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Thread: Leaning Towards a Kinnard...

  1. #1
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    Default Leaning Towards a Kinnard...

    So I have a Kanile’a Concert I love. Got a Clara Sun Burst being built, but I’m already planning my end of the year work bonus purchase. I’m thinking a Kinnard Spruce with rosewood. I am also considering a custom Kanile’a with the same wood combination. I have LOVED all the Kinnard sound samples, but the Kanile’a would probably be faster and cheaper. I’m not interested in anything so personalized it would be hard to sell if we didn’t click. I can’t visit either location first to see woods in person.

    My question is to those who have experience with both. Besides probably looking way cooler and a sound port option on the Kinnard is there a huge difference in build quality? I am over the moon with my current Kanile’a except I feel other Ukes are a bit easier to fret, but I don’t mind.

    Thanks for any info.

  2. #2
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    Wait for Kinnard is likely close to six months. So contact Kevin there right away to place your refundable deposit to get in line. You can change your mind for a refund until you actually get to the build. I expect that Kevin would send you photos of the wood that he would use in the actual build. He is incredibly easy and pleasant to work with. (BTW, they are north of San Diego, so an actual visit to their shop is possible). You might also inquire if he will be at any events in the Bay Area this summer for you to meet him and actually demo their ukuleles.

    I am not sure what you would gain from the Kanile'a since the same fretting issue would likely be in the custom build. I bet having a Kinnard and a Kanile'a is better than having two Kanile'as.

  3. #3
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    Ono Ukuleles are a good custom choice..David Ingalls great craftsman and he is taking custom orders

    http://onoukes.com/
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the suggestion of getting in line now for a Kinnard.

    I’ll look into the Ono. I just have come to the conclusion Kinnard is second to Chuck. Which I can’t afford or wait for. I will explore suggestions on other custom options.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibes37 View Post
    So I have a Kanile’a Concert I love. Got a Clara Sun Burst being built, but I’m already planning my end of the year work bonus purchase. I’m thinking a Kinnard Spruce with rosewood. I am also considering a custom Kanile’a with the same wood combination. I have LOVED all the Kinnard sound samples, but the Kanile’a would probably be faster and cheaper. I’m not interested in anything so personalized it would be hard to sell if we didn’t click. I can’t visit either location first to see woods in person.

    My question is to those who have experience with both. Besides probably looking way cooler and a sound port option on the Kinnard is there a huge difference in build quality? I am over the moon with my current Kanile’a except I feel other Ukes are a bit easier to fret, but I don’t mind.

    Thanks for any info.
    Ease of fretting is a process of pairing what you like with how the uke is built, it can be a cheaper uke where you meet your preferred setup.
    If there is a uke you feel is easier to fret, try to note
    1. The type of fret wire used (width and height matter)
    2. Height of the strings at 3rd and 12th fret
    3. The feel of the string, do they seem lower or higher in terms of tension
    4. The width of the strings, are they fatter or thinner (worth brown are thinner typically vs nylon strings of some other brands)
    5. Profile of the neck, if is round or flat on the back, is it fat or narrow

    Kinnards are exception in their fit and finish but it does not mean you will prefer how that uke feels, due to how your hands are or they might be perfect.
    I would recommend figure out the answers to the questions above before you customize your order.

    Also, Kanilea do custom ukes and you can ask if they will put a side sound port.

    I am not advocating for one option over another, just saying that sound of a uke and the fit and finish are different than ease of fretting. In your original question you brought up ease of fretting and it might be prudent to understand what makes one uke easier to fret for you over others.

    I personally love a fat neck and larger frets with a lower to medium tension string. I found this out after owning a few ukes, I hate very low frets but some folks prefer it, I returned a Kiwaya KTS6 due to the frets (which are raved about by others..). This can also vary from uke to uke, some ukes like high tension strings based on their construction.

