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View Full Version : Ohana CK-38 - What is a "vintage" finish? "Premium-grade" mahogany?



mikelz777
03-15-2018, 12:24 PM
I was looking at the Ohana CK-38 and I see that it is listed with a "vintage" finish. What is a vintage finish? Is it basically a satin finish? I also see that it is advertised as being made of "premium-grade" mahogany. What makes the wood premium-grade as compared to other mahogany ukes by Ohana? Is premium-grade mahogany in this case actually a thing or more of an advertising/selling gimmick? :confused:

kissing
03-15-2018, 12:28 PM
Yup, those words mean nothing at all :)
Vintage just means it "looks good" in their opinion.
"Premium" mahogany also means it "looks good" in their opinion

stevepetergal
03-15-2018, 03:20 PM
It's a gimmick.

Ukecaster
03-15-2018, 05:16 PM
I believe that their "vintage finish" means that it looks old, dull, almost like some of the artificially aged/worn guitars out there. I've heard that some of the early 38 series instruments looked too old and beat up for some customers, with worn looking finishes and ebony nuts that looked beat up. Mim's description of the CK-38 now mentions a new, slightly more glossy finish, with bone nut and saddles, so it seems they've tuned down the relic look somewhat.

mikelz777
03-15-2018, 06:17 PM
The vintage/satin finish is one of the things that is drawing me to this particular uke. It does look like an aged/vintage mahogany but as it is new, I can see that it would be more glossy and clean than an actual vintage/aged finish. I know that this was inspired by or is a copy of an old Martin ukulele. Did any of the old Martins come with geared tuners that stuck out on each side of the headstock rather than the friction tuners that stick out of the back? I really dislike the look (possibly performance?) of the friction tuners so if I were to ever buy this uke, I'd be tempted to switch out the Gotoh friction tuners with Grover open-geared tuners.

Ukecaster
03-15-2018, 06:29 PM
The CK-38 comes with friction tuners, that stick out the back, just like vintage Martin ukes. I can understand not liking the performance of frictions, but most here like the look better than geared tuners, with rabbit ears sticking out the sides, at least on a vintage style uke. If you want geared tuners, the Gotoh UPTs are great, and will retain the vintage friction tuner look.

mikelz777
03-15-2018, 06:46 PM
Yikes! The cost of those Gotoh geared tuners would be 25%+ the cost of the new uke!! I'd consider a geared option to the friction tuner but that would be too pricey for me. If I did buy a CK-38 and decided to switch out the friction tuners I would be kind of defeating the point of the uke as built but I don't think that open-geared Grovers with black buttons would look bad and they kind of have a vintage look of their own.

107283

EDW
03-15-2018, 11:13 PM
I am in the camp of those who think geared tuners with “ears” would ruin the look. But, to each his own. If you prefer that look, who am I to say?

markleecarter
03-15-2018, 11:32 PM
I have an SK 38 and I quite like the 'vintage finish'. It's pretty much a satin finish and the mahogany is quite dark. As for the tuners, I personally think that rabbit ears really don't fit a vintage look (especially on a soprano) and the friction tuners on my Ohana work really really well and are just as easy to use and as accurate and effective as my ukes with geared tuners. Some of the early models of the 28 series seemed to have ebony nut and saddle but mine is bone (or synthetic bone - I don't know!)

Jerryc41
03-16-2018, 12:20 AM
Yup, those words mean nothing at all :)
Vintage just means it "looks good" in their opinion.
"Premium" mahogany also means it "looks good" in their opinion

Those answers look good to me. :)

Jerryc41
03-16-2018, 12:25 AM
The CK-38 comes with friction tuners, that stick out the back, just like vintage Martin ukes. I can understand not liking the performance of frictions, but most here like the look better than geared tuners, with rabbit ears sticking out the sides, at least on a vintage style uke. If you want geared tuners, the Gotoh UPTs are great, and will retain the vintage friction tuner look.

Gotoh are great tuners, but it can take two months to get them from Japan. You place the order, and they make them. There are so many combinations of sizes and colors that businesses tend not to stock them. I ordered some from the Ukulele Site, but then they ran out of them. Their cost was about $50 vs $86 from Japan.

A soprano should not have the tuners sticking out the sides (just my opinion), and some friction tuners are better than others.

mikelz777
03-16-2018, 04:32 AM
While the vintage look is one of the main selling points of the CK-38 I think I'm drawn to it because it's very much like a darker and better version of my starter uke, a concert Lanikai LU-21C. I no longer have it but I loved that uke! It had the tuners sticking out the sides so I don't think I'd find the same look on a CK-38 concert to be odd. I think that after a lifetime of seeing guitars and such with the tuners sticking out of the sides that I'm conditioned to that look so to me, the friction tuners sticking out the back are the anomaly and look odd. I've never liked the clunky look of friction tuners, traditional or not so I don't really feel the need to preserve or try to adapt to a "vintage look". I know a lot of people would probably think differently. For me, the friction tuners and their look are the only deal-breaker on this particular uke. I'm going to look into what it would cost to switch the tuners out to see if I'd still want to give the CK-38 serious consideration.

stevepetergal
03-16-2018, 04:52 AM
The "vintage finish" may very well be a real thing. You can indeed find other products out there that are "distressed" which simply means beat up in the manufacturing or detailing process. This is done to make a new item look like the old ones. So, the CK-38 finish may truly be different than Ohana's other finishes, (maybe even as durable) but it's still a gimmick. As for the "premium grade", this means absolutely nothing.

Choirguy
03-16-2018, 04:55 PM
You want a vintage look? Send your ukulele to me, and I’ll either let my 6 or 9 year old play with it for a week, or I’ll bring it to school with me for a day and let my middle school kids have at it. Then I’ll send it back to you and you’ll have a truly vintage look. I’m happy to supply this service for the low fee of $49.99 plus shipping. ;)

(P.S. No...I’m not actually providing that service)