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poppi_m
04-25-2017, 04:08 PM
Hi all ,

I'm new to ukuleles as in a few weeks new .

My dad died but left me a ukulele he bought in the early 70s.
I couldn't find out much about it based on demensions , number of frets ,etc. What I could find out it that it's a kanaka "white label " ukulele.

I emailed kamaka with pics and demensions and all they sent back
was that it was a long neck tenor .

It has a slight crack in it that I'd like to get repaired
and maybe learn to play , but I'm concerned about
putting more than the instrument is worth .

I can't find much of anything about vintage kamaka
Long neck tenors good , bad or indifferent . I can't even find a hard case that will fit it .

So any insight would be great . Thank you all in advance .

Jim Hanks
04-25-2017, 04:38 PM
Can you post the pics here? Or to a hosting site like Photobucket and link here? That would help the experts here determine a rough estimate of value. If it is in decent shape other than the crack, I think a repair should not be too costly and if that helps you connect to your dad in some way, how do you put a price on that?

Ukecaster
04-25-2017, 04:47 PM
Most any Kamaka, unless totally trashed, is usually worth at least $350.00. I believe the white labels were made in late 60s/70s. I have a 50s gold label soprano that had a couple of cracks when I got it, it cost me about $100.00 to get it repaired by mail, and I can help with that guy's contact info if you PM me. As long as no braces are loose inside, the crack repair should be a pretty easy fix. Here's a pic of my repaired Kamaka soprano below, with pineapple. BTW, I've never heard of a longneck tenor. If a uke is a long neck, usually it's a longneck soprano (making it a concert scale), or a longneck concert (making it a tenor scale). Just post a pic and that will help us assist with ID better.

EDIT: apparently, Kamaka has made Special long neck tenors, see the link. They are tenor size body with a longer neck (19" scale), which is longer than the usual 17" tenor scale. If it's a longneck tenor, it's rather unusual, and probably worth well over $500.00. IMO, any Kamaka with just a crack or 2 is definitely worth fixing

Kamaka longneck tenor (http://www.theukulelesite.com/kamaka-tenor-long-neck-deluxe.html)

99657

poppi_m
04-25-2017, 04:48 PM
I think I'm able to add pics

poppi_m
04-25-2017, 04:50 PM
Most any Kamaka, unless totally trashed, is usually worth at least $350.00. I believe the white labels were made in 60s/70s. I have a 50s gold label soprano that had a couple of cracks when I got it, it cost me about $100.00 to get it repaired by mail, and I can help with that guy's contact info if you PM me. As long as no braces are loose inside, the crack repair should be a pretty easy fix. Here's a pic of mine.

99657

Nice !

I guess I'm not sure if it's a good thing meaning rare higher value
Because I can't find any info on the long neck tenors if this age or if it's because no one
Cares about them

Tenor sized body , but has 20 frets and is 29 1/4 " overall length

poppi_m
04-25-2017, 04:52 PM
Can you post the pics here? Or to a hosting site like Photobucket and link here? That would help the experts here determine a rough estimate of value. If it is in decent shape other than the crack, I think a repair should not be too costly and if that helps you connect to your dad in some way, how do you put a price on that?

I can keep it as a connection as is , but if it's worth fixing then I might learn to play it as well

Jim Hanks
04-25-2017, 05:16 PM
Seems to be in good shape so $100-200 for a repair and setup (adjust action, file frets if needed, etc.) should get you a much better uke than a new one for that amount. I'd say go for it.

Nickie
04-25-2017, 06:07 PM
Nice! I'd say your Dad left you a very nice gift. Get it fixed, learn to play it. Think of him when you play, and smile!

Debussychopin
04-25-2017, 07:55 PM
That long neck tenor next to the pineapple doesn't look purposeful bc it only has 12 frets like a standard soprano scale? Really?

Louis0815
04-25-2017, 11:06 PM
That long neck tenor next to the pineapple doesn't look purposeful bc it only has 12 frets like a standard soprano scale? Really?
:confused:

Here's a pic of my repaired Kamaka soprano below
Nobody ever claimed the uke next to the pineapple being a tenor....

OhioBelle
04-26-2017, 12:29 AM
That's some really pretty koa on that Kamaka, poppi! I agree with the advice here to get it repaired and learn to play. You might be surprised at how addictive playing a ukulele can be. It's a guaranteed mood lifter! You can think of your father whenever you touch the strings.

