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Thread: k brand or custom

  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    If you are spending around $1,000 you would be well advised to try before you buy. At that level, you are unlikely to find a bad ukulele, but personal preferences become very important. My favourite uke is a KoAloha soprano, but not everybody would share that opinion.

    Even buying a bespoke instrument - one that you have commissioned and specced - is a leap of faith. It might not live up to your expectations. I've seen it happen numerous times.

    John Colter
    If trying isn't possible make sure there's a return policy
    K
    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors including Baritone body at a Tenor Scale - 4 String, 5 String and 8 String :-)
    For Sale: Seagull Nylon String
    For Sale: National Mahogany Resonator
    For Sale: Gold Tone Resonator

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    356

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Interestingly, I bought my Kamaka new, but it had been in the shop for several years. It was made in 2000 and I think I bought it around 2006. The reason it sat in the shop (I think) was an intonation problem, I think I got it cheaper because it had been there so long. So I just arranged for an experienced set-up person to fix the problem, and now I have had it 12 years or more. The cost of the set-up is now lost in history. Some Koa looks so plain when new, but just gets better with age.
    Also when you buy a custom uke it is not always just about paying for looks. Often you pay for the extra time to get details that you never see in the finished product. Like taking 30 minutes to remove 3mm of material to get an exact fit. Or making the neck so it is easy to play. Or shaving a brace to get perfect sound. However, you would be lucky to get a new custom uke with this stuff for $1000.
    So I stick to my original advice. buy a new Kamaka. If it has an intonation problem take it back to get it fixed or just find an experienced set-up tech and get it fixed. Once it is well set-up it will last a long time. The beauty of a Kamaka over the other names mentioned is that everyone knows what a Kamaka is, it is very easy to rehome.

    I agree with going to a Kamaka. I have a Kamaka, Kanilea and a Koaloha Tenor. I really like the Kanilea and the Koaloha. That said, I love the Kamaka. I'll never part with it.
    I stop in the Kamaka shop on my yearly visit to Honolulu. Chris Kamaka was in the front when I visited last month and he did a little buffing on the top to bring back some of the shine. He told me that I had been taking great care of it.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    1,019

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    I've been really impressed with the new KoAloha Tenors. I'd vote for one of those bad boys.
    Just Feel The Groooooove

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    306

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    Quote Originally Posted by ukantor View Post
    If you are spending around $1,000 you would be well advised to try before you buy. At that level, you are unlikely to find a bad ukulele, but personal preferences become very important. My favourite uke is a KoAloha soprano, but not everybody would share that opinion.

    Even buying a bespoke instrument - one that you have commissioned and specced - is a leap of faith. It might not live up to your expectations. I've seen it happen numerous times.

    John Colter
    Best advice on the thread.

    Only you can decide what sounds best to you.

    IMHO, Tone matters most then neck feel.
    Col.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
    Korg PA700, Korg Kross 2, Gibson LP, Fender Jazz Bass,
    + Amps, PA, Boss GT100, mixer.
    Ukes - Kala KA-TEME and Risa ST electric solid body.
    Uke wish list, a Bass, make and model yet to be determined

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers
    Posts
    203

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    When I was looking to upgrade from my first uke, a spruce topped Fluke, I looked at the K brands and Martin....wanted either Koa or Mahogany...liked the sound of the various K brands but didn't have the opportunity to try one in person.....so leap of faith I ordered a Koaloha from Mim's....it's a keeper.....I had the chance to handle a Kanilea recently....could have easily have bought that as well...I also recently had in my hand a Kinnard.....WOW!....a long neck soparano......I wish I would have taken a picture of it......way above my league in so many ways....,..but if I could play better I would have bought it.....I might buy a "custom" or high end uke someday but I'm not likely to order....if I find something to my liking, and I've got the money, and it's available I'll hit the buy button......if not....that's ok....I'll play with what I have.....

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