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coolkayaker1
02-25-2013, 07:59 AM
Andrew at HMS got an Asturias Ukulele from Japan at NAMM and I'm going to give it a try. Interestingly, I searched it on UU< no mention. So I thought I'd post it here (and more when it comes). I was looking for a spruce topped soprano, and the cutaway is a bonus--I love cutaways, and can access higher register on the concert neck now.

http://www.asturias.jp/about/?lang=en

A little more than a dozen luthiers near Kyushu making classical guitars since 1962, and ukuleles for over ten years.

Best is, as most on here know, I dislike geared tuners with a passion. For an upgrade, Andrew is going to install UPT Gotoh (the new Gotoh planetary tuners) on it for me! This involves removing the geared tuners, filling wood, and refinishing the back of the headstock. Those guys at HMS are magicians, let me tell you. I'll write a review of not only the uke (which sounds ideal in the Corey video, but it's on Vimeo so I don;t know how to attach it here) and the tuners! Should be here in a month or so, I'd guess. No rush. Cheers, all.

From HMS website: "Asturias is a well known high end classical builder in Japan that has been making ukes for over 10 years. They call this model a concert but as you can see in the pictures, it fits perfectly into an Oahu soprano case, so we will call it a soprano long neck. It is certainly a super soprano and not just because of the scale length. This ukulele has an open, vintage like tone right off the bat. The fit and finish is perfection. The setup is right on and the quality is very evident. If you were looking for a big, warm tone able to be carried in a sopano case, and don't mind a perfect glassy finish or a custom style florentine cutaway, then this ukulele is at the top of our list. Truly a wonderful ukulele and we guarantee you will fall in love at first strum."

49371493724937349374

This may fall right off the UU Boards, but at least someone now has written about Aturias Japanese Ukes on UU for the next person who searches it. lol.

Dan Uke
02-25-2013, 08:32 AM
I tried the brand and it sounded good, I didn't look at it carefully since I wasn't shopping for any ukes at that time. Let us know after getting it!

KimosTherapy
02-25-2013, 08:50 AM
Ho, Bruddah Steve!

CONGRATS on your new Asturias Soprano!!!:cheers: I like da cutaway ... plus da uke sounds MEAN, too! Get one Concert scale on da uke, yeah? I had my eyes on dat uke evah since it went up fo sale on HMS! Da only problem is dat I only play tenor sized ukes .... SHUCKS!!!

P.S. Eh! You one Bruko dealah o what???!!! I see you get plenty of dem fo sale on eBay!

coolkayaker1
02-25-2013, 09:03 AM
Thanks, Daniel. I'll let you know.

Bruddah Kimo...no Brudo dealer, jus' oderin' in bulk to save shippin', den pass savings to friends.

Yes, concert scale on soprano body (I had a Koaloha tenor neck on a soprano body, and it was great, but slightly off for weigh distribution). I really enjoy spprano and concert scales now...so if anyone sees a tenor in my signature below that they want a deal on, just PM me. lol

Daniel is the tenor guy. lol And you, too, Kimo.

rpfrogner
02-25-2013, 09:10 AM
I am interested to see what you think about it. It is a great looking uke, and will be ever better without the ears!

coolkayaker1
02-25-2013, 09:26 AM
Ah, another soprano guy. Thanks. Rick. Will let you know how it is when I get it. You know, I had that Martin 3M with replaced back Gryph money burning a hole in my pocket. lol

mm stan
02-25-2013, 09:56 AM
Aloha Steve,
Wow you must be a millioaire or something...:) you keep buying all the good ukes...holy moly..this one I agree sounds nice Happy strummings...

Stevelele
02-25-2013, 09:58 AM
I had my eye on this uke, too. I think it looks and sounds great from the video. If it were a tenor, I may have bought it. Looking forward to living vicariously through you!

BlueLatitude
02-25-2013, 10:11 AM
It was on my Wish List as well.

coolkayaker1
02-25-2013, 10:18 AM
Thanks, Stan, Steve and Blue.

I know there are a ton of tenor players here, and they wouldn't favor this one. But for me, it just might be ideal..what with the fretboard access of the cutaway. It's really hard to find a soprano body/concert body cutaway, as you all know. Sounds like you three saw the Vimeo with Corey..it really does have some special sound...different...and that is what did it for me.

I might be one of the first to try those Gotoh Planetaries, too. As usual, Andrew and HMS are top of their game. Wonderful in every way. They're going to take their time with the tuner change out...and no rush on my part. Andrew is thinking of carrying this Japanese line.

No, didn;t hit lottery, Stan. (Stan, you have the best ukes of anyone I know! And, I may have just bought the one uke brand you've never owned...I knew there was one!)) Just had some refund money from Gryphon Music to deploy (and will one of you uke players please contact me about any one of the ukes in my signature...I'd like to get some groceries this weekend. Thanks!).

