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View Full Version : Wow. HMS Just Got a lot of Kamaka HF3



katysax
05-02-2015, 08:01 AM
HMS just posted 11 Kamaka HF3 Tenors and one is already sold. I'll bet they are sold out before the end of the month, maybe even in two weeks.

These seem to be the standard for a Hawaiian tenor. I've got a Concert Ohta-San and it is very nice. I've played a few Hf3s and they are nice but did not strike me as inherently better than a Koaloha or Kanilea. All good in their own way. I would consider getting a Kamaka just because it seems to be the workhorse of the tenor ukulele world.

Thoughts on the HF3? Why do they sell so many and so fast?

JJFN
05-02-2015, 08:03 AM
Never played their tenor, but if it's anywhere near as good as my baritone, it is an outstanding instrument.

wickedwahine11
05-02-2015, 08:06 AM
The HF3 is a good uke. I think a lot of people like Kamaka because they have been around for 100 years and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. They make a classic Hawaiian sounding instrument, and it plays well. My only issue with it is that I hate the strings they use. I'm planning on selling my Kamaka this year, but it isn't because it isn't a good uke - they are, I just don't play it because I prefer one of my other instruments. But for that matter, I'm planning on selling my KoAloha and Kanilea too for the same reason, so it is not a dis on Kamaka at all.

It seems like most people around these parts prefer one K brand or another -- I've had all three, and the Kamaka is a great workhorse. It isn't as flashy looking as a Kanile'a or as loud as a KoAloha, but they are all around very solid good instruments. Plus, there is something to be said for the nostalgia of having the company around for that long, it is like a tangible piece of Hawaii in your hand.

coolkayaker1
05-02-2015, 08:59 AM
I'm planning on selling my Kamaka this year, but it isn't because it isn't a good uke - they are, I just don't play it because I prefer one of my other instruments. But for that matter, I'm planning on selling my KoAloha and Kanilea too for the same reason, so it is not a dis on Kamaka at all.



:eek: Oh my, Staci. I know you spent considerable time, and built memories, around securing your quartet of Hawaiian K's.

dalamaricus
05-02-2015, 10:53 AM
I think the history behind Kamaka, and the fact that they've been owned by the same family, is an important aspect of their popularity. There are also many popular artists (like Jake Shimabukuro, Kalei Gamiao, Brittni Paiva and Kris Fuchigami) who play Kamakas.

janeray1940
05-02-2015, 12:58 PM
I love the sound of Kamaka tenors, but I don't have one since my hands are just too small to do the range of stretches on them for the way I play. Since I started playing 6 years ago, I've pretty much settled on Kamakas as my favorites - I've got 3 right now (concert, soprano pineapple, and longneck soprano) that I play daily, and one out on extended loan (Ohta-San - it's a fantastic instrument but like the tenors, just a little too big for me so it will probably end up with a new owner soon). I've owned and played other K-brands and while I've never met one that wasn't good, there's something about Kamakas that I find more appealing. I find the fretboards are smoother and the tone is more bell-like, but yet still has some depth, even the sopranos.

wickedwahine11
05-02-2015, 02:16 PM
:eek: Oh my, Staci. I know you spent considerable time, and built memories, around securing your quartet of Hawaiian K's.

Yeah, I am a little sad about it because I love all of them but they honestly are just collecting dust. They should be played and I have other uses for the money. :)

coolkayaker1
05-03-2015, 02:35 AM
I love the sound of Kamaka tenors, but I don't have one since my hands are just too small to do the range of stretches on them for the way I play. Since I started playing 6 years ago, I've pretty much settled on Kamakas as my favorites - I've got 3 right now (concert, soprano pineapple, and longneck soprano) that I play daily, and one out on extended loan (Ohta-San - it's a fantastic instrument but like the tenors, just a little too big for me so it will probably end up with a new owner soon). I've owned and played other K-brands and while I've never met one that wasn't good, there's something about Kamakas that I find more appealing. I find the fretboards are smoother and the tone is more bell-like, but yet still has some depth, even the sopranos.

I thought you loved that OS! �� curious, JR40, how u can play your concerts and longneck sops but the OS is too big...is it the body of the uke? I have to say, I've been on tenor kick, but went back to sop and, boom, all of a sudden I can fret five frets apart, like, easy-peasy. I sure like the raspy soprano (never a fan of concerts, personally).


