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View Full Version : LoPrinzi or Kanile'a



Oswegan
02-18-2009, 09:26 AM
I am looking to buy a nice instrument after I save a few more pennies.

After trying a few different brands locally I realize that I need something with a wide fingerboard and a neck that is somewhat flat - low action would be nice too.

MGM made a couple of suggestions, one is a LoPrinzi mahogany Tenor and the other is a Kanile'a k-1 super concert.

I am sure they have sounds that are quite different, one is Koa the other mahogany etc., so if anyone has experience playing either, would love your thoughts.

I just bought a solid mahogany kala tenor that I am going to sell because the fingerboard is too narrow for my long fingers.

Oswegan
02-18-2009, 01:21 PM
Bump bump bump.

GX9901
02-18-2009, 02:19 PM
You should double check with MGM on that nut width on the Loprinzi. On his listing it says 1-3/8" nut width. That would be the same as the Kala's nut width. I also prefer 1.5" nut width, which is what Kanile'a uses.

I've never played a Loprinzi so I can't attest to how they play and sound (I've only heard praises for their ukes though), but Kanile'as are generally very good to awesome sounding (I have two). Current Kanile'as have a thinner/flatter neck, which sounds like what you're looking for.

Hopefully someone who has played both can chime in with more qualified suggestion.

Oswegan
02-18-2009, 02:32 PM
I just talked to Joe at Kanile'a and he also told me about the 1.5 in nut width - he likened it to a classical guitar style with wider spacing. He also said the neck is fairly thin like a electric guitar neck. Sounds like a good combo to me but I have never played Koa, only mahogany.

MGM also likes LoPrinzi because he says the action is like butta. I'll have to check on the nut size - it could be a deal killer for me.

wickedwahine11
02-18-2009, 02:44 PM
I can speak to the neck on the Kanile'a. It is very thin, much like an electric guitar - good comparison by Joe. I'm sorry I can't speak to the LoPrinzi but I feel like you can't go wrong with a Kanile'a. I've gotten lots of compliments on mine, and I love it dearly...good luck with whichever one you choose.

Oswegan
02-18-2009, 03:03 PM
Is there a major difference in the sound of Kanile'a super concert and the tenor - there's definately a price difference. Also, does the finish affect the sound? The gloss sure is purdy.

Waterguy
02-18-2009, 03:04 PM
I know nothing about the LoPrinzi but I have a K1 tenor from Kanile'a and I also have a carpenters ruler. Gottem both right here in my hands so...nut looks to be 1 and 15/32 of one inch. I've not held anywhere near every uke available but I have seen a bunch and I have yet to see one wider then that. G to A ends up being 1 and 5/32 of one inch at the nut. At the bridge, G to A is 1 and 3/4 of an inch.

As to the depth of the neck, It's about 5/8 of an inch near the nut and 7/8 of an inch at about fret ten. It gets bigger in a hurry past fret ten.

Action is about 1/16 of an inch at the nut and 1/8 of an inch at fret 10.

Sound is the best I have personaly heard. I have yet to be in a room with a better sounding Uke. I've been hanging with other CT uke players but it is CT. This is a long way from the far west of the US.

Edit on this post cause Ken Middletons reviews rock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFcmoEll-GU for the tenor and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU5dOAOJ3Zw for the concert.

He goes into more detail on the concert in a later review.

Good luck with your hard choice.

My 2 cents.

Papamonty
02-18-2009, 03:24 PM
After trying a few different brands locally I realize that I need something with a wide fingerboard and a neck that is somewhat flat - low action would be nice too.

MGM made a couple of suggestions, one is a LoPrinzi mahogany Tenor and the other is a Kanile'a k-1 super concert.


My stock Kanile'a koa concert is 1.5" at the nut. The nut width on my custom LoPrinzi Mahogany tenor is 1 7/16", which is what I requested. I am not sure what the stock nut width is for LoPrinzis.

My LoPrinzi has a much flatter neck, this was not a custom request, than the Kanile'a.

For both ukuleles, I had to lower the action at the saddles but both actions aren't that bad.

Jon M

Oswegan
02-18-2009, 05:15 PM
I know nothing about the LoPrinzi but I have a K1 tenor from Kanile'a and I also have a carpenters ruler. Gottem both right here in my hands so...nut looks to be 1 and 15/32 of one inch. I've not held anywhere near every uke available but I have seen a bunch and I have yet to see one wider then that. G to A ends up being 1 and 5/32 of one inch at the nut. At the bridge, G to A is 1 and 3/4 of an inch.

As to the depth of the neck, It's about 5/8 of an inch near the nut and 7/8 of an inch at about fret ten. It gets bigger in a hurry past fret ten.

Action is about 1/16 of an inch at the nut and 1/8 of an inch at fret 10.

Sound is the best I have personaly heard. I have yet to be in a room with a better sounding Uke. I've been hanging with other CT uke players but it is CT. This is a long way from the far west of the US.

Edit on this post cause Ken Middletons reviews rock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFcmoEll-GU for the tenor and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oU5dOAOJ3Zw for the concert.

