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View Full Version : Current thoughts on the Sceptre



Tigeralum2001
04-01-2013, 04:02 PM
When I first joined UU, Sceptres were all the rage. I bought one and I love it, though it has fallen deep into my uke rotation (due to no fault of its own). In fact, every time I play it I wonder "why don't I play this uke more often?"

What is your take on the Sceptre? Mine has the Crown bridge, which bridge does your have?

512895129051291

OldePhart
04-01-2013, 04:12 PM
I selected "Meh" mostly because "hate" is too strong an emotion to waste on an inanimate object. :)

I've just never understood the fascination with them - the ones I've heard in clips sound fine but so do many other tenors and it just looks goofy to me - not to mention it can't be too comfortable to play, I'd think.

Some folks like the Flying V and "Explorer" guitar shapes - I never got that, either. I guess I'm just an old curmudgeonly boring kinda guy.

John

SuzukHammer
04-01-2013, 04:37 PM
Its an exceptional instrument. I don't play mine regularly because I know I'd chip one of those wood edges in time.

UkerDanno
04-01-2013, 06:12 PM
what oldephart said...:old:

mds725
04-01-2013, 08:16 PM
what oldephart said...

I also agree with John. I think they sound great, but I find them uncomfortable to hold and somewhat gimmicky looking. They're beautiful, just not my taste.

experimentjon
04-01-2013, 08:28 PM
They're not super comfortable, but man, they look cool. I love mine. The ordinary ukulele shape is nice, but the Sceptre and Pineapple Sunday get oohs and ahhs every time.

Hippie Dribble
04-01-2013, 10:36 PM
I've not heard one but I would never pick one up on the basis of it's looks alone. I find them seriously ugly, way too angular and harsh looking to be a ukulele. Reminds me too much of a weapon. I guess I'm another one of those curmudgeonly boring folks...I hated the flying V's too

Kyle23
04-01-2013, 10:54 PM
Not a fan, I guess they look different and kind of cool, but not my style.

chrimess
04-02-2013, 12:54 AM
Ouch, where is the love for poor Papa Okami?
BTW: anyone got a Signature-model for sale? Please PM me.

Nicko
04-02-2013, 12:58 AM
Looks like Batman's uke.

dkcrown
04-02-2013, 01:04 AM
I like them. I had a concert that I sold to rem50 only because I decided to stick strictly with tenors. And he loves it. They are loud, sweet sounding and easy too play. I found that ergonomically my arm fit perfectly in one of the coved sections when I played.

I will say that they are a little gimicky. But back in 2009-2010, they were one of the hottest and most sought after ukes here on the UU.

iDavid
04-02-2013, 01:19 AM
Not really clear what makes a sceptre gimicky. I really like the looks of them and was tempted to get one last summer while in Oahu. I preferred the sound of the standard tenor or concert, however. I think the sceptre lacks a bit of warmth. I still would be very tempted to get one if I could try it first.

Paul December
04-02-2013, 03:06 AM
:eek: Wow, 2/3 of responders hate or meh.

wmboy
04-02-2013, 03:41 AM
Japanese uke artist Iwao liked his concert sceptre so much that he recorded an entire CD using it in 2009. Pretty impressive for a production uke.

51296

Koaloha reciprocated with an Iwao edition for the Japanese market, laser engraving on the top.

51297

Charmed by Iwao's CD, I had to buy mine from MGM during the craze back in 2009/2010. Today, I still like it for its clear ringing tone and the ease playing up and down the neck. Best strung with high G Worth and finger picking pieces for me.

Photo credits:

http://www.amazon.co.jp/Life-Beautiful%7EIWAO’S-UKULELE-SOLO-BEST/dp/B0026QYMUA/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1364907980&sr=8-3-fkmr1

http://blog.livedoor.jp/cooper97/archives/1394618.html

Stevelele
04-02-2013, 03:53 AM
Koaloha really runs the spectrum for me -- on the one hand, they produce things like the Sceptre and the Juke-a-lele, which I can respect as original, but just really do look gimmicky to me; but on the other hand, they can produce gorgeous black and red label ukes

Cornfield
04-02-2013, 04:24 AM
Looks like Batman's uke.

