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UkerDanno
04-15-2014, 08:32 AM
This came up in the Marketplace...the new Koaloha Opio's are out!

http://www.theukulelesite.com/koaloha-opio-concert-ukulele-package.html

very tempting! There's also a soprano model.

Kayak Jim
04-15-2014, 09:09 AM
I wish they would have differentiated the look a bit more vs. the Hawaiian made Koalohas. Same headstock shape, same logo, same musubi sound hole, same bridge. This cheapens their original brand in my opinion. As a Koaloha owner, I don't appreciate that.

I'm sure it's a fine instrument though.

Swampy Steve
04-15-2014, 09:34 AM
like Martin/Sigma, youd think it was the real thing except the extra name. Ive had a chance to play a Koaloha, twice. fantastic! ,, if I ever go big money{to me} thats what Id get. ,, but def. the real thing, made in Hawaii

Tigeralum2001
04-15-2014, 10:09 AM
I wish they would have differentiated the look a bit more vs. the Hawaiian made Koalohas. Same headstock shape, same logo, same musubi sound hole, same bridge. This cheapens their original brand in my opinion. As a Koaloha owner, I don't appreciate that.

I'm sure it's a fine instrument though.
I don't think it will impact the value of a real, Koa, KoAloha. Koa keeps getting more valuable while Sapele is a relatively cheap wood.

Mattyukaholic
04-15-2014, 12:20 PM
I do love the idea of a more mellow KoAloha.

UkerDanno
04-15-2014, 03:15 PM
It seems to me Koaloha is just making more of an "entry level" uke to expand their market share. It's sapelle mahogany, not koa, which is something they haven't had before except for the Koalana. I've always wanted a Koaloha, but compared to my Martin C1K it seems there's not much difference except in location of manufacture and probably quality of finish. The sound comparisons I've seen are really close and I even liked the Martin better. I got a quality solid koa for a price that was pretty much a stretch for me, but a lot less than a USA made Martin or Hawaiin made anything. So, the Opio gives me the same opportunity, to have a Koaloha for a price more in my comfort range than a Hawaiian made koa Koaloha. and it would probably be something different sounding than my C1K. Although a solid mahogany Islander is about $100 less than the Opio. It comes down to having the brand name in your hands that you like. I'm kind of a brand focus type of guy.

FrankB
04-15-2014, 03:58 PM
My wife and I are truly dedicated fly anglers. Many of the big name manufacturers import rods from Asia, and sell them as entry level rods. I can only think of one, Winston, that puts its name on the Asian imports. Winston is famous for its green rods, and the imports are brown. Koaloha has "Opio" written clearly on the headstock, and HMS clearly states that they are made in Thailand. The problem will be other dealers who will omit that detail. I see a lot of results for Islander when searching for Kanilea.....

stringy
04-15-2014, 04:29 PM
My wife and I are truly dedicated fly anglers. Many of the big name manufacturers import rods from Asia, and sell them as entry level rods. I can only think of one, Winston, that puts its name on the Asian imports. Winston is famous for its green rods, and the imports are brown. Koaloha has "Opio" written clearly on the headstock, and HMS clearly states that they are made in Thailand. The problem will be other dealers who will omit that detail. I see a lot of results for Islander when searching for Kanilea.....

I understand the Hawaiian brands wanting to cash in on the lower priced market and have ukes made overseas, (no difference to me if it is Viet Nam, Thailand, China, or Indonesia). But I do think the lines get blurred and customers see the brand name and think they are comparable. I've seen stores that take the little stickers off the back that say where they are actually made. I love my KoAloha but would not be interested in their import.

FrankB
04-15-2014, 04:45 PM
I understand the Hawaiian brands wanting to cash in on the lower priced market and have ukes made overseas, (no difference to me if it is Viet Nam, Thailand, China, or Indonesia). But I do think the lines get blurred and customers see the brand name and think they are comparable. I've seen stores that take the little stickers off the back that say where they are actually made. I love my KoAloha but would not be interested in their import.

Oh Yeah.... Back when I had a bike shop, it was extremely common for shops to peel the Made in China labels off of Schwinns, etc. Luthier Kenny Hill has been having guitars made in Mexico and then China for 20 years. The Mexican made guitars were labeled "Kenny Hill", and it became quite a trick to determine whether they were made in Mexico, or Hill's shop in California. The Chinese made guitars are clearly labeled "New World", with Kenny Hill's name in small font somewhere on the edge of the label. Most dealers I know market them as "Kenny Hill" guitars anyway.

UkerDanno
04-15-2014, 06:18 PM
the label inside clearly states "Made in Thailand".

PereBourik
04-15-2014, 06:37 PM
KoAloha, KoAloha Opio, KoAlana, who knows?

I have one of the star-crossed KoAlanas. It is a completely wonderful instrument. I haven't had any trouble with the humidity issues. I have been captivated by the sound and the feel of this lovely concert. Because of that I stepped up to a KoAloha. I'm proud of both those 'ukulele. Nothing about my Pono made me want a Ko olau.

Dither if you want. If my KoAlana is any indication a KoAloha Opio is a damned good 'uke. You pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.

stringy
04-15-2014, 08:43 PM
the label inside clearly states "Made in Thailand".


