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View Full Version : $20 dollar Kamaka?!!



freshthreat
05-25-2010, 05:13 PM
Today I went to go see about a 20 dollar banjo uke off craigslist that was in desperate need of some love (i.e. no fingerboard and severe water damage) I have brought back banjo's from the dead before so I was stoked to have a new project!
As I was about to leave the fella asked me if I was into bluegrass and I told him I was into all kinds of music and instrumentation especially the ukulele...then he asked me if I would be interested in another ukulele that he had in his living room. That's when I cracked open a tiny case and saw the illustrious black and gold double K's staring back at me...I asked him "how much" and he said "twenty bucks...I just want all this stuff outta here"...I said "sure just let me go to the ATM down the street".
That was the longest drive to any ATM ever. I am still in shock! She sounds soo good!
I cleaned her up, slapped some Aquila strings on and boy howdy I am giddy!:drool:

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb149/freshthreat/kamaka021.jpg

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb149/freshthreat/kamaka024.jpg

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb149/freshthreat/kamaka027.jpg

leftovermagic84
05-25-2010, 05:17 PM
great find! it looks like it's in great condition.

cletus
05-25-2010, 05:19 PM
Nicely done! Let the envy pour forth from the forum...

freshthreat
05-25-2010, 05:25 PM
I am going to make a video of it sometime tomorrow using an H4 sound recorder. Oh yeah and it is in spectacular condition (my own horn has now been tooted out)...oh and I failed miserably at re-skinning the banjo uke. That re-skinning business is a little bit gross too...eww.

Chris Tarman
05-25-2010, 05:26 PM
Good job! I never find things like that. Well, I collect pipes and have had some good finds in that hobby (a Dunhill made in 1919 for $2, in case any of you know pipes!), but I haven't found any good underpriced ukeleles anywhere. I did buy a 1920s uke from a guy who bought it for $25 at a thrift store, but he well knew what he had, and charged me accordingly (but fairly). If only I had gone to that thrift store before he did...

Ronnie Aloha
05-25-2010, 05:56 PM
Sweet. A friend of mine found a Kamaka soprano at a garage sale for $20 but it needed to have a crack repaired for $135 more.

Mim
05-25-2010, 06:18 PM
Wow! My friend got one in a Utah thrift store for $60. I am going to be at a flea market this weekend. I dream of finding something like this amoung the junk. A girl can dream. So awesome! What an amazing find!

uke552
05-25-2010, 06:19 PM
Holy cow...good for you! Enjoy that find!

KamakOzzie
05-25-2010, 06:25 PM
[QUOTE=freshthreat;379974] I am still in shock! She sounds soo good!
I cleaned her up, slapped some Aquila strings on and boy howdy I am giddy!:drool:

I know exactly what you mean !! It looks like a gold label, too !
13109

phanzo
05-25-2010, 06:50 PM
I'm so stoked for you!! What an awesome find!!

experimentjon
05-25-2010, 07:20 PM
Very nice catch there! I was expecting to see a crack all the way down the front when I saw the price, but it looks like you got yourself a real gem. It's hard to come by gold labels in such good condition nowadays.

freshthreat
05-25-2010, 07:22 PM
[QUOTE=freshthreat;379974] I am still in shock! She sounds soo good!
I cleaned her up, slapped some Aquila strings on and boy howdy I am giddy!:drool:

I know exactly what you mean !! It looks like a gold label, too !
13109

Wow that looks mighty close to mine. Is that a koa top?!

freshthreat
05-25-2010, 07:24 PM
Very nice catch there! I was expecting to see a crack all the way down the front when I saw the price, but it looks like you got yourself a real gem. It's hard to come by gold labels in such good condition nowadays.

Yeah the first thing I did was slap that puppy back in it's case with a humidifier...especially here in AZ it gets CRAZY dry!

Parlor Picker
05-25-2010, 11:04 PM
Great buy! We all dream of this kind of bargain, but they just don't happen. In some respects, it's a pity the ukulele has gained in popularity in recent years, because the stallholders in markets, at boot sales in the UK and charity shops (thrift stores) are clued up about the value. There probably was a time when you could pick up a lovely old vintage uke for next to nothing.

ddenis99
05-25-2010, 11:56 PM
congrats man! nice find :)

haolejohn
05-26-2010, 02:01 AM
I'm so stoked for you!! What an awesome find!!

I agree. Not to brag or anything but my dad's paster bought 20 ukuleles at an auction. All of them were old. He got all 20 for $20. 19 of them were kamakas. I wasnt upset or anything.

SweetWaterBlue
05-26-2010, 02:14 AM
Man. That is a great find. The closest I have come to a deal like that was about 10 years ago. I was in a thrift store poking around and spied a pretty nice oscilloscope behind the counter. They were asking $8 for it. Being a former electronics geek I decided to buy it. I got it home and fired it up. It turned out to be nicer model than I thought at first. I had no real need of it, so I put it on eBay and it sold for $350! I have never found another deal like that and probably wasted that much in gas going to thrift stores looking lol.

