Cool Kanile'a Uke on eBay from the KU Headstock Logo days (just post Joe working out of his garage days)

rhiggie

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Pretty cool uke, if accurate description, the last one make with KU headstock.
KU Headstock.jpg
 
Here's another KU soprano on Guitar Center, dice and all. Personally, I don't think I'd want a pin bridge on a soprano. YMMV.

 
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Here's another KU soprano on Guitar Center, dice and all. Personally, I don't think I'd want a pin bridge on a soprano. YMMV.

I bought this today. $421. I called Kanile’a and asked them about it. It was made in 2007, and the person I spoke to said it was probably a custom job, with either cedar or spruce top. They are going to do some research and get back to me, but they were shocked at how little I paid. It looks near mint, even though the description said it was missing 2 pegs, which it wasn’t. It included a silver fiberglass hard case. It sounds sweet!
 
That saddle has been altered. The ones from back then were one piece. I have an older baritone and a Concert size Kanile’a and they both have one piece saddles and I have never seen anything but. I think the action was too low so someone changed out the original saddle and added one that would bring the action up higher. I tried doing a search to find another with a four section saddle like that one but had no luck. But looking at the saddle slot there is the original slot and the current saddle does not go to the end of the slot. Kanile’a never does anything sloppy like that. There wouldn’t be a space on each end. I have to go to work but I can send a picture of wha it should look like if you need one. That there was work done to your Ukuolele may be what made it so inexpensive but it is still a very low price. I bought my baritone second hand and it had a small finish flaw in the high glaze finish from being dropped and paid $600 in a hardshell case. So these prices are out there. I love my baritone Kanile’a and it has slowly become my favorite bari over my Martin. Great find on your part but I would change out that strange saddle.
 
I do not see binding which makes your Kanile’a a 1and not a 2 unless your picture just isn’t showing the binding and no interior label although with the KU headstock I believe all those were made in 2007
It is certainly odd having no label maybe it has fallen down into the Ukulele
 
That saddle has been altered. The ones from back then were one piece. I have an older baritone and a Concert size Kanile’a and they both have one piece saddles and I have never seen anything but. I think the action was too low so someone changed out the original saddle and added one that would bring the action up higher. I tried doing a search to find another with a four section saddle like that one but had no luck. But looking at the saddle slot there is the original slot and the current saddle does not go to the end of the slot. Kanile’a never does anything sloppy like that. There wouldn’t be a space on each end. I have to go to work but I can send a picture of wha it should look like if you need one. That there was work done to your Ukuolele may be what made it so inexpensive but it is still a very low price. I bought my baritone second hand and it had a small finish flaw in the high glaze finish from being dropped and paid $600 in a hardshell case. So these prices are out there. I love my baritone Kanile’a and it has slowly become my favorite bari over my Martin. Great find on your part but I would change out that strange saddle.
 

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I do not see binding which makes your Kanile’a a 1and not a 2 unless your picture just isn’t showing the binding and no interior label although with the KU headstock I believe all those were made in 2007
It is certainly odd having no label maybe it has fallen down into the Ukulele
It has binding. The label is there, just not visible in the picture. It’s a k2. According to an email from Kaimana Souza his dad remembers the build. 2007, and the first, or one of the first ones with a diminished fretboard. A definite custom with bear claw spruce top and Koa back and sides and inlay made by slicing a die and imbedding it in the fretboard. They don’t keep records that far back, so it’s unknown how much it cost at the time, but the consensus is that I got a great deal.
 
It has binding. The label is there, just not visible in the picture. It’s a k2. According to an email from Kaimana Souza his dad remembers the build. 2007, and the first, or one of the first ones with a diminished fretboard. A definite custom with bear claw spruce top and Koa back and sides and inlay made by slicing a die and imbedding it in the fretboard. They don’t keep records that far back, so it’s unknown how much it cost at the time, but the consensus is that I got a great deal.
The model designation will be on the label I have a K-2 SC from March ‘07 #791 also with a bear claw spruce top
It is slightly earlier than yours as it has the original Kanile’a headstock in script. I think the stop order came from Kansas in 2008 Joe made a lot of bear claw spruce tops and high gloss finishes back then. I don’t know the production numbers per year once the move was made to the current factory. I have business cards from 2006 that were given out with Ukuleles. Nowadays it is extra for that bear claw spruce top. I assume yours has the usual tortoise type binding, Mine is a Super Concert or Concert size body with a tenor neck. I am not sure how many instruments were made with the KU headstock but the original script logo over 700 we’re made I own one of the last ones made with script logo. Then the KU logo was used and finally the current logo which was used in 2008 onward and started somewhere in the 1000’s I have seen one with the new logo with a serial number of 19.. something. I should have jotted it down but was not as focused on the history back then. So somewhere between 791 and 1900 were the KU headstocks I think less than 1000 were made, how many less I don’t know. So which headstock is Scarcer I can not be certain but I do know the Script logo was used for at least the first 791 as I own that one and it was made in March of 2007. It would be nice to know how many were made with the KU logo. I am not certain logo rarity adds anything to value it is more of a curiosity. So here are a few pictures of one of the final ones with the Kanile’a logo in script. If everyone who owns a Kanile’a from 2007 or 2008 chimed in we might get a better idea of how many KU logos are out there As Joe used a consecutive numbering system.
 

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Here’s a picture of the label as best as I can get it. I assume it’s #1175 made in July of 2007?
 

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Here’s a picture of the label as best as I can get it. I assume it’s #1175 made in July of 2007?
Assuming Kanile’a produced about 100 ukuleles per month in 2007 based on the difference in months and the space between our serial numbers and that it was less than a year for the KU headstock. My guess is that maybe 300-400 or so we’re made With the KU headstock. The earliest one I have noted is #1003 and there are some after yours. However if mine is one of the final Ukuleles made before the headstock decal change that would mean at least 300 were made.
I know at least 500 Ukuleles were made in Joe’s garage before the move to the new factory in 2006. A few more serial numbers of labels with KU could bring this even closer to the exact amount. I can not find any exact dates on when the first KU headstocks were issued but the June 2007 date for Kansas University can not be correct as that would mean they contacted Kanile’a before these instruments were made. How did KU find out about the headstock decal in the first place? It had to take months to find out and at the time about 100 Ukuleles per month were being made. The earliest KU one I have noted was #1003 made in June of 2007. (06 07) and yours in July (07 07) #1175 I think it more likely was late 2007 or even 2008 when the KU headstock production was stopped. As higher KU serial numbers than yours exist.
 
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Thanks everyone for this post. I have played acoustic guitar for 40 yrs. I had never been to Hawaii until a couple years ago, have been twice and am going to my 3rd island soon. Anyway, I really want to get a Uke last time but didn’t. My wife doesn’t play anything but just asked me to get her a nice Uke because she knows a couple ladies in a local Uke club. I found her an old Kamaka soprano on its way. I wanted to get me one but a Kanile’a. So thanks to this post I just ordered a K2 Super tenor with KU head stock. My question is, does that mean Joe built it? I’m wondering at what year did sound hole labels get placed showing builder did it? I plan on contacting Kanile’a tomorrow to track serial number.
 

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