I am VERY happy to hear this! That is all I ask as a consumer, be upfront and let me decide. I have no problem buying an uke made overseas if the label clearly states the country it was made in. Now if we could only get those "other" Hawaiian brands to do the same and stop putting removable stickers on their imports. (sigh)

FrankB
04-16-2014, 12:36 AM
the label inside clearly states "Made in Thailand".

HMS clearly states it's made in Thailand, and provide a picture of the label.
65928

strumsilly
04-16-2014, 04:01 AM
from an online ad :"Same quality as the Hawaiian KoAloha's but without the high price"

I think it will hurt their made in HI ukes, if true. some will even prefer mahogany. they may make a better profit on their import line as more will be able to afford them so they will sell more. I wish them good luck, they are very nice people.

haole
04-16-2014, 04:12 AM
You know you've been playing ukulele too long when the imports now cost as much as the Hawaiian-made ones did when you started. :uhoh: But I'm sure that these will be fantastic ukes for the money if they've managed to solve the humidity issue. If those are the same tuners as the real thing, a lot of people will be very happy.

Cheeso
04-16-2014, 04:59 AM
I wish they would have differentiated the look a bit more vs. the Hawaiian made Koalohas. Same headstock shape, same logo, same musubi sound hole, same bridge. This cheapens their original brand in my opinion. As a Koaloha owner, I don't appreciate that.

I'm sure it's a fine instrument though.
Squier instruments are all over the market, and USA made Fenders have only gone up in price/stature.

FrankB
04-16-2014, 05:17 AM
You know you've been playing ukulele too long when the imports now cost as much as the Hawaiian-made ones did when you started. :uhoh: But I'm sure that these will be fantastic ukes for the money if they've managed to solve the humidity issue. If those are the same tuners as the real thing, a lot of people will be very happy.

I looked at the tuners last night, and it's not easy to tell, but the flat side of the "barrel" looks larger on the Hawaii Koaloha:
65935

Opio Koaloha:
65936

That could be the light, but they don't appear quite the same to my eye. Best bet would be a phone call to HMS.

Kayak Jim
04-16-2014, 05:49 AM
Squier instruments are all over the market, and USA made Fenders have only gone up in price/stature.

Exactly! They look different and have a different name, so effectively target a slightly different market.

chuck in ny
04-16-2014, 06:37 AM
looks like a ..very.. nice instrument. that said i would rather save for a kamaka.

vanflynn
04-16-2014, 07:21 AM
Does anyone know how sapele sounds? Is it comparable to mahogany, Acacia, Koa,.........?

FrankB
04-16-2014, 07:32 AM
Does anyone know how sapele sounds? Is it comparable to mahogany, Acacia, Koa,.........?
HMS has videos of the Thailand Koaloha, and it sounds very similar to the Hawaii Koaloha. My Martin Koa concert sounds much different than a Koaloha concert, however, so I don't know if any comparison can be made based solely on the wood used.

Teek
04-16-2014, 08:30 AM
Sapele is a variety of mahogany, like koa is a variety of acacia. Specific varieties are more highly prized for their characteristics and from their history of being used, and often also the location where they are grown. Many current big name builders use sapele for necks. Many cheap laminates are sapele now instead of mahogany. Adventurous luthiers are using a wide range of other woods.

The Big Kahuna
04-16-2014, 09:21 AM
Wonder how soon it'll be before someone sands off the headstock logo, stamps a new Koaloha logo on it, and prints a fake Koaloha soundhole sticker, before selling it as a Hawaiian made uke.

And before anyone gets their panties in a bunch at my comment; if I can think of it, there are about 1,000,000 other people who already have.

RichM
04-16-2014, 09:24 AM
Wonder how soon it'll be before someone sands off the headstock logo, stamps a new Koaloha logo on it, and prints a fake Koaloha soundhole sticker, before selling it as a Hawaiian made uke.

And before anyone gets their panties in a bunch at my comment; if I can think of it, there are about 1,000,000 other people who already have.

No worries, my panties are sitting quite comfortably, but I do think that is an awful lot of work to do for very little benefit. If I were a con man, I'd have bigger fish to fry.

RichM
04-16-2014, 09:29 AM
No worries, my panties are sitting quite comfortably, but I do think that is an awful lot of work to do for very little benefit. If I were a con man, I'd have bigger fish to fry.

By the way, this is my favorite part of the internet. A bunch of people who know very little about producing and marketing musical instruments insisting to a well-established and successful builder that their well-thought-out business decision is a terrible mistake. Almost as much fun as the group that was lecturing Chuck Moore on how he should run his business. Because, you know, he hasn't had much success with it. :D

The Big Kahuna
04-16-2014, 09:31 AM
No worries, my panties are sitting quite comfortably, but I do think that is an awful lot of work to do for very little benefit. If I were a con man, I'd have bigger fish to fry.

A couple of hours work for $ 300 profit? Not to be sneezed at, and there is an almost infinite supply of tourists to Hawaii who would fall for it.

I realise they have a strong brand design, but I feel the headstock is sufficient to identify it, and give it that Koaloha vibe. I think they should have changed the soundhole shape, maybe even turned it 180°

RichM
04-16-2014, 09:40 AM
A couple of hours work for $ 300 profit? Not to be sneezed at, and there is an almost infinite supply of tourists to Hawaii who would fall for it.