I think the internet has taken a lot of those deals away. Anyone that can Google can find out what something is worth today with a few keystrokes. Judging from some of the questions I see posted on forums about 50% of the population knows how to Google. At the same time, the internet makes it easier to sell those rare finds.

Sambient
05-26-2010, 04:26 AM
My jaw has dropped.
I have uttered profanity in envy.
And I am very excited for you. Nice one!

Skottoman
05-26-2010, 04:48 AM
$20!!!!! I bet you were laughing, shaking, feeling nervous, in awe, excited, trying not to speed, crying, barfing, freaking out just trying to get to the ATM and back!!!!!!

AHHHH!!!! What a deal! Amazing!!! If I could be so lucky...

Enjoy,
Skottoman

freshthreat
05-26-2010, 05:09 AM
Yeah I was just imagining "Joe ebayer #3,000,698" swooping in on my way to the ATM and cashing in on what to me is the ultimate ukulele find of the century.
I'm glad that I was able to get it (someone who will play and treasure a Kamaka) as apposed to someone looking to make a quick buck...not that there's anything wrong with that.;)

phanzo
05-26-2010, 05:11 AM
Judging from some of the questions I see posted on forums about 50% of the population knows how to Google.

That's so funny, yet oh so true... :D

phanzo
05-26-2010, 05:14 AM
Yeah the first thing I did was slap that puppy back in it's case with a humidifier...especially here in AZ it gets CRAZY dry!

I've learned that lesson the hard way...Now that I realize you got this deal in AZ, I am ever MORE jealous!! If you ever wanna sell it to a fellow Arizonan, I have $50 with your name on it :D That's over 100% profit!!!

phanzo
05-26-2010, 05:16 AM
he got all 20 for $20. 19 of them were kamakas. I wasnt upset or anything.
liar!!! :D

freshthreat
05-26-2010, 05:22 AM
I've learned that lesson the hard way...Now that I realize you got this deal in AZ, I am ever MORE jealous!! If you ever wanna sell it to a fellow Arizonan, I have $50 with your name on it :D That's over 100% profit!!!

Yeah I took it over to "The Folk Shop" over here in Tucson and they said the same thing. Lol.:p

phanzo
05-26-2010, 05:29 AM
Yeah I took it over to "The Folk Shop" over here in Tucson and they said the same thing. Lol.:p

ahhh yes, the folk shop. I've always wanted to make the trip down there to visit it. There's another place down there that sells ukes too right? All we have is Acoustic Vibes, which is nice, but they only sell K brand quality ukes...which are never in my budget :D (unless of course I find one for $20)

Is the Folk Shop worth driving down for?

rasputinsghost
05-26-2010, 05:29 AM
If you feel slighty woozy today it's the combined jealousy of all of UU bombarding you.

AMAZING find!

cletus
05-26-2010, 05:52 AM
The Folk Shop in Tucson is a great place to visit. Many old ukes way up high on display, some new ukes for sale, mostly cheaper models right now. I'm told stock increases in the fall. Lots of other cool and antique stuff to browse and wow over, like a miniature glockenspiel ,and really nice folks on staff. If in Tucson, go visit them, the Duncan Yo-Yo Museum, and of course the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a must see.

arashi_nero
05-26-2010, 06:00 AM
congrats on the great find!! i think even my wife would be ok with me buying a several hundred dollar uke for $20.


Wow! My friend got one in a Utah thrift store for $60. I am going to be at a flea market this weekend. I dream of finding something like this amoung the junk. A girl can dream. So awesome! What an amazing find!

pray tell, where was this at? the DI in provo? that store gets the craziest things. i was just in there a few weeks ago and they had a temoloa from the 1920's i believe. originally $30, used and almost 100 years old for only $150 lol.

Spooner
05-26-2010, 07:10 AM
I agree. Not to brag or anything but my dad's paster bought 20 ukuleles at an auction. All of them were old. He got all 20 for $20. 19 of them were kamakas. I wasnt upset or anything.

That's the deal of a lifetime!

GREAT deal on that Kamaka.
Looks like it's from the 60's.

freshthreat
05-26-2010, 07:31 AM
The Folk Shop is soooo worth a drive down from Phoenix! They have so many little treasures in there!
Yeah I'm thinking it's a 60's Kamaka too...I named her Kiki...for a full name of Kiki Kamaka lol. It came with the original case and case candy too. I'll post some more photo's and a vid after I get off work. (yes I'm on here while at work lol):rolleyes:

Spooner
05-26-2010, 07:35 AM
The Folk Shop is soooo worth a drive down from Phoenix! They have so many little treasures in there!
Yeah I'm thinking it's a 60's Kamaka too...I named her Kiki...for a full name of Kiki Kamaka lol. It came with the original case and case candy too. I'll post some more photo's and a vid after I get off work. (yes I'm on here while at work lol):rolleyes:


Mmmm, case candy! lol
Kiki fits quite nicely.

