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Rakelele
01-25-2018, 11:47 AM
As in previous years, I thought we could collect all Ukulele related news from the National Association of Music Merchants Winter Show in a single thread.

So if you're at NAMM, please post your impressions, pictures, or videos in this thread.

Everybody else who is not that lucky to be there in person, including myself, can share whatever they find on the internet from ukulele makers, brands or vendors regarding new model announcements, accessoires, etc.

I'm really excited to see what's new, and I've already spotted some very exciting things. I'll start listing them soon, but everybody else who finds something of interest to ukulele enthusiasts, please contribute... :music:

SoloRule
01-25-2018, 11:49 AM
I am waiting eagerly for my 007 to report back. He is there right now.

Rakelele
01-25-2018, 12:08 PM
As discussed in another thread (here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?130202-New-models-from-Romero-Creations&highlight=romero)), Pepe Romero is presenting some new models from his Romero Creations import line: A concert scale version of the Tiny Tenor (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd-nGbkHP9Q/?taken-by=pepe_romero_jr) and a great looking Replica (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd-s3SnnQAH/?taken-by=pepe_romero_jr) of his own custom tenors.

Anothere glance at Pepe's booth, with a Mango Replica tenor (right) and three concert scale models (between the Tiny Tenors and XS Sopranos): https://www.instagram.com/p/BeWzcEOFjyM/?taken-by=uke_republic

Rakelele
01-25-2018, 12:24 PM
Exciting news from Ohana: Apparently they are both going smaller and bigger by adding Pineapple Sopraninos and Sopranissimos (https://www.instagram.com/p/BeYxlTDFxPv/?taken-by=ohanaukuleles) on the one hand, and guitars and something that looks like a tenor guitar (https://www.instagram.com/p/BeYo5JClgpq/?taken-by=uke_republic) on the other hand. I hope these models are short scale, so they will accomodate ukulele players like me.

Here's another picture of the Sopranino lineup, one that looks like a reverence to the earliest builders (upper left), a couple of Pineapples (upper right) and several different colors (bottom): https://www.instagram.com/p/BeYl4ooFUBA/?taken-by=uke_republic

SoloRule
01-25-2018, 03:12 PM
As discussed in another thread (here (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?130202-New-models-from-Romero-Creations&highlight=romero)), Pepe Romero is presenting some new models from his Romero Creations import line: A concert scale version of the Tiny Tenor (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd-nGbkHP9Q/?taken-by=pepe_romero_jr) and a great looking Replica (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd-s3SnnQAH/?taken-by=pepe_romero_jr) of his own custom tenors.

Anothere glance at Pepe's booth, with a Mango Replica tenor (right) and three concert scale models (between the Tiny Tenors and XS Sopranos): https://www.instagram.com/p/BeWzcEOFjyM/?taken-by=uke_republic

I was hoping they would introduce a tenor body plus more wood choices.

Ukulele Eddie
01-25-2018, 07:54 PM
As I shared before, this year I did not want to commit to taking tons of photos and "reporting". Nonetheless, I was tasked with some missions by folks.

First, however, for those not familiar, NAMM is not the place to really check out tone. It's a constant cacophony. Second, the shows for music industry merchants. So you don't find custom luthiers, etc. for ukuleles. While there are plenty of super high end guitars as such, not so for ukes. Plenty of nice stuff, but more production-oriented.

Below are some of what I found interesting:

1. Romero Creations new "The Replica" tenors look nice. They are a production tribute to Pepe's custom stuff and retail for about $1K. There is an all-mango, an all hog and a spruce-top. I cannot recall for sure but I think the body was mahogany. They feel very resonant. I liked the neck profile a lot. And, they have a normal headstock. I really do not like the headstock on the other Romero Creation models. I understand why they did it on the Tiny Tenor but I find it, ah, not so pleasing aesthetically.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4744/28123578809_4116e0645f.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/JRbGaP)

2. I checked out the Seagull Electric (both the steel and nylon string). The steel string has a VERY narrow neck width (1 3/16" - yes, that's correct). The nylon stinged, pictured below, was more traditional width (probably 1 3/8"). I could not tell how they sound unplugged as a band was performing in the room where they were displayed. As expected with Seagull, nicely finished. $399 street price.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4648/39871081702_3b605233b3.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/23KgHv9)

3. Blackbird is now doing unidirectional weave on the uke bodies (and the top if special ordered). Prices going up in February, so get your orders in.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4668/28123578379_8d7872a9c2.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/JRbG3p)

4. The Kanile'a 2018 Platinum looked nice. They've further improved their TRU bracing, added a bevel for comfort, used some gorgeous koa and provided other nice appointments. A very nice instrument.

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4657/39871081772_f69111f37e.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/23KgHwm)



5. The Takumi booth in always on of my favorite ones to visit as they have really nice stuff (Takumi, Loprinzi, Kiwaya and usually several other select Japanese luthiers). The Takumi continue to impress me a lot and I'm surprised they aren't more widely appreciated. I bought a Honduran mahogany concert last year and this year was eyeing the 3K concert version. Really beautifully done. For those who like SUPER thin necks, I think LoPrinzi is as thin as they come. They, too, seem like super values.