I realise they have a strong brand design, but I feel the headstock is sufficient to identify it, and give it that Koaloha vibe. I think they should have changed the soundhole shape, maybe even turned it 180°

While I suppose it's possible, I really do wonder that there are an infinite supply of tourists who are buying ~$1000 ukuleles without doing any research whatsoever. But even if they were, I don't think it's reasonable for KoAloha to make decisions based on the possibility that dishonest people might misrepresent them. I think the Opio is a very attractive addition to the KoAloha line, represented appropriately as an import made under KoAloha's supervision, and targeted at the reasonably serious player on a budget, rather than the tourist looking for a souvenir.

Mattyukaholic
04-16-2014, 09:41 AM
I could be wrong but it looks like the Opio logo is cut deep into the headstock (as the KoAloha ones are now) so I don't think it would be possible to shave it out even if you wanted to.

RichM
04-16-2014, 09:42 AM
I could be wrong but it looks like the Opio logo is cut deep into the headstock (as the KoAloha ones are now) so I don't think it would be possible to shave it out even if you wanted to.

Yes, but the tools used to build strawmen cut deep. :D

stringy
04-16-2014, 09:45 AM
Wonder how soon it'll be before someone sands off the headstock logo, stamps a new Koaloha logo on it, and prints a fake Koaloha soundhole sticker, before selling it as a Hawaiian made uke.

And before anyone gets their panties in a bunch at my comment; if I can think of it, there are about 1,000,000 other people who already have.


I agree!
Of course then they will offer the knock-offs at a group rate for a fraction of the price and say the KoAloha is so over priced.

But all kidding aside, I really do think they should have made it a different looking model. I love KoAloha and do not mean it in a derogatory way. It is just my opinion.

RichM
04-16-2014, 09:57 AM
I read the thread but didn't see this (although I may have missed it):

With this now third round of imported KoAlanas (the ill-fated 2011 and 2013s before it), what, specifically, is the differences from the past in terms of production details? Anyone know the actual answer (e.g. different glues, different humidity of manufacture, different pre-shipping QC, etc.)? What has KoAloha changed with this third iteration?

Thanks for any facts anyone can share.

It was mentioned in another thread that two issues that drove warranty issues on Koalanas have been resolved; one was a lack of humidity controls in the production facility, and the other was the use of inappropriately seasoned wood.

leokiekie
04-16-2014, 10:05 AM
If only they made a tenor..................

coolkayaker1
04-16-2014, 10:27 AM
It was mentioned in another thread that two issues that drove warranty issues on Koalanas have been resolved; one was a lack of humidity controls in the production facility, and the other was the use of inappropriately seasoned wood. Thanks, Rich; I didn't see that thread. Well, third time's a charm--I wish KoAloha the best.

The Big Kahuna
04-16-2014, 10:28 AM
I thought they'd only had one stab at it. Did they try again with the same result?

coolkayaker1
04-16-2014, 10:31 AM
I thought they'd only had one stab at it. Did they try again with the same result?

There were KoAlanas a few years back, too. Also with issues (although I forgot what they were--I think they just sucked. lol) Iteration #1 was selling on eBay for about 100 clams or so a couple years back.

So, the early 2013 effort was #2.

The Big Kahuna
04-16-2014, 10:34 AM
I remember watching the first video from MGM when he was taking a look at them.

leokiekie
04-16-2014, 10:49 AM
I bought the 2013 concert model from HMS. Luckily, I didn't have any of the cracking issues that some other people had. The playability and sound is excellent. The tone is warm and open. It sounded better than my KoAloha concert so I ended up selling it and keeping the KoAlana. I'm tempted to get the new KoAloha Opio before the limited run is history.

billten
04-16-2014, 11:18 AM
With all this buzz i can't wait to hear a review of the Opio.

Skinny Money McGee
04-16-2014, 11:35 AM
I looked at the tuners last night, and it's not easy to tell, but the flat side of the "barrel" looks larger on the Hawaii Koaloha:
65935

Opio Koaloha:
65936

That could be the light, but they don't appear quite the same to my eye. Best bet would be a phone call to HMS.

I think Koaloha uses Gotoh deluxe friction tuners that are fairly expensive and arguably the best friction tuners you can buy. They probably use a nice quality but cheaper off brand on the Opio's to keep the price down.

My guess

stevepetergal
04-16-2014, 05:35 PM
With this now third round of imported KoAlanas (the ill-fated 2011 and 2013s before it), what, specifically, is the differences from the past in terms of production details? Anyone know the actual answer (e.g. different glues, different humidity of manufacture, different pre-shipping QC, etc.)? What has KoAloha changed with this third iteration?

I kind of give Koaloha a pass on the first generation. The ones I saw didn't even seem to be an attempt at making an ukulele. They were (the few I saw) just generic, cheap instruments made to compete with Makalas and Johnsons. Just a little bow to the headstock shape and nothing else.
I think the second gen was supposed to compete with Kanile'a for the Islander market. I'd give them a shot at addressing the problems. In my opinion Koaloha still deserves it, though the ice is getting thin.

coolkayaker1
04-17-2014, 05:22 AM
I kind of give Koaloha a pass on the first generation. The ones I saw didn't even seem to be an attempt at making an ukulele. They were (the few I saw) just generic, cheap instruments made to compete with Makalas and Johnsons. Just a little bow to the headstock shape and nothing else.
I think the second gen was supposed to compete with Kanile'a for the Islander market. I'd give them a shot at addressing the problems. In my opinion Koaloha still deserves it, though the ice is getting thin.

