Kiwaya Baritone

about2

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Okay - I played one yesterday . . . Anyone have one?

It may be a new model as the one I played came straight from the NAMM convention and I haven't seen it offered before. It maybe the best under $300 bari I've played. Starlight Uke had it. If you are looking for one in that price range, you might want to investigate. It is a laminate, but oh my it could sing. Nothing muddy about it at all. Each note rang clearly. Overtones were there as well.

Just wondering if anyone has one and what your impressions are.
 
I played one at Dusty Strings in Seattle and was super impressed. I've recommended it here on the forums before and I'd do it again. I think* it sounded as good or better than my old Favilla and it's brand new! I was playing all sorts of ukes that day and when I picked up the Favilla, the store clerk came away from the register to ask, "which one is THAT?!" The sound stood out to her that much. I showed her and she said, "oh! That's a laminate!" It holds up!!

*I didn't have my Favilla with me to A/B, but I could feel it.
 
I had a Kiwaya laminate soprano and you described that pretty perfectly.
 
I played one at Dusty Strings in Seattle and was super impressed. I've recommended it here on the forums before and I'd do it again. I think* it sounded as good or better than my old Favilla and it's brand new! I was playing all sorts of ukes that day and when I picked up the Favilla, the store clerk came away from the register to ask, "which one is THAT?!" The sound stood out to her that much. I showed her and she said, "oh! That's a laminate!" It holds up!!

*I didn't have my Favilla with me to A/B, but I could feel it.
Wow. That says a lot imho. It didn't sound to me like a mahogany bari, like a Favilla . . . and not like a spruce top either.....but it was fun to play.

And love Dusty Strings in Seattle. Fun shop....just wish it was easier to get to from Portland. But I do make it a point to swing by when I can.
 
Wow. That says a lot imho. It didn't sound to me like a mahogany bari, like a Favilla . . . and not like a spruce top either.....but it was fun to play.

And love Dusty Strings in Seattle. Fun shop....just wish it was easier to get to from Portland. But I do make it a point to swing by when I can.
It's a dangerous place and they trick you with the great acoustics in there! You might be very right.. if I had my Favilla, there might have been a very stark difference. Perhaps it just sang compared to the others I was picking up... and there were some good ones! It might also be the fact that they were all smallers sizes (Collings Concert, various Kamakas, Big Island Concert + a few others I can't recall).

I just went to their website to refresh my memory and did notice that the Kiwaya Bari isn't listed... it must've caught some lucky player's ear!
 
I have one, and heartily agree with about2's assessment. The KBU-1 is all laminate, but it sounds and plays great! I got mine from Matt at World Of Ukes in the UK. I was totally knocked out by the quality and delicacy of the build.. Matt was great to work with, and I would encourage anyone who's thinking about this little gem to check his shop out. In short, I would highly recommend the Kiwaya KBU-1 if you're on a sub-$300 budget!
 
Okay - I played one yesterday . . . Anyone have one?

It may be a new model as the one I played came straight from the NAMM convention and I haven't seen it offered before. It maybe the best under $300 bari I've played. Starlight Uke had it. If you are looking for one in that price range, you might want to investigate. It is a laminate, but oh my it could sing. Nothing muddy about it at all. Each note rang clearly. Overtones were there as well.

Just wondering if anyone has one and what your impressions are.
When I began my search for my first bari the Kiwaya bari was at the top of the list. Perfect price, looks great and- it's a Kiwaya. A winner all way 'round. Unfortunately for me it has a nut width of 38mm. I wish I had longer more agile fingers.
 
Are the Chinese Kiwayas made with the same laminate used for the Japanese ones? I wish they made a Japanese version of the baritone.
 
Are the Chinese Kiwayas made with the same laminate used for the Japanese ones? I wish they made a Japanese version of the baritone.
Good question . . . total whiff from me on the answer. Maybe someone lurking knows.
 
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