I have never seen a photo of this style of uke before. "Batman" is what came to mind.

Sporin
04-02-2013, 04:44 AM
I selected "Meh" mostly because "hate" is too strong an emotion to waste on an inanimate object. :)

I've just never understood the fascination with them - the ones I've heard in clips sound fine but so do many other tenors and it just looks goofy to me - not to mention it can't be too comfortable to play, I'd think.

Some folks like the Flying V and "Explorer" guitar shapes - I never got that, either. I guess I'm just an old curmudgeonly boring kinda guy.

John

Pretty much exaclty how I feel. I certainly don't "hate" it, it's just not for me and never on my radar.

Sporin
04-02-2013, 04:51 AM
Ouch, where is the love for poor Papa Okami?

One can have great respect for a luthier/artist, without having to think every single thing they produce is the bee's knees. ;)

Tigeralum2001
04-02-2013, 05:27 AM
I've not heard one but I would never pick one up on the basis of it's looks alone. I find them seriously ugly, way too angular and harsh looking to be a ukulele. Reminds me too much of a weapon. I guess I'm another one of those curmudgeonly boring folks...I hated the flying V's too
Never heard one? Jason Arimoto often performs with his
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U_aIqECxzR8

I agree they sound best in high G. This was also perhaps one of the first ukes to project enough to play unplugged with acoustic guitars (plural).

Maybe mine is a good one, but I think it is awesome. I've been considering selling it, but I think I would regret it later. I would encourage people to try one next time you have a chance, don't judge a uke by its form factor! ;)

molokinirum
04-02-2013, 05:31 AM
Not my style!! Don't hate it though......just would not buy one.

chrimess
04-02-2013, 05:41 AM
that is certainly true and it was not meant from a defensive perspective, in this thread, though, the PS, Sceptre and the Juke-a-Lele are getting a bit of a beating- which is totally fine, since everyone is entitled to their opinion.


One can have great respect for a luthier/artist, without having to think every single thing they produce is the bee's knees. ;)

wayfarer75
04-02-2013, 05:43 AM
It's not my style, but I can see why someone would want one. Couldn't imagine "hating" a uke, though.

Dan Uke
04-02-2013, 06:15 AM
When I first started in 2011, I really wanted to get the Sceptre and PS and so it was Love It. I bought the Sceptre and Koaloha Tenor and IMO, the Septre sounded much better. However, my wife bought me the Tenor so I had to sell the Sceptre. Now in 2013, my tastes have changed and I prefer the figure 8 shape now so wouldn't get either so now Meh.

guitharsis
04-02-2013, 06:37 AM
Pretty uke but not my taste.
Really like the PS a lot though.

Hippie Dribble
04-02-2013, 08:51 AM
Never heard one? Jason Arimoto often performs with his
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U_aIqECxzR8

I agree they sound best in high G. This was also perhaps one of the first ukes to project enough to play unplugged with acoustic guitars (plural).

Maybe mine is a good one, but I think it is awesome. I've been considering selling it, but I think I would regret it later. I would encourage people to try one next time you have a chance, don't judge a uke by its form factor! ;)
sorry CJ, 'in person' was what I meant. Jason Arimoto is amazing. :cool: And Kurt, one of our seasonistas uses his on the seasons board pretty often. You can tell from his vids that it has tonnes of volume and he's a big rap for it also.

it's not my wish to offend anyone and yes, heaps of love for Papa Christian, I just don't like the aesthetic design of this uke is all.

haolejohn
04-02-2013, 08:57 AM
I loved the one I had. I sold it for a very cheap price of $500 but that is b/c there is a story there.

When I found out the KoAloha story and how the sceptre came to be I had to have one. My Sceptre was not uncomfortable to play. I found it to be quite comfortable. The point sat in my leg perfectly and the uke was as loud as a guitar.