Yes to all above. Yep.

UkerDanno
04-17-2014, 01:58 PM
Still very tempted, for about half the price of a KOAloha, I get a "mahogany" Koaloha...(HOGaloha)?

PereBourik
04-17-2014, 05:08 PM
Still very tempted, for about half the price of a KOAloha, I get a "mahogany" Koaloha...(HOGaloha)?

Wouldn't that be a KoAlohog?

UkerDanno
04-17-2014, 06:11 PM
Wouldn't that be a KoAlohog?

nope...;-D

bigphil
04-17-2014, 10:58 PM
Well I was at the KoAloha factory today and they had several of the Opio models on display. I played two different ones a soprano and a concert. No worries, they both sounded wonderful, and they looked just as good. If you're on the fence, go ahead and go for it! I thought they were great!

AndrewKuker
04-18-2014, 02:11 AM
KoAloha has a distinct sound unlike any other brand. Those with real experience know this.

When they set up factory in Thailand they cloned their design / jigs etc. and made ukes in the KoAloha way. This sound was now obtainable at a lower price. Great..BUT,,, they had issues with the wood and humidity, as we know. The root of the problem was no mystery.They closed off and humidity controlled the entire factory, the dry rooms, and even the storage areas where they go before shipping. The entire process was refined from the cutting of wood to final QC.

In Hawaiian Opio means firstborn. These are the first to share the KoAloha name because they are a part of the KoAloha family. I believe in them and the joy they will give. We stand behind our products and act in the best interest of our customers, which is why I recommend these.

DownUpDave
04-18-2014, 04:06 PM
KoAloha has a distinct sound unlike any other brand. Those with real experience know this.

When they set up factory in Thailand they cloned their design / jigs etc. and made ukes in the KoAloha way. This sound was now obtainable at a lower price. Great..BUT,,, they had issues with the wood and humidity, as we know. The root of the problem was no mystery.They closed off and humidity controlled the entire factory, the dry rooms, and even the storage areas where they go before shipping. The entire process was refined from the cutting of wood to final QC.

In Hawaiian Opio means firstborn. These are the first to share the KoAloha name because they are a part of the KoAloha family. I believe in them and the joy they will give. We stand behind our products and act in the best interest of our customers, which is why I recommend these.

The above statement is the reason I have been talking to Andrew about the Opio before these even arrived in his store. I told him I wanted a cannon concert and he said wait till these come in. During my 57 years on this planet I have come to one firm conclusion " listen to experts only". I am buying one of these because of HMS and KoAloha's reputation of expertise and excellence

Of course Corey's sound sample didn't hurt either. ;)

hawaii 50
04-18-2014, 05:24 PM
Well I was at the KoAloha factory today and they had several of the Opio models on display. I played two different ones a soprano and a concert. No worries, they both sounded wonderful, and they looked just as good. If you're on the fence, go ahead and go for it! I thought they were great!

Aloha Phil...
nice to see you at HMS yesterday...they had a Opio there, and it sounds good and looks like the build is very good.....did you have time to play the Blackbird Clara there...we spent to much time talking about our favorite builder...Chuck, haha :)

have fun with your new Ko'Aloha and keep in touch
btw I only saw the soprano Opio..I am sure the concert just as nice

bigphil
04-18-2014, 09:25 PM
Aloha Phil...
nice to see you at HMS yesterday...they had a Opio there, and it sounds good and looks like the build is very good.....did you have time to play the Blackbird Clara there...we spent to much time talking about our favorite builder...Chuck, haha :)

have fun with your new Ko'Aloha and keep in touch
btw I only saw the soprano Opio..I am sure the concert just as nice

Aloha Len,
Nice seeing you again too! No I didn't play the Blackbird. The Opios were all nice though, sound is very similar to the KoAloha, they look really nice too. Been jammin the new Sceptre, I'll do a NUD post when I get home and can take good photos. BTW, I don't think I mentioned it to you at the store but I am in on the group electric buy too so I should have ANOTHER new one when I get home or shortly after.

Aloha!

M3Ukulele
04-19-2014, 02:31 PM
What are they not offering a Opio Tenor? Or is just not being offered at this time and production run!

KevinV
04-22-2014, 07:14 PM
After listening to Cory play the Opio, I believe I'll have to get one. I love the warmth of mahogany and this one has it.


http://vimeo.com/92028587

Mattyukaholic
04-22-2014, 09:27 PM
I'm having a hard time deciding between this in concert and a Pono concert / tenor.

DownUpDave
04-23-2014, 01:05 AM
After listening to Cory play the Opio, I believe I'll have to get one. I love the warmth of mahogany and this one has it.


http://vimeo.com/92028587

On HMS vimeo channel Corey plays the Opio and just a couple spots before that he plays the KCM 00 which is the concert in Koa. I listened to both of those back to back numerous times. This might be blasphemy but I liked the sound of the mahogany Opio just as much or even a little better. You are right about the warmth Kevin, it really comes through.

