New Klos ukulele to be 100% composite

besley

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Just got a newsletter from Klos saying they are working on developing new versions of their instruments that will be 100% composite - no more wood necks. Which is pretty exciting, except that the anticipated price for the non-electric uke is given as $999. Not that it won't be worth that much, but that's a fare amount of money to spend on a uke. It's still less than a Farallon, but not quite the bargain the first Klos was.
 

besley

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what's wrong with the wood neck?
Ron

Nothing "wrong" at all - it's just not as durable or weather resistant as a composite neck would be. And unless you get the optional carbon reinforcing rods it also would not be as stable as an all composite neck. But a great thing about the wood neck is that it kept the price down to something pretty reasonable.
 

DownUpDave

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Just got a newsletter from Klos saying they are working on developing new versions of their instruments that will be 100% composite - no more wood necks. Which is pretty exciting, except that the anticipated price for the non-electric uke is given as $999. Not that it won't be worth that much, but that's a fare amount of money to spend on a uke. It's still less than a Farallon, but not quite the bargain the first Klos was.

I know this is hard to do but please humour me. You own both a Blackbird Farallon (I did at one time) and an original Klos. How would you describe the tone between the two. Example: the Farallon is brighter, the Klos has more sustain, the Farallon is louder etc. etc. Thanks
 

UkeStuff

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I know this is hard to do but please humour me. You own both a Blackbird Farallon (I did at one time) and an original Klos. How would you describe the tone between the two. Example: the Farallon is brighter, the Klos has more sustain, the Farallon is louder etc. etc. Thanks

Hard to do? For Besley? Nah. Hold my coffee and watch how he responds.... :)
 

besley

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Hard to do? For Besley? Nah. Hold my coffee and watch how he responds.... :)

No pressure at all........(must be getting back at me for the witness protection crack).

Anyway, to start with I have both strung with Living Waters low G fluorocarbon strings, with pretty low action (12th fret) of 0.095" for the Farallon, 0.085" for the Klos, which certainly could be affecting the tone and volume. I really LIKE the Klos. It has a pleasant tone that I would characterize as a bit mellow, and with the setup I have done it is my best playing uke by far. That said, the Farallon is louder, brighter, with more sustain, and has a more complex sound, with more overtones. Like the difference between picking up a $1500 Kamaka compared with a $500 Kala. The Kala (or the Klos for that matter) sounds quite good, and if it's the first uke you play that day it sounds just fine. But if you then play the Kamaka (or a Farallon) you just notice something a bit more to the tone. Not all solid wood ukes sound the same, and not all composite ukes do either.

I paid about $500 for my Klos, and felt it was a bargain (not sure what they cost now). A durable carbon fiber uke that sounds as good as anything else in that price range. But at $999? At that price you might expect more from the sound, and only you could decide whether the attraction of durability is enough to justify the cost. Of course we don't know if the new Klos composite neck will affect the tone, though if the neck is hollow (as with the Farallon) it ought to.

If you can afford the Farallon it is the better uke, BUT, it's also at least $500 more.
 

DownUpDave

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Thank you Besley for the excellent side by side comparison. I owned a Farallon for about one year and eventually sold it because I was not in love with the tone. Finger picked it was excellent but the tone of it strummed didn’t do it for me.

I bought it to travel with and take camping. We sit around a campfire strum and sing songs so I didn't like it for its intended purpose. It was bright and metallic sounding, lacked warmth and sweetness, almost clinically sterile. I went through 7 set of strings or more chasing tone and finally gave up.

The person I sold it to plays fingerpicking exclusively, lots of classical type pieces and absolutely loves it. Tone is very personal and we are all different.
 

Jerryc41

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Just got a newsletter from Klos saying they are working on developing new versions of their instruments that will be 100% composite - no more wood necks. Which is pretty exciting, except that the anticipated price for the non-electric uke is given as $999. Not that it won't be worth that much, but that's a fare amount of money to spend on a uke. It's still less than a Farallon, but not quite the bargain the first Klos was.

