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JackLuis
06-18-2016, 05:37 AM
I was up at my local Ukulele shop playing the high end uku's on their wall and fell in love. Oh, not with the cute girl with the green hair behind the counter but with a lovely pair of baritones in the back of the store.

For those of you who live near Roseville CA, famous as the Rail center of Northern California, you have probably heard of The Strum Shop. They generally have 100-120 Uku's hanging on their Wall of Ukuleles, maybe more. Everything from plastic Waterman sopranos to pieces of the Luthiers art costing several thousands of dollars. Each time I go in there, to buy strings or get one of my cheap Chinese Uku's set up by Randy the repair guy. I play my way down the wall just to try and find "The Ukulele" that will make me swoon with delight and cause me to part with my meager dollars.

Well I was up there a few weeks ago an they had seven or eight Baritones in the back. Which is more than they usually have and being bitten by the Baritone bug I checked them out. A lovely used King custom was in, really nice player. A couple of Oscar S's which seemed heavy and just okay. A nice Kala ceder topped slot head got me a little excited. Then I saw a couple of lovely looking Bari's with abalone touches with interesting shaped head stocks in gloss and matte finishes.

They were Nalu's. I had never heard of them before.

I picked the gloss one to try out. It was light and balanced, it played soft and easy. The sound was more than just good, I looked at the price tag, ~$700! Not too bad, but out of my range. I picked up the matte one and it too was light, balanced and the sound was beautiful. Easily as good as the King, even prettier and about hundred bucks cheaper than the gloss one and $250 cheaper than the King.

Yesterday I had to go by the Strum Shop, I made up the excuse that I needed some different strings for my $85 Big Zebra Caramel. Actually I just needed a reason to play my way down the wall. :o

I bypassed the sopranos, concerts, and tenors and went right back to the baritones. There were only four or five but one was a Nalu. She was light and had a delicate touch to her perfectly intoned strings. (Nalu's use Phd strings.) She was beautiful, her abalone was sparkling, her shapely head stock was elegant, so light and ... Oh, Oh I was in love again.

Now you may think I'm silly but I'm trying to figure out how to be able to afford such a beauty. Then today I searched to find their webpage and found they don't really advertise their baritones. They should.

http://www.nalu-ukulele.com/overview/

Croaky Keith
06-18-2016, 07:44 AM
A nice Kala ceder topped slot head got me a little excited.
I think it's good value for money - I have one. :)

cml
06-18-2016, 08:11 AM
Sell off some other stuff you dont need or use. I recently sold some camping/hiking gear and cashed in close to 300$ in a week, which went towards the uke that's on its way to me now. Not bad. For my first uke I sold off some lenses that I didnt use anymore (photography is an other hobby of mine).

Good luck, start saving up and you'll have it before you know it!

OhioBelle
06-18-2016, 07:11 PM
Those are beautiful ukes! Sounds like you found one that really spoke to you. I looked at the website. The headstock and sound hole with the wave pattern is so striking! Which wood were you looking at?

Kanaka916
06-19-2016, 12:27 PM
Nalu has been around for a bit. Gary, Rick & Mark usually have a booth at the majority of Hawaiian/Polynesian Festivals in NorCal. They are also regulars at the Ukulele Festival of Northern California held annually in Hayward. Very familiar with the Strum Shop and owner Stu Herreid. It has been a venue for Uke players and Hawaiian musicians when they're on a NorCal tour. Some of the who's who that performed there; Aldrine & Aaron, Craig & Sarah, Dominator, Herb Ohta, Jr & Bryan Tolentino, Led Kaapana & Fran Guidry, Kris Fuchigami and so on.

JackLuis
06-19-2016, 07:15 PM
Nalu has been around for a bit. Gary, Rick & Mark usually have a booth at the majority of Hawaiian/Polynesian Festivals in NorCal. They are also regulars at the Ukulele Festival of Northern California held annually in Hayward. Very familiar with the Strum Shop and owner Stu Herreid. It has been a venue for Uke players and Hawaiian musicians when they're on a NorCal tour. Some of the who's who that performed there; Aldrine & Aaron, Craig & Sarah, Dominator, Herb Ohta, Jr & Bryan Tolentino, Led Kaapana & Fran Guidry, Kris Fuchigami and so on.

I did a little research and looked up reviews on UU, folks mostly like them. They are pretty and they have a Zebrawood and Spruce model that is pretty nice looking. I'm a sucker for Zebra wood. I have a few options to raising the money, but until I learn to play better and wear out at least one of my herd of Zebras, I'll just hold off. My Big Zebra Bari sounds pretty nice and surprisingly easy to play, so I'm in no hurry. This week I may shift it to re-entrant to see how that sounds. I've Hi D Tuned my Tenors in G and I really like that sound.

Yeah the Strum Shop is a real asset to the Roseville music scene. Stu taught me how to make a D chord by baring the top three strings. A simple trick but very useful. Real nice folks there.

Booli
06-19-2016, 09:53 PM
Isn't Nalu Music ALSO related to the late, great John King?

I thought either he was sponsored by them, or had endorsed them or something...but I cannot recall the details...

Kanaka916
06-20-2016, 03:14 AM
Isn't Nalu Music ALSO related to the late, great John King?

I thought either he was sponsored by them, or had endorsed them or something...but I cannot recall the details...

Nalu Ukuleles and Nalu Music are in no way associated and the only commonality just happens to be the name.