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View Full Version : Loving my Kamaka :D



philpot
04-23-2011, 04:15 AM
I absolutely love EVERYTHING about this sucker :D It's everything I wanted. Beautiful wood, wonderful sound, and I LOVE having the extra frets, I can play sooo many more thing I couldn't before ^.^ the I couldn't be happier. Well, until I get new strings xD the factory strings are on it, and they're okay, but the intonation on the C string gets off when you go up the neck, and ALL four strings buzz when fretted 2nd fret. No frets are high, so idk what the problem is. but its minor, probably easily fixed by a new set of strings. I've decided I love this uke too much for it to be masculine, so HER name is Kelekona ^.^(if you haven't noticed, I just find a Hawaiian word I like for the name ;P)

pwcgecko
04-23-2011, 05:02 AM
I had a similar problem with my Kamaka Concert as well with the C and E strings at the 2nd and 3rd fret. But I can't recall if it happened after I had a Misi pickup installed. I had a luthier work with it and he fixed the E string buzzing, but I still have a very slight buzzing when I pluck the C string hard at the 2nd and 3rd fret. it is barely noticeable now, but did try a few strings and it didn't fix the problem. I tried d'addario strings and lastly aquillas.

Keep us posted if the new strings help.

molokinirum
04-23-2011, 05:08 AM
Congrats on your new Kamaka!!! Welcome to the Klub!!

Landshark
04-23-2011, 05:40 AM
Congrats on your new uke

cletus
04-23-2011, 06:09 AM
I've decided I love this uke too much for it to be masculine

Even so, congratulations.:cheers:

mm stan
04-23-2011, 07:52 AM
Aloha Phil,
Congratulations on your Kamaka Concert...hope the buzzing is a simple fix...Are there female dragons down there in Tennessee, or at least one... Happy Strummings, MM Stan:):)

philpot
04-23-2011, 10:42 AM
Aloha Phil,
Congratulations on your Kamaka Concert...hope the buzzing is a simple fix...Are there female dragons down there in Tennessee, or at least one... Happy Strummings, MM Stan:):)

Of course there are ;) now theres one more added to the pack!
I'm hoping its an easy fix too. Theres a local guitar shop I trust (I'm getting ready to take my 70s vintage ovation to get set up and fix a couple issues), so I might see if they can do something about it if new strings don't fix it. I actually asked them about installing a pickup, and I figured with the cost of the pickup plus install it would be about 150. Worth it? maybe... we'll see ;)

philpot
04-23-2011, 11:32 AM
I would also like some advice, it appears there is a slight top deflection. the actual deflection does not look bad at all, you can hardly tell its there unless you hold it up to the light just right and see the difference in the height. But what worries me is the bridge appears to be tilted forward some... I just ordered a case humidifier but right now I don't have one... any advice? could this be a very bad thing? >.<

http://i56.tinypic.com/2pquejq.jpg

pdxuke
04-23-2011, 04:00 PM
I would also like some advice, it appears there is a slight top deflection. the actual deflection does not look bad at all, you can hardly tell its there unless you hold it up to the light just right and see the difference in the height. But what worries me is the bridge appears to be tilted forward some... I just ordered a case humidifier but right now I don't have one... any advice? could this be a very bad thing? >.<

http://i56.tinypic.com/2pquejq.jpg

Hmm. I compared that with my Kamaka and that does not look right at all. But it may be an easy luthier fix.

philpot
04-23-2011, 04:31 PM
Hmm. I compared that with my Kamaka and that does not look right at all. But it may be an easy luthier fix.

Geez I hope so >.< I'll probably take it into the music shop downtown and see what they say, excellent guitar techs so I'm sure they could do something if it needs to be fixed... It upsets me a little bit... I just hope it won't be a money pit :(

mangorockfish
04-23-2011, 04:41 PM
Philpot, where are you in TN? Close to Memphis?

philpot
04-23-2011, 04:45 PM
Philpot, where are you in TN? Close to Memphis?

Eastern tip of Tennessee, as far away from Memphis as it gets xD

guitarsnrotts
04-23-2011, 06:19 PM
Congrats. I lucked upon a mid-70s white label soprano a few months ago. It has since spoiled me for all my other ukes.

