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View Full Version : My Ko'olau is HERE.



wearymicrobe
02-15-2008, 09:55 AM
Picked up my first ko'olau today, my lord is this thing bitchen, T1 one of the stripped out ones. I was looking at a Spruce/Koa 400 and a full Koa 300 tenor at first but this one just sang to me. Cannot wait till I get it in the sound chamber and put a couple hours on it in my hands.

I will bring it out on the 29th to let people play. I will bring out both the k2/5 kanile'a tenors and this one and Ogata for everyone to play.

4.6 Love
02-15-2008, 10:00 AM
Any pictures?:D

wearymicrobe
02-15-2008, 10:08 AM
After I get back from the beach, swells up and I am going surfing, this is turning out to be one of the best days in a long time.

wearymicrobe
02-15-2008, 01:05 PM
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1117199/Kookau1.jpg
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1117199/koloau2.jpg
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1117199/Ogata.jpg

The Kanile'a is in the shop now having a under saddle pickup the base plate drilled and a new strap mount put in the neck.

grappler
02-15-2008, 02:53 PM
thats freaken awesome!!

Orlando
02-15-2008, 03:49 PM
Very nice!

NukeDOC
02-15-2008, 05:01 PM
where did you get her?

wearymicrobe
02-15-2008, 06:09 PM
From Deforest at the blue guitar, best ukulele sales in the city of san diego, and sorrounding regions if you are going high end.

The carry kanile'a pono ko'olau (good selection of these) rose, and occationally what ever stikes the owners fancy. Deforest buys only what he likes and what sounds good and has got a ear for ukes that can be trusted. He does have a good selection of flea/flukes as well and knows just about every builder there is on the islands so if you want custom and you want it fast he can pull a favor or two. He realy helped with my s. Tenor build sheet and that should be here opefully in a month or so. I was hoping for the end of the month but thats unlikely.

If anybody here is looking the 400 spruce/koa is drop dead perfect except for the price. ~4700$ my T1 and the koa 200 that are in teh shop came from the NAMM show as well as a really good ce-1.

wearymicrobe
02-16-2008, 04:52 AM
Small review

Value.
Darn good for the price, better sounding then just about anything out there new under 1k, they are not kidding when they say each of the Ko'olau's are built to the same level. The finish is super smooth, its not as nice as the nitro finish or a French polished finish but the instrument would cost twice as much or more if they did this and it does not hurt the instrument in any way. In fact I think its a benefit in some ways over the nitro finish.

Setup.
Again very good, did not need anything in terms of user intervention. I did swap out the wound third for a standard but thats personal preference. I think it sounds better with the wounds but I cannot slide on a wound string they way I like to. Intonation is 1-2 points off perfect at 12 and I will not have to have a compensated saddle cut for me.

Sound.
Personally I think the T1 is about 90% there from the 300/400's that I have played. (could be finish could e strings, could be a lot of things, heck the others are just so pretty I might be swayed by that)

It is a more aggressive sound with slightly less sustain, and the attack is actually better I think. Now the sound is changing in the box/playing and the strings have not settled for a week or more but I think its is going to be a stunning strummed ukulele. In fact I think that I am going to keep my fingerpicking off this one and try wound 3/4th low G and keep it there just for strumming.

Personal Opinion.
I don't know how they make them for this cost, if your in market and the kanile'a (which are still my favorites of all time) are not your speed then get one of these. I would not be hesitant to order one without a demo, there ukuleles are very consistent from batch to batch and I doubt your going to find one thats leaps better with a bunch of trials. I will report back when I get it out of the sound box it 200 hours or so.

P.S.
I might put this on my shaker table and try some unorthodox sound treatments with a sonicater and shaker, having said that if it works and I like the way it sounds with some plaing and some treatment I will be ordering a 400ish one at some point and this one will go up for sale.

UKESTAR
02-16-2008, 05:01 AM
From Deforest at the blue guitar, best ukulele sales in the city of san diego, and sorrounding regions if you are going high end.

The carry kanile'a pono ko'olau (good selection of these) rose, and occationally what ever stikes the owners fancy. Deforest buys only what he likes and what sounds good and has got a ear for ukes that can be trusted. He does have a good selection of flea/flukes as well and knows just about every builder there is on the islands so if you want custom and you want it fast he can pull a favor or two. He realy helped with my s. Tenor build sheet and that should be here opefully in a month or so. I was hoping for the end of the month but thats unlikely.

If anybody here is looking the 400 spruce/koa is drop dead perfect except for the price. ~4700$ my T1 and the koa 200 that are in teh shop came from the NAMM show as well as a really good ce-1.


