Hello from Japan

RPAtech

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I've been browsing here for awhile and realized I haven't posted an introduction.
I'm in Japan for work so I'm fortunate to be able to take advantage of the easy availabilty of Famous/Kiwaya ukuleles.

I started out with some Kala entry level ukuleles, but have narrowed things down to a few ukuleles that I prefer. The wider string spacing and neck profile of the Famous Soprano and Concerts seems to be a good fit for me.

I'm only an intermediate player.
I'm currently working through the James Hill/Uketropolis online lessons.

I wanted to say hello.

Respectfully,
Mitch
 

donboody

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Grab a Kiwaya! Even a cheaper one. I have a KSU1L that is incredible. If you go to the shop take pics!

welcome to the board! Enjoy Japan!
 

Jimpro

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I've been browsing here for awhile and realized I haven't posted an introduction.
I'm in Japan for work so I'm fortunate to be able to take advantage of the easy availabilty of Famous/Kiwaya ukuleles.

I started out with some Kala entry level ukuleles, but have narrowed things down to a few ukuleles that I prefer. The wider string spacing and neck profile of the Famous Soprano and Concerts seems to be a good fit for me.

I'm only an intermediate player.
I'm currently working through the James Hill/Uketropolis online lessons.

I wanted to say hello.

Respectfully,
Mitch
Welcome Mitch! Enjoy!
 

RPAtech

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Grab a Kiwaya! Even a cheaper one. I have a KSU1L that is incredible. If you go to the shop take pics!

welcome to the board! Enjoy Japan!
I have a Famous FC-5G, and FS-5G.
They are great ukuleles.

I'm sure I'll end up buying something else soon. 😀
 
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Ukecaster

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Welcome! I hope to visit Japan soon. Big fan of Kiwaya, Famous and Luna ukes!
Welcome! Also a big Kiwaya/Famous fan. I have 2, shown below, FS-1 and FS-0. Would love to see some uke shop pics from Japan, with lots of those ukes shown.
 

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RPAtech

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I'm planning to take a trip down to Tokyo soon. I'll stop by some stores while I'm there. I'll be sure to take plenty of pictures.
 

Kenn2018

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Welcome Mitch glad you have joined.

I've found that, with tenors at least, Japanese made instruments have a slightly different sound to them compared to Chinese or US made ones. (Gross generalization.) A little more chimey, bell like or ethereal. Have you noticed that?
 

RPAtech

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Welcome Mitch glad you have joined.

I've found that, with tenors at least, Japanese made instruments have a slightly different sound to them compared to Chinese or US made ones. (Gross generalization.) A little more chimey, bell like or ethereal. Have you noticed that?
Kenn, I have noticed that with the Famous/Kiwaya Soprano and Concerts I have.
They have a cleaner, louder/clearer, chime compared to the Kala (Chinese manufactured models).

The sustain is better on my Famous ukuleles as well as the Kiwaya student (Chinese manufacturer) model. It appears to be almost as thin of a laminate as the Japanese manufactured models.

In fairness the Famous FC-5G and FS-5G are more expensive than the entry level ($90 price range) Kala models I have.

* Kala KA-15T. A mahogany Tenor (I'll be mailing this one to my son soon)
* Kala KA-TEAK-T. A Teak Concert.
* Kala KA-15S-S. A spruce top Soprano (my wife plays this one)

However, the Kiwaya KCU-1 concert is a direct and fair comparison to the Kala entry level models.
The Kiwaya still has a cleaner, clearer, more chimey sound than the Kala models I mentioned above. I think the Kala KA-15S-S (spruce top soprano) has a clean, chimey, sound also. The spruce top has something going for it.

Personally, I prefer the flatter neck profile of the Famous/Kiwaya ukuleles.
The wider string spacing (10mm between each string) is preferable to me compared to the Kala models. They have a string spacing thats around 8.5mm.

My wife prefers the narrower Kala Soprano though.
 
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Kenn2018

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Kenn, I have noticed that with the Famous/Kiwaya Soprano and Concerts I have.
They have a cleaner, louder/clearer, chime compared to the Kala (Chinese manufactured models).

The sustain is better on my Famous ukuleles as well as the Kiwaya student (Chinese manufacturer) model. It appears to be almost as thin of a laminate as the Japanese manufactured models.

In fairness the Famous FC-5G and FS-5G are more expensive than the entry level ($90 price range) Kala models I have.

* Kala KA-15T. A mahogany Tenor (I'll be mailing this one to my son soon)
* Kala KA-TEAK-T. A Teak Concert.
* Kala KA-15S-S. A spruce top Soprano (my wife plays this one)

However, the Kiwaya KCU-1 concert is a direct and fair comparison to the Kala entry level models.
The Kiwaya still has a cleaner, clearer, more chimey sound than the Kala models I mentioned above. I think the Kala KA-15S-S (spruce top soprano) has a clean, chimey, sound also. The spruce top has something going for it.

Personally, I prefer the flatter neck profile of the Famous/Kiwaya ukuleles.
The wider string spacing (10mm between each string) is preferable to me compared to the Kala models. They have a string spacing thats around 8.5mm.

My wife prefers the narrower Kala Soprano though.
I noticed exactly that when I bought my Takumi Koa TT-1K. It had a very clean, bright, chimey, yet still had a woody overtone. Just lovely.

Sadly, the Takumi luthier, Yusuke Kawakami, retired and they no longer make Takumi ukuleles.

Kiwaya is part of the Takumi umbrella of companies. Not sure if Takumi is a parent company or they are the distributor. Or how that works. Kiwaya, Loprinzi & Dasilva as well as Fremont are all listed on their old website.

There are some great Japanese luthiers on the islands.

Enjoy your stay.
 

Patty

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I've been browsing here for awhile and realized I haven't posted an introduction.
I'm in Japan for work so I'm fortunate to be able to take advantage of the easy availabilty of Famous/Kiwaya ukuleles.

I started out with some Kala entry level ukuleles, but have narrowed things down to a few ukuleles that I prefer. The wider string spacing and neck profile of the Famous Soprano and Concerts seems to be a good fit for me.

I'm only an intermediate player.
I'm currently working through the James Hill/Uketropolis online lessons.

I wanted to say hello.

Respectfully,
Mitch
Welcome, RPAtech. Don’t say you’re “only an intermediate player.” I’d be very happy to graduate to the intermediate level!
 
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I've been browsing here for awhile and realized I haven't posted an introduction.
I'm in Japan for work so I'm fortunate to be able to take advantage of the easy availabilty of Famous/Kiwaya ukuleles.

I started out with some Kala entry level ukuleles, but have narrowed things down to a few ukuleles that I prefer. The wider string spacing and neck profile of the Famous Soprano and Concerts seems to be a good fit for me.

I'm only an intermediate player.
I'm currently working through the James Hill/Uketropolis online lessons.

I wanted to say hello.

Respectfully,
Mitch
Welcome, Mitch! Greetings from Norway.
 

Joe T

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welcome to UU Mitch and a big hello from Chicago, USA!
 

ploverwing

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Welcome, Mitch! Nice to have you aboard the UU boat :) Very interested in hearing about your experiences in Japan and of course, see some pics of those uke shops. Thanks for joining the conversation.