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View Full Version : NAMM another view for those who wish they could go



katysax
01-27-2013, 07:11 AM
I have friends in the music business and live in LA so I have been able to get NAMM tickets whenever I've wanted to go. Over the years I've gone a few times but then I remember all the reasons why it is such a hassle and I don't go. This year I decided to go look at ukes.

So it takes me 2 hours to drive through the city of LA to get to Anaheim and then it took me 90 minutes of waiting in line just to park. I then had to take a shuttle to get to the convention center. So it started out kind of tiring.

When you get in the place is really packed and really noisy. There are lots of people pounding on drums and playing various instruments. The cacaphony makes it hard to hear anything. Among the stuff are lots of cool things that make it pretty exciting, and you can also rub elbows with a lot of famous musicians. But you've got to tolerate the noise and the crowds and the tons of stuff you don't care about.

A few things stood out for me that were memorable.

Kiwaya makes really quality ukes, and I was impressed by them even in a place with so much competitions. I really liked the concerts and tenors too.

Breedlove - the Kim Breedlove signature model was really nice. I could hear the quality and the highs really cut through even with all the noise.

Collings - I wish I owned one. Collings to me stands out as the best and most consistent of the current builders. And they are loud.

Ohana - They had a Vita Uke shaped resonator with a sound hole that I loved.

Islander Bass - I probably won't buy one as my U-Bass serves me well, but I liked it.

Kamaka - Still the definitive Hawaiian sound to my ears.

All in all most of what I saw blended together. There was a lot of serious junk.

Then getting home was a huge nightmare. It took me two busses to get back to my car and a three hour drive home.

It was more exhausting than fun. I think the people who come from out of town and stay at the hotels and just stay at the show get to soak it in more. I'd like to have more time at some of the booths but the experience as a whole can be more tiring than fun.

dkcrown
01-27-2013, 08:29 AM
Thanks for your opinions/impressions of the show katysax. Did the Kiwaya booth have one of their master series koa tenors there?

Tigeralum2001
01-27-2013, 10:17 AM
Thanks for your opinions/impressions of the show katysax. Did the Kiwaya booth have one of their master series koa tenors there?

Kiwaya and Breedlove definitely need more retail outlets. I like what I have seen from both, but I have never had my hands on either of them.

katysax
01-27-2013, 12:06 PM
Yes Kiwaya had the master series tenor there. I saw lots and lots of ukes, Kiwaya made an impression that I remember - most I have forgotten already. A lot of the ukes I saw were quite nice, but they didn't stand out.

SuzukHammer
01-27-2013, 02:43 PM
I like the Kiwaya too - they have low action. and light.

T's makes alot of Kiwaya's and I got a T's too - just like a Kiwaya - wonderful.

PeteyHoudini
01-27-2013, 02:48 PM
Thanks for your honest take on the whole event... driving, parking, buses, ukes... 8-)

Not really my cup of tea... though a bottle of whisky might calm the nerves after that affair! hehe

Petey

SuzukHammer
01-27-2013, 03:01 PM
Here's my top secret observation.

Most pictures indicated it was a dude fest.

As such, I have a very strong desire to play Lulu girl without the strings. haha.

Plainsong
01-27-2013, 03:24 PM
This is why conventions suck. And it's something people need to remember, who want to go there but don't have any business or reporting to do.

katysax
01-27-2013, 05:06 PM
This is why conventions suck. And it's something people need to remember, who want to go there but don't have any business or reporting to do.


Here's my top secret observation.

Most pictures indicated it was a dude fest

Haha. Yes it was a dudefest.

Conventions usually suck when you have business to do too. I always think NAMM will be exciting until I go and then forget after a few years what a hassle it was. It was definitely cool to see some of the things that I saw - but you can't really judge instruments in that kind of cacophony. To some extent when you see that many instruments you realize how many of these ukes are pretty much the same. For the most part I was unimpressed by all the mass produced ukes. They were actually a lot less to see with the naked eye than they look with a lot of pictures. For the most part I saw nothing that caused me UAS from Lanikai, Kala, Islander or Ohana. I only wanted the custom Breedlove. My UAS was incited by Kamaka, Collings and Kiwaya. I want every Kiwaya. I want a Collings Concert. I want a Kamaka pineapple.

I was unimpressed by the Pepe Romera Cordobas. I did see some other ukes here and there that I can't tell you the make that were nice. I did try the Ohana Sopranino and saw that it is several times better than the little Tom that I have. It's not that there was anything particularly wrong about the various mass produced ukes, just that I've got nice ukes already and most of the stuff did not stand out from the pack.