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View Full Version : My Kamaka HF-2 arrived!



janeray1940
10-19-2010, 10:15 AM
I took my chances on this one - bought sound-unheard on eBay. It's got a birthdate of April 8, 2008, but looks brand spanking new. Arrived of course with stock strings, which were promptly swapped out for Aquilas, and - WOW. It sounds amazing!

I'm even happier with this purchase than I thought I would be. I had test-drove a concert Kamaka some weeks back (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?35688-Kamaka-concert-is-this-a-fair-price); it too had stock strings and at the time I didn't think it sounded all that different than my Kamaka HF-1 soprano. So, I was expecting a similar sound but in buying a concert hoping to gain maybe a little volume and a bit more room for the fingers higher up the neck - that's all.

But - not only is it louder, but the sound is so much brighter! I'm amazed at the difference. (Which brings me to, once again, wonder why Kamaka uses such mediocre stock strings, but oh well...)

Teaser photo from the eBay listing can be found here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/littleblackmaryjanes/5084360738/).

rasputinsghost
10-19-2010, 11:18 AM
Another for the Kamaka Klan!

AnnaUK
10-19-2010, 11:20 AM
Hooray!

Congratulations on your new uke - that is beautiful. I've put Aquilas on mine as well, and I think it sounds fantastic with them.

I do love a new uke day :biglaugh:

casarole45
10-19-2010, 11:22 AM
Ohta-San next =D

...is it your fav uke now or are they all too individual to give preference?

molokinirum
10-19-2010, 11:34 AM
Congrats on your Kamaka!! Yes those stock strings leave a lot to be desired. Why they continue to use them on such a beautiful uke is way beyond me!!!!

guitharsis
10-19-2010, 11:38 AM
Congrats. Your wait is over! Happy to hear you're so pleased!

sukie
10-19-2010, 12:20 PM
Hey! Happy New Uke Day! There is nothing finer.

BadLands Bart
10-19-2010, 12:25 PM
Happy new uke day!!! Congratulations!!

mm stan
10-19-2010, 12:43 PM
Aloha JaneRay1940.
Congrats on the new arrival...he he sounds like something else...Well I'm happy your new baby sounds so awesome for you and everything worked out fine...You must be having
a ball with it and so excited in the feeling it out initial process.....Mahalo for the teased photo...Have fun and enjoy!!! soooo Happy 4 ya!!! "Keep strumming them strings...MM Stan..

Lexxy
10-19-2010, 01:44 PM
What next, a tenor? For sure.

janeray1940
10-19-2010, 03:00 PM
What next, a tenor? For sure.

Thanks all for sharing in my enthusiasm! Spent the afternoon playing at a little uke gathering, where I also had the chance to play a Kamaka tenor for a bit. Um, yeah - one just might end up on the wish list :)

mm stan
10-19-2010, 03:18 PM
Thanks all for sharing in my enthusiasm! Spent the afternoon playing at a little uke gathering, where I also had the chance to play a Kamaka tenor for a bit. Um, yeah - one just might end up on the wish list :)
He he Christmas is just around the corner.......just another enabler...lol

janeray1940
10-19-2010, 03:19 PM
I gotta get my hands on a pineapple first. Then we can talk tenor :)

Mr Bill
10-19-2010, 06:33 PM
Hi Janeray,

Congrats on that new George Harrison model uke.

Cheers,

PS: Is that tatraplan your family car, a beautiful machine.

janeray1940
10-19-2010, 06:44 PM
Congrats on that new George Harrison model uke.

PS: Is that tatraplan your family car, a beautiful machine.

Thanks! And no, the Tatra belongs to a friend. I think he's up to around four of them now. I've had the dubious honor of driving this one (http://www.flickr.com/photos/littleblackmaryjanes/4828634585/).

pwcgecko
10-19-2010, 07:05 PM
I am Jealous with Envy!!

Michael_
10-19-2010, 11:22 PM
So you're the lucky winner. I was watching the auction but I was 5 minutes too late to bid :( Congrats!

Mandarb
10-20-2010, 04:58 AM
Congrats on the new Kamaka. I still have the stock strings on my tenor that I purchased about a month ago. I am a little nervous about changing them since I have never done it before. I will probably change them to Aquilas in the next couple of days.

janeray1940
10-20-2010, 05:35 AM
So you're the lucky winner. I was watching the auction but I was 5 minutes too late to bid :( Congrats!

Thanks! I won by *a dollar* - really didn't expect to :)

janeray1940
10-20-2010, 05:42 AM
Congrats on the new Kamaka. I still have the stock strings on my tenor that I purchased about a month ago. I am a little nervous about changing them since I have never done it before. I will probably change them to Aquilas in the next couple of days.