Here is a link to all the pics. There's some guitar stuff in there, too (a $19K Santa Cruz guitar with ancient spruce top, gulp!) and some gorgeous Larrivee guitars with wonderful inlay.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbHusct

Tomorrow if I get a chance I'll provide links to the videos I took of some of the musical performances.

keod
01-25-2018, 08:55 PM
Thanks Eddie, great pics, much appreciated! Really like the new backs on the Clara.

BigJackBrass
01-25-2018, 09:23 PM
Thanks to the intrepid reporters. Sadly NAMM is not a show I'm ever likely to attend, but I do love seeing what's around.


... A concert scale version of the Tiny Tenor (https://www.instagram.com/p/Bd-nGbkHP9Q/?taken-by=pepe_romero_jr)...

These are dangerously appealing. If they got rid of the abelone and changed the tuners to friction pegs I suspect my resistance would crumble.

Ludwig.
01-26-2018, 02:32 AM
Looks like the Koaloha Opio Guitarlele is finally here! :cool:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1871230369584799&id=441615209212996&__tn__=%2As%2As-R

SoloRule
01-26-2018, 02:36 AM
Thanks Eddie, these are wonderful images, I particularly like the Kanile'a Platinum, very nice :D

I agreed. That one looks the best.
Kanile’a always have lots of choices.
The guitar in a glass case must be very special just like the price tag
I am eager to get my hand on a TT mango. Thank you 007 for the update!
Mission accomplished although you failed one but I forgive you!;)
Great pictures and you actually delivered the report before deadline. Job well done!

Ukulele Eddie
01-26-2018, 04:03 AM
A few more thoughts this am that may be of interest:

6. Takumi had a Kiwaya Taropatch on display. I can barely deal with four strings, but this thing was pretty neat and freakishly light.

7. KoAloha has a line below their Opio line (made in China). These are made in Indonesia and provide another nice option for entry level ukes.

8. Ohana offers an unbelievable number of models. I'm surprised that it makes business sense to offer so many, but certainly if offers a bewildering number of options for consumers.

Iulia
01-26-2018, 04:09 AM
I never heard of this expo (in UK) until last week. Can you actually buy or pre-order stuff, or is it looking only?

SoloRule
01-26-2018, 04:12 AM
A few more thoughts this am that may be of interest:

6. Takumi had a Kiwaya Taropatch on display. I can barely deal with four strings, but this thing was pretty neat and freakishly light.

7. KoAloha has a line below their Opio line (made in China). These are made in Indonesia and provide another nice option for entry level ukes.

8. Ohana offers an unbelievable number of models. I'm surprised that it makes business sense to offer so many, but certainly if offers a bewildering number of options for consumers.

I heard a lot of good thing about Ohana.

Rllink
01-26-2018, 05:43 AM
I heard a lot of good thing about Ohana. I like mine.

Sanfe
01-26-2018, 06:40 AM
I never heard of this expo (in UK) until last week. Can you actually buy or pre-order stuff, or is it looking only?

Technically not open to the public. Industry folks debuting new products, services, etc. I suppose you can buy products, but more as a dealer/retailer.

If it's your first time going, it's overwhelming. If you (have to) go every year, it's a necessary annoyance ameliorated by the once-a-year meeting with others you like in the industry.

Rakelele
01-26-2018, 06:43 AM
Eddie, thanks so much for taking the time to report! That's exactly the kind of background information I was hoping for.

Any idea as to what the new unidirectional weave from Blackbird is for? Is it an aesthetic, a sonic, or a structural improvment?

And what is that abalone purfled guitalele with the arm bevel in your flickr stream?

Ukulele Eddie
01-26-2018, 07:05 AM
Eddie, thanks so much for taking the time to report! That's exactly the kind of background information I was hoping for.

Any idea as to what the new unidirectional weave from Blackbird is for? Is an aesthetic, a sonic, or a structural improvment?

And what is that abalone purfled guitalele with the arm bevel in your flickr stream?

My pleasure.

1. The unidirectional fiber on the body is to simplify their process and does not alter tone or durability. It took quite a bit of time to work through it and anything they can do to improve their process ultimately benefits customers.

2. The guitalele was from Maestro. Looked nice!

Iulia
01-26-2018, 07:07 AM
Technically not open to the public. Industry folks debuting new products, services, etc. I suppose you can buy products, but more as a dealer/retailer.

If it's your first time going, it's overwhelming. If you (have to) go every year, it's a necessary annoyance ameliorated by the once-a-year meeting with others you like in the industry.


Thanks. I wouldn't be safe - I'd likely be arrested trying to smuggle out half a dozen of various instruments stuffed down my shirt .... ;)

Joyful Uke
01-26-2018, 09:14 AM
Thanks for letting us vicariously enjoy NAMM. I appreciate the time and effort.

Osprey
01-26-2018, 09:17 AM
Thanks for letting us vicariously enjoy NAMM. I appreciate the time and effort.
I second that. Since we can’t go, we are glad some can and appreciate all reports. Photos and videos are especially nice.

DownUpDave
01-26-2018, 09:32 AM
I second that. Since we can’t go, we are glad some can and appreciate all reports. Photos and videos are especially nice.

