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Thread: The Kamaka Jake Shimabukuro Tenor (Jake Blue) Has Arrived - Thoughts and Comparisons

  1. #11
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    Mar 2011
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    Thanks for the nice reviews. That Jake tenor is beautiful! I got my LN tenor from HMS this week and enjoyed the comparison. I had them put on a Low G and they used a Soloist from Fremont Blackies with the Kamaka strings. Not crazy about the strings so need to decide on what to use. I have the Sarah Maisel GHS on my Otha San and I’m thinking they will work like your Worth’s but maybe a bit brighter. (Already have some extra pkgs) Loved the pictures. Now I can look at the Jake model and drool.

  2. #12
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    Oct 2013
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    Congrats on a spectacular instrument. Your write up is very nicely done and appreciated!
    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!

  3. #13
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    Jul 2011
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    Fabulous, congratulations!
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  4. #14
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    Nov 2013
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    Kent "The Garden of England"
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    Wow, both droolingly beautiful ukuleles.

    Just wondered if the Kamaka with that "V" at the back of the neck that goes past the nut hits your hand at all, compared to the clearance shown on the Kanile'a?

    When playing Fm for instance.

    Kam1.jpg

    Kan1.jpg
    Last edited by Steve in Kent; 05-04-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    London
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    Lovely ukuleles but not for me. I do not understand the attraction of signature models.
    Kamaka HF-2LD - Kanile'a Custom 5 string Super Tenor - KoAloha Special Issue Tenor - Pono MGTDP - Pono ATDC-CR

  6. #16
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    Jul 2014
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    Just listened to the HMS sound sample again, and reread your excellent review. I'm getting to enjoy this ukulele vicariously through you, and it's great!!

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    I think Kamaka does take custom orders now. One of my students walked into their South Street shop and ordered one last year. And darned if ain't a near clone of Jake's model. The main difference is no 12th fret logo and he had position markers installed on the fingerboard. Oh, and $4000 instead of 5 bills...
    That would have been quite the arbitrage! There are definitely some subtle touches on this one, which I assume make the price difference, but either way, I've always thought Jake was awesome, so it's cool to have his siganture on the fretboard for me...although I am hoping I didn't pay $1k extra for that privilage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    I don't know if it holds true with your Jake Blue, but when I have had HMS do the full setup for me, the strings they sent on the uke were not the same as what originally came on the instrument. That's in part because I asked for a Low-G setup. The most recent time they were using the Ko'olau brand strings. Before that, my Kamaka HF-3 came with Low-G Worth Clears.

    The only way to know for sure is to ask HMS. Just send an email to Joel and he'll get back to you. it may take a week, but he always got back to me when I asked what strings were on the ukes they sent me, if it wasn't written on the setup card they sometimes included in the case.
    It's more of a passing curiosity to see if they put special "Jake Strings" on this from the factory instead of the default subpar strings. I'm likely to switch out the strings at some point anyway...the real question is more of a what should I put on it next...

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve in Kent View Post
    Wow, both droolingly beautiful ukuleles.

    Just wondered if the Kamaka with that "V" at the back of the neck that goes past the nut hits your hand at all, compared to the clearance shown on the Kanile'a?

    When playing Fm for instance.
    The tip ends right about where the nut is, so it does stay pretty much out of the way.

    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    Beautiful ukes! Is it my imagination or is the sound hole on the JS Blue a larger diameter than the standard HF-3. Not that it matters, but I never noticed, or even thought to look, if Jake's personal custom Kamaka was made with a larger diameter sound hole.

    John
    Just checked and they're both about 6.5cm, so the same there--interesting thought though.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    Default Strings in a Slotted Headstock

    I noticed in the photos that the strings on the Jake Blue were at a rather extreme angle going from the 2 & 3 horizontal pegs to the nut.

    Quite a while ago I watched a video by Gordon Mayer when he owned MyaMoe and was part of the buid team that made their ukuleles. He showed how he strung their slothead ukuleles and talked about how he always had the 1 and 4 strings winding towards the outer side of the head. While he had the 2 & 3 strings wind towards the inner side of the head. He said it was to make sure the strings didn't touch and keep a good distance from each other.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nrCvmcY9oA

    I think doing it this way also ensures that the angles towards the nut aren't as severe. If the 2 & 3 wind towards the outer side of the pegs, it makes for a rather severe angle and I have to think harshly rubs the string on the edge of the nut slot. Which most likely will shorten the life of the string.

    Notice the difference between how the Kamaka Jake Blue is strung at the head, and how the Kanile'a Aldrine is strung. The Angles on the Kamaka strings look strange and quite extreme. While the Kanile'a string angles to the nut are shallower. They closely follow what Gordon talks about in his video.

    I have found that you do have to take a little care to make sure the 2 & 3 strings don't wrap too much and rub against the center wood of the headstock.

    PS: I PMed this observation to Experimentjon, and he asked me to post it.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 05-06-2019 at 06:02 AM.
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  9. #19
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    Mar 2014
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    The Kamaka Jake Blue seems to be just an incredible instrument. Congratulations on finally getting your grail ukulele, well done. Thank you for taking so much time and effort for your in-depth review. It was a nice touch to compare the Kanile and your Kamaka long neck tenor.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  10. #20
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    Mar 2011
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    Port Hueneme, CA
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    Why would someone want to get an artist model? Well you know it must be special to allow them to play that way, Right? Yeah, like some extra special thing they do when they made it. It’d make anyone better.
    Several years ago a small group met up with Aldrine at a local shop. I was really new to uke and we were talking about chunking. He insisted he could teach me. He gave me his signature uke and did teach me but I sounded just as bad on that uke. Funny, I’ve yet to find that Magic Uke that will make Me sound good. They sure are pretty though.

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