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View Full Version : I'm spoiled now



cpmusic
02-06-2016, 07:00 PM
My wife and I attended a ukulele concert this afternoon that was sponsored, in part, by Kamaka Ukuleles. The show was very good, and it was followed by some Q&A with Chris and Casey Kamaka and a nice display of several of their ukuleles.

I picked up a beautiful tenor, and after about 30 seconds I was spoiled. I can't begin to afford even the most basic Kamaka, but that uke was so light and so responsive, with a clean, delicate tone I hadn't experienced before in my hands. But it's beyond my...er, our budget.

Oh well, such is life. Fortunately, there are no Kamakas nearby. I guess I'll have to just "get along" with my Pono. :)

hammer40
02-06-2016, 07:44 PM
You can always keep your eye out for a nice used one, and in the mean time, start saving those pennies. Until then, you already have quite a nice uke to play.

Steve in Kent
02-06-2016, 08:12 PM
I know how you feel.

Just been to Southern Ukulele Store where my friend bought a Martin T1K so had the opportunity to play some really nice ukuleles, (seemed rude not to).

The one I really liked was the Kanile'a K-1 Concert, again a bit out of my price range for now but I feel like I've had an affair and cheated on my Pono MCD :)

The Pono held it's own up to the Kanile'a though, so it's going to have to be a big price jump for me to change.

And a big thank you to SUS too, very friendly and informative.

DownUpDave
02-07-2016, 12:32 AM
I don't know how to say this without offending some people but here goes. There is a difference in sound, feel and playability from cheap to medium to expensively priced ukes. No different that audio equipment, golf clubs, fishing rods, cars etc. Performance is many times linked to price. When you experience it for the first time you truly understand why people here buy these high priced ukes...because they are musical instruments.

As someone else said Ponos are very good (I own one) but now that you have sampled champagne you have a goal and something to save up for.

peanuts56
02-07-2016, 02:13 AM
I own a Kamaka and a Kanilea Tenor. Both are so much better than any other mid priced instruments I've played. I have a friend who has a very nice Pono that is not even close to my two tenors. I started saving ages ago to buy the Kamaka and have been so satisfied. The Kanilea was sort of an impulse buy. I'm retiring soon after a 34 year teaching career and will also turn 60 in two weeks. My wife is from Oahu and we visit every summer. We visited the Kanilea shop and I decided to go and order a build. We have the money now and when I retire we'll have to tighten our belts a bit so it was a no brainer. Start saving!!!! It's money well spent. Good luck.

Doc_J
02-07-2016, 02:20 AM
Yep, once you find what you really enjoy and appreciate it's hard to settle for something you consider less.

actadh
02-07-2016, 04:47 AM
Back when I was a kid, I was horse crazy. I was fortunate that nearby Wheaton Regional Park had a riding stable.

I rode the various horses for hire that were available at the time for several years. My riding never progressed much beyond the not falling off stage. I took lessons, rode badly, and loved every minute. I just figured that I was not particularly athletic and just did not ride well.

The stable also boarded horses. Once during a lesson, a riding friend offered to let me ride her own horse. The difference between a horse for hire and her horse was dramatic. For the first time I knew what "mouth like silk" meant since I did not have to saw on the reins to get the horse to obey commands. I rode so much better that it was remarked on by several people.

My highest end ukulele is an Opio by KoAloha. I do so much better on it that is is remarked on by everyone that hears me play. I had fun getting to that purchase, and still play the others as they have their function. But, every time I see a deal on a lesser ukulele than the Opio, I just remind myself of that difference in end result when playing.

efiscella
02-07-2016, 06:22 AM
I play mostly tenor. I own the following tenors: Kamaka, KoAloha, Kanile'a, Pineapple Sunday, and Pono RTSH5 (C). Each has its own unique qualities but the one that I play way way way more than any other is the KoAloha. For ease of play, sound quality, clarity, and resonance it can't be beat. I also own a Mahogany Pono tenor that I like very much, but if you compare to the KoAloha, they are not in the same league. My Kamaka and Pono RTSH5 where both purchased at the factory, but the others were second hand and all purchased at fair prices from UU members. I have found that UU members to a large degree take excellent care of their ukulele. Keep looking here for the right one to turn up.

cpmusic
02-07-2016, 11:50 AM
I don't know how to say this without offending some people but here goes. There is a difference in sound, feel and playability from cheap to medium to expensively priced ukes. No different that audio equipment, golf clubs, fishing rods, cars etc. Performance is many times linked to price. When you experience it for the first time you truly understand why people here buy these high priced ukes...because they are musical instruments.

I have a soft spot for cheap ukes that play well, but I'm not offended. I had the opportunity to buy a Martin D-18 42 years ago (I cannot believe it's been that long) for about $400. Yes, that was a lot of money at the time, but I had the money. But I bought a $150 Epiphone maple jumbo instead to save the cash. Fifteen years later, I stumbled on a used Taylor* 615 (also a maple jumbo) that was leagues better than the Epi. It wasn't even close. The price was a stretch, but I put it on plastic and pretty much gave the Epi away, and I've never been sorry for an instant. It was a valuable lesson in value vs price that I tend to forget.

Fortunately, my wife is a classically trained violinist who knows the value and price of a good instrument. That doesn't mean she's a pushover, but she gets it. And yes, I know how lucky I am.

*I know, Taylor gets a bad rap in some quarters, but to me it comes down to personal taste. And FWIW, my 615 was built in 1983, when Taylor was a new and hungry company that still did everything by hand. It is not your child's or grandchild's Taylor.

Sanfe
02-07-2016, 12:35 PM
I know a guy who builds electric guitars and I visited him before he went off to NAMM a couple weeks ago. He let me play two guitars he was going to show there (which were already spoken for) and I couldn't believe the quality. I experienced things I had never before: the neck was huge but strangely comfortable, the whole guitar resonated like an acoustic guitar in my hands, etc. Of course, these guitars went for $4K+ (and they weren't even the $8K+ guitars he's know for).

But, I gotta admit, I understand why some of these instruments justify the crazy price. The experience, knowledge, skill, attention to details, etc. that goes into one of these cannot be compared to production instruments (in general). (Yes, there are production instruments that can be superior (subjective) to a hand-built "boutique" instrument.)

But before this experience, I thought people who spent that kind of money were all drinking the same Kool Aid.

Now I know. But I also firmly know that my skills do NOT justify me spending that kind of money on an instrument of that quality.

Would I like to own one? I dunno . . . seems like a waste in my hands. Kinda like a high-end Porsche - I'm never going to take it to the track, I'm just going to commute with it. That's a waste. Let someone who knows how to drive 'em for what they are have it.

Nickie
02-07-2016, 02:26 PM
The reason I'm going up to a pricier instrument from my Kala (2X the cost ) is because I believe it will help me become a better player. Notice I didn't say MAKE me a better player. Most days I can hardly keep my hands off my Kala, and I imagine the new uke will be even harder to leave alone. I have no illusions about the need to practice more and better to become the kind of player I want to be. But I always knew that someday I'd want to move up in quality. I may have progressed as far as I can with my Kala, I've been beating the heck out of it for over 3 years, exclusively for the past year. When the new uke comes, the Kala will get a lo G if the bridge holes will accept it, so it;s still gonna get lots of play. I don't plan to make any more purchases of ukes the remainder of 2016, unless they are sopranos to give to kids.