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View Full Version : K-brand disappointment......



808boy
11-25-2011, 09:34 AM
Aloha,
Visited friends for Thanksgiving and brought several of my ukes for a little entertainment. Sang songs while playing my Solid Koa, Slotted Headstock, Double Puka, Deluxe Tenor Mele Ukulele which I absolutely love everything about it.
Later, I was shown a Kamaka which was purchased at a garage sale for $3.00(damn, why can't I find deals like that). It was a gold label Tenor with a "Sail type" headstock in good condition. I tuned it and played a song. Sorry to say that I was disappointed in its performance and playability. The neck was fat and the fret board wide. The sound was so,so. I wasn't impressed at all.
I talked to UU's Kamaka Guru mm Stan and he agreed those Kamakas were hit and miss. I guess I played a miss one.
Anyone had similar experience with any K-brand?
My Mele blew it out of the water.................BO...............

Ryan<3Ukes
11-25-2011, 09:52 AM
Anyone had similar experience with any K-brand?
My Mele blew it out of the water.................BO...............

I wish.... but then again I don't really care for the K-brands.(don't kill me) Have you played a kamaka besides that one though?

haolejohn
11-25-2011, 10:06 AM
I wish.... but then again I don't really care for the K-brands.(don't kill me) Have you played a kamaka besides that one though?

I have. I loved my kamaka but i still love my Mele more...hence the reason why i still own a mele and not a kamaka. Now my koaloha is a totally different story.

arpie
11-25-2011, 10:52 AM
The older Kamakas may just need a good 'set up' job? I have one & to be honest, I think IT could ALSO sound a lot better (compared to my other ukes), tho I will change the strings to Aquila first - so next time I go to my luthier, I will take it with him & ask him to 'tweak' it.

cheers
Roberta

SuzukHammer
11-25-2011, 01:38 PM
I was real happy playing my new Kanilea until I got home and restarted to play my Collings.

The Kanilea still sounds fine and good and all that; but the Collings got in my hands and they don't want to go.

kissing
11-25-2011, 02:36 PM
I think it's the strings. Put some new strings on it, and it should sound better.

Gadzukes!
11-25-2011, 02:41 PM
Could it be that the Kamaka just needed some new strings? If it was picked up at a garage sale for $3.00 it probably wasn't being cared for.

Waterguy
11-25-2011, 02:49 PM
Neck and fret board feel are gonna be a bit subjective I think. One of the reasons I love my Kanile'a is the wide fret board.

mm stan
11-25-2011, 02:53 PM
some things you can work on like set up and stings...as for fret board width and neck thickness...nope... it's all personal preference...that's why they are different options... I have a rare
thin neck one....

experimentjon
11-25-2011, 03:25 PM
Old Kamakas are indeed hit or miss. But I haven't been disappointed by any of the K brands that I have owned...and as a hoarder, that'd be quite a few of them. As for Meles, I do have a Mele tenor too, that I bought for $50 from someone leaving the island. It had a crack on the front, and was beat to death. So I super glued that crack, restrung it with DAddarios, and currently leave it propped up against a table in the living room. I don't take care of it at all, but holy cow, it sounds great every time I play it. Lightweight, responsive, just a winning uke. Best $50 I have ever spent on a four stringed instrument. :)

haolejohn
11-25-2011, 05:47 PM
Old Kamakas are indeed hit or miss. But I haven't been disappointed by any of the K brands that I have owned...and as a hoarder, that'd be quite a few of them. As for Meles, I do have a Mele tenor too, that I bought for $50 from someone leaving the island. It had a crack on the front, and was beat to death. So I super glued that crack, restrung it with DAddarios, and currently leave it propped up against a table in the living room. I don't take care of it at all, but holy cow, it sounds great every time I play it. Lightweight, responsive, just a winning uke. Best $50 I have ever spent on a four stringed instrument. :)

That is a deal...I have a mainland red cedar that i got for the same price and it was cracked. It is my uke that i take everywhere I don't want to take my nicer ukes. To me the best beater uke is a quality beater uke:)

808boy
11-25-2011, 06:26 PM
Strings, I agree may help the tone quality but the feel of the neck and fret board to me is horrible. As far as the wide neck, I also have a 6-string Mele, Double Puka with a wide fret board and I'm okay with it but it does have a thinner neck than that Kamaka. As far as playing other Kamakas, I have and it was as expected.
The uke is in good shape and worth way more than $3.00 but for me to "try then buy", I wouldn't at fair market value but would at $3.00 to resell..............................BO............ ...........