Being a long-neck tenor, it's going to give you more room on the fretboard, so you might want to look at playing melody/fingerstyle. Regarding a case for it, perhaps a baritone case/gigbag might fit? You could try giving Hawaii Music Supply a call and asking them, since they once sold long-necks according to the link ukecaster posted. They might be able to help you sort out what kind of case to buy.

Good luck on your ukulele journey!

DownUpDave
04-26-2017, 01:38 AM
A new Kamaka long neck tenor sells for over $1200.00. The older ones from the 70s are considered to have a great tone and are sought after. This is a special instrument that is DEFINITELY worth fixing and keeping.

As Ohio Bell said contact HMS and they can order you a Kamaka case made specifically for that long neck tenor. A member here sam13 has that same model in the 100th anniversary edition Kamaka put out last year. I have played it and it is a wonderful sounding instrument, really fabulous.

poppi_m
04-26-2017, 02:43 AM
A new Kamaka long neck tenor sells for over $1200.00. The older ones from the 70s are considered to have a great tone and are sought after. This is a special instrument that is DEFINITELY worth fixing and keeping.

As Ohio Bell said contact HMS and they can order you a Kamaka case made specifically for that long neck tenor. A member here sam13 has that same model in the 100th anniversary edition Kamaka put out last year. I have played it and it is a wonderful sounding instrument, really fabulous.


That sounds very promising . I found a guy that says he's been a factory authorized repair person for Martin , ovation , Gretch and like 5 other manufactures for more than 25 years . I'm pretty sure I found a good person forbthe repairs .

I have follow up questions so I can go to as informed as possible .

I'm correct in saying that I should be concerned in maintaining as much of the original finish as possible , yes ?

Is there a approximate value of a 70s long neck tenor once repaired ? I've seen a lot of people over sell their service by over stating the end result value of the item.

I'll check out the HMS place for a case too , I sounds like it deserves a hard case if possible

Pirate Jim
04-26-2017, 03:39 AM
If you're asking HMS for a case you might as well ask them about the value whilst you're at it - they're likely to have a reasonable idea.

poppi_m
04-26-2017, 04:01 AM
If you're asking HMS for a case you might as well ask them about the value whilst you're at it - they're likely to have a reasonable idea.

Ok great , thanks for the heads up !

poppi_m
04-26-2017, 01:57 PM
I think I found an Oahu case that seems it might fit from HMS , sobthts good .

The bad is that the guy I talked to didn't really know what to say about a long neck tenor
That wasn't recently made . He kept asking people and they all referenced the current kamaka model
I think they called it an HF3L , but he has to tell them it was a white label one . He then came back with the value for
a normal white label tenor .

Im kinda frustrated is there a ukulele price guide or something ?

DownUpDave
04-26-2017, 02:56 PM
The short answer is if you put it up for sale here and asked $700.00 most people would find that more than fair.

poppi_m
04-26-2017, 03:57 PM
I emailed Andrew from HMS to see if he had any info . His response was :

Andrew Kitakis replied:
Hi Mike,

Yeah those are so rare I've never even seen one. I heard they were only made and played by Kamaka family members.



Soo it doesn't help with finding a value but it's very interesting .

Ukecaster
04-26-2017, 05:37 PM
I emailed Andrew from HMS to see if he had any info . His response was :

Andrew Kitakis replied:
Hi Mike,

Yeah those are so rare I've never even seen one. I heard they were only made and played by Kamaka family members.



Soo it doesn't help with finding a value but it's very interesting .


Priceless! :D

OhioBelle
04-27-2017, 01:18 AM
Kamaka family members only? This is indeed intriguing. It would be interesting to know what Kamaka says about this ukulele. Poppi, you should write to them.

poppi_m
04-27-2017, 01:45 AM
Kamaka family members only? This is indeed intriguing. It would be interesting to know what Kamaka says about this ukulele. Poppi, you should write to them.

I actually have already . I was having trouble figuring out what size it was based on dimensions and
Number of frets , nothing was matching up. So I called kamaka and they asked me to email them pics and
And a few measurements .

A couple of days later they emailed me back with this :
Hi Mike,

Thank you for the pictures, your ukulele is a Tenor Long neck.

