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Thread: KoAloha Tenor Buying Advice?

  1. #11

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    So you're UAS may alter after hearing one of their Hawaiian koa instruments. There's an immediacy to the playing from the way KoAloha designs their instruments, and you get that with the Acacia. But if you listen to videos of the Hawaiian koa instruments and even the spruce Opios, there is a clarity and openness on top that I like that is missing from the Acacia. Acacia, while related to koa, is a softer wood, so it doesn't have the same characteristics. It's a little darker sounding ans not as clear on top. I have another company's acacia model, and it's nice sounding, full down below, but not as open sounding. Overall, I love KoAloha's design and customer service philosophy.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    5,801

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    I did listen to quite a few Koa ukes, including some really expensive ones, but I found the acacia sounded better to my ears, especially at half the price or less - we're all different.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    230

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    Of course everyone has their own preferences when it comes to sound but, for me, the koa KoAloha wins - hands down - over the acacia KoAloha. My experience is limited to the concert scale models, but I have read wonderful things about KoAloha's koa tenors. My recommendation would be to save your pennies for a used one.
    Jan D
    KoAloha KCM-00 (koa concert)
    KoAloha KCO-10 (acacia concert Opio)
    Ohana TK-35CG (mahogany tenor w/cutaway)
    Kala KA-SLNG (long neck soprano)
    Snail SUC (solid top mahogany concert)
    Flight TUS35 (blue soprano)

  4. #14

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    So member TobyDog was kind to get together with me to show me her spruce tenor KoAloha Opio. It's a nice player and sounds good, but it sounds like a spruce topped instrument. Focused, loud, guitar-like, but harmonically simple. It has none of the rich, complex harmonic overtones of their koa instruments. I'm going to have to seek out a used one, I think.

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