PDA

View Full Version : Kamaka rehab worthwhile?



AKuker
09-11-2013, 03:09 PM
Hi all. I was cruising around this afternoon and stumbled on an old Kamaka soprano that has been well used. Well certainly it's used, but its not doing very well. No bridge, no tuners and a nasty hole in the upper corner of the lower bout. It will definitely need a new top.

I haven't opened negotiations yet and wanted to get your input on whether or not its even worth it. I have no idea how old it is, but I'd guess its from the '60's maybe. I probably will not do the work myself. I'll ask someone more skilled to do it.

So, should I go for it or would it be better to just walk away from this one. I have a nice Pono soprano, so I'm not looking to replace it. This would be my only "vintage" uke.

Any thoughts, suggestions or comments?

Thanks for your help on this!

Randy

mm stan
09-11-2013, 03:15 PM
Depends how much you get it for...in that condition 100.00 - 150.00or less, it may cost 300+ to fix....and then be worth 350.- 400 dollars..
it all depends if it sounded good before and if you take it to be fixed at kamaka...the fix would take up to a year, maybe sooner hopefully

hilot.h.
09-11-2013, 03:23 PM
Sounds pretty trashed.10 bucks and you have an interesting wallhanger?From the work I have had done by luthiers I don't think it would be economical.How about taking a photo and asking Kamaka what they think.I haven't dealt with them for years,but I would think they could at least give you an idea what they would charge.Plus any time you repalce anything on a vintage the value goes down.Just the facts of the trade.But if the repair was done by Kamaka,not so bad.Just my humble opinion.

vanflynn
09-11-2013, 03:30 PM
Aloha Randy. I refurbed a Kamaka tiki last year at the factory. It will take a while (8 months +) and the cost depends on what is there and what needs fixing. You need to check out bracing, fret work, etc. In my case there was a lot of sentiment involved and just some cracks.

Some pictures might help but as Stan said, you may be paying more for repairs than it's worth.


Hope this helps

itsme
09-11-2013, 03:50 PM
Doesn't sound like it'd be worth it to me. You could probably pick up a new or "gently used" Kamaka for what it would cost to restore this one. Replacing the top would destroy any "vintage" aspect of it IMO.

sugengshi
09-11-2013, 04:11 PM
Hi all. I was cruising around this afternoon and stumbled on an old Kamaka soprano that has been well used. Well certainly it's used, but its not doing very well. No bridge, no tuners and a nasty hole in the upper corner of the lower bout. It will definitely need a new top.

I haven't opened negotiations yet and wanted to get your input on whether or not its even worth it. I have no idea how old it is, but I'd guess its from the '60's maybe. I probably will not do the work myself. I'll ask someone more skilled to do it.

So, should I go for it or would it be better to just walk away from this one. I have a nice Pono soprano, so I'm not looking to replace it. This would be my only "vintage" uke.

Any thoughts, suggestions or comments?

Thanks for your help on this!

Randy

Reading the description, it seems to be in pretty bad shape. Personally, I would walk away. But thinking that it is a vintage Kamaka, hmm, I might have different opinion.

prairieschooner
09-11-2013, 04:51 PM
some things are just worth saving, maybe an offer that allows for the repairs. Yes you could most likely buy one for what it would cost to repair........ but then who would save it? History has to be worth something.

tangimango
09-11-2013, 05:06 PM
not worth it, you can pick up a NICE condition vintage kamaka soprano in the $300-$450 range. it would be worth it if you got it for free then worked on repairs yourself to save a ukulele. on top of that you wont know the sound of it after the repair and the time you put into it as well.

mm stan
09-11-2013, 05:27 PM
Yes lots of risk, if it does not have sentimental value to you pass...there are always better deals...

Ukejenny
09-11-2013, 05:36 PM
If you can get it for a song, maybe then you could fix it or not fix it, but not be out a lot of money.

Hippie Dribble
09-11-2013, 07:29 PM
"Sir, take your hands off your wallet and step away from the instrument..."

hilot.h.
09-11-2013, 08:18 PM
"Sir, take your hands off your wallet and step away from the instrument..."

