NAMM 2012: Ukulele Window Shopping

This weekend is NAMM (the orgy of musical instrument makers) and this year the CEO of NAMM is putting his money on ukuleles. Follow the action on Ukeeku including Mahalo’s attempt at making a ukulele worse than the flying V and whatever the hell this is.

The big curiosity on eBay at the moment is this huge collection of ukuleles. Looks like an interesting set of ukes but the $55,000 price tag and the seven-word description are off-putting.

Strange ukulele-ish instrument.

Mya-moe resonator.

Ipana Tooth Paste: protects gums and makes you play the ukulele weirdly close to your face.

Doll outfits are more expensive than all my clothes put together: Barbie’s Ken A Go-Go

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  1. freackykit January 20th, 2012 7:18 pm

    For the price of that second hand mya-moe you could get three sets of barby doll clothes couldn’t you?

  2. L.Bo Marie January 20th, 2012 7:28 pm

    thank goodness you don’t dress like Ken.

  3. L.Bo Marie January 20th, 2012 7:28 pm

    (and welcome back!)

  4. Dan January 20th, 2012 9:17 pm

    There better be some nice Ukes in that collection for $55k – even 73 of them… an average of ~$750 each.

    I think it would be fun to go to NAMM one year. This year I did CES… I was a lot of fun.

    The mya-moe looks awesome!

  5. yuval January 20th, 2012 10:36 pm

    If the “whatever the hell this is” is an interface that turns your iphone to a ukulele, then I want one!

  6. Ron Hale January 21st, 2012 2:01 am

    Hard to find a cooler uke than a pink V, Al.
    This new one I believe was referred to as a surfboard uke on Aldrine’s UU report. And how about that new lapsteel?

    Nalu is touting its titanium strings. What are titanium strings anyway? Or Kala’s platinum strings? Whatever happened to nylon strings?
    How about razor wire strings. Or barbed wire strings? Or electrified wire strings? For really hot playing?

    Now, it may just be me, but I do not like rope binding. And, not that I care about high-end ukuleles – because I don’t – but the new Kamakas with rope binding look absurd. To me.

    Gold Tone either hasn’t heard that Mahalo already has a Smiley Face uke with eyes for sound holes or it’s starting a ‘have a nice day’ ukulele war. Whatever the case, impossible to have too many of these ukes.

    The less said about these huge ukulele collections the better as far as I’m concerned.
    Obsessives attempting to hide their obsession
    behind a love for the instrument. Doesn’t work.

    And buying collections themselves rather than
    individual pieces one at a time isn’t collecting, it’s merely amassing.

  7. Carrie Griffin January 21st, 2012 4:29 am

    I’m here to campaign for people in the modern world to start saying things are “a go-go” more often.

    Also: Ken wears socks?

    Also also: I am in love with that strange ukulele-ish instrument.

  8. Kyle Frazer January 21st, 2012 10:55 am

    Some people really do get some weird & wacky choices from Mya Moe; that maple just doesn’t do the instrument justice, in my eyes anyway.

    It’s quite funny seeing the correlation between posts on forums detailing latest purchases of dire and dreek instruments and the argument for defending such a choice, and the listings on eBay and said forums for the corresponding instruments.

    I often wonder if people just jump at a chance to have an instrument built, instead of holding back and doing some research into wood, sleeping on the decision etc. If they’re happy with it, then fine, and who am I to say otherwise? But the amount of commissioned ukes for sale at some rather ridiculous discount is quite sad.

  9. Claude January 23rd, 2012 4:17 am

    I’ll see your Mahalo surfboard uke and raise you a KoAloha Scepter.
    Remember, for every one of these oddballs (including the airplane shaped ukulele) there was somebody who actually thought it was a good idea.
    Watta woild!

  10. Woodshed January 23rd, 2012 9:43 am

    freakykit: I know which I’d rather have. Thanks! It’s good to be back.

    Dan: If $55k is a fair price (and I do doubt it) it’ll be a handful of ukes that make up most of the price.

    yuval: I think I’d rather stick to using my iphone as and iphone and my ukulele as a ukulele.

    Carrie: It took me a while to work out that the socks were actually socks.

    Kyle: I suppose if you’re going to get a custom ukulele you may as well go for something individual. If you want something run of the mill you don’t need to go custom.

    Claude: Actually, the Sceptre is my favourite ukulele.

  11. Kyle Frazer January 24th, 2012 5:33 pm

    Claude, the Sceptre IS a good idea, and they’re no oddballs either. It really is an exceptional instrument.

  12. Tony January 26th, 2012 2:01 pm

    I love the resonator idea, I don’t know how it would work in a Uke, any insight?

  13. Claude January 26th, 2012 2:27 pm

    I hear that resonators work well in ukes. They’ve been in production for more than 80 years, so I guess some people like them.
    The problem is that they’re specialty instruments, so they can be a little more expensive.
    Is the Scepter comfortable to hold? The points look painful.

  14. Woodshed January 26th, 2012 10:38 pm

    Claude: It is very comfortable to hold. Unlike the Flying-V style ukes, the points are in the right places. My arm and thigh fit comfortably between them.

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