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View Full Version : Keiki Kamaka Ukuleles gold label 1954-1969



RyanFell
06-06-2012, 04:01 PM
I posted the information below on the "Ukulele Review" Thread and I am not sure that was the appropriate place for my questions. I am still searching for more information especial about the value of these Ukeleles if anyone can help me out.

Thanks again!

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I found these two Ukuleles in my wife's 93 year old grandmothers basement. She told us non of her children were ever interested in them but she thought they might be worth something. After looking online I think she is right but I cannot find anything exactly like them on the internet. I found several similar ukuleles but none with the same head and neck. My grandmother in law says they were a gift from friends in Hawaii in the 1960's.

They are in their original box with a gold sticker on the side that say "Aloha from Hawaii". They seem pretty perfect, neither has been played with and I can only assume they were never really taken out of the box.

Can anyone tell me anything about them? What exactly I have and the value of each of them?

Thanks!

guitarsnrotts
06-06-2012, 04:42 PM
From the Kamaka site FAQ:

From 1963 to 1970, to compete against unscrupulous ukulele manufacturers who tried to sell fake "Kamaka" ukuleles in Japan, Kamaka & Sons Enterprises collaborated with Tokyo Stringed Manufacturing Co., Ltd. to produce ukuleles for sale in Japan. Called "Keiki Kamaka," the ukuleles were made of mahogany, and were only available in the standard (soprano) size. "Keiki" means "child" in Hawaiian, a fitting name for the lowest-priced, beginner's model.

You may want to email Kamaka customer service for more information. They were very helpful in dating my Kamaka soprano.

mm stan
06-06-2012, 08:09 PM
Those Kamaka keiki's I've seen in average condition I've seen sold here for 225- 325..but if yours are in
mint unplayed condition, I'd pay 400-450 for them..wow you lucky guy..are you willing to sell one?? let me know
I would cmpare them to what we now call a bambino which is smaller than a soprano.
they were fabricated in japan and finished in hawaii.. does your have that white sticker
behind the headstock tuners
http://ukuleledeals.com/49-99-kamaka-keiki-soprano-ukulele-gold-label-great-player-uke/

RyanFell
06-07-2012, 03:55 AM
Those Kamaka keiki's I've seen in average condition I've seen sold here for 225- 325..but if yours are in
mint unplayed condition, I'd pay 400-450 for them..wow you lucky guy..are you willing to sell one?? let me know
I would cmpare them to what we now call a bambino which is smaller than a soprano.
they were fabricated in japan and finished in hawaii.. does your have that white sticker
behind the headstock tuners
http://ukuleledeals.com/49-99-kamaka-keiki-soprano-ukulele-gold-label-great-player-uke/

There is no white sticker and I just looked over one of them again and I see no real imperfections. Looks like someone might have tried to tune one of them at some point based on the fact that the extra string at the top of the who are slightly different lengths.

My family wants them to go to a good home and I am looking to sell both. Would you be interested in both or have any idea about someone who might be interested in the other one?

mm stan
06-07-2012, 02:22 PM
There is no white sticker and I just looked over one of them again and I see no real imperfections. Looks like someone might have tried to tune one of them at some point based on the fact that the extra string at the top of the who are slightly different lengths.

My family wants them to go to a good home and I am looking to sell both. Would you be interested in both or have any idea about someone who might be interested in the other one?
Aloha Ryan,
Sent you a PM...Howie and I are intrested

Markr1
06-07-2012, 04:18 PM
Good luck Stan. I hope you get it.
Aloha Ryan,
Sent you a PM...Howie and I are intrested

KEVIN ERLANDSON
11-17-2016, 12:04 AM
Just came across one of these Vintage Gold label Kamaka Keiki myself. Apparently barely even played; threats have very little ware, Minimal strumming marks around the sound hole (more like smuges then scratches). Does have a few scratches all runing parallel to one another on the top(probably made from a button on a long sleeve shirt or a bracelet) starting about where the bridge is from where top meets the sides heading straight towards the neck. Other then that a few minor scuffs on the sides from rubbing against the case when taking it in and out.

KEVIN ERLANDSON
11-17-2016, 01:58 AM
Apparently from being stored all these years in a hot San Diego garage the heat has gotten to it a bit. Becuse the back is coming unglued from the sides in more then one spot and the brace on the top between the bridge and sound hole(g string side) poped down and back up on me once while I was accidentally putting to much pressure on it. Also the bridge on the g string side is coming unglued and is no longer flush like the A string side is. So I took it in to the only Kamaka authorized dealer in SD showed the repair tech the problems he stuck his mirror in sidethe sound hole to take a look at the top brace. He said the back was coming unglued almost all the way around and gave me a quote to fix both for $50. Then I showed him the bridge he said it ant spaced like that on purpose when setting the intonation, that it definitely should be flush probably have to steam it. So he quoted fixing the bridge at an additional $20. But other then that there is nothing else to adjust to turn it back to the stock intonation. He even talked me out of buying new strings said that the ones on it look brand new. Thought $50 was a little high was considering getting just the bridge done for $20 so I could post a video to show you all how it sounds and how good the intonation is. But it would still be slightly off with the top always having a slight dip without fixing the top brace first to I haven't done anything yet.

KEVIN ERLANDSON
11-17-2016, 02:23 AM
Glad I didn't now that I've learned you can mail it straight to Kamaka Hawaii for repairs. I figure some die heart fans would prefer that but 12-18 months turn arould is a long time. I would love a professional quality, recording studio ready, Ukulele to add to my intsturment collection but if these things are going for $400 plus I could really use the money and just buy a Ukulele for $100 or less to learn on. Also does anybody know what gage the original stock strings that came with it are? Also thinking of taking it to the Taylor Guitar factory and see if Bob Taylor will let me store it there for 6 month as there factory is climate-controlled to maintain a temperature of 75 degrees and a relative humidity of 47 percent. Still waiting for a response from Kamaka about original string gage and there factory humidity level. I will let you know if/when they respond. Thanks everybody for your help.