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View Full Version : New Uke Day: KoAloha Tenor



Mad Hatter
02-14-2013, 02:42 PM
Edit....I added pictures...they should be on the second page once the mod approves..


Hi fellow players!

It's new uke day for me! My new KoAoloha Tenor arrived a week ago! I've been late with my review as I wanted to really give the ukulele a fair and unbiased test. if I found any issues at all I wanted to see how KoAloha's customer service responded. KoAloha never had a chance to respond to my problems as there were absolutely none.

When it arrived the finish was still a bit tacky. Wow! It was a 4+ week wait for it to arrive straight from KoAloha. I had a pickup installed too so I can record with it using a direct line in instead of the mic.

The ukulele is GORGEOUS! It's a work of art. I have never seen another KoAloha to compare this to, but the back of mine has a good amount of figure and it dances in the light. The sides also have some figure and the top has a slight amount of figure. This was a pleasant surprise since I had read that the person in charge of selecting the woods is not too keen on figured wood and actually prefers a plain straight grain. I knew this when I decided on the KoAloha and chose this path. I'm pleasantly surprised by the tasteful figuring of the wood. The finish too is perfect.

The way the KoAloha is built is so amazing. I was a little concerned that the fretboard edges are sharp. Not the frets themselves, those are perfect. The ends cannot be felt at all and are dressed amazingly. Intonation is dead-on. What I noticed about the hard edge of the fretboard is it's not a big deal since a ukulele is'nt really played like a guitar. My old tele's fretboard is worn and the edges are naturally rolled. It feels like a hug to play. But the style for playing the ukulele is totally different than a guitar. You don't really wrap your hand around it and put your palm against the back of the neck. Rather your thumb rides the neck's spine as you finger chords and runs differently. As such the fretboard edge is perfectly suited for this instrument.

I purchased this ukulele through Cymbalism music. I did a LOT of research before deciding where to purchase the ukulele. I know HMS has a huge loyal following on this website. And you can't generate that sort of loyalty just by having good prices, I'm sure HMS is great. But my experience with Scott Hutton over at Cymbalism floored me. I had a conversation with him via email on New Year's Eve and managed to purchase this ukulele somewhere between 2012 and 2013 on New Year's Eve over the course of a few hours of back and forth questions.

I can't give Scott and Cymbalism Music high enough praise. I have bought at least 25 high end guitars in my days. Some were 5 figures (I'm married with child now...so these days it's a humble tele as my only guitar). I have dealt with my share of dealers. Scott is not one of the best, he was indeed the best. Every question I ever had, he answered promptly. When it comes to guitars I know my way. I have built, repaired, restored, set up, and played more guitars than I have time to list. However, a ukulele really isn't a "small guitar" when it comes down to it. Physically it looks identical, and to the extent it has strings and is a fretted instrument it is similar. But the tone and sound of a ukulele is a bit different. Many of the characteristics of an arguably "traditional" ukulele differ from guitars. And the methods used by various makers are different enough to set them apart considerably from their fellow builders.

In short, as any parent would say of their own child, my KoAloha is the best KoAloha built. :) I am a happy jonny-come-lately to the ukulele world. My quest for the ultimate ukulele in form, function, and aesthetics ended happily with the KoAloha tenor. Thanks to all of you forum members. So many of you don't realize how often someone gains wisdom from your posts...even old ones. I arrived at the decision of a KoAloha based almost entirely off the months I spent scouring this forum.

And if you ever want a KoAloha I can't think of a better place to purchase one than Cymbalism music. I wish all my dealings in the world of music were as positive. Ask for Scott, he'll take better care of you than your own mother. ;)

dkcrown
02-14-2013, 02:54 PM
Congrats on your new KoAloha Mad Hatter. I have one myself. Great sound. But we must see pics, or it didn't happen.

soupking
02-14-2013, 02:57 PM
Congrats! Nice write-up! I know what you mean- I have three KoAloha tenors, and they're all super sweet!

remy26
02-14-2013, 02:58 PM
Nice thorough review...thanks for posting. Congrats on the new uke!

wickedwahine11
02-14-2013, 03:03 PM
They are great ukes, congratulations. Pics please!

