View Full Version : $20 antique store find

03-07-2012, 05:38 AM
I haven't picked up a ukulele in years, but I couldn't help but grab this little guy for the impossible-to-resist price of twenty bucks at an antiques mall in rural Illinois.



It's in fantastic condition and sounds great (to my ears, anyway). There's not a lot online about the Duke Kahanamoku brand - it seems to be a mid-range Hawaiian brand named for the famous surfer to capitalize on his fame in the 1960s, so I imagine it's from around that time. Does anyone know anything else about this instrument?

03-07-2012, 05:40 AM
Welcome to the UU. Enjoy your new uke.

03-07-2012, 05:47 AM
Great find! Now that you are hooked, you are probably going to watch that $20 investment grow, and grow!

As far as I know "Duke Kahanamoku" was not a brand, but was a signature model of one of the old US instrument brands (Regal?, Harmony?) I'm sure someone who knows for sure will pitch in soon.

03-07-2012, 05:57 AM
Great find. Thanks for sharing

mm stan
03-07-2012, 06:07 AM
That is a great find...they usually go from 60- 100... the more rare one is the pineapple of this model uke..

Pukulele Pete
03-07-2012, 06:33 AM
I have a similar uke to yours. Mine is a little different. It says " Hawaiian ukulele " in the same script as yours. It is made of Koa laminate sides and back and I think a solid Koa top. It is the first uke I ever bought or played. I got mine for 40 bucks 4 or 5 years ago . I have Aquila's on it and it sounds great . I have left it out , never humidified it, no case , since I got it and no cracks .
I'm really suprised how much I like the way it sounds , is it because it is Koa ? Its the only Koa uke i've ever played. It didnt sound good untill I adjusted the action at the nut, the intonation was off on the first few frets. The soundboard is a little pushed in ( probably from being underneath something in a closet ) but that lowers the action at the bridge so it works out great.
I added Grover 4w tuners and its the uke I play the most.

03-07-2012, 06:42 AM
looks a lot like one of the Harmonys. probably is if it has the plastic fretboard.

03-07-2012, 09:42 AM
looks a lot like one of the Harmonys. probably is if it has the plastic fretboard.

Thanks, that's good to know. All I know is that I haven't played any of my other instruments since I got it.

03-07-2012, 09:48 AM
Here's 5 on ebay in case you didn't see them. Sounds like you got a deal


03-07-2012, 12:16 PM
There is also one for sale at Elderly. Made in Japan. Only $60.

03-07-2012, 12:26 PM
Welcome theodolite. I love to hear about big spenders like myself getting lucky. HaHa!!

03-08-2012, 05:11 AM
i have that exact ukulele! except my ukulele is a beltone. same plastic fretboard, same color. made in japan in the 1960's and really has a great tone for being a "cheap" uke in the day.

03-08-2012, 05:55 AM
Woohoo! I love it when a good-sounding ukulele finds a welcoming home. At that price, that uke's lucky it didn't end up hanging on a tiki bar's wall. Congrats!