GOT A UKULELE - Ukulele reviews and beginners tips

29 Mar 2020

KM Ukuleles Koa Soprano - REVIEW

Ukulele review day and because I am re-ordering the reviews now to give focus to the independent brands and stores first, it's a pleasure to bring KM Ukulele back to the site.  It's my third review of an instrument from this UK luthier, this one being an all koa soprano ukulele.

KM Ukuleles Koa Soprano

Read More »

28 Mar 2020

Got A Ukulele Features - George Bartle - Sharing the Classics

Another post aimed at helping out someone in the ukulele world. Just been told about a new book available from George Bartle.

George Bartle Ukulele

Read More »

Got A Ukulele Features - World Of Ukes

Next up in some promo for those ukulele related business who will find times particularly tough right now. A word from the all round good egg, Matt Warnes, at World of Ukes.



I'd urge you to try and help his business out, but if that is not possible, please share the video to someone who might be on the lookout for a uke.

https://worldofukes.co.uk

Thanks!



GOT A UKULELE IS NOT BRAND SPONSORED - DONATIONS KEEP THE SITE GOING!




THANKS!
Read More »

26 Mar 2020

Got A Ukulele Features - Jessica Bowie

Next in my spotlight series aiming to give some exposure to ukulele related folk hit hard by the current lockdowns. Today, a word from uke performer and teacher, Jessica Bowie. As always, if you can give her some business, please do. If you can't, share this post around your friends and clubs to give her some advertising.

Jessica Bowie Ukulele

Read More »

25 Mar 2020

Got A Ukulele Features - Mark Luongo

Next up in some special features on Got A Ukulele, bringing people to your attention who will be particularly badly hit by Covid-19 due to them not being able to go out. Please either give these people your business, or share these posts widely to give them some much needed exposure.

mark luongo ukulele

Read More »

22 Mar 2020

Klōs Guitars Full Carbon Series Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW

In these difficult times it's nice to be looking at a home grown ukulele business again, and this is a soon to be launched new model from a brand I've looked at before. This is the new all carbon series tenor ukulele from Klōs Guitars.

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele


Klōs are the buisness of Adam and Ian Klōsowiak and Jacob Sheffield in Utah USA and I looked at the first entry in to the world of carbon fibre ukuleles back in January 2019. I really liked it and despite one or two cosmetic niggles for me, it scored well  because it played and sounded great. Looking back I then did see a few people query the whole carbon fibre thing because the original was only carbon fibre in the body - the neck was mahogany. Whilst I didn't knock the ukulele score down for that, I suppose I have to accept that if you are making claims about ukes being capable of being run over by a truck, you'd be feeling glum if the neck was run over! The answer is coming soon in this new ALL carbon fibre model - currently on a Kickstarter and then in due course will be avalailable for general sale. It seems like a sensible next step for Klōs and allows them to be a fully carbon fibre brand. Please note from the outset - as this is in Kickstarter phase the one featured in this review is a close to final prototype.  As such some minor elements may change on launch.

This model keeps the same body shape and construction - that is to say it's a double bout tenor ukulele with a one piece moulded back and sides, and a separate drop top. Unlike the various faux carbon fibre models brought to market recently which are really just plastic with some carbon strands in the mix, this is full on, proper carbon fibre. You can see the criss cross matting of the construction, which does, I think, look very cool. The whole thing is finished in a gloss which really adds to the 'quality' feel and look. I prefer it to the original Klōs for the full gloss as it feels more 'complete'.

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele body

The bridge is made from what they call 'composite ebony', but looking at it, I think that means a Richlite variant - a high pressure paper composite. It's a through body style fitted with a straight toppped black TUSQ saddle. I think it looks great and a big improvement on the orignal, paler bridge. It's stealthy!

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele bridge

There is no other decoration, and the only other things adorning the body are strap buttons in the base and upper shoulder and, on this example, an optional pickup system by Fishman. You know I don't like these systems, but I think the control plate on this actually suits the futuristic body material.  If I wanted a pickup in something like this I'd also rather it was pre-fitted as I wouldn't feel confident cutting carbon fibre myself.

Inside there is nothing to see bar the label and the pickup wires on this example. There is no kerfing or even bracing I can see. This IS carbon fibre though! Because there is nothing to see I am not bothering with a picture on this review - it was just all black!!

