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Uke Republic
07-12-2012, 02:28 PM
More to come but just a few updates.
Imua ukulele made in Hawaii in association with a great Japanese luthier are sure to be popping up on the horizon.
Moku ukes new series is awesome with solid mahogany, spruce tops and more. Love the binding on the new mahoganys.
Gorgeous instruments from LoPrinzi (maple concert coming back)
Ohana's Nunes style soprano, I love this one! It's solid mahogany and should be out late this year.:drool:
More to see and report
40165401664016740168

Steedy
07-12-2012, 02:50 PM
Beautiful! Who has the DaSilva on display?

Anyway, I'll be there on Saturday, and have made the following must-see uke list (in alphabetical order, with booth numbers):

Big Island Ukulele - 1009

C.F. Martin & Co. Inc. - 1200

Cordoba Music Group - 1211

Gold Tone Inc. - 1300

Kala Brand Music Co. - 926

Lanikai Ukulele - 1301

Moku Ukuleles - 1704

Taylor Guitars (and Ukes?) - 105

Hope I'm not missing anything.

Looking forward to seeing all the Mikes, and hopefully meeting Mim, at Summer NAMM. Maybe we can all get together for lunch on Saturday?

ukeeku
07-12-2012, 04:03 PM
Beautiful! Who has the DaSilva on display?

Anyway, I'll be there on Saturday, and have made the following must-see uke list (in alphabetical order, with booth numbers):

Big Island Ukulele - 1009

C.F. Martin & Co. Inc. - 1200

Cordoba Music Group - 1211

Gold Tone Inc. - 1300

Kala Brand Music Co. - 926

Lanikai Ukulele - 1301

Moku Ukuleles - 1704

Taylor Guitars (and Ukes?) - 105

Hope I'm not missing anything.

Looking forward to seeing all the Mikes, and hopefully meeting Mim, at Summer NAMM. Maybe we can all get together for lunch on Saturday?

Check out LuLu Ukes and tell us how they are.

Steedy
07-12-2012, 04:26 PM
Check out LuLu Ukes and tell us how they are.

Ah, Vision Musical Instruments, LLC - booth #437

Thanks for the tip!

Also, almost overlooked Luna Guitars (& Ukes?) - booth #511

I'll add both to my list.

smellofstrings
07-12-2012, 06:05 PM
Thanks for sharing!! :drool:

itsme
07-12-2012, 06:37 PM
Thanks! And looking forward to more NAMM pics from you. :)

Paul December
07-12-2012, 07:00 PM
Looks like Ohana tried to Out-Mainland Mainland! :D

Steedy
07-15-2012, 06:22 PM
Had a great time at Summer NAMM 2012 Public Day! Met a lot of nice folks and saw a lot of nice ukes.

Here's some Girl Power (left to right) - Hitomi Kato (President of Takumi Ukulele Co.), Mim (CEO of Mim's Ukes), & Donna LoPrinzi (Master Luthier):

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/DSC00108.jpg

I was tongue-tied in the presence of those awesome ladies!


Here's Mim pointing to the SOLD tag on her new Breedlove uke (why is this woman smiling?):

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/DSC00111.jpg


Mike Mulqueen (Founder, CEO, & Designer of Moku Ukuleles):

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/DSC00115.jpg

The Moku Ukuleles are very nice. Mike has a nice line of quality entry-level ukes, and a great line of solid wood ukuleles, all at affordable prices. I was particularly drawn to a solid spruce/mahogany Concert uke from his Select Series. I can definitely see a Moku ukulele in my future.

Steedy
07-15-2012, 06:24 PM
Summer NAMM 2012 Public Day continued...


Big Island Concert Koa:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/DSC00112.jpg


Big Island Spalted Mango Concert:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/DSC00114.jpg


Lulu Ukuleles, in Concert size:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/DSC00116.jpg

Someone above asked me to check out the Lulu Ukes. The Vision Instruments booth had Soprano, Concert, & Tenor ukes, in solid mahogany, solid spruce/rosewood, & solid koa. They're very pretty, with a lot of attention to detail. For instance, in addition to the usual rosettes, the sound holes are edged with the same material as the top binding, which kind of ties the whole design together nicely. To me, they seemed like a step up from say, Oscar Schmidt ukuleles. The rep in the booth said they're moving production from China to Connecticut, in the USA. Unfortunately, it was too loud on the convention floor for me to hear how they sounded, so that's still an unknown, but they seem serious about making quality ukes at affordable prices, so I say look for good things from Lulu Ukuleles in the future

Steedy
07-15-2012, 06:33 PM
Summer NAMM 2012 Public Day continued again...