I have ordered the Opio and Andrew said he was going to set it up for me yesterday. Now the agonizing wait as it makes it way from Hawaii to Canada where the weather here is still suckee

A new KoAloha uke should bring some serious warmth even if it is cold outside:D

KevinV
04-23-2014, 02:07 PM
I couldn't quit reading about this uke and looking at the images and video on the HMS site. It really looks to be a top notch instrument. I really love the warmth of mahogany, sapele in this case, and decided to order one now from this first batch. The write up they gave it sets the bar pretty high. They mention the fact that the KoAloha folks were on hand teaching the Thai workers how to "be true KoAloha craftsmen" for the better part of the past year. I wonder how much, if any, the folks from Hawaii had their hands in on this batch.

I'll be able to do a side by side comparison with the KSM-00 when they arrive. With the difference in tone and aesthetics due to the wood, I don't see any redundancy in having both. I wasn't planning on buying 2 ukes right now, but after looking at instruments and amps I have that aren't getting used, I've got enough to clear out that I can cover the cost of both these and have some variety I'll get use out of.


Here's another demo of the soprano…


http://youtu.be/wroLjgyn77o

PereBourik
04-23-2014, 04:49 PM
I'm having a hard time deciding between this in concert and a Pono concert / tenor.

I bought two 'ukulele at her same time from HMS a year ago: A Koalana concert and a Pono ATD acacia tenor deluxe. Because of the wonderfulness of the KoAlana I stepped up to a KoAloha pineapple longneck. The Pono is nice enough but it does not make me want a Koolau. Your mileage may vary.

coolkayaker1
04-24-2014, 05:35 AM
I listened to both of those back to back numerous times. This might be blasphemy but I liked the sound of the mahogany Opio just as much or even a little better



I agree with you: koa looks better, 'hog sounds better. On all ukes.

RichM
04-24-2014, 05:56 AM
I agree with you: koa looks better, 'hog sounds better. On all ukes.

All generalizations are false.

coolkayaker1
04-24-2014, 05:57 AM
All generalizations are false.

All opinions are valid.

DownUpDave
04-24-2014, 10:08 AM
I agree with you: koa looks better, 'hog sounds better. On all ukes.

Love what someone else named this new model. ........."hogaloha" . Works for me

stevepetergal
04-24-2014, 11:43 AM
All opinions are valid.

All roads lead to Rome

FrankB
04-24-2014, 12:38 PM
I would go back and listen to both the Koa and Opio concerts again. The Koa clearly has a more dynamic sound, but taste is subjective, and always valid. As far as being able to make these outside of the Koaloha factory, why not? They have precious little bracing, and wood selection is probably the biggest factor in tone. After that's taken care of, it's just a matter of feeding tops and backs through a thickness sander, gluing up the body, and passing the fretboard and neck through whatever machining they use to cut and shape. Since Koaloha isn't known for doing a finish like Kanilea, that's not much of an issue. Getting the frets dressed nicely would probably be the most crucial job, but HMS does that anyway. I'm not knocking the Opio models in any way, just saying that Koaloha has a template formula they use for putting these ukes together, and it wouldn't be too difficult to train someone. If you like the sound at less than half the price, it's a bargain. I'm basing this on their claim of humidity control, and that's something that I have to see to believe.

A luthier in my now defunct classical guitar forum, once quipped that for a lot Spanish workshops, humidity control means closing the window when it's raining. :D

KevinV
04-24-2014, 05:28 PM
One of my big attractions to the KoAloha KSM-00 and the Opio is that they are 12 fret sopranos. I know lots of folks talk about how 12 frets are limiting compared to a 16 or 17 fret soprano, but I actually prefer the 12 frets. There are plenty of songs down there, and I don't see myself needing to reach into anything further.

Now I wouldn't' turn down a good deal on a Martin style 3 soprano with 17 frets, but if the Opio is of high quality, I think my days of pining for a Martin wil be cut short. These ukes are everything I want in a high quality uke..

One more day and the KSM-00 will be here.

KevinV
04-24-2014, 05:41 PM
Love what someone else named this new model. ........."hogaloha" . Works for me

I liked KoAlohog better.

kmac66
04-25-2014, 02:55 PM
Looking forward to your review of the Opio. I haven't been a big fan of Mahogany ukuleles, but the Opio might change that.

Skinny Money McGee
04-25-2014, 03:37 PM
I liked KoAlohog better.

Mahogaloha has a nice ring to it:D

DownUpDave
04-25-2014, 03:49 PM
Mahogaloha has a nice ring to it:D

Ding, Ding, Ding, we have a winner.

That will be the offical name of my new Opio...........Mr. Mahogaloha. Thanks Skinny, nice work.

KevinV
04-29-2014, 03:55 AM
I have ordered the Opio and Andrew said he was going to set it up for me yesterday. Now the agonizing wait as it makes it way from Hawaii to Canada where the weather here is still suckee

A new KoAloha uke should bring some serious warmth even if it is cold outside:D

Shouldn't be long now. Your post yesterday said it may possibly arrive today, so hopefully it shows up. I'm anxious to hear your take on it.

Andy was planning to ship mine out today so I should see it Thursday. I wonder how it compares to the newer Style 2 Martin. I was really wanting one of those but have read more than once that they're overbuilt and to stick with a vintage Martin. I'm hoping the Opio does it for me.

Mattyukaholic
04-29-2014, 04:07 AM
Shouldn't be long now. Your post yesterday said it may possibly arrive today, so hopefully it shows up. I'm anxious to hear your take on it.