Teek
04-23-2011, 10:38 PM
So glad you are loving that new Kamaka, I know the feeling. BTW, that's a "belly dip". Both of my Kamakas have it, a white label concert and a late 30s pineapple, and pretty much all of my sopranos except my old vintage spruce top over mahogany Bobby Henshaw uke. Even my Makala Dolphin has a belly dip. All wear Worth Browns or brown lights, almost all are cased and humidified. Only my Favilla uke doesn't have a dip. I think even at least one of my tenors does as well. It's common to a thin, lightly braced top. As long as it doesn't get too pronounced, every one I have spoken with about it, including a couple of luthiers and MGM, says a small amount is ok and normal to vintage ukes at least, and maybe Kamakas especially(?). Aren't they thin, supposedly tap tuned tops?

My concert Kamaka sings like an angel, I just spent the evening with her. Hated to tuck her back in.

guitharsis
04-24-2011, 12:31 AM
Congrats on your new Kamaka. It's a beauty. Sounds great too.

dkcrown
04-24-2011, 01:01 AM
The "belly dip" or deflection of the bridge, as Teek has pointed out, is common and actually part of the process of a ukulele's soundboard opening up.

I went to a talk last December that Bill Collings gave at the Music Emporium and this was one of the topics he spoke about. He said that with both guitars and ukuleles, over time the constant tension of the strings and vibration of the soundboard causes this downward deflection on the front of the bridge and ultimately the enhancement of the instrument's sound.

Phil that being said, yours does look somewhat extreme, although it is an older instrument and probably has many hours of playing tome on it. As long as the bridge is not lifting in the back, I don't think that it should be an issue. But I would bring it to a luthier to get a professional opinion.

Michael_
04-25-2011, 11:19 PM
I also love my Kamaka HF-1, it totally changed my playing style. The action is so low, everything is so easy to play. But I also have a string buzz problem. The 1st 3 frets of the E string make a buzz if I play louder. I think I'll take it to a luthier to fix it.

joeybug
04-26-2011, 02:39 AM
Congrats on your new Kamaka, I'm :drool: over here! I hope the "belly dip" isn't a major problem and you get to spend many happy hours together!

pdxuke
04-26-2011, 05:44 PM
BTW, that's a "belly dip". Both of my Kamakas have it, a white label concert and a late 30s pineapple, and pretty much all of my sopranos except my old vintage spruce top over mahogany Bobby Henshaw uke. Even my Makala Dolphin has a belly dip. All wear Worth Browns or brown lights, almost all are cased and humidified. Only my Favilla uke doesn't have a dip. I think even at least one of my tenors does as well. It's common to a thin, lightly braced top. As long as it doesn't get too pronounced, every one I have spoken with about it, including a couple of luthiers and MGM, says a small amount is ok and normal to vintage ukes at least, and maybe Kamakas especially(?). Aren't they thin, supposedly tap tuned tops?



Fascinating. None of the vintage ukes I own have it. Martin, Gretsch, Gibson. You learn something new everyday. What a relief for Philpot!

philpot
04-26-2011, 06:15 PM
Fascinating. None of the vintage ukes I own have it. Martin, Gretsch, Gibson. You learn something new everyday. What a relief for Philpot!

Yeah, I'm not stressing too much about it now ^.^ the uke is humidified, sounds good, and the intonation is spot on except on the C string. From what I gather, if it's just one string it's easily fixable with fine-adjusting. A new set of strings may or may not fix the buzz, if not I'll get a good set up and we'll see what happens! I still love it, regardless of a tilted bridge ;)

hmgberg
04-26-2011, 06:21 PM
It's true. Some dip above is actually a good sign, provided it doesn't go to far and affect playability. In fact, I think Chuck Moore wrote something in a post to the effect that if your uke is as flat as an ironing board, it will most likely sound like one. Some time ago I had a conversation with Brian Heferran; he said that the better sounding ukuleles he's played tend to have some deflection in the top. So...

ukunuke
04-26-2011, 06:33 PM
Enjoy your Kamaka! They just get better and more unique with age. :)

fromthee2me
04-26-2011, 08:12 PM
Even my Koa Concert Flea has a dip, and I was advised by MGM that it was normal. It shows, that to get a good sounding uke, everything has to be built in the thinnest possible way.

philpot
04-27-2011, 09:23 AM
NEW STRING DAY!! I ordered some Fremont Blacklines from UkeRepublic and slapped em on that sucker and WOW! I think they sound great. the intonation is fixed, totally good now. Still buzzing, I'm thinking its the action at the nut. Any ideas on easy fixes for this or should I just go get it set up? Anyways, heres a sound sample!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eabOfM6xs40