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Thread: Kamaka and koaloha and kanilea sopranos

  1. #1
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Kamaka and koaloha and kanilea sopranos

    Hey people of the forums, I was wondering if you guys have any feelings on these sopranos. If you do post a response. Thanks

  2. #2
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    Hi uke philly! They all have their fans, and they're all good. Here's what I've learned recently.

    My first "K" soprano was my Koaloha Pikake, strung with Worth Clears, which I absolutely adored until my Kamaka came my way. I had tried several Kamakas in stores before and been underwhelmed, but none of them were strung with Aquilas, which made all the difference in the world. While I still think the Koaloha is a fine uke, IMO the Kamaka has a much richer, more complex sound. It's also smaller, which for me, as a not-large person, is a plus, but others may find that a drawback.

    I'm currently test-driving a Kanile'a concert - I'd love to get my hands on a soprano for comparison. While the sound is nice and mellow, and the 20 frets are certainly good to have, if I had to choose between a Kanile'a concert and a Kamaka concert, I'd still go for the Kamaka (unless I found a great deal on the Kanile'a, in which case, why not?) Kanile'a ukes have slightly larger necks, and for me they feel a bit awkward.

    It's a tough comparison because they're all nice, and I suspect if you were to order any one of them, sight-unseen and sound-unheard, you'd be happy with it.

    You might find this thread helpful, as well as this post.

  3. #3
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    I currently own a Kamaka tenor but I have owned (have since sold them) a KoAloha tenor, Kamaka soprano, KoAloha soprano, and a Kanilea concert. I was pretty underwhelmed with the Kanilea. I seem to remember reading that Kanileas can be hit-or-miss whereas Kamakas and KoAlohas are more consistent. Between Kamaka and KoAloha, I like Kamakas a touch more but KoAlohas are amazing also incredible ukes.

  4. #4
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    I too have been underwhelmed by most of the kanileas that I have played with the sound monster tenors being the exception. Kamakas and KoAlohas are different. I do like my Kamaka tenor but i almost put it up for sell to buy another Mele tenor but decided to keep it b/c it is a kamaka and it should only grow in value, right? My wife fell in love with a friends old kamaka soprano (1972 model) but she prefers her koaloha long neck soprano. I guess what I am trying to say, is that I am a KoAloha fan. every third person that posts in this thread will recommend a koaloha every third will recommend a kamaka and every third will recommend a kanilea. Really you are going to get a quality soprano in which ever one you pick.

  5. #5
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    not to hijack this thread, but... how about ko'olau?
    pete

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterp View Post
    not to hijack this thread, but... how about ko'olau?
    I did a side by side comparison of my koaloha concert and a ko'olau concert. The koaloha tome was prettier, sounded better, and was louder. The ko'olaus workmanship is second to none though. that sucker was very well made. But to be honest Omega was looking to buy a Kamaka and I brought mine to let him play it. He also played my koaloha concert. He left our uke2gether with a desire to get a koaloha concert. It is that good. It makes my kamaka look bad

  7. #7
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    I've never met a Kamaka I didn't like. LOVE my soprano pineapple strung with Worth medium Browns.
    Illegitimus Non Carborundum

    I ʻike lākou, ʻo ʻoe, ka mea wale nō nona ka inoa ʻo IĒHOVA;
    ʻO ʻoe nō ka Mea kiʻekiʻe loa ma luna o ka honua a pau.
    Nā Halelū 83:18

  8. #8
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    I have the KoAloha tenor-scale necked soprano here beside me. It will be reviewed in the next issue of Ukulele Player Magazine. I will say this, I really enjoy playing it.
    Ukulele Player is Still ONLINE.... you can find it here:

    https://archive.org/details/issue30_201712
    (Ukulele Player Magazine)
    Ukulele Player Magazine STORE...
    http://www.zazzle.com/ukeplayermagazine

  9. #9
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    Mar 2010
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    I'm a KoAloha guy myself. I have a Soprano and I played it next to a Kamaka standard from the 60s that my dad has. We both liked the KoAloha better. My dad recently audition the Kamaka and KoAloha side by side when he was on the Big Island and was surprised that he liked the KoAloha better considering he's been a Kamaka guy all his life. He gave me a lot of flack for buying my KoAloha soprano and tenor so it was nice to hear him say that.

    I tried Kanileas for the first time last week at the wine country uke fest. I wasn't impressed. The only one that I really liked was this $1800 one that musicguymic had. I have no idea what model it was other than it had really nice figured koa, had a gloss finish, was a tenor and it sounded amazing. However playing their K1 versus my KoAloha tenor, I thought mine sounded brighter, louder and just plain better (purely subjective of course).

    That being said, they are all damn good ukes. I'm just like the KoAlohas better.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2010
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    Of the few Kamaka's I've played, only a Pineapple soprano impressed me but it was the best sounding ukulele in the store and that store had Martin 5K's, Collings, Maui Music....

    I still dream about it

    On the whole, I'm a KoAloha fan...
    --Rob

    Ohana TK-50G Tenor
    Mainland Reggae Gecko Soprano
    Mainland Chili Soprano
    Kiwaya KTS-7 Soprano - "Leo Kani"
    Twin Kamaka Keiki Pineapple Sopranos - "Lani and Honua"

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