Andy was planning to ship mine out today so I should see it Thursday. I wonder how it compares to the newer Style 2 Martin. I was really wanting one of those but have read more than once that they're overbuilt and to stick with a vintage Martin. I'm hoping the Opio does it for me.

Gah! Don't listen to 'em Kevin! The new Martins are heavily built but it doesn't matter because the sound is superb!! My new Martin mahogany style 3 is my loudest uke (louder than my KoAloha!!) and it has an open woody tone too. It's lovely. I don't get all this new Martin bashing. Yeah vintage ones sound great but I like the new ones too.

Having said all that I also LOVE my KoAloha so you can't go wrong there. The Opios look amazing for the price too. I was tempted to get one but I mustn't buy any more ukes for a while now or it'll be divorce.

Long story short - the new Martins are great but KoAlohas are too and I can't wait to hear the first thoughts on the Opio from you guys.

KevinV
04-29-2014, 04:26 AM
Gah! Don't listen to 'em Kevin! The new Martins are heavily built but it doesn't matter because the sound is superb!! My new Martin mahogany style 3 is my loudest uke (louder than my KoAloha!!) and it has an open woody tone too. It's lovely. I don't get all this new Martin bashing. Yeah vintage ones sound great but I like the new ones too.

Having said all that I also LOVE my KoAloha so you can't go wrong there. The Opios look amazing for the price too. I was tempted to get one but I mustn't buy any more ukes for a while now or it'll be divorce.

Long story short - the new Martins are great but KoAlohas are too and I can't wait to hear the first thoughts on the Opio from you guys.

I've only gotten to play the OXK model so I have no first hand experience with any of the other models, or even a vintage for that matter. I have a feeling though that the new Style 3's are in a league of their own. Same with the 5's. At least I would hope that I'd notice obvious differences between a Style 1, 2 and 3 that go beyond adornment. The Style 3 mahogany model has been on my wish list for quite a while. But without the chance to play one and the price tag that comes with it, I've continued to hold off.

Trust me, I'm not bashing Martin. I've had a couple D-28's over the years as well as a D-15 (loved that mahogany), and love what they do as builders. It's just that at this point in time, my only reference for their ukes are sound clips and reviews from others.

Mattyukaholic
04-29-2014, 04:55 AM
I know what you mean. It's hard to judge from videos sometimes. I learned that the hard way with a few ukes.

Those Opios do seem lovely from the HMS videos though. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it.

DownUpDave
04-29-2014, 09:03 AM
Shouldn't be long now. Your post yesterday said it may possibly arrive today, so hopefully it shows up. I'm anxious to hear your take on it.

Andy was planning to ship mine out today so I should see it Thursday. I wonder how it compares to the newer Style 2 Martin. I was really wanting one of those but have read more than once that they're overbuilt and to stick with a vintage Martin. I'm hoping the Opio does it for me.

Hey Kevin

My Opio is here............but it is not here. Notification from Postal Service "attempt to deliver but no one home", can pick it up from post office tomorrow. TOMMORROW! TOMORROW don't these people realize I need it now!!!!!!!!

billten
04-29-2014, 09:16 AM
What's worse Dave is that Canada Post only has the packages in the post office after around 1pm, so no sneaking in before work ;-)
Bill

DownUpDave
04-29-2014, 09:29 AM
What's worse Dave is that Canada Post only has the packages in the post office after around 1pm, so no sneaking in before work ;-)
Bill

That is too funny Bill. Sounds like you are talking from experience

KevinV
04-29-2014, 09:36 AM
Hey Kevin

My Opio is here............but it is not here. Notification from Postal Service "attempt to deliver but no one home", can pick it up from post office tomorrow. TOMMORROW! TOMORROW don't these people realize I need it now!!!!!!!!

That stinks. Sorry to hear it. I'm afraid I'd be out looking for the mail truck if it was me. Oh yeah, I've done that before.

keod
04-29-2014, 11:25 AM
Hey Kevin

My Opio is here............but it is not here. Notification from Postal Service "attempt to deliver but no one home", can pick it up from post office tomorrow. TOMMORROW! TOMORROW don't these people realize I need it now!!!!!!!!

You can likely pick it up after 5 today. They often say "next day" because the truck may not get back to the post office site until late. Happens to me all the time and our local CP office always has it available late the same day.

billten
04-29-2014, 11:35 AM
That is too funny Bill. Sounds like you are talking from experience

Oh yes... Major frustration before they finally had to give me the package.

KevinV
04-29-2014, 12:36 PM
Now I'm on edge wondering if Dave chased down the truck or not. I'd really like to see him get it tonight and hear a first hand review. Yes, there's some selfishness in those well-wishes.

UkerDanno
06-01-2014, 08:27 AM
I see these are out of stock at HMS, did anyone on here get one?

DownUpDave
06-01-2014, 08:49 AM
I got the concert size and I know KevinV got the soprano. Mine has been just stellar and I am really glad I jumped on one right away.

KevinV has both the Opio and the KMS (koa) and has communicated to me he really digs them both. I was on HMS yesterday and thought saw the soprano still there.

UkerDanno
06-01-2014, 02:25 PM
I got the concert size and I know KevinV got the soprano. Mine has been just stellar and I am really glad I jumped on one right away.

