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View Full Version : Kamaka or Kanile'a?



mossyoak
02-21-2008, 06:16 PM
What should I get?

UKESTAR
02-21-2008, 06:17 PM
What should I get?

I prefer Koaloha or Koolau.. Kamakas are awesome too though.:eek:

Misguided Musician
02-21-2008, 06:19 PM
how much money are you willing to use?

mossyoak
02-21-2008, 06:40 PM
how much money are you willing to use?

Around a thousand

UkuLeLesReggAe
02-21-2008, 06:42 PM
Kamaka, they sound the best to me IMO

Misguided Musician
02-21-2008, 06:45 PM
well supposedly Kamaka's are the best, but there are a few around that are cheaper and just as good.

Terrell
02-21-2008, 06:59 PM
dang if i had 1k to blow i'd just throw it all into my car. haha but yea there's some other good sounding ukes out there for less. pono's sounds pretty good. i'm gonna be getting one pretty soon.

Landon
02-21-2008, 07:19 PM
i would Recommend a Kamaka. yes you spend 1k, but its worth every penny and if you take care of it, which im sure you will, it will last you a lifetime.

GX9901
02-21-2008, 08:27 PM
For the same money, Kanile'a should feature better looking wood (curly koa) than the Kamaka (plain koa). Kanile'a also has a mirror gloss finish compared to Kamaka's non-grain filled gloss finish (which is better looking is entirely dependent on who is looking at it).

It's debatable which brand has better overall sound. From what I've tried I believe they are in the same class as far as sound and playability is concerned. Of course, Kamaka has the greater name recognition and will hold its value better. Both are great brands. Get the one that suit your desires better. I think it basically comes down to the Kamaka name versus the better looking curly koa of Kanile'a.

This is actually a pretty tough choice to make if you don't get to play them in person.

GX9901
02-21-2008, 08:48 PM
This kind of demonstrates what I'm talking about regarding the Kanile'a's koa appearance. The pictures below is a Kanile'a super-soprano. It costs slightly more than the going rate for a Kamaka soprano, but it features some curly koa that looks 3D:

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL66/846716/15024071/278394535.jpg

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL66/846716/15024071/278394534.jpg

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL66/846716/15024071/278394533.jpg

I do think the Kamaka name is worth something, that's why I think it's a tough choice between the two. But going strictly on visual appearance (Kanile'a wins) and sound (about the same quality to me), I think Kanile'a comes out ahead.

Danyo Cummings
02-21-2008, 09:07 PM
oooooh i've been eyeing the Kanile'a Po'okela Super Tenor since Aldrine turned me on to the company but i've yet to jam one. I think the answer to this question comes down to budget and of course a feel after playing both. Most people will go with Kamaka because the familiarity but you gotta feel em yourself.

EleoCasil
02-21-2008, 09:40 PM
What should I get?
I would say get a Kamaka! A tenor size if you can afford it

kaeo7095
02-21-2008, 09:55 PM
For the look I would go with the kanilea but the name of kamaka is just like uhh.. But the kanilea has a sorta deeper sound then a kamaka. For me I would go with the kanilea for sure

Ukulele_Junkie
02-21-2008, 10:05 PM
i would go with the kanile'a, i always have a good feeling when i hold one. really depends which one feels and sounds best to u

wearymicrobe
02-22-2008, 03:16 AM
oooooh i've been eyeing the Kanile'a Po'okela Super Tenor since Aldrine turned me on to the company but i've yet to jam one. I think the answer to this question comes down to budget and of course a feel after playing both. Most people will go with Kamaka because the familiarity but you gotta feel em yourself.

I have been trying to buy the one they had in the museum of making music in Carlsbad but someone with deeper pockets then me snagged it.

I would get a T2 kanile'a in UV tenor or T1 satin S.Tenor, Or a Ko'olau T1. To me the kamakas are just not worth the money, or the time to find a good one.

Nuke-ulele
02-22-2008, 04:09 AM
I second Kanile'a. They are both great brands, but the Souza's are great people and Joe is really pushing teh envlope with uke bracing and finishes. They have a relationship with Taylor Guitars and use the same UV cured finish, whichis unique inthat it gives you that Nitro look but it is thinner and more durable, and better for the environment that traditional lacquer.

M Kanile'a is fantastic. Also, there is no upcharge for many options (although there is for some, even if they are small) ...if you buy a K2 for example, you can have it custom built to your specs...not so with Kamaka. Just go to the Kanilea website and see what is available...it is amazing. I chose a K2 tenor with full Mango body and soundboard, mahagony neck, slanted Strat-style headstock, black nickel tuners, black binding and ebony bridge and fretboard. I would not have been able to get anything this unique in a Kamaka. You have to wait a month or two, but its worth it to hae the only one of its kind in the world! Unfortunately, Kamaka no longer accepts custom orders.

