Choosing a Hawaiian Concert Ukulele

Koaloha concert

Many Hawaiian concerts weren’t able to be with us today. Nevertheless, these are some of our best selling Hawaiian concert models, the KCM from KoAloha and the K1-C from Kanile’a.

These are all base standard models, koa wood, and made in Hawaii. Each instrument is individual, but this could help as you decide on your next concert.

For the KoAloha comparison, you can reference a lighter color and darker color wood, each in a satin and gloss finish. The KoAloha satin finish is a sprayed nitrocellulose just like the gloss, but the final coat has a dulling agent that cuts back on the reflective quality in the finish and gives a more “woody” look.On the other hand, the two Kanile’a finishes are much different. Their satin is a hand rubbed oil finish versus the UV laquer sprayed on their gloss version.

We will soon get into more diverse comparisons. These companies are very consistent. So when listening to similar models it can be difficult to decipher much difference, but see what you think.

It’s a very flat recording for comparison purpose. What do you hear or prefer?

Comments 5

  1. A clear preference for the satin finish sound in both brands.

    The gloss finish seems “thicker” in the mid-range; still distinct but with a lot more background. The satins just seem lighter, without sounding “thin” at the same time.

    So hard to guess what any one of them would really sound and feel like in the hand. These flat recordings are the next best thing, with clear audible differences to choose from.

    First preference Kanilea Satin.

  2. Interesting. Although I prefer gloss finish for it’s resistance to wear and the way it accents the wood grain, I have to agree with Ed. The satin in both brands seemed to have a bit more separation and note to note clarity. My choice, based upon these videos would be the satin KoAloha. Both Kanilea sounded a bit muted compared to the KoAlohas in my headphones.

  3. I’m a gloss man.

    I like my truck glossy, my ukulele glossy, and even my wife’s lips glossy.

    My middle name should have been glossy.

  4. I have owned a KoAloha Satin Pikake for over a year now and I play it daily. It really does sound that beautiful, even though I can’t play it as well! You guys are great!

  5. My concert Koaloha bought at HMS is a super uke. The intonation is fabulous. It rings and sings at all frets. It’s my daily player!

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