Yeah, I am a little sad about it because I love all of them but they honestly are just collecting dust. They should be played and I have other uses for the money. :)

I hear you on that one, Staci. #languishingukes = #languishingcash. True.

guitharsis
05-03-2015, 02:46 AM
Know what you mean, Staci. I've been neglecting my other concerts, a Kamaka, a Kanile'a and a KoAloha, since receiving my Ohta-San but still have been unable to part with them. Difficult enough to part with two other Kamakas. I had 4 of them.:)
Back on topic, obviously love Kamakas and loved the tone of the tenor. The Kamaka tenor body was large and uncomfotable for me. The Ohta-San body and fingerboard are a better fit for me.

tbeltrans
05-03-2015, 03:54 AM
Since I only have two ukuleles, one high G and the other low G, I play them equally depending on what style of music I am playing at the time. This seems to be a nice balance with nothing being neglected and no need to buy or sell. I can certainly see selling ukuleles that don't get played, as well as I can see why they may not get played if one has quite a collection. The more ukuleles in the collection, the greater chance some may not get played.

Tony

sam13
05-03-2015, 04:36 AM
I am a BIG FAN OFF THE KAMAKA UKE.

In the past, I have played several in local Uke shops and they must have been dry ... I now own a HF2L and a 100th year HF3L and just love tone. Simply lush and warm, so great.

Down Up Dave bought a Baritone and the tone is amazing.

strumsilly
05-03-2015, 05:26 AM
I've had 3 K''s, Kamaka, Kanilea, and Koaloha, I've kept the Koaloha, my go to tenor. I like the sound of that flavor best, but I've not played one of Kamaka's newer ones.

janeray1940
05-03-2015, 07:27 AM
I thought you loved that OS! �� curious, JR40, how u can play your concerts and longneck sops but the OS is too big...is it the body of the uke? I have to say, I've been on tenor kick, but went back to sop and, boom, all of a sudden I can fret five frets apart, like, easy-peasy. I sure like the raspy soprano (never a fan of concerts, personally).


It's not the body size, it's the scale length. The scale length on the Ohta-San is larger than a concert scale by 1" - it's right in between concert and tenor. As it is, I can just *barely* get a first-position five-fret stretch on a concert scale neck; on the Ohta-San I can't even do a FOUR-fret stretch. I thought with time I'd get there, but then I started getting really bad pain in my left hand. I don't have arthritis or hand problems of any kind at present, and I definitely don't want to develop any if I can help it! I backed away from the Ohta-San and the pain went away, so... I had to face a moment of truth.

It's still the best-sounding, and prettiest, uke I've ever played, but unless I suddenly undergo a personality transplant and become a three-chord strummer, I just can't do it justice. Right now it's with a friend who *can*, which at least affords me the opportunity to enjoy seeing and hearing it. Eventually I suppose both he and I will need to make a decision - does he want to buy it, and do I want to sell it - because as you said, #languishingukes = #languishingcash! But I'm not going to worry too much about that unless I need the cash for some reason - for now, I'm viewing it as money in the bank.

And concert scale has become my favorite, although I do still have to break out the soprano for some campanella arrangements.

coolkayaker1
05-03-2015, 01:22 PM
Ah, I see, M. Now I get it...in all that I have read about OS Kamakas, I never knew they were one-inch longer than a concert until you just educated me. Wow, that's kinda no-so-good, methinks. I'm not crazy about those "larger than normal" ukes, like the extra long tenors (by Kamaka, as I recall) or baritones (like that Pono Nui monster with a guitar body...just one question: why? Lol).

Moment of truth after four-fret max stretch. Something profound about that.

I think your picking style lends itself to concerts. I've had a rebirth (once again...this is rebirth number four, at least) of the soprano. What a lovely size (but I know it gets drown out in your group). Cheers, M.

PS I enjoy your personality; no "strumming" transplants, please.

Andy Chen
05-03-2015, 02:55 PM
Before I got my Kamaka, I thought it was mostly the name. But it has turned out that I love its tone as much as the Clara's.

It's particularly great for strumming, to me. For fingerpicking, I prefer my Koaloha tenor.

janeray1940
05-03-2015, 03:01 PM
Ah, I see, M. Now I get it...in all that I have read about OS Kamakas, I never knew they were one-inch longer than a concert until you just educated me. Wow, that's kinda no-so-good, methinks. I'm not crazy about those "larger than normal" ukes, like the extra long tenors (by Kamaka, as I recall) or baritones (like that Pono Nui monster with a guitar body...just one question: why? Lol).

Moment of truth after four-fret max stretch. Something profound about that.

I think your picking style lends itself to concerts. I've had a rebirth (once again...this is rebirth number four, at least) of the soprano. What a lovely size (but I know it gets drown out in your group). Cheers, M.

PS I enjoy your personality; no "strumming" transplants, please.

I'm all for a longer scale length, which IMO lends itself well to campanella and single-note playing - hence my current obsession with my super-soprano, which I think is the best of all worlds for me. The Ohta-San is a sound all its own, and I wish I could conquer it, but - I think by now I know when to admit defeat!

And thanks. I'm not likely to become a strummer any time soon... although I must admit that I sometimes envy the fun those who are into strumming and singing seem to have. I have fun too, but I suppose my idea of fun is a little... different. Like playing campanella scales for the better part of the day :)