I third the thank you big time Eddie. All of us appreciate the effort you put into fuelling our UAS fires. Ohhhhh Awwwww:drool:

SoloRule
01-26-2018, 09:44 AM
I third the thank you big time Eddie. All of us appreciate the effort you put into fuelling our UAS fires. Ohhhhh Awwwww:drool:

OK I forth that....Eddie was great. He emailed me while he was waiting for Corey to perform. I will use this 007 again. Highly recommended. ;)

Rainer was great too. He was watching it from UkeRepublic instantgram sitting in Zurich . Thank you Rainer!!! You will be rewarded by downupdave and I will hand carry it to you in April.

Choirguy
01-26-2018, 11:56 AM
Is this different from the all-laminate mahogany KoAlana line that they've been producing for some years? I've been very tempted by the KoAlanas, and would have gotten one some time ago except that they have standard-width nuts. Nevertheless, the KoAlanas are reputed to have the big KoAloha sound, so I may break down one day—the curse of curiosity.

I feel the same, Ubulele. The KoAlana laminates (there was a KoAlana sapele that preceded the Opio sapele) have been on the website over the last year, but no one has sold them. Perhaps they are finally “back” following KoAloha’s move?

Ukulele Eddie
01-26-2018, 12:13 PM
I feel the same, Ubulele. The KoAlana laminates (there was a KoAlana sapele that preceded the Opio sapele) have been on the website over the last year, but no one has sold them. Perhaps they are finally “back” following KoAloha’s move?

I think this is the answer, but honestly am not 100% sure. Alan did tell me the move of the Hawaii factor was a bear --- all consuming as they usually are --- but they seem to be getting back into the swing.

actadh
01-26-2018, 12:20 PM
Thanks for the behind the scenes views. The new back on the Clara looks interesting. My wish is for a soprano ekoa from Blackbird.

Choirguy
01-26-2018, 02:42 PM
I had been longing for the Ohana Nunes version in the Sopranissimo size...and then Ohana posted this photo of the upcoming pineapple sopranissimo that is coming (the one on the right that even has the pineapple headstock), and my heart shifted allegiance. That will be an immediate purchase when Mim receives her first shipment.

106220

lfoo6952
01-26-2018, 03:58 PM
Great show but very tiring. My feet are killing me. Bumped into many interesting people, old friends, and artists.
Bumped into Andrew Molina and Kalei Gamiao strolling the aisles during their down time.
106223

Herb Ohta Jr at the Kamaka booth
106224

The wonderful and cheery Cynthia Lin holding her signature model at the Ohana booth
106225

Brad Bordessa
01-26-2018, 04:02 PM
Herb looks stoked, as always.

lfoo6952
01-26-2018, 04:06 PM
Here is Joe Luttwak from Blackbird
106226

A shot of the Clara and Farallon
106227

Yes, there are luthiers at the show but not many. Here is Mike DaSilva, a buiilder from Berekeley, CA. He share the Takumi booth. He builds wonderful, lively, light as a feather ukuleles
106228

lfoo6952
01-26-2018, 04:15 PM
Here is Daniel Ho and Pepe Romero Sr.
106229

Pepe Romero in the background and Daniel in the foreground
106230

Here is Gerald Ross playing the guitar at the Farida booth. Gerald is my favorite musician. He plays ukulele, guitar, and lap steel guitar each proficiently. I love his Youtube videos. I had the pleasure of speaking with him after his performance and found him to be a very humble gentleman.
106231

Rakelele
01-26-2018, 06:54 PM
Thanks for adding your pictures to the thread, Luke. Good to see so many members of the ukulele family represented.

Rakelele
01-26-2018, 06:59 PM
Thank you Rainer!!! You will be rewarded by downupdave and I will hand carry it to you in April.

Aw, you guys...! :o

Looking forward to meeting you soon, Brenda!

I have to admit that I'm always pretty excited to be watching the news from NAMM dropping in, so I do a lot of research from afar. I'll keep posting what I find.

Rakelele
01-26-2018, 07:12 PM
Ohana is introducing a short scale (or short neck) baritone, i.e. a baritone body with a tenor scale neck:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bealdohlexe/?taken-by=uke_republic

https://www.facebook.com/ohanaukes/photos/pcb.2084856324863053/2084856071529745/?type=3&theater

I think a lot of folks are going to like this, so hopefully, they will turn the prototype into a serial model (I could do without the fretboard inlay).

Rakelele
01-26-2018, 07:23 PM
Looks like the Koaloha Opio Guitarlele is finally here! :cool:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1871230369584799&id=441615209212996&__tn__=%2As%2As-R

Yes, it's finally happening! Very happy to see KoAloha is now making their D-VI guitalele model in the Opio line. Here's a better look at it, provided by Mim:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BecObexBDSk/?taken-by=mimsukes

Rakelele
01-26-2018, 08:09 PM
One thing I notice going through the specs of newly announced models is that due to the new CITES restrictions, companies are replacing Rosewood fretboards with either Walnut (e.g. Luna, Kala) or Ebony (Pono, Kanilea), and that we see more - laminated - Ebony being used for ukulele bodies (e.g. Cordoba's new 21 series, Kala's newest Addition to their U-Bass line).

lfoo6952
01-26-2018, 08:14 PM
A short clip of Abe Lagrimas at the Ohana booth. He is an incredible player.

https://youtu.be/rUDJ3gqX7V8

The bongo like percussion instrument and the shaker are made by Ohana.

Rakelele
01-26-2018, 09:01 PM
Hey Luke or Eddie, Mike or Mim, if you get a chance, I would love to see some more pictures of the KoAloha Opio Guitalele and the Ohana Tenor Guitar.

