View Full Version : Famous concert ukes

06-10-2017, 05:32 AM
Anyone tried the Famous concert ukes? Looks like they offer 2, the FC-1 (mahogany laminate for about $305.00 plus shipping), and the FC-5 (koa laminate, about $383.00). I assume these are similar to their soprano laminates FS-1 and FS-5 in quality. I have the koa FS-5, and it's a great instrument. Would love to try their concert models, but it seems you just need to pull the trigger and hope for the best with shipment from Japan.

That thin body FS-0 looks cool too. Seems just like the Kiwaya KS-0, which one of our members plays. It's unreal how much sound comes out of that thin body, argueably the ultimate wooden travel uke.

06-10-2017, 07:21 AM
Never heard of them. I admire the optimism in choosing a brand name like "Famous" just the same. :)

06-10-2017, 07:27 AM
Never heard of them. I admire the optimism in choosing a brand name like "Famous" just the same. :)

Famous is actually a very well-regarded brand in Japan. The same company sells similar ukes in the U.S. under the Kiwaya label - I've got two of them and they're fantastic, definitely in the same league as other "K" brands but different in that they have a vintage Martin-like build and sound.

As for thin bodies - I had a Kiwaya KS-0P and that thing just may have been the loudest uke I ever owned. So much sound came from that little body! But I have to say the playability did not compare to my other Kiwayas at all, the KS-0P neck was really chunky and the nut width was slightly wider, not a good match for my small hands.

06-10-2017, 01:33 PM
Never heard of them. I admire the optimism in choosing a brand name like "Famous" just the same. :)

Have you heard of Kiwaya? Made in Japan. These same laminate ukes are sold in Japan as the Famous brand, and elsewhere under the Kiwaya brand. Although these "Eco-Series" ukes are laminate, their laminate is among the best ever for musical instruments, very thin, strong, resistant to humidity issues (compared to solid ukes), and sounding better than many solid ukes. Engineering excellence, with superior fit & finish, intonation, and low action.

06-10-2017, 01:41 PM
Ah, thank you for explaining! I certainly did not mean to question their quality, only their fame. Good to know Famous lives up to its name in Japan. And as if to prove the point, I just noticed on the Ukulele Site they say, "Kiwaya is the most famous Japanese made ukuleles." So there it is. :)

06-11-2017, 05:10 AM
I am a big Kiwaya fan and have many and one Famous (FC-5). Comparing the Famous FC-5 with a Kiwaya KTC-2 my 2 cents observation of the difference between the 2 are as follows:
Both are concert size, solid mahogany, neck joins body at 14 fret and compensated saddles.The Kiwaya was received June, 2014 and the Famous has the manufacture date of November, 2014 and both built in Japan. The inside label of the K reads "since 1919" and the F has "1955". On the bracing on inside top the K has straight bars while the F has slant bars. The kerfing ( think it is called) is slotted bands on the K top and bottom and solid on the F. The K is slighty wider on the bottom bout and slighty deeper than the F. The headstock on the K is thinner than the F. The K is standard headstock with Kiwaya silk screen emblem label and stamped on back and their standard Gotoh friction tuner (nice). The F is slotted (open) headstock with the micro mini Gotoh metal geared tuners (super nice) with an abalone F emblem. Neck- K is narrow with a narrow profile and the F is slighty wider with wider string spacing and a little more girth on the neck profile- both neck profiles are extremely comfortable to me. Both fretboard and bridge appear to be rosewood with K bridge rectangular while the F wider with a curvature design. The K freeboard markers are white dots staring at the 5'th fret (including side) while the F is abalone markers starting at the 3'rd fret ( side markers start at the 3'rd fret) Sound hole design on K ring while K is kind or a rope. The F is slightly heavier. They are both excellent!