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View Full Version : Anyone have the Kamoa 500-SV?



blue millionare
08-17-2012, 07:35 AM
Hello, I am new to UU and have had my first uke for about 6 months. I am suffering from UAS. I am looking at the Kamoa 500 SV and the Kamoa SM-S. The 500SV is solid spruce and maple the SM-s is solid mahogany. Do any of you out there have either of these models? Also, generally what do you all think of Kamoa Ukes ? Any feedback and advice is greatly appreciated. For me this is a real stretch of my budget, but I really want to step up in quality. Thanks for your input

coolkayaker1
08-17-2012, 07:38 AM
Hello, I am new to UU and have had my first uke for about 6 months. I am suffering from UAS. I am looking at the Kamoa 500 SV and the Kamoa SM-S. The 500SV is solid spruce and maple the SM-s is solid mahogany. Do any of you out there have either of these models? Also, generally what do you all think of Kamoa Ukes ? Any feedback and advice is greatly appreciated. For me this is a real stretch of my budget, but I really want to step up in quality. Thanks for your input

You see the thread on here for the one (if not already sold) Kamoa soprano mahogany, new, for $189? It's on Marketplace now.

I can't answer your question, but I might in (looks at wristwatch) about three hours. I have a Kamoa 500-SP pineapple soprano in a box on my front step right now!

(look at Elderly Music website--they have a great sale on the new Kamoa SP, significant price reduction).

blue millionare
08-17-2012, 08:54 AM
Hey, Thanks coolkayaker. I look forward to hearing your feedback on the SM-P. I got an ohana pineapple last month or I would pounce on your pineapple. Amazing price. What do you think of the sound of it? It's looks are incredible.

gyosh
08-17-2012, 09:47 AM
I don't own a 500 series, but a couple weeks ago I was in Kauai and spent quite a bit of time hanging out at their shop and playing the various models.

I know this is considered blasphemous here, but when compared to a Hawaii built, all solid koa top, b/s uke, the Kamoa was much better. It had a fuller tone, more sustain, better projection . . . in a blind sampling with Sam playing each one, the customers in the shop kept picking the 500 series over the other one 100% of the time.

At just over half the price compared to a "K" brand, the Kamoa is a true bargain for sound.

Hope this helps.

Tigeralum2001
08-17-2012, 11:14 AM
The 500 series may be different, I'm not sure which Kamoas I played, but they were horrible. A Dolphin was better, seriously. It was heavy, the wood was thick, and worst of all it had no tone. I played 4 of them in different sizes and they were all like that. It put a really bad taste in my mouth for that whole brand. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

I looked up retail for a 500 and it is about the same as a KoAloha. Go with the KoAloha. Heck, go with a Makala, or a Leolani, or Cordoba, or Oscar Schmidt, or Lanikai. Based on what I played from them, there are many other choices out there.

This is my personal opinion, based on my hearing with my playing their instruments. Take it for what that is worth.

gyosh
08-17-2012, 11:47 AM
The 500 series may be different, I'm not sure which Kamoas I played, but they were horrible. A Dolphin was better, seriously. It was heavy, the wood was thick, and worst of all it had no tone. I played 4 of them in different sizes and they were all like that. It put a really bad taste in my mouth for that whole brand. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

I looked up retail for a 500 and it is about the same as a KoAloha. Go with the KoAloha. Heck, go with a Makala, or a Leolani, or Cordoba, or Oscar Schmidt, or Lanikai. Based on what I played from them, there are many other choices out there.

This is my personal opinion, based on my hearing with my playing their instruments. Take it for what that is worth.

Wow, totally different experiences with the same company! Were you playing their "e" series? I don't like those. They're exactly like you describe. Actually, I only played the 500/700 series because I already knew I didn't like the "e" series, and the one just above that is just "meh" to me too. I really did like the sound/tone of the 500/700 series ukes though. Huge step up in sound.

Still have both Pepe's?

Tigeralum2001
08-17-2012, 11:59 AM
May have been E series, but I played the standard, pineapple, and dreadnaught shapes. They were equally bad. You would think their budget brand would go by a different name, like Pono or KoAlana or Islander do for their respective companies. At least then you can say "oh, that is my budget brand, try this it is much better."

That is just my opinion. I am spoiled by owning some nice ukes and having access to two awesome music stores that carry great ukes (Ukulele Source and Gryphon).