Skinny Money McGee
02-25-2013, 11:11 AM
Awesome looking uke. I really like the headstock shape. Those Gotoh's should look great on it. Post some picts when you get it.

BlueLatitude
02-25-2013, 11:18 AM
And videos! And congratulations, BTW!

Nickie
02-25-2013, 01:10 PM
Congrats! It looks like one very beautiful uke!

Dan Uke
02-25-2013, 01:31 PM
(and will one of you uke players please contact me about any one of the ukes in my signature...I'd like to get some groceries this weekend. Thanks!).

Someone take his Pohaku Bari...I've played a Pohaku recently and it sounded awesome!! This one is so unique and the curl is amazing!!

Make him regret making the above comment! LOL

whit
02-25-2013, 02:57 PM
Someone take his Pohaku Bari...I've played a Pohaku recently and it sounded awesome!! This one is so unique and the curl is amazing!!

Make him regret making the above comment! LOL

The thought had crossed my mind. Alas, I'll be heading to Japan instead.

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
02-25-2013, 03:05 PM
Wow, congrats!!! I can't wait to hear what you think of it.

I got my HF3 last week and can't put it down, thanks for all the advice - I love it. :love:

Still thinking about the Donaldson Pineapple tho'.....shhhhhhh don't tell my hubby - I promised him the Kamaka was my last one :rofl:

Hahahahahahahaha.....you guys know better.....

coolkayaker1
02-25-2013, 05:32 PM
Awesome looking uke. I really like the headstock shape. Those Gotoh's should look great on it. Post some picts when you get it.
And videos! And congratulations, BTW! Sure, Skinny and Blue. I'll let you both know how it looks and sounds. I'm gonna have Thom teach me how to use SOundcloud, too. I have a few ukes and would love to throw out a stumper quiz to you all (can anyone really tell the difference between a solid and a laminate...hmmm? lol


Congrats! It looks like one very beautiful uke! Nickie, you always have kind words for everyone on UU. I appreciate your Aloha spirit, I really do.


Someone take his Pohaku Bari...I've played a Pohaku recently and it sounded awesome!! This one is so unique and the curl is amazing!! Make him regret making the above comment! LOL You make me laugh, D. You really do. I sent you a PM--you are the man for getting me that Mark's book. You really are, huh Stan? lol


The thought had crossed my mind. Alas, I'll be heading to Japan instead. Whit, I haven't seen you online in a while. You're going to Japan>? I could have had you pick up the Asturias for me...if you want to take a boat ride to the island of Kyushu, that is. Do tell what your souvenir Japanese uke will be (A Famous branded Kiwaya, perhaps).


Wow, congrats!!! I can't wait to hear what you think of it. I got my HF3 last week and can't put it down, thanks for all the advice - I love it. :love: Still thinking about the Donaldson Pineapple tho'.....shhhhhhh don't tell my hubby - I promised him the Kamaka was my last one :rofl: Hahahahahahahaha.....you guys know better..... BigSky Diane, I'm glad you pulled the trigger. Did I miss it...did you post photos yet on your thread? That uke will retain its value, too. Yea, the Donaldson Pineapple would be keen, even if hubby does make you sleep in the doghouse for a couple months. It's worth it. lol

tigersister
02-25-2013, 06:18 PM
Steve, congrats on the new uke. It's a stunner. Looking forward to your impression on it.

coolkayaker1
02-25-2013, 06:24 PM
Steve, congrats on the new uke. It's a stunner. Looking forward to your impression on it.

If it's one gazillionth as beautiful as your homecoming queen Mya Moe, Soo, I'd be a lucky guy. lol

KimosTherapy
02-26-2013, 02:22 AM
Ho, Bruddah Steve!

Here's da HMS video of Corey playing da uke:


http://vimeo.com/58707841

coolkayaker1
02-26-2013, 03:13 AM
Oh, my Lord...thanks, Kimo!!

stevepetergal
02-26-2013, 03:33 AM
I personally don't get why there are so many small ukuleles being made with long necks. Seems like a "niche" sort of thing. But I know they sell.

And here is a classical guitar maker, of all things, and the only size they make is a soprano body with a concert neck? And they're shooting for a big sound??? Seems insane! Someone please, explain it to a technical guy like me.

Not only that, shooting for a big sound, they offer only the soprano with concert neck, only with that over-sized cutaway, reducing significantly not just the size of the soundboard, but the resonating chamber as well.

