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View Full Version : weight comparison: Kamaka vs Koaloha



fretie
06-12-2014, 08:59 AM
Just curious... while I'm waiting for my Kamaka soprano.. which is heavier: Kamaka soprano or Koaloha soprano?

RichM
06-12-2014, 09:09 AM
I play 'em, I don't weigh 'em.

OldePhart
06-12-2014, 11:10 AM
I haven't had a Kamaka (have played a few, but wasn't paying attention to weight) but, having recently been "inside" my KoAloha I would have to say I can't imagine that the Kamaka would be lighter. The KoAloha has a very thin bridge plate (can't be much over 1/16") that is also not very wide. It has a single "unibrace" that you see about 3/8" behind the sound hole. It has tail and neck blocks (obviously) but no other bracing and no kerfing around the sides.

I think that is why nothing else is as loud or as "open" sounding as a KoAloha. I suspect long term (as in several decades) survival is more iffy on the KoAloha (and I was "inside" my longneck soprano because the top began to curl with tenor strings on it). However, I don't care if my instruments survive me, or even if I were to have to replace them every several years. I want extraordinary sound and on that score it's really difficult to beat the KoAloha.

John

Tigeralum2001
06-12-2014, 11:14 AM
I'm WAY more concerned with sound than weight. I've never picked up an ukulele that caused me to strain...

janeray1940
06-12-2014, 11:15 AM
Way back when I first started playing, I had a Koaloha Pikake soprano, and a Kamaka HF-1. I no longer have the details but at one point I did a pretty obsessive-compulsive comparison including weight, neck diameter, etc. and I do recall the Kamaka being a skosh heavier. It had a pickup so that might have accounted for some of the weight, but - that Koaloha was light as a feather.

niwenomian
06-12-2014, 11:28 AM
I think my Koaloha concert is lighter than my Kamaka soprano. The lightness is the first thing that strikes me every time I pick it up.

wickedwahine11
06-12-2014, 11:40 AM
It might be apples to oranges but my KoAloha tenor is definitely lighter than my Kamaka tenor. Don't get me wrong, the Kamaka is not heavy, but as mentioned before the KoAloha is light as a feather. Both have pickups so that is not a factor.

FrankB
06-12-2014, 11:49 AM
I bought a Kamaka tenor last month, and that sucker was a Heavy! Most of the weight was in the neck, and it was annoying. The Koaloha concert I bought was light as a feather....really light. Whether a heavy neck is an issue with a soprano, I don't know. It certainly was with the tenor, but that could have been just the particular piece of wood used for that uke's neck.

OldePhart
06-12-2014, 11:56 AM
I think my Koaloha concert is lighter than my Kamaka soprano. The lightness is the first thing that strikes me every time I pick it up.

I had a KoAloha concert and a Kala Solid Acacia pocket uke. I weighed them both on a postal scale. I don't remember now which was heavier, but I remember there was only about an ounce difference between them!

Not that Kala ukes are over-built or anything... :)

John

fretie
06-12-2014, 03:01 PM
Wow, this is great, very useful comments.

OldlePhart, I have found it particularly interesting to check in on your Koaloha project.

Yes, I agree with all of you in sensing that the Koaloha's are light ukes. And as you suggest, hence their big sound.

My Kamaka isn't here yet but I am expecting that it will be a tad heavier than the Koaloha and, of course, everyone says the Kamaka's sound sweet and mellow. I wouldn't know as I have never tried one! <Gasp!> Yes, I'm on of THOSE! Buying sight unseen and unheard. Taking my chances. Hey it worked out well with my BI tenor and the Koaloha pineapple....the others have come and gone...I'm hoping the Kamaka will be a keeper.

Thanks for your comments on the topic of uke weight, yup, a little obsessive but then....aren't WE?!

Howie1947
06-12-2014, 03:02 PM
Who cares? Just play the it !

OldePhart
06-12-2014, 03:07 PM
Yes, I'm on of THOSE! Buying sight unseen and unheard. Taking my chances. Hey it worked out well with my BI tenor and the Koaloha pineapple....the others have come and gone...I'm hoping the Kamaka will be a keeper.


Many of us are in that boat, my friend. I live in a major metropolitan area (DFW, TX) and I don't know of any store within easy driving distance where I can try a variety of Kamaka, Kanilea, Ko'Olau, KoAloha, Collins, American Martin, etc. ukes. I'm sure the Kamaka will be fine. It won't sound like a KoAloha, but from the handful I've played I'd say you won't be disappointed with it. Different is just different, not necessarily better or worse. I tend to like KoAloha ukes but I certainly wouldn't scoff, or be likely to flip, a uke from any of the above makers!

John

fretie
06-12-2014, 05:23 PM
Many of us are in that boat, my friend. I live in a major metropolitan area (DFW, TX) and I don't know of any store within easy driving distance where I can try a variety of Kamaka, Kanilea, Ko'Olau, KoAloha, Collins, American Martin, etc. ukes. I'm sure the Kamaka will be fine. It won't sound like a KoAloha, but from the handful I've played I'd say you won't be disappointed with it. Different is just different, not necessarily better or worse. I tend to like KoAloha ukes but I certainly wouldn't scoff, or be likely to flip, a uke from any of the above makers!

John

I hear ya'!