Iulia
01-26-2018, 11:35 PM
Awesome posts thanks everyone

DownUpDave
01-27-2018, 12:07 AM
This "annual" NAMM thread always makes me lose my mind and part of my bank account:music:

I am impressed with the amount of new products still being introduced especially Ohana. I love the idea of a tenor scale on a baritone body, a super super tenor. I don't own any Ohana products but that will change. The so called ukulele fad is anything but, we keep growing in popularity.

Ukulele Eddie
01-27-2018, 04:18 AM
Hey Luke or Eddie, Mike or Mim, if you get a chance, I would love to see some more pictures of the KoAloha Opio Guitalele and the Ohana Tenor Guitar.

I don't plan to go back to the show, but I did look at both the Ohana Tenor Guitar and the earlier-in-the-thread mentioned baritone body/tenor scale uke ("Stubby Baritone", "Big Bodied Tenor", "Short Neck Baritone"). Sorry I didn't take pics. Both were interesting.

lfoo6952
01-27-2018, 09:15 AM
Rainer: I don't plan on going back either. Sorry.

One of things I enjoy about NAMM is seeing the new products being introduced or products that I didn't know existed.
This is a stomp box by Ohana.
106248

Mitsuba is a Japanese manufacturer that has moved their factory to Hawaii.
106249

Here is a ukulele hanger called Pub Prop made by a UK company. Their website is www.stones-music.co.uk
106251

lfoo6952
01-27-2018, 09:29 AM
Here is another ukulele/guitar hanger made by John Pearse called the D'angle. It looks flimsy but it actually holds the instrument very securely. They told me it even keep an instrument secured during an earthquake. I bought one at the show.
106252

Here is the new Fishman Loudbox mini that can run on batteries
106253

Martin introduced new strings made from graphite gray polygut (whatever than is) which they claim have excellent tuning stability, warm clear tone, added sustain and projection.
106254

Jim Hanks
01-27-2018, 09:33 AM
One of things I enjoy about NAMM is seeing the new products being introduced or products that I didn't know existed.
This is a stomp box by Ohana.
106248

Hmm, an object the same size and shape as a ukulele you put on the floor and step on. What could possibly go wrong? :eek:

lfoo6952
01-27-2018, 09:44 AM
Some non-ukulele new products.

A folding electric guitar. Not only the neck folds, the headstock also folds. Has a nice aluminum case.
106256

This chair has adjustable leg heights and back rest. It is made in Sweden, I believe and distributed by John Pearse. It costs about $450!
106257

This is a drum trainer. It helps to keep you in the right playing position. It is made by a UK company called Tone Alley. Their website is www.tonealley.co.uk.
106258

lfoo6952
01-27-2018, 09:53 AM
Here is a video of Kalei Gamiao playing at the Kamaka booth. He was on fire that night!

https://youtu.be/p2xkKSm1t08

DownUpDave
01-27-2018, 12:22 PM
Some non-ukulele new products.

A folding electric guitar. Not only the neck folds, the headstock also folds. Has a nice aluminum case.
106256

This chair has adjustable leg heights and back rest. It is made in Sweden, I believe and distributed by John Pearse. It costs about $450!
106257

This is a drum trainer. It helps to keep you in the right playing position. It is made by a UK company called Tone Alley. Their website is www.tonealley.co.uk.
106258

Thanks again for everything you contributed.

I am a bit dyslexic and your first line read " a folding electric chair".........:wtf:

Jim Hanks
01-27-2018, 12:58 PM
I am a bit dyslexic and your first line read " a folding electric chair".........:wtf:

Coulda come in handy a time or two. :biglaugh:

Iulia
01-27-2018, 02:38 PM
Hmm, an object the same size and shape as a ukulele you put on the floor and step on. What could possibly go wrong? :eek:

:rotfl:

Seriously guys I know trade shows are hard work if you need to be there, thanks for the updates

lfoo6952
01-27-2018, 03:49 PM
Coulda come in handy a time or two. :biglaugh:

Dave/Jim: that was funny. :D

EDW
01-27-2018, 05:29 PM
A few more thoughts this am that may be of interest:

6. Takumi had a Kiwaya Taropatch on display. I can barely deal with four strings, but this thing was pretty neat and freakishly light.


Just saw this
https://reverb.com/item/9801594-kiwaya-taropatch-8-string-mahogany-concert-with-peghed-gear-tuners-3048-free-shipping-worldwide

Rakelele
01-27-2018, 10:33 PM
Thanks for reporting back, Luke and Eddie!

I found another picture of the Ohana Tenor Guitar: https://www.instagram.com/p/BednT7OHSI-/?taken-by=ohanaukuleles

I'm just gonna throw out some questions that crossed my mind about the models I'm most interested in:

Scale length and nut width of the Ohana Tenor Guitar? Radius or flat fretboard?

Scale length and nut width of the Ohana All Solid Mahogany Pineapple Sopranissimo?

Price tag of the KoAloha Opio D-VI Guitalele?

Price tags of the Romero Creations Replica Tenors and ST Concert models?