KevinV has both the Opio and the KMS (koa) and has communicated to me he really digs them both. I was on HMS yesterday and thought saw the soprano still there.

oh yeah, I remember you got one...anybody else? I wonder how many they made in the first run?

KevinV
06-01-2014, 02:35 PM
As of right now, HMS has both soprano and concert models in stock.

As Dave said, I dig my KoAloha's. Both the Hawaii and Thai built ukes are top notch. And being built from different woods, there's no redundancy because the tone is noticeably different between the two.

The Opio is not a true clone of a different wood as the fretboard width is more narrow than on the KSM. It also has the straight fretboard at the bridge end rather than the 5-pointed crown…similar to the older Pikake. The satin finish on the KSM is more like semi-gloss where the Opio satin finish is very matte. It's shining up though in several places from extended use and wear. I'm sure I could find other differences if I looked close enough, but those are what stand out to me.

The Opio is truly a nice uke, besting any other import ukes I have. It certainly does the KoAloha name proud. It doesn't replace the KSM, but complements it. Different woods, different tone, both high attention to detail.

eqt2010
06-02-2014, 03:39 AM
I also bought Opio concert from HMS and I love it very much. It has KoAloha characteristic but the tone is a little bit warmer comparing to my Koa KoAloha tenor.

KevinV
06-04-2014, 04:27 PM
I'm really surprised more people haven't gotten these. These are phenomenal instruments at a great price. You really do get near Hawaiian KoAloha quality at a discount. The main areas where I can see that they're able to reduce the cost is in the wood, labor, tuners, and finish.


Wood: I'm sure the Sapele is cheaper than Koa
Labor: Thai wages have to be lower than on the islands due to cost of living
Tuners: I see some tooling marks on the ends of the pegs, something which is absent on the Hawaiian built KoAloha I have
Finish: It's a very basic matte finish with no time needing spent buffing and polishing


Aside from these, I don't see any real difference in build quality. Although the tuners may be manufactured with a bit less attention to detail, they're fully functional and have no issues. The finish isn't bad, just a less labor intensive style. The Sapele wood sounds wonderful with the warmth it offers, and is attractive to my eyes. I would hope that even though labor costs are less, they're paying a fair wage for a job well done.

It's not identical as I mentioned in a previous post, but very close and a joy to play. It even has the understated wood binding on the neck.

I can understand the hesitation of some based on the prior issues with the Koalana line they introduced a bit back, but those issues are said to have been resolved. That's why I didn't include overhead in the list of reasons why they can offer them at this price. I'd imagine it took a good amount of money to remodel the facility to address the humidity issues. I can only guess that these are selling better in person where a player has a chance to put their hands on one than they're selling online.

In the month I've had this uke I've grown very fond of it. It gets about 95% of my playing time and never disappoints. I had played enough that the A-string was getting rather frayed and needed changed. I swapped out strings today for a set of Martin's and they complement this uke nicely. This one's definitely a keeper. I'd been wanting a mahogany soprano, and this sapele model has quenched my thirst. I was focused on a Martin Style 3, and will still get one at some point, but it's no longer a priority. This thing does what I was hoping the Martin would do for me in the playability and tonal arenas.

I'm happy to see that at least 2 other members here have had the joy of owning and playing one of these fine Opio's.

Sylvan
06-05-2014, 04:38 PM
I've been looking for a nice soprano that will sing when played gently as I'm often practicing later at night. I'm strongly considering the Opio model. Are these Opios light builds that vibrate easily when played? Do they have decent sustain and harmonics for sopranos?

KevinV
06-06-2014, 08:35 AM
I've been looking for a nice soprano that will sing when played gently as I'm often practicing later at night. I'm strongly considering the Opio model. Are these Opios light builds that vibrate easily when played? Do they have decent sustain and harmonics for sopranos?

I put a set of Martin M600's on my Opio a couple days ago, and I'm telling you, this thing sings. Even played softly it's a real treat. I can feel the vibrations in my fretting hand as they travel up the neck, and the vibration of the body against mine. Everyone has a preference and this uke caters to mine. It's got warmth and depth to it that just speaks to me. Sustain is very good. As for harmonics, I can elicit them at the 5/7/12 frets as well as artificial harmonics if that's what you're asking. And it's very comfortable to play. This is an uke that I can sit and play for hours just to enjoy the tone.

In light of the glowing review that I gave a couple days ago, I feel the need for full disclosure. Yesterday, a day after writing that review, I noticed a short, fine crack on the side of the uke. I can tell it was there when the uke was still at the factory because there is a thin dark line at that spot on the inside where the stain must have seeped through while it was wet.

I emailed HMS and received a quick reply from Andrew stating it was the first one from this batch to have that. He apologized (even though it's not his fault) and is sending a return label for repair or replacement. At this point, my preference is for a repair. It shouldn't take much and will only be to ensure that crack doesn't spread in the future.

I'm hesitant to mention the crack because it's reminiscent of the problems they had with the Koalana line. They said they fixed the issue, and I believe them. Mine may be an isolated incident that doesn't come up again. I'd just hate to steer someone away from such a nice uke over what may me a non-issue with the rest of the batch. However, I have to be honest in my review as well. KoAloha made a great uke, albeit with a flaw, and HMS is backing it up. I'm cool with that.

