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pdxuke
01-29-2011, 09:13 AM
Anybody seen these show up yet? I haven't seen pictures of them, Elderly doesn't have them. The only site of them was in the NAMM vids. Anybody know when they will actually show up in stock?

Ken Middleton
01-29-2011, 01:18 PM
Anybody seen these show up yet? I haven't seen pictures of them, Elderly doesn't have them. The only site of them was in the NAMM vids. Anybody know when they will actually show up in stock?

Several stores in the US and Europe have already got them on order. They will have them in stock soon. Some may have them already. Can't tell you which ones yet.

I have a couple at home and will do a review video soon.

pdxuke
01-29-2011, 01:47 PM
Several stores in the US and Europe have already got them on order. They will have them in stock soon. Some may have them already. Can't tell you which ones yet.

I have a couple at home and will do a review video soon.

Thank you, Ken. What I saw in the video I liked very much.

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2011, 02:41 AM
Lacking a proper comparison (one with the same songs and recording equipment etc) I did this little Audacity comparison of Ken reviewing the SK-38 and the SK-35G from a year ago. The two do sound quite different, with the SK-38 having less bass and very clean sound, as Ken said. I was a bit surprised to hear Ken say that the 38 is louder, only because I had to amplify the recording of the SK38 in Audacity to get it as loud as the 35, but judging from the backgrounds in the two videos I stripped the audio from the recording setup was different.

As Ken said, it is difficult to describe these things in words. My 35 has a very loud traditional soprano "bark," which those playing the 1920's - 1940's classic ukulele tunes love. Its hard to ignore. The 38 seems more controlled in that department (less resonance and/or sustain on certain notes?) , but again, I am only listening to YouTube clips. I can't wait to get my hands on a 38 to do a real comparison. I have to remember to bring the Zoom H4 and fresh batteries when I do.

For what its, worth, here is the comparison audio made by stripping the audio from YouTube and cutting out Ken's descriptions of the instruments. I also cut out some of Ken's wonderful finger picking on the SK38, because he didn't do as much on the 35 review.

http://www.box.net/shared/ezditux736

As good as it was before I think perhaps Ken's playing is getting better every year, or maybe his style is just changing lol. Thanks for always having such good reviews Ken. Time to update your 6 Ohana sopranos compared video Ken?

I would love to see a comparison video like Rod Neep did on the classic Martins, the Martin SO, and the Kiwaya. It would be great to hear them all side-by-side with the Ohanas thrown in too.

Ken Middleton
02-12-2011, 05:10 AM
A really, really interesting comparison. I wasn't able to compare the two directly because I don't have an SK-35 with regular Aquila strings on. As the strings make a significant difference to the sound, it seemed pointless comparing the two. This audio comparison is very useful. Thanks for doing it.

With this audio clip, it is very clear that the two ukes have a very different sound. I have always regarded the SK-35 or 35G very highly and I think it still takes some beating, particularly at the price. I very much like the sound of the new SK-38 though. I like the looks of it too (lovely dark brown finish), but I think people are probably buying it for the sound. We are very pleased with this new uke.

The SK-38 actually took us over a year to develop. I started talking about it (with one of the world's leading soprano players) at a festival in 2009. We went through 2 prototypes before deciding on this spec.

Thanks.

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2011, 05:17 AM
Someone had commented elsewhere that it looked like the SK-38 had my UAS raging again, but I commented that I thought it and the SK-35 were so close that it would not. After listening to the audio comparison, my UAS is in full bloom again.

roxhum
02-12-2011, 05:36 AM
I would love to see a comparison video like Rod Neep did on the classic Martins, the Martin SO, and the Kiwaya. It would be great to hear them all side-by-side with the Ohanas thrown in too.[/QUOTE]
I second that motion!
I wish I could play both of them side by side. SweetWaterBlue that you so much for the audio comparison. I want one of each.

pdxuke UkeRepublic has the Ohana sk-38

My UAS was in remission until now.

Ken Middleton
02-12-2011, 05:51 AM
I would love to see a comparison video like Rod Neep did on the classic Martins, the Martin SO, and the Kiwaya. It would be great to hear them all side-by-side with the Ohanas thrown in too.


Interesting, but the three instruments sound very different from each other. The Mexican-made SO is not in the same league as a solid-wood Kiwaya (IMHO).

Kiwayas don't really sound like Martins. An old Martin sounds like an old Martin. A kiwaya sounds like a Kiwaya. Kiwayas have one of the most exciting sounds in the ukulele world. They have a wonderful sound all of their own. The workmanship on a Kiwaya also knocks the SO for six.