Nice gift from your dad. If you need to purchase strings, please visit our web store.

Aloha, Tekla


I replied to try and get a little additional info but got no response. That's when I started to
See if people in the ukulele community could provide any more info.

WestyShane
04-27-2017, 09:57 AM
I'm pretty sure Kamaka does repairs on their own instruments. You might want to ask them about that. Shipping would be a chore though so you should probably plan a trip to Oahu.

kohanmike
04-27-2017, 10:09 AM
It seems you found a good person to do the repair, and you might want to contact Mim for a case, she's on the lower east coast so the shipping would be cheaper and quicker. I'm surprised Kamaka did not respond with more information.

http://mimsukes.com

vanflynn
04-27-2017, 03:38 PM
Hi poppi, welcome to UU. Glad you joined us. I have a 1968 Kamaka Tiki that was my mom's. After 40 years of Minnesota winters it developed 4 cracks. I ended up sending it back to Kamaka for repair. Tekla is a joy to work with but you are on island time. If you don't mind it taking ~ 4 to 6 months you will get back a glorious instrument.

In my case, I had a very sentimental tie to it so it was worth the wait. The folks that made it know how to repair it.

It's hard to see from that pic how bad the crack is. Possibly a good luthier and some hot hide glue might fix it properly.

Good luck and let us know how it ends up. You have a beautiful instrument there.

poppi_m
04-27-2017, 03:50 PM
Hi poppi, welcome to UU. Glad you joined us. I have a 1968 Kamaka Tiki that was my mom's. After 40 years of Minnesota winters it developed 4 cracks. I ended up sending it back to Kamaka for repair. Tekla is a joy to work with but you are on island time. If you don't mind it taking ~ 4 to 6 mionths you will get back a glorious instrument.

In my case, I had a very sentimental tie to it so it was worth the wait. The folks that made it know how to repair it.

It's hard to see from that pic how bad the crack is. Possibly a good luthier and some hot hide glue might fix it properly.

Good luck and let us know how it ends up. You have a beautiful instrument there.

Thanks , was it insanely expensive for kamaka to fix it ? Did you just send it out there and then wait for the estimate and hope it wasn't a crazy amount ?

I don't mind waiting but I have a limited budget .

Tekla is passing along my request for additional info about my tenor to Chris kamaka , so again that's pretty cool.

vanflynn
04-27-2017, 04:07 PM
In my case I it was around $250 plus shipping and that included a light new finish coat on it. A lot depends on how big the cracks are, if all the bracing is in place, etc. Their pricing seemed very fair, it just takes a while.

Some good pictures of it to Chris might help

poppi_m
04-27-2017, 04:18 PM
In my case I it was around $250 plus shipping and that included a light new finish coat on it. A lot depends on how big the cracks are, if all the bracing is in place, etc. Their pricing seemed very fair, it just takes a while.

Some good pictures of it to Chris might help


That's actually not too bad , I'll shoot an email to them and see what they say
Thanks !

vanflynn
04-27-2017, 04:22 PM
No prob. In the meantime, grab a mai tai, tune it up and have fun!

poppi_m
04-28-2017, 07:16 AM
UPDATE

I just met with the repair person .he does beuatiful work, but it seems there were two other cracks
I didn't see . So the total for repairs , smooth the frets , clean polish the uke in whole and condition the finger board and bridge ,
And do the setup with new strings for $350 .

Not sure if that's good or bad price but it definitely hurt a little when I heard it .

WCBarnes
04-28-2017, 08:32 AM
Welcome to the site Poppi! I grew up just a hop, skip & jump away in Crystal Lake.

It sounds like the repairman has suggested the right things. I am not a luthier and do not know the extend of all the damage, so I cannot comment on the pricing. But is sounds like he is knowledgeable and does beautiful work. If I couldn't afford to get it done now I would ask him if there is any risk to leaving it as it is until you have the money. I would also wait to hear from Kamaka and see if they can give you a repair estimate. On a side note, you would be hard pressed to find another uke near this quality for $350. Factor in the rarity and to me it makes a lot of sense to get it done right.

poppi_m
04-28-2017, 09:26 AM
Welcome to the site Poppi! I grew up just a hop, skip & jump away in Crystal Lake.

