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Thread: Koaloha KTM-00 or aNueNue UT200

  1. #1
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    Default Koaloha KTM-00 or aNueNue UT200

    Hey all, I've already spoken to a couple forum members about this, which has been incredibly helpful, so I decided to open the question to this broader group.

    I'm fairly new to ukulele but loving it and decided to get an upgraded uke and go with a tenor size. I've narrowed it down to the 2 in the title after watching tons of youtube videos, searching the forums, etc.

    Which would you purchase as your first big upgrade? I have an inexpensive kala soprano and a solid-top tenor cordoba.

    I'm only a few months in so don't really have much of a style yet. I have large hands so generally prefer some spacing between strings. Besides that, I just want a great overall uke.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Md99 View Post
    I'm only a few months in so don't really have much of a style yet. I have large hands so generally prefer some spacing between strings. Besides that, I just want a great overall uke.
    Welcome aboard. Great choice in ukes. Both are ukes I have eyeballing hardcore for a while now. I personally don't have either of these but I believe the Koaloha has a 1.5 inch nut width and I think the Anuenue is slightly narrower at 1 3/8. So the Koaloha is slightly wider. But maybe a Anuenue owner can speak on this.

    I think this will boil down to a personal preference of the sound and looks. I don't think you would wrong with either. Just an FYI mim's has a handful of the old KTM-00's (like from a few months ago before they redesigned it) for a little over a thousand. Killer deal for a brand new KTM-00.
    Last edited by deznuchs; 07-08-2020 at 01:31 PM.
    Kamaka HF-3 w/Mi-Si Acoustic Trio | Kanile’a KSE-T w/LR Baggs 5.0
    Koaloha KTM-25 Silver Series |KALA KA-ZTP-CTG w/LR Baggs 5.0

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I started my desire to get a tenor thinking I'd spend around $100 but now research and reading forums like these have led me to justifying the $1000+ I'm excited to get one; whichever I choose.

  4. #4
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    Yes, the Koaloha has a wide 38mm nut, but has fingerboard binding, with frets starting inside that, so the string spread (a more important measurement, IMO) is only 27mm from G to A. 27mm is the same as many cheap import ukes with only 35mm nuts.

    Touting a 38mm nut when you only get a 27mm string spread seems silly to me; the potential benefits of the wider nut are wasted. Of course, I've never played one myself, so grain of salt, but specs are specs, and 27mm string spread is always more difficult for me. YMMV.

    I believe the Moonbird has a 35mm nut, but I'm not sure on the string spread. If it's more than the Koaloha's 27mm, it may give you more of the room room you want.
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 06-28-2020 at 04:29 PM.
    John

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Yes, the Koaloha has a wide 38mm nut, but has fingerboard binding, with frets starting inside that, so the string spread (a more important measurement, IMO) is only 27mm from G to A. 27mm is the same as many cheap import ukes with only 35mm nuts.

    Touting a 38mm nut when you only get a 27mm string spread seems silly to me; the potential benefits of the wider nut are wasted. But that's just me, YMMV.

    I believe the Moonbird has a 35mm nut, but I'm not sure on the string spread. If it's more than the Koaloha's 27mm, it may give you more of the room room you want.
    Yes that's true. Although the nut width is wide for the Koaloha the string width isn't really. The couple people who I've talked to that play it and also prefer wider string spacing seem to not mind it, though. It'd be great to be able to play either first, but with covid it just isn't possible.

  6. #6
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    Speaking to the concert and soprano sizes...

    The KoAloha has a brighter sound on the high end, the aNueNue is a little more balanced in tones and mellower. The aNueNue has a slightly radiused fretboard and the KoAloha is nonradiused. Both are joyful to own and play.

  7. #7
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    I think you should go with the KoAloha because they are made in Hawaii and it sounds sweet and LOUD. When upgrading, I would opt for the tone woods and the quality when I make an upgrade. I'm always keen about making a purchase. For example, not all expensive ukuleles sound good. I would recommend you to do these three steps when upgrading an instruments.

    1. PRICE
    2. SOUND
    3. LOOK

    Upgrading an ukulele is fairly easy. Just make sure you buy it at an appropriate time and don't spend too much money on something you don't like. For the first 2 months I play the ukulele, I purchased an Ohana SK - 10 and it was pretty good. A Yard Sale in my neighborhood had a Cordoba 10cm and that had scratches from the owner which I bought for a fair amount of money. It sounds very good for a Chinese made instrument. I later trade in my Ohana and bought a vintage ukulele which I add extra money in. I play on the Cordoba mostly and the vintage is for when I need to "show off". About a month ago, I fell in love with custom ukuleles and actually posted the vintage ukulele on the forum and still available as of now. I ordered an ukulele from a luthier that have more than 30 years experience in building ukulele. Well, check out my custom ukulele thread here.

    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...ldson-Ukuleles
    Benjamin
    Last edited by TheUkuleleStyle; 06-28-2020 at 04:34 PM.
    Benjamin Bui
    theukulelerock@gmail.com
    Mahalo!

  8. #8
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    Both are excellent choices, but very different in looks, sound, feel, and build. Actually, I'm tending to say that the two models would complement each other perfectly: one being "traditionallly" made in Hawaii from Koa, the other one having a very unusual design and more guitar-like tonewoods as well as additional features like that radiused fretboard. Therefore, it would be very interesting to own both. If that is not an option, then I'd go for sound. To me, that would be the KoAloha, even though I really like the unusual look of the Moon Bird.

    Good luck with your purchase, let us know what you end up with.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  9. #9
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    I agree with a lot of the previous comments. Both ukes are really good quality so ultimately you can't go wrong with either. In my opinion, the quality aNueNue puts out does slightly eclipse the KoAlohas but only in the finish and little details. For example, the gloss finish is generally better on aNueNues, and the Moon Birds particularly have more work put on the looks (binding, soundhole rosette, ebony headplate, among others) of the uke if that matters to you at all. Since they are fairly similarly priced, I too believe that the choice should come to preference of the sound of the uke and possible whether you want a more traditional style uke or a modern feeling one. The KoAloha is brighter and punchier (probably more so than any other ukulele, to be honest) and the Moon Bird is more balanced excelling in all ranges, low, mid and high, but certainly has brightness and projection as well. Good luck on the decision.

    A quick comment regarding the nut/neck width: As mentioned, since the KoAloha has frets that are sort of cut off before they reach the side of the fretboard, the string spacing is narrower, analogous to a 36mm nut if I recall correctly. The aNueNue is the exact opposite. The nut width and string spacing are both very similar to the KoAloha but the outermost strings are very close to the fretboard edges which means you need to fret the strings slightly more accurately in order to avoid pulling the string over the edge of the fretboard. I wouldn't say it's a major issue and it's something that you'll get used to fairly quickly, but taking that into account I'd say the KoAloha just edges (pun very much intended) the aNueNue in playability.

  10. #10
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    These are great thoughts. Thank you everyone. I've definitely had both in a cart for checkout recently, hah. Staying married is more important than owning both right now so will only be buying one at the moment. Still going back and forth a bit but will decide soon.

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