Kiwaya Famous KS-4PG Koa Pineapple Soprano Ukulele
With this Famous KS-4PG by Kiwaya, you'll note that in the product title, the word 'koa'. All sorts of internet listings fail to mention that the ukes they are selling are laminate... and I'll not do the same. This pineapple soprano has an all laminate body with a koa veneer and gloss finish. The reason those internet sellers want to hide that fact is that often, solid wood can sound better than laminate. This however, is not a rule and good quality laminates can sound great. And it just so happens that Kiwaya are probably as good at anyone in the world at making laminate instruments.
The tone of the KS-4PG is very crisp and clear, with fingerpicked notes very bold and strong. Strummed, and it has a percussive tone with a traditional sounding 'bark', like a vintage or Hawaiian made instrument. Have you ever seen adverts for £20 painted ukuleles that say they evoke images of waves lapping at tropical sands and palm trees dancing in the warm Pacific breeze? Well, this really does get close to those wild claims!
Famous is the name Kiwaya uses for its domestic market, and the Gotoh geared tuners deserve to be famous. They have a different gear ratio to most tuners, making them effortless to use, with a tiny touch all that is needed to tweak the fluorocarbon strings back into tune.
As well as a compensated saddle for good intonation, a quite frankly ridiculously low action and a black walnut fingerboard, you then have a lovely vintage, thin gloss on the pineapple body and quirkily shaped headstock.
If you want something unusual, both in shape, and origin, this lovely Japanese made soprano may well be the one thing your uke collection is lacking!