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  1. M

    Ukulele history in Japan

    The article refers to a period of "bitter history". I assume "history" means some time in the past.
  2. M

    Ukulele history in Japan

    The "bitter history" quote may refer to the American occupation of the Japanese mainland after World War 2. Wikipedia says 1 million US troops were stationed in Japan, under the command of General MacArthur. Officially, the occupation was 1945 to 1952, but large numbers of US troops were still...
  3. M

    Sanding fret edges?

    I've done this with just the sandpaper foam block and it worked fine. You can use some painter's tape if you want to be extra careful.
  4. M

    Fluorocarbon Strings Fraying

    A local luthier who is smarter than me about these things told me he had been using Seaguar Blue for many years, but started having problems with durability at one point. He switched to Seaguar Red and that worked better for him. He uses these strings on his high-end custom-made ukuleles. I...
  5. M

    Fluorocarbon Strings Fraying

    I mostly play soprano ukulele and have been using this for replacement A strings. 40lb may work better on tenors.
  6. M

    Fluorocarbon Strings Fraying

    In the Ukulele Underground podcast a couple of weeks ago, Aldrine (again) reminded his students to change the strings on regularly used ukuleles every 2 months because they do wear out from normal wear and tear.
  7. M

    Are Low g and High g ukuleles created equal?

    Some ukuleles are designed for low-G with a larger than usual body for scale length. That includes the Kamaka bell-shaped ukuleles and most of the Romero Creations ukuleles. On the other hand, a lot people will just put low-G strings on standard ukuleles. Even though the Kamaka bell ukuleles...
  8. M

    Fluorocarbon Strings Fraying

    If the strings are fraying immediately after you install them, the string could be defective (it happens even with name brands) or you could have a sharp fret that needs smoothing down (do the strings fray in the same area every time?).
  9. M

    Holy crap...

    Some of these newer brands (I'm thinking specifically of Flight and Enya) have way too many models. I don't know how they can do a good job of perfecting the sound quality of each model.
  10. M

    Famous-Japan. New Soprano variant

    Kanile'a sopranos have 14 frets to the body (with a 13.5 inch scale length). I like this design since it gives me more room when playing up the neck. Imua used to use this design as well. I'm sure there are other brands that do this...
  11. M

    Famous-Japan. New Soprano variant

    I recall that the Martin OX laminate soprano ukulele (which was often compared to the Kiwaya KS-1) came in a variety of colors. The Martin 0X sopranos were popular for a while, but were discontinued a few years ago. I think Kiwaya has the right idea in limiting the number of colored ukuleles...
  12. M

    Ukulele history in Japan

    Anyone know if Japan has more ukulele players than the USA? Japan has about 1/3 the population of the USA, but ukulele seems a lot more popular over there.
  13. M

    Famous-Japan. New Soprano variant

    Does Kiwaya have any distributors outside of Asia? Prices and supply in Europe seem to be as wacky as in the USA. Would not surprise me if Kiwaya is satisfied with their current Asian sales levels and may not have enough manufacturing capacity to expand while maintaining their quality levels...
  14. M

    Tenor that sounds like the Famous FS-5?

    Famous is made by Kiwaya. They get their sound quality from careful builds from lightweight woods. Here is a review of one of their budget-priced tenors (lower quality than your FS-5). They have higher quality models as well, but I couldn't find any English-language reviews...
  15. M

    NUD Famous FS-5 soprano

    I have a Kiwaya KS-5 that the previous owner had retrofitted with Gotoh planetary tuners. These have the look of friction tuners, but with internal 4-1 gearing that is easier for clumsy fingers to handle. Planetary tuners have been discussed several times in these forums.
  16. M

    Comparison: Kiwaya U-TRIP-02 vs. Ohana TPK-25G

    fyi - Kiwaya U-Trip-02 sells for about US$60 (retail price in Japan) while Ohana TPK-25G sells for about US$175 (retail price in the USA). The entry-level Kiwayas are really great values, if you are in Japan.
  17. M

    Please, somebody buy this

    Are those any good? As far as I can tell, this is an old entry-level model; a big step down from their modern popularly priced KS series. Price they are asking may be fair, but not a bargain.
  18. M

    new snark tuners

    Several years ago, I heard Phil Doleman (a popular British ukulele teacher) recommend TC tuners. These are much sturdier and much more accurate than Snark. I bought a couple of the TC Unitune tuners Sweetwater for $19 each and they are still serving me well. I see that the price has now gone up...
  19. M

    Enya is the number one solid ukulele brand in the world

    They are a very popular brand in Asia. Less so in English-language countries. I remember when their English-language brand name was Kaka.
  20. M

    Good Ukulele Dealers

    If you're in the neighborhood, I strongly recommend this store.