Nickie
02-14-2013, 03:08 PM
Congratulations! When can we see pix?

UkueBass23
02-14-2013, 03:18 PM
A really well written review. Enjoy! And welcome!

Mad Hatter
02-14-2013, 03:20 PM
I will post some pics this weekend. I had planned on pics, but its been a rough week. Had a bad snow storm up here, lost power for 3 days and it was 9 degrees outside. Huddled around a fireplace for most of the time while the temp inside dropped to 38. ...I did manage to play the uke often though. Don't need electricity for that! House is also being partly remodeled so it's mess here.

I'll get a sunny day and get some pics for you guys. I always loved seeing pics of everyone else's KoAlohas so I'll be happy n proud to do the same.

scothut
02-14-2013, 04:30 PM
Hi fellow players!

It's new uke day for me! My new KoAoloha Tenor arrived a week ago! I've been late with my review as I wanted to really give the ukulele a fair and unbiased test. if I found any issues at all I wanted to see how KoAloha's customer service responded. KoAloha never had a chance to respond to my problems as there were absolutely none.

When it arrived the finish was still a bit tacky. Wow! It was a 4+ week wait for it to arrive straight from KoAloha. I had a pickup installed too so I can record with it using a direct line in instead of the mic.

The ukulele is GORGEOUS! It's a work of art. I have never seen another KoAloha to compare this to, but the back of mine has a good amount of figure and it dances in the light. The sides also have some figure and the top has a slight amount of figure. This was a pleasant surprise since I had read that the person in charge of selecting the woods is not too keen on figured wood and actually prefers a plain straight grain. I knew this when I decided on the KoAloha and chose this path. I'm pleasantly surprised by the tasteful figuring of the wood. The finish too is perfect.

The way the KoAloha is built is so amazing. I was a little concerned that the fretboard edges are sharp. Not the frets themselves, those are perfect. The ends cannot be felt at all and are dressed amazingly. Intonation is dead-on. What I noticed about the hard edge of the fretboard is it's not a big deal since a ukulele is'nt really played like a guitar. My old tele's fretboard is worn and the edges are naturally rolled. It feels like a hug to play. But the style for playing the ukulele is totally different than a guitar. You don't really wrap your hand around it and put your palm against the back of the neck. Rather your thumb rides the neck's spine as you finger chords and runs differently. As such the fretboard edge is perfectly suited for this instrument.

I purchased this ukulele through Cymbalism music. I did a LOT of research before deciding where to purchase the ukulele. I know HMS has a huge loyal following on this website. And you can't generate that sort of loyalty just by having good prices, I'm sure HMS is great. But my experience with Scott Hutton over at Cymbalism floored me. I had a conversation with him via email on New Year's Eve and managed to purchase this ukulele somewhere between 2012 and 2013 on New Year's Eve over the course of a few hours of back and forth questions.

I can't give Scott and Cymbalism Music high enough praise. I have bought at least 25 high end guitars in my days. Some were 5 figures (I'm married with child now...so these days it's a humble tele as my only guitar). I have dealt with my share of dealers. Scott is not one of the best, he was indeed the best. Every question I ever had, he answered promptly. When it comes to guitars I know my way. I have built, repaired, restored, set up, and played more guitars than I have time to list. However, a ukulele really isn't a "small guitar" when it comes down to it. Physically it looks identical, and to the extent it has strings and is a fretted instrument it is similar. But the tone and sound of a ukulele is a bit different. Many of the characteristics of an arguably "traditional" ukulele differ from guitars. And the methods used by various makers are different enough to set them apart considerably from their fellow builders.

In short, as any parent would say of their own child, my KoAloha is the best KoAloha built. :) I am a happy jonny-come-lately to the ukulele world. My quest for the ultimate ukulele in form, function, and aesthetics ended happily with the KoAloha tenor. Thanks to all of you forum members. So many of you don't realize how often someone gains wisdom from your posts...even old ones. I arrived at the decision of a KoAloha based almost entirely off the months I spent scouring this forum.

