big island koa concert (bi-kto-ct)

big island koa concert (bi-kto-ct)

uas kicked in badly when i saw this beauty for sale…

specifications

  • body: all solid (curly) koa, bookmatched back and sides
  • binding/trim: (faux) tortoise and mahogany/maple rope style
  • neck: mahogany (2 pieces)
  • fretboard: ebony, 20 frets (14 to body), fretboard and side markers on 5, 7, 10 and 12
  • bridge: ebony
  • nut and saddle: bone, compensated saddle
  • sealed geared (14:1) chrome tuners with solid koa buttons
  • gloss finish
  • strings: came with white nylons (aquila?), swapped that for a set of ukumele fluorocarbon
  • weight: 582g
  • length: 62cm (~24″), body 28.5cm
  • width: lower bout 21.5cm, upper bout 16.7cm
  • fretboard width: 1st fret 37mm, 12th fret 45mm
  • string spacing at nut: 28mm (from g to a string)
  • height: 6.5cm
  • scale: 38cm

first hands-on impressions

a real bummer with stunning flawless looks – as you would expect from solid koa in that price range (at the time of writing this post i saw this uke for 749€). i immediately swapped the nylon strings (most probably aquila) for fluorocarbons – even though the sound was already impressive with the original strings. during tuning up the fluoros i had difficulties to stop playing, even being constantly out of tune i already loved the ringing trebles and long sustain. i think i will definitely try low-g here as well after playing around in re-entrant tuning for a while. or i swap once more for something like worth bm or d’addario (custom extruded ej65 or even rectified ej53) for a mellower tone; after a few hours the fluoros almost seem a bit too bright (might just be a matter of mood and outside weather though).

the neck is comfortably wide and amazingly flat (or thin?), action is really low and intonation appears spot on all around the neck.

sound

here’s a sound sample (with aquila strings):

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