It sounds like the repairman has suggested the right things. I am not a luthier and do not know the extend of all the damage, so I cannot comment on the pricing. But is sounds like he is knowledgeable and does beautiful work. If I couldn't afford to get it done now I would ask him if there is any risk to leaving it as it is until you have the money. I would also wait to hear from Kamaka and see if they can give you a repair estimate. On a side note, you would be hard pressed to find another uke near this quality for $350. Factor in the rarity and to me it makes a lot of sense to get it done right.

Hey yeah crystal lake is about 15 min from me !

The repair guy is just down in hampshire www.babinguitars.com . I'm looking into trying to get the cash together sooner than later . He said he would need the uke for 4-6 weeks .

He also noticed mine has a koa finger board vs a rosewood one that he was seeing in his books . Not sure how unique that feature is .


Side note my mom just found another uke that no one knew about and I might get that one too .

My mom keeps bringing up new stories I'd never heard . It seems my dad lived in Japan for
Quite a few years and would visit Hawaii fairly often . The things you learn after they are gone.

vanflynn
04-28-2017, 12:26 PM
If that other uke has "M Nunes" on the headstock, grab it!!!

poppi_m
04-28-2017, 01:02 PM
Is that a Hawaiian maker ? She thinks another kamaka , but sending pics with her phone
Is a slow process for her haha

Edit :

I googled it and those are mighty old and nice ukes !


My dad never bought anything that wasn't of very high quality or that he didn't think wails increase in value
So I suppose anything is possible .

gtomatt
04-28-2017, 02:06 PM
Hi Poppi,

Welcome to UU. I had my gold label Kamaka pineapple restored by Kamaka a couple years ago. Tekla & Alice at Kamaka were awesome to deal with & I'd have no reservations with having them restore another if I needed it. I also bought a Kamaka hard case from them while it was there (MM Stan ended up with the gig bag I had it in). I think if you search the threads here you may find before/after photos or I could send you some. I think it took about 5 months, but it was worth the wait.

Matt

poppi_m
04-28-2017, 02:16 PM
Do you recall the cost ?

gtomatt
05-01-2017, 02:41 AM
Hi Poppi,

I sent you a private message with the costs for the work done by Kamaka plus the details of what was done. Best way to contact me is via PM, since I don't hang around here nearly as often as I used to. I'd be happy to help if I can.

Have a great day,
Matt

poppi_m
05-01-2017, 08:29 AM
Just as an FYI to all you very helpful folks . Right now kamaka has a minimum repair fee, for a tenor its $350 plus the ride . Time for estimate is 2-3 business days . Time to completion is 12 months currently .

I'm not sure if it's the person that I spoke with that answered the phone but she said that the only estimates they give are with the instrument in hand , no pictures first for a ball park . So that means I have to pay for the ride out and cross my fingers on the cost . The lady did say that some people pay a little at a time because they have an extended time to completion. So ukulele repair layaway I guess .

Either way I would think I'd need to get a hard case for the trip out and back.


Just a heads up for anyone looking into getting kamaka to do some repairs .

poppi_m
05-01-2017, 11:09 AM
I'm hoping if I hear back from Chris I'll get a better option than the ship it in and hope option .

Jim Hanks
05-01-2017, 02:11 PM
You might want to send some pics and an email to Jake Wildwood for a second opinion:
https://antebelluminstruments.blogspot.com/p/faqs.html

UkulelesRcooL
05-23-2017, 02:16 PM
Hi all ,

I'm new to ukuleles as in a few weeks new .

My dad died but left me a ukulele he bought in the early 70s.
I couldn't find out much about it based on demensions , number of frets ,etc. What I could find out it that it's a kanaka "white label " ukulele.

I emailed kamaka with pics and demensions and all they sent back
was that it was a long neck tenor .

It has a slight crack in it that I'd like to get repaired
and maybe learn to play , but I'm concerned about
putting more than the instrument is worth .

I can't find much of anything about vintage kamaka
Long neck tenors good , bad or indifferent . I can't even find a hard case that will fit it .

So any insight would be great . Thank you all in advance .

Get it fixed......... well worth it... even if it wasnt a decent instrument... which it is.. Id say fix it cause it was your Dads'.... Every time you pick it up... its something that he picked up... every time you strum it.. Its something he strummed... Just for that reason Id do it.....I have a couple of my Father-in-Laws Ukes... ones he made... I think about him every time I pick em up... every time I look a them...Its one of the ways I remember him and pay tribute to him.. In reading the rest of the replies I agree with everyone's encouragement.. you cant go wrong..