Finally, here's a couple of photos I swiped from the Uke Republic Facebook page:

Here's me with Mike McQueen from Uke Republic, at the Kala Brand ukulele circle:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/MikeSteedy.jpg

Just after this photo was taken, Mike and his lovely wife Donna joined in, and we all three had fun jamming with the other 50 or so people in the room.


This is Stephanie in the Ohana booth:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b362/slawson3/Summer%20NAMM%202012/Stephanie.jpg

I loved her for being such a sweetheart, but I hated her for showing me all the new Ohana prototypes and then telling me I couldn't buy any of them yet.

Oh well, my first NAMM was a blast. Can't wait 'til next year! :)

Hippie Dribble
07-15-2012, 07:46 PM
Steedy, you're a legend. These pics and chit chat are awesome. Thanks mate
:cheers:

ukuloonie
07-15-2012, 08:05 PM
That Nunes replica from Ohana looks pretty cool something I wouldn't mind playing

Mim
07-16-2012, 04:06 AM
Ooooo Steedy great pics! I stole a few for my facebook! And your analysis was right on1 I am so glad I got to meet you!

ukuLily Mars
07-16-2012, 04:14 AM
Thanks to you both, Mike and Steedy, for all of the pictures and news! I love seeing all those 'ukuleles, and it's great to see some of the people who get them into our hands!

Uke Republic
07-16-2012, 01:01 PM
It was a load of fun fo sho! Great seeing all who could make it and being able to jam with Steedy!
Heres mo pics https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151109813472150.500601.255643082149&type=1
I'll probably have some more pics up of some one of a kinds that Ohana let me have along with some other surprises:)

Steedy
07-16-2012, 01:25 PM
Ooooo Steedy great pics! I stole a few for my facebook! And your analysis was right on. I am so glad I got to meet you!

It was great to meet you and your hubby also! Thanks for taking some time to talk ukes with me, when you obviously had a lot going on.

And thanks to Mike for giving me some strumming tips during the uke circle.

Lil_uker
07-16-2012, 03:25 PM
I've never officially reviewed a product before, so please bare with me as I attempt to be as articulate and descriptive as I can be!
I was at the NAMM show on July 14th and was able to check out the LuLu Ukes. They were actually nice enough to allow me to go in a remote corner to play their concert Mahogany and Koa tenors. Both instruments were all solid (top, back and sides). I agree with "Steedy" that the attention to detail was really great, but the sound actually impressed me the most. OKay.....I'll back up!

The detail work was super cool. Well above that of most anything I saw at the show or have seen in all my travels. (For sure in this price range!)
The headstock matches the back, the heel has a nicely contoured cap that also mimicks the back. The bindings were done really nicely and the tonehole has an inlay (somehow attached to the inner most area) of Rosewood. Super handsome and a very cool (extra mile) detail....really ties the whole thing together for me!

The mahogany instrument used what appeared to be a good quality mahogany with pretty grain. The headstock has a super nice edge that also keyed me in to the fact that these were not your "run of the mill, cheap ukuleles!" They use Grover open geared tuners, a Graphtech nut and compensating saddle, D'addario "Nyltech" strings and comes with an absolutely beautiful hard case complete with hygrometer and planet waves small instrument humidifer. (very cool)

Finding a quiet spot on the show floor was difficult, but the sales rep "product specialist" was super friendly and for a nobody (me) went way beyond the neccessary. We found a quiet hallway nearby and I spent the next 15 minutes comparing the Mahogany and Koa tenor models.
I must say that I was super impressed. The sound was terrific....seemingly exploding from the instrument (especially the Mahogany) Super even and easy to play.....difficult to put down. I went back and offered to buy it later in the day, but was told they were waiting for a bunch of containers to arrive and couldn't part with them. :(

In a nutshell....(in my humble opinion) For under $500 retail the LuLu Mahogany tenor rivals that of almost any tenor I've ever played. (And I own and/or have played them all. The Koa model was very nice too, but had the D'addario Titanium strings on it (not my preference) and I think they may have thinned-out what otherwise was a great playing / looking instrument too!







Ah, Vision Musical Instruments, LLC - booth #437

Thanks for the tip!

Also, almost overlooked Luna Guitars (& Ukes?) - booth #511

I'll add both to my list.

thiam
07-17-2012, 02:16 AM
Thanks for the pics and the observations...they're great...

Steedy
07-17-2012, 05:09 AM
In a nutshell....(in my humble opinion) For under $500 retail the LuLu Mahogany tenor rivals that of almost any tenor I've ever played. (And I own and/or have played them all. The Koa model was very nice too, but had the D'addario Titanium strings on it (not my preference) and I think they may have thinned-out what otherwise was a great playing / looking instrument too!

Hi Lil_uker, welcome to UU!