The other problem is that probably no-one at the moment has all three ukes. I have several SK-38 ukes and a Kiwaya, but do not have an SO.

Bear in mind also that Kiwayas are expensive. Quality usually comes at a price. The head of Kiwaya USA told me that they could not make the SK-38 for anything close to the price they are selling for.

didgeridoo2
02-12-2011, 06:11 AM
Interesting Ken. Since everyone is interested in replicating that vintage Martin sound, do you think the Ohana sk-38 hits closer to the mark than the Kiwayas do? Certainly, old wood has a quality that new instruments don't, but is that what Ohana was shooting for?

BTW, the new Ohana looks very good, imo.

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2011, 06:19 AM
I seem to recall that even Martin is coming out with a new "old Martin" clone. This time, apparently they did it right (as opposed to the SO), but I can't find the link right now. It really makes you wonder what the old Martin craftsmen knew that we don't know now. Most of these inexpensive Asian sopranos have flat tops, and I recall Pete Howlett saying that for some reason he doesn't understand the Martin tops do not sag much over time, yet they are flat, not over-braced and sound good.

The soprano space is interesting right now.

Ken Middleton
02-12-2011, 06:25 AM
Interesting Ken. Since everyone is interested in replicating that vintage Martin sound, do you think the Ohana sk-38 hits closer to the mark than the Kiwayas do? Certainly, old wood has a quality that new instruments don't, but is that what Ohana was shooting for?

BTW, the new Ohana looks very good, imo.

We bought a 1930's Martin style 2 and had our factory copy it as close as they could. They came up with an excellent prototype. We changed a few things. I didn't like the new-looking white binding, for instance. We changed a few other things. We considered more expensive tuners. This prototype sounded very close to the real Martin. The second prototype still had the sound, but there were one or two other adjustments that needed to be made. We decided against bar frets. Several experiened (and well-known) players said that they made it too hard to play. They suggested that we ought to use regular frets like Kiwaya do.

We decided to get the price down so that it would be affordable. We kept the important things: thin wood, light weight, ebony nut and saddle, great sound, etc. By the NAMM show in January it was ready. It took a long time, but it was worth it.

I am not going to say that the SK-38 is closer to the old Martin sound than a Kiwaya. I will stress again that Kiwaya make some of the very best ukes you can buy. They have been making instruments since 1918 (I think). I do think that they are brilliant, but it is really their sound, not Martin's. Some might say it is even better than the sound of an old Martin. It really is very subjective.

We at Ohana made an honest attempt to produce an instrument with a great sound that is close to the Martins of old, and produced it at a really affordable price.

I have been as open as I could be.

didgeridoo2
02-12-2011, 06:33 AM
We bought a 1930's Martin style 2

I have been as open as I could be.
First, who got to keep the old Martin?

Second, your contributions here and everywhere else are very much appreciated. Thanks, Ken.

Ken Middleton
02-12-2011, 06:35 AM
First, who got to keep the old Martin?

Second, your contributions here and everywhere else are very much appreciated. Thanks, Ken.

The old Martin is still at the factory (in one piece). I think we will sell it eventually.

I still have one of the prototypes.

KEN

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 06:39 AM
Ken, you mentioned at NAMM that Ohana was thinking of changing tuners to black. Did you do that?

Ken Middleton
02-12-2011, 06:40 AM
Ken, you mentioned at NAMM that Ohana was thinking of changing tuners to black. Did you do that?

No, we changed our mind. Black would probably look better, but Martin used white. It is more in keeping with the spirit of a style 2.

Uke Republic
02-12-2011, 06:50 AM
I love the new Ohana and feel they did great on this one. It looks vintage and sounds marvelous . Ohana seems to deliver on quality and beauty while keeping the price affordable. My opinion on the SK-38.... GOAL!!!

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2011, 06:55 AM
I love the new Ohana and feel they did great on this one. It looks vintage and sounds marvelous . Ohana seems to deliver on quality and beauty while keeping the price affordable. My opinion on the SK-38.... GOAL!!!

You gotta bring one to the next Meet-up!! I went to Uncle Wally's last week, but Eller was thinking maybe Mon or Tues at PS/Macland.

Ken Middleton
02-12-2011, 06:59 AM
Here's a video with Philippe Krouk and I filmed at Phil's home during last year's Paris Festival. One of us is palying a beautiful old Martin style 2 and one of us has the Ohana prototype. Which is which? Don't read the blurb.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KP49Rhy44CQ

Uke Republic
02-12-2011, 07:00 AM
I will as long as we don't sell out again:0 Monday sounds great to me. You may have to take one to Uncle Wally's , I've had request for that group to see it as well. Tough for me to get out there with traffic-1.5 hours the last 2 times.Gotta love 285
You gotta bring one to the next Meet-up!! I went to Uncle Wally's last week, but Eller was thinking maybe Mon or Tues in Marietta.

