View Full Version : Which concert uke should go (Kamaka, Eanest, Black Bear)?

07-24-2011, 08:33 AM
I’ve got too many concert ukes (don't most people). At least 1 has to go. Thought I’d take a poll and see what which one UUers would sell, and why.

The3 ukes I’m considering selling:
1) Kamaka HF-2 (Koa, rosewood FB) worth CM strings
2) Earnest instruments Palomino (curly mahogany, mesquite FB) worth BE strings
3) Black Bear Concert (Koa, rosewood FB) worth CM strings

The Kanile’a is a keeper. It just happens to be in the picture.

Here’s a really short sound sample of each:

A longer sound sample of each:http://www.box.net/shared/frufj5d0rlu2k95x7mz6

07-24-2011, 08:47 AM
Hmmm...that's tough! I'd be very hard-pressed to let go of any of them. The only one of these I have is the Kamaka. I've wanted and Earnest for some time now. You apparently want to keep the Kanilea, but that's the one I'd probably let go of first. So, I'm probably not much help to you. Wait!! I'd definitely sell the Palomino, to a fellow UUer, and really cheap, too!!!:drool:

07-24-2011, 08:50 AM
These are all beautiful ukes and they all sound good and they all sound very similar. I could only here a slight difference on the highest string. Of the three that you're thinking of rehoming, I think that I like the sound of the Earnest the best, then the Black Bear, then the Kamaka. The Kamaka sounded most muted on the A string. The Black Bear and the Earnest sounded nice and clear on all strings with the Earnest sounding most forward/loud. YMMV

07-24-2011, 08:56 AM
Based solely on the fact that the Kamaka and the Black Bear are both koa with rosewood FB, I'd say one of those two, since they're duplicates in the wood department and the Palomino is mahogany.

07-24-2011, 10:32 AM
I think you need to see how each ukulele fits with the others. The Kanilea seems to have the deepest tone, even without the low G, tuning. The Earnest seems to be on the other end, very bright.

If you ever play out with others, that bright and loud tone may cut through better. For that reason it would be nice to have the Earnest in your arsenal. However, if you loathe an overly birght tone, it may be the one to go.

That leaves the Black Bear and the Kamaka.

Obviously you know which ones you enjoy the most, and all three are 12 frets to the body; but if there is one that you just don't like to play or has been a pain to get the best tone and the right strings are a challenge, that would be a factor.

If you have compared the Kamaka to other Kamakas and you like yours better, I think that has to be considered because you can always find another Kamaka, but if yours seems "more special" you may want to keep it. If you like other Kamakas better, then I would let the Kamaka go.

Now if all of the factors above are equal, play and enjoy them equally, and I had to make the decision, I think the Black Bear would have to go. I think I would keep the Earnest.


07-24-2011, 12:28 PM
Sell all three! They're all on your "Should I sell this?" list. May as well say "Yes, yes, and yes."

Were I you, I'd sell the one the least played ukulele first, then the next least played, and finally the least least played. Of course, I'd ask myself "Should I sell this?" again about the next one on the list after each sale. Only a resounding "No" would stop me from selling all three and dedicating all my concert time to my Kanile'a.

Ah, that was fun, I got to type "my Kanile'a". That even feels good in a hypothetical situation.

To sell just one---the least played ukulele should find a new home. Spend a week playing only those three ukuleles. See which gets the least playing time. Let it go.

07-24-2011, 01:58 PM
pretty, but didn't care for the sound of the Palomino followed by the Kamaka. Live, with a full range of music, may have a different opinion

07-24-2011, 03:09 PM
If by making one ukulele "go" you mean which one will you try to sell on UU, then people who study bias in polls would probably tell you that what you're really asking people is "Which of these ukuleles do you want to buy the most?"

I've just depleted my ukulele purchase fund, so I have no vested interest in the outcome. Based on the sound samples, I'd say that the Kamaka sounded the most resonant and rich to me, followed by the Palomino and the Black Bear. (Full disclosure: I own nore than one Kamaka, including a concert.) I'm not sure I'd keep the Kanile'a over the Black Bear based on the sound samples alone. (I know that people who own Kanile'as swear by them, and the one that I played the other day would be in my apartment now if I had any ukulele funds at all. This was just based on sound samples.)

Based on looks, I'd definitely keep the Kamaka. It has a very nice grain and color.

Based on considerations like diversity of your uke stable, I'd keep the Palomino as it's the only mahogany uke of the group.

