Koa Pili Koko Ukulele

Koa ukuleles are my favorite ukuleles. I love the look and sound of them. Unfortunately, I’m not so keen on the price tag. Koa Pili Koko ukuleles are made from Acacia wood (a close relative of koa) and look at sound almost identical to koa. However, the wood is much more abundant, and therefore cheaper, than koa wood.

These Koa Pili Koko ukuleles are definitely on my shopping list (it’s a big list).

On Video

On eBay

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24 Comments

  1. DavidGO May 24th, 2010 6:29 am

    Looks like koa, loud and sounds almost like koa, built solid, easy to play, and at a great price.

  2. Harry Hansen November 8th, 2010 6:54 am

    I just want to say, these are some of the best ukuleles I have played. I am a composer, and have a very good understanding of music and musical instruments. No disrespect to Kamaka or any other ukulele brand, but these gems are, in my opinion as good, or even better than some of the best Kamaka or Koaloha ukuleles that I have played.
    They are extremely well built, the sound and feel are amazing, and most of the ones I played had good intonation, which is rare even for the very high end brands.
    I can’t say enough postitive things about them, and wish I could buy one of every model.
    Do yourself a favor and buy one of these.. I have not been able to put it down all day, I’m in love!
    fyi, I’m not selling these or in any way affiliated with Koapili. Just an amazed happy customer.
    Thanks to my cuz who hooked me up. Brah you know who you are.
    – Harry Hansen

  3. Arch December 30th, 2010 4:02 am

    (Mine’s a tenor.)
    Solid wood is very important for tone in acoustic guitars & ukes too. Avoid laminates! These deliver at a nice price.
    I do wonder how much better the sound might be if nut & saddle were bone or Tusq instead of rosewood (and I might replace them just to find out) but the tone is excellent – a little brighter than mahogany yet still rich, and the figuring in the acacia make them real lookers. Excellent value!

  4. Jack Fuller February 22nd, 2011 1:42 am

    I just received mine today, a lovely soprano. What I read about hem is absolutely true. The playability and tone are as good as it gets. I am very glad to add this to my collection. Can`t wait for the next open mike at our meetings. Thanks for reading this. Aloha to all, Jack

  5. Joe Cruz March 10th, 2011 4:52 am

    Wow!!! Very nice tenor uke! I just received my Koa Pili Koko Tenor uke a couple of days ago and it is just beautiful. It has a very warm sound and nice sustain. The wood is beautiful and I find the rosewood nut, finger board, saddle and bridge to be lovely to the eyes and delivers a rich warm sound. This is my first tenor. I first bought an inexpensive soprano, then a baritone and decide to try a tenor. For a solid Acacia wood ukulele, and this price, you can’t go wrong!
    It’s also nice to see Aldrine playing “Wonderful Tonight” on the Koa Pili Koko tenor!

    P.S. – I will be uploading some videos on Youtube shortly!

    8-{-

  6. Frankie June 20th, 2011 4:12 pm

    Just played a Tenor Kili Koko not too long ago and I am very surprised by its price as well as the nice warm & sweet tone that is enriched on this uke. Someting about the feel of it makes it as if it’s part of you with a comfortable playability. I checked out several reviews, owners that do have one and of course from YouTube players that convinced me overall. As part of my father’s day gift to myself I will definitely get one.

  7. uke1956 October 6th, 2011 7:39 pm

    I just ordered the only Koa Pili Koko Pineapple Uke I could find on the internet. It should arrive sometime next week. I will be back to let y’all know how it is. Very excited.

  8. uke 1956 October 14th, 2011 1:45 am

    Well people I got the Koa Pili Koko Pineapple today.
    STOP……What is this……Awesome….Beautiful….
    I’m not a Uke specialist or anything, but this thing
    is nice. It is very solid, sounds great. Does any
    body else have one of these? It looks ans feels like
    a Kamaka. Well, I like it and am happy to share my
    thoughts you.

  9. uku 1956 October 14th, 2011 3:40 pm

    I thought I’d put what I feel I could rate on.
    I need to play it a little longer give a higher rating for sound. And I do wish this neck was a little wider.

  10. Jackie L January 5th, 2012 10:25 am

    I purchased 2 KPK ukes for my son and I this Christmas, a Concert and a Tenor, and what more can I say, they are beautiful. My son brings his Concert to school everyday to entertain his friends. The ukulele is becoming a popular activity here in Omaha. Coming from a guitar background, I was worried about the skinnier neck, but it fits really well and is comfortable to play. Sound is great and am enjoying it with my family everyday. I purchased mine from http://www.pilikoko.com who is the same seller known as Localzkine.

  11. Tony Bird February 9th, 2012 12:58 pm

    I have had a Koa Pili Koko tenor for about a year now, and I love it. It has its very own gorgeous voice, and I absolutely love playing it on my own or jamming with friends. Its the envy of my local ukulele club. Not only that, but it was definitely the cheapest solid I could find.
    My only problem with it is that its affordability comes at a price. It seems certain corners were cut in its construction, so I have had to address problems like a buzzing tuning key on my A string, and the neck has separated from the body twice. Also, I had to adjust the action shortly after I got it by sanding down the saddle a bit.
    I wouldn’t say not to buy one because of these defects; it truly is my favorite of all my ukes. Just be aware and make sure you have the number of a good repairman. Other than those minor problems, mine’s been great!

  12. Joe Barkson June 29th, 2012 2:59 pm

    I used to own about 20 ukes, including several top-of-the-line models by Lanikai, Kala, Oscar Schmidt, Ibanez, and others. Then I bought my first KPK, a tenor, in June, 2011. It made me realize that the only things that matter are the sound and the playability. All the cosmetic stuff is nothing but added expense – I like maple binding and mother-of-pearl purfling, but they aren’t nearly as important as the sound. Since this realization struck me I have sold off most of my pretty (and expensive) ukes and now I only have seven – and four of them are KPKs.

    You won’t find a better sounding ukulele at any price. The all-solid construction is something you don’t get at three times the price with most manufacturers. KPK makes their ukes from solid acacia (Hawaiian koa is a type of acacia), and the unique finish they put on looks fantastic – not too shiny, not dull “satin” either. But it’s the sound that sets these ukes apart. There is no way to describe it without a string of silly adjectives – you really need to hear it yourself.

    As someone who has learned the hard (i.e. expensive) way, you can pay a lot more for a ukulele, but you won’t find one that plays as well and sounds as great as a KPK.

  13. Steven F. August 25th, 2012 11:46 am

    I recently purchased the Koa Pili Koko Tenor uke. It’s a beautiful solid wood instrument with a loud, pleasant tone. I’m a beginner to the ukulele, and I found this one to be more comfortable to play than my cheaper Kohala concert uke.

  14. Bill Mc Gowan November 6th, 2012 6:54 am

    I own a KPK pineapple soprano and have owned a standard as well. I gave away the standard to someone who was mesmerized by the sound and is a musician. The KPK pineapple version has a bit more volume and projection than the standard. Both the standard and the pineapple KPK share the characteristic of near perfect set up and intonation. Jason is about the best in the business and I have purchase lots of ukuleles from different vendors who promised a great set up but did not deliver causing me to do my own “tweaking” of action etc. to obtain my desired results. The KPK pineapple has a great lilting sund that is gentle and seems to float. Lots of character to the sound with haunting overtones. If you want to pay $1000.00 bucks for a koa ukulele go right ahead and you’ll have earned the bragging rights. But I’ll bet in a blind sound test most folks won’t know the difference between a $150.00 KPK solid acacia pineapple and the best of the acacia koa ukuleles.

  15. Bill Mc Gowan November 6th, 2012 6:55 am

    My rating for the above comments regarding the solid acacia KPK pineapple.

  16. Chris December 27th, 2012 1:41 am

    I just got a KPK tenor for Xmas and am truly impressed with the quality of the sound. I have a Kala tenor and a Lanikai, I haven’t touched them in a week now. The action is outstanding, the look is great and it feels like I am playing a much much more expensive ukelele. I will stick with the KPK.

