KoAloha Ukulele Review: The 3 Best KoAloha Ukuleles

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KoAloha Longneck Soprano Ukulele

Looking for an authentic Hawaiian ukulele? KoAloha builds amazing instruments in Honolulu, using fine tonewoods including acacia, opio, and of course real Hawaiian koa.

In the beginning, the company offered only soprano ukuleles, which Alvin Okami built one at a time, complete with handmade wooden labels. Over time, KoAloha has grown – but the company’s instruments continue to reflect tradition while offering handcrafted quality that is seen in many unique features.

Year of Launch

 

1995
Where KoAloha Ukuleles are Made

 

KoAloha Mango and Koa Ukuleles are proudly built in Honolulu, Hawaii. Factory tours are available. KoAloha’s Koalana series (entry level) ukuleles are built in Indonesia. The company’s Opio series ukuleles are built in Thailand. KoAloha’s Acacia ukuleles are partially built in Thailand, and are finished in Hawaii.
KoAloha Ukulele Price Range

 

$500 – $2,500
Types of Ukuleles KoAloha Offers

 

Soprano, Concert, Tenor, Longneck Soprano (Super Soprano), Long Neck Concert, Slimline Tenor, Tenor G6 (6-string), Custom styles including Pineapple, Pineapple Longneck, Cutaway, and KoAloha Sceptre
Recommended Skill LevelBest for Intermediate, Advanced, and Professional players, Great for beginners who want to invest in a high-quality instrument from the very beginning

 

Top 3 KoAloha Ukuleles Reviewed

KoAloha ukuleles are like nothing else. Sweet, pure sound is the company’s hallmark, and thanks to unique features, these instruments offer exquisite looks and an incredible feel in hand.

Inside each KoAloha Ukulele is a one-piece internal bracing system called the unibrace. This supports the instrument’s top, back, and sides, assuring durability and inspiring confidence that the KoAloha “Better than the Weather” warranty won’t need to be tested anytime soon.

In case you do need to use the warranty, you’ll be glad to discover that KoAloha will either repair or replace your ukulele if there are problems – and that promise lasts for life.

Most KoAloha ukuleles have Musubi soundholes, which are a rounded, triangular shape. You might spot a few older ones with round or oval soundholes on the secondhand market but all contemporary models currently listed have the Musubi shaped soundhole.

There are a couple of other distinguishing features that give KoAloha ukuleles their signature look.

First is the crown-shaped headstock, which features five points. This shape is reflected in the KoAloha Sceptre ukulele, which is a custom build that can be pretty hard to find.

The headstock is adorned with KoAloh’s signature logo, and most models come with KoAloha friction tuners although there are a few that rely on geared Grover tuning machines instead.

Before we dive deeper into the wonderful world of KoAloha ukuleles, we’d like to mention that this review focuses on a few unique models that captured our attention.

Don’t worry if the one you’re interested in isn’t mentioned here! We’d review every single ukulele produced by KoAloha if we had time, but for now, it’s worth mentioning that this company offers nothing but the best, as you’ll see if you ever get the opportunity to take the factory tour like Terry did.

You’re not going to find an economy-grade uke here but if you do decide to invest in a KoAloha, you’ll have a very difficult time putting it down.

KoAloha Longneck Soprano Ukulele

KoAloha Longneck Soprano Ukulele

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Also known as the “Super Soprano,” the KoAloha Soprano Long Neck ukulele features a concert-length neck on a soprano sized body with a traditional profile. The longneck style ukulele has more frets for greater range. It gives your fingers more room to move, and as you’d expect from an instrument of this caliber, the neck is made with solid hardwood for lasting durability.

Soundwise, the KoAloha Longneck soprano ukulele offers plenty of warmth, with bright, sunny tones and a surprising amount of depth given the instrument’s small size. The type of wood you choose will have a subtle impact on the sound.

Features

  • Solid wood body
  • TUSQ nut and saddle
  • Inlaid wood KoAloha logo on headstock
  • 5-pointed crown headstock
  • 17 frets (12 frets to body)
  • KoAloha friction tuners
  • Inlaid wood fret markers
  • Solid hardwood neck
  • Premium KoAloha fluorocarbon strings

KoAloha longneck soprano ukuleles are available in Opio, Mango, and Koa woods. A high-quality padded gig bag is included, and the instrument arrives set up and ready for your playing enjoyment.

KoAloha Slimline Tenor

KoAloha Slimline Tenor

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From the front, the KoAloha Slimline Tenor ukulele looks just like a standard tenor uke. Take a look at the instrument’s profile though, and you’ll notice that this ukulele is slimmer than usual. Even though this ukulele has a pared-down profile, the sound is rich and full.

This instrument offers an amazing fit and finish. It’s easy to hold whether you opt to add electronics or not, and it’s so pretty that you might find yourself hanging it up instead of storing it inside a bag!

Features

  • Designed for use with a pickup if desired
  • KoAloha geared tuners
  • Inlaid wood or abalone fret markers
  • Crown-shaped five-point headstock
  • TUSQ nut and saddle
  • 20-fret straight-cut fretboard, joined at the 15th fret
  • Musubi soundhole
  • Solid hardwood neck

The KoAloha Slimline Tenor ukulele is available in a few different wood options depending on what the anufacturer had available during its manufacturing run. Mango, mahogany, and Hawaiian Koa are some options.

It’s worth noting that the KoAloha Slimline Tenor isn’t always available. These ukuleles are produced in limited batches and if you have the opportunity to get one, it’s best to strike while the iron is hot.

KoAloha Tenor Ukulele

KoAloha Tenor Ukulele

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There’s no doubt about it: Tenor ukuleles are more popular than ever, and the KoAloha Tenor is as close to perfection as you can get. Silky, sweet sound, incredible classic looks, and outstanding playability make this an exceptional instrument.

No two KoAloha ukuleles are the same, since all the woods are hand-selected. As you’ll see when you take a closer look, the artisans who build these instruments do an exceptional job with matching the woods and ensuring that the grain is straight. While this doesn’t impact sound, the level of attention to detail ensures outstanding visual appeal in every ukulele KoAloha builds.

Features

  • Solid wood top, back, and sides
  • Solid hardwood neck
  • 5-pointed crown headstock
  • Inlaid frets and inlaid KoAloha logo in headstock
  • TUSQ nut and saddle
  • 20-fret fretboard joined at the 15th fret
  • Patented KoAloha Musubi soundhole

As you might expect, the KoAloha Tenor Ukulele offers plenty of volume, and such clarity that you’ll wonder where it has been all your life. It comes in a variety of wood options including Hawaiian Koa, with a gorgeous finish that shows off the wood’s grain to perfection.

How much do KoAloha Ukuleles Cost?

As with other brands, prices vary. You can sometimes find entry-level models on sale for less than $500, while the company’s custom instruments typically fetch $2,500 or more.

Overall, are KoAloha Ukuleles a good choice?

Granted, an entry-level KoAloha ukulele is going to come at a higher price than you’ll pay for a mass-produced instrument, however it’s one that you’ll be proud to own for years to come.

For those who want a gorgeous upgrade to a real Hawaiian ukulele made in the islands, KoAloha is an outstanding choice. There’s something here for just about everyone.

If you’re looking for a quality ukulele that will stand the test of time, then be sure to put KoAloha on your shortlist. This family-owned company builds some of the world’s best ukuleles, focusing on fine craftsmanship and quality materials, and resulting in instruments that are a joy to own and play.

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