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Thread: NUD: Kamaka HF-3 Tenor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Southern USA
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    161

    Default NUD: Kamaka HF-3 Tenor

    I received a Kamaka HF-3 yesterday I bought from Mike at Uke Republic. This is a keeper. I really like the High Tension Kamaka strings. It came strung with high G. Eventually I will try Low G. The quality of workmanship is equal to that of my Collings UT1. Itís hard to compare the sound between the two. Both sound awesome, and both makes you want to play them. As for as appearance, the Kamaka takes the cake.

    Please forgive my ramblings. I would appreciate you that own an HF-3 and have experimented with strings other than The stock strings, your thoughts and opinions.

    Tom (a recovering Baptist)
    TomtheBaptist

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    I really like Living Waters plain Low-G on mine. But I like the chimey, guitar-ish sound of LWs.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you donít begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    óLou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    934

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    My HF-3 is great. It has a lot of sustain, if you like that kind of thing. I don't. I spend a lot of time muting and dampening when I play. That's why I ditched the strings as well. Even though the Kamaka is my designated high-G uke I put on some more mellow strings and down-tuned it a few half-steps. I am currently using Fremont Blacklines. I have also used Worth browns. I briefly tried Living Waters strings, but I couldn't abide them because they are clear (ugly to me) and the name sounds like some non-denominational Christian cult. The quality, however, is unimpeachable.

    Here are some of the thoughts I have about my HF-3. It is very playable. I can fret notes all the way up to the 19th fret. It doesn't have a cutaway, so I have to reach over the upper bout but, even so, I have relatively few clunker notes. I can play chords 'til I get between fret 12 and 15. At that point, it becomes impractical. The A string is somewhat close to the edge of the fret board so that it is easy to pull it off. At first it was annoying but nowadays I actually do it on purpose to create a sonic effect. Since it is high-G and I mostly finger pick, for me the Kamaka is essentially a 3-string instrument. Yet it is still very versatile. I was messing around around the 11th fret with the B Phrygian Dominant scale with a ceramic slide and the Kamaka performed well. Its frets and string height worked with the slide although it can also be picked without any problem.

    Those are some thoughts I have of my kamaka. Now here's a picture of it.
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...7&d=1493919714

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    London
    Posts
    410

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    Uke Logic low tension with a wound Low G on mine. Extraordinary full, warm sound with great sustain and note separation. Wouldn't change it for anything. My Holy Grail ukulele.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kamaka HF-2LD - Kanile'a Custom 5 string Super Tenor - KoAloha Special Issue Tenor - Pono MGTP5-PC

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
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    My Kamaka tenor has Oasis Warm fluorocarbon strings with a Fremont Solo wound low G. I tend to prefer the warmth of fluorocarbons, and the Fremont low G is less "thunky" than the non-wound Oasis low G and blends better to my ears.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
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    1,337

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    Congratulations on your new HF3. Like you say, it's a keeper!

    I found my HF3 at Ward shopping center on my last day in Hawaii visiting relatives. Long story short, it's also a keeper. Currently wearing a set of Worth clear low G strings.
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert
    Flight TUS-35

  7. #7
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    Dec 2014
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    Southern USA
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    Thank you to everyone for your thoughts on strings. I like the sound of the stock strings, but I am curious to try other strings. I will leave this on for a month or so and see how they do. My guess is that I will move toward a fluorocarbon set. I do like the looks of the black strings, so I'll try Low G Freemont Black Line first. The only negative I have with the HF-3 is the plastic nut and saddle. I plan to switch them out for bone. I don't know if it if switching to bone would make much of difference in sound, but cosmetically, will look better.

    Tom
    TomtheBaptist

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomthebaptist View Post
    Thank you to everyone for your thoughts on strings. I like the sound of the stock strings, but I am curious to try other strings. I will leave this on for a month or so and see how they do. My guess is that I will move toward a fluorocarbon set. I do like the looks of the black strings, so I'll try Low G Freemont Black Line first. The only negative I have with the HF-3 is the plastic nut and saddle. I plan to switch them out for bone. I don't know if it if switching to bone would make much of difference in sound, but cosmetically, will look better.

    Tom
    Plastic? Interesting, I tried looking it up but couldn't find any reference as to what the nut and saddle are made of. Mine don't look like bone, horn or wood so they must be plastic. Something in common with Kohala (the other "K" brand), who knew?
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert
    Flight TUS-35

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Southern USA
    Posts
    161

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    Quote Originally Posted by kkimura View Post
    Plastic? Interesting, I tried looking it up but couldn't find any reference as to what the nut and saddle are made of. Mine don't look like bone, horn or wood so they must be plastic. Something in common with Kohala (the other "K" brand), who knew?
    I think it is called Nubone, a synthetic material (basically plastic).
    TomtheBaptist

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NH
    Posts
    1,337

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    This HMS ad for the HF-1D says the nut is micarta. Don't know if the plainer HF-3 has the same. Micarta is more a phenolic resin than plastic.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micarta
    Kamaka HF3, Tenor
    Martin S1, Soprano
    Ko'olau C1, Concert
    Flight TUS-35

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