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2011, 07:05 AM
That was a great video Ken. I remember when you first posted it. That was what got me thinking about the 38. You gotta love that wall of sopranos.

SweetWaterBlue
02-12-2011, 07:07 AM
I will as long as we don't sell out again:0 Monday sounds great to me. You may have to take one to Uncle Wally's , I've had request for that group to see it as well. Tough for me to get out there with traffic-1.5 hours the last 2 times.Gotta love 285

Took me 2 hours last time, but let's take this discussion to Facebook, so as not to derail this great thread.

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 07:08 AM
Ohana does it again. Now, if you only gave us a choice of a satin finish on your pineapple, you would be gods! :-)

Ken Middleton
02-12-2011, 07:12 AM
Ohana does it again. Now, if you only gave us a choice of a satin finish on your pineapple, you would be gods! :-)

We have been doing satin finishes on many of the recent lines: Sk-50, Sk-70, Sk-38, etc. I am afraid we probably won't change the all-solid pineapple though. too many people like it. If we come up with another pineapple model, I promise we will consider a satin finish though.

pdxuke
02-12-2011, 07:14 AM
We have been doing satin finishes on many of the recent lines: Sk-50, Sk-70, Sk-38, etc. I am afraid we probably won't change the all-solid pineapple though. too many people like it. If we come up with another pineapple model, I promise we will consider a satin finish though.

Whatever you're doing you're doing right. Can a Martin 3 clone be far behind? HAHA!

SweetWaterBlue
02-15-2011, 07:30 PM
It looks like UkiSociety got one. Sweet. I managed to lay my hands on one of these tonight from UkeRepublic (http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product/ohana-vintage-style-mahogany-soprano). Its a beautiful instrument that really does remind you of an antique Martin. I will be doing a little review of it in the next day or so.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF60xPb-ocU&feature=feedu

pdxuke
02-15-2011, 07:46 PM
It looks like UkiSociety got one. Sweet. I managed to lay my hands on one of these tonight from UkeRepublic. Its a beautiful instrument that really does remind you of an antique Martin. I will be doing a little review of it in the next day or so.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF60xPb-ocU&feature=feedu

Ok, that decides it: my next uke. What, am I not going to buy this? I can't NOT buy it!

SweetWaterBlue
02-15-2011, 07:53 PM
Ok, that decides it: my next uke. What, am I not going to buy this? I can't NOT buy it!

PDX - its a lot like our SK-35s (same dimensions), but also very different. I like the satin finish and at least on the one I am holding they finished it to look antique - not polished up like my SK-35G. Just a classic look.

pdxuke
02-15-2011, 07:57 PM
PDX - its a lot like our SK-35s (same dimensions), but also very different. I like the satin finish and at least on the one I am holding they finished it to look antique - not polished up like my SK-35G. Just a classic look.

SWB: Yes, it even sounds different. My SK35 is matte and not the gloss, and I'm eager to have another Ohana matte--I'm not a fan of gloss finishes at all. Thanks for the report!

pdxuke
02-15-2011, 08:13 PM
OK--this one has been PURCHASED! Thanks, Uke Republic@!

Ken Middleton
02-15-2011, 10:10 PM
It is really gratifying to see that several of you have bought this uke and are pleased with it. Thank you.

Quite a few people are telling me that it "looks" and "feels" right, as well as sounds right. We chose to give the finish a very slightly distressed dark finish and yellowed binding rather than white. A new instrument, bought in say 1930, would have looked perfect. The problem is that today, many of those early instruments look far from perfect (yellowed binding, chips and nicks, cracks, etc).

SweetWaterBlue
02-15-2011, 11:32 PM
Yes. I noticed that Ken. The finish does have an intentional distressed look in certain places to make it look old. It definitely adds to the charm. That is what I meant when I said it was not all shined up like my SK-35G - I wasn't referring to the gloss, but rather the overall finish. Its like a piece of new furniture that has been antiqued. They still look new, but I suspect that in a few years and some playing patina they could pass for very old instruments.

I love the SK-38s balanced tone. I look forward to putting up a sound comparison playing the same song with it and my SK-35. I think I will also take some nice high resolution photos of the instrument. I have returned my 35 to high G tuning for the comparison, and am loving high G again.

