Continuing our series on looking at the top ukulele companies, it's time to continue this look into Kanile'a ukulele, this time looking at the 3 general types of Kanile'a ukulele.
Kanile'a ukulele's best ukulele are unsurprisingly, the ones handcrafted in Kaneohe, Hawaii. These models are almost always crafted with solid Hawaiian Koa, with models being separated by the quality of the koa: Solid, Deluxe, Premium, and Mastergrade. The quality of these models are determined by how curly the koa is, how many ripples are in the wood.
There is a variety of Kanile'a ukulele such as pineapple ukulele in all sizes, 8 and 6 string ukulele, ukulele with thick abalone rosettes and inlays, the D-series that have a soundhole on the side; the list goes on. This wide variety of models highlights Kanile'a interest in innovation, creating some of the most beautiful and uniquely crafted ukulele models. Deluxe Kanile'a models have intricate inlays in the fretboard and body and are created in connection to events and celebrations.
Islander is the starter versions of Kanile'a. These models are made in China and generally use a variety of classic tonewoods such as mahogany, spruce, and cedar. These ukulele work great as high quality ukulele for both starters and intermediate players as they have a great sound while being more accessible in price.
While this series has existed in the past, the Oha series has just recently been updated with an increase in quality. These models are still made with solid Hawaiian koa, though are handcrafted in China. Kanile'a ships Hawaiian Koa to be crafted into ukulele in China to save on cost, lowering the price of these ukulele while still producing the warm rich tone associated with Koa wood. As of the time of this writing, Oha models are not available outside of Kanile'a store, but they will become more available very soon! Oha models are very similar to the standard Kanile'a models, with no inlays, though some have an abalone rosette, sporting a reserved appearance that highlights the beauty of the wood.
That's all three of the main Hawaiian ukulele brands. Let us know if you have any questions or if there are other brands or luthiers you think we should talk about!