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paraclete
01-13-2010, 05:30 AM
What do you guys think of this "Kamaka"?

http://cgi.ebay.com/Kamaka-Vintage-Soprano-Ukulele-Gold-Label-1950s_W0QQitemZ300386144341QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_D efaultDomain_0?hash=item45f068d055

It just screams "FAKE" to me.

dnewton2
01-13-2010, 06:22 AM
It does have the Gold Kamaka label although hard to see in the pics. It doen not appear to have a headstock sticker though. The etching on the bottom is not that cool. I couldn't tell you either way

RyanMFT
01-13-2010, 10:15 AM
I remember seeing this uke listed on my local Craigslist a while back. I am no expert but I don't think it is a fake but rather a Kamaka that had a piece of wood badly replaced a long time ago, when the uke was likely not worth a lot of money.

ambrose
01-13-2010, 10:51 AM
Looks real to me. I've seen a few of these with and without labels and headstock sticker. The repair might be a problem, but people are bidding on it...

Ahnko Honu
01-13-2010, 11:05 AM
I'm no expert either but I don't think it's a fake from seeing other Kamakas from the mid 1950s, right shape, location of sound hole etc. If the previous owner for any reason refinished the exterior that would explain the missing headstock waterslide decal. I don't know how easy it would be to get a gold label. I think this particular 'ukulele has lost some collector value but probably still a decent player.

Ebay Kamaka
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/My%20Ukuleles/oldkamaka.jpg

1950 soprano from Kamaka website
http://www.kamakahawaii.com/img/historic/09a.jpg

paraclete
01-13-2010, 11:34 AM
Maybe... couple weird things about it.... bridge is not centered and top wood grain doesn't seem centered either. Did Kamaka go through a stage of lousy workmanship? Or maybe I need more coffee.... :confused:

Ahnko Honu
01-13-2010, 12:04 PM
I own an old Kumalae 1919ish vintage, and an old 1930s Kalae made by Kamaka and though they both sound great they are not the pinnacle of workmanship that even the less expensive Chinese made 'ukuleles of today are. You can definitely tell they are hand made and finished but they have mana, soul, mojo, etc. that modern flawless mass produced 'ukuleles lack. If you look at the strings they run parallel with the neck nicely which would be off if the bridge was centered. I believe the bridges were installed to keep the strings in line with the less than parallel necks. My old Kalae bridge is centered but the strings are a tad off along the neck. More aesthetic than practical, still plays fine. I believe back when these 'ukuleles were made they were allot cheaper relatively speaking and the finish reflected the price point. Tourist back then could afford these quickly built 'ukuleles, but today we have import 'ukuleles of high quality which filled that inexpensive nitch market and just raised the level of quality of the domestic made items. I believe we presently are in a golden age of affordable quality 'ukuleles thanks to companies like KALA, Ohana, Lanikai, and Mainland.

paraclete
01-13-2010, 12:14 PM
That's a really good point about the bridge being off-center to keep the strings aligned... I hadn't thought to check that. I've been keeping an eye (or two) out for a vintage Kamaka, btw, which is why I was looking so critically at this one. Of course, I keep hoping to find one just waiting for me at the local antique shops. Probably just a pipe dream. :) I totally agree with you about the soul in a handmade, unique instrument. Thanks for your insight.

haolejohn
01-13-2010, 03:34 PM
I remember seeing this uke listed on my local Craigslist a while back. I am no expert but I don't think it is a fake but rather a Kamaka that had a piece of wood badly replaced a long time ago, when the uke was likely not worth a lot of money.

Someone here on UU was trying to sell that ukulele. I almost bought it but I don't like the kamaka name on the bottom. It was a repair and I believe the kk on the headstock came off.

theukuleleman
01-13-2010, 04:19 PM
i dont know it kinda looks like kamaka is scribbled on the bottom with chalk but other that that it looks pretty legit

bbycrts
01-13-2010, 07:10 PM
I'm not sure the bridge is off center, either - the grain on the top is angling a little bit, so I think you get an optical illusion of the bridge being off center...

Ahnko Honu
01-13-2010, 09:53 PM
I'm not sure the bridge is off center, either - the grain on the top is angling a little bit, so I think you get an optical illusion of the bridge being off center...

Take a ruler and put it to the picture on monitor (or print out first) and measure the distance on each side of bridge to edge of body... interesting. 8-)

experimentjon
01-13-2010, 11:52 PM
I recently played a gold label Kamaka which did have an off center bridge/sound hole. The thing was rather beat up, and it looked sloppy with the asymmetrical parts, but I was very suprised at the sound that came out of it. Very loud and clear, mature sound.

CedarTop
02-15-2019, 06:42 AM
115601

I cannot find any original Kamaka pics that look like this one. I think it is a fake but want to ask the group. I know there were many fakes produced in the late 60’s and 70’s. I am guessing this is one. The label on headstock appears to be all one color. I have asked seller to send pics of any additional markings or stickers.



CedarTop
Kala concert cedar top/acacia back and sides
Ohana SK-38 Worth Brown strings

Kenn2018
02-15-2019, 09:51 AM
The uke is no longer on the site.