He goes into more detail on the concert in a later review.

Good luck with your hard choice.

My 2 cents.

Very cool. Thanks for all the measurements.

I have seen kens review of the concert - that's what got me into this predicament. What a beautiful instrument.

Oswegan
02-18-2009, 05:17 PM
My stock Kanile'a koa concert is 1.5" at the nut. The nut width on my custom LoPrinzi Mahogany tenor is 1 7/16", which is what I requested. I am not sure what the stock nut width is for LoPrinzis.

My LoPrinzi has a much flatter neck, this was not a custom request, than the Kanile'a.

For both ukuleles, I had to lower the action at the saddles but both actions aren't that bad.

Jon M

So how much extra did Donna charge to put on a custom neck and nut?

I am asuming one is mahogany and the other is koa - how are they different in your opinion?

Do you like one better than the other?

Oswegan
02-19-2009, 11:21 AM
I just emailed Donna at LoPrinzi (she is super nice). She said their neck are wide and flat and that her standard nut is 1 3/8 but that she would happily put on a nut that is 1 1/2 for no extra cost.

I know I like the sound of a well made solid mahogany tenor, but I am not sure how a koa Kanile'a would compare since there aren't any local shops where I can try one out.

Leisureclub
02-19-2009, 11:29 AM
Here's Ken Middleton's review:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFcmoEll-GU

I've got different strings on mine, but when I had as set of aquila's on it, it sounded almost exactly as Ken's. I prefer the softer tone(to me) of the J71's.

bluesuke
02-19-2009, 12:16 PM
Welcome To the forum Oswegan. It's nice to see another Oregonian on forum. I prefer the sound of koa over mahogany thats just my .02:cheers:

tiki_ink
02-19-2009, 01:01 PM
I say go with the Kanile'a. But that is a totally biased opinion as I have never played a Loprinzi. If you decide to go with a tenor, I have one for sale on the Marketplace that is all but brand new at a good price. Insert advertisement here:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9354

I can't resist a chance at an advertisement.

Oswegan
02-19-2009, 01:02 PM
Welcome To the forum Oswegan. It's nice to see another Oregonian on forum. I prefer the sound of koa over mahogany thats just my .02:cheers:

What do you see as the major differences? Is one brighter, deeper etc?

I had a local mahogany lover describe the koa as to thin for his taste - whatever that means. . .

bluesuke
02-19-2009, 01:08 PM
To my ear I think it has a warmer tone I guess you would say deeper But the highs are still nice very well balanced

drubin
02-19-2009, 04:10 PM
I've test driven both and prefer the LoPrinzis. Whereas the standard Kanile'a models are "production" ukes, each LoPrinzi is handmade by Donna and Augie and nobody else. The difference was apparent, at least IMHO. Of the LoPrinzis I've played, I've actually preferred their mahogany ukes over their koa ukes. Donna and Augie really know how to get the best out of mahogany. That said, Kanile'a still makes a great uke. Go with what your gut tells you. Either way, I think you'll be pretty pleased.

Oswegan
02-19-2009, 05:33 PM
Thanks, I really love the look of the Kanile'a and love the sound on Ken Middleton's reviews. But my gut has been saying LoPrinzi based on my conversations with Donna and with MGM. I think I am probably going to order a Loprinzi mahogany tenor with the 1 1/2 inch nut.

Papamonty
02-28-2009, 02:04 PM
So how much extra did Donna charge to put on a custom neck and nut?

I am asuming one is mahogany and the other is koa - how are they different in your opinion?

Do you like one better than the other?

Donna didn't charge me extra. I asked why. She said that because she was making the neck and body from "scratch," her labor wouldn't be any more than making a standard neck and nut.

When comparing my Hog LoPrinzi to my other Koa tenors, it has a dry, punchy, smooth tone. For me, a simply irresistable tone.

LoPrinzi ukuleles are such bangs for the buck that I purchased another custom ukulele with bells and whistles that would cost so much more from other builders. I'll post pictures once I receive the ukulele. I am a lifetime fan. =) Donna really pays attention to detail and it shows. For example, and I'll nit-pick, the top seam (where the two soundboard pieces meet) is dead center on the fretboard and the bridge. Follow that seam down over where the sides meet at the bottom, around the back and towards the neck heel; that seam is dead center to the neck heel. Nit-picking I know, but if the LoPrinzis can match the best guitar makers out there in those minute details, that says a lot about the company. Business hasn't slowed for them despite the downturn in the economy; that's what Donna tells me anyway.

I wouldn't say the Hog tone is any better or worse than the Koa tone, assuming the same or similar ukulele construction. (I really can't compare a LoPrinzi Mahogany tenor to a Kanile'a Koa concert). But if I had to live with either all Koa or an all Hog tenor ukulele, I would prefer the sweetness of Koa to the clarity of Mahogany.

Jon M

Oswegan
02-28-2009, 02:35 PM
So if Im happy for now with my solid hog Kala tenor, I should get the koa kanilea so I have something different.

Papamonty
03-01-2009, 03:47 PM
I say go for it. =)