Up to the neck and this is the big departure from the original Out goes the black painted mahogany neck and in comes an integral carbon fibre neck sprouting out of the top of the body. Not only does it look much better than the original, but the ruggedness element is also now much improved. Sadly, for a tenor the nut width is a let down for me. I made the same complaint about the original at 36mm wide at the nut, but bizarrely they made this one even narrower. This comes in at 35mm and 28.5mm G to A, which is odd, because it's narrower than the original, but a slighty wider string spacing. Hmmmm.

Topping the neck is a composite fingerboard, edge bound to hide the ends of the 19 frets joined at the 14th. It's gorgeously smooth and dark in colour. To orientate yourself you get outward facing pearl dots at the 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th and 15th and thankfully these are repeated with small dots on the side.

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele neck

Beyond the TUSQ nut is the same tiny Klōs headstock. I still don't like the look of it, but I guess it has now become their 'thing'.. I still think it looks weird, but to be fair looks better in carbon fibre than gloss black paint. The Klōs logo is inlaid in pearl.

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele headstock

The tuners here though are much improved over the stock originals. These are Graphtec Ratio Tuners in all black and they look superb. What's clever about these is that they have different turning ratios for different strings as different gauges of string are more sensitive than others to pitch changes. Very clever and VERY smooth to operate. They ooze quality.

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele tuners


Completing the package are D'Addario Fluorocarbon strings and an excellent branded gig bag with a cool integral rain cover and a Klōs branded strap. Pricing depends on whether you go with the optional pickup system, but the core ukulele is $999 and the electric version is $1139. A serious price, certainly more than the original Klōs (though not massively so when you compare to the deluxe orginal with the same tuners), though still not eye watering compared to other high end 'different' ukes like those from Blackbird. Let's have a play.

In the hands this one feels really substantial. Not super heavy, but not really anything like a regular wooden tenor. There's something re-assuring about that though. It's also perfectly balanced and the finish is really tactile on the hands. I like it a lot. I will also say that despite me not liking the nut width for comfort, the string spacing does work for me and I didn't trip over myself.

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele carbon neck

Volume is absolutely superb with a great projection that will never leave you lost in the crowd. This packs a great punch. Sustain too is also very good. Not the longest I've ever heard, but really very good and enough to add some expression into fingerpicked melodies.

The tone here is similar to the original Klōs but with what I sense is quite a bit more roundness and balance across the range. From memory I found the original very bright and zingy, and whilst you can still get some zing out of this, particularly fingerpicked, it's a more considered and warmer sound overall. I find that strange considering the body is essentially the same and wonder if there is another construction change 'under the hood'.  I prefer the soun of this model though. Because there is more balance across the range you get more greater harmonics going on between the strings which creates shimmers in your strummnig. Everything is stand out clear and not at all muddy. You get the lows, you get the highs and you get the mids.

And, no, it doesn't sound like a wooden uke, but equally it doesn't sound artificial or plastic either. It just sounds.. well.. terrific..   I absolutely love the tone of this. Like the tuners, it oozes a higher end characterful tone.

Klōs All Carbon Tenor Ukulele pickup

Sure they are asking a bigger ticket price now, I still don't like that headstock and the narrower nut irritates me. But the positives such as the terrific tuners, the much improved use of the Richlite type materials and the wonderful all over gloss construction do counteract those.

And then you play it and realise there is nothing letting me down on the sound.... well... I think Klōs really did improve here...  Very highly recommended.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/klos/klos-full-carbon-series-composite-guitars-and-ukuleles?ref=discovery&term=klos

https://klosguitars.com

UKULELE SPECS ROUND UP

Model: Klōs Full Carbon Series
Scale: Tenor
Body: Carbon fibre
Bridge: Composite
Saddle: TUSQ
Neck: Carbon fibre
Fingerboard: Composite
Frets: 19, 14 to body
Nut: TUSQ
Nut width: 35mm, 28.5mm G to A
Tuners: Graphtec Ratio Gears
Strings: D'Addario Fluorocarbon
Extras: Gig bag included, strap, optional pickup
Price: Acoustic $999, Pickup version $1139


UKULELE PROS

Overall improved looks and construction
Superb volume
Good sustain
Balanced rich tone
Great tuners

UKULELE CONS

Narrow nut
Still don't like that headstock!!

