View Full Version : Big Island Tenor

09-12-2013, 09:01 AM
Bought a Big Island Limited Edition tenor uke from MGM indirectly a few years ago. Someone else on here played a BI also at the time and added favorable comments. However, they don't seem to be very popular around here, I wonder why? The build quality is superb, they play super and sound amazing, and are somewhat less expensive than the "K"s. I'm not trying to start a "brand war", but I would put mine up against a "K" any day. Any other BI players here who feel the same way.

09-12-2013, 09:42 AM
Though I do not own one, I have played many. BI ukes to me are in the same class as Mele and Pono. I always thought the BI ukes I played were very well made, very beautiful (the wood selection was premium) and sounded good. THe sound didn't blow me away but it wasn't shabby.

Are they as good as a "K" brand. That answer is subjective. I do prefer my Koaloha ukes over my others, but I don't think the price difference yields the sound and quality difference.

09-12-2013, 06:09 PM
I, too, have a Big Island Traditional Koa Tenor and I am very happy with it. I like the size and its playabilty. I am not sure how to assess it's sound. On its own, I am happy with it. However, when I compare it to my Kanilea Low G Concert, I would describe the BI sound as thin. The sound from my K is very loud and deep. I know I am comparing apples to oranges and I think my aural perception gets distorted when I play one after the other. I like both ukes and now I try not to play them so close together :->.

09-13-2013, 09:06 PM
This is the way you should feel about your instrument. Good for you.

09-17-2013, 10:29 AM
I have the BI KT-TR (solid koa tenor) and believe it to be a wonderful uke. Very nice tone, fit and finish etc. At first I thought it was a bit lacking in volume but string type seems to make a huge difference with this uke. It came with aquilas and quite frankly I wasn't impressed. I have since tried worth browns, Aquila reds and Fremont black lines and so far I like the Fremonts best so far. I haven't tried any clear fluorocarbon strings yet though so the jury is still out...

I may be warming up to the Aquila reds though. Had to get used to the texture of the reds.