Kanile'a SUS-T Tenor - REVIEW

Dohle

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Messages
1,075
Points
48
I knew this was coming but I was a bit surprised they didn't send you one of the Kanile'a Manako models, the newer SUS exclusive.

Just a quick comment on the price. There's one cheaper Hawaiian-made model which is the Oha model with a koa soundboard and mahogany back and sides. I believe Kanile'a actually chose mahogany for the Oha models because they liked it so much on the SUS models. I think the Oha models are about a hundred or two cheaper than the SUS but they use cheaper woods used for them, walnut fingerboard and bridge, no gloss finish. Still excellent ukes no doubt. I'd be all over these SUS models if I didn't have a K1 already. The Manako models I mentioned previously, while looking really nice, are just too expensive for me.
 

bazmaz

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
5,108
Points
38
I suspect that may happen in time, but would not want to risk not being able to sell a brand new on as it was with me!

Not seen the Oha's over these shores I don't think (could be wrong).

Wonderful brand.
 

Ukecaster

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
4,155
Points
48
Sounds great! I noticed that you rated both your older koa K1T and this newer SUS K1as overall 9.3. I listened to both reviews back to back, and found the cedar top SUS K1 warmer and fuller sounding. I guess thats the nature of a cedar top. If you had to choose only one of them to keep, I bet it would be the koa.
 

bazmaz

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
5,108
Points
38
I wold keep the Koa one - for sure, but that's also an attachment thing.

It's always odd looking back at scores from 10 years back though - my own tastes change - I think if I was reviewing them both afresh today the K1 would edge it by a tenth.

But honestly - I think this one is as good as pretty much any other tenor i've played on the tone stakes.
 

bellgamin

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Feb 14, 2014
Messages
650
Points
28
Arggggh! My internal UAS monster is snarling, "FEEEED ME!!!"

I am quite able to resist koa Kanile'as but a cedar top is the siren of soundboards. A cedar top always earns & returns my love faster than any other wood I have ever experienced.

@bazmaz -- Has there ever been an ukulele whose sound you rated a perfect 10? (Just asking.)
 
Last edited:

bazmaz

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
5,108
Points
38
It will 'probably' never happen. I use the quotes for a reason.

I say that as there is always the possibility that something better comes along.. but honestly - as I score in 0.5 increments if it has a 9 or a 9.5 on sound they will largely be as good as each other to most ears.

It's why I don't just give one score and allow other elements to adjust the final score.

For any other you see with a 9.5 I think this is 'as good' - could be better for some ears, could be worse, but it's in that ballpark.

Not a perfect system, but it is what it is!
 

Cadia

Active member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
656
Points
28
It sounds wonderful! What would you say the sound difference is between this and other cedartops you've played?
 

bazmaz

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
5,108
Points
38
Wouldn't be fair to compare as the sound palette is not just down to the top wood, but back wood, construction, bracing etc. And everything differs.

What I will say is , cedar or otherwise, this is one of the nicest sounding tenors I've played
 

cdkrugjr

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
329
Points
18
I'm not familiar with that style of bridge with Nylon strings.

How do you secure the strings on the bridge end?
 

bazmaz

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
5,108
Points
38
Remove pins - tie good knot in the end of the string (some tie a small bead on the end) pop in the hole, replace the pin and pull tight.

Same as an steel strung acoustic guitar bridge
 

cdkrugjr

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
329
Points
18
Remove pins - tie good knot in the end of the string (some tie a small bead on the end) pop in the hole, replace the pin and pull tight.

Same as an steel strung acoustic guitar bridge

Well I mean, my steel guitar strings have an eyelet pulley wired in . . . Now to budget . . .
 

bazmaz

Active member
Joined
Sep 5, 2009
Messages
5,108
Points
38
Well I mean, my steel guitar strings have an eyelet pulley wired in . . . Now to budget . . .

Yes, steel strings tend to - but it's just in place of a knot that doesn't work so well on thin metal.

(p.s - don't put metal strings on this uke!!)
 

Counter

Member
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
752
Points
18
What exactly is Alaskan Rainbow Cedar? What is the latin name? Other than these instruments I can find no reference to it anywhere.
 

Dohle

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Messages
1,075
Points
48
What exactly is Alaskan Rainbow Cedar? What is the latin name? Other than these instruments I can find no reference to it anywhere.

I'm guessing it's this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressus_nootkatensis
But then again, who knows. These common names for different woods can mean just about anything. Even mahogany is a bit controversial with the genuine and true mahogany labels. At the end of the day, I'm not too fussed about it.

In other knews, I ordered the concert version of this model. Southern Ukulele Store had a Kanile'a sale on (they still do actually) so that was that. I just can't help myself, can I...
 

Counter

Member
Joined
May 8, 2015
Messages
752
Points
18
That's Alaskan yellow cedar which looks quite different. I'm wondering if this is a true cedar at all, like Port Orford cedar which is a cypress. There's a super expensive custom Kanile'a super tenor over at HMS also with Alaskan rainbow cedar. Looks and sounds stunning.
 

Dohle

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Messages
1,075
Points
48
This is why I went for this particular ukulele. Usually you get a non-koa Kanile'a only with their customs which of course cost silly money. The SUS model is less than a K1.
 

Final_form

New member
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
12
Points
0
What exactly is Alaskan Rainbow Cedar? What is the latin name? Other than these instruments I can find no reference to it anywhere.

i asked kanile'a.

"It is yellow cedar. We nicknamed it “Rainbow” cedar because of the different, subtle color tones in the grain."