    Read these threads.
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...ght=neck+cents
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...ht=frets+cents

  6. #6
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    Awesome info thanks. I am not too concerned with fretting on high end Ukes. I know adjustments can be made. I just should have asked for lower action when I ordered. I’m thinking the Clara will be cake on the fretboard. Especially since I asked for slightly lower action. We’ll see what that contrast is like. I have aquired a sh@$load of Uke knowledge in 3 months. I’m sure by the time I place an order I’ll know a lot more. Thanks to this forum mostly.

    My main question is if it’s worth waiting extra time for a Kinnard. Also does Kanile’a do custom action out of their factory? I want it brand spanking new.

  7. #7
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    John Kinnard makes a wonderful ukulele, and is a man of great talents. I have one of his guitars from his time at Dell Arte, and it is a remarkable instrument. With that being said, so, too, does Kanilea make a wonderful instrument, as do many many other talented builders you'll likely see mentioned on this site. Whether one is "better" than another is entirely up to you. Your best bet when evaluating a luthier for a custom build is to play as many examples of their work as you can lay your hands on. "Easy fretting" is probably something any luthier can accomodate (or will tell you if they can't).

    No doubt many people will recommend the luthier they worked with (for example, I would definitely recommend Dave Talsma, who built my custom). But in the end, it's your uke and your decision. The process of having a custom instrument built is fun and fascinating, and a little nerve-wracking. Talk to your chosen builder about your wants and preferences, and no doubt he or she will help you figure out if you've chosen the right person.



  8. #8
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    Feb 2019
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    This is an interesting thread for me because I've never heard of either Kinnard or Ono. Now I have. Sounds like you'll end up with a beautiful instrument no matter which one you choose. The side port is an interesting concept. Does this provide more sound (more volume)?
    Kala KA-TE tenor uke (currently tuned F-Bb-D-G w/Worth Browns)
    Kala APB-CTG baritone uke (currently tuned D-G-B-E w/Martin 22 Baritone strings)
    Ohana BK-35CG baritone uke (tuned A-D-F#-B w/Savarez classical guitar strings)
    Various guitars, banjos, and basses

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by John boy View Post
    This is an interesting thread for me because I've never heard of either Kinnard or Ono. Now I have. Sounds like you'll end up with a beautiful instrument no matter which one you choose. The side port is an interesting concept. Does this provide more sound (more volume)?
    Side ports help deliver the same tone to the player sitting behind the instrument that an audience would hear sitting in front of the instrument. I thought it was a gimmick until I tried it-- now I'm completely sold.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kibes37 View Post
    I will explore suggestions on other custom options.
    Steve grimes
    Jay Litchy
    Beau Hannam
    Hive ukes
    Rick Turner Compass Rose
    Tinguitar
    wunderkammerinstruments
    Tyde
    Loprinzi
    Oceana
    All the custom builds on theukulelesite
    ..
    ..

    We are living in a great custom uke building era.. too many good options!

    Call up Kanilea, I am pretty sure they will customize the action. Also, if you buy a uke from theukulelesite, they will set it up as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kibes37 View Post
    Awesome info thanks. I am not too concerned with fretting on high end Ukes. I know adjustments can be made. I just should have asked for lower action when I ordered. I’m thinking the Clara will be cake on the fretboard. Especially since I asked for slightly lower action. We’ll see what that contrast is like. I have aquired a sh@$load of Uke knowledge in 3 months. I’m sure by the time I place an order I’ll know a lot more. Thanks to this forum mostly.

    My main question is if it’s worth waiting extra time for a Kinnard. Also does Kanile’a do custom action out of their factory? I want it brand spanking new.
    Adjustments are typically easy for nut slots and bridge heights, changing frets not so much (maybe filling them down..) The tendency of a top to like high tension strings vs light strings, is a lot harder to change.


    You can reach out to Kevin from Kinnard, maybe he can find a way for you to experience a Kinnard uke before ordering.
    Last edited by kerneltime; 04-02-2019 at 08:56 AM.

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