View Full Version : Famous/Kiwaya FS-5 soprano ukulele

07-25-2017, 05:39 AM
Famous FS-5 soprano ukulele, which is made by Kiwaya and identical to the Kiwaya's KS-5 model, but badged as Famous instead of Kiwaya. They brand them as Famous for sale inside Japan, and as Kiwaya outside of Japan. There is no difference between them at all, except for the logo.

This is made of laminate koa top, sides and back. Not just any laminate, but Kiwaya's superior, proprietary laminate. This laminate is hard and thin, so it is loud and clear with good sustain. Played against my vintage 50's koa Kamaka soprano, it is about 90% there tone & volume wise, in my opinion. A rich, bright, woody koa sound. Strung with new Martin M600 flourocarbon strings. The Kiwaya/Famous ukes, including these Eco-Series (laminates) are known for precise engineering & build quality, with nice low action/frets, easy playability and big volume. HMS also has some video reviews of the Kiwaya KS-5 on their site.

Here is a link to a review of the Kiwaya KS-5:

Excellent condition, with the following exceptions:
1) A bit of the Famous logo flaked off, probably due to contact with the clamp on a headstock tuner.
2) 2 small imperfections on the back, 1 is a tiny dot, probably a factory finish imperfection, the other one is slightly bigger, possibly a slight scratch/ding, but still hard to see and photograph, unless you inspect closely under a lamp
3) Just noticed this today when inspecting, a thin finish crack on the butt end, does not go through to the wood, as I don't even think laminate can crack. Again, hard to see unless looking with a light.

Since I got it in March 2017 from the first owner (another UU'er), it has lived in a hard case in a well humidified area of my home. The previous owner bought it new, and only had it for a few weeks.

Laminate koa top, back & sides (all 1 piece)
Bone nut and compensated saddle
37mm nut width (very comfy, wider nut allows easier soprano fingering, IMO)
Rosewood fretboard
12 frets clear, 15 in total
Quality gold friction tuners (stays in tune nicely, for long periods of time)
Martin M600 strings
Gloss finish

Price reduced to $225.00 shipped in CONUS. No case, but well packed (double boxed with lots of padding) Postal MO only (don't do Paypal)



07-25-2017, 05:43 AM
More pics


07-25-2017, 04:25 PM
I know it probably doesn't make a bit of difference but I am looking for the actual kiwaya branded one. I just can't get past the name "Famous ". Ha.

Btw ukecaster your mailbox is full.

07-25-2017, 06:13 PM
C'mon, you can be famous!

07-25-2017, 06:25 PM
These are fantastic and a great value.

07-26-2017, 04:32 AM
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" - William Shakespeare

07-26-2017, 09:50 AM
Found one; thank you

07-30-2017, 04:53 AM
Would also trade this lam koa soprano straight up for a Kiwaya KS-1...I'm looking for the mahogany sound.

08-07-2017, 07:52 AM
Bump, with price drop to $225.00 shipped in CONUS.

08-29-2017, 05:33 AM
weekly bump

09-05-2017, 05:33 AM
Weekly bump, with a few new pics added

09-11-2017, 07:09 AM
Weekly bump

10-08-2017, 03:26 AM
Did this sell or is it still available?

10-08-2017, 04:49 AM
Still available

10-13-2017, 03:29 AM
Weekly bump

10-15-2017, 04:56 PM
We have one of these and it is phenomenol.. Baz at gotaukulele.com says this is the BEST laminate he has EVER played and much better than most wood ukes. Made in Japan since the 1950s. Called Kiwaya here and sell for over $400. Japan sells it in their country as "Famous." Exact same uke. This is a very good deal. Grab it after reading Baz's review. You won't regret it.

10-17-2017, 06:58 AM
strat4me, thanks for your comments

10-17-2017, 07:23 AM
Terrific instruments these

10-19-2017, 08:08 AM
Sale pending

10-19-2017, 11:35 AM
Sold! Thanks UU!