Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 42

Thread: KoAlana

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    7,688

    Default KoAlana

    I have a KoAlana tenor coming my way. How many of you have a KoAlana?

    Do any of you know the production history? It seems to be on-again/off-again. I'm buying from an individual, but dealers are selling new ones. Nothing on the KoAloha site, though.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    2,482

    Default

    Hi Jerry!

    I’ve reached out to KoAloha to see if they will let me review a KoAlana: we’ll see what happens. I’m such a fan of the company that if they won’t send me one (loaner) to review, I’ll likely buy one.

    I have only been playing since 2016, but I’m a big fan of KoAloha (like you) and this model series has been of interest to me.

    I believe there have been 4 versions of the KoAlana. It has always been a side project of KoAloha to provide a Kala/Ohana price point, much like Kanile’a and their Islander (Kanile’a has been far more successful with Islander, but that entire series is handled in California).

    The first is one that I own; an all mahogany model made in China, with internal KoAloha bracing—a far inferior ukulele. The finish failed on these, and most were reclaimed by the company on warranty claims. I don’t think it went much further than that.

    The second was the predecessor to the Opio...a more expensive KoAlana, made by the Opio/Rebel factory. These were pretty good—you don’t see them come up for sale very often. I think they were Sapele.

    After KoAloha switched the branding from KoAlana to KoAloha Opio, there was another laminate—this was around that 2016 period when I started playing ukulele. I never saw much of these models and am not sure any were even sold; but I remember seeing them in the catalog.

    Then the latest batch was announced at NAMM in 2019 with the MonkeyPod laminate. The whole first batch was lost in a fire and models didn’t start showing up until 2020. KoAloha sold out of these; a new batch just came
    In not too long ago (KoAloha posted a picture on social media).

    There aren’t too many recordings or demos of these new KoAlanas; some reputable dealers have gently suggested that customers look at another brand like Kala or Ohana if people are interested in the KoAlana.

    As a teacher, I can’t reasonably bring a KoAloha Opio or KoAloha to school much of the year (lower than 30% humidity, having to have it available out of the case 8 hours a day) so even a “standard” laminate tone KoAloha would appeal to me for that use—so I’m very interested.

    Let us know what you think when it arrives.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    7,688

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Choirguy View Post
    Hi Jerry!

    I’ve reached out to KoAloha to see if they will let me review a KoAlana: we’ll see what happens. I’m such a fan of the company that if they won’t send me one (loaner) to review, I’ll likely buy one.

    I have only been playing since 2016, but I’m a big fan of KoAloha (like you) and this model series has been of interest to me.

    I believe there have been 4 versions of the KoAlana. It has always been a side project of KoAloha to provide a Kala/Ohana price point, much like Kanile’a and their Islander (Kanile’a has been far more successful with Islander, but that entire series is handled in California).

    The first is one that I own; an all mahogany model made in China, with internal KoAloha bracing—a far inferior ukulele. The finish failed on these, and most were reclaimed by the company on warranty claims. I don’t think it went much further than that.

    The second was the predecessor to the Opio...a more expensive KoAlana, made by the Opio/Rebel factory. These were pretty good—you don’t see them come up for sale very often. I think they were Sapele.

    After KoAloha switched the branding from KoAlana to KoAloha Opio, there was another laminate—this was around that 2016 period when I started playing ukulele. I never saw much of these models and am not sure any were even sold; but I remember seeing them in the catalog.

    Then the latest batch was announced at NAMM in 2019 with the MonkeyPod laminate. The whole first batch was lost in a fire and models didn’t start showing up until 2020. KoAloha sold out of these; a new batch just came
    In not too long ago (KoAloha posted a picture on social media).

    There aren’t too many recordings or demos of these new KoAlanas; some reputable dealers have gently suggested that customers look at another brand like Kala or Ohana if people are interested in the KoAlana.

    As a teacher, I can’t reasonably bring a KoAloha Opio or KoAloha to school much of the year (lower than 30% humidity, having to have it available out of the case 8 hours a day) so even a “standard” laminate tone KoAloha would appeal to me for that use—so I’m very interested.

    Let us know what you think when it arrives.
    Thanks for that!
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    4,186

    Default

    I noticed that these were listed on the Koaloha website a while back, then later removed, so I'm wondering if these are even being made at all anymore? One thing I noticed was that the Koalana frets went almost all the way to the edge of the fretboard, allowing a wider string spacing at the nut, instead of the usual Koaloha 38mm nut and skinny 27mm string spacing. I hope that Koaloha will offer that on their high end models some day. See comparison pic.

    KTM-00 new headstock2.JPG Koalana headstock.JPG
    Last edited by Ukecaster; 11-01-2020 at 05:46 AM.
    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Midlands GB
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    As Choirguy says, the first KoAlana ukes were atrocious. A few were sold in the UK, about 14 years ago. They were Chinese made, with bodies from solid Sapele, but the standard of fit and finish was the worst I have ever seen. I was told that a few were sold in the UK, but most of the shipment was sent back to China. I was given three sopranos and two concerts, and managed to make all of them playable, but it took an unreasonable amount of time and effort.

    The instruments released more recently, using the KoAlana branding, are a completely different proposition. The early debacle should not discourage anyone from buying a more recent KoAlana.

    John Colter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    198

    Default

    What did the individual tell you? What is it made of? What was the year? And where was it made? That will tell the story.

    I love my KoAlana Sapele. My ear adores the warm muddy depth of mahogany. I'm sure you'll be giving us a report.
    KoAlana Sapele Concert -- now known as the KoAloha Opio
    Mainland Mahogany Concert - my knockabout jam ukulele
    Mahalo Pineapple Soprano -- the one that started it all
    Blue Frog Maple Soprano - Beautiful sonorous sound cannon

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    141

    Default

    Ukerepublic just got a new shipment of them and here is their description:

    Koalanas are back and better than ever! KoAloha has been working closely with a new factory in Indonesia to reinvent and improve their entry-level ukulele line. The new Koalanas are built with laminated Trembesi wood. Not just a beginner ukulele, the new and improved KoAlana is a great instrument at an affordable price.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    7,688

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by M3dicat3dV3t View Post
    Ukerepublic just got a new shipment of them and here is their description:

    Koalanas are back and better than ever! KoAloha has been working closely with a new factory in Indonesia to reinvent and improve their entry-level ukulele line. The new Koalanas are built with laminated Trembesi wood. Not just a beginner ukulele, the new and improved KoAlana is a great instrument at an affordable price.
    Yes, that's what I'm getting, and the seller bought it from Uke Like a Pro.

    Trembesi wood -
    https://furniture-indonesian.com/ind...%20teak%20wood.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    New England, USA
    Posts
    4,186

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    Yes, that's what I'm getting, and the seller bought it from Uke Like a Pro.

    Trembesi wood -
    https://furniture-indonesian.com/ind...%20teak%20wood.
    Jerry, what size Koalana are you getting? I hope you'll post your opinion about it.
    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    7,688

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Jerry, what size Koalana are you getting? I hope you'll post your opinion about it.
    It's a tenor - glossy, although the picture doesn't show it.

    KoAlanaSide.jpg
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

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
  •