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View Full Version : Ordered a Koaloha Soprano from HMS



KevinV
04-21-2014, 06:12 PM
I've been mulling over sopranos for several weeks now trying to decide what to get. I've got a few entry level models that I enjoy but really wanted either a Timms, a Martin Style 3 mahogany, or a Hawaiian Koa model. After much sound sampling, review reading, and contemplation, the Koaloha won out. With 2-day shipping, it should be here this week.

I'm going to use this opportunity to move some instruments that aren't getting their fair share of use. It will cover the cost of the new uke and make a little more room in the studio…something I desperately need as it's doubling as my beer brewing storage and fermentation space. (For anyone interested, I've got a double IPA that's ready to transfer to the secondary fermenter tomorrow…10-12 weeks in there, dry hopping a couple ounces of Cascade hops in the last couple of weeks and it'll be ready to bottle).

I'm sure the Koaloha and recently refinished Kala SMHS will hold me over while I save up for the Style 3 Martin. I'll post pics when the new uke arrives.

RyanMFT
04-21-2014, 06:35 PM
Let us know how you like it Kevin. I have KoAloha concert, and it is just an amazing sounding and beautiful looking instrument. May you enjoy your KoAloha as much as I enjoy mine.

igorthebarbarian
04-21-2014, 08:12 PM
Sweet - post those pics (and of the homemade brew too) - congrats on the upcoming new uke!

Peterjens
04-21-2014, 09:13 PM
KoAloha sopranos are wonderful 'ukuleles.
IMO - dry hop when you rack into your secondary.
Enjoy both.

Ukulele Eddie
04-22-2014, 02:53 AM
I think you should send us each a six pack of your finest beer so we can toast your new acquisition when it arrives. ;-)

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Skinny Money McGee
04-22-2014, 04:24 AM
I'm going to use this opportunity to move some instruments that aren't getting their fair share of use. It will cover the cost of the new uke and make a little more room in the studio…something I desperately need as it's doubling as my beer brewing storage and fermentation space. (For anyone interested, I've got a double IPA that's ready to transfer to the secondary fermenter tomorrow…10-12 weeks in there, dry hopping a couple ounces of Cascade hops in the last couple of weeks and it'll be ready to bottle).



Lol, you sound just like my neighbor. His beer making has taken over the family room. He must have 20 different beers in 5 gallon glass secondary's right now.

Ukejenny
04-22-2014, 11:23 AM
Good luck with the brewing and congratulations on the new ukulele. Looking forward to pics!

KevinV
04-22-2014, 07:26 PM
HMS states that they're about a week out from turnaround with orders due to current high volume so I may see it sometime next week. That's fine with me…I'd rather wait the week for a good setup than have it rushed out the door to clear the books.

As for the brew, I racked to the secondary today and it's shaping up to be a fine batch. The aroma and flavor were spot on for what I was shooting for. The dry hopping will only enhance those qualities. I'll stick with dry hopping for the last 2 weeks. With 10 weeks to go in the secondary, I'm afraid I'd end up with some grassy notes if I added the hops now.

My favorite OTC beer is Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Based on gravity readings, I may need to adjust the mash just a tad next time. SN comes in at 7.2% and this is at 6.8%. I may get a little boost in the secondary, but I don't expect it to rise another .4 points. We'll see what happens.

Here are some shots of the KoAloha from the HMS site.

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hawaii 50
04-22-2014, 07:51 PM
HMS states that they're about a week out from turnaround with orders due to current high volume so I may see it sometime next week. That's fine with me…I'd rather wait the week for a good setup than have it rushed out the door to clear the books.

As for the brew, I racked to the secondary today and it's shaping up to be a fine batch. The aroma and flavor were spot on for what I was shooting for. The dry hopping will only enhance those qualities. I'll stick with dry hopping for the last 2 weeks. With 10 weeks to go in the secondary, I'm afraid I'd end up with some grassy notes if I added the hops now.

My favorite OTC beer is Sierra Nevada Torpedo. Based on gravity readings, I may need to adjust the mash just a tad next time. SN comes in at 7.2% and this is at 6.8%. I may get a little boost in the secondary, but I don't expect it to rise another .4 points. We'll see what happens.

Here are some shots of the KoAloha from the HMS site.

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Hey Kev, nice uke...
you should upgrade to the Gotoh UPTL tuners....smooth as butter....IMO

have fun with it...and your Opio..too
btw I used to live in Northern Calif...Sierra Nevada was my favorite too...

KevinV
04-22-2014, 08:10 PM
Hey Kev, nice uke...
you should upgrade to the Gotoh UPTL tuners....smooth as butter....IMO

have fun with it...and your Opio..too
btw I used to live in Northern Calif...Sierra Nevada was my favorite too...

H50...

If I have trouble with the installed tuners, I'll definitely take a look at the UPTL's. Thanks for the tip.

When you lived in Cali did you ever get to try Stone Brewing's offerings? My wife and I flew out to San Diego a couple years ago to visit friends and we toured the brewery. Impeccably clean and some killer brew. It's still considered craft and hard to find in Florida. I highly recommend it if you get the chance to try it.

I see you're on Oahu now. I lived in Kailua from the mid 80's to early 90's. I miss the island. I lived on Maluniu Avenue just up from Craig's bakery. Kenji and Yuriko were good people and made some tasty treats. My favorite breakfast was a roll they made that was like a cinnamon roll, but was loaded with bacon, cheese, and onions instead of sweets. Good stuff.

hawaii 50
04-22-2014, 09:15 PM
Hey Kev...

I spoke with you from HMS last week..i talked to you for a few minutes then gave you to Corey.... :)
I help out on the phones when they busy....but I just hang there not an employee....

I lived in San Francisco Bay area and can't remember all the Brewing companies I went to...even down in San Luis Obispo area....but I did go to Gordon Bierch in Palo Alto when it was one of the first...if not the first...haha

they have Kona Brewing Co. here in Hawaii which is good...but they only make their Longboard on tap here...pretty good!!

I live in Wahiawa now...(grew up here)and I am 2 mins from the Ko'olau/HMS warehouse and 15 mins to the HMS store in Haleiwa..
not real familiar with the windward side...although I did just go to Kimo and Boots in Kailua for breakfast a month ago....and I hear that Cinnamon's is a good breakfast hangout too...

yep the HMS guys will set you up nice and congrats again on your new ukes...
let me know if you come to visit the Islands....

KevinV
04-23-2014, 04:54 PM
let me know if you come to visit the Islands....

I'll definitely do that. It won't be anytime soon, but I'll keep it in mind for when the day comes. And likewise, if you get to Florida, let me know. There's some good uke jams and open mic nights in the area.

I spoke with Andy today and my package is in the hands of FedEx. Delivery is scheduled for Friday. I work a compressed schedule to include Sat/Sun so with the extended work hours and long commute, I won't have a lot of time to play it until Monday. I'll get some time in on it, but the real fun will have to wait until next week.

When I talked with Andy we briefly discussed the Opio I've been eyeing. Their write up, photos, and video were enough to sell me on it. They're setting one up now to get shipped out to me. With the flat end of the fretboard it looks similar to the older Pikake's. I'm interested to see how it compares with the KSM-00. They should make a great pair.

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Telperion
04-23-2014, 05:57 PM
Kevin,

Congrats on your new uke! You can't go wrong buying from HMS. They're really the best to deal with, and the best set-ups. I've had several transactions with them and all were excellent experiences. As far as the Gotoh UPT's go, I vouch for them too. Very nice, very smooth and solid, without being at all obtrusive or overly heavy. Great tuners!

-Steve

DownUpDave
04-26-2014, 04:55 PM
Kevin

Just wondering if your KSM has arrived yet. I was very interested to read you have also ordered its brother, Opio. I guess that one will be a few days behind your first one. Let us know when they arrive and how much you love them, cause I know you will.

KevinV
04-28-2014, 07:26 AM
Kevin

Just wondering if your KSM has arrived yet. I was very interested to read you have also ordered its brother, Opio. I guess that one will be a few days behind your first one. Let us know when they arrive and how much you love them, cause I know you will.

The KSM arrived and is a phenomenal instrument. The volume is loud compared to any of my other sopranos yet still maintains a sweet tone that can be played softly. The fretboard is a little wider than what I currently have and I really like it. On my current ukes, the A string tends to roll off the frets sometimes if I'm not careful, but is a non issue with the KoAloha. The setup that Andy did is amazing. I'm sure it was nice from the factory, but he fine tuned it and it's spot on for me. It's the easiest playing uke I've got.

