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Spooner
05-10-2009, 12:03 AM
Hey Youz UU's.....

I did a search to find out a little more about these ukes and found nothing.

Could it be that no one has one?

Does anyone have any feedback on these ukes?

Thanks in advance.

Ahnko Honu
05-10-2009, 12:23 AM
D&D ukuleles are actually made by luthier Edmund Bacani of Kapolei, Oahu and usually sold under his own brand name "NICE". D&D (Doris & Daniel) of Lahaina, Maui sell Mr. Bacani's ukulele's as D&D but if you look on the head you'll see the "N" trademark inlay of NICE ukuleles. http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Doris-and-Daniel__W0QQ_armrsZ1
http://i20.ebayimg.com/01/i/001/2b/84/161d_1.JPG
I own a NICE Koa pineapple tenor that I am VERY happy with and would recommend a NICE/D&D ukulele without hesitation. I believe UkiSociety also owns a NICE ukulele. NICE Ukulele's does not have a website that I am aware of but these YouTube links will give you an idea of how they sound:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tvemi5efs0I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VpvgCPXL50
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN7jvwGpsjI
Balsa Bill's the only seller of NICE ukulele's online I know of besides D&D on eBay:
EDIT: Balsa Bill's no longer carries NICE ukulele's
http://www.balsabill.com/Nice%20Ukulele.htm

grappler
05-10-2009, 01:09 AM
Yeah, i haven't seen these on the market untill last week sometime.
It sounds beautiful

deach
05-10-2009, 01:22 AM
From what I've seen, D & D is rebranding NICE ukes. I've never played one so I cant really say anything about the ukes themselves.

On ebay D & D are selling their brand ukes as well as some others. BEWARE, they had a uke listed for almost $4000 that I bought for under a $1000. They relisted it with a "sale" price of $3500.

D & D is a member here. They haven't posted in a while though. When I asked a few questions about their products, they didn't reply.

Personally, I'd stay away from the ebay seller.

Kanaka916
05-10-2009, 03:32 AM
Doesn't Ed Bacani/Nice have a booth at Aloha Stadium (SaT/Sun)? Speaking of Nice ukes, another give away is the soundhole. It's shaped like a Mountain Apple. All da locals know what dat is.

UKISOCIETY
05-10-2009, 03:39 AM
I was Deached a concert Nice Pineapple by, well, Deach and I like it very much. But you'd have to ask Deach about his experience of buying it, etc.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=11&pictureid=1643
Nice, Mainland Red Cedar, K-Wave and Northern JCD-2

Ahnko Honu
05-10-2009, 07:30 AM
I bought my NICE ukulele directly from Edmund Bacani at his booth at the Aloha Staduim swap meet at a substantial savings from what D&D is asking for theirs on eBay. Ed Bacani is a very nice gentleman and we talked ukuleles and work (we are/were both civil servants of the State) for over an hour. I believe Mr. Bacani had his Mountain Apple sound hole shape before KoAloha went to their "Musubi" shape sound holes, I guess great minds think alike. ;) I recommend anyone visiting Oahu, Hawaii should visit Ed Bacani at his Aloha Stadium booth to talk story with a real down to earth guy and maybe get a great deal on a beautiful ukulele.
Ed Bacani learned his luthier skills back in the Philippines where he is originally from.

UPDATE: Ed Bacani has his "Hawaiian" ukuleles made in the Philippines, not Hawaii as he told me.

MGM
05-10-2009, 08:34 AM
Yes Ed is at the swap meet but please call a imported uke a imported uke Nice ukes D&D or what ever you call them are made in the philiipines and not Hawaii...and should never command a 3,500 price

Ahnko Honu
05-10-2009, 10:59 AM
Yes Ed is at the swap meet but please call a imported uke a imported uke Nice ukes D&D or what ever you call them are made in the philiipines and not Hawaii...and should never command a 3,500 price