Changing strings is easy! At least on a standard bridge - the tenor has a tie bar bridge which involves a different knot. I've never had a uke with a tie-bar bridge but I had a couple of how-to pages bookmarked in case I ever do:

http://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/02/uke-minutes-5-article-how-to-re-string-your-ukulele/
http://www.tikiking.com/how_to_change_strings.html
http://liveukulele.com/gear/changing-strings/

You can also have a shop do it for around $20. I've never done this, but other I know have, and the advantage is that they have a string stretcher that really helps the Aquilas settle - I've found when I do it myself, this takes forever.

hmgberg
10-20-2010, 07:08 AM
Congratulations! I have one of these and love it. Nothing sounds quite like a Kamaka, so rich and sophisticated (can't think of a better word to describe the sound, all of those overtones). I have Worth clears on mine and they ring for days. Nothing feels like a Kamaka either, they are so well made. I love the Gumby headstock, what a great idea; so, nothing looks like a Kamaka either.

Mandarb
10-20-2010, 07:14 AM
Thanks for the links. I had read the UU instructions and looked at the UU video but not the others. Just nervous for the first time - afraid I might over tighten. I know I just need to take my time.

Sorry for the hijack of your thread. Congrats again.


Changing strings is easy! At least on a standard bridge - the tenor has a tie bar bridge which involves a different knot. I've never had a uke with a tie-bar bridge but I had a couple of how-to pages bookmarked in case I ever do:

http://ukuleleunderground.com/2008/02/uke-minutes-5-article-how-to-re-string-your-ukulele/
http://www.tikiking.com/how_to_change_strings.html
http://liveukulele.com/gear/changing-strings/

You can also have a shop do it for around $20. I've never done this, but other I know have, and the advantage is that they have a string stretcher that really helps the Aquilas settle - I've found when I do it myself, this takes forever.

guitharsis
10-20-2010, 12:41 PM
I took my chances on this one - bought sound-unheard on eBay. It's got a birthdate of April 8, 2008, but looks brand spanking new. Arrived of course with stock strings, which were promptly swapped out for Aquilas, and - WOW. It sounds amazing!

I'm even happier with this purchase than I thought I would be. I had test-drove a concert Kamaka some weeks back (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?35688-Kamaka-concert-is-this-a-fair-price); it too had stock strings and at the time I didn't think it sounded all that different than my Kamaka HF-1 soprano. So, I was expecting a similar sound but in buying a concert hoping to gain maybe a little volume and a bit more room for the fingers higher up the neck - that's all.

But - not only is it louder, but the sound is so much brighter! I'm amazed at the difference. (Which brings me to, once again, wonder why Kamaka uses such mediocre stock strings, but oh well...)

Teaser photo from the eBay listing can be found here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/littleblackmaryjanes/5084360738/).

Congrats again on your beautiful Kamaka and on winning the auction. Are your Aquilas high or low g?

janeray1940
10-20-2010, 12:45 PM
Congrats again on your beautiful Kamaka and on winning the auction. Are your Aquilas high or low g?

Mine are high G. I haven't tried low G on any of my ukes yet, but I probably should. It would give me a great excuse to buy another Kamaka...

guitharsis
10-20-2010, 12:55 PM
Thanks. Mine are all high G too but I've tried low G on other ukuleles I've owned and do like it. May decide to try low G on my new Kamaka.

janeray1940
10-20-2010, 12:58 PM
I'm really curious how it would sound - if you do try it, please do report back! I've heard a lot of other ukes with low G and I always find them kind of muddy-sounding, if that makes any sense... So I've never been really compelled to try it until now, since I can't imagine the Kamaka would sound that way no matter what one did to it!

Doc_J
10-20-2010, 06:22 PM
Congrats on the Kamaka.

Just picked up a used Concert Kamaka this past weekend myself. It had D'addario strings (concert clear) on it. Nice tone but not great sustain. Just replaced them with the only Worth stings I had, Brown-Med, Low G. I really like this low G combo. Much better than other Low G combo, where the G string seems to overpower everything. But not every song sounds good with a low G string. The Worth low G string is a solid string, no winding. Maybe that makes some difference.

Anyways I'm really enjoying the Kamaka Concert with these strings, may try Worth clears yet before I settle on a long term string set.

BTW I think you can get the Aquila low G string as a single.

Hope you are enjoying your new uke.

janeray1940
10-20-2010, 07:26 PM
BTW I think you can get the Aquila low G string as a single.

Hope you are enjoying your new uke.

I am enjoying it indeed! And thanks for the info on strings - going to look into that and give it a try.

mm stan
10-20-2010, 08:40 PM
Aloha Janeray1940,
I prefer High G because you always start and end in a higher note......MM Stan

guitharsis
10-21-2010, 03:22 AM
I'm really curious how it would sound - if you do try it, please do report back! I've heard a lot of other ukes with low G and I always find them kind of muddy-sounding, if that makes any sense... So I've never been really compelled to try it until now, since I can't imagine the Kamaka would sound that way no matter what one did to it!

Decided that since I have a full set of Fremont Blacklines and a single low G string, I'll start out with the full set first. I can always try the low G at a later date.

Decisions, decisions :)