Sylvan
06-06-2014, 05:11 PM
Kevin - Thanks for your honest review. From your description, it sounds like a winner to me. Between dealing with KoAloha & HMS I'm confident I will be satisfied.

rappsy
08-25-2014, 08:17 AM
I read this thread with keen detail, as I am deciding between the Opio and the Martin C1K concerts. I was interested in the Loprinzi, but I let the opportunity slip away. How would the Loprinzi hand made Sailor fit in here?

jjdejd
08-25-2014, 08:50 AM
I read this thread with keen detail, as I am deciding between the Opio and the Martin C1K concerts. I was interested in the Loprinzi, but I let the opportunity slip away. How would the Loprinzi hand made Sailor fit in here?

I ordered a Sailor Brand last month. Hope to pick it up at the Tampa Uke Fest in November. I'll let you know.

Skinny Money McGee
08-25-2014, 08:58 AM
I put a set of Martin M600's on my Opio a couple days ago, and I'm telling you, this thing sings. Even played softly it's a real treat. I can feel the vibrations in my fretting hand as they travel up the neck, and the vibration of the body against mine. Everyone has a preference and this uke caters to mine. It's got warmth and depth to it that just speaks to me. Sustain is very good. As for harmonics, I can elicit them at the 5/7/12 frets as well as artificial harmonics if that's what you're asking. And it's very comfortable to play. This is an uke that I can sit and play for hours just to enjoy the tone.

In light of the glowing review that I gave a couple days ago, I feel the need for full disclosure. Yesterday, a day after writing that review, I noticed a short, fine crack on the side of the uke. I can tell it was there when the uke was still at the factory because there is a thin dark line at that spot on the inside where the stain must have seeped through while it was wet.

I emailed HMS and received a quick reply from Andrew stating it was the first one from this batch to have that. He apologized (even though it's not his fault) and is sending a return label for repair or replacement. At this point, my preference is for a repair. It shouldn't take much and will only be to ensure that crack doesn't spread in the future.

I'm hesitant to mention the crack because it's reminiscent of the problems they had with the Koalana line. They said they fixed the issue, and I believe them. Mine may be an isolated incident that doesn't come up again. I'd just hate to steer someone away from such a nice uke over what may me a non-issue with the rest of the batch. However, I have to be honest in my review as well. KoAloha made a great uke, albeit with a flaw, and HMS is backing it up. I'm cool with that.

Yup agree, thanks for the honest review. Wouldn't keep me from ordering one... BTW, how's that Nunes doing? how bout bumping the old thread for an update?

UkerDanno
08-25-2014, 12:08 PM
I read this thread with keen detail, as I am deciding between the Opio and the Martin C1K concerts. I was interested in the Loprinzi, but I let the opportunity slip away. How would the Loprinzi hand made Sailor fit in here?

I'm a bit biased, but I would pick the C1K...it's Koa!

UkerDanno
08-25-2014, 12:15 PM
and there's a comparison of the Koa Koaloha and C1K and a lot of people pick the C1K.

actadh
08-25-2014, 02:12 PM
My Opio soprano came in today. I think I got the last of the first batch from HMS, as they had neither one right after I ordered. They are both back in stock.

It was 80's today and the Fed Ex truck was not climate controlled, so I am being overly cautious and letting it get to room temperature before I open the box. My last ukulele from them was shipped during the deep freeze of this past January, and I didn't open it for two days. This one gets opened before bedtime.

DownUpDave
08-25-2014, 11:18 PM
and there's a comparison of the Koa Koaloha and C1K and a lot of people pick the C1K.

And a lot of others picked the Koaloha. They are both great instruments it boils down to personal preference

UkerDanno
08-26-2014, 03:18 AM
And a lot of others picked the Koaloha. They are both great instruments it boils down to personal preference

and price...

Reichpapers
04-01-2015, 10:36 AM
Koa is to Sapele as Acacia is to Mahogany. Keeping with these naming conventions, making a play on the KoAloha name would require you to incorporate Sapele instead. Like SapAloha.

Reichpapers
04-01-2015, 10:38 AM
Comparing my 2 KoAlana's to my KoAloha, they are all made with the exact same quality and construction. Sure, some aesthtetics are different. Instead of complaining about them making such a quality instrument so inexpensive, you should complain about them making the others so expensive.

johhat
05-14-2015, 11:30 AM
I've just ordered a soprano Koaloha Opio from the Ukulelesite. Call me stupid but what the heck does Opio mean?

John

Icelander53
05-14-2015, 11:49 AM
By the way, this is my favorite part of the internet. A bunch of people who know very little about producing and marketing musical instruments insisting to a well-established and successful builder that their well-thought-out business decision is a terrible mistake. Almost as much fun as the group that was lecturing Chuck Moore on how he should run his business. Because, you know, he hasn't had much success with it. :D

Sometimes they do make terrible mistakes. My favorite part of the internet is people who see everything as black or white.

Icelander53
05-14-2015, 11:50 AM
Comparing my 2 KoAlana's to my KoAloha, they are all made with the exact same quality and construction. Sure, some aesthtetics are different. Instead of complaining about them making such a quality instrument so inexpensive, you should complain about them making the others so expensive.

If they make it in a tenor I'll try.

kmac66
05-14-2015, 12:25 PM
I think Opio means Junior