View Full Version : A new Kiwaya - courtesy of the tax office

Ken of York
10-07-2012, 09:48 AM
Well I had been checking this beauty online almost daily for the last few weeks, and also the KTS-7 Soprano. And the best part? After an expected windfall from the tax office I could afford one or the other. The Concert was an easy choice to make. It seems to me it would be an easier transition to Concert from my usual Tenors, plus the lovely satin finish complements my Kanilea satin K2, plus I reckon another KMC-K would be pretty hard to find and when opportunity comes knocking then either answer that call or live with the regret!

So here it is. Two days old (for me anyway). Day one playing for a couple of hours it was sounding a bit dull. Previous experience meant a change of strings was in order. It is now dressed in a set of Worth Browns. So day two and it is singing free with a really sweet and vibrant tone, and it can only get better in the coming months. Although it is a precious instrument it is with me to be played and enjoyed, same as my Kanilea's. I shall get a couple of sound samples up on youtube pretty soon for those interested, and post something on the videos forum.

Cheers and best wishes to you all, Ken.


10-07-2012, 10:01 AM
Congratulations! It looks beautiful! Do you have any idea what strings were on it when you got it?

10-07-2012, 10:06 AM
That's quite a beauty; congratulations!

we tigers
10-07-2012, 10:09 AM
Wow! Beautiful uke!

Ken of York
10-07-2012, 10:30 AM
Thanks fellow ukers. Although I can't say 100% I think the master series come with Freemont Black strings. They certainly were black! I could tell though quite easily that they were stifling the potential and the Worths are sounding pretty much sublime.

I just listened back to a couple of short vids I did earlier today. They are going up on youtube shortly and to me (playing ability aside) it sounds fantastic. Guess it should really being top of the range!

10-07-2012, 10:54 AM
So you're the one who snatched it? ;) I had noticed it was gone. You probably have the only model available in the UK?
Personally, I think this is the most beautiful ukulele ever made, you're a lucky guy. Congratulations!! :)

Ken of York
10-07-2012, 12:26 PM
Yes indeed Lalou it was me what did it! I just posted the first of 2 vids I made today on the Video forum. It's called Runaway Horse, you'll know why once you've heard it :D

10-07-2012, 12:37 PM
Gorgeous! Congratulations! I love Kiwayas, and yours is stellar.

10-07-2012, 02:43 PM
I just watched the video: Best. Uke. Ever. Fantastic playing too! Glad the uke went to someone who can do it justice :)

Skinny Money McGee
10-07-2012, 04:50 PM
Very nice. There's one down at Elderly I've been drooling over

10-08-2012, 04:35 AM
Congratulation! I know what you have, because I own same model.
The original strings, Hilo I think, look black, but held against sunlight the colour is magenta. I have changed to Fremont Blackline, which are totally different to original strings.

10-08-2012, 05:16 AM
That's a really beautiful uke! Congratulations!

Chris Tarman
10-08-2012, 05:41 AM
That's gorgeous! I have a KTS-7 that I love. I wish I could find (and afford) the koa version!

10-08-2012, 05:55 AM
That is a lovely ukulele, Ken of York.

I just sold my tenor Kiwaya Master Series Koa KTM-K on Evilbay. It was made for NAMM 2011, and was pristine.

It was gorgeous, and the intonation and such was ideal. But it just felt "tight". It was sort of "boxy" sounding, and I favor koa ukuleles, so I know what my others sound like, and the Kiwaya was just not it. Changing strings made little difference for me. The more I played it, in comparison to my other koa ukes, the less I liked its sound. It had no real "ring" or sustain to it...it was ideal intonation with no "chime". So, it went away, for good.

Your experience may be considerably different as each instrument is unique. Seems from your write-up that you felt similarly with the stock strings (I agree, I changed them out), and feel great about it with the new strings. Lovely!

I also prefer gloss ukes to satin (I don;t like the rub marks/shine spots from forearm wear and such on the soundboard), so my Kiwaya was satin, as is yours, so that is another reason I never was in love with it, Deep like, yes. Love, not so much.

Thanks for posting. Yours looks sweet! Mine was more orange koa, but similar, indeed.

Ken of York
10-08-2012, 01:52 PM
That is a shame about your Kiwaya but I totally understand and you are right to go with your feelings. As for the one sat here beside me, well it may take some time before making any verdict but initially it feels and sounds right to me. With the worth strings it is ringing really well, of course being a concert I'm not expecting the same resonance as my tenor. Since getting into ukes about 2 years ago I quite quickly got hold of a Kanilea tenor and followed that up with the Kanilea Guitarlele. One of my personal quirks about those 2 instruments (foolish romantic that I am) is that when played they have both a great responsive sound but also a kind of living energy as the soundboards create those sounds, kind of like holding a living thing. That seems to be just the same with the Kiwaya to me, rather like my GL6 is a nervous cat, the K2 is a nervous rabbit and the KMC is a nervous hamster - ha ha I do like my similies :o

If anything my K2 Tenor is now slightly shamed as it starts sounding slightly muddy while the Kiwaya sounds so very clean, and I've found the intonation on the Kiwaya is actually better. Maybe I should try some aquilas on the tenor to brighten it up.

A couple more pics, actually I should take a pic of the excellent hard case that Southern Ukelele Store provided as well.


I should say some of the pics have 'dramatic tone' filter applied.

10-08-2012, 06:26 PM
I agree about the clean intonation of the Kiwaya. And that's why I struggled with parting with it--I think I will never find a uke with such clean intonation.

I like your animal similes. My KoAlohas are like confident peacocks. My Kiwaya was like a hungry titmouse.

10-08-2012, 06:44 PM
That is one sweet uke! I'm afraid though, that my relationship with the tax-man is quite the opposite of yours! Congrats on your winfall and your new Kiwaya purchase. Let it sing to you.

10-09-2012, 12:38 AM
Our tax refund is going to that thing the whole family can enjoy: a new dishwasher. Go team...

But I just wanted to suggest that to brighten a Kanilea, give t2 strings a shot. Happy NUD though, that Kiwaya is gorgeous. :)