Landon
02-22-2008, 01:35 PM
For the same money, Kanile'a should feature better looking wood (curly koa) than the Kamaka (plain koa). Kanile'a also has a mirror gloss finish compared to Kamaka's non-grain filled gloss finish (which is better looking is entirely dependent on who is looking at it).

It's debatable which brand has better overall sound. From what I've tried I believe they are in the same class as far as sound and playability is concerned. Of course, Kamaka has the greater name recognition and will hold its value better. Both are great brands. Get the one that suit your desires better. I think it basically comes down to the Kamaka name versus the better looking curly koa of Kanile'a.

This is actually a pretty tough choice to make if you don't get to play them in person.

well for one, not everyone will prefer curly koa over reguler koa, but i do think its nice which is why i have a Kamaka with curly koa. Also why many others have Kamaka's with curly koa.

And i think kamaka's outside of maybe an applause(the koa one) has the nicest ukulele's. as for sound they are def. on the same level, but Kamaka's i think are a little bit more higher up there. Just my opinion.

mossyoak
02-22-2008, 03:41 PM
I have a tough time going with Kanile'a because they are such a young campany in comparison to Kamaka. Also, I don't like the open style tuners on the Kanile'a. And whoever was wonderring, I am looking to get another tenor.

Landon
02-22-2008, 04:30 PM
I have a tough time going with Kanile'a because they are such a young campany in comparison to Kamaka. Also, I don't like the open style tuners on the Kanile'a. And whoever was wonderring, I am looking to get another tenor.

There are Kamaka's w/ closed tuners there just harder to come by because they stoped making them.

mossyoak
02-22-2008, 04:53 PM
do they make Kanile'a's (?) with closed tuners?

Landon
02-22-2008, 05:18 PM
do they make Kanile'a's (?) with closed tuners?

not sure, never seen one with them closed.

mossyoak
02-22-2008, 05:48 PM
I don't like the look of open ones

Landon
02-22-2008, 06:35 PM
me either and the closed ones, on my kamaka at least, keep them in tune better.

mossyoak
02-23-2008, 12:45 PM
I feel like dust and debris may collect in open tuners.

titoboy5
02-23-2008, 07:46 PM
all i can say is up to to you!the only difference that i know of is the construction (kanalea has a new frame design as apposed to kamakas traditional) they both look sweet and sound the same so like i said, up to you.( i would take the kamaka because i hate pegs on ukes and guitars. thats just me.)

JTY
02-24-2008, 07:04 PM
I'm sure Kanilea would do it in a tie-style bridge if you wanted it that way.

Nuke-ulele
02-25-2008, 03:09 AM
You can get Kanile'a ukulele with any tuners you want...you can customise every aspect. They have a whole page showing the dfferent tuners they will put on yours. Mine has closed tuners. Grover Black Nickel closed tuners.

Nuke-ulele
02-25-2008, 03:10 AM
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=41&d=1201721215

nikolo727
02-25-2008, 05:23 AM
kamaka has a very nice, warm, sound to it.

Yes its a little bit more money but it would be a great quality ukulele.

get a nice koa tenor ukulele and it will sound nice, regardless of who makes it(sometimes)

if you are going to get a tenor uke and you want a more beautiful sound though, get the koa tenor, but with aquila low G strings for a nice soothing sound.

Iz used that and boy, everyone loved it!

if you have the money, go kamaka.

heck with 1k go custom!

wearymicrobe
02-25-2008, 01:30 PM
do they make Kanile'a's (?) with closed tuners?

Joe will build what ever you want, though I believe that they use the open tuners because the weight on the headstock can make it uncomfortable to play, if you play a ko'olau or a say a Ogata with a lot of bling and a bigger body its not such a big deal but on a plain kanile'a which are really light it does have some effect.


I'm sure Kanilea would do it in a tie-style bridge if you wanted it that way.

They will I think its ~125$ extra


me either and the closed ones, on my kamaka at least, keep them in tune better.

Its full of grease it should turn smoother but hold the same, there is not construction difference when I have taken them apart. A quick blow out with compressed air and a little bit of shock oil and it should run like new.

mossyoak
02-25-2008, 03:28 PM
I'm still deciding. its kinda a big purchase.
Thanks for all of your help!

Moak

Ukulele Dude
02-27-2008, 10:15 AM
Mossy,
I don't know if this is relevant, but since you're on the fence...

I just got my new Kamaka HF3 a couple days ago and I LOVE it. The quality is everything I expected and more, the sound is awesome, and it looks beautiful (as long as you're not hung up on the fact that it doesn't have all the purfling and decorative stuff, which I'm not). It seems lighter than my other tenor too, but that might be in my head.