Choirguy
05-23-2017, 04:01 PM
There are a lot of factors here...I think nearly every member of UU would spend the money to have it fixed, and many of us would be willing to send it to Kamaka for repairs.

I don't own a Kamaka--but I probably will someday. I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but Kamaka celebrated 100 years last year with a special model--and nearly all of those should be out and for sale (I think Mim posted some today). I'll probably wait a few years (there is a Mainland, Opio, and KoAloha with my name on them first) and try to buy a centennial model at a slight discount (used) in the future.

Keep in mind that a new Kamaka tenor is $1400, and a new Kamaka baritone is $1600. And I'll be bold enough to say that a repaired "vintage" ukulele (we're talking 60s, right?) in good repair should retain a good amount of the value of a new one, and theoretically should have appreciated in value.

A good rule of thumb with ukuleles is to not buy as an investment (which is not the same as collecting), and for "players" to buy used, as the second hand generally takes 30%-40% the price of new off of an instrument.

Incidentally, Jake Shimabukuro, the ukulele virtuoso, plays Kamaka, and on his Nashville Sessions tour repaired 100 Kamaka Ukuleles in his travels.

If the repair is $350 plus shipping for the repair of an instrument potentially worth over $1000, and priceless as a family heirloom--get it repaired.

If you are looking to simply have someone else deal with it, name a price and there are members of UU who will step up--AND they will also let you know if your price is too high.

I'd personally repair it, keep it in a good case, keep it humidified in dry weather, play it a lot, and pass it down to my kids when I depart this earth.

Olduke
01-17-2018, 07:29 PM
I was wondering while looking at my own 1968 Comcert Kamaka if you got it repaired and if you got around to playing it? Also, if you got the other one from your Mother and what kind and model was it?

Jeffelele
01-17-2018, 11:22 PM
Just to bring up another point of view as to what you could do next, you might consider doing nothing to fix it for now and just start learning to play it. If the cracks are not getting any worse and nothing is causing any rattles or buzzes you’re good to go. Nothing said so far tells me that you will increase the playability or sound of the instrument.

Maybe have a local luthier fix the one crack you can see and change the strings yourself. You can get a device that will help you tune the instrument for about $10. There are endless videos about how to change the strings and lots of information on this board about different strings to try. High-quality set of strings will run you five to $10.

Do you really need or want to put time and money between you and when you can enjoy this uke? I think that might be the useful first question to ask.

robinboyd
01-18-2018, 12:20 PM
There are a lot of factors here...I think nearly every member of UU would spend the money to have it fixed, and many of us would be willing to send it to Kamaka for repairs.

I don't own a Kamaka--but I probably will someday. I'm not sure if you are aware of this, but Kamaka celebrated 100 years last year with a special model--and nearly all of those should be out and for sale (I think Mim posted some today). I'll probably wait a few years (there is a Mainland, Opio, and KoAloha with my name on them first) and try to buy a centennial model at a slight discount (used) in the future.

Keep in mind that a new Kamaka tenor is $1400, and a new Kamaka baritone is $1600. And I'll be bold enough to say that a repaired "vintage" ukulele (we're talking 60s, right?) in good repair should retain a good amount of the value of a new one, and theoretically should have appreciated in value.

A good rule of thumb with ukuleles is to not buy as an investment (which is not the same as collecting), and for "players" to buy used, as the second hand generally takes 30%-40% the price of new off of an instrument.

Incidentally, Jake Shimabukuro, the ukulele virtuoso, plays Kamaka, and on his Nashville Sessions tour repaired 100 Kamaka Ukuleles in his travels.

If the repair is $350 plus shipping for the repair of an instrument potentially worth over $1000, and priceless as a family heirloom--get it repaired.

If you are looking to simply have someone else deal with it, name a price and there are members of UU who will step up--AND they will also let you know if your price is too high.

I'd personally repair it, keep it in a good case, keep it humidified in dry weather, play it a lot, and pass it down to my kids when I depart this earth.

I agree, but I'd also price some other repair options just for the sake of due diligence.

You aren't going to get an exact figure on here, but I think we can all agree that it's worth a lot of money and we all wish we owned it.