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Thread: Ukulele Lab in Honolulu

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    672

    Default Good guys

    The Good Guys are good guys. No doubt about it and Dan’s Guitars on McCully near the freeway is also a good place.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    775

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    On my walk today I was looking for Uke Lab. It was not easy to find as there is no store front. It is located on the seventh floor of an office building and closed today. Looks more like an office and I doubt they have a good selection. As a further downer I found that Bob's Ukulele where I bought a fantastic Kamaka a year ago has closed for good a month ago.

    I will check out the Good Guys next week.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
    Posts
    681

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kimosabe View Post
    30,000 people live as residents in Waikiki. Yes, prices are high for those who don’t look very hard. Those in the know know where good deals in Waikiki can be found, as inexpensive as any in Honolulu, even comparable to restaurants in Waianae.
    I lived in Waikiki for over 10 years—played dinner gigs—and enjoyed my time there before I moved on to another career. And, sure, I knew all the hole in the wall places but too much traffic nowadays and really zealous rookie cops keep me out unless I have no choice. I'd rather drive to HMS in Kakaako or Haleiwa if I had an itch for 'ukulele shopping.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    672

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    Sure, my last uke buy was in Kakaako but they will soon close. Haleiwa is worth the drive or even the bus ride which I’ve done many times. I walk a lot in Honolulu. I’m retired but in good shape. My wife and I walk around Diamond Head every morning. It’s not even that hard a walk up to the Manoa Marketplace from Waikiki, about an hour via the beautiful university campus. Half an hour to the Ala Moana Center. Traffic is bad in many places on the island, especially during commute hours up to the leeward side or over the Pali to Kailua or up the middle to Millilani. What was once just a mostly rural island with waterfront industry has now become subject to the pitfalls of American urban and suburban life but there is still much beauty but one has to put up with agro to get there.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Boulder, CO!
    Posts
    391

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    I popped into the Ukulele Lab while I was in Waikiki earlier this month, met Issac and saw the shop. It is probably the smallest uke shop I found during my visit (the other Waikiki visits being Ukulele Store by the Sheraton, Ukulele Puapua in the Sheraton, and also the one by Princess Kaiulani hotel which I think is also named Ukulele Puapua), but Issac is super nice and his selection of new KoAlohas in particular was really solid. I also really liked his selection of koa accessories like rings and phone cases, and will probably pick up something small to support him. The way his shop is set up, it's a small spot on the 7th floor of a building right off Kalakaua and at least half of it serves as a repair shop for ukuleles and the odd guitar here and there, so I didn't end up spending too much time there.

    It's worth stopping in for sure, his pricing is a little closer to MSRP than the rest of the Waikiki shops. As most have mentioned, Haleiwa is totally worth a visit for The Ukulele Site and their collection of Hawaiian ukuleles, but if it's Hawaiian ukuleles you're after and you're in Waikiki I'd have to recommend the Ukulele Store -- pricing is about 10% higher than anywhere else but they have a wall of 70-80 Hawaiian ukes from all the K's and many of the medium-sized and custom builders.
    -Ben

    KoAloha Pineapple Sunday 6 String
    Kamaka HF-3 Tenor
    1928 Harmony Johnny Marvin
    Ohana TK-39
    c. 1970's Hikare Baritone
    Gretsch G9100
    Outdoor Ukulele Soprano #43


    Videos

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    775

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    So yesterday I checked out the HMS store in Kakaako. They had a nice selection and Corey certainly provided attentive customer service. They may not be closing after all, so we will have to stayed tuned. Also visited the uke store in the Hyatt which is close to my hotel, but I think this one probably has smallest selection of the hotel stores. Finally I made the hike to Good Guys. It is more than guitar store but has a nice selection of ukes as well. Possibly with slightly lower prices than the hotel stores. Though I went there to just have a look, I actually ended up buying a generic long neck soprano.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    3,691

