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Thread: NUUD: Island Koa Ukuleles Vita Uke soprano by Pete Howlett

  1. #1
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    Smile NUUD: Island Koa Ukuleles Vita Uke soprano by Pete Howlett (sound demo added)

    I usually don't do NU(U)Ds but since there are so very few pictures online of these, I thought some of you might be interested.

    I‘ve been drooling over this for quite some time and finally pulled the trigger last week. This little thing found its way to Germany from all the way back in Japan at Dolphin Guitars in Osaka.

    Well, what can I say? Although it says Island Koa Ukulele inside, it‘s obviously a Howlett! I was a little scared that there might be something wrong with it since it seems to have spent quite some time at the store (I did some stalking on Google picture search). Maybe it was the strings. After taking them off – black nylons that might be as old as the instrument itself – it’s truly singing now.

    And it is so interesting that although this instrument is 20 years old, you can truly tell that it‘s a Howlett. It sounds like a way younger sister of my Ditson style concert made in 2016 and just a bit more chimney than its shy cousin koa soprano born in 2009.

    I‘ve had newly acquired ukuleles that felt like strangers for months. This one felt like home the minute I opened the case.

    Edit: Here's a quick sound demo: http://ukulelezeit.de/wp-content/upl...7/vita_uke.mp3



    Last edited by Ludwig.; 07-13-2020 at 03:30 AM. Reason: sound file added

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Here it is next to its Howlett brothers and sisters:

  4. #4
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    Very nice indeed!
    "All worthwhile things in life should be easy to learn but hard to master"

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  5. #5
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    Oh my word, that is fantastic. The flaming on the back, it's just insane. Very fancy. I'm not a fan of the Vita uke myself, but if I could get my hands on one of those it would be very hard for me to resist buying.

  6. #6
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    That's beautiful!
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohle View Post
    I'm not a fan of the Vita uke myself, but if I could get my hands on one of those it would be very hard for me to resist buying.
    I'm not a fan either but that's probably because one rarely sees the real deal out there. Most cheaper copies look quite different and oddly out of shape. You need quite some phantasy to see seals in the sound holes of the ones made by Ohana and Clearwater.
    Last edited by Ludwig.; 07-09-2020 at 01:24 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig. View Post
    I'm not a fan either but that's probably because one rarely sees the real deal out there. Most cheaper copies look quite different and oddly out of shape. You need quite some phantasy to see seals in the sound holes of the ones made by Ohana and Clearwater. ;D
    I like the Vita for two reasons - the unusual style, and the fact that it goes back to the early twentieth century and Roy Smeck. I have one made by Ohana.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  9. #9
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    Very cool, is it a soprano? Too bad the beautiful curly koa on the back isn't the front...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Martin Iz - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 (fretless) - Pahoehoe | Kala Acacia - Pahoehoe

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig. View Post
    I'm not a fan either but that's probably because one rarely sees the real deal out there. Most cheaper copies look quite different and oddly out of shape. You need quite some phantasy to see seals in the sound holes of the ones made by Ohana and Clearwater.
    Hang on, are those supposed to be in the shape of a seal? I actually didn't know that. The things you learn...

    I actually like the look of the Ohana Vita Uke for what it is. Now that I'm looking at the soundholes, they haven't put enough attention to detail on the shapes of them, as you said. Same issue as with the Martin Style 3 copy they make. Again, I'm not interested in buying the Ohana, but if I was to find a high-end or vintage Vita uke available I'd be all over that.

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