Blue Guitar is WAY overpriced. I know DeForest will work a deal here and there, but wow...really expensive ukes compared to online prices!

drubin
02-16-2008, 05:03 AM
Thanks for the review wearymicrobe; I really appreciate it. I'm presently contemplating a purchase, and I've narrowed it down to a Ko'olau T1 Tenor and a Kanile'a K1 Tenor. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts as time progresses.

Best regards,

David

wearymicrobe
02-16-2008, 05:17 AM
If you were closer I would let you have a go at mine, if you end up in San Diego give me a PM and I will let you play.

I am a kanile'a player period, and I will for a long long time. I bought this one as a experiment and as a test bed for some of my experiments with breakin testing. Personally its the sound you are going for and your playing style. Fingerpicker kanile'a with aquila's in a tenor or super concert. Strummer then ko'olau with wounds.

As for the blue guitar they are more expensive, they will cut you a deal if you pay in cash but they are bound by the dealership rules. He is not going to screw a distributorship for a customer, but he has the best of the best in terms of what he has from each maker and thats worth the cost for me. Its might be 5-10% more expensive then buying from MGM or Shawn but factor in shippping and the favors he can pull to get a custom built and its worth it in my opinion. Plus I like the guy.

Also where else are there 7-10 ko'olaus sitting around in tune for sale in almost every wood configuration.

NukeDOC
02-16-2008, 05:42 AM
If you were closer I would let you have a go at mine, if you end up in San Diego give me a PM and I will let you play.

I am a kanile'a player period, and I will for a long long time. I bought this one as a experiment and as a test bed for some of my experiments with breakin testing. Personally its the sound you are going for and your playing style. Fingerpicker kanile'a with aquila's in a tenor or super concert. Strummer then ko'olau with wounds.

As for the blue guitar they are more expensive, they will cut you a deal if you pay in cash but they are bound by the dealership rules. He is not going to screw a distributorship for a customer, but he has the best of the best in terms of what he has from each maker and thats worth the cost for me. Its might be 5-10% more expensive then buying from MGM or Shawn but factor in shippping and the favors he can pull to get a custom built and its worth it in my opinion. Plus I like the guy.

Also where else are there 7-10 ko'olaus sitting around in tune for sale in almost every wood configuration.

good point. and i try to support the local vendors as much as possible, whenever i get into a hobby. i will be checking them out soon just to see what theyve got. i have never had a problem paying just a little more for something that i would get to play before i buy.

UKESTAR
02-16-2008, 02:57 PM
From Deforest at the blue guitar, best ukulele sales in the city of san diego, and sorrounding regions if you are going high end.

The carry kanile'a pono ko'olau (good selection of these) rose, and occationally what ever stikes the owners fancy. Deforest buys only what he likes and what sounds good and has got a ear for ukes that can be trusted. He does have a good selection of flea/flukes as well and knows just about every builder there is on the islands so if you want custom and you want it fast he can pull a favor or two. He realy helped with my s. Tenor build sheet and that should be here opefully in a month or so. I was hoping for the end of the month but thats unlikely.

If anybody here is looking the 400 spruce/koa is drop dead perfect except for the price. ~4700$ my T1 and the koa 200 that are in teh shop came from the NAMM show as well as a really good ce-1.

Please explain the sound box and shaker table thing you have to break in the ukes. It sounds really interesting and I have never heard of this sort of thing.

clevacheva
02-16-2008, 03:03 PM
yeah me either...^

wearymicrobe
02-16-2008, 03:53 PM
Got to remember that I come from the classical world where I played a violin for 10 years. Now I was always interested in how a instruments sound can be tweaked after it was built. Old violin builders used to hang there instruments in a blacksmiths shop for a while hoping that the loud bangs and clacks would add resonant frequencies to there instruments or in effect make them break in a little bit. I think that this is a bit bunk but on point a little bit. Some people think that its micro cracking in the finish but I digress.

I think that when a builder builds a instrument they are thinking of the soundboard moving in one plain, up/down. When in reality the soundboard moves left right up down, and distorts into some really interesting plainer shapes. So when it does this the glue loosens up, the instrument just settles in. I want to speed the process up, some of my instruments have 100's of hours in them and the sound has changed dramatically. So I figured if I pipe a bunch of pink noise, a quick wave form or two focusing on the freq. that I think are important and a bunch of the best ukulele music that I can find with some bass added I should be able to et them to do the same thing.

Now I have also hooked them up to a shaker table to see if its movement, I have not yet tried a temperature swig test as I have not had time to program a incubator yet but the theory is to trow 10 years worth of playing time into a instrument without actually playing it.

This does not sound like fun, but since I am starting to build my own instruments I figured I might as well see how they age and see if I can correct for coloring of the sound by building in a protection against it. Or if I can really change and shape the tone by doing the equivalent of playing the instrument for 100's of hours.

