Ok, maybe I shouldn’t call this posting an actual review as I only had this instrument in my hands for about an hour before I boxed it back up and shipped it back to ukulele4u. I ordered it because I wanted to find out if a soprano sized ukulele felt ‘better’ to me than a concert sized ukulele. My first uke was/is a concert sized Pono. Ever since I bought it, I kept wondering if I had chosen the wrong size to learn on. I tested a tenor and found that it wasn’t to my liking, so the Kiwaya KTS-7 caught my eye and I decided to give it a shot too.
I’m surprised that the Kiwaya brand isn’t talked about all that often in ukulele forums. Apparently it’s been around since 1919 and is the most popular Japanese ukulele on the market. Their style of instruments are copies of the coveted vintage Martin ukes.
The KTS-7 is a copy of the Martin 3M. It’s a soprano sized ukulele made of solid Mahogany, with a rosewood fretboard, 17 frets and nickel plated Gotoh friction tuners.
I found the KTS-7 to be meticuloulsy constructed. There were no cosmetic defects, blemishes, etc to be found. And I looked hard to find one! It’s just perfect in every way… well except for the size… But we’ll get to that in a bit.
One very noticeable thing about this instrument is the weight. It feels light as a feather.
And now for some images…
Nice looking ukulele, won’t you agree? It sounds as good as it looks. I just wish I my playing could do it justice. Below you will find a sound sample of me playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Hope it gives you a general idea of the tone of this instrument.
Why didn’t I keep this gorgeous ukulele? The size… Sopranos just feel entirely too small for me. I feel cramped making chords. That’s really the only reason why I sent it back. If you’re interested in a vintage Martin 3M uke, but don’t want your spouse to threaten divorce and don’t want to dip into your savings, the Kiwaya KTS-7 is a wonderful alternative (I’ve not had the opportunity to play a vintage Martin uke, but am taking the word of people more informed than I am about the comparison between the KTS-7 and the 3M). Priced below $800, this ukulele should last a lifetime.
If you own a Kiwaya uke, please share your opinions 🙂