Rakelele
01-27-2018, 11:15 PM
Mim has posted a couple of quick demos on Facebook/Instagram:

Ohana All Solid Mahogany Pineapple Sopranissimo:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BeewWV-np79/?taken-by=mimsukes

Plastic Banjolele from Goldtone:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BeesCUlnic_/?taken-by=mimsukes

Rakelele
01-27-2018, 11:34 PM
Awesome performance of Andreas David, Corey Fujimoto and Magnus Sjöquist with "Nervous Breakdown" at the Kala Booth:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWkkajBBDts
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWkkajBBDts

Rakelele
01-27-2018, 11:41 PM
The guys from KoAloha present an ultra small wireless mic from iSolo:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BedgefGDUsn/?taken-by=koalohaukulele

I wonder how that pickup sticks to the uke; do you have to install something magnetic inside the body?

DownUpDave
01-28-2018, 01:31 AM
Thanks for reporting back, Luke and Eddie!

I found another picture of the Ohana Tenor Guitar: https://www.instagram.com/p/BednT7OHSI-/?taken-by=ohanaukuleles

I'm just gonna throw out some questions that crossed my mind about the models I'm most interested in:

Scale length and nut width of the Ohana Tenor Guitar?

Scale length and nut width of the Ohana All Solid Mahogany Pineapple Sopranissimo?

Price tag of the KoAloha Opio D-VI Guitalele?

Price tags of the Romero Creations Replica Tenors and ST Concert models?

Hey Rainer I see six string in the picture you referenced as the Ohana tenor guitar, did you attach the wrong picture. You know my curiousity gets peaked big time when "tenor guitar" gets mentioned.

Rakelele
01-28-2018, 03:02 AM
Hey Rainer I see six string in the picture you referenced as the Ohana tenor guitar, did you attach the wrong picture. You know my curiousity gets peaked big time when "tenor guitar" gets mentioned.

Dave, the link goes to a series of three pictures. Use the arrow on the right to skip to the third picture, there's the Tenor Guitar. I too, am pretty excited about this as there are lots of features I like: Spruce top, gloss finish, slotted headstock, and best of all: it looks like a wider than average fretboard which is more familiar to ukulele players like us.

Robin Harrison
01-28-2018, 04:14 AM
Here is a ukulele hanger called Pub Prop made by a UK company. Their website is www.stones-music.co.uk
I'd like a couple of these but there is no dealer yet in Canada.
Mark Pugh, from Stones Music, has said he will ship as many as I want and suggests I ask around to see if any one else near me ie Toronto area, is interested, to share shipping costs etc.
Let me know ......
Robin

DownUpDave
01-28-2018, 04:14 AM
Dave, the link goes to a series of three pictures. Use the arrow on the right to skip to the third picture, there's the Tenor Guitar. I too, am pretty excited about this as there are lots of features I like: Spruce top, gloss finish, slotted headstock, and best of all: it looks like a wider than average fretboard which is more familiar to ukulele players like us.

Thanks Rainer, I am a little slow on the up take:o

I do like the looks, spruce top.....oh yea. Now if it has a radius fretboard, which my Blueridge does.

Rakelele
01-28-2018, 04:15 AM
Some better photos of Ohana's "stubby" short scale baritone/large body tenor. Looks like a Spruce top with Acacia back and sides, very shiny gloss finish, slotted headstock, and a dark rosette (maybe Ebony?):

https://www.facebook.com/ohanaukes/photos/pcb.2084856324863053/2084856194863066/?type=3&theater

Ohana also posted a short video of one of their guitars, this is a six string, not the Tenor Guitar mentioned above:

https://www.facebook.com/ohanaukes/videos/vb.128194303862608/2086542388027780/?type=2&theater

DownUpDave
01-28-2018, 04:16 AM
I'd like a couple of these but there is no dealer yet in Canada.
Mark Pugh, from Stones Music, has said he will ship as many as I want and suggests I ask around to see if any one else near me ie Toronto area, is interested, to share shipping costs etc.
Let me know ......
Robin

You can always count me in, I will ask the others.

Doc_J
01-28-2018, 04:23 AM
Looks like Kala now has super tenors.

Gosh I wish folks would tune before recording. Hard to tell much about their sound.


https://youtu.be/AXEa8TtX_II

kohanmike
01-28-2018, 05:32 AM
Gosh I wish folks would tune before recording.

I'm just getting ready to leave to the show thinking not to forget anything, you made me realize to bring a tuner.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://.www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)

lfoo6952
01-28-2018, 04:28 PM
The guys from KoAloha present an ultra small wireless mic from iSolo:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BedgefGDUsn/?taken-by=koalohaukulele

I wonder how that pickup sticks to the uke; do you have to install something magnetic inside the body?

I like. Thanks for sharing this.

kohanmike
01-28-2018, 09:03 PM
I got a late start to the NAMM convention, but did meet Cali Rose at the Magic Fluke booth. She was anxious for me to see their bass uke, which I already knew about. As it happened, Bartt Warburton was there, who took a few minutes to play while I tested out the bass uke. How impressive is that, here I am, a lowly mediocre bass uke player jamming with the likes of Ukulele Bartt. Cali shot a video, but I don't know where she uploaded it. As soon as I find out, I'll post it.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Fluke bass.jpg

The Fluke bass uses round wound nylon core strings, don't know if they're from Pyramid, or from the manufacturer that makes the Kala round wound. In my past experience with them, I don't like the noise they make, from the round wound and from hitting the frets. I prefer the LaBella all metal flatwound they make for Gold Tone.