I also want to go to a violin style finish on the instrument and I really think that it takes time and a good knock or two to get that to sound right, personal opinion take it for that. All I could be doing is nothing, or prematurely aging a instrument a couple years.

UKESTAR
02-16-2008, 04:18 PM
Got to remember that I come from the classical world where I played a violin for 10 years. Now I was always interested in how a instruments sound can be tweaked after it was built. Old violin builders used to hang there instruments in a blacksmiths shop for a while hoping that the loud bangs and clacks would add resonant frequencies to there instruments or in effect make them break in a little bit. I think that this is a bit bunk but on point a little bit. Some people think that its micro cracking in the finish but I digress.

I think that when a builder builds a instrument they are thinking of the soundboard moving in one plain, up/down. When in reality the soundboard moves left right up down, and distorts into some really interesting plainer shapes. So when it does this the glue loosens up, the instrument just settles in. I want to speed the process up, some of my instruments have 100's of hours in them and the sound has changed dramatically. So I figured if I pipe a bunch of pink noise, a quick wave form or two focusing on the freq. that I think are important and a bunch of the best ukulele music that I can find with some bass added I should be able to et them to do the same thing.

Now I have also hooked them up to a shaker table to see if its movement, I have not yet tried a temperature swig test as I have not had time to program a incubator yet but the theory is to trow 10 years worth of playing time into a instrument without actually playing it.

This does not sound like fun, but since I am starting to build my own instruments I figured I might as well see how they age and see if I can correct for coloring of the sound by building in a protection against it. Or if I can really change and shape the tone by doing the equivalent of playing the instrument for 100's of hours.

I also want to go to a violin style finish on the instrument and I really think that it takes time and a good knock or two to get that to sound right, personal opinion take it for that. All I could be doing is nothing, or prematurely aging a instrument a couple years.

Haahaa...wow. You are hard core! You are like an exteme version of me when it comes to tweaking and modifying things...haha. I look forward to hearing how it all works out....you may be on to something here...

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-16-2008, 04:41 PM
nice looking uke, didnt like the last one to much though.

Howlie Boy
02-16-2008, 05:43 PM
Its beautiful...... Im speachless...

JTY
02-16-2008, 08:44 PM
Hey wearymicrobe, Congrats on the new uke.. it looks great! I remember reading something similar to that on David Hurds site. He attached part of an old speaker to the uke and played music thru that device for days.. weeks, months, effectively turning the uke into a speaker so-to speak to vibrate the wood and "open it up". He felt there were positive benefits of doing that.

I'll give that a try on the new W. King concert I'll be getting real soon.;)

I wonder if the uke will take on a sound like whatever music one pipes thru the "speaker"? j/k :rolleyes:

studentaccount1
02-16-2008, 09:47 PM
I break in my ukes by playing Nsync/Celine Dion albums to them full blast until they cry and can't take anymore and beg to be played... I found that "My Heart Will Go On" through a radio shack boombox on "11" seems to work the fastest. YMMV













Well, either that or I just play them a lot. :p

ukejon
02-17-2008, 01:29 AM
....or you could blast Jake's version of My Heart Will Go On (http://www.amazon.com/My-Heart-Will-Go-On/dp/B0010I4STK) to bust in the uke.

wearymicrobe
02-17-2008, 03:54 AM
I wonder if the uke will take on a sound like whatever music one pipes thru the "speaker"? j/k :rolleyes:

I see the rollyeyes but I really doubt it, as long as the freq's are the right it should not mater. They use to make use lay the old violins when I played with the DYS about every three days, did not mater waht or how bad but as long as they got play.


Also I am mainly doing this so that I can really work on my designs and see how they age, trying it on others because it takes me awhile to build one.

If I put them in front of my stereo speakers and cranked them to 11 I think the neighbors and my wife would complain.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1117199/100_1001.jpg

UKESTAR
02-17-2008, 07:08 AM
I see the rollyeyes but I really doubt it, as long as the freq's are the right it should not mater. They use to make use lay the old violins when I played with the DYS about every three days, did not mater waht or how bad but as long as they got play.


Also I am mainly doing this so that I can really work on my designs and see how they age, trying it on others because it takes me awhile to build one.

If I put them in front of my stereo speakers and cranked them to 11 I think the neighbors and my wife would complain.

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-12/1117199/100_1001.jpg

Haha...where does that chainsaw come in to play....is that part of the torture test too:D

wearymicrobe
02-17-2008, 10:27 AM
We were restoring the house and had to cutout a bad addition with a chainsaw and a sawsall. My two favorite tools.

studentaccount1
02-17-2008, 10:44 AM
....or you could blast Jake's version of My Heart Will Go On (http://www.amazon.com/My-Heart-Will-Go-On/dp/B0010I4STK) to bust in the uke.

I was trying to forget he had a version of that song. :P Thanks a lot.