Are you drawn to koa ukes? ... a koa junkie? Show your stash.

DownUpDave

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Most of my ukes are tenors or baritones. I have always gravitated to a guitar like tone so a soft wood wood top with a hardwood back and sides have been my combo of choice. That being said the best sounding baritone I have played is my all koa Kamaka and the best sounding concert size is my all koa Kamaka super concert.

Sam13 has two awesome sounding all koa tenors, a Ko'olau and a Kamaka long neck tenor. Two of the very best sounding ukes I have played. Hopefully he joins in with some pictures, they are beautiful

Making generalizations about "koa" not sounding good is wrong. That is like saying spruce is always too bright and cedar is too warm. It all depends on the builder and the individual pieces of wood used. I dont think anybody has ever said an all koa Moore Bettah doesnt sound good.
 
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Doc_J

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Glad to see I'm not alone. I listened to so many sound samples of the lower voiced ukes made from many different tonewoods before deciding what to buy. I wish I thought koa sounds as nice as it looks. But I had to go with my ears, and wound up getting an all mahogany baritone and a cedar/mahogany tenor. I guess it's a good thing that my ears don't have expensive tastes. But koa is so pretty. Ordinary acacia just reminds me of my patio furniture, though. ;-)

bratsche

Interesting, my ears nearly always prefer the tone of koa to mahogany. Some Mahogany ukes can be too warm or muddy on treble notes for my tastes.
 

stevejfc

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I can't keep up with your impressive collection Hodge...........but this what I got, left to right: Goat Rock 16" Koa Concert, Moore Bettah Koa Concert, Kanile'a Koa/Sapwood Concert. Not shown is my Kamaka Ohta-San spruce top Koa Concert.
I too find koa has rich, yet versatile tone, as well as great beauty.
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bratsche

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Generalizations are just that, and of course I agree about each piece of wood sounding different, and the luthier, design, etc. playing an important part. I didn't say all koa sounded bad to me. However, I found that I'd have to pay at least triple the prices of the mahogany ones I ended up buying to find koa ukes with a sound that impressed me as much - in recordings, as I never got to hear them live - and money doesn't exactly fall from trees. I'll have to be a much, much better player than I am before I'd ever justify paying the higher amounts. And likely not even then, as I'm unabashedly frugal and tend to look for bargains, even with my professional viola & violin equipment. Not always, but often, that has involved finding "ugly ducklings" nobody else wanted to look at that happened to sound great. (I think both my Pono ukes are quite attractive looking, though.)

bratsche
 
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bearbike137

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I have yet to find a koa uke that sounds as good as my vintage Martin tenors, but I am trying!
 

sam13

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I am a BIG FAN OF KOA as well.

Currently, I have two Tenors:

HF3L Kamaka 100 th Anniversary model - from HMS - Low G wound 4th TInand the rest CT Worth strings

Ko'olau Tenor 100SP - from our OP and friend Hodge - High G - CT Worths


Thanks gents.

I think Koa is my favourite wood as it is complex: Full, warm and bright.

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slackkey007

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Whoops! Sorry, guys! Pictures came in sideways???:confused: Oh well! On the left is a pre-owned Ko'olau T100 tenor with satin finish. I believe I am the 3rd owner of this amazing uke. The 2 previous owners are UU members. This particular tenor sounds amazingly sweet with wonderful full, rich, and very complex tones. I'm thinking that it's due to the satin finish. The uke on the right is my new-to-me Ko'olau T400 (the top of the line before the CS models) Curly Koa/Spruce top with slotted headstock tenor. This uke sounds amazing even though the string set hasn't been changed in several years. The Curly Koa is amazingly curly on this uke when you see it in person! My smartphone pics don't do it justice. When I have the time, I will change the strings to the Thomastik-Infeld flatwound Low G and flatwound C strings, with fluorocarbons for the E and A strings, probably Oasis or Savarez.

