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View Full Version : New to me - White Label Kamaka Baritone



Cornfield
12-29-2013, 07:17 AM
I got a vintage white label Kamaka Baritone fom the marketplace.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?91310-Vintage-Kamaka-Baritone-675

It arrived with GCEA flourocarbon strings. It sounded great but I wanted Baritone tuning.
I don't like wound strings on ukes so I want to stick to unwound but want it to be DGBE. I had a set of Worth Browns in the house and put them on. The Browns made my Lanakai LU-21B Baritone sound full and rich. On the Kamaka they seem kind of dead (by comparison).

Any ideas to liven it up? What kind of strings came on them in the 70's?

cigarfan
12-29-2013, 07:43 AM
Haven't played the 70s version but I recently acquired a new HF-4 which had Worths on it. Very floppy feeling and dead sounding. Switched out to a set of Martin M630s and WOW what a difference. Much brighter and good balance. I like em'. YMMV

Cornfield
12-29-2013, 09:47 AM
Haven't played the 70s version but I recently acquired a new HF-4 which had Worths on it. Very floppy feeling and dead sounding. Switched out to a set of Martin M630s and WOW what a difference. Much brighter and good balance. I like em'. YMMV

I think the M630's have 2 wound strings. I really want to avoid the wound strings.

cletus
12-29-2013, 10:05 AM
The strings on that baritone are the South Coast Linear set LL-NW. I wanted to play it in gCEA and did not want wound strings. I use their strings on my KoAloha concert, as well.

:cheers:

mm stan
12-29-2013, 10:19 AM
Aloha John..
Worth Brown do not sound good on every ukulele I found out....I am sure it is not your kamaka...it depends on what type of sound you prefer and comfort....if you prefer a brighter tone,
thin light guage would work fine. if you want a richer tone get medium guage medium tension strings..http://www.southcoastukes.com/ukulele.htm
Yes I have the same white label kamaka as you...



I got a vintage white label Kamaka Baritone fom the marketplace.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?91310-Vintage-Kamaka-Baritone-675

It arrived with GCEA flourocarbon strings. It sounded great but I wanted Baritone tuning.
I don't like wound strings on ukes so I want to stick to unwound but want it to be DGBE. I had a set of Worth Browns in the house and put them on. The Browns made my Lanakai LU-21B Baritone sound full and rich. On the Kamaka they seem kind of dead (by comparison).

Any ideas to liven it up? What kind of strings came on them in the 70's?

Cornfield
12-29-2013, 02:13 PM
The Browns are growing on me. They just sound different on the 2 ukes. The Kamaka just sounds darker and and that might be fine. These Browns feel nice but I'll probably order some south coast strings too.


Aloha John..
Worth Brown do not sound good on every ukulele I found out....I am sure it is not your kamaka...it depends on what type of sound you prefer and comfort....if you prefer a brighter tone,
thin light guage would work fine. if you want a richer tone get medium guage medium tension strings..http://www.southcoastukes.com/ukulele.htm
Yes I have the same white label kamaka as you...

mm stan
12-29-2013, 07:14 PM
The Browns are growing on me. They just sound different on the 2 ukes. The Kamaka just sounds darker and and that might be fine. These Browns feel nice but I'll probably order some south coast strings too.
Hey John you like it brighter, go with the thinner guage soft compound.... but try the mediums too and choose...everyone has different tastes and so are ukulele voices...

Cornfield
12-30-2013, 02:56 AM
Hey John you like it brighter, go with the thinner guage soft compound.... but try the mediums too and choose...everyone has different tastes and so are ukulele voices...

Will do. I was comparing the two instruments, the Lanakai and the Kamaka. The first one is quite a bit larger and seems to project better.
The Kamaka is, of course, a Kamaka and just "FEELS BETTER". The big K makes superb instruments and it feels at home next to the white label 8 string. Even though it is at least 40 years old, it has never been played much.
If I get a chance I'll do some video comparisons later.

saltytri
12-30-2013, 04:01 AM
Another possibility is the Southcoast Heavy set (HU-NW). These are re-entrant and can be tuned DGBE on a baritone. They sound great on a walnut/redwood baritone that I recently finished.

mds725
12-30-2013, 04:50 AM
Congratulations on your new (to you) ukulele! I've never played an older Kamaka baritone, but I have an HF-4 and I love it, even with the original Kamaka strings on it. When it's time for new strings, I'll be sure to look at the string suggestions in this thread. Happy playing!

Cornfield
12-30-2013, 07:26 AM
I decided to sell the Lanakai and posted it on the Marketplace. I was playing the Kamaka this morning and it sounds better to me than it did yesterday when I first installed the brown strings. I don't know if my ears matured or if the strings take a day to "settle". I'll take my new baritone to class tonight and see if anyone notices.

The Orange Mage
12-30-2013, 08:03 AM
I'd give the Living Waters linear set a shot, it brightened my Pono MBD a great deal compared to the strings Pono shipped it with. (Ko'olau Golds, I think.)

iamesperambient
12-30-2013, 09:53 AM
I got a vintage white label Kamaka Baritone fom the marketplace.

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?91310-Vintage-Kamaka-Baritone-675

It arrived with GCEA flourocarbon strings. It sounded great but I wanted Baritone tuning.
I don't like wound strings on ukes so I want to stick to unwound but want it to be DGBE. I had a set of Worth Browns in the house and put them on. The Browns made my Lanakai LU-21B Baritone sound full and rich. On the Kamaka they seem kind of dead (by comparison).

Any ideas to liven it up? What kind of strings came on them in the 70's?


a kamaka baritone is my dream. I would gladly sell my soul to satan for one (sadly im not even kidding thats how much i want one). Of course i would want it set up for standard G tuning.

coolkayaker1
12-31-2013, 03:44 AM
The high d baritone set from Southcoast, John, dGBE, is amazing. So beautiful, so ukulele, so full, and unwound. One consideration. --Steve.

Cornfield
12-31-2013, 06:52 AM
The high d baritone set from Southcoast, John, dGBE, is amazing. So beautiful, so ukulele, so full, and unwound. One consideration. --Steve.

I am not considering reentrant tuning on this one yet. I have a custom baritone being built by Scott Wise. When that arrives, one of these will be dGBE while the other will be DGBE

strumsilly
12-31-2013, 07:18 AM
I just ordered a set of the Martin M630. they are supposed to be all clear fluro, no wound. The SC linear are nice if you want GCEA. MY Martin bari came with dGBE Aquila and I really like it tuned like that.

strumsilly
01-03-2014, 11:51 AM
uPDATE ON THE MARTIN m630 SET. 1ST AND 2ND, CLEAR FLURO, 3RD ALUM WOUND ON NYLON, 4TH, SILVERPLATED COPPER ON NYLON

Teek
01-04-2014, 07:19 AM
I will also suggest Southcoast; maybe send an email and see what Dirk would rec for your bari. Worths take a LONG time to settle in, they will mostly hold pitch but you won't get the full ring for maybe a week in my experience. Clears are the same and are a little brighter, but I love browns on Kamaka koa. I also have a Southcoast smooth wound linear set on a Kanile'a koa tenor, they really woke that uke up and it has a ton of ring and clarity now. I don't as a rule like wound strings so was pleasantly surprised by these, very very little squeak and a great feel.