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View Full Version : Morphing the kamaka dolphin and it sounds awesome!



kerneltime
03-04-2018, 03:04 AM
I sanded the paint and whole lot of the laminate wood off the the top. It is dishing and bellying now! The back seems like a different material HPL? But has been sanded down removing the paint and bit of the wood (much harder to sand the backside thin). Paint was partially sanded off the sides, replaced nut with bone nut and leveled the frets. Lowered the bridge, intonation is pretty good around 1 and 2 nd fret and acceptable at the 12th.

It sounds awesome!!!! I also added wood glue layer on top to experiment ( felt might help keep the laminate top together after all the sanding) but removed it with a wet tissue as it impacted sound and fine sanded it again.

I am really liking the sound, will try to upload pics and sample sound. I am using Aquila sugar strings with low g

Wondering if anyone has tried anything similar?

stevepetergal
03-04-2018, 04:11 AM
When you say
It sounds awesome!!!!you're right. I haven't heard this Dolphin but, just from your description, it sounds like great firewood.

Booli
03-04-2018, 06:40 AM
Maybe there is some dyslexia involved here?

I never knew that Kamaka made a Dolphin uke, only Makala (the budget line of Kala).

If I am wrong, I guess some folks consider a Kamaka uke inexpensive enough to hack on, but I would not be among that group.

kerneltime
03-04-2018, 06:45 AM
Eh.. can’t change title..
yes this is a makala not a kamaka.
Yes it is cheap and suitable for experimentation

Booli
03-04-2018, 07:20 AM
Eh.. can’t change title..
yes this is a makala not a kamaka.
Yes it is cheap and suitable for experimentation

Thanks for the clarifications.

That being said, the Makala Dolphins are used often for instrument hacking by many folks here on UU as well as on YouTube.

One person even made his an 8-stringer in his own Frankenstein modifications project.

Jerryc41
03-10-2018, 01:25 AM
I thought the Dolphin, like the Waterman, was plastic. I guess not.

Graham Greenbag
03-10-2018, 05:07 AM
I thought the Dolphin, like the Waterman, was plastic. I guess not.

The two are a very different construction and not to be confused. The Waterman is all plastic whilst the Dolphin has a plastic back and sides, I believe that the types of plastic are different too. The Dolphins sound board and neck are wooden.

Ive had a Dolphin and after a nut and saddle set up they play fine, they improve further with M600 strings too - well thats my experience and opinion. I gifted mine to a good cause but if I bought another then Id look at compensation next to the nut (maybe remove the first 1/16 of the fretboard) and the saddle shape too, YMMV. Id also consider converting the bridge to a through string type, I think that would excite the sound board more.

Booli
03-10-2018, 05:28 AM
I thought the Dolphin, like the Waterman, was plastic. I guess not.

The Waterman is ALL PLASTIC including nut, saddle and bridge (and cannot be setup to fix intonation), but the Dolphin and Shark ukes, ONLY the back of the body and sides are ABS plastic but the top, bridge, neck, fretboard, headstock are all wood.

The Makala/Kala Ukedelic ukes used to be made like the Dolphin/Shark, but last Feb 2017 they changed them all to the Waterman all plastic, and for me this was a HUGE downgrade. I managed to snag a tie-dye Ukadelic from Sam Ash back then before they sold out the old stock.

Despite the downgrade, the Ukedelics still sell for higher price than the Waterman or Dolphin/Shark and to me it's no longer worth it for fancy graphics that you'll never see, to play a uke with intonation that STARTS +12 cents sharp at the 3rd fret and gets incrementally worse as you approach the bridge, that you simply cannot fix. It will NEVER play in tune like that. Maybe it's ok for a deaf person?

I'd now call the Ukedelics unplayable and nothing but a fancy-looking wall-hanger like the Watermans.

and, maybe they'd be good for a 3-yr old to whack against the furniture during a tantrum, but not useful for playing music in tune.

EDW
03-10-2018, 06:06 AM
and, maybe they'd be good for a 3-yr old to whack against the furniture during a tantrum, but not useful for playing music in tune.

another good use:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=010aaw1Ajo0