AzMichael
05-26-2010, 07:38 AM
The Folk Shop is soooo worth a drive down from Phoenix! They have so many little treasures in there!

My wife has had to drag me out of there a couple of times. Where else will you get to play a hurdy gurdy? Or an Erik The Flute Maker bamboo saxaphone? I can spend hours in just the banjo room!

Oh, and btw...not a bad deal on the Kamaka! Turns out maybe Tucson ain't all bad...;)

~Michael

phanzo
05-26-2010, 07:43 AM
Oh, and btw...not a bad deal on the Kamaka! Turns out maybe Tucson ain't all bad...;)
My thoughts exactly :D

I'll have to make sure I check out the Folk Shop if I'm down that way. Sounds like a heckuva place

phanzo
05-26-2010, 07:45 AM
(yes I'm on here while at work lol):rolleyes:
aren't we all?? :D

specialmike
05-26-2010, 07:47 AM
to the OP:

officially jealous and mad at you! And happy for you... so many mixed feelingS!!!

freshthreat
05-26-2010, 07:50 AM
My wife has had to drag me out of there a couple of times. Where else will you get to play a hurdy gurdy? Or an Erik The Flute Maker bamboo saxaphone? I can spend hours in just the banjo room!

Oh, and btw...not a bad deal on the Kamaka! Turns out maybe Tucson ain't all bad...;)

~Michael

Yep I'm heading there today right after work to get another skin to try this whole banjo re-skinning thing again...I hope it goes better this time.:o

cornfedgroove
05-26-2010, 08:39 AM
excellent!!!!

Chris Tarman
05-26-2010, 12:45 PM
I agree. Not to brag or anything but my dad's paster bought 20 ukuleles at an auction. All of them were old. He got all 20 for $20. 19 of them were kamakas. I wasnt upset or anything.

No kidding???? Wow... that is amazingly cool if true.

sukie
05-26-2010, 12:55 PM
Wow! Congrats and enjoy.

phanzo
05-26-2010, 12:56 PM
No kidding???? Wow... that is amazingly cool if true.
It is very true. I remember when it happened...

GrumpyOldMan
05-26-2010, 01:38 PM
If in Tucson, go visit them, the Duncan Yo-Yo Museum, and of course the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a must see.

You have a Yo-Yo museum? Are you being serious? I'm speechless!

Ian.

KevinV
05-26-2010, 02:16 PM
Awesome deal...congrats. And it's a beautiful looking uke to boot.

freshthreat
05-26-2010, 03:40 PM
Thanks for the woot's everybody! I'm trying to make a video now but I'm having trouble getting the audio/video to sync. Once I do should I post it here or in the video section?

freshthreat
05-26-2010, 04:51 PM
Ok here's a video with high definition audio!! Love's me this uke, can you tell by my face? Lol. :o
Oh and the songs that I am botching are "Love and Marriage" and "Bizarre Love Triangle".


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBs0FIw9RgI

thisnthat
05-27-2010, 03:20 AM
What a find. She's a beauty.
I keep secretly hoping I'll find a little uke gem at a boot sale one of these days. You never know.

Captain_Lovehandles
05-27-2010, 03:50 AM
Great find! I recently found a Kamaka Pineapple that I'll be picking up soon. But it wasn't $20. That may be the deal of the year.

Coconut Willie
05-27-2010, 05:39 AM
WOW what a find!!! Congrats and maybe you can post a video so we can hear how she sounds! Please pretty please!!!!

Never mind...I just saw your video...sounds sweet!!!! Thanks

mailman
05-27-2010, 08:24 AM
You have a Yo-Yo museum? Are you being serious? I'm speechless!

Ian.

Yeah, but it has it's ups and downs....

freshthreat
05-27-2010, 09:51 AM
You have a Yo-Yo museum? Are you being serious? I'm speechless!

Ian.

Unfortunately the Yo Yo museum spun outta town. :(
But here's some pictures of the happy Kamaka chilling out in its original case with the swag it came with (a set of Kamaka strings with a price tag of .65 cents). Pretty neat! :cool:

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb149/freshthreat/kamaka005.jpg

http://i209.photobucket.com/albums/bb149/freshthreat/kamaka004.jpg

Ronnie Aloha
05-27-2010, 10:49 AM
Ok here's a video with high definition audio!! Love's me this uke, can you tell by my face? Lol. :o
Oh and the songs that I am botching are "Love and Marriage" and "Bizarre Love Triangle".

