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Kyle23
10-12-2013, 10:13 AM
Was browsing HMS and the Islander AC-4 caught my eye. I don't know much about Islanders except that this one is an acacia laminate. The price is $169 with a hard case which is very nice. I just need some advice on what to do and if it's a good deal. It looks like a good one but again I don't know much about them. Any help would be awesome. Thanks in advance.

PhilUSAFRet
10-12-2013, 10:52 AM
I think that as laminates go, those Islanders sound great. With the case and an HMS setup, you will probably be quite happy for $169. It's not quite as bright or loud as a solid topped acacia model, but it does sound sweet.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/islander-acacia-concert-ukulele-pack.html

A solid uke will generally cost you at least $100 more....and up, including used/refurbs/blems. There are some nice solid topped ukes at HMS, but most cost more. $130 bucks more will get you a solid acacia Pono.

For the price of that Islander, you can get an all solid acacia KPK, properly set up with great customer service. I have one and I love mine as many here do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b40fwWB5qkE&list=PL0VuDc56mie_jcZgiVTNO00Qqa7qsPQwd

Flyinby
10-12-2013, 11:10 AM
I have a couple of Islander mahogany laminates...a tenor and a soprano, and the workmanship seems fine. I bought the soprano at a little shop in Oahu, where there was a wall of sopranos going from the least to most expensive, and while I was looking for a $75 uke, the difference in sound of the Islander was very obvious. I'm not so good at describing sound, but they have a richer, deeper tone with probably more bass than most, and very good volume. So despite the price difference, I went for the Islander.

Later I bought a tenor MT-4 from HMS, and it's also been good, though I did get a buzzy couple of lower frets after a while, which I fixed myself. Definitely get it set up, which you will from HMS, because the intonation on my MT-4 is right on, where the soprano, which probably didn't get a setup at the shop, needed the action lowered quite a bit, but is OK after that. The sound from the tenor is similar, with richer bass than most, which I have no explanation for.

They've held up well, with no signs of distortion or warping after 1-2 years, and Kanilea putting their name on it seems like added security that it's a decent uke. I like the looks of the acacia models, and I assume the sound is pretty similar.

Uke Republic
10-12-2013, 11:21 AM
The Islanders are good instruments. They do have a wider nut @ 1.5" instead of more common 1.3/8"

kvehe
10-12-2013, 11:27 AM
I have a soprano laminate MS-4, which I like very much. It's my sit-on-sofa-pick-up-any-time uke. I especially like the 1.5 inch nut.

Kyle23
10-12-2013, 12:36 PM
Appreciate the help guys. Probably going to go with the acacia.

Kyle23
10-12-2013, 12:51 PM
I think that as laminates go, those Islanders sound great. With the case and an HMS setup, you will probably be quite happy for $169. It's not quite as bright or loud as a solid topped acacia model, but it does sound sweet.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/islander-acacia-concert-ukulele-pack.html

A solid uke will generally cost you at least $100 more....and up, including used/refurbs/blems. There are some nice solid topped ukes at HMS, but most cost more. $130 bucks more will get you a solid acacia Pono.

For the price of that Islander, you can get an all solid acacia KPK, properly set up with great customer service. I have one and I love mine as many here do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b40fwWB5qkE&list=PL0VuDc56mie_jcZgiVTNO00Qqa7qsPQwd

Where could I get the KPK?

kvehe
10-12-2013, 12:55 PM
Pilikoko.com

Kyle23
10-12-2013, 01:03 PM
WOw looks great and sounds great too. You just changed my mind.

Linho
10-13-2013, 07:13 AM
Just to confuse you a little more: I own a Islander Concert Acacia for about a year now and it's my most played ukulele. All in all a great instrument.

And I had the possibility to compare it to a KPK Acacia Concert before I bought it: Workmanship, sound, intonation and feeling of the Islander were way better, so I decided against the KPK.

So I highly recommend the Islander.

Of course it's my subjective opinion, but for my eyes, ears and hands is the Islander the way better choice.

Cheers,
Linho

ranilus
10-13-2013, 03:35 PM
My 2 cents, I have once owned this exact model of Islander that you are thinking about.

The Islander just felt wrong. I did not like picking it or strumming it at all. Compared to the Kala Solid Acacia Tenor that I also bought with the same order, the Islander felt like a cheap toy. Granted, they were my first tenors ever, so I was not used to the size or string tension, but the Kala felt more refined and played way better.

One positive note - the laminate used by Islander is pretty high quality, see MGM's video on youtube. But laminate is laminate.

Also when I ordered the AC-4 I requested low-G to be strung. I wanted to try high G on the Islander, but just could not get the bridge pins out. I do have a tuner-winder with this thing that specifically removes bridge pins, but could not get it to work. Maybe it is only for guitars? I have since owned a Kanile'a but could not get the bridge pins out either...

My vote would go to KPK. You'd miss out on the hard carrying case though, which would be $35-40 if bought separate.

Appalachian picker
10-13-2013, 05:51 PM
What exactly are you looking for?

A certain tone......look...feel.....wood species? If you know your requirements it might help decide...or at least make the choice easier.

Kyle23
10-14-2013, 12:53 PM
I'm going back and forth on this, thanks guys lol. I like the sound of the Islander more. It's more of a mellow tone. It would be so much easier if I could try them both in person.

vanflynn
10-14-2013, 03:14 PM
Hi Kyle. From what I've heard about both (I have played a MC-4 and liked it) either will do you good.

Go with your heart and enjoy.

We will need pics though.

mandrew
10-16-2013, 08:04 PM
I have a concert MC-4 Islander that I have had a couple of years. It sounds great, easy to play, and holds up well. I think the best uke in its price range.