I will one day own one again. I had the crown bridge too and that is what I want to own again.

chrimess
04-02-2013, 09:41 AM
it's not my wish to offend anyone and yes, heaps of love for Papa Christian, I just don't like the aesthetic design of this uke is all.
Appreciate the love, Jon, Papa Christian loves his Heavy Metal Ukuleles (as well as the Michael Schenker Flying V).

austin1
04-02-2013, 09:47 AM
I know lots of people love them, but the aesthetic design of it isn't to my taste, I find them really aggressive. If you can describe a ukulele as "aggressive."

To their credit, they sound wonderful! Just not so much my thing.

hibiscus
04-02-2013, 10:00 AM
Yours is beautiful!

haole
04-02-2013, 10:19 AM
Huge fan of KoAloha. Not sure if I like the looks of the Sceptre, but it sure does sound good.

Dan Uke
04-02-2013, 11:33 AM
Based on the poll, you'll need to find the right buyer if you decide to sell it.

chrimess
04-02-2013, 11:38 AM
Hey Dan,
if my tax return pans out, I will be in the market for either at the right price/condition.
Based on the poll, you'll need to find the right buyer if you decide to sell it.

Dan Uke
04-02-2013, 11:48 AM
Hey Dan,
if my tax return pans out, I will be in the market for either at the right price/condition.

Hope you get a big refund cuz mine was smaller than before.

ksiegel
04-02-2013, 01:34 PM
When I got my Sceptre, I wasn't in the market for one - I wanted to see what a Pineapple Sunday sounded like, because someone here on UU had one for sale.

It was the last instrument I played at Ukulele Source in San Jose, because it looked gimmicky, and was frankly outside of my price range. And I had pretty much played every tenor and concert uke in the store.

Within 30 seconds of playing - both picking and strumming - I stopped, and looked at my wife. She was sitting and knitting, and listening to each instrument, offering her opinion.

We both just said, "Wow." No explanation mark, just an amazed, wide-eyed "Wow." The sound was tremendous, the feel of the resonation across my chest was phenomenal, and it felt so comfortable I couldn't believe it. The pointy parts don't poke anywhere, my arms wrap around just fine, and I can get different tones by altering where I pluck or strum on the neck/over the body. And loud or soft, it plays like a dream. Even playing with 10-15 others at the Ukulele club, if I start to play a solo line, I can be heard just fine (which isn't always a good thing, I have to tell you!)

I've never changed the strings in nearly 2 years - the original KoAloha "Not exactly Worth Clear" strings are still on it.

This is not the perfect instrument for every song, or for every player. Which is why I have 13 ukuleles. But if I could only have one, this is the one I would keep.

So yeah, I love my Sceptre. Almost bought another one, when it was in the Marketplace, but we had to pay an electrician to replace the Main Electrical Panel and street connection. It was really a difficult choice, but my wife reminded me that the front porch is kinda cold for sleeping at this time of year.



-Kurt

Pueo
04-02-2013, 03:02 PM
I like the Sceptre! I have played a Juke-alele too, and the sound is great (let's face it, like pretty much all KoAlohas) but I am not at all attracted to the design of the Juke-alele. I think it is great that a builder of traditional ukuleles has "validated" doing other things like the sceptre and the Juke-alele. I don't even think of the Pineapple Sunday as being unusual, just a really cool interpretation of a pinapple ukulele.

itsme
04-02-2013, 03:18 PM
When I started out, I thought Sceptres looked totally cool.

But tastes change, and now to me it's just another novelty looking uke and I don't have any desire for one.

So, meh, I guess.

GASguy
04-02-2013, 03:22 PM
I would really like to try a scepter; I am very fond of my Pineapple Sunday, to me it has the sound of Hawaii.

dsummers
04-02-2013, 03:24 PM
I have a madagascar ebony back and sides with a spruce top tenor Sceptre with the crown bridge and it sounds superb! I think it also is very comfortable. The sound is very distinct. It's a great uke!

chrimess
04-02-2013, 03:26 PM
Wow, this a part of the list of holy grail ukes...
I have a madagascar ebony back and sides with a spruce top tenor Sceptre with the crown bridge and it sounds superb! I think it also is very comfortable. The sound is very distinct. It's a great uke!