Ken Middleton
02-16-2011, 12:54 AM
... I love the SK-38s balanced tone. I look forward to putting up a sound comparison playing the same song with it and my SK-35. I think I will also take some nice high resolution photos of the instrument. I have returned my 35 to high G tuning for the comparison, and am loving high G again.

You know, no matter what arguments people use for using low G tuning (and some of them are valid), I still think high is the only tuning to use. I have a uke tuned low G, but I never use it. High G just seems right.

And the vast majority of the top players use high G.

UKISOCIETY
02-16-2011, 01:37 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF60xPb-ocU

I really like my SK-38.

Ken Middleton
02-16-2011, 02:19 AM
I really like my SK-38.

And it sounds great in your video, Alan. A wonderful choice of song.

Uke Republic
02-16-2011, 03:17 AM
OK--this one has been PURCHASED! Thanks, Uke Republic@!
Thank you PDX, I think you'll love it.

SweetWaterBlue
02-17-2011, 11:00 AM
I am just now uploading a fairly long video and sound comparison of the SK-38 from UkeRepublic and the old SK-35G. I did all the sound comparisons in a controlled way (same mic, same songs, same me, etc). Based on that the two ukes sound very similar. The SK38 still sounds a bit more controlled, while the SK-35G is more robust, but my SK-35 has opened up quite a bit in the year and a half I have owned it so..

I love the new SK-38. For anyone that wants the look of an old Martin with out the expense and worry the 38 has it for very few dollars. If you want to age your own, you might settle for the SK-35, but lets face it - your UAS says get them both.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlN40Wxl2q0

UKISOCIETY
02-17-2011, 11:15 AM
Thanks for the comparison. Makes me happy to have the 38.

SweetWaterBlue
02-17-2011, 11:17 AM
Thanks for the comparison. Makes me happy to have the 38.

Its a lovely ukulele. I am already feeling sad that I have to give it back to Mike :(

Uke Republic
02-17-2011, 12:08 PM
A-1 review and playing! It is interesting the different sound from both. Another difference on the two are the bridge and saddle Sk -38 being wood as contrasting from the bone of the 35.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do the review.
I am just now uploading a fairly long video and sound comparison of the SK-38 from UkeRepublic and the old SK-35G. I did all the sound comparisons in a controlled way (same mic, same songs, same me, etc). Based on that the two ukes sound very similar. The SK38 still sounds a bit more controlled, while the SK-35G is more robust, but my SK-35 has opened up quite a bit in the year and a half I have owned it so..

I love the new SK-38. For anyone that wants the look of an old Martin with out the expense and worry the 38 has it for very few dollars. If you want to age your own, you might settle for the SK-35, but lets face it - your UAS says get them both.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlN40Wxl2q0

d-mace
02-17-2011, 08:25 PM
I couldn't resist any longer....just ordered one from uke republic. Excited to hear how it will sound with some fluro-carbon strings.

pdxuke
02-18-2011, 10:49 AM
Thanks SWB for the video comparison. I do hear a slight difference, but even if it were the same, the look of it makes me want it. Frankly, we fans of the SK35 have been saying for a while that it's a modern classic. So, if you had the chance to go back in time and buy more than one Martin, wouldn't you? you bet you would. So that's my justification for buying this. Oh, and also, the idea of a new instrument without the problems of the old.

So, between the SK35 and 38, the Kiwaya KS1 and KTS4, and my wonderful vintage mahogany ukes, I have the best of all worlds.

The hardest part now is waiting until Wednesday to get it. So let's keep talking about it, ok?

Ken Middleton
02-18-2011, 12:30 PM
Of the two instruments (SK-35 and SK-38), which do you think is lighter by just over 30g (1.1 oz)? One is around 372g and the other is 341g. But which is which? They both have the same tuners, by the way.

SweetWaterBlue
02-18-2011, 12:32 PM
Of the two instruments (SK-35 and SK-38), which do you think is lighter by just over 30g (1.1 oz)? One is around 372g and the other is 341g. But which is which? They both have the same tuners, by the way.

I weighed them on a postal scale but they were so close in weight, that I didn't worry about it. Now, I can't remember which one was lighter.

SweetWaterBlue
02-18-2011, 12:34 PM
When I was preparing for my test, I did a few goofing around comparison records - No video. Lots of mistakes but what the hey. Just snippets really but while you wait PDX, here is some pop. I took a lot of ribbing for my reverb, but this song demanded it (just like the orginal right?) so:

http://soundcloud.com/sweetwaterblue/soundssilence-sk38vsk35

Great dynamic range on these Ohanas (loud to soft). Ya gotta love em.

