine how good their solid mahogany line must sound! this is the best uke I have ever played any where near this price! The problem now is that everyone seems to want one, and they get sold out as fast as stores get shipments. It is worth the wait!

Bottom line: Yes it is still a laminate, but a very high quality laminate. I believe it is the best value hands down. Gentlemen (and ladies), the bar on entry level ukes has been greatly raised!

pics attached

Trinimon
11-02-2011, 04:39 AM
Congrats! She looks like a beauty!

vanflynn
11-02-2011, 04:41 AM
Very nice. Congratulations on the new arrival. If it sound like it looks you have a keeper

ukuleleforbeginners
11-02-2011, 05:21 AM
I have seriously been considering this ukulele as well. I was leaning towards the solid, but after so many of the reviews I am starting to wonder if it's necessary.

jbm
11-02-2011, 05:31 AM
Mandrew, what is your impression of the intonation?

mandrew
11-02-2011, 09:22 AM
As far as intonation, it seems to be spot on all the way up the neck. Also, the spacing between strings from the nut to bridge increase just enough so that finger picking, rolls in particular, are a breeze! In fact, there is more room to pick than on my classical guitar (which is now gathering dust). Space between the strings over the middle of the sound hole is 1/2 inch. If I had done more research, If the same translates for the sopranos, I probably could have been happy with a soprano. the main reason for getting the concert was more space for picking, which this has plenty of. My next move up, if I felt the need, would be their solid mahogany model. I cannot imagine that I would ever need more instrument than that. They sound fabulous, but that is what I would expect from Kanile'a. Joe Sousa is particular about what bears his brand name. By the way, the bridge pins are a great feature!

This is not in the league of Kalas (which I like and have owned), OS, or similar ukes in this price range. I would estimate that the very high quality laminate (its really thin) is closer to the Kiwaya ukes. Check out the review below.

http://theukulelereview.com/2011/07/31/islander-ukulele-by-kanilea-video-review/

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
11-02-2011, 09:49 AM
Congratulations on the Islander, and thanks for sharing your impressions. Hopefully, Kanile'a will maintain high quality with the Islanders as they sell more of these lovely ukes.

Couloirman
11-02-2011, 10:51 AM
In my short period of time playing the uke Ive gotten the chance to play many high end K brands and even a custom or two. My Islander laminate is very, very close in terms of sound to any K brand I have ever played. I really like how the neck at the nut feels really fat, gives me more room for forming chords. Ill be buying more of these ukes in the future they just blow my mind how good they are for the price. My only gripe is that I like radiused fretboards and this one is flat and the logo doesnt look all that good but the wood is beautiful for a cheap laminate uke and I am just in love.

UkueBass23
11-02-2011, 11:02 AM
I have the solid mahogany soprano and absolutely love it. They might be on to something here!

joeybug
11-02-2011, 11:09 AM
Congrats! Beautiful Ukulele :drool:

And sounds like she sounds great too! I have been surprised at how good laminate can sound when made well! :D And with the right strings of course!

mm stan
11-02-2011, 11:19 AM
Congrats on your new Islander and giving a good in depth review on your uke...hope you have many years of playing pleasure...Happy Strummings..MM Stan

ukuleleforbeginners
11-02-2011, 05:16 PM
Great review. I am leaning more and more towards this ukulele. So far I haven't heard/read a single bad review.

joejeweler
11-02-2011, 06:15 PM
In my short period of time playing the uke Ive gotten the chance to play many high end K brands and even a custom or two. My Islander laminate is very, very close in terms of sound to any K brand I have ever played. I really like how the neck at the nut feels really fat, gives me more room for forming chords. Ill be buying more of these ukes in the future they just blow my mind how good they are for the price. My only gripe is that I like radiused fretboards and this one is flat and the logo doesnt look all that good but the wood is beautiful for a cheap laminate uke and I am just in love.

That fat neck is something i really like on my Kanile'a K-2 S also. I find it makes the soprano as easy as a concert for tight fingerings......

......but i think i'll stick with the hawiian "born" solid top version! :D

......proabably a great travel uke also, btw.