So I'm completely sold on KoAloha and HMS. A great uke and outstanding service. With that said, I'm actually sending the uke back to swap out for a different KoAloha. I spoke with Andy on the phone and am using their 7-day return policy. I had some preferences that Andy addressed and was able to meet with something else he had in stock. With the consistency I've read KoAloha's have and the setups that HMS does, I have no fears that I'll regret my decision to trade this fine instrument. I'm going with a much more figured Pikake and have asked for the UPT tuners based on the recommendations here and from Aaron's video on the HMS site. I'd rather get exactly what I want now rather than wait until later and have to sell one to buy the other.

Here's some shots of the Pikake I'll be trading this one out for. The wood grain pattern and darker fretboard are amazing IMO. I like both satin and gloss finishes, so no loss there. The satin actually looks more like a semi gloss, so either way, I'm happy with it. I just find the wood grain on this Pikake absolutely stunning, and with the UPT tuners in tortoise coloring (similar to the original KoAloha tuner color), it should make a great uke for me.

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Once the Pikake and Opio are both here I'll get some shots of them together and see if I can make a decent video of the two.

DownUpDave
04-28-2014, 01:04 PM
Kevin

I can see why you want that one, bbbbbbbbeautiful wood grain and colouring, even the back is stunning. Coupled with the tuners you want I can see why you would make the trade now when you can, smart move. I will be extremely interested in your side by side when you have both KSM and Opio together.

If you remember I have a concert Opio on the way, postal service say tomorrow or the next day. Maybe I should get a KCM and do a head to head as well:cool:

KevinV
04-30-2014, 04:28 PM
The Pikake and Opio are in Orlando and will be here tomorrow. I'm pretty stoked…never got 2 ukes on the same day. Now to start saving for either a Kamaka or Martin Style 3.

As for the ale, it started it's 2nd week in the secondary fermentor yesterday. Seven weeks to go and I'll add the dry hops. I'm seriously considering an upgrade to a conical stainless steel fermentor. I could easily drain off the trub without having to rack to another carboy. Less chance for oxidation and infection that way. Not a necessity, but it sure would make the brewing process a bit easier. A friend from work gave me a strawberry wheat beer to try that he made in his last batch. I'm not usually a fruity beer guy, but this was pretty good. Not overpowering at all but the essence was certainly there.

OldePhart
04-30-2014, 04:44 PM
As for the ale, it started it's 2nd week in the secondary fermentor yesterday. Seven weeks to go and I'll add the dry hops. I'm seriously considering an upgrade to a conical stainless steel fermentor.

Dude, you really need to come to UWC. Seriously, you and Derek (dkcrown) need to meet. I've never been much of a beer drinker, and rarely drink anything but a glass of wine with dinner any more, but he brews some good stuff. :)

John

KevinV
05-01-2014, 04:26 PM
A trip to the UWC would be great, I'd love to make it sometime if I can schedule it in.

As for the Pikake, it is here, and it's beautiful. Super smooth action, thanks to the HMS setup I'm sure, sounds terrific, projects like a pro, and looks gorgeous. Andrew and the folks at HMS really took care of me on this one and I greatly appreciate it. The Opio is here too and is another winner. KoAloha did a fine job of recreating the soprano in a sapele model.

I can't add much more now. Time is limited between shifts and playing gets top priority. My weekend starts Monday so I'll get the pictures up then.

DownUpDave
05-02-2014, 12:47 AM
WhoooooHooooo

Double serving on KoAloha goodness, very nice. Glad to here your two sopranos arrived. I knew you were super impressed with the first KSM you received. It will be interesting to see if you think the Pikake sounds just as good. Enjoy them.y

kmac66
05-07-2014, 01:15 PM
Hey Kevin.

How does the Opio soprano sound compared to your koa Koaloha? Do you notice a big difference in tone? Is the sound of the Koa much louder than the Opio?

KevinV
05-12-2014, 04:47 AM
Hey Kevin.

How does the Opio soprano sound compared to your koa Koaloha? Do you notice a big difference in tone? Is the sound of the Koa much louder than the Opio?

They both sound very good, and the difference in tone is easily recognizable with the Pikake being a bit brighter sounding. The Pikake is also somewhat louder than the Opio.