DIY Conversion Kit

DIY Conversion Kit

This assembly kit enables you to change a konso (traditional hide tuning rings) kora into a machine head one, making it much easier to tune.  We use chrome Gotoh machine heads on all our koras.

We recommend that you contact us first to help you decide whether the kora body is in good enough condition to make the expense of a conversion worthwhile.  We can ship the kit to you, or you could combine it with a visit for some individual lessons and convert it yourself, but with the advantage of having us around. Or perhaps come to a group workshop and do it then?

The kit includes:

  • Sapele or light walnut neck, shaped and with machine heads fitted
  • Stainless Steel Eyebolt
  • Set of strings and tail string cord
  • Chromatic tuner
  • Instructions

It’s up to you whether you’d also like to buy a new bridge and pad.  Get in touch if you need help deciding.

N.B. the hole for the eyebolt is not drilled for you as its position is determined by the size of your kora body. Please use the option box below if you’d like us to do it for you.

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Kora Kit – Workshops Participants

A 21-string machine head Budget Kora in kit form that you can assemble at one of our group workshops.   We do not ship this kora and it is only currently available to workshop participants.

Included:

  • Finished kora body
  • 21 Grover guitar machine heads
  • Neck, shaped and drilled ready to take the machine heads and eyebolt.  Eyelets already fitted.
  • Bridge and pad
  • Standard Nylon Strings plus tail string material and an example tail string.
  • A chromatic clip-on tuner

Professional Conversion

The conversion of a konso (traditional hide tuning rings) kora to a machine head one, making it easier to tune.

Send us your kora body, bridge and pad, handles and the cross bar.  We will check their condition and let you know if we are happy to convert it and, of any foreseeable extra costs.

We will add a new neck, fitted with machine heads, a stainless steel eyebolt and re-string your kora with new tail strings and standard nylon strings.

Delivery and Payment

Budget Kora

This kora is aimed at anyone who is keen to start learning but really can’t afford one of our normal range. The quality is very high but it will not have the fine finish and tone of the more expensive models.

It is a 21 string kora made with hardwood neck, handles, crossbar and bridge. The wood chosen will be  based on availability at the time of manufacture.  We use chrome Gotoh enclosed machine heads on all of our koras.

This kora has a strong European goat skin which is stretched over a smaller but thicker calabash. This combination means the kora does not require a reinforcing ring.  We are working towards this kora being produced in West Africa by Jali craftsmen we know and want to support in business.

There are no options on this kora.  See About Our Koras for more details on the materials we use and the processes.

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Sapele Kora

A 21 (or optionally 22) string kora made with Sapele wood for the neck, handles and crossbar, with a Bubinga bridge and pad.  We use chrome Gotoh enclosed machine heads on all of our koras.

All timbers vary from tree to tree in terms of grain and colour and Sapele is no exception.  It is lighter in weight than Bubinga or Keno.  See About Our Koras for more details on the materials we use and the processes.

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Vegan Kora

This kora is made with a wooden soundboard instead of animal skin.   It is 100% vegan.  We first created one following a request from a customer a few years ago and have realised that it should be better known, so now it’s part of our usual range.  We use chrome  Gotoh enclosed machine heads on all of our koras.

Interestingly it has quite an ‘old school’ sound and certainly qualifies as a great sounding instrument.  Adam has devised a way to make the Vegan kora look like as stylish as any other kora.  Other than the wooden soundboard, all other elements and the quality are the same as for our Sapele Kora 

More information on how we make our koras

Delivery and Payment

Front view of vega, kora

Dark Walnut Kora

A 21 (or optionally 22) string kora with a Dark Walnut neck , handles, cross piece and pad. We use chrome  Gotoh enclosed machine heads on all of our koras.

We generally use the darkest most figured pieces of Walnut, but if you have a particular preference let us know.  This timber works and finishes beautifully.  It is a good locally-sourced alternative to Sapele as used in our Standard Kora as it is plentiful at our French base, in the Midi-Pyrénées.

In terms of sound quality, we’re really pleased with the tone; it provides a good step up from the Standard Kora without the expense and weight of Bubinga.   See About Our Koras for more details on the materials we use and the processes.

Delivery and Payment

 

Bubinga Kora

A 21 (or optionally 22) string kora made with a Bubinga neck, handles, cross piece, bridge and pad.  We use chrome  Gotoh enclosed machine heads on all of our koras.

Bubinga is a particularly beautiful hardwood that has a reddish hue and a lovely grain.  Its beauty lies in the cross-graining as well as the colour, but it is much harder to work and blades are blunted easily by it,  hence it is more expensive.   It is heavier than Sapele and Walnut.

Ebonisation: Bubinga is one of the few woods that can be successfully ‘ebonised’.  This is a natural process that can be used to turn the timber black, to look like ebony.   Combined with a real ebony bridge it makes a remarkably beautiful kora and is available as a wood treatment option.

See About Our Koras for more details on the materials we use and the processes.

Delivery and Payment

Keno Kora

A 21 (or optionally 22) string kora that is made using Keno wood.  We use chrome  Gotoh enclosed machine heads on all of our koras.

Keno is traditionally used for koras and is really brought to life as Adam works and finishes it to a subtle sheen, with beautiful figuring.

We reserve the best-shaped and largest calabashes for these koras and take even more time than usual over their selection and building.  We are confident that these koras are the very best that Adam makes.   It is the culmination of years of experience, of care and attention that makes them special.

All koras play back to the player, it is in the nature of the instrument’s fundamental design and we struggle to find the words to describe why these do more than that.  Apart from their physical beauty they also seem to connect with the player in a subtle way, making it easier to play and for long periods of time. They are always the kora of choice for any experienced player who has had the opportunity to play many different koras – and it has been said it it is a little like coming home.

More information about how we make our koras and the timber.

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