I just looked at the price of the Fluke bass, whew, $600 fretted, plus changing the strings, another $40. For that I can buy three of the Rondos I modify. To be perfectly honest, I don't see anything that makes the Fluke worth $600. I did see a new Kala acoustic U-bass, the Journeyman, for $300 that will be out later this quarter, which I actually like much better than the Fluke.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Kala Journeyman.png

BTW, I didn't take any photos, I was on my new electric scooter and wanted to cruise the entire show, which I was able to do from about 10:30 to about 4:30. Stopped a couple times to eat and a few booths other than ukulele.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://.www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)

Rakelele
01-28-2018, 09:32 PM
Thanks for reporting, Mike.

Here is Joe from Blackbird talking about them completely switching to eKoa, discontinuing their Carbon fiber instruments for the moment:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3KKzQTcM6E

Mim
01-29-2018, 12:33 PM
I have a few video of some points of interest on my Instagram (@mimsukes) and my Facebook Mim's Ukes Page. But here are some general highlights from off the top of my head.

Yall know I am Ohana's largest dealer and I am a sucker for a small short scale uke. I just love them. So I was excited about this! Ohana has now come out with colored Onina models, and I think the blue will be on its way to me... I hope! Fingers crossed!
Also, they made Sopranino and Sopranisimo pineapples, in both all solid mahogany, and spruce/mahogany. They sounds super. I need to upload those videos. The pineapple body gives them a bigger sound. I will have a bunch in stock soon, which is nice. There will not be a huge wait for the initial run!

Gold Tone has a new plastic banjolele which will retail for $149 with a bag. When they mentioned it to me on the phone a few months ago asking about colors, I was wondering what exactly a plastic bajolele would be like. it is a not a lightweight brittle model. It is strong and substantial, and it sounds REALLY good.

Kanilea is beautiful as always and I was talking to Joe about my love for tone and tonewoods. He realized we share a mutual passion so he took me over to a table where he is sourcing some tonewoods and we tone tested some cuts and... I want to crow about what it is, but I don't want to jinx it. So this is a bit of a teaser, but when we tone tested this wood, it was like a bass drum. This tonewood sounds like a bass drum and I am excited to be part of the process. Once I was able to pick out my own tonewoods for some Breedlove ukes, and when they folded their ukulele program, those woods got reshelved. This experience scratched the itch I have had to be a little more involved in the process again, so I am glad I had that opportunity.

KoAloha is making some changes to the headstocks and has added a gloss option to the KoAlana line. We discussed also something else that is in the works that will hit a different price point for KoAloha, but, it is still in the works and I am sworn to secrecy. Sorry for it sounding like a teaser, which I suppose it is, but it is an exciting development. I had some great talks with Alan about ukulele, tone, builds, passion, and life in general. The Opio line tonally is exceptional at that price point and I talked to them a long time about that and how well the sales are going on those.

Kamaka has a few more customization options open to me again now that the 100th anniversary models have all been made. I can get a soprano and a long neck soprano in a deluxe II. And I enjoyed catching up with them and interviewing Andrew Molina and The Side Order Band for NAMM 2018. Fred said I was not hanging out at the booth and talking as much as normal because I got too big for them. Which, is not true, I just had one less day this year, but it maybe made me feel good about myself. Haha. Fred it my buddy. And often am such a goofball I know he is rolling his eyes thinking, "Why did we ever make that crazy woman a dealer?"

Rick Turner is offering very few Compass Rose ukuleles this year, so I told him, I want one to offer my customers. He asked what kind, and I told him I would open it up to luthier discretion for what he thinks is going to be the best ukulele tonally. I am excited about that. I like to honor the great luthier's tastes but leaving options up to their tonal expertise. I told him looks were not as important as tone.

Mike Pereira is offering a California series acoustic uke made out of all solid California walnut. They have a wonderful hard sound and are going to be at a great price point, so I am getting 2 concerts and 2 tenors in. He said he would make them special for me with a lot of figuring, so be on the lookout for those in a couple months. He is a talented luthier who also has a passion for what he does. BUT... he is also a super good guy that I consider a good friend now. I laughed that every time we would pass each other we would get stuck talking in the middle of the isle.

Same for Mike DaSilva. I love Mike so much and he is a fountain of knowledge of ukulele building. Honestly, I do not have people to talk setup with and me and Mike talked about zero frets, nut cutting, 12th fret action, tonal ramifications of too low action, tools that we use... and it was just NICE! Because the only person I usually have to talk about these things with is my cat! I want him to build a uke for me to sell. Again, up to his discretion as a luthier. I would be honored as a dealer to offer one of his ukes.

I enjoyed hanging out with my friend Bob Bledsoe who I met through Ukulele Underground. He is involved in a camp in california and teaches ukulele to kids with heart disease. It is amazing how you can feel like such close friends with some who lives in California that you only see once a year. He drove me around in his Prius and had to call his agent at one point, so this country girl felt VERY California.

I got to see Mike Hind for the first time in a long time too and we went to dinner and had some laughs and stories.