No offense Mike but I beg to differ. I talked to Ed for over an hour about ukuleles, and the first thing I asked him before I even introduced myself to him was where are these 'ukuleles made me assuming all swap meet ukuleles were imports, and his reply was right here in Hawaii in Kapolei at his home workshop. Ed Bacani works full time the the State of Hawaii DOT Highways Division, and he builds ukuleles as a hobby. He has been doing this for just over 10 years. He wasn't even aware MELE was making their 'ukuleles in the Philippines until I told him. He thought that was very interesting and thought he might look into this after retirement to expand his production but at the time I talked to him which was February 28th 2009 just over 2 months ago (I remember because it was my anniversary date) he still hand made all his 'ukuleles at his home workshop in Kapolei. Is it possible you are confusing NICE with MELE? He had his wife with him at his booth at the Aloha Stadium, and she was assisting him there installing geared tuners on several unfinished ukuleles as we talked. D&D marks up their Bacani made ukuleles substantially but I don't recall any of Ed's 'ukuleles at the stadium being over $600 and most were allot less. One of Ed's signature custom features is his unique bowling ball binding in which he takes bowling ball dust combined with epoxy resin to make a MOP look binding. I don't think this kind of time consuming and original ideal would be cost effective for a high production made in Philippines ukulele.
A low paid government worker would not have the time or money to invest to start production of 'ukuleles overseas. If Edmund Bacani says his ukuleles are made in Hawaii I have absolutely no reason to doubt him.
Someone here also told me Tangi ukulele were made in Vietnam but when I asked Tangi himself about it he was a tad upset that misinformation was being spread. According to him all his ukuleles in past 8 years had production returned to Hawaii being made in his shop on Sand Island before it recently closed in November of 2008.

EDIT: I was lied to by both Tangi and Ed Bacani, both are imported, not Hawaiian made.

My NICE Koa tenor pineapple.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/My%20Ukuleles/P1010160.jpg

JKoval
05-10-2009, 11:30 AM
I was Deached a concert Nice Pineapple by, well, Deach and I like it very much. But you'd have to ask Deach about his experience of buying it, etc.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=11&pictureid=1643
Nice, Mainland Red Cedar, K-Wave and Northern JCD-2

I'd love to try a pineapple... one day, one day... lol at mild-uas with no monies.

MGM
05-10-2009, 11:44 AM
I will agree to disagree with you. As I have my opinions and also talk to Ed who i know does make ukuleles but you said yourself..he works full time..ever see the quantity of nice ukuleles guitars and paddles and other wood products he has....part time or nor you cannot produce that many and what they tell the average Joe versus a industry insider is well...all i can say is take it with a grain of salt.

MGM
05-10-2009, 11:52 AM
by the way remember those expensive Hana ukuleles they were supposidiely made in pearl city and sold as handcrafted in Hawaii and i could never get the original designer to show me production being made there. yes tuners and strings can be put on ukes anywhere but that doesn't prove where anything was made. Hanas by the way are also made in phillipines. It doesnt take money to import ukuleles. i could have 100 brands saying mgm by just ordering say 25 of one model. It takes money however to r and d and quality control large amounts of imports.

MGM
05-10-2009, 11:55 AM
As for the D and D ukes...remember this Mauai store first started selling Nice ukuleles as handcrafted in hawaii and had to backtrack when they found out they were not...Thus now the relabeling...that should tell most people enough of what can go in the ukulele industry. This does not go to comment anything on the playabilty or sound of any of these ukes...just to comment on practices in ukulele retailing...

MGM
05-10-2009, 01:39 PM
As I try not to keep posting negative things i will again say we can agree to disagree...

Ahnko Honu
05-10-2009, 01:41 PM
As for the D and D ukes...remember this Mauai store first started selling Nice ukuleles as handcrafted in hawaii and had to backtrack when they found out they were not...Thus now the relabeling...that should tell most people enough of what can go in the ukulele industry. This does not go to comment anything on the playabilty or sound of any of these ukes...just to comment on practices in ukulele retailing...

I can heartily vouch for the quality of NICE 'ukuleles but I cannot vouch for the business practices of D&D and I'm not even sure if Ed Bacani approves of D&D selling his 'ukuleles as their own. I could not and would not recommend this eBay seller.

UPDATE: CONFIRMED by D&D- D&D/NICE Ukuleles made in the Philippines, NOT in Hawaii as I was told by Ed Bacani. Can't trust anyone nowadays!