Thanks for a nice write-up on the Lulu Ukes.

kimmylele
07-17-2012, 06:41 AM
Great Pics!! Thank for Sharing.

hoosierhiver
07-18-2012, 08:10 AM
I've never officially reviewed a product before, so please bare with me as I attempt to be as articulate and descriptive as I can be!
I was at the NAMM show on July 14th and was able to check out the LuLu Ukes. They were actually nice enough to allow me to go in a remote corner to play their concert Mahogany and Koa tenors. Both instruments were all solid (top, back and sides). I agree with "Steedy" that the attention to detail was really great, but the sound actually impressed me the most. OKay.....I'll back up!

The detail work was super cool. Well above that of most anything I saw at the show or have seen in all my travels. (For sure in this price range!)
The headstock matches the back, the heel has a nicely contoured cap that also mimicks the back. The bindings were done really nicely and the tonehole has an inlay (somehow attached to the inner most area) of Rosewood. Super handsome and a very cool (extra mile) detail....really ties the whole thing together for me!

The mahogany instrument used what appeared to be a good quality mahogany with pretty grain. The headstock has a super nice edge that also keyed me in to the fact that these were not your "run of the mill, cheap ukuleles!" They use Grover open geared tuners, a Graphtech nut and compensating saddle, D'addario "Nyltech" strings and comes with an absolutely beautiful hard case complete with hygrometer and planet waves small instrument humidifer. (very cool)

Finding a quiet spot on the show floor was difficult, but the sales rep "product specialist" was super friendly and for a nobody (me) went way beyond the neccessary. We found a quiet hallway nearby and I spent the next 15 minutes comparing the Mahogany and Koa tenor models.
I must say that I was super impressed. The sound was terrific....seemingly exploding from the instrument (especially the Mahogany) Super even and easy to play.....difficult to put down. I went back and offered to buy it later in the day, but was told they were waiting for a bunch of containers to arrive and couldn't part with them. :(

In a nutshell....(in my humble opinion) For under $500 retail the LuLu Mahogany tenor rivals that of almost any tenor I've ever played. (And I own and/or have played them all. The Koa model was very nice too, but had the D'addario Titanium strings on it (not my preference) and I think they may have thinned-out what otherwise was a great playing / looking instrument too!


and you're not associated with them in any way?

Mim
07-18-2012, 09:01 AM
Normally I only review the ukuleles I have a high regard for, but since it came up I will talk a little about my observations of the LuLu. I was a little concerned about the LuLu ukuleles. The first one I picked up has some finish issues with glue that had come out the side of the neck that was just glossed over, cloudy finish, glossed over imperfections along the fretboard up against the body and just an overall heaviness in construction. Granted I looked at another and it was just fine. But it was a Koa at a high price point, but the wood properties looked more like Mahogany than Koa. Not saying it is not Koa, it probably is, just not very "koa-ish" looking, but if it is going to be Koa at that price point, it needs to look it. I would be interested to see what happens with their next batch, it is a start, but I think the price point is pretty high for what they are. They do come with a case, but I still am not sure if that justifies the higher price point. So I am passing on them, but who knows, they may make a better showing in Winter.

mds725
07-18-2012, 10:32 AM
I've never officially reviewed a product before, so please bare with me as I attempt to be as articulate and descriptive as I can be! [truncated post]

For what it's worth, I kept my clothes on while reading this post. :)

Uke Republic
07-18-2012, 11:12 AM
Just had to add this one! Rob's a great guy and I have mustache envy!
40363

Hippie Dribble
07-18-2012, 01:15 PM
and you're not associated with them in any way?

my thoughts EXACTLY when I first read that sales pitch. First post. Thousand word essay glorifying the product and the people behind it. There's a bit of it around...

luluwrites
07-18-2012, 11:46 PM
This made me laugh.


For what it's worth, I kept my clothes on while reading this post. :)

Lil_uker
07-19-2012, 02:00 AM
and you're not associated with them in any way?
No, but if they were hiring, I think it might be a cool job. "Director of Ukulele development". I bet that sounds good to many of us here on UU!
I also loved the Loprinzi's and will write my opinions about what wasn't already sold when I got to that booth. ;)

Steedy
07-19-2012, 08:18 AM
Linky to a handful of Summer NAMM photos on the Nashville Tennessean web site:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=DN&Dato=20120712&Kategori=BUSINESS01&Lopenr=207120812&Ref=PH&odyssey=mod|defcon|img|FRONTPAGE

Includes a nice pic of Jorma Winkler, President of Big Island Ukulele Company. :)

molamola
07-27-2012, 06:39 AM
Normally I only review the ukuleles I have a high regard for, but since it came up I will talk a little about my observations of the LuLu. I was a little concerned about the LuLu ukuleles. The first one I picked up has some finish issues with glue that had come out the side of the neck that was just glossed over, cloudy finish, glossed over imperfections along the fretboard up against the body and just an overall heaviness in construction. Granted I looked at another and it was just fine. But it was a Koa at a high price point, but the wood properties looked more like Mahogany than Koa. Not saying it is not Koa, it probably is, just not very "koa-ish" looking, but if it is going to be Koa at that price point, it needs to look it. I would be interested to see what happens with their next batch, it is a start, but I think the price point is pretty high for what they are. They do come with a case, but I still am not sure if that justifies the higher price point. So I am passing on them, but who knows, they may make a better showing in Winter.