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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    So yesterday I checked out the HMS store in Kakaako. They had a nice selection and Corey certainly provided attentive customer service. They may not be closing after all, so we will have to stayed tuned. Also visited the uke store in the Hyatt which is close to my hotel, but I think this one probably has smallest selection of the hotel stores. Finally I made the hike to Good Guys. It is more than guitar store but has a nice selection of ukes as well. Possibly with slightly lower prices than the hotel stores. Though I went there to just have a look, I actually ended up buying a generic long neck soprano.
    I thought that was you at the Kaka'ako store..but did not say anything..nice to talk and meet you and your wife..i was the guy pounding in the frets.....have to see how the new store in Haleiwa works out may not need a store in Honolulu..have a nice time on the rest of your vacation
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Oahu
    Posts
    3,691

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    Quote Originally Posted by bynapkinart View Post
    I popped into the Ukulele Lab while I was in Waikiki earlier this month, met Issac and saw the shop. It is probably the smallest uke shop I found during my visit (the other Waikiki visits being Ukulele Store by the Sheraton, Ukulele Puapua in the Sheraton, and also the one by Princess Kaiulani hotel which I think is also named Ukulele Puapua), but Issac is super nice and his selection of new KoAlohas in particular was really solid. I also really liked his selection of koa accessories like rings and phone cases, and will probably pick up something small to support him. The way his shop is set up, it's a small spot on the 7th floor of a building right off Kalakaua and at least half of it serves as a repair shop for ukuleles and the odd guitar here and there, so I didn't end up spending too much time there.

    It's worth stopping in for sure, his pricing is a little closer to MSRP than the rest of the Waikiki shops. As most have mentioned, Haleiwa is totally worth a visit for The Ukulele Site and their collection of Hawaiian ukuleles, but if it's Hawaiian ukuleles you're after and you're in Waikiki I'd have to recommend the Ukulele Store -- pricing is about 10% higher than anywhere else but they have a wall of 70-80 Hawaiian ukes from all the K's and many of the medium-sized and custom builders.
    Thanks for review on Issac's store....he is really connected with the K brand owners and his cell phone cases are the nicest around he can do all kinds of designs on his equipment at his shop....he is the go to uke dealer for the tourist from Japan...he travels to Japan quite often
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    81

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    I would like to add my experience with Issac store. He also checks UU time to time, so perhaps he will say Hi to everyone sometimes haha.

    He is one of the most patient guys I have met (looking back on my 30+ emails with him back and forth). He responds fast and in a very detailed way. As many has said, he is fluent in both English and Japanese, and often time you will Japanese post on his FB. He has custom wood that could be used to custom order some K brand if you are looking for something special and do not mind spending couple hundred more. The store is kind of small and hidden, but Issac can definitely find you a perfect uke if you can wait for some time.

    Beside the famous HMS and Ukulele Lab, I also want to mention two places.

    One is Ukulele Store at Waikiki. The owner Eddie is a very nice guy. Even though my budget was only around $3000 but I played more than 10 ukulele that is in the $5000 - $10000 range, and he kept encouraging me to try more to find the sound that I am looking for. It is true that the price tag is higher in this store, but based on Eddie, he personally visits and picks out the ukulele himself every time. For example, as most people know, the same batch of 5 red label koaloha, 5 can all sound slightly to quite different. And Eddie will pick the best sounding one for him. Indeed, the instrument sounds spectacular. If the budget isn't an issue, I recommend you to visit his store.

    Another place worth to mention is Ukulele Friend. The owner Shawn is very knowledgeable with custom and vintage. His store does not carry normal production models, but only high-end custom, both new and second hand. The price range is around $2000- $15000 with the selection of Moore Bettah, Devine, Lymana, Kinnard, Steve Grimes, Pepe Romero, ...etc, you name it. Shawn usually gets a few Moore Bettah throughout the year, so if you are looking for one, make sure to contact shawn. One thing to remember is that it is by appointment only, so remember to call him before you visit.
    -John
    ---------------------------------------

    Tenor :
    Jeb Weimer Tenor
    - Koa - 2016
    Anuenue Moonbird UT200 - Spruce & Indian Rosewood - 2019
    Pono ATD - Acacia - 2013

    Baritone:
    Pono PBO-E
    - Mahogany - 2013

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Steveston, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    997

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    I really appreciate the candid comments made about Uke Lab as well as other interesting and often lesser known locations for uke shopping while in Honolulu. Sometimes it is well worth it to pay a little more to a small local shop for a carefully selected Hawaiian uke.
    Klos Tenor (carbon fibre)
    Mya Moe Tenor (myrtle)
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    Lone Tree Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)

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