Yep, still have 2 Pepes! They are awesome instruments! Looking forward to my VanPelt, too. :-) I may need to thin the heard in the near future. I just can't give each uke quality time.

mm stan
08-17-2012, 01:07 PM
I can't remember but isn't the 500 series after the martin style 3...if so I played their prototype when it first came out...has a deep rich tone...at the time Sam was
experimenting on the strings for it....

abeluke
08-17-2012, 01:53 PM
I have a Kamoa E3 SV that I've got from a store in Georgia two months ago brand new. I really do not like it at all. It has a mute sound and the the tone is boring.It came with Aquila and when I tried to change the strings because I canīt get it in tune, a part of the bridge was broken and now the hole of A string is bigger than the others. So the A string slip away. If I had the money I would buy a Kiwaya KTS4 instead the Kamoa 500.

Hippie Dribble
08-17-2012, 03:19 PM
I have only heard others play the 500 series and thought they were very nice sounding ukes.

I have only owned one of the E series...a soprano, which I think is a great little uke at that price point. Sure, a touch on the overbuilt side and not the best balanced or lightest weight uke out there but it has a fine sound. First thing I would say though, is that their stock aquila strings are definitely the wrong choice and do these ukes no favours at all...yes, they give a muted, strangled tone to the instrument and a muddy kind of voice. First thing I did was switch out to a set of fluorocarbons and the improvement was incredible. It became a lively, sweeter and louder instrument altogether.

coolkayaker1
08-17-2012, 04:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4BtGwWTcYw

500 series at 3:20 min in video above.

Okay, here's the scoop. I think many of you, below, are respectfully describing many different levels of Kamoa--from $200 models to $700 models. That's one thing about Kamoa, they are evolving and improving yearly, which is good, and they make no high-high end ukes, just middle price-range and low range.

I have previously owned a Donaldson custom koa soprano, a Koaloha standard soprano, a Koaloha soprano tenor neck, Kiwaya eco-soprano thinline, and received today: Kamoa 500P. (Just letting you know my comparisons).

This Kamoa 500 series is very good. Maple body, spruce neck, pineapple, as mmstan said, it's Martin style 3 fretboard, and friction tuners. Made in china, knotted bridge.

The sound is excellent. I wanted a new soprano, and I bought it from Elderly for $379 (on other websites, ebay, other uke sellers it's $579 or so--a relative steal, but Elderly seems not to have any more). It's awesome sounding once I got the wound low G off there (within about 20 minutes of arriving here_) and threw on some soprano KoOlau Golds. It weighs 14.1 ounces on my scale, so lightweight. It looks keen, and the finish is very good--not Kiwaya good, as the gloss is a tad, I don;t know, just not perfect. But no fret sharp edges (although not as smooth as Koaloha or Kiwaya), so it's very good.

The tuners are cheap. I love frictions, esp Gotohs. These seem to be no name, with cheap plastic tuner knobs. They keep tune, it seems, but with new strings, hard to know for certain. They are lightweight, though, I give them that, and that's important.

The sound is excellent, and it's strongest point. I find it mellow but strong, great intonation. I, personally (you can start throwing the rotten tomatoes now), find KoAloha sopranos, for instance, to be too barky, too harp-like at low volumes, and too harsh at high volumes (strong strums). I find none of that with the Kamoa. It sounds like a solid wood instrument, which it is, and not at all dead like a laminate. It rings nicely.

For resale, any of the ukes mentioned above will sell significantly faster and for closer to what you paid for it than a Kamoa...it's that simple.

So, had I been looking in the $500-$600 range for which this lists, I'd get a custom Donaldson soprano, or a Kiwaya, as mentioned below. For a great uke at a low price, a Bruko #6 or such seems ideal for about $280 or so (I have never played one).

But, at $375, it's the best soprano I have ever played for sound, even though the small details (perfect fretwork, perfect gloss finish, etc) are not perfect for the perfectionist.

Hope that helps, man.

rpfrogner
08-18-2012, 07:06 AM
I have a Kamoa 500 series Koa SV (made for NAMM) that is a wonderful looking and sounding ukulele. I agree totally with coolkayaker1 in that the low G was not doing it for me, so I changed the strings out for standard tuning Worth Brown mediums. Best thing I could have done as the ukulele sings now.
I had been tempted to buy the Kamoa mahogany pineapple listed in the marketplace recently.......

blue millionare
08-19-2012, 01:24 PM
Thanks to all of you, I really have a lot to think about, I don't live in an area that has a lot of ukuleles to try. Most music stores here have one or two low end ukuleles and not much variety. Hopefully someday soon the ukulele community will grow here and the stores will take notice. I will give this decision some thought and not let UAS get to me :) Mahalo