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Jerloew
11-13-2011, 07:09 AM
Wondering what you would recommend about thees 2 lovelys:

Islander Ms-4
Kala Ka-S

What would you prefer and why ? :)

Thanks.

Scott S.
11-13-2011, 10:39 AM
Haven't played either, but I recently ordered the Islander tenor MST-4 for my son. Based on the sound samples on the Hawaii Music website, it sounds like the Kala has a little more high end, and the Islander has a more open, woody sounding tone. I know that in the tenor size the Islander has a little wider fretboard, which I like, but you might want to compare that as well. I think both ukes sound very good. Here's a link to Hawaii Music Supply and the sample of the Islander MS-4: http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukulelemarket/islander-soprano-mahogany-ms-4

Jerloew
11-13-2011, 11:03 AM
Hey scott, yea i also saw it on the Hawaii Music supply page, and i completly fell in love with that little thing, and it looks so cool ;)

- The pricerange is the same at either of them, i was just wondering if there where a big diffrence between them.
Im mainly gonna play mainstream, on the uke, so im wondering if a soprano would do the job?
- the come in handy thoose small ukes :)

mandrew
11-13-2011, 11:48 AM
I have played both. I like Kala, but in all honesty, hands down the Islander is a far better instrument. It has better physical balance, higher quality of laminate, a slightly arched back, which greatly improves sound, Is better in balance up the strings, and speaks better in the upper register. That scratches the surface only! Sound wise, that volume, sustain, and intonation of the Islander is just far better. Not a little better, but very noticeably different. The Islander is closer in quality to the laminate Kiwaya. If you could play them back to back, you would hear and see the difference right away. I would talk to the folks at HMS, who hear many instruments. They would give you an honest opinion. I asked the same question when I wanted a new instrument, and three sales reps (unnamed here to avoid any embarrassment to anyone) told me the same thing. . .Islander!

Jerloew
11-13-2011, 09:26 PM
Thanks for the great advice Mandrew, i mailed HMS right away :)..

PoiDog
11-14-2011, 05:31 AM
Wondering what you would recommend about thees 2 lovelys:

Islander Ms-4
Kala Ka-S

What would you prefer and why ? :)

Thanks.

Islander every day of the week, twice on sundays, and 10 times on any holiday.

Seriously, this shouldn't even be a question. If you get one from HMS you absolutely made the right choice.

Jerloew
11-14-2011, 06:19 AM
As always your fast with the answers, and straight on Poi what should i do without you? :)..

At HMS they can't ship it before next month so im waiting till then!
So you'd say its a good starting kit? :)

PoiDog
11-14-2011, 06:46 AM
As always your fast with the answers, and straight on Poi what should i do without you? :)..

At HMS they can't ship it before next month so im waiting till then!
So you'd say its a good starting kit? :)

RIght place right time is all I think :)

As far as whether it's a good starter, the answer is yes. I don't mean to knock the Kala, but as I've said elsewhere on UU, it's just that the Islander is better. The reason is because Kala is the brand that puts out Kala, while Kanile'a is the brand that puts out Islander. Others may disagree with me, but in my opinion that's a huge difference. Kanile'a has an elite reputation, like the other Hawai'ian premier makers, and even if they make a good uke, Kala just simply isn't on par with them. So, even though the Kanile'a shop in Kane'ohe doesn't make the Islander, it is still their product and they will do what they can to ensure the best quality build from their factory, as well as make sure that the finish and playability is first rate. The bottom line is they are not very likely to compromise their reputation and quality to make a few quick bucks from their entry-level line. Just like Ko'olau does with their Pono marque.

And your choice of going through HMS is a great idea. Good people there, and they will do a setup to ensure that the uke is the best it can be for you.

The hard part is waiting. But you'll be happy once you get it.

Congrats on making the right choice!

Jerloew
11-14-2011, 06:57 AM
i might be calling you the god of guiedance ;)..

If i should be honest i think the islander has a slightly better look and in the HMS video it sounds abit higher in volume, and has like a deeper bass bit, and it makes me jam like crazy!.. - the now i've been looking into uke's for about 2 weeks, and i dont wanna wasted money on a cheapy even though the ms-4 is more or less a cheapere model! . KoAloha is my idol at the time, but it might change ;)..
Im was selfdiscussing if i should or should'nt buy aquila's with the uke, but i think i start out with the regular (i should'nt hessitate)
Again i love the sopranos ! - small, handy, looks great, sounds like the sweetest jamming :D - but would even though it has smaller fretboard and neck, would that effect my options in song choice etc? like wont i be able to play every song on a the islander soprano? :)

PoiDog
11-14-2011, 07:30 AM
Wow ... I never thought of myself in that way. You know, there are others here with a lot more experience and knowledge of 'ukulele than me. My only advantage is having recently gone through the research and experience of getting entry-level ukes, so the process is still fresh (as are my mistakes). And you know what they say, nothing teaches you faster than errors.

