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fretie
06-22-2014, 12:42 PM
OK, its not like I haven't got a couple of nice ukes to play. My Big Island tenor was a good sounding uke right out for the box that Mim sent it to me in. The Koaloha long neck pineapple that HMS mailed to my friend's place on the Big Island for me to pick up and play while on vacation in Hawaii this winter was a real winner, smooth with good volume. :shaka:

And there were quite a few ukes in between those two that did not quite make the grade though they were solid instruments in their own right they just did not fit my playing style or sound aesthetic.

Then along comes the Kamaka. Yes, another sight unseen, unheard purchase, yes, like all the others. Taking a chance. Willing to risk a little for that surprise good find. And this beauty did not disappoint.:)

I get it about you folks who are Kamaka fans. Its a subtle thing, I feel, hard to put into words. This soprano is, may I venture to say, just your basic Kamaka. No custom jobbie here. But oh so understated in its sound presentation.

The uke feels good in my hands, specifically, there's something about the neck that just feels like a perfect fit. The weight and balance of the instrument is right. And the intonation: no bad notes on this uke.

The tone is, well, again, understated comes to mind. Confident, even... volume if I want it, soft and sweet when it suits. I really understand how there are peeps that find a Kamaka is all they need in a uke. I get that now.

Soprano, its been a while since I had a soprano in the herd. For a time there I thought soprano was too small but we evolve as players and now I am at the place where soprano feels like perfect. Maybe its the Kamaka magic again. Fingerpicking, chord melody, strumming, it all sounds good on the Kamaka.

I'm totally won over! :love:

Ukulele Eddie
06-22-2014, 12:52 PM
Awesome. Sounds like you have a winner. Don't forget to give the others a little playing time, too. ;-)

Patrick Madsen
06-22-2014, 03:10 PM
Dang Fretie, I did like playing your Kamaka. You definitely won the lottery on that one. Congrats big time!

Nickie
06-22-2014, 03:21 PM
Congratulations! I'd love to see pics!

janeray1940
06-22-2014, 04:43 PM
Congratulations! Glad to hear you "get" the Kamaka thing :) Would love to see pics.

fretie
06-22-2014, 06:27 PM
Thanks for your comments, guys and gals!

@Patrick compared to some of your beauties my Kamaka is pretty basic but I'm glad you gave it some strums....always nice to add mojo from a skilled player to one's uke! ;)

@Nickie and janeray, here's a few photos of the soprano:

http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/b402/skydawger/photo21.jpg (http://s1040.photobucket.com/user/skydawger/media/photo21.jpg.html)

http://i1040.photobucket.com/albums/b402/skydawger/photo11.jpg (http://s1040.photobucket.com/user/skydawger/media/photo11.jpg.html)

janeray1940
06-22-2014, 06:34 PM
So pretty! And do I spy upgraded tuners?

trowacat
06-22-2014, 06:44 PM
I understand where you are coming from! After getting my kamaka I stopped searching for any other ukes, it's all you need!

fretie
06-22-2014, 06:46 PM
So pretty! And do I spy upgraded tuners?

Oh, you are sharp, janeray! I meant to mention the fact that the former owner had upgraded the stock tuners with Gotoh tuners that he bought from Kamaka and had his local luthier install.

I had no idea what a big difference tuners can make! I read peeps talk of tuners but on my tenor the tuners functioned accpetably and on the Koaloha the friction pegs were pretty tricky to fine tune but I thought it was all part of the Hawaiian made uke experience. NOW I know what a luxury it is to have 4:1 tuners. Oh they are so dreamy smooth and my strings are much more precisely in tune now - d'oh! :cool:

janeray1940
06-22-2014, 06:49 PM
Oh, you are sharp, janeray! I meant to mention the fact that the former owner had upgraded the stock tuners with Gotoh tuners that he bought from Kamaka and had his local luthier install.

I had no idea what a big difference tuners can make! I read peeps talk of tuners but on my tenor the tuners functioned accpetably and on the Koaloha the friction pegs were pretty tricky to fine tune but I thought it was all part of the Hawaiian made uke experience. NOW I know what a luxury it is to have 4:1 tuners. Oh they are so dreamy smooth and my strings are much more precisely in tune now - d'oh! :cool:

I know what you mean. Friction tuners never bothered me, but my Kamaka Ohta-San came with the Gotohs, and - I was ruined for all others! I gave some serious thought to changing the old tuners out on my other two Kamakas. In the end I decided against it, but may reconsider at some point when the budget isn't so tight.

Ukejenny
06-22-2014, 06:55 PM
Love, love, love it! And I would like to have a concert version of this.

fretie
06-22-2014, 06:56 PM
@trowacat, I saw you were on the hunt for a Kamaka a while back, which one did you end up getting?