I talked to one company that does not allow ukulele only dealers to offer their ukes. As I was looking at them, a guy who paints his old car and travels the country commented on how I was trying out he ukes. I explained I was a uke dealer but I cant offer the brand due to the requirements for dealers. I have asked before, and have gotten nowhere. He just simply said, "You should ask again. You have nothing to lose. They are a machine. Sometimes you have to interrupt the machine." So, I looked around and no one was around to help me. And so I found two salesmen eating lunch, plopped my butt down at their table and sold myself. I think I was just too tired to care what they thought of me. It was Sunday. And my filter was off. And... it went well. There still needs to be some meetings on the subject. But I was proud of the boldness I exhibited. "Sometimes you have to interrupt the machine." Life lesson learned.

Ok... I think that is what I have for now. I had 3 hours of sleep on the plane and this is quite disjointed, but it is just some general musings. I may be forgetting something. If I do I will add it later.

kvehe
01-29-2018, 01:00 PM
As always, thank you, Mim! It's going to be quite a year!

EDW
01-29-2018, 01:00 PM
Same for Mike DaSilva. I love Mike so much and he is a fountain of knowledge of ukulele building. Honestly, I do not have people to talk setup with and me and Mike talked about zero frets, nut cutting, 12th fret action, tonal ramifications of too low action, tools that we use... and it was just NICE! Because the only person I usually have to talk about these things with is my cat! I want him to build a uke for me to sell. Again, up to his discretion as a luthier. I would be honored as a dealer to offer one of his ukes.


DaSilva makes great ukes. He is a really talented builder. I look forward to seeing what he does for you.

Capsfan89
01-29-2018, 03:05 PM
I'm excited to hear that KoAloha may come out with a different headstock. I hope it applies to their opio line. In my price range, I think Pono and opio stand out above the pack. My main uke is a Pono that I've strung low g and I've been really wanting a quality uke I can string reentrant. I realize I'm probably in the minority, but I can't stand the headstocks. It screams island vibe, which is fine, just not me at all. I respect the product they put out and think it would fit my need and budget perfectly so if they make one I can be happy looking at then I'll be all over one.

kohanmike
01-29-2018, 05:37 PM
As it happened, Bartt Warburton was there, who took a few minutes to play while I tested out the bass uke. How impressive is that, here I am, a lowly mediocre bass uke player jamming with the likes of Ukulele Bartt. Cali shot a video, but I don't know where she uploaded it. As soon as I find out, I'll post it.

Here's the video, but contrary to what Bartt joked about, this was very spontaneous. Sorry for the flubs, the fate of a mediocre bass player.


https://www.facebook.com/calisings/videos/10210425646775215/

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://.www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)

Iulia
01-29-2018, 10:44 PM
"Sometimes you have to interrupt the machine." Life lesson learned.



That's just great. ;)

Rakelele
01-30-2018, 10:21 AM
Mim, thanks for your detailed report, very interesting! Would love to hear more details about KoAloha's headstock and the new gloss finish on their import line. Is this only true for KoAlana, i.e. their laminated line, or for Opio as well? Also interested in the specs of Ohana's tenor guitar (scale length, nut width, etc.).

Rakelele
01-30-2018, 10:24 AM
Kala showing their new U-Bass models and explaining some of the changes in their lineup o basses:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skjsPHn5ig0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skjsPHn5ig0

Rakelele
01-31-2018, 07:11 AM
Another video from Blackbird that goes a bit more into the details about the different finish options. Don't worry about the German introduction, the conversation will switch to English after a few seconds:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1UeTFZNWns
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1UeTFZNWns

Rakelele
02-02-2018, 08:33 PM
In this video, Andreas David from Germany is presenting the new models from Romero Creations. Unfortunately, the video is in German, but you'll get an intensive look at the Replicas and the Concert version Tiny Tenor, and towards the end, he does a sound sample of each model (starting at 4:00). From what I understood, these models are made by Ayers in Vietnam and built exactly to the same specs as Pepe's customs: same bracing, same thickness, etc.:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36-eW6b2tCs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36-eW6b2tCs

Rakelele
02-02-2018, 10:51 PM
KoAloha talking about some of their new models and ideas, including their Opio Guitalele (did I understand that correctly that the D-VI will only be made in the Opio line, not in their Hawaiian line anymore?), their semi-custom Red-Label design, a new "Classic 2" model made of Acacia and then assembled in Hawaii, and that they've re-designed their laminate entry Level KoAlana line (no mention of a gloss finish nor of a changed headstock, though):

http://www.ukulelemag.com/stories/news/koaloha-shows-guitarlele-prototype-and-more-at-winter-namm-2018

Jim Hanks
02-03-2018, 01:50 AM
(did I understand that correctly that the D-VI will only be made in the Opio line, not in their Hawaiian line anymore?)
Hmm, it did kinda sound that way, but I wouldn't take that as the final word. He was talking about the Opio and koa vs acacia and talking fast, so maybe it just came out wrong. Or maybe they are selling all they can in the high end 4 strings and there isn't much market for the D-VI so they are letting it go? I dunno.

Sharpshin
02-03-2018, 04:08 AM
With all due respect to the products quality, build and tone, except the headstock. I am with you Capsfans89. Only way I probably could acquire that headstock is if I personally went to the islands on a romantic binge, drank too much, forgot myself, and bought it. Then it would have to be ok! Just my way too conservative opinion.

Choirguy
02-03-2018, 07:17 AM
I love the KoAloha product and headstock. I know there was some pushback over a year ago when it was revealed that the design had a spiritual connection for the company owners (not for the buyers, many who thought it was just a different crown or influenced by a pineapple), and a number of ukulele players sold their ukuleles in protest (I sort of wish that I had a lot of extra money at that point). While we’re generally a happy bunch, religion and politics tend to be boiling points in this community, too.

