View Full Version : Happy New Uke Day! (My Islander has arrived)

02-08-2012, 10:57 AM
As scheduled, UPS dropped off my new Islander Tenor from Hawaii Music Supply this afternoon. Overall Iíve very impressed with the uke. One catch was that I had asked HMS to string it Low-G and they did not but thatís easily remedied. ;)

Overall quality is very nice, the edges of the fretboard are extremely smooth which is very noticeable as the opposite is true with my Kala Concert. Iím not sure if that is a result of HMSís ďSetupĒ, the Islanderís manufacturing tolerances, or whatnot but Iím happy about it either way. There is some unevenness in the finish on the back, itís a little bit splotchy but not terribly noticeable. The satin finish feels quite thin and Iím glad I got the hard case for it.

Those are nitpicks, overall it's lovely instrument and I can't wait to show it of to my uke friends. :) :) :)

It sounds wonderful. Tone is a bit more more mellow then the concert. I tried the passive-pickup with my Line 6 amp and it pushed plenty of volume but my amp doesnít seem to like to give me clear, no-reverb, no-effects sounds. Iíll have to play with it a bit.

I did a little video on it but the sound quality was terrible so I need to redo it. Iíll post that soon. In the meantime here are a few pictures.




mm stan
02-08-2012, 11:35 AM
Aloha Sporin,
Congratulations on your new Islander uke..thank you fo posting your satisfaction with..may yu have many years
happiness playing your new uke.. happy strummings...

02-08-2012, 11:41 AM
It's very good looking and I continue to enjoy my Islander tenor (different model - but they're alleged to have very similar tone).
If you're starting a "best strings" hunt --I would recommend trying the Worth CT-LG (Low-G) strings; Worth CT (re-entrant G); and Martin strings.
All very yummy.

Scott S.
02-08-2012, 12:12 PM
Nice! I picked one up for my son for Christmas. Althought it sounded good from the beginning, after about 2 weeks of serious play time it just transformed. Now it sounds great, and with the HMS setup it plays so easily. I love the neck profile and the the 1 1/2" nut. Have fun!

02-08-2012, 12:33 PM
Thanks, that was my next thought. I was looking at Worth's but there are so many options I was a bit lost. ;)

Looks like the CT-LG's might be perfect http://elderly.com/accessories/names/worth-ct-lg-tenor-uke-set-with-low-g--WSCTLG.htm

I have Martin flourocarbon clear's on my Dolphin and Kala Concert and LOVE them so sticking with a clear flouro string is right up my alley. Appreciate the recommendation!

02-08-2012, 05:17 PM
CONGRATS ! The best uke is the one a person enjoys . Many hours of uke time to come your way . It's a beauty !

02-08-2012, 08:20 PM
Congratulations on your new uke! I played an Islander for the first time recently and I was very impressed. have fun!

02-09-2012, 09:13 AM
A few random observations after some hours on the strings.

Overall, love it, nice sound, feels great in my hands.
A buddy has a low-G Aquila string for me so I'll stick with the Aquilas for now but definitely want to try a "brighter" set of stings in the future.
Adjusting to the larger fretboard will take some time, it's going to make bouncing back and forth between the Islander and my Kala Concert tricky. I find myself missing the fret space centers and fingering the frets (that sounds dirty) themselves quite a lot, noticeable every time since that produces a buzzing.
I found 1 small blemish that I initially thought was dust. Looks like a little glue seeped out during assembly. Nothing worth returning it over by any means, very minor but sadly in a spot that stares up at me.


Hoping to film a little video tonight for a sound sample.

mr roper
02-09-2012, 01:25 PM
I've had my Islander MSC-4 from HMS for about a week now. Very nice!

02-09-2012, 02:13 PM
Congrats! I've heard nothing but good things about the Islander. How do you like playing the Tenor as compared to the Concert? I have a Concert, that's all I've played in months, and I just got a Tenor, I can't wait to try it after it's been set up (maybe tomorrow, hehe).

02-09-2012, 07:00 PM
As scheduled, UPS dropped off my new Islander Tenor from Hawaii Music Supply this afternoon. Overall I’ve very impressed with the uke. One catch was that I had asked HMS to string it Low-G and they did not but that’s easily remedied. ;)

Maybe you didn't pay for an extra set? If you want anything other than the strings that come with the uke you have to actually buy it separately.

02-10-2012, 12:44 AM
I talked to Eli about having it strung that way when I ordered and he was adding up the total as we talked and I added things (hard case, pickup), I wasn't nickel and diming.

It was just an honest mistake on there part, it's really no big deal. I'm extremely happy with my HMS experience.

02-10-2012, 04:05 AM
Great looking uke - glad to hear that you're happy with it. I talked to Joe at Kanile'a when they received their first prototype for the Islander. I was impressed and am happy to hear that so many people like them. Personally, I like the setup on Kanile'as the best; the fretboard works great for my hands and I know they translated that to the Islander line. Now I just have to resist UAS with all this good press they're getting.

02-11-2012, 05:47 AM
Got it strung low g and it really changes the uke! http://ukemafia.com/rollin-low-g/

I was a little concerned about my first string change with a pin bridge, particularly with a tricky-to-knot wounds string but it was a snap. The stock strings had a bead above the knot already and I was easily able to get the new string set up the same way.


02-12-2012, 11:37 AM
I don't know if it's the steel-wound Low G string, or the uke itself, but when I strum the Islander hard the whole body of the uke vibrates and it really projects. :) :)


02-12-2012, 12:50 PM
The Kanile'a was always the hardest for me to string, not because of the bridge. They have a channel in there for the strings so it should be dead easy, and you don't even have to put in the pins until you're near or at tension if you don't want to. But my knot tying skills made it a tough one. I could spend all day tying and retying knots, getting near tension, hearing the string go doink, lather, rinse, repeat...

I knew that beads would solve the problem, but no hobby shops nearby, not sure of which sizes to order online.. so I soldiered on.

Until the other day, I found some small light turquoise beads. They were the size of the holes in the bridge, so no going through that way. I strung the strings through bridge and out of the soundhole, and put on the beads that way. I tied my crappy knots underneath the string, and bent the strings into a hook shape like I always do. That was all that was needed. The beads held those bad boys up under the plate like they were supposed to. Success! Easiest uke to string now!