Ahnko Honu
05-10-2009, 01:42 PM
As I try not to keep posting negative things i will again say we can agree to disagree...

AMEN :shaka:

rossjr
05-10-2009, 05:51 PM
I am no expert, but I did see some of these at a small Ukulele store off of Front St. in Lahaina. It was tucked away and Ukulele's and related material was about all they sold. It was really close to Cheeseburger in Paradise.

The women there was pushing D&D and I really shyed away from it because it appeared to have a twisted neck. Upon close examination the top of the fret board and neck where the "G" string sits was visably higher than "A" side, and this was the only time I had ever seen that. Upon close examination it also looked like it might have been that way on purpose as that side of the fret board as it meet the face of the Ukulele had to be at least an 1/8" higher. I also looked at the other ones she had and while they did not have this characteristic they seemed to have other issues that caught my eye like unusal bridges.

I do not profess to be a professional and maybe these are normal, but I didn't feel comfortable with them. While on Maui I also searched the Internet and found nothing about them and asked around at the other stores I stopped at: Kula Gold, Lahaina Music, Mele and Bounty Music. None of them said that they had heard of them either.

Ahnko Honu
05-11-2009, 04:44 PM
I emailed D&D Ukuleles on Maui asking them where their D&D/Nice ukuleles are made and they replied that they are in fact made in the Philippines and setup in Hawaii. I was told by the maker of Nice/D&D ukuleles Edmund Bacani that his 'ukuleles were made in Hawaii. When I told Ed that Mele ukuleles were made in the Philippines he said he did not know that and he would like to know what it takes to have ukuleles made in the P.I. So he could start doing this too in the future. It was all an act, I was duped! According to D&D these ukuleles were made in the Philippines all along. MGM Mike was right all along and I owe him an apology, sorry mike, I never should have doubted you. Now I have serious doubts about Tangi. I know $165 is a very decent price for a solid wood tenor ukulele (not even sure if Koa now) but the principle of it pisses me off! WHY LIE? Mele is upfront about it's ukulele's origins, so is Pono, and Honu. Why does Nice have to lie? I am way too trusting and gullible, it seems MGM Mike is the only 'ukulele seller I can trust. Mahalo Mike for setting me straight.

Spooner
05-11-2009, 04:49 PM
I'm glad I asked. :rotfl:

This has definitely been a good discussion.
Thank you all for your feedback.

MGM
05-11-2009, 07:53 PM
to me it is not so important Where is was made as to how it plays sounds and feels to you...All my everyday go to ukes when i play in bed watching TV are Chinese ukes....only on stage and parties do i use the good stuff but all sound and play great to me. Anko no need to apologize.. as i said you where just telling what you where told. I have many visitors tell me they have been in Hawaii's uke stores and told this such and such is Koa wood made in Hawaii and show me their pride and joy asian Laminate ukulele....lol

Spooner
05-11-2009, 07:57 PM
to me it is not so important Where is was made as to how it plays sounds and feels to you...All my everyday go to ukes when i play in bed watching TV are Chinese ukes....only on stage and parties do i use the good stuff but all sound and play great to me. Anko no need to apologize.. as i said you where just telling what you where told. I have many visitors tell me they have been in Hawaii's uke stores and told this such and such is Koa wood made in Hawaii and show me their pride and joy asian Laminate ukulele....lol

OK...since you hit the subject...I gotta ask...

Mr Mike...what is your main non-Chinese food in bed player uke on stage? :D

MGM
05-11-2009, 08:04 PM
Owen Holt Custom bass uke and a Koolau Tenor

Spooner
05-11-2009, 08:08 PM
Owen Holt Custom bass uke and a Koolau Tenor


Cool!

..and what a fine statement for those makers!

