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View Full Version : Kamaka Ukulele Smells!



ghostrdr
07-17-2017, 03:20 PM
I bought a Kamaka 100 year tenor and it came in the Kamaka case and both the instrument and case smell awesome! It is a wood type smell and I can't quite place it. The closest thing I can think of is like analogizing to that new car smell when you first open the door

I've suffered through a horrible smelling case that "tainted" the concert ukulele inside it.

I have a few other koa ukuleles also. Is that a smell unique to Kamaka or it's finishing process? My two koaloha for example don't smell as nice as the kamaka (actually don't smell at all). For example if I got some Koa wood scraps and used sand paper on them and left them closed in a case, would the case take on that smell? Kind of like cedar blocks for a closet? Has anyone done this or am I the only one who enjoys it when the instrument smells good?

gitarzan
07-17-2017, 04:22 PM
I've heard of a couple solutions for ridding smell from guitars. I suspect they will work here too.
-New Cedar Shavings - Fill it up with these. I don't know if it gets rid of it or covers it up.
-A drop of vanilla on a brace or somewhere it wont make a difference.
-Febreze - I've taken Febreze and sprayed it on a rolled up paper towel and placed it between strings so it did not touch wood. might be difficult on a uke.
-Buy an Ozone generator. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00JAP7388/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Put it a few feet away from the uke and let it blast away for an hour. Note: This must be done in an unoccupied room. Ozone can kill you.

Booli
07-17-2017, 04:36 PM
@guitarzan - unless I'm reading it wrong - seems to me that the OP rather LIKES the smell and instead of get rid of it as per your suggestions, would rather like to find a way to duplicate it and bring it to other ukes...

pls correct me if I am wrong, and I will submit to the higher wisdom....

ghostrdr
07-17-2017, 05:11 PM
@guitarzan - unless I'm reading it wrong - seems to me that the OP rather LIKES the smell and instead of get rid of it as per your suggestions, would rather like to find a way to duplicate it and bring it to other ukes...

pls correct me if I am wrong, and I will submit to the higher wisdom....

You are correct. I'm wondering if other people's new kamaka ukes also smell great. If there is a way to add that to my other cases or instruments.

I gave up storing anything in the smelly (bad) case awhile ago after a year of trying. I think it was the toxic glue smell that a few others complained about

Booli
07-17-2017, 05:26 PM
You are correct. I'm wondering if other people's new kamaka ukes also smell great. If there is a way to add that to my other cases or instruments.

I gave up storing anything in the smelly (bad) case awhile ago after a year of trying. I think it was the toxic glue smell that a few others complained about

Thx for the confirmation.

I've posted about this previously here on UU...

In order to get rid of that toxic glue smell, I would lay the case down, propped open (like with a ruler), on a table in the garage, and have a desk fan or pedestal fan about 1 ft away from the edge of the uke case, blowing a forcefull column of air INTO the opening such that the moving air touches the inside of both the top and bottom case fur...

left in place 72 hrs, coming back and checking it, glue smell all but gone, and I test by putting my nose into the fur or felt and taking a deep inhale, a few times the cases have needed another day or two if still smelly

I prefer this method to the coffee beans, kitty litter, etc in a pantyhose-footy kept inside a closed case...

with the fan, and the friction of the moving air, the smelly vapors are forced to disperse, away from the case...

janeray1940
07-18-2017, 04:40 AM
I'm wondering if other people's new kamaka ukes also smell great.

I've owned at least a half-dozen Kamakas over the years, both brand-new and second-hand, and have never noticed a smell.

My mahogany Kiwayas have a faint smell though - pleasant, sort of like a woodsy incense.

WestyShane
07-18-2017, 08:44 AM
My 100-yr anniversary long-necked soprano DEFINATELY has a nice "woody" smell to it. It's very noticeable.

I do have a block of koa that I pulled out of the trash during a tour of the Kamaka factory and I never noticed any smell from it - although I haven't cut or sanded it. I also don't notice the same smell from my Martin C1K. So, I'm not sure what it is about the Kamaka but I like it.

komedy
07-18-2017, 02:34 PM
if your like me and like to smell the soundhole of your ukuleles :). I'm addicted to the smell of Kanileas. its like a drug.

ghostrdr
07-18-2017, 03:15 PM
Next time I'm in a store with a Kanilea I'll have to try smelling it but people might think I'm weird. I would be interested if you try sanding the kamaka trashed block of koa if it is the same smell. The the question is whether Kamaka Koa smells different than other koa? Maybe something about the drying process? Of course, it could just be the finish they use or something. Glad to see I'm not the only one.

Steedy
07-18-2017, 05:36 PM
I purchased a 100th Anniversary Tenor from The Ukulele Site (www.theukulelesite.com) back in February 2016. After seeing this thread I gave it a sniff and it does have a "woody" aroma on the inside. It's either a very faint smell or my sinuses are blocking most of it, but it's definitely there, and it smells better than my other tenor ukes. Yet another reason to love my Kamaka, eh? :cool:

Joyful Uke
07-19-2017, 11:06 AM
Now I've got to go sniff my ukuleles. LOL.

WestyShane
07-19-2017, 11:25 AM
Just to be clear, it's a not a "I'll give it a sniff and see if I notice anything" level of aroma.

At least in my case, it's a "once I open this case I'm for sure going to be blasted with the scent of Kamaka goodness".

ghostrdr
07-19-2017, 03:56 PM
Just to be clear, it's a not a "I'll give it a sniff and see if I notice anything" level of aroma.

At least in my case, it's a "once I open this case I'm for sure going to be blasted with the scent of Kamaka goodness".

+1 for me. I'm hoping the smell doesn't go away, I enjoy it.

Pueo
07-19-2017, 07:24 PM
My koa Pono is very aromatic in a good way. I have another koa ukulele with no smell at all.
Some do, some don't I guess.

hmgberg
07-20-2017, 02:32 AM
Well, I'm glad you posted first. Maybe we should start a Kamaka Sniffer support group. Two of my Kamakas have a wonderfully sweet smell that is particularly noticeable when it is humid. It's good to know I'm not crazy.

Xtradust
07-20-2017, 04:37 AM
I avoid smelling old ukes. I pick up some old ones and most are full of dust. Some smell like my grandpas clothes closet...and dust. Others have been wall hangers and those tend to smell like cigarettes.

I give the hole a gentle blast with the air hose in case there's still a label inside, then I give it a good blast and out comes lots of stuff I don't want to breathe. If they still smell, I give them a light shot of Febreze inside and keep them in the open air as temp and humidity permit. I've never had one continue to stink after that. :)

But they should make a Kamaka flavored air-freshener!

DownUpDave
07-20-2017, 06:34 AM
I am a diehard "sound hole sniffer" :o

My Kamaka baritone still has a nice smell after almost two years. I had a Mya Moe sycamore with port orford cedar neck that smelled amazing. My favorite is my I'iwi redwood/walnut tenor......pure aroma therapy. The trick is to store them in their hardcases, when you open the lid, nirvana.

But as others have said not all ukes have a distinct, pleasing smell to then.