Hi all,

I actually am an employee of sorts of Lulu Ukulele so I'm hoping to address your concerns if I may.

I don't know who lil_uker is but I checked with our owner and it is definitely not one of us (not hard to check - there are only 4 of us at the moment. "Did YOU write that?" "no, did he?" No". Pretty funny.). I can assure you that we want our ukuleles to be a huge hit with all of you and spamming or ghosting (or whatever the term is) the UU forum would be a great way to get off to a horrible start.

Mim, I was the one who helped you in the booth. Your 'eagle eye' and your very informed notes to me were extremely helpful to all of us and were discussed instantly. The 9 instruments you saw in our booth were the first 9 on the planet and we had to press the factory like crazy to get them there in time for the show, our first. That rush factor is the sole reason why you saw an instrument that had any imperfections whatsoever. Had we not been in such a hurry to set up the booth and get ready for traffic we probably would have caught that and not put it on display.

Our koa is definitely koa. We have recently sourced some other more' koa looking' koa, but I assure you that what you saw is definitely koa and not some 'close relative' or cheaper substitute.

Regarding our price point, we spent a lot of time on R&D and wanted high quality instruments that were beautiful to see, built to last and sounded and played great. That led to a lot of thought about where that would put us in the booming ukulele landscape. The result is that we make instruments that are affordable for the player ready to upgrade from a lower priced instrument but not priced in the stratosphere like many of the great instruments out there that are out of reach to most of us.

I took the mahogany tenor you saw to a session while in Nashville and was extremely happy with the sound, the intonation up and down the neck, and the playability of it. I was proud that we had done what we set out to do.

We are a brand new company and we want to make great relationships with the ukulele world. I thought the concerns brought up here warranted my writing. I hope this helps answer any remaining questions w/o seeming like just another sales pitch.

Thanks,

Jim Mola

Uke Republic
07-27-2012, 03:05 PM
Thanks for clearing the air, I think I met you as well. I couldn't hear the instruments with all the noise at the show but they did look good. Nice brochure too :)
Hi all,

I actually am an employee of sorts of Lulu Ukulele so I'm hoping to address your concerns if I may.

I don't know who lil_uker is but I checked with our owner and it is definitely not one of us (not hard to check - there are only 4 of us at the moment. "Did YOU write that?" "no, did he?" No". Pretty funny.). I can assure you that we want our ukuleles to be a huge hit with all of you and spamming or ghosting (or whatever the term is) the UU forum would be a great way to get off to a horrible start.

Mim, I was the one who helped you in the booth. Your 'eagle eye' and your very informed notes to me were extremely helpful to all of us and were discussed instantly. The 9 instruments you saw in our booth were the first 9 on the planet and we had to press the factory like crazy to get them there in time for the show, our first. That rush factor is the sole reason why you saw an instrument that had any imperfections whatsoever. Had we not been in such a hurry to set up the booth and get ready for traffic we probably would have caught that and not put it on display.

Our koa is definitely koa. We have recently sourced some other more' koa looking' koa, but I assure you that what you saw is definitely koa and not some 'close relative' or cheaper substitute.

Regarding our price point, we spent a lot of time on R&D and wanted high quality instruments that were beautiful to see, built to last and sounded and played great. That led to a lot of thought about where that would put us in the booming ukulele landscape. The result is that we make instruments that are affordable for the player ready to upgrade from a lower priced instrument but not priced in the stratosphere like many of the great instruments out there that are out of reach to most of us.

I took the mahogany tenor you saw to a session while in Nashville and was extremely happy with the sound, the intonation up and down the neck, and the playability of it. I was proud that we had done what we set out to do.

We are a brand new company and we want to make great relationships with the ukulele world. I thought the concerns brought up here warranted my writing. I hope this helps answer any remaining questions w/o seeming like just another sales pitch.

Thanks,

Jim Mola

molamola
07-28-2012, 06:09 AM
Heh, I know - ukuleles in an aircraft hangar. ;) But we had a great time in Nashville and we're looking forward to Anaheim, and maybe even Tampa.


Thanks for clearing the air, I think I met you as well. I couldn't hear the instruments with all the noise at the show but they did look good. Nice brochure too :)