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Thread: Carvalho or Kremona -- Next Concert Uke

  1. #1
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    Default Carvalho or Kremona -- Next Concert Uke

    Having just read through Naisha's post on Lanikai vs Thomann (https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...full-solid-uke), I thought I'd throw out another comparison. Both are European brands and I've found limited reviews of the specific models I'm looking at, so I figured I could seek some trusted opinions here....

    I'm looking at the Kremona Mari Concert and the Carvalho Slim Koa Wood Concert. I acknowledge they are different price points (295 and 209 respectively), and they have two different forms (full body and slim body respectively). I'm looking to replace my travel ukulele, but the concert case I travel with allows room for either the slim body or the full body. I'm interested in your opinions on either brand or either specific uke. Is the Carvalho a decent upgrade to an all-laminate travel uke? Is the additional expense of the Kremona Mari worth it?
    Adam

    C.F. Martin (C1K) All Solid Koa Concert - Martin M610 Premium Polygut Soprano/Concert
    Kremona Coco All Solid Cedar / Indian Rosewood - Savarez 140R Soprano/Concert
    Kala (KA-SPMT-TRI) All Solid Spruce / Pau Ferro / Mango Tenor - PhD Ukulele Strings Tenor Low G
    Kala (KA-SWG-BL) Glow-in-the-Dark Aqua Matte Waterman Soprano - Martin M600 Clear Fluorocarbon Soprano/Concert

  2. #2
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    Oct 2018
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    Following this one too!

  3. #3
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    I own a Kremona Mari, but the tenor size. I'm guessing the concert size is a new release as I haven't seen one yet (a soprano version has been around for a while). My Mari is well made and sounds great. I wrote a review if you're interested:

    https://fraryguitar.com/kremona_mari.htm

  4. #4
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    Peter -- Great review. I read it before and it's the main reason I'm leaning toward the Kremona ukulele. Thanks.

    How would you say it compares to other tenor shapes and sizes? I don't have a shop nearby, so I won't be able to put my hands on the Mari until I'm traveling. I'm wondering if the concert Mari will fit in a standard concert hard case? Yes, a bit of an odd question, but my questions to the seller and Kremona have gone unanswered?

    Anyone have thoughts or experience with the Carvalho?
    Adam

    C.F. Martin (C1K) All Solid Koa Concert - Martin M610 Premium Polygut Soprano/Concert
    Kremona Coco All Solid Cedar / Indian Rosewood - Savarez 140R Soprano/Concert
    Kala (KA-SPMT-TRI) All Solid Spruce / Pau Ferro / Mango Tenor - PhD Ukulele Strings Tenor Low G
    Kala (KA-SWG-BL) Glow-in-the-Dark Aqua Matte Waterman Soprano - Martin M600 Clear Fluorocarbon Soprano/Concert

  5. #5
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    I own two Kremona tenors—Mari and Coco—and they came with a wood hard case. I don't use wood cases due to the extreme heat in my car trunk—live on Oahu—so I use foam cases for the better heat insulation. They're standard tenor size, fitting any tenor case I've tried them in (Kremona, Gator, Crazy Uke and ProTec). So I'm guessing Kremona will follow that pattern for a concert size instrument. The Kremona neck design is slightly smaller in width than I'd like and similar in feel to Pono necks but a little more slender.

    Last Fall Kremona had a great deal: buy a 7-string Russian classical guitar and get a free Mari. Probably the deal is over but worth checking into. As for contacting Kremona, they're fairly responsive on their FB page so you might give that a try.

  6. #6
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    Providing an update after my trip and purchase...

    First, on the Carvalho, I didn't get to play the exact model (Carvalho Slim Koa Wood Concert) I was looking at online. That said, the shop had several Carvalhos and I played a few. None of them impressed me enough in build or sound to motivate me to search out the Slim "Koa" Wood Concert. IMO the Carvalho ukes I tried were relatively consistent with the review given by Barry on the APC / Antonio Carvalho SS Soprano Ukulele (https://www.gotaukulele.com/2018/12/...o-ukulele.html).

    So, on to the Kremona Mari, and I was out of luck there for a different reason. The Kremona Mari Concert was sold about a week before I got there, so the shop only had a soprano. Beautiful build, loved the sound. However, I wasn't looking for a soprano, and if I was going to lay out the money I wanted a concert scale.

    "What then," you say? The shop had the other Kremona uke model--the Coco--in the window. Yes, a little more expensive, but WOW!! I can't do better than Peter or Barry in their reviews of the tenor size--the concert is just as reviewed:
    https://fraryguitar.com/kremona_coco.htm
    https://www.gotaukulele.com/2014/03/...le-review.html

    Just my luck, the particular Coco Concert in the window had some blemishes, so I got a fantastic deal. The shop also threw in a pack of Savarez Alliance KF 140R strings, so I quickly ditched the stock Aquilas for the Savarez strings. They settled in quickly and I've been loving it ever since. As for a case, because I purchased the Kremona outside the U.S., it didn't come with the case. I wasn't disappointed because it fits perfectly inside my Eddy Finn concert hard case.

    Thanks, Peter, for the review and feedback.

    To all those in search of their next uke: I can't encourage you enough to find it and play it before you pull the trigger--particularly if you're buying it online. [**My only exception would be the sound samples from HMS if you're already comfortable with the brand and size]
    Adam

    C.F. Martin (C1K) All Solid Koa Concert - Martin M610 Premium Polygut Soprano/Concert
    Kremona Coco All Solid Cedar / Indian Rosewood - Savarez 140R Soprano/Concert
    Kala (KA-SPMT-TRI) All Solid Spruce / Pau Ferro / Mango Tenor - PhD Ukulele Strings Tenor Low G
    Kala (KA-SWG-BL) Glow-in-the-Dark Aqua Matte Waterman Soprano - Martin M600 Clear Fluorocarbon Soprano/Concert

  7. #7
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    Feb 2019
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    Honolulu
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    Congratulations Adam! Coco is a real canon and a looker.

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