Perhaps the new headstock addresses that reaction point?

I’m very interested to see what KoAloha does with their laminate line.

And as I’ve said, Ohana’s continued work in making modern products with classic designs is a really excellent trend. The Martin 3 replica concert is on my wish list...but I think I might wait in hopes of a Koa model next year, like the new soprano Koa version.

Rakelele
02-03-2018, 10:44 PM
Not much new at the Kamaka booth:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc3lcrEmLT0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc3lcrEmLT0

Rakelele
02-03-2018, 11:57 PM
Louis Wu from Ohana presenting some of their new models, such as a 5-string concert, an 8-string taropatch concert, their vintage Martin replica, and the baritone body/tenor scale neck hybrid discussed above:


http://www.ukulelemag.com/stories/news/ohana-shows-wide-range-of-new-ukes-at-winter-namm-2018
http://www.ukulelemag.com/stories/news/ohana-shows-wide-range-of-new-ukes-at-winter-namm-2018

Ukulele Eddie
02-04-2018, 03:20 AM
Rainer, thank you for all the effort you put into this thread. Even though I attended, I find it interesting and helpful!

Rakelele
02-09-2018, 08:10 PM
For those who haven't seen it, HMS has now posted their coverage of the NAMM 2018. Here is their podcast, discussing the new KoAloha Opio D-VI Guilele, the Romero Creations ST Concert and Replica series, a solid Maple Kala Elite 19" Super Tenor and other things:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rln8iUB6N-E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rln8iUB6N-E

Rakelele
02-09-2018, 08:18 PM
The Ohana Sopranissimo Pineapples have hit the stores already, I've seen them available from Mim and Uke Republic. Mim has posted several short demos on Instagram, an here is a comparison from Mike:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P94EEOazGFg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P94EEOazGFg

Rakelele
02-09-2018, 08:27 PM
Uke Republic has also posted a demo of the Romero Creations Replica, mentioning some interesting specs like Pepe's reversed fan bracing and spanish heel:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9mmqTNai0E
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9mmqTNai0E

Rakelele
02-09-2018, 08:38 PM
Pepe Romero talking with Zach from HMS about the new models in his Creations line:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7UcbkrEaPM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7UcbkrEaPM

Rakelele
02-09-2018, 08:52 PM
KoAloha sharing some of their news with HMS: The D-VI will be exclusive to the Opio line, manufactured in their Thailand factory, no more Koa ones made in Hawaii. They show their KoAlana entry line, but with a gloss finish and an upgraded headstock. Apparently, they have more stuff in line but won't tell yet...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWi_55kMUoU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWi_55kMUoU

merlin666
02-13-2018, 10:45 AM
... no more Koa ones made in Hawaii.

Wow that is some sad news, now I really need to get one soon.

Jim Hanks
02-19-2018, 04:26 PM
KoAloha sharing some of their news with HMS: The D-VI will be exclusive to the Opio line, manufactured in their Thailand factory, no more Koa ones made in Hawaii.
If the last 10 seconds are representative, that's not something to be disappointed about.

Choirguy
02-20-2018, 03:50 AM
If the last 10 seconds are representative, that's not something to be disappointed about.

I’m in 100% agreement with you, Jim. If you like KoAloha, the sound between the acacia Opio and the koa KoAloha is close. As in: “I’m pretty sure that the Koa doesn’t sound 2x better for 2x the price, although Koa is pretty!” Now that I’m an owner of a 2016 Acacia Opio Concert and a 2004 KoAloha Concert, I can see the value of the Opio line even more than I did before—and I also have a Sapelele Tenor Opio. For the record, I think the acacia on my Opio concert is better looking than the koa on my KoAloha concert (which, I think, has a koa neck and bridge, too)...but both of these instruments will be inherited by my children.

I’m also interested in the new KoAlana laminate line made of that other wood...there are plenty of times that I would like to take an Opio but choose not to, and when my Outdoor doesn’t quite fit the bill. That new KoAlana might be the perfect “middle” instrument. It’s going to be fun to watch for these instruments this year.

Jim Hanks
02-20-2018, 06:27 AM
I’m also interested in the new KoAlana laminate line made of that other wood....
I know right? Would be cool if the D-VI got down to the KoAlana line as well but kinda doubt that'll happen

Booli
03-10-2018, 11:05 PM
I'm very late to this thread on account of being knocked down by the flu when this was all posted, but I wanted to say thank you to all who shared info here. It is nice to see all the new products coming out and equally good to see that the makers believe enough in the future market for ukuleles, and to keep making new products and improving upon old ones.

Also, Kudos to kohanmike for your info and sharing the video with Ukulele Bartt. That was really great to see you playing with him. If it were me, I dunno if I would be able to stop gushing and grinning enough to be able to actually play, as I am also a big fan of his too.

I know the MFC Timber bass seems like it's crazily priced, but I still want one, Some day...:)

I am also intrigued by the Ohana tenor guitar and the Romero concert TT...

kohanmike
03-11-2018, 06:37 AM
Thanks Booli. It did take me a minute to compose myself, and I was self-conscious throughout, I know I bumbled my way along.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 3 acoustic bass ukes, 8 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. http://www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos)