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Thread: Hawaii trip buying advice

  1. #1

    Default Hawaii trip buying advice

    Hi all,

    I'm traveling to Hawaii for a few days in a couple months and would really like to buy a uke when I'm there. I'll be in Honolulu and will realistically only be able to go to a couple places given limited time and little kids and no car.

    In my ideal world, I'd like to purchase a factory second direct from the factory and would love to get a koa uke.

    My only plan right now is to go to KoAloha, as I've heard you can do that there. My budget is around $500-600.

    Any thoughts or advice!? Thanks in advance!

    Matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    7

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    Hi Matt

    I have been on Maui for 4 weeks looking at different ukes. Prepare to be amazed and overwhelmed. I have not been to Honolulu but I would guess there will be even more choices there.
    I arrived here with Kamaka at the top of my list but there weren't many around. Pretty much sold out.
    Try to keep an open mind for other brands. Each is slightly different and different to play. Even 3 or 4 koa ukes of the same brand can be noticeably different. Gradually, if you go to enough places and play enough instruments you will know what appeals to you more.
    I also suggest you start following Craig's List for Honolulu. You might get lucky there with a good one

    Enjoy.
    John

  3. #3

    Default

    Craigslist is a great idea. I'm a bit stuck with having quite limited time and traveling with family, so I won't have much of a chance to go to lots of stores - as much as I'd love to! Craigslist is a great idea though, I wonder if there are any good options for used ukes, I'm more than happy to buy used.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Honoka'a, HI
    Posts
    1,480

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    Not sure where the other K's are at, price-wise, but I don't know if $600 will even get you in the door these days. A Kamaka HF-1 soprano is over a grand.

    A better bet would probably to try and get up to Haleiwa to Hawai'i Music Supply. That way you could see everything in one spot and look at options closer to your price range. It's on the other side of the island, but from what I've heard (even my dad, who doesn't play, stopped by to check it out!), it's quite worth the effort.
    Brad Bordessa
    Webmaster of Live 'Ukulele.com
    Admin for The Ukulele Way
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    My answers to some FAQs: How to figure out a song - High-g/Low-G - What uke should I get? - Pickups

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
    Posts
    3,155

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hippie Guy View Post
    Not sure where the other K's are at, price-wise, but I don't know if $600 will even get you in the door these days. A Kamaka HF-1 soprano is over a grand.

    A better bet would probably to try and get up to Haleiwa to Hawai'i Music Supply. That way you could see everything in one spot and look at options closer to your price range. It's on the other side of the island, but from what I've heard (even my dad, who doesn't play, stopped by to check it out!), it's quite worth the effort.
    ^^ This. HMS picks the best specific ukes from the K brands and then puts them through their setup process. As Brad also mentions, K brands are above your price target. But you can absolutely find a nice uke at HMS in that price range.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ukulele Eddie View Post
    ^^ This. HMS picks the best specific ukes from the K brands and then puts them through their setup process. As Brad also mentions, K brands are above your price target. But you can absolutely find a nice uke at HMS in that price range.
    Thanks to both of you. Yeah, it's a bit low and I figure I have to go up a bit, but KoAloha from HMS are under 1k, so I was hoping with a factory second I might be able to get my hands on one. Or used of course.

    Hmmm....perhaps we'll have to see about catching a bus up to the North Shore, going to HMS would be fantastic.
    Last edited by Fire lantern; 01-07-2018 at 10:07 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Toronto , Canada
    Posts
    1,486

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    You are doing exactly the same thing I did but 3 years later. You will soon learn that the shops on Waikiki are all tourist trap. They sell Kala and other made in China brand.

    The shop inside Sheraton Hotel name Ukulele Pua Pua has some nice Ko'olau and Kanilie'a. (don't count on seeing Kamaka). The price starts from $750 even 3 years ago. No set-up but you may be OK without the proper set-up as these ukes are well built. They also host uke lesson. If you are lucky you may be able to sit in on Jake's Brother Bruce lesson. I believe it's free lessons.

    HMS is 45 minutes drive from Waikiki to North Shore. You are better off ordering before you leave home so that it is ready for pick up because set up is 1/2 hour drive from the shop and they can't do it the same day you purchase the uke which mean you need to drive back again.

    Another uke shop is located in the Hyatt call Ukulele House. The lady is very nice there. You may get lucky with the K Brand but Pua Pua has more.

    Bob's ukulele located on the second floor of Royal Hawaii Centre has some K brands . I found the asking price is a lot more than Pua Pua.

    The three I mentioned are walking distance on Waikiki . HMS is the only one you need a car. Hope this help!
    Last edited by SoloRule; 01-07-2018 at 10:36 AM.
    Brenda

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  8. #8

    Default

    This is super helpful, thank you so much Brenda!


    Quote Originally Posted by SoloRule View Post
    You are doing exactly the same thing I did but 3 years later. You will soon learn that the shops on Waikiki are all tourist trap. They sell Kala and other made in China brand.

    The shop inside Sheraton Hotel name Ukulele Pua Pua has some nice Ko'olau and Kanilie'a. (don't count on seeing Kamaka). The price starts from $750 even 3 years ago. No set-up but you may be OK without the proper set-up as these ukes are well built. They also host uke lesson. If you are lucky you may be able to sit in on Jake's Brother Bruce lesson. I believe it's free lessons.

    HMS is 45 minutes drive from Waikiki to North Shore. You are better off ordering before you leave home so that it is ready for pick up because set up is 1/2 hour drive from the shop and they can't do it the same day you purchase the uke which mean you need to drive back again.

    Another uke shop is located in the Hyatt call Ukulele House. The lady is very nice there. You may get lucky with the K Brand but Pua Pua has more.

    Bob's ukulele located on the second floor of Royal Hawaii Centre has some K brands . I found the asking price is a lot more than Pua Pua.

    The three I mentioned are walking distance on Waikiki . HMS is the only one you need a car. Hope this help!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Prospect, Connecticut
    Posts
    265

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    HMS is worth the drive. Their selection is excellent and their prices are fair. They're also the most knowledgeable people you would meet, nice guys as well.

  10. #10

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    Sounds like I also need to start saving more to afford this. Sure no one wants to buy my David Gill...still for sale I figured I was on the low end, but was hoping used or factory second would make it possible. guess not.

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