Kanaka916
04-02-2013, 03:34 PM
I've had the pleasure to play one; easy to play, sounds good and quite loud. Just not quite my cup of tea.

stevepetergal
04-02-2013, 04:22 PM
I think they're beautiful. Sort of the opposite of a pineapple. I love the Koaloha headstock and the Sceptre compliments it beautifully. I almost came up with the cash to get one, but decided it was so unusual I'd need to play it first, to see if it's uncomfortable to play (all those sharp angles). Is it?
Let me know if you're getting rid of yours, please.

experimentjon
04-02-2013, 06:39 PM
I have a madagascar ebony back and sides with a spruce top tenor Sceptre with the crown bridge and it sounds superb! I think it also is very comfortable. The sound is very distinct. It's a great uke!

Now THAT is one fantastically rare KoAloha! IIRC, those were going for ~$4500 when they were available.

mm stan
04-03-2013, 02:42 AM
I have played many of my uke dealers new ones when they were popular back a few years ago....I think like any new uke, there is the hype factor at the beginning and
soon newer model ukes take their place...If you wanna call it a fad, maybe.... I agree some do sound good but I prefer the traditional look best...

tangimango
04-03-2013, 06:05 PM
Wow, this a part of the list of holy grail ukes...
really?

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc100/S13evo/2013-02-04193204.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc100/S13evo/2013-02-04193220.jpg

Tigeralum2001
04-03-2013, 06:15 PM
Nice! I'm not sure I would go all "dream uke" for it, but I like it a lot!

coolkayaker1
04-03-2013, 06:17 PM
No matter how unsightly the Sceptre, it's head and shoulders prettier than the Jukulele.


51371

experimentjon
04-03-2013, 06:28 PM
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc100/S13evo/2013-02-04193220.jpg

Wow, guess we have quite a few lurkers with amazing instruments in their collections!

stevepetergal
04-04-2013, 03:52 AM
Yeah, I think this is the most beautiful uke on the market. I don't need inlays.

Stevelele
04-04-2013, 05:37 AM
Well this pretty much turned me around -- I thought the standard sceptre was sort of gimmicky, sort of not that nice, but this is actually quite awesome

really?

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc100/S13evo/2013-02-04193204.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc100/S13evo/2013-02-04193220.jpg

philpot
04-04-2013, 08:54 AM
I've never played one, but I would have to be in a very particular mood to want to purchase one. It looks like something that came out of Mordor. Sauron's uke.

haolejohn
04-04-2013, 09:56 AM
No matter how unsightly the Sceptre, it's head and shoulders prettier than the Jukulele.


51371

I was one of the first people to get to play the jukulele (i was at the shop before it was released and Poppa Koaloha let me play it). pictures do not do the jukulele justice. You really have to see on in person to appreciate it. It is still gimmicky but the sound was pretty intese and awesome.

chrimess
04-04-2013, 10:18 AM
amazing where they pull them from!



Wow, guess we have quite a few lurkers with amazing instruments in their collections!

chrimess
04-04-2013, 10:19 AM
the level of detail that goes both into the US and HI ones is amazing.
I was one of the first people to get to play the jukulele (i was at the shop before it was released and Poppa Koaloha let me play it). pictures do not do the jukulele justice. You really have to see on in person to appreciate it. It is still gimmicky but the sound was pretty intese and awesome.

mm stan
04-04-2013, 10:51 AM
If they made a headstock like the body of the scepter turned around...that would be even cooler... :)

haolejohn
04-04-2013, 10:53 AM
the level of detail that goes both into the US and HI ones is amazing.

THat is what blew me away about it. The detail. It truly is a piece of artwork. I got to see both but only played the Hawaiian one. Pops played the US one for me. And it is also surprisingly light for such a big ukulele.

Stevelele
04-04-2013, 11:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dQ8q4T3lwE


Looks like Batman's uke.

dash213
04-05-2013, 12:21 AM
Never played one, but I love the look, reminds me of 80's metal (my favourite musical era/genre). I would buy one tomorrow if I had the cash.

I've always loved flying V's, Explorers etc. and in fact have never been a fan of the " figure 8" style of instrument, I always go for a cutaway if possible.

Cheers
Darren

we tigers
04-05-2013, 01:02 AM
Their sound is excellent but I can't match the heavy metal looks with the instrument ukulele.

