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Thread: Heh, heh, my KoAloha is beginning to show the love...

  1. #1
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    Default Heh, heh, my KoAloha is beginning to show the love...

    I changed strings on the KoAloha longneck soprano today. Whenever I do that I always get out the Renaissance wax and wax the soundboard, fretboard, and headstock. Today I noticed that the shiny spots in the first position are now more than just shiny and have just begun to show the dimples that Koa fretboards tend to develop with a lot of play. And here I was feeling almost guilty over neglecting the KoAloha this past several months because I've spent most of my playing time on the Mainland mahogany soprano. LOL

    BTW, I'm trying Ko'Olau Alohi's for the first time. I'd tried Ko'Olau Gold strings on it and hated them (love them on both of my mango ukes, though). Actually, this might not be completely the first Alohi strings I've tried - I think that is what was on my Pono baritone when I first got it - the trebles on it were the same color anyway.

    So far I like these, the tone is lovely, though the volume and brightness are both way down from the medium gage Seaguar clear fluorocarbon leaders I had on it. Intonation up the neck seems to be a little better, which I'm hoping means maybe when they settle in it will be a lot better.

    These are also settling in a lot faster than Golds. Typically I don't even try to play a uke the day I restring - I just tune it a step high and then keep checking it and retuning it a step high. This time I did that four or five times then left the uke sit while I read for an hour or so. Surprisingly, when I picked it up it was still a half step high and when I tuned it normally I played for probably twenty or thirty minutes without needing to retune.

    I think I like the tone of the clear fluorocarbons slightly better, but if the intonation of these does end up significantly better I'll probably keep the Alohi strings. I think it's mostly the wonky intonation of the clear fluorocarbons that is the main reason I've spent so much time playing the Mainland because it intonates much better up the neck.

    Interestingly, the KoAloha is the only uke I've got that doesn't intonate all that well with those clear fluorocarbon strings - go figure.
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  2. #2
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    How about some brown fat Worths?
    Cheers,
    Christian
    Can somebody save me from running my mouth, please?

  3. #3
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    This uke really hates high tension strings. I put some Seaguar leaders in the same gages as a Worth CH set on it and it clamped the sound right down to absolutely nothing. I think the thin, very lightly braced top just can't deal well with that much tension. It really disappointed me because those same strings are mahvelous on a couple of other ukes I have - having incredible volume and tone and wonderful intonation, but those ukes aren't so lightly built.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  4. #4
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    Makes sense, how about Living Water strings, then? They are pretty low tension.
    Cheers,
    Christian
    Can somebody save me from running my mouth, please?

  5. #5
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    I'll be very interested in your final analysis of the Alohis. I tried the Golds on my Koaloha and hated them, too.
    Last edited by stevepetergal; 04-04-2013 at 04:07 AM.
    If everybody wanted peace instead of another TV, then there would be peace.
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  6. #6
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    "Today I noticed that the shiny spots in the first position are now more than just shiny and have just begun to show the dimples that Koa fretboards tend to develop with a lot of play. "


  7. #7
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    This in interesting.
    My ksm-02 has worth clear and I wouldn't change them
    Makes me wanna try your other strings...

    Could you tell me what kind of wax you use in that case please ?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevepetergal View Post
    I'll be very interested in your final analysis of the Alohis. I tried the Golds on mt Koaloha and hated them, too.
    The Golds were very lifeless on my KoAloha which really surprised me because on both of my mango ukes (tenor and soprano) they are lovely.

    So far I like the Alohi's - not enough to rave over them but enough that they'll probably stay on until they're getting worn out - the intonation is a little better than with the clear fluorocarbons, but still not as good as I think I could get if I could just put high-tension strings on it. I think I'm going to order some saddle blanks and actually glue up a thick saddle so I can properly compensate it. If I do that I'll probably go back to the clear fluorocarbons as the tone is a bit clearer and more "sparkly" with them.

    The Alohi's do exhibit some of the temperature sensitive thing (going slightly sharp when you first start playing) that the Golds do, but not to as great a degree. It's really not a problem if you know it's going to happen, but I've never seen that happen with fluorocarbon or Nylgut strings.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frax View Post
    This in interesting.
    My ksm-02 has worth clear and I wouldn't change them
    Makes me wanna try your other strings...

    Could you tell me what kind of wax you use in that case please ?
    I use Renaissance Wax. It's expensive but the small tin I bought years ago is still half full and I've used it on flutes, firearms, guitars, and now ukuleles for years.

    As for changing the strings - I'm not necessarily recommending these unless you're not happy with the intonation of the clears. The intonation is a little better with these but the tone is not quite as nice - unless you're trying to bring the "sparkle" factor down a little, in which case they might suit you well.


    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrimess View Post
    Makes sense, how about Living Water strings, then? They are pretty low tension.
    I haven't tried those yet. I keep meaning to order some but haven't gotten around to it. Maybe I need to do that.

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

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