Ukulele Window Shopping

Cuddly uke-puppets, U900 are bringing out a solid electric ukulele.

Does anyone have any experiences with Kamoa ukuleles? I’ve had a couple of people ask and I don’t have the first clue. If you’ve got an opinion, let everyone know in the comments.

Photos: 1930s duo, Bessie Love, arcade ukulele, 1927 ukulele girls.

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12 Comments

  1. Craig Robertson August 13th, 2011 1:08 am

    U900 are SO NOT MY THING. and they use too many fucking exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Stuie August 13th, 2011 4:22 am

    TOOOO MAAAANNYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ron Hale August 13th, 2011 6:21 am

    Aldrine likes Kamoa, Al. Sells five
    models at the UU store. Four come with
    quick video reviews.

  4. Woodshed August 13th, 2011 8:51 am

    Craig: Can’t say I’m surprised.

    Stuie: They’re just excitable!!!!!

    Ron: Thanks very much. I’ll check those out.

  5. Rebekah August 13th, 2011 2:12 pm

    That U900 uke is way too cute. I wonder if it sounds as good though…

  6. Woodshed August 14th, 2011 8:25 am

    Rebekah: The shape and decoration don’t really have an impact on the sound of electrics so I would expect it sounds good.

  7. Kenneth Smith August 15th, 2011 1:43 am

    A co-worker of mine went to Hawaii a few years ago and brought back a Kamoa for me as an Xmas present. It had a low G-string on it and I use it on stage for blues songs. The sound is nice and mellow, it doesn’t sound too tinny (or trebly) like some ukes tend to do.

  8. Woodshed August 15th, 2011 2:46 pm

    Kenneth: Thanks very much for the info. Good to hear.

  9. Feralparrot August 15th, 2011 3:01 pm

    In Feb. I had the privilege to visit Larry’s Music Boutique in Kauai. There, I found the owner Samuel playing (testing) a shipment of his Kamoa ukuleles. I was impressed with his playing and the sound of the instruments.

    I was even more impressed that the instruments being played were as affordable as they were. His line of less expensive ukes (~ $100-$200) blow away the sound quality and projection of anything in that price range and I would suggest Kamoa as a best choice for beginning ukulele players for sure … certainly the best sound per buck! I heard clean beautiful tones and very good intonation from what I could tell… and no fret buzzing!

    Kamoa now offers more high end choices for those seeking more sound and ‘bling’. I fell in love with a Soprano Series 500 prototype that he had in the shop. The sound, tone, sustain, projection & clarity stood up to ukuleles costing 2-3 times as much. I pulled Koa ukes from his shop display from various makers and even with Kamakas, I could barely tell the difference in sound quality… with my playing or his. I pre-ordered one that day.

    After some back and forth and an upgrade to Grand Concert, I ended up with an early production model that has amazing sound, very nice details and beautiful wood. For less than half the cost of a Kamaka Otasan, I have an instrument that plays and sounds quite comparable. She is loud and clear and has beautiful tone.

    For those who care about looks, the visual details on the Kamoa Series 500s are nice. Martin inspired pearl inlay at the bottom of the soundboard mirrors the decorated shape of the bottom of the fretboard. like opposing brackets ” } o { “. The fretboard has pin-stripe, binding-matching inlay down the center with dual fret marker inlays. The curly maple body, neck and head are beautiful pieces of wood and the Spruce top is nicely finished to match.

    A picky/keen eye may find that the fit and finish are not perfect. The tuners, while functioning perfectly well, are the cheaper type with the smaller Philips-type set screw and more obvious mold lines on the pearly plastic knobs. Mine came with black GHS strings (and round wound low G) which I will likely upgrade. The clear coat on my early model is a bit lumpy/sloppy where the fretboard meets the soundboard and near the head on the outer edges of the fretboard. These are minor issues that might be thought of as ‘character’ to someone who got in on a first production run of an amazing ukulele!!

  10. Bill Tanner August 15th, 2011 4:07 pm

    For what it’s worth, I helped Sam out with an earlier version of the Kamoa website (not the current offering), so I guess keep that in mind. Anyway…

    Here’s Sam’s pitch on the Kamoa brand:
    http://blip.tv/play/guBTgprrIAI

    And there’s a decent number of Kamoa reviews on YouTube, if you want to burn some time.

    I’ve got a couple of the older models (a laminate pineapple and a solid wood spruce top concert – both of which I love playing) as well as two of the newer models (a laminate concert and a solid wood mahogany tenor). The older models aren’t anything flashy, but the sound is great. The newer models are more showy, but they also retain the bell-like tone that I enjoy.

    The newer models came with Aquila Bionylon strings on them, which I can’t say I’m a fan of. If anyone’s considering buying one I’d suggest they ask for Nylgut strings instead. I think they’re a better match.

  11. Woodshed August 16th, 2011 8:13 am

    Feralparrot and Bill: Thanks very much for the reviews. I’ll use them in the review section when I set up a page for Kamoa.

  12. Mike August 24th, 2011 5:10 pm

    Anyone have any info on that U900 solid electric ukulele??

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