Sounds off between the 8th and 10th frets. You should send it to me to get it fixed. I'll have it back to you in a few years. No charge of course! :)

DoctorFinlay
05-27-2010, 10:59 AM
Fabulous find- it's always great when somebody who will actually love and cherish a fine instrument like this gets such a bargain on it! Enjoy! :)

mailman
05-27-2010, 11:46 AM
I would have enjoyed the yo-yo museum. But I understand there were strings attached....

freshthreat
05-27-2010, 03:01 PM
I would have enjoyed the yo-yo museum. But I understand there were strings attached....

Yeah I got all excited to check it out and then realised that they had rolled outta town. I was going to "walk the dog" down there as they were known "around the world".

cletus
05-27-2010, 04:08 PM
Speedway and Kolb- a music store with Fleas, Staggs, Washburns, and electric ukes last time I was in town.
Sorry about the YoSeum, I didn't know they left.

bnicholas26
05-27-2010, 04:27 PM
this is what keeps us all looking. awesome!

freshthreat
05-27-2010, 05:59 PM
Speedway and Kolb- a music store with Fleas, Staggs, Washburns, and electric ukes last time I was in town.
Sorry about the YoSeum, I didn't know they left.

Yeah that's Instrumental Music...I tried a Fluke Uke there and was suprised at how good they sound.

freshthreat
07-10-2010, 03:24 PM
This past week I flew to Colorado with this bad little puppy and had a jam with my cousins! What a blast! They were mighty jealous of this little koa wonder uke!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFX56BkHa-U

cletus
07-10-2010, 04:12 PM
Very nice, you guys sounded great. What song is that?

freshthreat
07-10-2010, 04:21 PM
Very nice, you guys sounded great. What song is that?

It's a song written by Aaron Fanning (the cellist in the video). I'm still bugging him to come up with a title!

jehicks87
07-12-2010, 06:53 AM
I just wanted to chime in and say waaaaay nice find. I mean, really, really nice find.

Have fun with her, man. Don't ever forget, ukes are meant to be played! :D

EDIT: That is a SWEET video dude!

bryanperk
07-12-2010, 06:58 AM
That is by far the prettiest $20 dollar uke i've ever seen! :iwant: :iwant: :iwant:

UKISOCIETY
07-12-2010, 07:08 AM
I couldn't get any greener. Congrats

freshthreat
07-12-2010, 11:19 AM
Thanks everybody!!! It's been a month and a half since I got this uke and now I'm thinking about getting another vintage Kamaka...(I'll even pay full price). Time to start saving!

UkuleleHill
07-12-2010, 11:32 AM
That thing is BEAUTIFUL!

Chris Tarman
07-12-2010, 12:30 PM
Thanks everybody!!! It's been a month and a half since I got this uke and now I'm thinking about getting another vintage Kamaka...(I'll even pay full price). Time to start saving!

I think you should make it your mission to only buy $20 Vintage Kamakas!

freshthreat
07-12-2010, 01:42 PM
I think you should make it your mission to only buy $20 Vintage Kamakas!

It may be a while before I find another...lol. I did go to the antique mall today though. No dice. :p

ambrose
07-12-2010, 02:08 PM
I bought this a few weeks ago for $50. Monkeypod Kamaka from the late 1940's.

freshthreat
07-12-2010, 03:35 PM
I bought this a few weeks ago for $50. Monkeypod Kamaka from the late 1940's.

Oh man that's a mega score as well! It looks like it sounds goood. Where did that little "monkey" pop up?!

clayton56
07-12-2010, 08:38 PM
It may be a while before I find another...lol. I did go to the antique mall today though. No dice. :p

Maybe you should try an antique mall in Las Vegas - plenty of dice there.

ambrose
07-13-2010, 03:57 AM
Oh man that's a mega score as well! It looks like it sounds goood. Where did that little "monkey" pop up?!

I got it on Craigslist. It's unmarked, no label or headstock label, but a little research identified it pretty easily. It sounds great, very different from my Martin
Style 0, and pretty loud as well.

freshthreat
07-13-2010, 08:29 AM
I got it on Craigslist. It's unmarked, no label or headstock label, but a little research identified it pretty easily. It sounds great, very different from my Martin
Style 0, and pretty loud as well.

I can tell it sounds and plays well just by the look on your face in that picture. Cool uke muh friend.

kalmario
07-13-2010, 10:00 AM
Great buy! We all dream of this kind of bargain, but they just don't happen. In some respects, it's a pity the ukulele has gained in popularity in recent years, because the stallholders in markets, at boot sales in the UK and charity shops (thrift stores) are clued up about the value. There probably was a time when you could pick up a lovely old vintage uke for next to nothing.

I'm still waiting for the flood of unused ukes to come on the market from this latest round of increased popularity! patience is wearing thin though.........