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View Full Version : A Somewhat Disappointing Music China Expo



Luke El U
10-18-2015, 07:10 PM
Today's BBC reports that third quarter growth in the Chinese economy this year was "only" 6.9%, but by the looks of this year's China Music Expo in Shanghai one might have inferred 2%.

Gone are the days when it was jammed packed with so many various manufacturers practically giving things away. However, I still bought a few things and had fun.

Thanks to Lorenza at La Bella strings who did give me a free pack of Jazz guitar "roller wound" strings and a set of phosphor bronze acoustic guitar strings! The good people at Gotoh sold me a set of Planetary tuners at the wholesale price. After that I roamed around to buy some uke strings and straps.

The KoAloha team were there with their ukes as well as the Opio models and the budget KoAlana's now being made in Indonesia. They partnered up with Rebel from Thailand. Except for their budget ukes, all the others were spectacular, particularly the Rebel custom tenor.

A close second was the Big Island uke company, followed by a distant third - the Chinese brand Ace. Unfortunately, even Ace wouldn't sell to me at wholesale prices. All the other ukes at the Expo were pretty much junk.

I was feeling rather disappointed roaming through the boring method books on offer when somebody tapped me on the shoulder. It was Daniel Ho and his spouse Lydia! What a cool surprise! They immediately inquired about the health of my wife who had been ill two years ago when we had met them at the same event. I was blown away. I'm nobody, and yet these kind people who must know thousands of people around the world remembered me. I was happy to tell them my wife has recovered just fine. We hope to go see Daniel perform tonight in Guangzhou (Canton) where we currently live. Meeting them in Shanghai made the trip so much more worth it!

UkeInTW
10-19-2015, 04:03 AM
Great story about Daniel Ho. I have only met him briefly, but from what I could ascertain from a brief interaction, he seemed like a genuine, down to earth, nice guy.

Aldrine Guerrero
10-19-2015, 11:05 AM
I went last year and was impressed with how much bigger than NAMM it was. I got the impression that people go there for an ala carte menu if you want to start producing ukes from China. The choices of which parts from which factory to create your own Chinese production line, was a new thing for me. There were a few diamonds in the rough but you're right, most were kinda junk.

Nickie
10-19-2015, 02:51 PM
"I'm nobody"

You are NOT nobody! You ARE somebody!
And the fact that you play ukulele makes you an ever bigger somebody!

kohanmike
10-19-2015, 05:18 PM
Great story about Daniel Ho. I have only met him briefly, but from what I could ascertain from a brief interaction, he seemed like a genuine, down to earth, nice guy.

I take classes and frequent U-Space, of which he's a partner in Downtown Los Angeles, Little Tokyo. He's been around there a number of times and members of the classes play with him at local events. Yes, very nice and down-to-earth.

Luke El U
10-19-2015, 05:30 PM
"I'm nobody"

You are NOT nobody! You ARE somebody!
And the fact that you play ukulele makes you an ever bigger somebody!

Thanks for the compliment. My remark just meant that I'm not famous or even well-known, that's all. We did get a chance to see Daniel Ho perform again last night here in Guangzhou - mostly on guitar as a kind of workshop. Later, he pulled out a custom KoAloha tenor, just like one I had seen at the company's booth in Shanghai. Beautiful greenish Brazilian rosewood on the sides with a spruce top. He got us all singing Pineapple Mango plus another call and response for a different tune.

chuck in ny
10-19-2015, 06:07 PM
numbers have been fudged all around the globe and there may be large changes in store for china. it's one of the really interesting things to watch for the near future.