Thanks Mike! :shaka:

Ahnko Honu
05-11-2009, 10:47 PM
I like my NICE tenor pineapple (only tenor pineapple I'm aware of besides custom MP), and I think it was still a nice deal at $165.00. It sounds great and looks great. I'm just a tad PO'd that I was lied to. Why lie about a product, let it speak for itself. I have it tuned to low G and sounds rich. It looks like Koa but could be Acacia confusa, or Acacia mangium, both found in PI, similar grain and color, maybe even Monkey Pod, who knows?

thronedoggie
08-14-2009, 01:24 PM
I got a little lost in this thread - the last bit I saw about NICE 'ukes contained the line (something like) "EDIT - I was lied to by both Tangi and Ed Baconi - both are imported".

So what's the consensus? Is the NICE brand handmade by Mr. Baconi, or imported from the Phillipines?

I was at Aloha this last Sunday, and bought a tenor at what I thought was a very nice price indeed - and saw the gentleman fussing over the instruments like a mother hen. I got the impression of a skilled, competent and calm craftsman; although I'm new to 'ukes (years of guitar and banjo) I'm satisfied with my purchase.

jim p.
...in New River, AZ, where it's another gorgeous day.

Ahnko Honu
08-14-2009, 07:29 PM
Made in the PI, setup in here in Hawai'i, similar to what MELE of Maui does.

I'm happy with my tenor pineapple, looks nice and sounds nice especially for the price.
The only other tenor pineapple I'm aware of is a custom made by MP 'Ukuleles at 3 x the price.
Would have bought it anyways even if seller told the truth.

thronedoggie
08-15-2009, 07:30 AM
I should point out that when I bought my tenor at Aloha Stadium, Mr. Baconi made no claim about the location or style of manufacture of the 'uke, but he did say that it was Koa.

It's dang pretty. Can't keep my hands off it : )

thronedoggie
....in New River, AZ, where it's another gorgeous day. And, after three weeks in Punalu'u, I'm grateful to say that it's not raining : )

Tomcatkayak
09-13-2009, 01:23 AM
I know the Phils have some great luthiers, they have great tradition in building
guitars. I think most of handbuild ukes in hawai come from there.
The luthiers dont ly about the the wood they use , if it is acacia they tel you
The high-end ukes they make are made for export, they have to import the exotic wood koa and spruce and others, that make these ukes to expensive for the local market.When you have a handmade, from a known luthier you get a uke to be proud on.

I think the resellers in hawai must be open about this subject.

Regster
08-27-2010, 12:01 PM
wow very interesting and sad lying about the location this ukes where made. I actually played one of this uke along time ago, it sounds ok n looks like koa but the fret length were short to my taste it was 300 something used in musicgoround, it was also a concert.

SuzukHammer
08-27-2010, 01:03 PM
I live in Asia and it may take some time before you realize that lying is very common.

People lie in the west too; but, it just seems that lying out here is a common means to take people's money.

"Saving face" is a term to make it look like its a plausible excuse disquised as a cultural custom here. sure. customs. yes, sure. indeed.

Buddhism basically states you cannot be all good. So, they accept their daily transgressions as a balance in life. Being 50% good and 50% bad is considered decent effort.

Saying yes. Saying yes to anything you want to hear. Saying yes even though they know its no - its frustrating.

When I read Ahno's story, I knew exactly how he felt. And it is pervasive. If they can take your money, they will.

I have learned to laugh at it. I have learned to accept it. ANd trust me, it is funny to watch and do I still get duped?? I'm sure of it!!

mm stan
08-27-2010, 02:09 PM
to me it is not so important Where is was made as to how it plays sounds and feels to you...All my everyday go to ukes when i play in bed watching TV are Chinese ukes....only on stage and parties do i use the good stuff but all sound and play great to me. Anko no need to apologize.. as i said you where just telling what you where told. I have many visitors tell me they have been in Hawaii's uke stores and told this such and such is Koa wood made in Hawaii and show me their pride and joy asian Laminate ukulele....lol

Aloha Mike....
I've had many high end ukes before in my time, but the first one I pick up is a chinese and the second is indonesian...the chinese one was my first and I'd
put that one up against all the top brands...and I do mean top .....the K's ...Martin..to name a few...Guess what I paid $24.95 for it, and even though
it doesn't sound good in GCEA..I tune it by ear and it is spot on intonation then and stays in tune for a long while......go figure..inside stuff eh!!! MM Stan...