So that neck costs $500? Kinda pricey. Maybe they could offer that 100% composite uke with a wooden neck as a lower cost option. :D
 

besley

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So that neck costs $500? Kinda pricey. Maybe they could offer that 100% composite uke with a wooden neck as a lower cost option. :D

Apparently not quite that much. Their pricing is kind of complex with all the options, but they give the anticipated price for a "deluxe acoustic electric" with all the upgrades AND a composite neck at $1099, while the web site gives the current price for a "deluxe acoustic electric" as $839. So if I have that right, a $260 upcharge for the composite neck sounds reasonable to me, but the total price is starting to get up there pretty high.
 

70sSanO

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Having an early KLOS, I would hope that the “new” neck would be more than just a composite improvement over the original wood neck. For me, the original neck is not what I would consider fast or particularly easy to play.

The action on mine is pretty low at .090”. It might be a little too rounded a neck profile, maybe the fret wire size doesn’t suit me. It plays easy enough, it just isn’t one of those effortless playing necks for me. More of a meh. And mine is tuned down to B.

John
 

Jerryc41

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Apparently not quite that much. Their pricing is kind of complex with all the options, but they give the anticipated price for a "deluxe acoustic electric" with all the upgrades AND a composite neck at $1099, while the web site gives the current price for a "deluxe acoustic electric" as $839. So if I have that right, a $260 upcharge for the composite neck sounds reasonable to me, but the total price is starting to get up there pretty high.

Yeah, I wasn't being totally serious. I'm sure they had to redesign their construction process. I paid $506 for mine, with strap buttons.
 

Rakelele

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Looking forward to this new model. To me, the wooden neck, fretboard and saddle were always an odd choice and have kept me from buying a Klos. I want an instrument of this type to be 100% waterproof. However, I'm afraid their pricing is about to get of hand. For me, the only reason for buying such an instrument would be to take it outdoor, on hiking trips, mountain climbing, paddling and river rafting, which I wouldn't do with an instrument that costs more than $500 USD.
 

mjh42

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I received the same KLOS email. Sounds interesting. At the price point though and considering what I do own now, the price is a bit higher than my interest.
 

Jerryc41

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I received the same KLOS email. Sounds interesting. At the price point though and considering what I do own now, the price is a bit higher than my interest.

They're competing with Blackbird, a company with an outstanding reputation. KLOS will have to compete on either quality or price.
 

chrimess

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good discussion, I just got a killer setup on my Klos deluxe with stiffening rods and I love it, have been a KoAloha fanboy for a long time but if you are after some aggressive JS type playing with direct sound and less overtones this is a great workhorse, beautiful in an amplified live setting.
 

merlin666

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Nothing "wrong" at all - it's just not as durable or weather resistant as a composite neck would be. And unless you get the optional carbon reinforcing rods it also would not be as stable as an all composite neck. But a great thing about the wood neck is that it kept the price down to something pretty reasonable.

I don't really get the "durability" aspect. I would think that that any uke is quite comfortable in any environmental conditions that are comfortable for humans. Do people really want to play uke in pouring rain or sub-freezing temperatures? I can see the appeal for people who climb mountains, or go on long hikes or canoe trips, but how many of those haul instruments around? I certainly have no problem taking my KoAloha and Kamaka ukes to go camping or to the beach, as I can still treat them carefully there.
 

Jerryc41

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I don't really get the "durability" aspect. I would think that that any uke is quite comfortable in any environmental conditions that are comfortable for humans. Do people really want to play uke in pouring rain or sub-freezing temperatures? I can see the appeal for people who climb mountains, or go on long hikes or canoe trips, but how many of those haul instruments around? I certainly have no problem taking my KoAloha and Kamaka ukes to go camping or to the beach, as I can still treat them carefully there.

Traveling, hiking, camping, leaving it in the car - situations like that, where "carefully" can't be guaranteed.

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