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Thread: How is Ohana for overall quality?

  1. #31

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    So after reading all this and doing some thinking on things, I went ahead and bought the Ohana I had been eyeing. Hopefully a pic will show up in this post...

    Going in, I knew that:
    1, this was from a small shop and they don’t do setups (none locally do)
    2, there were some big QC issues that I noticed, but felt they did not hurt the functionality
    3, I would have to completely tear the uke down and redo it, which I did in about an hour going fairly slow and kinda stumbling thru it
    4, there’s a few small issues I can’t fix myself, no do i feel that they could be fixed by anyone else outside of a pro woodworker or luthier (some are finish issues, one is the resonator isn’t round...)

    All that said, the damn thing is beautiful to play. I still need to dial in the neck angles and all but I think I’m set.

    I had to take it all apart to recenter the head, straighten the tail piece and most of the hooks, set the bridge blah blah blah.

    I think that my uke is probably better quality than say a kmise but not by much, but it does have a nice head on it rather than a no name.

    0AD25342-79A9-46FC-876E-E61C7FB1C55E.jpg

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    761

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    Cool. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Capital District, New York
    Posts
    3,610

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    With one of the Ohana ukes that I bought from Mim, she sent an email telling me that she had found a blemish during setup, and would either discount that instrument, or I could have its twin, which had no blemishes. I looked at the photos that she sent me, decided that it made no difference whatsoever - neither I, nor the audience would see it without going over every bit of the instrument with a magnifying glass, and it didn't affect the sound one bit. So I refused to accept the discount, stayed with the instrument I had ordered, and I am 100% happy with it.

    I have no intention of selling it, but if I ever do it will only be to someone who plays it, looks it over closely, and offers me something we both agree to be a reasonable price. Otherwise, I'll just keep it until I can't play anymore, and if neither my nephews nor my wife's niece and nephew's kids want it, I will give it away.

    (And to be honest, without going back through that year's emails, I have no idea which uke it was that had the blem, or what it was; I just remember Mim offering to give me a price break, and that I chose not to accept it, because it was so not a big deal. She is totally honest, and I've been happy to spend money with her.
    Banjo Ukes: Southern Cross, Firefly, Stella
    Sopranos: Donaldson, Timms, Moku, Waterman, Bugsgear, Outdoor, Waverly Street, Harmony
    Concerts:Cocobolo #412, Ohana CK450QEL, CK-65D, Rosewood Vita, Mahogany Vita,
    Donaldson Custom, Epi Les Paul, National Triolian Reso, Republic
    Tenors: Kala KA-KTG-CY, KoAloha Sceptre, Fluke, Cordoba 20TM
    Bass: Fluke Timber

    Am I done?

    ...Maybe?...

    My YouTube Channel

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Eastern CT
    Posts
    483

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    I have two Ohanas: An absolutely gorgeous gloss solid mahogany pineapple soprano, and a solid mahogany sopranissimo. They are both very well-made, and they both sound great and play very well. This is partly due, as it seems to be for many in this thread, to the magic of a good setup (the pineapple came from Mike at Uke Republic, and the O'Nino from Mim, about whom not enough good can be said--I've bought 3 ukes from her, and all are fantastic players). Set up properly, and stepping up to the solid woods from the low-end laminates, Ohanas offer fantastic bang for the buck.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Nor Cal USA
    Posts
    1,189

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    I have two Ohanas I rarely play, they are great, but they have an annoying third string that booms louder than the others. I've tried changing strings and detuning and a lot of things but the booming third strings ruin it for me. If I ever get to note picking, it won't matter but for strumming chords, they suck!

    For my strumming play I stick with my Rubin/Caramels. Very cheap but nice and easy to play.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
    Posts
    1,374

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    I have a pair of Ohana ukes myself: a Sinker Redwood/Rosewood Concert from Elderly, and a Redwood/Rosewood Tenor from Mim's Ukes. Both are all-solid woods and both are fabulous instruments. I love the way they play and sound! I also have a couple of Kala ukes: an MGM Tenor and a Solid Acacia Baritone, both from The Ukulele Site. They're both fine ukes, as well. The folks at Kala have stepped up their game in recent years.
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    18

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    The Ohana TK-39 that I just put down to type this post came from Mim, and is everything an average-to-mediocre player (looking in the mirror now) needs it to be. If it has any construction flaws, they aren't evident to my untrained eye. Thanks to Mim, the setup and playability are magical.

    I do think the setup makes a huge difference. I'm developing a bit of arthritic stiffness in my fretting hand, and I can't play the budget Kala uke I started on (purchased from Amazon) at all now. But both the Ohana from Mim and the laminate Kala I have (purchased from Uke Republic) still let me do my thing most days. (On the days when I can't, it's not the uke's fault.)
    Ohana TK-39 (solid mahogany tenor: Nani — “Beauty”)
    Kala KA-ZCT-T (ziricote laminate tenor: ’Uhane — “Ghost”)

    “Strictly rhythm, he doesn’t wanna make it cry or sing...” — Dire Straits

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boulder, CO!
    Posts
    391

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwanShadow View Post
    The Ohana TK-39 that I just put down to type this post came from Mim, and is everything an average-to-mediocre player (looking in the mirror now) needs it to be. If it has any construction flaws, they aren't evident to my untrained eye. Thanks to Mim, the setup and playability are magical.

    I do think the setup makes a huge difference. I'm developing a bit of arthritic stiffness in my fretting hand, and I can't play the budget Kala uke I started on (purchased from Amazon) at all now. But both the Ohana from Mim and the laminate Kala I have (purchased from Uke Republic) still let me do my thing most days. (On the days when I can't, it's not the uke's fault.)
    I will second the TK-39 as a superb but relatively inexpensive uke option. It definitely has all of the "bark" you'd expect from a mahogany uke and the build seems pretty thin and light compared to other imports! It's the only imported ukulele I play currently and holds its own/delivers something different than my Kamaka and Koaloha.
    -Ben

    KoAloha Pineapple Sunday 6 String
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor
    1928 Harmony Johnny Marvin
    Ohana TK-39
    c. 1970's Hikare Baritone
    Gretsch G9100
    Outdoor Ukulele Soprano #43


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  9. #39

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    Thanks everyone for your help. I’ve got it sorted note

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