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Thread: Kiwaya KS1 or Mainland Concert as 1st 'serious' ukulele?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    UK
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    Default Kiwaya KS1 or Mainland Concert as 1st 'serious' ukulele?

    Hello all,
    I've been playing for a couple of months, and have a cheap Mahalo which I have been practising on. I've not been playing long enough to get good yet, but long enough to know I'm serious enough to spend a bit more money on a better uke.

    I've got the chance to get either a Kiwaya KS1 or a Mainland mahogany concert with a slotted headstock, and have been offered either of them at basically half price. I wish could afford both but I can't, so I was just wondering which one would be most suitable for me to progress on? I've found lots of good reviews about both, but would appreciate some better qualified opinions.

    And 'hello' too - I've lurked around the forum since before I got my Mahalo, and have learnt a lot. Mainly that I'm probably going to own a lot of ukuleles!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    You'll be pretty happy with either. If the Kiwaya is like my longneck soprano it will have vintage style frets - very thin and low. I kind of like them but they are different than the medium frets you'll find on almost any other modern uke and they can make barre chords a bit more difficult especially if you have bony fingers.

    Other than that...either of them will be such a huge step up from the Mahalo that you'll be pretty happy for quite a while.

    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    I don't know anything about the Kiwaya. But I LOVE my Mainland classic mahogany tenor. It plays better than any uke I've tried. The intonation is spot on. Plus it sounds really great.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    282

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    Never played a mainland but i have heard amazing reviews on them and everyone seems to recommend them.

    The Kiwaya felt great, i loved the neck and the fret shape and feel.

    Both would be great, if you have the opportunity to play them both that could be the way to decide. Cause what feels right for you is the best ukulele and the best way to decide
    My Babies (in order of purchase): Fender Nohea Koa Tenor, Pono MS with pickup, The Magic Fluke Co. Firefly, Martin T1K, Kala Ka-8

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Central IL & Fox Valley, IL
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    http://ukeeku.com/2011/01/11/kiwaya-ks-1-full-review/

    kiwayas are lightly built, made in japan, and lovely in every regard.

  6. #6

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    I would definitely go Kiwaya. I have never played one but I have heard good things and I much prefer the style of it. Plain and classic. I have played many Mainlands. They are a nice uke for the price but never really wowed me. I also don't like slotted headstocks especially on concerts.

    Tell us what you decide and how you like it.

  7. #7
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    My vote goes to Kiwaya. I've been on a crazy uke buying binge since December and my used Kiwaya KS-5 is still my go to uke. It's a combination of the low frets and low string action that make it so easy to play. I've not tried a Mainlaind soprano, but it might be great too.
    Kiwaya KS-5 soprano, Kiwaya KS-1 soprano, LoPrinzi custom concert, BugsGear Aqulele plastic soprano
    http://ukulelereview.com
    http://the-gadgeteer.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    [QUOTE=dirtiestkidever;1524601]...... I also don't like slotted headstocks especially on concerts........QUOTE]

    Slotted headstocks should not be a problem with Mainlands. They only make a couple of models with slotted headstocks. Most are the standard flat headstock.

  9. #9
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    Unless I'm mistaken, the Kiwaya is soprano size and the Mainland is concert size. Do you have any idea which size you might prefer? For me, that would be a pretty big consideration.
    Live long, prosper, and play your ukulele.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Arizona
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    Quote Originally Posted by cantsing View Post
    Unless I'm mistaken, the Kiwaya is soprano size and the Mainland is concert size. Do you have any idea which size you might prefer? For me, that would be a pretty big consideration.
    +1

    I've been drooling over that Mainland, but don't really need another solid concert.
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Martin Iz - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 (fretless) - Pahoehoe | Kala Acacia - Pahoehoe

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