Anyway, you really should any advice with a dose of caution, and consider other opinions as well. In any case, I think trusting in Kanile'a isn't too much a gamble.

That said, you should be able to play any song you like on your soprano. The only real difference is that concert and tenors have a few extra frets at the very top of the neck. A standard Soprano has the neck meet the body at the 12th fret, and may max out at 15 to as high as 17, while the concert and tenor have the neck join the body at 14, and often reach 19. But you probably won't be playing too many songs past the 15th fret.

Oh, and do start saving your money for that KoAloha (or Kamaka, or Kelii, or Kanile'a, or Ko'olau). It will be well worth it.

Jerloew
11-14-2011, 07:40 AM
The thing is im just to good to make "errors" and i make them to often ;)..

I talked to HMS and he said that i should consider a concert, or tenor as a beginner.
But I wont go on compromise, with the learning part. Theres no easy way, and the soprano will eventually not make it much easier, but I think i can handle it ;)... - I haven't looked into which concert's is the main priority as a beginner, and if its only 2 more frets it cant be that much bigger.
Hmm it's tough decission!

PoiDog
11-14-2011, 08:12 AM
This may help with your question about sizes:

Standard Soprano Scale Length - 13"
Standard Concert Scale Length - 15"
Standard Tenor Scale Length - 17"

Keep in mind that scale length is the toal length of the string from nut to saddle. The 12th fret is at the center of that scale.

I think the HMS guys mean that for a beginner it may be easier to form chords on the longer scale because there's more room. But my first uke was a super-cheapo hand-me-down soprano, and it didn't stop me from getting started. I moved to tenor because I preferred the deeper tone as well as the comfort for strumming. But I would think you should be just fine with the soprano. If you can at least get a hold of a concert or tenor to compare, you could then find out which suits you best.

Of course, getting a soprano now can also just mean you'll *need* to get a concert and/or tenor in the future ... so you can have a complete set :)

Jerloew
11-14-2011, 08:23 AM
I might go take a walk through the local musicstores, and see wether i can touch the different sizes. As far as I know the most local store dosen't have ukuleles :'(

But it might turn out that it should be between the 13" soprano & the 15" Concert, because the just looks the best to me!
I'd find the instrument rather fun, and who knows, it can well be i'd be good at strumming the uke :D!

mandrew
11-14-2011, 09:09 AM
Here are a few more thoughts on the Islander. . . My first uke was a Kala KA-S, and it was good enough to let me see if wanted to follow through. I do not have big hands, and the soprano was fine until I decided that I wanted to finger pick. On many of the cheaper ukes, the distance between strings at the nut and over the sound hole is about the same. Fine for strumming, not enough room to pick. The Islander is better designed in that, like better ukes, the distance between strings is gradually wider toward the bridge from the nut. This makes finger work much easier. Distance between strings over teh hole on my concert is 1/2 inch, and the soprano looks about the same. The Islander soprano is better designed than the Kala in that regard, and I would get an Islander soprano next for a high G strummer/picker. My Islander concert is low G.

Jerloew
11-14-2011, 09:56 AM
Great point Mandrew, thanks!

i can see at HMS he's picking at the last bit of the movie, and to me it sounds good.
And right now i only want one ukulele to both regular strum and pick..
I haven't read a bad comment about the ms4, and i might do a review myself, if it's that i choose ;)

PoiDog
11-14-2011, 10:11 AM
Here are a few more thoughts on the Islander. . . The Islander is better designed in that, like better ukes, the distance between strings is gradually wider toward the bridge from the nut. This makes finger work much easier. Distance between strings over teh hole on my concert is 1/2 inch, and the soprano looks about the same. The Islander soprano is better designed than the Kala in that regard, and I would get an Islander soprano next for a high G strummer/picker. My Islander concert is low G.

This is a really good point, and definitely something to consider. Having the strings gradually spread apart as they move from nut to saddle really does make fingerpicking much easier. It may not seem like a big thing, but that small fraction of an inch extra between the strings once you get past the fretboard makes a huge difference for fingerwork, without out impacting strumming at all.

Jerloew
11-14-2011, 10:32 AM
So you would say it is possible to pick on the islander? :)

mandrew
11-14-2011, 01:14 PM
I would have no trouble picking on either a concert, which I have, or the soprano. The nut width on the Islander is 1 1/2", while Kalas, Lanikais, etc are 1/8" narrower. This is why people say they are somewhat cramped for finger space, and move to bigger instruments. The Islander is much more comfortable for me in the first 5 frets. an eighth of and inch means a lot there. I would be just as happy with a soprano.

Jerloew
11-14-2011, 09:19 PM
It really sounds to me like a "win, win" situation! Thats gotta be the uke i should take, theres so many possibilities in that uke.

I really look forward to next month, i will order the Islander as soon as it's in stock at HMS, and then get my hands on a snark clip'on'tuner ;)..