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Thread: Famous Kawaya uke

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Wisconsin
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    Default Famous Kawaya uke

    A friend gave me one. Not sure I'm liking the sound. Have no idea how old the strings are. What kind of strings would on good on this uke?
    Thanks in advance.
    Proud owner of a yellow Makala Dolphin

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Tidewater Virginia
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    554

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    I would start with a set of Martin M600 flourocarbons. Trying different strings is part of the fun in a new uke. Enjoy your journey.

    I got a Famous pineapple from Ebay a couple years ago. They said no damage or repairs, but when it arrived, the bridge was badly re-glued, the back and sides were separating, there was a loose brace and a missing brace. I sent it right back.
    I was very disappointed that I never got to even play it.
    Bill

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Central IL & Fox Valley, IL
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    7,504

    Default

    Do you mean a Kiwaya uke, which I think is called a Famous uke in Japan? What size, ng?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Wisconsin
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    It's a Famous by Kiwaya, I have no idea if its a very good one or not. It's in good condition. It's a Soprano.its about the same size as my Dolphin, but way deeper. It doesn't seem to hold a tune well at all.
    Proud owner of a yellow Makala Dolphin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
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    3,537

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    If it's an older uke, you should replace the strings as soon as possible. (New strings will be a vast improvement over a worn out set.) Of course, new strings will need a week or so to stretch out and stay in tune.

    If it's not holding tune at all---like the string undwinds itself after you tune it up---you will need to adjust the tuning pegs. Just tighten the little screws (about an eighth of a turn at a time) until the strings stay in tune.

    Modern Kiwaya ukes are terrific. I'm guessing with new strings and a little adjustment, your Famous uke will sound and play great. Have fun with it!
    -Ralf Youtz

    My videos are here.

    The future is unwritten.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Peoria, IL USA
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    103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Normagal View Post
    It's a Famous by Kiwaya, I have no idea if its a very good one or not. It's in good condition. It's a Soprano.its about the same size as my Dolphin, but way deeper. It doesn't seem to hold a tune well at all.
    The ukuleles branded as "Famous" vary wildly in quality. When I lived in Japan, you could buy inexpensive starter kits with Famous ukuleles, and they were either OK beginner instruments or pretty kindling. That's what you get with mass production and cheap strings. They do produce high quality instruments under that name, but I doubt anyone would give you one of them for free.

    If it has friction tuners, try tightening them with a screwdriver. Restring with new, better quality strings. If that doesn't improve the sound quality to your liking, don't worry about letting it go.

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