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View Full Version : Kiwaya ktc-1, Kiwaya kts-4



shane v
04-30-2014, 04:07 PM
So, I have a Kiwaya ktc-1 that I really love, but I've been wanting a soprano. Is there enough difference (sound wise) between the ktc-1 (concert) and kts-4 (soprano) to make it worth the investment? Any thoughts appreciated!

julie
05-01-2014, 01:56 AM
This doesn't exactly answer your question, but I've been going through a similar "struggle". I have a Kiwaya KS-5 which is a Koa laminate. I love this little soprano. But I kept thinking that since it's a laminate that a solid wood KTS-4 would have to sound and play much better. So I ordered one from Elderly Instruments and received it yesterday. It's an EXTREMELY well built, uke. Love the look of it... But it doesn't really sound different enough to me to justify keeping it. I'm still testing it out today before I make up my mind, but I think I'll be eating the shipping charges and sending it back to Elderly... I also have a 1950's Martin Style 1 coming today that will probably immediately make up my mind about the Kiwaya :)

Skinny Money McGee
05-01-2014, 02:08 AM
Was that you that bought the Martin style 1 off FMM? If so, I have the same model with the same tuners. I was told mine was made either 46,47,48. The only 3 years Martin put that type of tuner on a style 1.

julie
05-01-2014, 02:20 AM
If it was from a lady named Joy from Connecticut, then yes, I bought it. Can't wait to see it. I wondered about the tuners as all the other style 1's I've seen on eBay have different style... more rounded. Thanks for the heads up! Do you like yours?

Skinny Money McGee
05-01-2014, 03:06 AM
If it was from a lady named Joy from Connecticut, then yes, I bought it. Can't wait to see it. I wondered about the tuners as all the other style 1's I've seen on eBay have different style... more rounded. Thanks for the heads up! Do you like yours?

Yes, that was it. If it's as good condition as her pictures showed, you got a good deal. I love mine. When I first saw it listed, I almost bought it. That Guardian case sells for 50 or 60 dollars. (same case I bought) Strung mine with Martin m600 strings and it really sings.

One of my tuners was broken so I had Grover 4b's installed which are very smooth tuners and makes a big improvement in my opinion. If you change the tuners, save the old ones so you can prove the build date. I chose Grovers since Martin has a long standing history with them to this day, and it really improved playability.

strumsilly
05-01-2014, 03:12 AM
I had a Martin 0 and a Kiwaya KTC-1. they sounded so much alike I sold the Martin as I liked the roomier fretboard on the concert.

UkerDanno
05-01-2014, 04:27 AM
are those Grover 4b's a drop in for your Martin?

Ukulele Eddie
05-01-2014, 04:29 AM
Julie - Very curious to hear your thoughts when you get the Martin. And on the KS laminate, that is great to hear. So many people assume laminates are crap because they're laminate. True that many are, but with quality craftsmanship, it doesn't have to be the case.

Skinny Money McGee
05-01-2014, 06:35 AM
are those Grover 4b's a drop in for your Martin?

No, not just drop in, but very easy to install. *** edit*** sorry, didn't mean to hi-jack the thread

shane v
05-01-2014, 07:43 AM
Thanks for the replies you guys! And Julie, I'm anxious to hear what you think about the Martin!

julie
05-01-2014, 08:04 AM
I'm keeping an eye out for the UPS man... And while I do that, I'm playing my KS-5 :) It seems insane that of all my ukes (2 cost over $1000), I like the Kiwaya KS-5 laminate the best and I only paid $275 for it!

julie
05-01-2014, 09:57 AM
The Martin arrived and it's in almost mint condition. There are a few teeny tiny marks here and there, but at first glance you might think it's brand new. I got a heck of deal. It has that bell like tone that older Martins have too. I've been playing it for about an hour and people are going to think I'm crazy, but I still prefer the KS-5. The action on my KS-5 is lower at the 7th fret than the Martin. The Martin doesn't have "high" action, but it's higher than what I've been playing lately, so it just feels slightly harder to play. I guess I'm just too picky when it comes to string height. I wonder if there's a way to adjust the Martin without hurting the value? It doesn't look like the bridge can be adjusted easily.

So Shane, if you are wanting to try a soprano, you get two thumbs up from me for a Kiwaya. That said, the new KTS-4 is going back to Elderly. Its action is a bit high for my liking too. It's probably set up just like this Martin (I can't compare because the Kiwaya is already boxed up). I figure keeping the vintage Martin over the new Kiwaya is a no-brainer. I won't lose any money on it if I ever decide to sell it.

shane v
05-01-2014, 11:40 AM
Thank for the follow up Julie!...Kiwaya does seem to make a quality product. Good luck wth the Martin!