I need to post a NUD for my Ko'olau T400 tenor, but haven't had the time as of yet. Mahalo nui loa to bruddah Simon (UU Member sam13) for passing on this uke and remembering that he saw my Thread and getting me in touch with the seller of this uke, bruddah Scott (UU Member uke man). Mahalo nui loa, bruddah Scott for deciding to re-home this amazing uke to me! I need to work on my NUD post because there is a very interesting story behind this particular Ko'olau T400 tenor that would be nice to share with everyone. But .... until then, I will keep you all in suspense!:rolleyes:

Also, a shout out to a relatively new UU Member, Sandee, who sold me the Ko'olau T100. Mahalo nui loa, Sandee!

I had posted a WTB Thread in the Marketplace awhile back specifically requesting a Ko'olau Koa/Spruce top tenor with slotted headstock, but no response whatsoever. Then, I changed my Thread to say that I was interested in any Spruce top Ko'olau tenor with slotted headstock.

For those of you who know me here via PM exchanges and purchases/sales of ukes here in the Marketplace, my preference of a must have on my ukes are slotted headstocks. Therefore, I am going to be putting 2 of my tenors up for sale. I know that I will end up regretting selling these 2 amazing ukes, but in my defense, they don't have slotted headstocks. Traditional headstocks just don't appeal to me. They are my Ko'olau T100 Curly Koa tenor and an amazing Ono Claro Walnut/Port Orford Cedar 18" scale tenor with side sound port and LR Baggs active pick up installed. This particular uke was shown at the UGH earlier this year and was up for sale on theukulelesite.com Hit me up if interested.

Mahalo,

Kimo
 
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ukuleleden

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Interesting, my ears nearly always prefer the tone of koa to mahogany. Some Mahogany ukes can be too warm or muddy on treble notes for my tastes.

A Solid Spruce top can cure that! As a matter of fact, a good portion of this evening I spent playing a (loaner) Kala SSLNG (solid spruce top, lam hog back & sides) and it certainly offers up a nice diversion from my all-Mahogany bodied ukes. But truth be told, even after my Koa appreciation post, I'm most certainly still a Mahogany guy at heart.
 

Pueo

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Aloha,
I have two Koa ukuleles, and two Milo ukuleles.
My Koa Pono is very beautiful, but I am not sure how photogenic it is. My Ukuleles Hawaii by R&L all Koa mini concert is one of the most photogenic ukuleles ever.
See for yourselves!
It is also lovely to play and sounds very Hawaiian.

RLKoa.jpg
 

DownUpDave

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Aloha,
I have two Koa ukuleles, and two Milo ukuleles.
My Koa Pono is very beautiful, but I am not sure how photogenic it is. My Ukuleles Hawaii by R&L all Koa mini concert is one of the most photogenic ukuleles ever.
See for yourselves!
It is also lovely to play and sounds very Hawaiian.

RLKoa.jpg

Holy crap!!!!!! :drool:
 

FinnP

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I only have one massiv koa at the moment my Ohana sk-300g.
I just sold my Martin C1K which looked great, but sounded not so great.
The Ohana has a very deep red color.
 

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mkatz

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Great collection Hodge! I find that it is not only the wood but the builder that determines what a uke sounds like. Here's my MB Koa soprano and concert.

Mitch
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wickedwahine11

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I have three ukes - each is koa, for the record, the frame on the Al Furtado print is koa as well. I have a bit of a koa obsession. I've bought a koa watch, jewelry box, etc. I love the stuff.
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Steveperrywriter

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Got one all-koa uke. The other three tenors I own are odd-ball combinations: Adirondack spruce/ tulip magnolia; Sinker redwood/rosewood; Engelmann spruce/osage orange. To my ears, they all sound different, and the koa is the warmest of the bunch.
 

mds725

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My Moore Bettah - koa from Captain Cook on the Big Island.
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Some crazy curl on a 2005 Kamaka tenor.
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UkuleleSprinter

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I'm an all koa ukulele fan. Personal preference.

I tried many factory & custom makes/models of ukuleles throughout the years and if it came down to just owning one ukulele, I'd would be a Kamaka HF-3. However a vintage Martin tenor would come in a close second. Everything else is just a bonus!