First off is the two tenors that Michael DaSilva brought for us and I was lucky enough to get a sound sample from the cool and creative couple from Cali, Craig Chee & Sarah Maisel. The tenor Sarah is playing is a new shape and design from Mike with a wider lower bout. He calls this the Jumbo Tenor. Craig plays the thin-body tenor model that was introduced 2 NAMM’s ago and both are spruce topped and feel amazing. Big mahalos to Craig and Sarah!
The next video shows a spontaneous jam session at the Ko’olau booth with three musicians from Hawaii representing jazz with undeniable skill. I wan’t to listen again but it’s too late in the day, the adrenaline keeps me up! Hope you take a listen, these guys are the best.
After that Corey sound samples a few of the D’Angelico soprano scale archtops. I was asked how this compared to the new Eastman Archtop. Obvious question given that they are both brand new archtop sopranos, which is not exactly a big category in the ukulele market. They both have pickups and I haven’t compared that, but acoustically I would say the D’angelico has a more scooped mid range and warmer voicing while Eastman has a very forward mid range voice almost reminiscent of a resonator ukulele, or with a similar vintage coloring tot he tone. The D’Angelico and the Eastman both very are cool in their own way.
Next we hear a revamped version of Kiwaya’s K-Wave tele style uke. For a few years they stopped making this model because China copied them pretty well. They brought it back because they re-voiced it and it sounds better than the cheaper versions now on the market.
We’ll close out this year with a listen to a few Kanile’a ukes that are now new models we will try to stock regularly. They no longer will be making the UV SILK and will simply have the lacquer sprayed UV cured gloss finish and the varnish hand applied satin finish, which both of these models have. The first one has the CS feature or cobra slot head with stealth Gotoh tuners. The second one features their new cutaway which takes minimal soundboard by just taking a little scoop to the edge of the body. More sound samples will be showing up from these new models in the next few weeks.
Even though I couldn’t get to all the pictures and footage I took this weekend, we regularly review the newest ukes on the market here at the ukulele review and we also choose only a few hundred models to stock at our store and website from thousands on the market. Our goal is to show you the best products on the market and this happens all year round. So I’ll wrap it up there and be back with more reviews real soon. Mahalo for tuning in. Leave comments or questions below and I’ll try to answer them as I can.
Her is links to the first 3 days of the 2015 NAMM Show.