  17. Dylan Stanley February 7th, 2013 5:03 am

    I purchased a KPK Deluxe Tenor and am in love with the thing. I only had one other Uke, a Luna soprano that was the gift that got me into Ukes in the first place and sad to say I never play it anymore but use it to get friends involved in the uke. These thingsw are beautiful, sound amazing and are reasonably priced. Mine actually had an issue with the botom seam coming apart and the seller at pilikok.com has been accomidating and is replacing it. I am having a hard time accepting that I will be without it while the replacement makes it way to me! Overall it is amazing and i shopped around and played several before upgrading to this one and desipte the defect and the trouble having to return it and be without it for a couple of weeks I still HIGHLY recommend these ukes. As a matter of fact i will be purchasing at least one more possily 2 more!

  18. JBS from Apollo June 26th, 2013 7:47 pm

    Bought their standard acacia concert. Excellent build, nice grain and spot on intonation. IMO a best buy. It has become my daily ukulele. Recently bought a Deluxe Pineapple Acacia Soprano. Slight changes in their design actually makes it a classier looking ukulele. Once again, great quality for the money. Spot on intonation, terrific sound and playability. Another best buy in an all solid wood ukulele.

  19. SRF September 2nd, 2013 12:48 pm

    I have a KPK acacia tenor model and a mahogany concert model. These are my favorite ukuleles. Intonation is perfect and there is no buzzing (unlike both Kalas that I own). I’m particularly impressed with the sound of the mahogany uke, which is a relatively recent addition to their line. They ship with very nice Worth strings, but I prefer to string them with Martin Fluorocarbons (M600/M620). You really can’t go wrong with these wonderful ukuleles!

  20. Dylan Stanley January 27th, 2014 1:11 am

    Yeah, these are incredible ukes and well worth the price. I now have two of these, a soprano and a tenor and they are fantastic! I played a 450.00 Kala and it doesn’t look, sound, feel or play half as good as my KPK tenor does and it was 250.00 If your looking for something that looks, feels, sounds and plays great for under 300.00 this is the one!

  21. Joseph Cyrus June 7th, 2014 4:01 pm

    I’ve been playing guitars for some 15 years and when I have to travel, I kinda miss playing my guitar. I’ve never considered a Ukulele but when I came across Jake Shimabukuro my perception changed.I’ve always wanted something I could bring everywhere with me and Uke was the answer. Did a good amount of online research and went shopping, testing sound and feel for a good Uke with only a few chords in my head. After a few good hours of testing many brands and better brandnames, KPK (tenor) was the clear winner. It simply captivated me. Rich deep sounds that project very clearly and crisp clarity, easy to play and great overall feel and handling. Purchased it for USD210 in Singapore. Its my travelling buddy now. Peace to the world!

  22. radman August 29th, 2014 1:25 am

    Wood or bone nut and saddle?
    Which do you recommend and why?
    Thanks

  23. Johnson October 6th, 2014 9:16 pm

    Radman-
    From what I know about saddle and nut material. The rosewood will make a softer tone than the bone. The bone adds brightness.
    IMHO, if I bought a mahogany uke I would use rosewood. If I bought an acacia uke I would use bone.
    Mahogany already has a bright response so the rosewood would mellow the tone. Just the opposite for the acacia, which has a softer tone, the bone nut and saddle should brighten the sound.

  24. radman October 18th, 2014 11:44 pm

    Your advice came too late….but I did get the acacia tenor with the bone saddle anyway. Do not have the wood saddle to compare with but this combo sure works for me.
    The real only negative comment that I found in mine was the fret ends were quite sharp. I resolved this issue with some tape and 220 sandpaper very carefully and tamed them down.
    Just a beautiful looking and most importantly, sounding instrument and it was love at first sight…and of course sound.
    I would highly recommend KPK to all. A quality solid wood instrument far less expensive than many laminate prices and way less expensive than “The K’s”.
    As others have mentioned in a blind test I wonder how many could really distinguish the “Big Boys” from a KPK.
    For me this is a keeper!

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