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Thread: Worth repairing a Kamaka Keiki?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    12

    Default Worth repairing a Kamaka Keiki?

    When I got married, we decided on a tropical theme for the reception. As part of that, I purchased an old tiki bar on craigslist, and the seller threw in some old Hawaiian decorations, including a decorative ukulele.

    A few years down the road and I decided to start learning ukulele as my quarantine activity, and so got a little more interested in them. Just a couple days ago we finally had room in our house for the tiki bar and decorations, and upon picking them up I realized that the ukulele wasn't just decorative. After some research, I've discovered that it's a Kamaka Keiki gold label ukulele, made by Kamaka between 1963 and 1970 for the Japanese market.

    I haven't been able to find any online that look exactly like this one, though. Most of them just have the 'k k' on the headboard. The only one I've seen that has the full 'k keiki' label has a guitar style body rather than the pineapple style.

    I have an appointment to drop it off tomorrow with a luthier, but I was hoping to find someone familiar with it here who had some idea how much it could be worth, and how the sound will be once it's fixed up. From what I can tell, while the keiki is an entry-level uke, Kamaka seems to be a higher end brand. For reference, my other uke is a Kala KA-15S.

    PXL_20210111_185457248.jpgPXL_20210111_185536450.jpgPXL_20210111_185617030.jpgPXL_20210111_185559467.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Palm Beach County FL
    Posts
    662

    Default

    Not sure if you could get it appraised before sending it off. If it has monetary value might want to get a value for insurance.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Saint Andrews Bay, FL
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    3,914

    Default

    I used to have one. I got in a pawn shop for $35. think I sold it for $150? Very lightly built out of mahogany [instead of koa] in Japan for Kamaka. Not as pricey as the HI koa models but definitely worth fixing.It looks like it is just missing one of the tuners. If so, easy fix.
    there is no substitute for LOVE

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Darlington UK
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    Default

    Good luck
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    450

    Default

    It certainly is worth repairing, and the repairs seem quite straightforward. Keiki Kamaka means 'son of Kamaka'. Yes, they are basic models made in Japan, but yes, they are as good as the Hawaiian basic Kamakas. Price-wise they fetch less than Hawaiian Kamakas, but they're a bit more rare. Check reverb and ebay for some price references, the printed price guides are a bit lost on these instruments.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Just saw the responses in this (apparently duplicate) thread! Until I can get it closed, this other thread is the one I'm using.

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