By the way, one thing I forgot to mention about the 38 vs 35. The 35 has an extended fretboard, while the 38 is a 12 fret model. At first I could not figure out why I could play the 38 harder. Then it finally dawned on me that my finger was not hitting the fretboard on the 38, the way it does on my 35. A few less notes for soloing, but you can really wail on it, where that dynamic range comes in.

pdxuke
02-18-2011, 12:54 PM
Of the two instruments (SK-35 and SK-38), which do you think is lighter by just over 30g (1.1 oz)? One is around 372g and the other is 341g. But which is which? They both have the same tuners, by the way.

My guess is the 38 because of the better quality mahogany?

JT_Ukes
02-18-2011, 12:58 PM
My guess is the 38 because of the better quality mahogany?

and shorter fretboard

Ken Middleton
02-18-2011, 01:00 PM
My guess is the 38 because of the better quality mahogany?

Yes, and the prototypes were even thinner. Too thin really. One has Pegheds on and that is so light that there is always a danger of it floating away.

SweetWaterBlue
02-18-2011, 01:01 PM
My guess is the 38 because of the better quality mahogany?

I think the grain may be tighter on the 38, so maybe its heavier?

I almost hesitate to post this, but here is some more SK38 strumming PDX. She really begs to be strummed hard.

Warning ------> Redneck content.

http://soundcloud.com/sweetwaterblue/6-days-sk-38

Ken Middleton
02-18-2011, 01:02 PM
and shorter fretboard

Yes, the extra fretboard certainly adds a few grams on the 35.

Ken Middleton
02-18-2011, 01:05 PM
I think the grain may be tighter on the 38, so maybe its heavier?

No, it is quite a bit lighter. It probably is a tad denser, but is also thinner.

JT_Ukes
02-18-2011, 01:06 PM
Always love the martin style.. this 38 is just what I'm looking for... well that and the $$ to buy it. )

SweetWaterBlue
02-18-2011, 01:10 PM
Yes, and the prototypes were even thinner. Too thin really. One has Pegheds on and that is so light that there is always a danger of it floating away.

Maybe we could use them as weather balloons.

pdxuke
02-18-2011, 01:25 PM
SWB: Thanks for the strumming. Love it.

KEN: I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- these Ohana mahogany sopranos, especially the 35, and I'm guessing the 38-- are classics. I think that the sound of these instruments hold their own with the big boys. If I could get in my time machine, I'll bet the uke craze of 3011 will be calling the SK35 The Martin O and Gibson Uke 1 of the 21st Century.

SweetWaterBlue
02-18-2011, 04:11 PM
I was just watching Ken Middleton's "O Susanna" video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHCq2VwMPVo)again, and my comment about the fret board not getting in the way of aggressive strumming on the SK-38 is illustrated quite well in that video. The infectious hard strumming takes over and Ken is strumming quite hard by the end of this song. Now, look at where his strumming finger is. Its just below the 12th fret over the body. An extended fretboard would be painful on such strums (at least for me).

EDW
02-19-2011, 11:39 AM
You know, no matter what arguments people use for using low G tuning (and some of them are valid), I still think high is the only tuning to use. I have a uke tuned low G, but I never use it. High G just seems right.

I recall a discussion a few years back where Dave Means (Glyph ukulele) said that acoustically, the soundbox on a soprano is not large enough to resonate the fundamental for low G.

Ken Middleton
02-19-2011, 01:13 PM
... KEN: I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- these Ohana mahogany sopranos, especially the 35, and I'm guessing the 38-- are classics. I think that the sound of these instruments hold their own with the big boys. If I could get in my time machine, I'll bet the uke craze of 3011 will be calling the SK35 The Martin O and Gibson Uke 1 of the 21st Century.

I have always thought that about the 35 series (long before I worked for Ohana). My TK-35G is still the uke I play most often. I don't play the soprano as often, but only because I prefer the tenor size.


... The infectious hard strumming takes over and Ken is strumming quite hard by the end of this song. Now, look at where his strumming finger is. Its just below the 12th fret over the body. An extended fretboard would be painful on such strums (at least for me).

I actually hit the fretboard on other ukes quite hard and it can hurt.


I recall a discussion a few years back where Dave Means (Glyph ukulele) said that acoustically, the soundbox on a soprano is not large enough to resonate the fundamental for low G.

I think he may well be right.

SweetWaterBlue
02-19-2011, 01:56 PM
Its not something I ever thought about before, because more is always better ,right? That said, the 38 sure taught me something about 12 fret sopranos.