Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Woodpecker Instruments?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    409

    Default Woodpecker Instruments?

    Anyone heard of or have any experience with this brand? They make mini/travel guitars and ukuleles at what seems like somewhere between entry level and mid-tier quality/cost. Some of their instrument descriptions say solid koa, though I'm willing to bet they're referring to non-Hawaiian acacia. That's sort of a pet peeve of mine, but besides that, anyone familiar with them or their instruments? Their travel guitars look like kiku/guileles.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2020
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Something's definitely wrong with their wood descriptions. Several models quote "African blackwood" for both the fingerboard and the neck when that's clearly not true based on the photos - looks more like mahogany necks and generic rosewood substitute fingerboards, certainly not Dalbergia melanoxylon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    2,464

    Default

    I think it's more along the lines of Scotch Whisky vs Single Malt Whisky. Kentucky Bourbon vs Kentucky Whiskey. Roquefort vs Blue Cheese, or Champaign vs Sparkling White Wine vs Asti Spumante. Jealously guarded terms and trademarked or legally protected.

    The French sued for years to prevent American wine makers from calling their products Champaign. Ditto the Cheese industry. It took decades, but they eventually won in the courts.

    Acacia vs Hawaiian Koa.
    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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    1,033

    Default

    If that neck is African Blackwood, then African Blackwood is sure different from Tasmanian Blackwood.

    It sounds too good to be true with a solid koa ukulele, build in the EU, selling at EUR 199. That is way cheaper than Brukos plain Mahogany models.
    Since Koa is usually more expensive than generic Akacia, I get the suspicion.

    Anyway, pretty good looking instruments, I hope to read a review.
    3 tenors ukuleles and 4 concert ukuleles, wonder it that is enough.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Half-way up a hill in Southwest France
    Posts
    2,065

    Default

    Interesting! It is always good to find a brand that doesn't come from China! I have just looked at their website ... it says that they are designed in Holland and made in Europe. I should imagine that probably means that they are made in Eastern Europe somewhere.
    "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place" George Bernard Shaw

    "Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city" George Burns

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    625

    Default

    Yes, 'Made in Europe' doesn't in any way fill me with confidence. I'd much rather have Chinese made than Romanian/Bulgarian made. I know which one would be better made and last longer.
    Last edited by Counter; 08-04-2020 at 09:38 PM.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kanile'a Custom Tenor - KoAloha KTM-S00 - Pono MGTP5-PC - Pono MBD-CR

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    409

    Default

    Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that koa is a species of acacia, and the actual scientific name for one that's endemic to Hawaii. So koa would literally only be acacia grown in Hawaii, not just colloquially, but technically.

    If it were just a matter of semantics, maybe it wouldn't be a noteworthy distinction, but to my ears, koa is sonically preferable to other kinds of acacia. More importantly, koa typically commands a much higher price, whether because of its characteristics or limited supply or exotic origins or branding or whatever. Obviously it's up to the consumer to decide whether the markup is justified, but regardless of branding and actual tonal qualities, the premium that is paid for koa makes it problematic when a company markets their non-Hawaiian acacia as koa. If genuine koa costs more, for both builders and buyers, then calling something koa that's not seems dishonest (or ignorant).

    I don't know that this company is doing this; perhaps they're really selling koa in their instruments at remarkably low prices. But it seems doubtful. Giving some benefit of the doubt, maybe they just don't know better. Then again, I've seen companies do this where it just seems like it's a matter of dishonesty, in order to push sales of cheap ukes on newcomers. And I've never seen makers of higher end ukuleles call non-Hawaiian acacia "koa."

    That said, I find their travel guitars interesting as possible kikus/guileles pace @Bill1. But I haven't been able to find out their scale lengths; I was hoping someone on here had some experience with them, and could speak to their quality.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    2,338

    Default

    I have just purchased a soprano ukulele branded 'Koa Pili Koko'. It was made in China and I bought it direct from there for a mere US$115 including delivery by airmail. Despite the name 'Koa Pili Koko', the vendor (Aiersi) make it clear in their advertising that the timber was not necessarily grown in Hawaii. So it is solid acacia, but not the Hawaiian variety. It arrived a few days ago and I am very pleased with its appearance.

    It produces a strong, balanced sound but there is a problem that I have raised with Aiersi, and it is only fair to await their response before making any further comment.

    John Colter
    Last edited by ukantor; 08-05-2020 at 01:30 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    625

    Default

    There is Acacia koa which is endemic to Hawaii and about 1300 other species of Acacia grown in many temperate regions around the world such as Acacia preta which is used by Pono and other manufacturers. There are also different grades of wood of course. Gretsch for example used Acacia koa on their solid Koa models a few years ago but it was of a lower quality and much cheaper as a result. Looking at the examples on their website these also seem to be of an inferior grade but some of them don't look like Koa at all to me.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kanile'a Custom Tenor - KoAloha KTM-S00 - Pono MGTP5-PC - Pono MBD-CR

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,180

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    I think it's more along the lines of Scotch Whisky vs Single Malt Whisky. Kentucky Bourbon vs Kentucky Whiskey. Roquefort vs Blue Cheese, or Champaign vs Sparkling White Wine vs Asti Spumante. Jealously guarded terms and trademarked or legally protected.

    The French sued for years to prevent American wine makers from calling their products Champaign. Ditto the Cheese industry. It took decades, but they eventually won in the courts.

    Acacia vs Hawaiian Koa.
    I don't think I understand. You seem to be saying that these things are only nominally different but single malt whisky is vastly superior to a blended one and Roquefort is heads and shoulders above blue cheese although not as good as Stilton.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •