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Thread: Pre-NUD Kelali Koa Concert

  1. #1
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    Jul 2019
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    Default Pre-NUD Kelali Koa Concert

    I've never been completely happy with my concert koa. It's a Hawaiian K-Brand, but I never fell in love with it like my Kamaka tenor or soprano. so as opposed to buying a Kamaka concert, which is the size that now works best for me, I asked Kevin Keith (Kelali) about making me one with a very low setup to take care of my hand problems.

    The wood is A2 koa and the only difference from his usual concerts is the adding of a carbon fiber piece to the neck because of my request for a very low setup. He wants to be certain there is absolutely no future movement of the neck. He usually does this only for tenor or larger.

    He is sending me pictures of his work and, like I did for my last custom, I thought I'd share a few with you. It's always a learning experience for me to see how the wood-to-uke magic happens.

    Koa Concert_2203.jpg Koa Concert_2200.jpg Koa Concert_2206.jpg Koa Concert_2213.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Beautiful grain on the wood. Watching it come to life is an exciting process, full of promise!

    Bluesy.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2019
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    The body is now together and Kevin is working on the binding and fret board. If you like my posting these pics, let me know. I'm not sure how many look at these. It is possible I am the only one who likes build pics, and there is no reason for me to post them.

    Koa Concert_2227.jpg Koa Concert_2240.jpg Koa Concert_2244.jpg

  4. #4
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    Jul 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed1 View Post
    The body is now together and Kevin is working on the binding and fret board. If you like my posting these pics, let me know. I'm not sure how many look at these. It is possible I am the only one who likes build pics, and there is no reason for me to post them.

    Koa Concert_2227.jpg Koa Concert_2240.jpg Koa Concert_2244.jpg
    I love build photos. Please keep posting them!

    He seems very reasonably priced. What are the specs, like nut width, string spacing, radius or not, and so on?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyful Uke View Post
    I love build photos. Please keep posting them!

    He seems very reasonably priced. What are the specs, like nut width, string spacing, radius or not, and so on?
    It's a custom so I'm guessing I could have had any of the above. I didn't want a radius this time b/c I don't think it makes that much of a difference for my hand issues. What really matters to me is a very, very low setup which is why he put a carbon rod in the neck. He wanted to make sure there is and won't be in the future any subtle movement that might cause a buzz. I like a nut of 1.5" which is also his favorite. Since we liked the same nut size, I thought I wouldn't mention the G to A span, figuring I might get something I like more than the past.

    This concert will have 14 frets to the body and 18 total. The body is about 11", the lower bout about 7.75" and the depth about 2.75 max. He mentioned that usually everything is slightly larger than these measurements.

    All Koa body with Honduran Mahogany neck and carbon fiber rod embedded in the neck for stability - Grover Sta Tite tuners, open gear - Ebony fingerboard and bridge - white Corian Nut and Saddle - Mother or Pearl fingerboard dots on the 5,7,10,12th frets, with side dots - Nickel silver frets - Head plate veneer made from Koa - black and white veneer to match walnut bindings.

    I think that covers it

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed1 View Post
    It's a custom so I'm guessing I could have had any of the above.
    I think some of the "customs" are variations on a standard template, (maybe I'm wrong), but yours sounds like it's fully custom. Sounds great!

    I'll be following along, enjoying a uke build vicariously. :-)

  7. #7
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    Jul 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joyful Uke View Post
    I think some of the "customs" are variations on a standard template, (maybe I'm wrong), but yours sounds like it's fully custom. Sounds great!
    I think you're right about the template for bodies. Since a form needs to be made for the sides and bindings, some kind of template is necessary. Kevin Keith does use a template for the body, but it is one he has created after looking at other ukuleles, talking to other builders, and his own experience. The neck, however is finished to the specs he and the buyer decide upon.
    Koa Concert_2249.jpg Koa Concert_2252.jpg Koa Concert_2254.jpg

  8. #8
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    Sounds dreamy! I'll bet you'll love the concert scale. I love it for the tone, and ease of play, compared to either a soprano or a tenor. A radiused fretboard of about 12" won't hurt a darn thing.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  9. #9
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    Jul 2019
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    OK, I'm now officially excited!
    This is the last picture before the final glamour shots, showing the finish on the top.
    Koa Concert_2269.jpg
    Last edited by Ed1; 05-15-2021 at 04:48 AM.

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