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View Full Version : Picked up a KoAloha crown bridge tenor yesterday



wickedwahine11
01-27-2012, 11:40 AM
One of our members at UU is thinning out his herd of ukes in order to get a new custom piece (I'll let him remain anonymous unless he wants to chime in to avoid stealing his thunder), so I bought a KoAloha crown bridge tenor from him yesterday.

I strung it up with my favorite strings last night (the Worth CHLGHD set) and it is settling in nicely. My first impressions are that it seems like it is much louder than my other ukes (except for my Pineapple Sunday). It sounds wonderful and I plan to use it as my traveling uke. I have been searching for a crown bridge tenor for a while, and having a one piece top is cool to boot.

My Kamaka will probably always remain my favorite (though I suppose that could change the more I play this one) because I like the curly koa appearance, and the neck and body just seem to fit me really well to make it very playable. But since I keep having seam separation issues with it I decided it probably is time to retire it from traveling, and leave it at home where it won't be subjected to lots of flights each year. I put it back in its case (with humidifiers) but did manage to take one photo of it on the wall with the new KoAloha and some of my other ukes.

I plan to try to do a comparison of my three K tenors in the future. Though I don't have sound clips or videos, I do want to at least consider things that I would like to have known before buying one of them (weight, tuner style, neck measurements, volume, etc.)

As for the KoAloha (named "Lono" after the Hawaiian God of music -- and yes, I do name my ukes), I am debating on getting a strap button or a pickup installed on it. I bought an ebony strap button with paua dot on it to install on it, but now I'm contemplating getting one of those new LR Baggs 5-0 pickups installed instead.

Here is a photo of the new (to me) uke, as well as a family shot -- left to right is my KoAloha Pineapple Sunday, the KoAloha KTM-00 crown bridge tenor, my Kamaka HF-3 tenor, the Kanilea K2 tenor, and my Kamoa soprano. Missing from the family photo is my Hawaiian Ukulele Company soprano.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=32890&d=1327702727

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=32889&d=1327702657

808boy
01-27-2012, 11:50 AM
Aloha wahine,
Congrats on your new uke, looks awesome. Love the pix of your ukes, the wall of fame perhaps?........................BO................ ........

guitharsis
01-27-2012, 11:53 AM
Congrats! Beautiful addition to your great collection.

Gmoney
01-27-2012, 11:55 AM
LOVE the crown bridge! Beautiful family! I love my Super Concert & Pineapple Sunday as well & would be hard to choose which the most... I will be interested in seeing what you decide vis a vis a pickup or end pin for it. I've been contemplating the same - I think I'm leaning toward a pickup for the Super Concert & just a strap button for the Pineapple Sunday. But... what about the other end of the uke? Gonna do a stap button up by the heel? I've wondered about that as the KoAloha's have such a thin heel - don't want to compromise it structurally.

I'm thinking that the new L.R. Baggs Five.0 or the just announced "shorter lead" MiSi for ukes might be my options. But I've got a K&K coming in my new Mya-Moe when it is finished, so I may wait until I hear it to decide.

SailingUke
01-27-2012, 12:14 PM
Nice find there WickedWahine. I often kick myself for not buying your pineapple sunday a few years ago.

Lexxy
01-27-2012, 12:18 PM
Absolutely lovely :) Enjoy your crown bridge tenor!

wickedwahine11
01-27-2012, 12:31 PM
Gonna do a stap button up by the heel? I've wondered about that as the KoAloha's have such a thin heel - don't want to compromise it structurally.

Nope, I have a strap button end pin on my Kanilea and the input jack from the pickup on my Kamaka, but none of my ukes have the button on the heel. I use the uke leashes or a mandolin strap so I only need the button/jack at the bottom end.


Nice find there WickedWahine. I often kick myself for not buying your pineapple sunday a few years ago.

I may end up selling it. I don't play it that often, so if I decide to put it on the market, I will let you know.

Thanks for the nice comments everyone. :)

Plainsong
01-27-2012, 12:49 PM
Congrats on the Koaloha! I know how much finding that crown bridge version meant to you. You must feel like you won the ukulele lottery. :)

mds725
01-27-2012, 12:51 PM
Congratulations, Staci, on your beautiful new KoAloha (KoAloha koa always seems to be really pretty), and on the wonderful ukulele 'ohana you have there. I'm glad to see that the ukulele you bought has been able to remain in the UU community, and given the KoAloha's bracing system, I bet it'll be a sturdy traveler. I bought a KoAloha tenor (alas, not a crown bridge) from a fellow UUer several months ago, and I'm very happy with it. I'm really curious to read the upcoming thread in which you plan "consider things that I would like to have known before buying one of them (weight, tuner style, neck measurements, volume, etc.)," as I've had a few thoughts about those elements in playing my Kamaka and KoAloha tenors.

kaizersoza
01-27-2012, 01:12 PM
that is one beautiful uke it oozes quality

Loz
01-27-2012, 02:01 PM
Nice - the crown bridge looks very classy

mm stan
01-27-2012, 02:16 PM
Aloha WW,
Congratulations on the new member to your uke ohana...wow wee that sure is a beautiful family...so was he from Hawaii?? he he

haolejohn
01-27-2012, 02:30 PM
Staci, where did you get your wall hangers at?

wickedwahine11
01-27-2012, 03:06 PM
Aloha WW,
Congratulations on the new member to your uke ohana...wow wee that sure is a beautiful family...so was he from Hawaii?? he he

Nope, CA. But originally from HI, yep.


Staci, where did you get your wall hangers at?

I got them on eBay from UU member Toucan Mango. I also have a surfboard with a shark bite that I haven't hung up yet. :)

haolejohn
01-27-2012, 03:11 PM
Do they still make them?

Doc_J
01-27-2012, 03:16 PM
yep.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ukulele-wall-mount-hanger-hand-carved-Humuhumunukunukuapuaa-free-shipping-/280811609438?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4161ad1d5e

v74
01-27-2012, 03:19 PM
Nice collections :)
Crown bridge is very attractive to me.
Congratulation . . . :o

pwcgecko
01-27-2012, 07:06 PM
Yup, that is quite a collection.

Nickie
01-27-2012, 08:39 PM
Congrats! I am soooo stinkin' jealous!

Howie1947
01-28-2012, 02:23 AM
Very nice. How is that Kamaka doing, that you were having all the issues with? I purchased myself a long neck Tenor last Sept. Picked it up at Kamaka. Bryan Tolentino even met me there (checked it out, personally) and gave it his approval. Little hard getting used to the extended neck, as I'm used to the regular sized tenor. What is the date of your KoAloha? ie, how old?

OldePhart
01-28-2012, 05:43 AM
Sweeet! Nice family you've got, there, too. :)

mm stan
01-28-2012, 06:13 AM
Do they still make them?
Hey John...he's a memeber here and a real nice guy...give him a holler...Stan

wickedwahine11
01-30-2012, 06:49 AM
Very nice. How is that Kamaka doing, that you were having all the issues with? I purchased myself a long neck Tenor last Sept. Picked it up at Kamaka. Bryan Tolentino even met me there (checked it out, personally) and gave it his approval. Little hard getting used to the extended neck, as I'm used to the regular sized tenor. What is the date of your KoAloha? ie, how old?

The Kamaka seems to change with the humidity and temperature. The bottom half of the seam raised up again, and when I keep it humidified in its case it seems to seal back up (though the bump seems to return then - but maybe it is just my imagination). Whenever I take it out of the case, even for a day it gets worse. That is why I bought the KoAloha, I didn't want to keep subjecting the Kamaka to traveling as I figured the air travel couldn't be good for it. The sad part is that it remains my favorite uke but I never play it anymore. It is too much hassle to take it out of the case in the closet with the humidifiers when the ones on the wall can just be grabbed down to play.

As for the KoAloha, from the date stamp it appears to have been made in December of either 2005 or 2006. The ink is a bit smeared/smudged on the stamp so I'm not positive, but if I had to guess I think it was 2005.

Trinimon
01-30-2012, 08:03 AM
Congrats on that beauty of a KoAloha! While I originally disliked the crown headstock, it's starting to grow on me now. Crud!

bdukes
01-30-2012, 08:27 AM
Congrats on the new addition, but bummer you're not playing the Kamaka as much. It's too nice an instrument to have to keep in a case. I also see now why you wouldn't entertain a new top... that's really gorgeous wood. Having read your story about it has made me more conscience about the environment I'm storing my ukes. I play my Kamaka everyday and enjoy traveling with it so I know it would stink to not be able.

Well, you've certainly got a great collection none the less and the Koaloha is very cool and a great player too.

Now with 3 out 4 K tenors on the wall, all you need is a Ko'olau. :)

scothut
02-12-2012, 08:06 AM
That's a beauty. I love the older crown bridge models. Congrats.

http://stores.cymbalismmusic.com/StoreFront.bok