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Nuprin
01-08-2012, 02:40 PM
It was a pretty slow day at work today so I found myself sitting in the office reading the latest issue of The Music Trades. This issue was focusing on some makers and products that would be at NAMM. There were a few interesting ukulele pieces so I figured I'd share them here...

First, a disclaimer. My scanner doesn't seem to be working so I took pictures with my iPhone. Sorry for the bad photo quality.

There was a large page ad for Kumalae ukuleles. Got excited...then went to their site...kind of a letdown. From what I can tell, it has nothing to do with the vintage Kumalaes. Anyway, here's the ad...

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/photo-3.jpg

Looks like D'Addario is coming out with some new uke strings. They have teamed up with Aquila for a set and have made their T2 strings in uke form.

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/photo-4.jpg

The write-up for them...


Two new complete lines of ukulele strings from D'Addario, Nyltech and Titanium, begin shipping in January 2012.

A partnership with Aquila strings produced the Nyltech line, made with exclusive D'Addario string material that yields a warm yet punchy gut-like tone. Nyltech Strings are available for most popular ukulele sizes and tunings including soprano (EJ88s), retailing for $11.10; concert (EJ88C), also retailing for $11.10; tenor (EJ88T), retailing for $12.55; and baritone (EJ88B), retailing for $13.90.

D'Addario's second ukulele string line takes its cue from the classical guitar world, where titanium strings have become popular for their bright, projecting tone and ultra-smooth feel. New Titanium Ukulele Strings promise to increase volume, clarity, and dynamics. The dense monofilament material with translucent purple hue and smooth feel is similar to traditional nylon. These strings are available for most popular ukulele sizes and tunings, including soprano (EJ87S), retailing for $8.20; concert (EJ87C), also retailing for $8.20; tenor (EJ87T), retailing for $8.65; and baritone (EJ87B), retailing for $9.85.

Keep in mind that the prices listed are retail...most stores sell at cheaper than retail.

Looks like Big Island Ukuleles have started their own Hawaiian-made lineup. Very cool that they've partnered with Shinji Takahashi of T's Ukuleles (http://www.ukes.jp/) for this. I'm sure we'll be seeing this in UU's NAMM coverage.

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/photo-6.jpg

Last item of interest, one of our own forum members, Mike Mulqueen, owner of Moku Ukes, had a small featurette in the magazine. Yay Mike!

http://i902.photobucket.com/albums/ac230/Nuprin1030/photo-5.jpg

Jim T.
01-08-2012, 04:01 PM
It's disappointing to see the appropriation of the name of a historic figure like Jonah Kumalae by an unrelated haole company. They can't seem to spell his first name correctly, and the history they offer is dubious, to say the least -- you can be sure that Mr. Kumalae did not give away 'ukulele to tourists. And I've not seen any evidence that Tiny Tim played a Kumalae, or an instrument from any other Island maker, for that matter. I'm curious whether the family was contacted about the use of their name. I know I would be quite unhappy if someone in Ontario was manufacturing 'ukulele under the name of Augusto Dias.

ukeeku
01-08-2012, 05:09 PM
Thanks for posting this. I do not get the trades like you and it really helps to be on top of what will be at NAMM. Hope to see you there

Nuprin
01-08-2012, 11:56 PM
Thanks for posting this. I do not get the trades like you and it really helps to be on top of what will be at NAMM. Hope to see you there

Unfortunately I won't be able to make it! My boss will be there but as I'm a lowly floor manager, I don't get to make the trip to NAMM. Probably why I've been looking over the trades...I want to see what I'll be missing! Have fun out there...take lots of pictures for us!

Plainsong
01-09-2012, 01:01 AM
Seeing the un-Kumalae is just a middle finger to Ukulele.

And people will buy it... I hope they used the name without permission, so that they can go under. In other industries, old names resurface used by new companies, but there should be some eye to the heritage of the name, and a proper eye. Case in point, Stowa watches.