UKULELE SCORES

Looks - 9 out of 10
Fit and finish 9 out of 10
Sound - 9.5 out of 10
Value for money - 9 out of 10

OVERALL UKULELE SCORE - 9.1 out of 10

UKULELE VIDEO REVIEW





GOT A UKULELE IS NOT BRAND SPONSORED - DONATIONS KEEP THE SITE GOING!




THANKS!
Read More »

21 Mar 2020

Got A Ukulele Features - The Uke Room

Next in me doing my bit to promote those ukulele related businesses who are really going to struggle. This time, a word about The Uke Room shop run by Matt Stead. Once again - i'd urge you to either put some business there way, or if not possible share these far and wide so they get maximum exposure.

The Uke Room Offers

Read More »

20 Mar 2020

Got A Ukulele Features - Opera-lele

Next in a series of posts aimed to help those in the uke world who's business is now upside down. Both George and Mandi of Opera-lele are two of the hardest working performers I know and a big part of their work were shows. Show them some love and share this update on what they are offering.

opera-lele ukulele


Read More »

19 Mar 2020

Got A Ukulele Features - Elisabeth Pfeiffer

Continuing my series of posts designed to give a boost to those ukulele performers we all love who are now losing a whole chunk of their work through not being able to perform. Time for you to show Germany's Elisabeth Pfeiffer your love. Please share this to your networks.

elisabeth pfeiffer ukulele


Elisabeth writes

-----
Dear Barry,

I'm  offering two different method books in English. One is on ‘Strumming’ and the other one is on ‘Picking’. They’re available at http://shop.elisabethpfeiffer.de along with my solo album ‘Peculiar’.

I specialise in chord melody arrangements for the ukulele and am happy to share my knowledge in Skype lessons. Just drop me a line at info@poprockukulele.de to discuss further details with me.

Lessons are also bookable in the shop. If you run into any problems or have further questions, simply drop me a line at info@poprockukulele.de or write me via my website www.elisabethpfeiffer.de and I will get back to you super quickly.

Thanks again!

Best wishes, Elisabeth



GOT A UKULELE IS NOT BRAND SPONSORED - DONATIONS KEEP THE SITE GOING!




THANKS!
Read More »

18 Mar 2020

Got A Ukulele Features - Samantha Muir

Next up in my posts aimed at 'paying it forward' in these troubling times for those in the uke world whose livelihoods are going to be affected by Covid19. We need to share and help these people out more than ever. I discussed this recently with Samantha Muir.

samantha muir ukulele

Read More »

Got A Ukulele Features... TinGuitar

Spur of the moment discussion on Facebook tonight - how to use what is, effectively, free advert space on Got A Ukulele to help promote valued ukulele people who are terrified of lockdown effects on their businesses. So came up with a plan.

tinguitar ukulele

Read More »

15 Mar 2020

Noah Pineapple Soprano Ukulele - REVIEW

The ukulele reviews return to Got A Ukulele, and it's a brand I've always enjoyed featuring. This is the Noah Ukuleles Pineapple Soprano.

Noah Pineapple Soprano Ukulele

Read More »

1 Mar 2020

Bonanza Homestead Baritone Ukulele REVIEW

Over the last few years I have learned that it's always a fun weekend when a Bonanza Ukulele comes my way for review. This week I am looking at the Bonanza Homestead Baritone.

Bonaza Homestead baritone ukulele

Read More »

23 Feb 2020

NFC Ukuleles Baritone - REVIEW

It's fair to say that Got A Ukulele has featured instruments from all corners of the globe. But perhaps one of the more unusual locations is Nicaragua. And I suppose it's then even more unusual to find myself reviewing a second yet different brand from that country. This is a Baritone ukulele built by NFC Ukuleles.

NFC Baritone Ukulele

Read More »

Please Help Keep This Site Going!

If you enjoy this blog, donations are welcomed to allow me to invest more time in bringing you ukulele articles. Aside from the Google ads, I don't get paid to write this blog and for reasons of impartiality a not sponsored by brands or stores. Your donations all go back into the site to allow me to keep bringing you reviews, and in the end the ukuleles acquired are given to local schools and charities.