View Full Version : Kamaka koa bland

06-05-2012, 06:52 PM
Im just wondering why kamakas koa always looks so bland and not very curly the hf 3 sounds good but how come it looks not curly compared to like kanileas and may moes etc

Is there a reason for that or does that sound better or do they like the look more or what???

Again I'm not saying they don't sound/play good

06-05-2012, 07:51 PM
While I also think Kanile'as have the best looking wood overall, sometimes Kamaka makes a production uke that is pretty nice like my concert.


06-05-2012, 08:20 PM
Yeah yours looks nice... Wish more of them looked like that

06-05-2012, 09:35 PM
I think it just depends on the particular uke. I know that Kamaka's make some production uke's that have really nice grain. My HF-3 has some decent curl on the body and really nice curl on the headstock. From what I heard though, the more straight grained, with less curl, the more the uke can resonate or something, not 100% sure on that, but yeah that's what I heard... However, the production uke's I see with the least amount of curl would have to be Ko'Aloha's!! I swear, I never see their regulr production uke's with nice curl, only their custom uke's. Sometimes it's just luck, or if you order direct from the factory you can upgrade the koa yourself.

06-05-2012, 09:36 PM
The straight, non-curly wood grain was actually considered as better in the old time. I guess Kamaka is
following the tradition. You can however ask for wood upgrade if you order a custom.

06-05-2012, 10:49 PM
Kamaka always uses super choice Koa sets, thats my experience. I judge by coloring, vertical lines, horizontal curl and the book matched quarter sawn symmetry. Kamaka is consistently excellent. And on ones that are less figured I always find a musical quality that makes them so appealing. As a side note, I have noticed lately that I barely ever look at my instrument when I am playing, and especially when I am really enjoying it.

06-06-2012, 03:38 AM
Some Kamakas are straight grained, some are curly. Depends on what you get. Kanileas are beautiful for sure, there's something special about that finish. But there are Kamakas that have just as pretty wood, sometimes even without a wood upgrade.

06-06-2012, 04:39 AM
Maybe Kamaka is more focused on the build, sound, and quality of the instrument rather than the eye-candy aspect of it?

Just a guess ...

06-06-2012, 04:41 AM
Maybe Kamaka is more focused on the build, sound, and quality of the instrument rather than the eye-candy aspect of it?

Just a guess ...

I'm with the Dog on this one, for sure.

06-06-2012, 06:02 AM
You can find some Kamakas with a lot of curl, you just might have to look a bit - though I think HMS has some right now. I bought a curly one but did look for a while to get it.

I agree that KoAloha almost always uses straight grain, as opposed to Kanilea which uses lots of curly grain wood. I think Kamaka is probably in the middle of them.

I have heard that straight grain is better sounding, but I don't know...Moore Bettahs sound awfully good and they have some of the curliest koa I have ever seen.

06-06-2012, 06:24 AM
For the most part, curly koa is an upgrade. And for the most part, standard production Kamakas are straight grained ... you may be lucky in finding one that has some figure/curl to it, but pretty much just like Kanile'a, you would have to upgrade and pay for the curly koa.

Kanile'a has their K-1 standard models, deluxe, premium, and then custom ukes. Their premium models have really nice curl ... and their customs have MEAN kine curl!

A majority of the custom Moore Bettah ukes have MEAN kine curl ... but also I believe the knowledge, experience, and skill of the luthier and his/her building methods and style accounts for overall aesthetics and sound.