I have been in"THAT" position way too many times..It's cracked,broken,too expensive...but..... I am all for saving this Kamaka,just don't bury yourself.Please though let us know what happens

AKuker
09-11-2013, 10:53 PM
Thank you all for your input. I really appreciate it. I'll let you know what happens.

molokinirum
09-12-2013, 06:33 AM
I have had Kamaka do 2 rehabs for me.....1 was a 1935 Pineapple, had 4 cracks/splits. Great repair work, cost $300. Second one is an 8 string that had crack and seperation. They are taking it completely apart and I am having them put on a new top (curly Koa) at a repair cost of $400 and $150 for new top. They have had it now for 6 months....said would take about 1 year. They do fantastic work and you will be very happy. Got to figure if the repair plus the cost of the uke is worth it. Mine, yes. Sentimental. Good Luck!!

Cornfield
09-12-2013, 07:04 AM
"Sir, take your hands off your wallet and step away from the instrument..."

If only someone had told me this great advice before I .......

fernandogardinali
09-12-2013, 08:38 AM
I'd get it (if it was cheap - like 50-80), glue a brige, put some cheap friction tuners and accept the hole. Maybe it still sounds good!

hilot.h.
09-12-2013, 09:35 AM
I'd get it (if it was cheap - like 50-80), glue a brige, put some cheap friction tuners and accept the hole. Maybe it still sounds good!
Now that's not a bad thought.

hilot.h.
09-12-2013, 09:36 AM
I have had Kamaka do 2 rehabs for me.....1 was a 1935 Pineapple, had 4 cracks/splits. Great repair work, cost $300. Second one is an 8 string that had crack and seperation. They are taking it completely apart and I am having them put on a new top (curly Koa) at a repair cost of $400 and $150 for new top. They have had it now for 6 months....said would take about 1 year. They do fantastic work and you will be very happy. Got to figure if the repair plus the cost of the uke is worth it. Mine, yes. Sentimental. Good Luck!!
Any chance you have some before and after photos of the pineapple.That would be interesting.
Michael

AKuker
09-12-2013, 03:28 PM
Ok. So, the rest of the story. Armed with all the great information and advice from my friends here at UU, I went back this morning. I got a good look at the little uke and it was pretty much as described.

I offered $50 for it. He said he couldn't take less than $250, even with all its issues! He did come up with the bridge for it, but that was it. I pointed out the cost and time involved in getting it repaired and that once done it would still only be worth $350 - $400, at the very best. He was unmoved and wouldn't part with it for less than $250.

He wouldn't accept what I was willing to pay and I wasn't willing to pay what he wanted. So, I "took my hands off my wallet and stepped away from the instrument!" The story is over, for me at least.

Thanks so much for the input and advice from all of you! I really appreciate it. I might have been swayed to grab this little guy and get him fixed. Just hated to see him hanging there all trashed.

Thanks again,

Randy

itsme
09-12-2013, 04:26 PM
He wouldn't accept what I was willing to pay and I wasn't willing to pay what he wanted. So, I "took my hands off my wallet and stepped away from the instrument!" The story is over, for me at least.
Good on you! :)

There'll be other better opportunities down the line if you keep your eyes open.

prairieschooner
09-12-2013, 05:35 PM
Ok. So, the rest of the story. Armed with all the great information and advice from my friends here at UU, I went back this morning. I got a good look at the little uke and it was pretty much as described.

I offered $50 for it. He said he couldn't take less than $250, even with all its issues! He did come up with the bridge for it, but that was it. I pointed out the cost and time involved in getting it repaired and that once done it would still only be worth $350 - $400, at the very best. He was unmoved and wouldn't part with it for less than $250.

He wouldn't accept what I was willing to pay and I wasn't willing to pay what he wanted. So, I "took my hands off my wallet and stepped away from the instrument!" The story is over, for me at least.

Thanks so much for the input and advice from all of you! I really appreciate it. I might have been swayed to grab this little guy and get him fixed. Just hated to see him hanging there all trashed.

Thanks again,

Randy
Good that you tried but also good that you were able to be educated, this forum is so very helpful. and in so many ways!

hilot.h.
09-12-2013, 06:20 PM
Way to go Randy.You played it just right.Gave it a shot,but knew when to back away.Check back in 6 months and see if it's still there.
Michael

mm stan
09-12-2013, 08:30 PM
Good that you tried but also good that you were able to be educated, this forum is so very helpful. and in so many ways!

A good last word would have been...If you give it to me this for 50.00 I will send you pictures that I brought this uke back to it's former glory...rather it be trashed and disguarded..

stevepetergal
09-13-2013, 08:58 PM
If it's worth it to you, it's worth it. I wouldn't do it.