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scdano
01-29-2012, 04:35 AM
Hi,
Any thoughts on this uke by those of you that know the brand? I'm interested, but from the pics it appears that the sound hole is off center
in relation to the strings, which seem to be evenly spaced and properly positioned on the fretboard. I'm also interested because it's a 14 fret (to the body) neck on what appears to be a soprano, as it measures 21". Thanks for any light you can shed on this.
-Mike

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370577728780?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649#ht_548wt_956

mketom
01-29-2012, 04:47 AM
I think it's just distortion in the photos. There isn't a really straight on shot. Maybe MM Stan will know more details but I see a white label and a fretboard shape that matches my early '70s standard uke which is 20 3/4".

mm stan
01-29-2012, 05:04 AM
Aloha Mike,
It's an early 70's Kamaka....the off centered soundhole just may be the photo angle...back then Kamaka did sell seconds but no longer do now..however I don't think it is..you never know unless you got the ukulele in your hands..Photos can be deceiving..what concerns me is the seller mentions that the bridge has been reglued or replaced..this could lead to intonation problems if it is even slightly off....I would leave a message and ask them if you can call and hear the uke on the phone while he strums it... he also mentions two cracks...photo is not the best and I cannot tell.....I can see it is really dirty and hasn't been played for a long time or cleaned...for whatever reasons..if he lost intrest or it sounded bad..don't know...you take you chances
with these.. For the price in the mainland, it is okay....but generally I'd pay between 325-350 for an early to mid 70's white label...400.00 if it had no cracks and in great condition..
good luck...

Doc_J
01-29-2012, 06:00 AM
I think I'd pass on that one. Bridge looks re-glued and shifted in two photos.
I thought it might be the camera angle too at first.
The neck joint has issues too.

mm stan
01-29-2012, 07:29 AM
Yes the neck seems to be reglued too...not a good sign...it has alot of issues....cracks, reglued neck and reglued bridge...225-250 would be a good price.
yes it is a big chance it needs alot of work and may not be worth it...it certainly not a diamond in the rough... I do have one of these however and mine
sound exceptionally great...

scdano
01-29-2012, 01:48 PM
Thanks for your input guys- I'm gonna pass on this one.

bennyhana22
01-29-2012, 11:53 PM
Yes the neck seems to be reglued too...not a good sign...it has alot of issues....cracks, reglued neck and reglued bridge...225-250 would be a good price.
yes it is a big chance it needs alot of work and may not be worth it...it certainly not a diamond in the rough... I do have one of these however and mine
sound exceptionally great...

Hi MM Stan

Sorry to so unashamedly use you as a uke-consultant, but you do seem to know SOOOO much!

I just wondered what you thought of this Kamaka sop, in terms of price for what it is, desirability etc. Presumably (and logically) the Gold Label model was a higher quality instrument?

http://www.ukenique.com/shop/ukuleles/kamaka-gold-label-solid-koa-soprano-ukulele-ca-1950s/

At today's conversion rates, GBP400 is about USD$630

Hope you can advise a bit, and thanks!

Ben

mm stan
01-30-2012, 02:03 AM
Aloha Benny,
I am not a consultant by any means.but I have played alot of Kamaka's and owned many.still do.he he I have a gold soprano kamaka close to the year you got.I believe mine is very close by a year or two..but it has the same black tuners.Gold Label as we call them now simply means how we date theses ukuleles from this manufacure.it is from 1954(I believe) to 1969..white labels came
out in 1970... The picture shows like it is in excellent condition...for me, this age uke in terms of sound cold be a hit or miss...but mine sounds so sweet and deep rich sound with great intonation..
I really scored on mine...Although mine had a small crack on the soundboard fixed, I got it for ...get this $175.00 ...I bought it for the beautiful sound it has and intonation..the only difference
between mine is that my nut is plastic and hollow...I have never seen another like that. In terms of desirability....that depends on a lot of things..Many would prefer a new one for a couple hundred more...they may have a more refined sound ...resonation and substain too.. but my vintage has a sweet and rich sound and I love it...it wouldn't be my primary uke, but certainly a
special one to take out on certain occasions.. I know you live in England and the conversion is like a third more..sorry to hear.. but for the price of 400.00 in that condition, it's a great deal..
I mean, I don't know how it sounds though...If you could play it first, I would just to make sure you like it... Kamaka only came out with a few with these black tuners... I hope it helps...good luck.
Here is my Kamaka with the same black tuners..http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad222/ukestan/DSC00054-1.jpg everyone who picked up my uke and strummed it, looked up at
me and said WOW...

bennyhana22
01-30-2012, 02:29 AM
Thanks so much, Stan.

I'm presuming that both yours and the one I'm looking at have a koa neck too (i.e. they are 'all' koa)?

I've never really been desparate for a K Brand, preferring something a little less well known, if you know what I mean. My best uke (I only have two!) is an Uluru Pukana La II and is just gorgeous. But I really would like a soprano and it would have to be koa. I really like the idea of a vintage one too - something with a 'history', though I acknowledge that actually these days the K brands are overall probably 'better' made than older editions.

The reason this is so attractive is that it does tick all the boxes, but without the actual cost of a new version of the same thing, which I just can't really justify. I have controlled UAS, meaning that I genuinely only feel the need for 3 ukes - one v good sop, one v good concert and one beater. I have two of those so far...!

Thanks for the (as ever) excellent advice. And yes, those black tuners are lovely...

Ben
x

pahu
01-30-2012, 03:28 AM
Mike, the bridge has definitely been replaced-not just re glued. The early Kamaka s had a 1-piece bridge(no saddle). The painted-on 'binding' is an unusual feature also.
I'm still intrigued by the 14-fret neck on regular soprano size...???

mm stan
01-30-2012, 04:10 AM
Thanks so much, Stan.

I'm presuming that both yours and the one I'm looking at have a koa neck too (i.e. they are 'all' koa)?

I've never really been desparate for a K Brand, preferring something a little less well known, if you know what I mean. My best uke (I only have two!) is an Uluru Pukana La II and is just gorgeous. But I really would like a soprano and it would have to be koa. I really like the idea of a vintage one too - something with a 'history', though I acknowledge that actually these days the K brands are overall probably 'better' made than older editions.

The reason this is so attractive is that it does tick all the boxes, but without the actual cost of a new version of the same thing, which I just can't really justify. I have controlled UAS, meaning that I genuinely only feel the need for 3 ukes - one v good sop, one v good concert and one beater. I have two of those so far...!

Thanks for the (as ever) excellent advice. And yes, those black tuners are lovely...

Ben
x

Most all Kamaka's come with mahogany necks...only some come with koa necks...