View Full Version : Coals to Newcastle

03-24-2016, 12:10 AM
The last 2 sopranos I sold both made from Koa have been bought by folks in Hawii :confused: ..we in the UK have this saying "Like selling Coals to Newcastle" comes from a time when Newcastle was the largest Coal mining area in Britain...So whats going on in Hawii ? birth place of the uke and Koa trees.

03-24-2016, 12:41 AM
Maybe the kind of people who would buy those (people who enjoy ukuleles and understand the value of Koa) like to move to Hawaii more than they like to move to other places?

Mr. Spatts
Had twenty-one hats,
And none of them were the same.
And Mr. Smedds
Had twenty-one heads
And only one hat to his name.

Now, when Mr. Smedds
Met Mr. Spatts,
They talked of the
Buying and selling of hats.
And Mr. Spatts
Bought Mr. Smedds’ hat!
Did you ever hear anything
Crazier than that?

03-24-2016, 01:12 AM
Simples Ken.
They know a good uke when they see one!

03-24-2016, 01:18 AM
I'd take it as a compliment =). Was watching your auctions and was very tempted, even if I play concert. But they sure looked gorgeous mate.

03-24-2016, 02:33 AM
It's not the wood it's what you do with it. Good work

03-24-2016, 06:44 AM
Agreed - they didn't buy a Koa ukulele; they bought a Ken Timms Koa Ukulele.

I have been outbid every time - but then, I'm only in New York...


03-24-2016, 06:56 AM
I guess when you live in Hawaii you get a different perspective. The cold and rainy shores of the UK must seem exotic to them

03-24-2016, 05:19 PM
My mother was actually involved with relief efforts to Britain during the war and remembers the "Coals to Newcastle" incident. It was a kinda a oops. They meant well. What the people of Newcastle wanted was coffee and sugar and what they got were lumps of coal. Thanks! ... Funny the koa is shipped all the way to Britain and then is flown back to Hawaii. This seems to be slightly inefficient to say the least. Hey, I hear you guys can build a damn mean Yew ukulele.

03-24-2016, 07:32 PM
I won one of them. I already have one of Ken's mahogany sopranos and it is one of the finest instruments I've ever played. I have access to HMS and the factory stores for all the K brands, but his sopranos are just special. They're incredibly lightweight with excellent playability and intonation. The sound is bright and clear. The fit and finish is fantastic. I couldn't resist when I saw the koa models go up. I'm eagerly awaiting its arrival. I may pick up a 17 fret version some day too.

Pete Howlett
03-24-2016, 09:08 PM
Ken, they are buying you, your reputation and that 'authentic' Martin repro thing you have going on. Remember, the most popular players' instrument in Hawaii is the tenor :)