Kiwaya KTC-1 vs Collings UC-1?

iDavid

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I think I might be missing out, not having an all Mahogany uke.

Anyone played both of these? I've played Collings and I wasn't blown
away, but I think I might have been expecting it to sound more like a K-brand, rather than what it is.

I was blown away by the workmanship and playability of the Collings, btw.
 

Dan Uke

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I was the opposite trying a Collings Tenor where I plan on buying non-koa now. Of course, I own a K brand already so probably suaded my decision the other way to get a different sound.

BTW, what happened to your Compass Rose?
 

iDavid

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I was the opposite trying a Collings Tenor where I plan on buying non-koa now. Of course, I own a K brand already so probably suaded my decision the other way to get a different sound.

BTW, what happened to your Compass Rose?

My Compass Rose is having issues. I'll let you know when it is all figured out.
 

Kekani

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The build quality of Collings is at the top. Attention to detail is where you would expect a Collings. I'm just not a Concert kind of guy, and the only Collings I've played has Aquila's, so you can imagine that it could sound better. However, even with Aquila's, this instrument is top quality.

I have a KTC-1 right now that I'm selling for MGM. I gotta tell you, this is an instrument you close your eyes and play. Again, not a Concert guy, but I can't disagree with wood choice. For an all around traditional sound, this wood choice is where its at.

Aaron
 
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hmgberg

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I've played both and posted about them on an earlier thread. As Kekani notes, the workmanship on the Collings was incredibly good; I looked at it for a long time and couldn't find any sign that it was made by human beings. I really liked the way it sounded, even though, as Kekani also notes, I was imaging it with Worths rather than Aquilas. It doesn't sound anything like a K brand, however. It's a more traditional mainland sound than a traditional Hawaiian sound. I've often heard them compared to Martins, but I didn't get that either, apart from the appearance. To my ears, Martins have more "ping" at the high end, whereas the Collings are more even toned throughout.

I have to say that I was less impressed with the Kiwaya concert. I had believed that it had Fremont Blacklines on it, since Kiwaya appears to use Fremont cases. Later, I read that they are not Fremont strings, but another type (just something I read but cannot confirm). So, the strings may have had something to do with the lack of robust tone I was expecting. Still, it was a fine instrument, and very well made.

I played about a dozen high-end instruments that day, so my comments should be considered in that light. Another way of stating the same thing is to say that I would be thrilled to have either the Kiwaya or the Collings... or both! I was surprised by the Scott Wise soprano I played. It sounded wonderful to me. The only thing that was a bit of a disappointment about it was the matte finish. Not that the finish was poor (it was very nicely done), but I could see that the koa was wonderfully flamed and a glossier finish would have set that off better, although it may also have altered the sound. The only new instrument that I was hoping to play was a Moore Bettah (none in stock). Good for Chuck, not so good for me.