To me the biggest factor is one that's unknowable to those you are polling: How it feels to play. I propose this: Invite a friend over, have your friend blindfold you, and then have your friend hand you one of the four ukuleles in rendom order (which could include giving you the same ukulele twice in a row - truly randon so you can't deduce which one is coming next). After you play each uke, rate it's playability on a scale of 1-10. After each ukulele accummulates five scores, take the average of all the scores for each uke. Sell the one with the lowest score.

07-24-2011, 03:28 PM
Thanks for your thoughts on these ukes. I do appreciate reading your reasoning behind sell choices.

Here's my thoughts so far. The sound of Palomino grows on you, very different from the koa ukes, more bright and punchy. Sometimes I like it more than other times. I really love the Mahogany wood and build quality. It is the only Mahogany uke I have. These Earnest ukes don't seem to come around very often.

The Black Bear concert is an all around good uke that you don't find for sale as often as Kamaka ukes. This one still has some opening up to do yet as the uke was built this past April, and it may not have the optimal strings. I do like this uke's sound, and it has the best 'feel' of all three.

So, I am leaning towards selling the Kamaka. It's a great uke but doesn't get the play the others get. I agree with Marymac that the A string sounds just a bit muted compared to the other ukes. I've tried a few sting sets on this uke, and think the Worth clears on it are a good choice. This uke is not vintage, or that old (2009), there is no story connected with it. It is quite pretty, but not unique It stand to reason that this uke could be the most easily replaced of these 3. But it is the only Kamaka uke I have. Seems to me a uke player ought to have a Kamaka, with all the history associated with this company. I guess history really shouldn't be a factor.

07-24-2011, 03:52 PM
Keep the Kamaka and sell me the Black Bear for cheap... lol

I think you should sell the Kamaka and the Earnest, then buy a Compass Rose concert.

The Black Bear Soprano I have, as you do, gets better buy the day and I think your concert may catch up. It would be a pity to sell it before it comes into
its own. Besides, I want your option on the Black Bear a few months from now to help me decide on getting one.

07-24-2011, 05:16 PM
I think you should sell the Kamaka and the Earnest, then buy a Compass Rose concert.

You're right on that. I'd love a Compass Rose concert, but I would have to sell both to get that uke. :)

07-24-2011, 05:34 PM
too true.

I love the look of your Black bear concert.

07-24-2011, 06:07 PM
Tough problem to have. I like the Black bear. I like Mahogany.

mm stan
07-24-2011, 06:10 PM
Let your ears and finger tell you..not us..
How about these two..which one..

07-24-2011, 06:13 PM
Oooh... that one on the right is a tiki concert! (Drools.)

07-24-2011, 06:42 PM
Let your ears and finger tell you..not us..
How about these two..which one..

Now Stan, that is a tough choice. You're getting rid of one of these?

A concert Martin style I or a tiki Kamaka concert with lots of curl? Hard to say which one to sell from just pics and general info.

Hippie Dribble
07-24-2011, 07:23 PM
Let your ears and finger tell you..not us..
How about these two..which one..

That's easy Stan. Keep both! :)

07-25-2011, 02:26 AM
That's easy Stan. Keep both! :)

No, Stan, that's easy. Get rid of them both and start over. Thrill of the hunt and all. I'd be happy to take them off your hands! Seriously, very nice ukuleles.

Hippie Dribble
07-25-2011, 04:20 AM
Gee Doc, I'm very (pleasantly?) surprised that the Black Bear is so far the one most favoured by the punters to keep. Hmmm...

I voted 'undecided' as I think they're all lovely. Not usually a fence sitter but just couldn't say this time!

Either way, you're still gonna have 3 lovely sweethearts in your collection. :)

07-25-2011, 04:40 AM
I am surprised that Black Bear's are more well known. I had not heard of them at all and when I found what was being offer for such a fair price I ordered one. I sound that comes our of their soprano is amazing, I don't think you can get any better.

07-25-2011, 05:31 AM
If I was the one selling, I'd sell the Black Bear because it has the least number of frets. But if that's not something you need to consider, then just sell the one you play the least. So I guess what I'm saying is that, for me, the Black Bear would be played the least because of the lack of frets.

mm stan
07-25-2011, 12:22 PM
Nah Doc_J,
The Twins are keepers...I love my concerts too...nice to play them side by side as they are totally different but both are really good sounding in their own individual voices.
Just trying to say if you have duplicate sounding ukes, for me I'd just keep the better one....

07-26-2011, 02:16 AM
It's time for the Kamaka to go.

Thanks for the input everyone.

07-26-2011, 03:37 AM
Do you need my mailing address, to send that Black Bear?