The KoAloha Sceptre is the BC Rich Warlock of the ukulele world.

Ambient Doughnut
04-05-2013, 01:17 AM
Not to my taste at all. No doubt fine instruments but I really like a traditional shaped uke. I hadn't hear of the Juke-a-lele before but I just googled it and I *really* don't like the look of that!

Ambient Doughnut
04-05-2013, 01:20 AM
If they made a headstock like the body of the scepter turned around...that would be even cooler... :)

Is that not what they've basically done? Well, the other way round I mean?

(maybe I'm missing the point)

rem50
04-10-2013, 01:49 PM
did you ever hear how the design came about? That was a big selling point for me.
I've not heard one but I would never pick one up on the basis of it's looks alone. I find them seriously ugly, way too angular and harsh looking to be a ukulele. Reminds me too much of a weapon. I guess I'm another one of those curmudgeonly boring folks...I hated the flying V's too

stevepetergal
04-10-2013, 02:08 PM
did you ever hear how the design came about? That was a big selling point for me.

I think I know this story. A man came to Papa Okami on a flaming pie, right?

808boy
04-10-2013, 03:05 PM
really?

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc100/S13evo/2013-02-04193204.jpg
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc100/S13evo/2013-02-04193220.jpg

Aloha,
Wow, just wow......

wickedwahine11
04-10-2013, 03:17 PM
Speaking of the Sceptre, this photo is now on the KoAloha Facebook page.
51659

wickedwahine11
04-10-2013, 03:35 PM
Folks, no matter which side you take on the religious discussion, that is a path headed for destruction on this forum, surely religion and/or politics have other more appropriate forums for discussion. Let us try to refrain from baiting language on either side please. Thank you.

ksiegel
04-10-2013, 03:35 PM
Blasphemy is a perfectly legitimate personal choice-but- ever consider what was going to happen if indeed us Christians were right?

Yeah, those of us who aren't raptured get our pick of the ukes you left behind.

But remember, it is only blasphemy if YOUR belief is blasphemed; has nothing to do with the person committing the alleged blasphemy- AND it is a two-way (or 4 way) street (or eight fold path...)

Papa Okami was given the design in a waking dream. I'll let the individual's belief system assign the significance of his/her choice to that - I just know I got an amazing ukulele as a result.



-Kurt

wickedwahine11
04-10-2013, 03:46 PM
Okay guys, one last time: keep the discussion of religion out of this topic. I know some of us on UU prefer KoAloha BECAUSE of the religious undertones. Others of us prefer KoAloha DESPITE the religious undertones. But let us leave that part of the discussion for another place. Here, let us be content to agree or disagree about the uke. That is contentious enough without debating the merits of its inspiration. Thank you for your cooperation. :)

chrimess
04-10-2013, 03:49 PM
Got it, thanks.
Okay guys, one last time: keep the discussion of religion out of this topic. I know some of us on UU prefer KoAloha BECAUSE of the religious undertones. Others of us prefer KoAloha DESPITE the religious undertones. But let us leave that part of the discussion for another place. Here, let us be content to agree or disagree about the uke. That is contentious enough without debating the merits of its inspiration. Thank you for your cooperation. :)

chrimess
04-11-2013, 03:19 AM
51674

guess what, there is a 7 prong version, now, may be we need a new poll...

iDavid
04-11-2013, 03:29 AM
I figure if it has more prongs, it may be a big box. In that case, I would expect more low-end in the overall tone. This could be a very good thing. I went to the KoAloha shop last summer and it was the highlight of my families trip.

strumsilly
04-11-2013, 03:55 AM
I am fortunate enough to own one.
While the shape is not everyones cup of tea, it is an attention getter.
It is more comfortable to hold than many other of my ukes because of the beveled edges.
I love the slightly wider KoAloha neck.
it has a very distinctive sound, more concert like tone, think superconcert, tenor neck on concert body. wide dynamic range, sounds great played softly. and when played hard, it is loud. and love or hate the shape, the sound is what it's all about.
I might pick my pikake if I could only keep one, but i love having it in my arsenal.
just my 2 cents.