And if you ever want a KoAloha I can't think of a better place to purchase one than Cymbalism music. I wish all my dealings in the world of music were as positive. Ask for Scott, he'll take better care of you than your own mother. ;)

Thanks so much for the kind words Glen. I'm thrilled the KoAloha has worked out so well for you. If anyone else is in the market for a new KoAloha please let me know and I'll make sure your buying experience is just as satisfying as Glens.

Scott

kalmario
02-14-2013, 05:24 PM
i have one of these. they are awesome!!

just curious what pickup did you get installed?

Cheers

Cliff

Trinimon
02-14-2013, 05:39 PM
I've been itch'n for a KoAloha for some time now. Congrats! We're gonna need some pics as proof! lol

Kamanaaloha
02-15-2013, 04:45 AM
Enjoy it. I enjoy mine. It is my Low G rig

Mad Hatter
02-15-2013, 10:00 AM
Supposed to snow all weekend so I put snapped a few pictures in the warm sun today. I took many pictures and hopefully you can see the figuring. I can't overstate the fact that the Ukulele sounds and plays even better than it looks! Again, sincere thanks go out to Scott at Cymbalism Music for putting this gem in my hands. KoAloha all the way.

The pickup I chose to have KoAloha install was the LR Baggs Five-O. its specifically designed for ukulele and gets rave reviews online. I play it through a Fishman Loudbox Mini and it's pure heaven. Speaking of heaven....

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0418.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0417.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0416.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0424.jpg

Mad Hatter
02-15-2013, 10:01 AM
more...

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0419.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0423.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0426.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0425.jpg

Mad Hatter
02-15-2013, 10:02 AM
Last three. I made the pictures the best I could. it's always nice to have pictures of a popular uke for other members considering such an expensive purchase...

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0422.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0421.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0420.jpg

haolejohn
02-15-2013, 10:38 AM
Last three. I made the pictures the best I could. it's always nice to have pictures of a popular uke for other members considering such an expensive purchase...

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0422.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0421.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0420.jpg

Very pretty backside...what about the front side?:)

Mad Hatter
02-15-2013, 10:49 AM
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0419.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0423.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0426.jpg

Mad Hatter
02-15-2013, 10:53 AM
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0424.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0416.jpg

http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w242/Stratocat38/DSC_0418.jpg

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
02-15-2013, 11:21 AM
Wow, beautiful!!! Congrats on your new uke.

Kamanaaloha
02-15-2013, 11:37 AM
prettiest KoAloha I have ever seen(cept for red labels)! they typically have no curl/flame/feathering/figuring.

mds725
02-15-2013, 12:27 PM
Very pretty backside...what about the front side?:)

That ukulele had me at "hello."

wickedwahine11
02-15-2013, 12:33 PM
It is lovely...you usually don't see such figured wood on a KoAloha.

haole
02-15-2013, 12:47 PM
Congrats on the awesome new uke! KoAloha makes some of the best production ukes around, and yours is an especially pretty one!

Minotaur53
05-28-2013, 01:39 PM
Great ukulele there hatter. I had the pleasure of speaking to Scott over at Cymbalism last week and put in an order for a tenor with the LR Baggs 5-0 as well. I hope that my uke is a gorgeous as yours... okay I lie, secretly I hope it's prettier ;)

I have to agree with your assesment of Scott and Cymbalism, i've been looking at KoAlohas for quite some time and decided to take the plunge after purchasing a KoAlana. I did have a minor issue with the KoAlana so I will find out about KoAloha's legendary customer service soon enough.

I'll be posting some pictures of my tenor when it gets to me. As Scott tells me, the guys over at KoAloha are in the process of finishing the latest run of instruments. Until I get the update that it has shipped I can only peruse the site and ogle other people's KoAlohas!

Once again, great ukulele you have there. Happy strumming!

mm stan
05-29-2013, 12:24 AM
Aloha Glen,
Love the orange stridatons in Koaloha ukes...it is very beautiful...Congratulations...Happy Strummings..