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shakerattleroll
09-21-2009, 07:20 PM
Anyone heard of Kimo Jones ukuleles?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Tenor-Ukulele-Custom-Brand-New-RARE-Hologram-Effect_W0QQitemZ180408143306QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_ DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2a0129cdca&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14#ht_2190wt_1167

Seems like a good deal for a handcrafted solid koa hawaiian uke. I've played a little uke, but am mostly a guitar and bass player, looking to get my first uke. I want all solid woods, and love the look of koa. Probably going to start with a tenor.

The other I'm looking at right now:
http://cgi.ebay.com/just-in-HONU-SOLID-KOA-TENOR-UKULELE-w-KEIYO-PU_W0QQitemZ370262677716QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item56356018d4&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262#ht_3210wt_1167

Valerie
09-28-2009, 03:57 AM
Hiya, and welcome to the UU!

I noticed this hadn't gotten a reply, so I thought I'd supply one.

I haven't heard of the first uke you listed. The Ebay auction is over, though... so I wasn't able to see the seller.

A general rule of thumb, any uke being sold by musicguymic or ukulele4u is a good uke: Buy without fear!

As to the second uke you are looking at- it's sold by musicguymic, so it's good.

But, I do recommend that before you buy you either take the chance to play the uke (or one similar) or at least call the seller and have them play the uke to you over the phone.

It's one thing to go by looks and descriptions and another to go by how the uke feels and sounds.

Before I bought my first uke, I was sure I wanted a Tenor. Everything I had read about tenor vs concert vs soprano on the UU pointed me to a tenor.

But then I went to a uke store and played every instrument in the shop- and I walked away with a concert and there has been no looking back.

Concerts and me just fit, and I am very VERY glad I didn't end up buying a tenor.

Of course, not everyone has a uke store nearby...

But lots of music stores sell ukes, nowdays. The problem is that the staff usually doesn't know that much about them... So, take a tape measure with you, and measure some ukes! 21" is soprano size... 23" concert, and 26" tenor (from one end to the other)

As far as solid wood vs something else... I own one laminate, one solid top, and one all solid uke. My favorites are:
-Solid top
-Then Laminate
-and last solid uke...

Sound varies a lot between instruments, and it really comes down to personal preference...


So all that said: If I were you I'd at least call the sellers and have them play you the uke, and a few others for comparison.
If possible, get an idea of what size uke you like the best. And if you can, play as many ukes as you can before you buy one.

If this is you first uke... it might be fun to buy a cheap laminate uke just to mess around with while you contemplate spending the big bucks on a higher end uke.

Kanaka916
09-28-2009, 04:26 AM
Anyone heard of Kimo Jones ukuleles?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Tenor-Ukulele-Custom-Brand-New-RARE-Hologram-Effect_W0QQitemZ180408143306QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_ DefaultDomain_0?hash=item2a0129cdca&_trksid=p3911.c0.m14#ht_2190wt_1167

Seems like a good deal for a handcrafted solid koa hawaiian uke. I've played a little uke, but am mostly a guitar and bass player, looking to get my first uke. I want all solid woods, and love the look of koa. Probably going to start with a tenor.

The other I'm looking at right now:
http://cgi.ebay.com/just-in-HONU-SOLID-KOA-TENOR-UKULELE-w-KEIYO-PU_W0QQitemZ370262677716QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item56356018d4&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262#ht_3210wt_1167
There are many unknown luthiers/builders in Hawai'i and they usually sell their wares by word of mouth. It would be nice to get hands on and play it and being on ebay, that would be out of the question. Judging by the pictures and the video the seller provided, the instrument looks to be a solid build and it sounds really mellow, kinda falls in between a Kamaka and a KoAloha. Could be a diamond in the rough but not from a first time seller.:2cents:

shakerattleroll
09-28-2009, 06:40 AM
Could be a diamond in the rough but not from a first time seller.:2cents:

That was my worry. Just wanted to know if anyone in Hawai'i knew anything about them. He's got one transaction now...

As far as ukes and laminates, just from my experience with guitars, solid wood tends to not only improve with age, but also hold their resale value much better than laminates. I know I'll stick with uke, so I want to invest in a quality instrument that I can resell if I need to.

And I've done a lot of listening to ukes, which is about as good as it is gonna get for me. I think I might drop by the Uke festival in Cerritos this weekend, maybe I'll be able to play one there.

Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it.

Kanaka916
09-28-2009, 07:14 AM
Take a look at the 808 Builders (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16211) and you'll sea a few names you won't recognize but based on word of mouth, I'll be more than happy to get one of their builds. Another resource you can look into if you're looking into a Hawaiian build is Ukulele Friend (http://ukulelefriend.com/). Sean has a couple of instruments for sale in the Marketplace; a Keith Ogata (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19559), a Pahu Kani (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19560) and a custom Ana'ole (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19561).