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Thread: FS: ‘70s-era Kamaka ‘Keiki’ Soprano

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Marin County, CA
    Posts
    526

    Default FS: ‘60s-era Kamaka ‘Keiki’ Soprano

    EDIT: Should be '60s era, not '70s in the title.

    Continuing to slim down my collection, I’m parting ways with this little gem.

    These were produced for the Japanese market from 1963-1970, and was aimed at curbing the wave of counterfit Kamaka ukes that were popping up over there during the 1960s. Mahogany body, headstock decal still intact, original tuners upgraded to UPTs by a previous owner (originals come with it).

    Just looking to recoup my investment, so asking what I paid for it: $150+shipping. PayPal only, I pay seller fees.
    Since I’m not 100% certain what the bridge and fretboard wood is (looks like rosewood to me), US inquiries only, please.

    (I’ll post some photos later today after I get home from work, just want to get it posted first)


    While this little uke sounds amazing (check out my NUD), it has had some TLC put into it. Specifically, there are a few things that have been repaired or may need repairing if desired:

    - there is a major ding in the backside edge of the upper bout on the treble-side (facing the ground for righties), which is cosmetics only, as it never cracked the body

    - there is a large repaired and stable crack along the upper bass/player-side (for righties) bout along the side.

    - there may be another small repaired crack by the treble-side of the bridge, but it may also be a finish scratch or a grain crack. Hard to photograph but worth a mention.

    - there are two repaired and shellacked cracks on the back, one near the heel joint, the second toward the middle of the lower bout. Both are a few inches in length, but have been stable since I’ve owned it.

    - the neck appears to be slightly twisted, though that may be an optical illusion. The fretboard extension onto the top seems to be thicker on the treble side (under 1st string) than on the bass side (under 4th string). Intonation and such feel unaffected so I suspect it only looks twisted from not being totally level down there. From fret 11 and up, I don’t see the issue.

    Overall, it could use a professional setup, likely with a new saddle and re-cut nut (the 1st string slot is cut very low), but is otherwise an awesome little ‘hog soprano from an interesting era for Kamaka Ukuleles.

    You can either ask additional questions here, PM me, or email me at tom.uker at gmail.com
    Last edited by YogiTom; 07-11-2019 at 04:37 AM.
    Current UAS fallout:

    Ohana SK-21A — ‘10s L. Nunes Ukulele 0 Hawaii Soprano — ‘60s Kamaka ‘Keiki’ Soprano — ‘70s Kamaka White Label Soprano — Blue Frog Soprano — aNueNue Moon Bird US200 — Ohana SK-30L — Cocobolo Concert #382 (teak!) — The Rebel ‘Double Cheesecake’ C-LN — Outdoor Ukulele Carbon Tenor — Kanile‘a 2019 Platinum Tenor #21021 — ‘50s Harmony Baritone


    Mead Ambassador/Horticulturist at Heidrun Meadery since 2017

    Teaching Music Together since 2019

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    47

    Default

    These are awesome ukes!! I have one and the sound is amazing, repaired cracks and all.

    Bill

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Marin County, CA
    Posts
    526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by strings View Post
    These are awesome ukes!! I have one and the sound is amazing, repaired cracks and all.

    Bill
    Agreed!

    Other musing while I’m stuck at work:

    -I was also pleasantly surprised that the UPTs aren’t noticeably heavy.
    -Currently strung with Aquila Lava strings, which really bring out the mids in a warm way to my ear.
    Current UAS fallout:

    Ohana SK-21A — ‘10s L. Nunes Ukulele 0 Hawaii Soprano — ‘60s Kamaka ‘Keiki’ Soprano — ‘70s Kamaka White Label Soprano — Blue Frog Soprano — aNueNue Moon Bird US200 — Ohana SK-30L — Cocobolo Concert #382 (teak!) — The Rebel ‘Double Cheesecake’ C-LN — Outdoor Ukulele Carbon Tenor — Kanile‘a 2019 Platinum Tenor #21021 — ‘50s Harmony Baritone


    Mead Ambassador/Horticulturist at Heidrun Meadery since 2017

    Teaching Music Together since 2019

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,594

    Default

    Nice deal, especially with the UPTs, sounds good too. Hey, that dark wood on the lower bout edge, maybe it's a custom armrest? They were way ahead of their time! ha ha
    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Marin County, CA
    Posts
    526

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    Nice deal, especially with the UPTs, sounds good too. Hey, that dark wood on the lower bout edge, maybe it's a custom armrest? They were way ahead of their time! ha ha
    Lol, forgot to mention that here! Yeah, who knows. It was either a very clean repair with random slice of mahogany or a custom add on in the factory from someone cutting after measuring only once. My money is on the latter. These were “entry level” ukuleles after all.

    And good point; the UPTs alone are something like $60 new.
    Current UAS fallout:

    Ohana SK-21A — ‘10s L. Nunes Ukulele 0 Hawaii Soprano — ‘60s Kamaka ‘Keiki’ Soprano — ‘70s Kamaka White Label Soprano — Blue Frog Soprano — aNueNue Moon Bird US200 — Ohana SK-30L — Cocobolo Concert #382 (teak!) — The Rebel ‘Double Cheesecake’ C-LN — Outdoor Ukulele Carbon Tenor — Kanile‘a 2019 Platinum Tenor #21021 — ‘50s Harmony Baritone


    Mead Ambassador/Horticulturist at Heidrun Meadery since 2017

    Teaching Music Together since 2019

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    st. paul, MN
    Posts
    596

    Default

    Someone should buy this quick (before I do! ) and use it as their travel uke.
    I really like not having to mess with friction tuners when others can hear me (LOL).
    Talk about a no risk proposition. I love that you just want to put it into the hands of a player!
    Tracie

    Island Koa Instruments, prototype sop, Peter Howlett #153
    Kamaka white label sop (Tiki added!)
    Weymann sop, 1918
    Martin O, 1960's
    Kiwaya KTS-7
    Lanikai SPS-S spruce top sop
    Laughlin 3K concert, 1999
    Sawchyn hog concert (semi-custom, Martin 0 copy)
    Kala Elite 1MHG concert
    Kala Elite 1MHG tenor SN
    Koaloha tenor
    Guild baritone, 1960's (trumpet buttons added, LOL)

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