Evan Reviews: KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00)

*this review is not sponsored and features only my personal and honest opinion of the ukulele model reviewed.

The KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00), retailing at around USD$1,200, is a Low G Tenor ukulele constructed of Hawaiian koa with an ebony fretboard and bridge.

I got this ukulele, as well as my Kamaka ukulele, from a ukulele store in Singapore called Ukulele Movement. The store contains many different varieties of ukuleles.

How I Decided That I Wanted Yet Another Ukulele  πŸ™Š

Posing with my KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00)

This is the third ukulele I’ve gotten my hands on, after getting myself a Kamaka ukulele. If you’ve been following my other reviews, you’d know that after my dad gifted me my first ukulele, I became responsible for paying for my subsequent ukuleles through my own paid gigs.

I am now officially done paying the loans for my Kamaka ukulele and this KoAloha ukulele! It was already quite tough working to pay for my Kamaka ukulele, so why on earth would I want another ukulele? Is all that hard work even worth it?  πŸ˜±

Well, I wanted to play my dad’s favourite song for him – Gary Moore’s Still Got The Blues. However, I did not own a low G ukulele which would be better suited for the song, so I borrowed one from teacher Alan. While I was at Ukulele Movement to return the borrowed low G ukulele, I happened to try out their new stock arrival of ukuleles. Both my dad and I fell in love with the mellow and rich sound that the KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00) produced…and so I decided to get it.

Today, I am still amazed by how much the KoAloha low G ukulele changes the sound and feel of certain pieces….so even though my high G Kamaka ukulele is as high quality as it gets, this KoAloha ukulele fills a gap in my ukulele collection. πŸ˜²

What I believe the KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00) Is Good For

Photo of the KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00) that I personally own

Playing songs that have a more prominent bass and low register accompaniment on the KoAloha low G ukulele helps to bring out the fullness and richness of the chords and accompaniment instead of putting so much emphasis on the melody. The mellow sound of the ukulele also helps to create a warmer feel, which is great for these types of songs.

Songs I’ve Played Using This Ukulele

Here are some of my YouTube videos featuring this ukulele. You’ll be able to hear the sound of the ukulele in every one of these videos and make your own judgement.

Let me know in the comments what you think about the sound quality of the KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00).

We Are The Champions by Queen – Cover
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen – Cover

The KoAloha low G ukulele has a very rich sound when full chords are being played, since the hollow body of the ukulele helps improve the sound projection of each string. Bohemian Rhapsody is a suitable song for this ukulele since the song has many sections which require a sudden change from single melody lines to full chord strums. The KoAloha ukulele is able to execute these versatile dynamics and contrasts very well.

Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi – Cover

Dance Monkey by Tones And I – Cover

The KoAloha low G ukulele produces a mellow sound with most of the emphasis being placed on notes more towards the lower register or the bass pitches. Since Dance Monkey is a song which has the bass as one of the highlighting factors complimenting the melody, the KoAloha low G ukulele is suited to this piece since it is able to portray the bass and melody well.

Imagine by John Lennon – Cover

The KoAloha low G ukulele also has a very warm and rich tone. Thus, it is able to play sentimental songs such as Imagine, and retain the emotions and feelings dedicated to the piece. Each note played on the KoAloha low G ukulele rings out longer before starting to fade away, and thus this enables the overall sound to become very rich as the piece progresses.

Don’t Start Now by Dua Lipa – Cover

Summary of the Pros and Cons of the KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00)

Pros

  • Has a very rich and full sound, with a mellow and warm tone.
    • The sound projection of this ukulele is loud, and is good for making music that is intended to sound big.
  • Very comfortable feel and easy to play
    • The fretboard and neck have a comfortable feel to it, making the ukulele easy to play.
  • Aesthetic overall look
    • The overall look of the ukulele is also very beautiful, with a similar wood colour as the much more expensive Kamaka ukulele, but with a smoother texture.

Cons

  • May amplify mistakes in playing
    • As much as this ukulele amplifies good quality and clean playing, it also amplifies unclean notes and mistakes. 
  • Fast fraying of factory-fitted strings
    • I can’t speak for others who also own this ukulele, but in my personal experience, the factory-fitted strings of the ukulele frayed after about half a year of my playing. This caused intonation problems with the ukulele, though there is a simple solution to this problem. I just had to restring my ukulele, which means it wasn’t that big of a problem after all. πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

My Personal Recommendations

Photo of the KoAloha Koa Tenor Ukulele (KTM-00) that I personally own

I would recommend this ukulele to…

  • fingerstyle players who have a very clean playing style
    • This ukulele will help set apart the bass, accompaniment and melody, making each part ring out clearly.

I would NOT recommend this ukulele to…

  • players who like to strum vigorously, or what people would call β€œshred”
    • This ukulele brings out the accompaniment parts, so strumming would cause the accompaniment to overtake the melody. This would cause the music played to be unbalanced.

Is the price (USD$1,200) worth it to me? 

I think that the price is worth it for a high quality low G ukulele. Its build and craft suits the ideal low G ukulele one would want, with a mostly hollow body for a more mellow sound. 

My rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

4.8 out of 5 Stars

Overall, this is one of the best models available for a low G ukulele. I am very happy with this purchase and can’t do without it. If you do not yet own a low G ukulele, this is the one I would recommend. 🀩

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3 Comments

  1. I too have a KoAloha Tenor, I got it visiting the Big Island in Hawaii so I had to pay just a bit more than you did… and love it, I don’t play it as much because as you said, it amplifies mistakes πŸ™‚ Good blog post Evan!

    Liked by 1 person

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