Wednesday, 15 August 2012

I think I want a Kiwaya KTS-4 Soprano Ukulele - here's a review by Ken Middleton

The soprano sized Uke has grown on me greatly - I like the sound, and I like the fact that if I see a chord fingering that goes from fret three to fret ten, I can reach it! I was horrified to find such a chord in the tab for Music Box Waltz, by Roy Smeck. It's reachable on a concert uke, but barely - I've got long fingers - I don't know whether people reach stretches like this on a tenor... but that's another story.

Anyway, I really fancy one of these, the Kiwaya KTS4, or even the KTS5 with more frets, although that one is considerably more pricey. The laminate version, the KS1, has great reviews, but I would love a solid wood instrument, one with a thin enough top to give it the volume and sound that I want. In my dreams, I reckon.

But, I'm hoping, this weekend, to get to a shop that sells these ukes and try them out - the Japanese Kiwaya KS1, the KS4 as above, and a Bruko, a German-made uke which also has gained a great following. I'm expecting the sound to be very different, from what folk have said - it'll be interesting! And there are many more factors to take into account when playing a ukulele; the necks can vary in thickness, some being thinner than usual, and some being thicker; so can the width at the nut (where the strings go through slots at the top before they attach to the tuning pegs). These things can make a lot of difference to personal comfort and preference, and it's one good reason to try to get hands on and play before buying, rather that buying unseen online. The other reason of course is the sound.

I can't finish without a word for Ken Middleton's review. This one is from 2008 and is as thorough and well-considered as ever.

Whoops - I've actually just this minute found a review from Ken where he compares the Bruko 6 to the Kiwaya! It's here....

Thanks, Ken for the music, for the reviews, for the tabs, for the strings.... you are the man.

I planned to do something completely different this morning - this is my trouble, you see..... lah-di-dah.......

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HI! I hope you enjoy this blog and I'd love to hear your comments! But I know you'll forgive me if I read them over before I click the "publish" button! Thanks!