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Thread: NUD: My Momento of KoAloha History #043

  1. #1
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    Default NUD: My Momento of KoAloha History #043

    I knew as soon as I saw the 25th Anniversary Editions for KoAloha, I would want one for the history, mainly. Why do I say, "Mainly?" Well, I am a KoAloha fan ever since the first concert I purchased in 2012, and then a Tenor, Sceptre, 6-string Imailkulani, a Pikake soprano, and two Pineapple Sundays. This is not to brag, for sure. KoAloha is the sound that touches my soul. This past year I was lucky enough to purchase here on UU a perfect condition Early KoAloha soprano (1997) that was one of the earliest from Pops- and now, in this 25th Anniversary year, I am now the proud recipient of #043 of the Anniversary Edition Tenors.

    I remember the very first time I became aware of Koaloha. I was in Waikiki in 2009 and I was visiting Ukulele stores and saw these beautiful KoAlohas but I knew nothing about them. I owned a 1976 Kamaka 8-string that I had purchased from Sam Kamaka at the Kamaka factory back in the 1970's and believed that Kamaka was the best ever. To my surprise, in store after store, the sales folks kept telling me about KoAloha. One guy actually said, " I know you love your Kamaka, and Kamaka is great, but Koaloha is the best." I did not get a Koaloha at that time, but eventually I got a wonderful concert from a member here at UU that was built in 2009 and I fell in love. For me, at least, that store owner in Waikiki was right-- KoAloha No Ka Oi.

    The light shade of Koa on this Anniversary Edition Tenor is very different from all of my other KoAloha's. It is set off beautifully by the ebony headstock, bridge, and fretboard. The upgraded silver tuners are perfect for the Silver Anniversary and the black and silver label with #043 adds a subtle, yet elegant feel to this special anniversary. It is just a gorgeous ukulele.

    How does it play? It plays as one would expect a Koaloha to play and sound. The KoAloha team did did not want to reinvent the wheel, or deviate from what has made them successful these past 25 years, as anybody who loves KoAloha knows, it is all about the sound. The upgrades they made have added the right amount of change to make this limited edition stand out, without adding significantly to the price, and without changing the character of a Koaloha Ukulele. In this special limited edition, you get everything you could want: a special limited edition uke that carries the KoAloha sound into their second quarter century.

    For me, having an early Koaloha (Pops actually made the label on his home printer) and then 25 years later, an Anniversary Edition is special. It speaks of KoAloha's continual dedication over time to excellence. Keeping it small in order to control quality and never sacrificing quality.

    Another point that makes this ukulele special for me is that it was hand selected by Pops, strung and tested by Pops, and then shipped to me with Aloha by Pops. Who can ask for more?

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    Last edited by efiscella; 02-24-2020 at 01:27 PM. Reason: added a word

  2. #2
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    Ed, that is truly a very striking looking 25th Anniversary Ko'Aloha. The paler blonde wood is a terrific contrast to the ebony.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #3
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    Looks like a winner! So is there any noticeable difference in sound from non-25th anniversary editions? If improved at all, may consider selling the old for the new.

  4. #4
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    I am still getting use to the new tenor- just got it today, and I notice a difference but not better and not worse. Just as there would be with any handmade uke-- each will be different. It plays the same and has that great Koaloha sound. I would say that this one favors the higher register a little more than my other tenor. My previous KoAloha Tenor is August 2019 and this is January 2020. The August 2019 is a canon, whereas, this new one is a bit more mellow, but again, it is brand new and has not opened up at all, yet.
    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow21 View Post
    Looks like a winner! So is there any noticeable difference in sound from non-25th anniversary editions? If improved at all, may consider selling the old for the new.

  5. #5
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    Beautiful uke Ed, and although I've never played a Koaloha, I can feel your love for their wonderful instruments. Hey, you forgot to mention the Wow, Bangers, and other newer ukes that Pops is putting so much thought and effort into lately! He's quite a guy, and uke pioneer, from what I've read here. A Koaloha is definitely on my short list for my first my K-brand tenor one day. Enjoy that one!
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 02-24-2020 at 03:18 PM.
    John

  6. #6
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    Thanks John. I'm a pretty lucky guy.

    In the box that came with my Anniversary Edition was also an outstanding AO that Pops asked me to put up online for sale. It, again, is a prototype and I will be putting up shortly. I just need to get a price from Pops. It is pretty stunning in person and the sound is amazing. The ebony headstock has KoA inlay and ebony binding all around. Also a KoAloha hard case. Here are some pics from the unboxing. I'll be posting in Marketplace as soon as I get a price.

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