What the...?

coolkayaker1
02-26-2013, 04:50 AM
Steve, I know when I had my soprano body, tenor necked KoALoha, it was amazing. Soprano sound butv more frets and larger board of a tenor. It was purely the weigh distrubution that kept me from keeping it--needed a strap every time as it was head hevy. Hoping this won;'t be as such. For me it's a sound thing. How else can one have a soprano sound on fret 15? lol

Cutaways make, in my opinion having had many of them (I think I still have 2 or so) no perceptible difference in sound board vibration. Your guru, Gordon at Mya Moe, says same in one of his videos. Someday, someone will take two ukes (eg Mya Moes) with same wood and one cutaway and one not and do a sound test...I certainly wouldn;t bet that I could tell which was which (even if someone told me in "controls" first). Will a cutaway make a difference on a smaller uke? Jury out...but I have an Ibanez concert cutaway $200 uke that sounds great with a cutaway. I like the cutaway for higher reaches on some of my fingerpicking numbers.

As to the tendecy toward longer necks on smaller bodies, I don't know why it is except for the reasons above. Corey makes this uke ring, in the video, as you can see. I like small sounds from slightly larger fretboard sizes.

Of course, you can ply this one when I get it. Come over the the condo and play the Mya Moe, too. Would love that!

coolkayaker1
02-26-2013, 05:29 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z7bYFNliCQ

Again, it may make more difference on a small bodied instrument...I'll let you know (and try it out) Steve

collarbone
02-26-2013, 05:48 AM
These guys have a couple of Asturias for sale (http://om28.com/CategorySearch?id=PC-02-07.). Not as fancy as the one you ordered but interesting nonetheless.

wayfarer75
02-26-2013, 06:27 AM
I'm interested in how you like it, too. Seems like super sopranos are getting popular. Almost got one myself recently, but I went for a LoPrinzi soprano that had 14 frets to the body but still soprano scale. I just wanted more frets (first uke only has 12), but now that I have a concert uke instead of only sopranos, I'm curious how well the concert neck and the soprano body really combine. The LoPrinzi was easier to hold than my Kala KA-S. It had friction tuners, and the Kala has big geared ears, making the headstock a good bit heavier. I do wonder how a longer neck would affect the weight distribution.

whit
02-26-2013, 10:14 AM
And here is a classical guitar maker, of all things, and the only size they make is a soprano body with a concert neck? And they're shooting for a big sound??? Seems insane! Someone please, explain it to a technical guy like me.

Actually they make tenor scale instruments as well, still with the cutaway. These appear on the Japanese pages.

@coolkayaker1 Yep, took a bit of a break from the forums. I found for me that I was spending more time reading, posting and looking for the next uke to improve my playing, when the only thing that was going to help me improve was ... playing. I'm down a few ukes, but I did get my hands on the KoAloha longneck pineapple.

And then I received a classical guitar...

BigSkyUkuleleGirl
02-26-2013, 10:23 AM
BigSky Diane, I'm glad you pulled the trigger. Did I miss it...did you post photos yet on your thread? That uke will retain its value, too. Yea, the Donaldson Pineapple would be keen, even if hubby does make you sleep in the doghouse for a couple months. It's worth it. lol

Yes, I posted a few pics but I am not much of a photographer BC I think the uke looks alot better than the pics show!! The koa looks stunning depending on the angle the light is hitting it. I'll try for some better pics.

OldePhart
02-26-2013, 01:36 PM
I personally don't get why there are so many small ukuleles being made with long necks. Seems like a "niche" sort of thing. But I know they sell.

And here is a classical guitar maker, of all things, and the only size they make is a soprano body with a concert neck? And they're shooting for a big sound??? Seems insane! Someone please, explain it to a technical guy like me.

Not only that, shooting for a big sound, they offer only the soprano with concert neck, only with that over-sized cutaway, reducing significantly not just the size of the soundboard, but the resonating chamber as well.

What the...?

I can only speak for myself (I own two concert scale soprano body ukes, KoALoha and Kiwaya). For me the idea of the longer scale is not for bigger sound, though it does have a little more volume and sustain than an equivalent soprano/soprano uke because of the greater vibrating mass of the strings. The attraction for me is that I get a more traditional soprano ukulele sound with a fretboard that is a little more comfortable (and usually has a couple more frets). When I first started playing a soprano fretboard felt extremely cramped to me but after owning a couple of concerts I realized that I much prefered the sound of soprano bodies. I tried a Kiwaya longneck soprano to "get my feet wet" and when I realized that was exactly what I was looking for I bought a KoAloha longneck (concert scale) soprano and sold my KoAloha concert.

Eventually my fingers got used to playing smaller scales and a soprano doesn't feel terribly cramped to me any more, so I picked up a couple of sopranos, but I still like my longnecks for some things.

John

kissing
02-26-2013, 05:02 PM
Man, you and I have really similar taste. I've been eyeing this particular ukulele ever since HMS put it on their site.
But alas, currently I'm after a Pono cutaway baritone with slotted headstock, so wasn't after a long neck soprano at this time.