@janeray, "ruined" by the Gotohs! how true is that?!

janeray1940
06-22-2014, 06:59 PM
@
@janeray, "ruined" by the Gotohs! how true is that?!

Or at the very least, spoiled by them :)

fretie
06-22-2014, 07:19 PM
Or at the very least, spoiled by them :)

spoiled indeed! :love:

chuck in ny
06-23-2014, 12:46 AM
nice wood on that gem. yes, i grasp the kamaka concept as well.

PhilUSAFRet
06-23-2014, 01:45 AM
I got this for Father's Day this year to go with my recent Kamaka White Label soprano acquisition. I know exactly what you mean. I never really wanted a Kamaka until I snagged mine at a price too low to be believed. Now I wouldn't part with it...it's keeping my pre-war Martin O company (I also have a hat to go with that one too)

fretie
06-23-2014, 02:54 AM
I got this for Father's Day this year to go with my recent Kamaka White Label soprano acquisition. I know exactly what you mean. I never really wanted a Kamaka until I snagged mine at a price too low to be believed. Now I wouldn't part with it...it's keeping my pre-war Martin O company (I also have a hat to go with that one too)

I'm liking your Kamaka, and Martin, hat concept! :):)

PhilUSAFRet
06-23-2014, 05:24 AM
Hmmm, the birth of HAS?

guitharsis
06-23-2014, 05:36 AM
Yes for Kamaka and definitely with the Gotoh tuners!

Skinny Money McGee
06-23-2014, 06:20 AM
My 2011 Kamaka soprano with Gotoh UPT tuners is my favorite uke by far.

Cornfield
06-23-2014, 06:53 AM
I believe that is my old Kamaka. If it was mine, yes, it feels wonderful. I fell in love with it the second I held it but my fingers were just too big to play it much.
Yes, the tuners were purchased separately from Kamaka and installed by a local luthier. The original tuners are probably inside the case as well
I'm glad that you like it.

coolkayaker1
06-23-2014, 07:46 AM
Soprano, its been a while since I had a soprano in the herd. For a time there I thought soprano was too small but we evolve as players and now I am at the place where soprano feels like perfect. :love:

This is such a true statement.

tbeltrans
06-23-2014, 02:45 PM
I know what you mean. Friction tuners never bothered me, but my Kamaka Ohta-San came with the Gotohs, and - I was ruined for all others! I gave some serious thought to changing the old tuners out on my other two Kamakas. In the end I decided against it, but may reconsider at some point when the budget isn't so tight.

Really? My Kamaka Ohta-San has those tuners and I thought that was normal rather than an upgrade because the shop didn't say anything about the tuners other than that they were "planetary" or something. They did point out the tenor neck as being something Kamaka does custom. Interesting. I learn something new every day. :)

Anyway, the Kamaka in the pics in this thread looks stunning, to say the least. That is a lifetime keeper. I think this is where UAS or GAS or whatever "acquisition" is called in these parts, stops. :)

Tony

janeray1940
06-23-2014, 02:51 PM
Really? My Kamaka Ohta-San has those tuners and I thought that was normal rather than an upgrade because the shop didn't say anything about the tuners other than that they were "planetary" or something. They did point out the tenor neck as being something Kamaka does custom. Interesting. I learn something new every day. :)


The Gotohs were an upgrade until recently - 2013 maybe? Now all of the Kamakas ship from the factory with Gotoh UPTs (Universal Planetary Tuners). Since my Ohta-San was made in 2013, it came with Gotohs. But my other 2, which are 2008 and 2011, have Schaller friction tuners. Which aren't exactly awful and never really bothered me before - but the Gotohs make life just a little easier.

tbeltrans
06-23-2014, 03:42 PM
The Gotohs were an upgrade until recently - 2013 maybe? Now all of the Kamakas ship from the factory with Gotoh UPTs (Universal Planetary Tuners). Since my Ohta-San was made in 2013, it came with Gotohs. But my other 2, which are 2008 and 2011, have Schaller friction tuners. Which aren't exactly awful and never really bothered me before - but the Gotohs make life just a little easier.

Thanks for the info Janeray. I came late to the game, so my Kamaka is a 2014 model.

By the way Gotoh tuners are pretty much a standard among decent guitars.

Tony

trowacat
06-24-2014, 06:53 PM
@trowacat, I saw you were on the hunt for a Kamaka a while back, which one did you end up getting?

@janeray, "ruined" by the Gotohs! how true is that?!

I ended up getting an hf-3! Sounds great!

fretie
06-24-2014, 07:36 PM
I ended up getting an hf-3! Sounds great!

Hey, that's great! Glad you found a good Kamaka fit!

Kamanaaloha
06-25-2014, 09:20 AM
nice ukulele! I do not think they put the Gotohs on HF3s and above...but I am sure you could...It would be great if the Gotohs came for an eight string...that would lighten the load significantly, imho!