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View Full Version : My First Encounter with UAS: KAMAKA TENOR 8-STRING



ceviche
03-23-2010, 11:59 AM
I WANT!!!

Oh man! This didn't happen with guitars like it's happening with ukes. It's that sensation that borders on lust.

So I was down at Seattle's Dusty Strings Music, just to buy myself a thong for my KoAloha Soprano. No problem there, except I noticed they had one of those Kala Bass ukes. That was pretty cool--but not what triggered my first encounter with UAS. Up near the doorway going to the guitar room was a KAMAKA TENOR 8-STRING (HF-38)!!!:drool: All Koa body! Such sweet honey light all glowing like a pot of musical gold!:drool::drool::drool: Of course, I had to give it a spin. The sound was both like and unlike a uke. Strummed, it was full and expansive like I imagined a double course of strings would sound like. However, when plucked, it reminded me of either a harp, a dulcimer, or maybe even an Arabian oud. I don't know, but it was so exotic and elegant sounding there was no way I could escape the UAS virus. Now, I can't get that sound out of my head!

Kind of reminds me of this one time I was walking by this Middle Eastern restaurant on Long Beach's Pine Street. I could hear this exotic music swirling out the windows, so I turned to look if there might be a band inside. No, but what I did see was this belly dancer with long curly hair and a long slender waist that flexed and swayed like a drunk cobra. When you suddenly encounter things like that, they tend to get under your skin. That's what playing and hearing that Kamaka 8-string tenor was like. It got under my skin!

Now I'm wondering if I'm worthy enough to shell out the $1140.

BTW, any other builders of 8-string ukes out there?

fahrner
03-23-2010, 12:15 PM
You are worthy. It's either buy the uke or go find that belly dancer.

pdxuke
03-23-2010, 12:23 PM
Let me write you a perscription for this bout of UAS:

RX

1 Kamaka Tenor 8-String
Strum daily at least 1/2 hour before and after meals
unlimited refills for other ukes

T. Bray, D.U.

haole
03-23-2010, 12:23 PM
Buy the uke, find the belly dancer, and offer to play while she dances.

cjensen91910
03-23-2010, 01:05 PM
I have a Lanakai 8 string. Not near the quality but pretty good. A better one would be a waste on me, just a plunker for fun.

Kanaka916
03-23-2010, 01:17 PM
For the Hawaiian builds; Ko'olau (Pono), Kanilea'a, G-String, Mele have 8 string models. You can probably order a custom 8 string from any of the builders listed on Luthier's List (Custom Builders & 808 Builders) located in the Ukulele Building/Luthier's Lounge Forum.

mangorockfish
03-23-2010, 04:05 PM
Does anyone here play an 8 string or 6 string as their main uke? Never really thought about one, but sounds interesting.

experimentjon
03-23-2010, 11:47 PM
I actually own a Kamaka 8 String. Put Worth Clears on it. And it does sound BEEAAAAUUUUTIIIFUL. Love it for getting that different sound that I can't get with a 4 string. If you want it, buy it. Absolutly cannot go wrong with that instrument. But, mine has been sitting in its case for the past few weeks though...not quite as long as my Kanilea Baritone, but I've just still been trying to break in my Pineapple Sunday whenever I actually do have time to play. (Someone really needs to invent a machine to do that automatically.) I should bring out that 8 string and play it more though. It really sings loudly. The only thing is that it takes 2x as long to tune. :P

ceviche
03-25-2010, 08:12 PM
experimentjon:

Get the Korg AW-2 clip-on digital tuner. It's very accurate. It's the first digital tuner that made me stop relying on my ears. And I've been playing guitar for over 20 years--and without relying on a tuner! Actually, when push would come to shove, I used to either reference to a harmonica, the telephone dial tone (A-440!!!), or whomever I might be jamming with. I finally turned to a digital tuner because of the friction tuners on my KoAloha.

experimentjon
03-25-2010, 09:10 PM
I use the Intelli IMT500. I really don't know how accurate it is, but it has been working well for me. I've been using it since I started getting semi serious with ukulele. I suck at tuning by ear. I can do it, but I usually end up with all my strings either up or down half a step. (But at least all of them are in tune relative to each other...or at least to 10 cents). And with the 8 string, you really need to be dead on with every string, otherwise it just does not sound good.

Paul December
03-26-2010, 04:17 AM
Did you have any difficulty playing it? I briefly had an 8 string and it sounded great, but found some chords nearly impossible to make. I returned it for a 6 string which sounded very close, but far more playable. It was strung with Aquilas; don't know if they are higher tension than others.

ceviche
05-11-2010, 01:10 PM
Did you have any difficulty playing it? I briefly had an 8 string and it sounded great, but found some chords nearly impossible to make. I returned it for a 6 string which sounded very close, but far more playable. It was strung with Aquilas; don't know if they are higher tension than others.

No real difficulty playing the 8-string. Since it's a tenor, it's actually a little easier than my 4-string soprano--blue-collar fingers and fret spacing. I wish I knew what kind of strings are on my Kamaka: Stock strings and all black, except for a wire-wrapped inside G-string.

King FarUke
05-11-2010, 03:54 PM
My Kamaka 4 string tenor came stock with "Kamaka" brand strings. They are all black nylon strings. I got an extra pack with the uke. I would assume they are made by one of the string manufacturers for Kamaka, but I have no clue what that manufacturer might be.

haolejohn
05-12-2010, 03:02 AM
Does anyone here play an 8 string or 6 string as their main uke? Never really thought about one, but sounds interesting.

Not my main uke but gets just as much play time. I started out on a 6 string that I sold to buy an 8 string, that I traded and then I ended up with another 6 string. i prefered the 6 string even though an 8 string sounds nice. I really like my 6 string, it is mahoghany and I have it strung low g.

Keef
05-12-2010, 04:10 AM
What is UAS?

Milla
05-12-2010, 04:20 AM
Ukulele Acquisition syndrome.

I have a lanakai 6 string, and although I love the sound, I find it much more difficult to play than my Kala tenor.

haolejohn
05-12-2010, 04:20 AM
What is UAS?

'Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome...basically a disease. Incurable...

Keef
05-12-2010, 05:54 AM
OMG!!! I think I have it bad soon I will have 3 and I can't even play yet :)

Paul December
05-12-2010, 05:59 AM
I have it strung low g.
Same here and I doubled-up on the "a" like 8-strings do.

teletodd
05-12-2010, 08:20 AM
I was torn between a kamaka 6 string or 8 string. I went with the 6, a little easier to play single notes if need be. I wanted a Kamaka because they "invented" the 6 string, I think in 1959 to celebrate Hawaii's statehood, and the 8 string in 1976 in celebration of the bicentenial. I qualify "invented' because the taropatch 8 string has been around a long time. As an aside, theres a PBS documnetary called Heartstrings, which is about the Kamakas. You can watch it on the PBS website.

pulelehua
05-12-2010, 09:58 AM
OMG!!! I think I have it bad soon I will have 3 and I can't even play yet :)

You have a Sceptre and can't play?

(Sorry. UAE. Ukulele Acquisition Envy.)

haolejohn
05-12-2010, 11:48 AM
Same here and I doubled-up on the "a" like 8-strings do.

same here. My first one was strung low g and low a. Unique sound.