On the topic of cutaways on ukuleles, I think the argument is somewhat invalid.
On guitars, cutaway is a debatable topic, because guitars have BASS tones, which require as large a body as possible.
A ukulele, it seems big body does not equal superior tone. In fact, many people actually prefer smaller bodies to get more punchiness and treble.
For example, Koaloha's new thin-body tenor.

A cutaway on a ukulele does not have a negative effect on tone. It may affect it due to a slightly smaller body cavity, but it is somewhat irrelevant since ukulele in its traditional tuning is not a bass instrument.

AndrewKuker
02-26-2013, 07:37 PM
(and will one of you uke players please contact me about any one of the ukes in my signature...I'd like to get some groceries this weekend. Thanks!).

Saimin. Diet for the UAS positive

hawaii 50
02-26-2013, 07:43 PM
[QUOTE=AndrewKuker;1198854]Saimen. Diet for the UAS positive

hey Andrew you mean the dry saimin(50 cents)..not the one from Shige's($6.00) right.. haha

Dan Uke
02-26-2013, 08:11 PM
I think the rest of the world calls it Ramen. I tried to find a good one in Honolulu and went to Goma Tei and nothing beats Ramen in Los Angeles except of course in Japan!!

hawaii 50
02-26-2013, 08:17 PM
I think the rest of the world calls it Ramen. I tried to find a good one in Honolulu and went to Goma Tei and nothing beats Ramen in Los Angeles except of course in Japan!!


next time I see you on Oahu..i'll take you to Shige's or Tanaka Saimin..good stuff

AndrewKuker
02-26-2013, 09:01 PM
[QUOTE=AndrewKuker;1198854]
hey Andrew you mean the dry saimin(50 cents)..not the one from Shige's($6.00) right.. haha

Oh see they make their own noodles. the wonton mein oohhh .. no I'm talkin about what I lived on as a bachelor, back then it was 25 cents, once in a while you can mix it up, add some ketchup..bam! italian

hawaii 50
02-27-2013, 03:21 AM
[QUOTE=hawaii 50;1198857]

Oh see they make their own noodles. the wonton mein oohhh .. no I'm talkin about what I lived on as a bachelor, back then it was 25 cents, once in a while you can mix it up, add some ketchup..bam! italian

Ha ha..thats a good one!

AndrewKuker
03-12-2013, 01:15 AM
more handsome..better balance...good call kayaker
http://theukulelereview.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/aust.-ss1-1024x787.jpg

coolkayaker1
03-12-2013, 02:00 AM
Oh, my Lord, you're a magician, Andrew! Thank you!

I loved this ukulele from the HMS ad...the size, the cutaway, the woods...but kept scratching my head about the original geared "ears"-- with unsightly white tuning knobs, no less. I'm a died in the wool friction guy. I contacted Andrew personally about the uke in general, just to see his thoughts, and expressed my pause at the tuners. It can't be my "perfect uke" with those gnarly knobs sticking out (see original posted photos earlier in this thread). Andrew himself suggested changing them out. Yep, to Gotoh Planetary! He and his staff had to remove the old, fill the screw holes, refinish the back of the head to match the neck, then rebore the main holes to accept the new tuners.

The result is amazing! I upgraded to a Reunion Blues Continental case, too. It ships to me today.

Thanks so much HMS! Andrew, you are a dream uke maker. Anyone who has a combination of woods, tuners, bridge style, etc., call Andrew. He knows the makers, or can dial it in for you. I'm excited!

~~~~You guys gotta admit...it looks a boatload better with those stealthy black Gotoh Planetaries, no?

wayfarer75
03-12-2013, 02:35 AM
Those tuners look great! The front view of the headstock looks much, much better. Black was an excellent choice with the dark headplate. And from the back, those tuners look a lot smaller than I thought they were. Someone should tell Asturias they need to make a switch in their production.

NewKid
03-12-2013, 03:01 AM
Uke-makeover cable show? "Pimp my Uke!"

OldePhart
03-12-2013, 07:23 AM
Sweeeet. I can see those tuners going on my tenors...

Dan Uke
03-12-2013, 07:35 AM
Oh man oh man!! ISpruce top long neck cutaway with stealth Gotoh tuners and Reunion Blues Bag is my ideal setup for a tenor. However, I can see myself with that exact setup for a soprano! Great score Steve...Would love your opinion on the sound and playability

stevepetergal
03-12-2013, 10:55 AM
Looking forward to seeing this one!

coolkayaker1
03-12-2013, 02:32 PM
Looking forward to seeing this one!
You bet, Steve. We'll get together in the next month or two for sure.

coolkayaker1
03-12-2013, 02:33 PM
Oh man oh man!! Great score Steve

I bet you say that to all the boys. :o

Dan Uke
03-12-2013, 04:56 PM
I bet you say that to all the boys. :o

keep it on the down low but I'm a closet soprano player