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Thread: Ukulele Related News from NAMM 2018

  1. #1
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    Default Ukulele Related News from NAMM 2018

    As in previous years, I thought we could collect all Ukulele related news from the National Association of Music Merchants Winter Show in a single thread.

    So if you're at NAMM, please post your impressions, pictures, or videos in this thread.

    Everybody else who is not that lucky to be there in person, including myself, can share whatever they find on the internet from ukulele makers, brands or vendors regarding new model announcements, accessoires, etc.

    I'm really excited to see what's new, and I've already spotted some very exciting things. I'll start listing them soon, but everybody else who finds something of interest to ukulele enthusiasts, please contribute...

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    I am waiting eagerly for my 007 to report back. He is there right now.
    Brenda

    Please participate in our Mike Lynch tribute thread :
    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...Tribute-Videos

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    As discussed in another thread (here), Pepe Romero is presenting some new models from his Romero Creations import line: A concert scale version of the Tiny Tenor and a great looking Replica of his own custom tenors.

    Anothere glance at Pepe's booth, with a Mango Replica tenor (right) and three concert scale models (between the Tiny Tenors and XS Sopranos): https://www.instagram.com/p/BeWzcEOF...y=uke_republic
    Last edited by Rakelele; 01-25-2018 at 12:27 PM.

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    Exciting news from Ohana: Apparently they are both going smaller and bigger by adding Pineapple Sopraninos and Sopranissimos on the one hand, and guitars and something that looks like a tenor guitar on the other hand. I hope these models are short scale, so they will accomodate ukulele players like me.

    Here's another picture of the Sopranino lineup, one that looks like a reverence to the earliest builders (upper left), a couple of Pineapples (upper right) and several different colors (bottom): https://www.instagram.com/p/BeYl4ooF...y=uke_republic

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    As discussed in another thread (here), Pepe Romero is presenting some new models from his Romero Creations import line: A concert scale version of the Tiny Tenor and a great looking Replica of his own custom tenors.

    Anothere glance at Pepe's booth, with a Mango Replica tenor (right) and three concert scale models (between the Tiny Tenors and XS Sopranos): https://www.instagram.com/p/BeWzcEOF...y=uke_republic
    I was hoping they would introduce a tenor body plus more wood choices.
    Brenda

    Please participate in our Mike Lynch tribute thread :
    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...Tribute-Videos

  6. #6
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    As I shared before, this year I did not want to commit to taking tons of photos and "reporting". Nonetheless, I was tasked with some missions by folks.

    First, however, for those not familiar, NAMM is not the place to really check out tone. It's a constant cacophony. Second, the shows for music industry merchants. So you don't find custom luthiers, etc. for ukuleles. While there are plenty of super high end guitars as such, not so for ukes. Plenty of nice stuff, but more production-oriented.

    Below are some of what I found interesting:

    1. Romero Creations new "The Replica" tenors look nice. They are a production tribute to Pepe's custom stuff and retail for about $1K. There is an all-mango, an all hog and a spruce-top. I cannot recall for sure but I think the body was mahogany. They feel very resonant. I liked the neck profile a lot. And, they have a normal headstock. I really do not like the headstock on the other Romero Creation models. I understand why they did it on the Tiny Tenor but I find it, ah, not so pleasing aesthetically.



    2. I checked out the Seagull Electric (both the steel and nylon string). The steel string has a VERY narrow neck width (1 3/16" - yes, that's correct). The nylon stinged, pictured below, was more traditional width (probably 1 3/8"). I could not tell how they sound unplugged as a band was performing in the room where they were displayed. As expected with Seagull, nicely finished. $399 street price.



    3. Blackbird is now doing unidirectional weave on the uke bodies (and the top if special ordered). Prices going up in February, so get your orders in.



    4. The Kanile'a 2018 Platinum looked nice. They've further improved their TRU bracing, added a bevel for comfort, used some gorgeous koa and provided other nice appointments. A very nice instrument.





    5. The Takumi booth in always on of my favorite ones to visit as they have really nice stuff (Takumi, Loprinzi, Kiwaya and usually several other select Japanese luthiers). The Takumi continue to impress me a lot and I'm surprised they aren't more widely appreciated. I bought a Honduran mahogany concert last year and this year was eyeing the 3K concert version. Really beautifully done. For those who like SUPER thin necks, I think LoPrinzi is as thin as they come. They, too, seem like super values.


    Here is a link to all the pics. There's some guitar stuff in there, too (a $19K Santa Cruz guitar with ancient spruce top, gulp!) and some gorgeous Larrivee guitars with wonderful inlay.

    https://flic.kr/s/aHsmbHusct

    Tomorrow if I get a chance I'll provide links to the videos I took of some of the musical performances.
    Last edited by Ukulele Eddie; 01-25-2018 at 08:05 PM.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

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    Thanks Eddie, these are wonderful images, I particularly like the Kanile'a Platinum, very nice
    All the best,
    Campbell


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  8. #8
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    Thanks Eddie, great pics, much appreciated! Really like the new backs on the Clara.

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    Thanks to the intrepid reporters. Sadly NAMM is not a show I'm ever likely to attend, but I do love seeing what's around.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    These are dangerously appealing. If they got rid of the abelone and changed the tuners to friction pegs I suspect my resistance would crumble.
    ‘If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.’ - Samuel Johnson

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