View Full Version : Kanilea Island Tattoo

06-16-2014, 01:42 PM
He Peeps, I need some help. I've only been playing for a few months and my only Uke at present is a Kala Bocote.
I'm thinking of splashing out on an upgrade in the near future and would like to hear from anyone with experience of or has anything to say about the Kanilea Island Tattoo.
I accept that I will pay a premium for the name but will I be getting more of everything ? More sustain, clarity, warmth, tone and volume?
I was in a similar situation a few years ago when upgrading my classical guitar. When I made my choice, I did a blind test against a guitar that was substantially more expensive. The seller sat and played the two guitars as I kept my eyes closed and I picked out my original choice each time. It had a warmth of tone that the more expensive ( concert ) guitar didn't have.
I don't want to spend 700 + only to find I could've spent half on another brand that would tick all my boxes.
Food for thought welcome, thanks.

06-16-2014, 03:08 PM
I have played a few Tats, they sound great but each a little diff, ever so slightly. I think the longer you play your ear will want to hear a certain sound from a uke, so some or maybe most will not satisfy that sound you are looking for. The play well up the neck so no problem there. My thought is play the one FIRST if you can before buying. I know over where you are good ukes might be hard to come by. Good luck with your adventure. Fly to Hawaii & go though ALL the high end uke shops & go to each place that makes them, then you will really be screwed up with too many choices and then you wind up like me with a BAD case of UAS

06-16-2014, 03:10 PM
By the way, I am going back for a month in Feb. most likely come back with a TAT , and maybe another(make it a double)

06-17-2014, 09:46 AM
Thanks Perep, please don't encourage me - I'm easily lead !! I need to do as you suggest and try a few. But as you state, they are like hens teeth in the UK !

06-17-2014, 01:32 PM
I have the TAT concert - it was the first expensive uke I lusted after, though I ended up buying a koaloha at the time. Of the two I prefer the koaloha, but it also has way more play and ear time with me. The kanilea tat has a woodier sound and feel with the lack of glossy finish. The fretboard is also wider than any kalas I've played. The sound and playability is every bit as good as other kanileas, but I'll admit that I bought it more for the beauty of the engraved wood.

06-17-2014, 01:43 PM
I don't think you'd be disappointed with one. The Kala bocote is actually a super nice laminate, but getting a light, all-solid-wood uke will probably give you a noticeable increase in clarity/volume/all that other good stuff. Probably just my imagination, but the satin finish Kanile'as like the Island Tattoo just seem to sound more "alive" to me than the ones with the pretty gloss finish.