Comparing Kamaka HF1 – HF3L

Kamaka HF-1L+Kamaka is the oldest Hawaiian company still in business. That’s not a lucky coincidence.  Even after 100 years, they are still refining and improving their instruments. The koa wood is more beautiful than ever, as well as their fit and finish. And most importantly, the tone is as lush and rich as it has ever been throughout Kamaka history.

For many generations Kamaka has hand crafted Hawaiian ukes for the world. But their legacy goes beyond the production level. They have  deep roots in the development and innovation of this instrument. They invented the Pineapple, the 6 and 8 string tenor, and the 8 string baritone. And now another new model is quickly gaining popularity.

For years Kamaka has made a long neck tenor, 19″ scale, but only for family members. Only last year did they make it available to customers, another footprint into ukulele history from Hawaii’s premier builders.  The few long neck tenors we have gotten impressed both us and our customer’s with it’s sweet sustain and brilliant clarity. This super tenor will be loved and copied for many years to come.

In the video below Corey Fujimoto plays the classic HF-3 back to back with the new HF-3L. What’s your thought’s on the longer tenor neck? Do you hear a tonal difference?

Kamaka’s are very loved by their owners, yet a common complaint from customers with soprano or concert has been…. those darn friction tuners! Well, Kamaka is now offering a factory upgrade to have the Gotoh UPT 4:1 gear ratio tuners installed. These are noted with a (+) at the end of the model name. So this video shows a HF-1+, HF-1L+, HP-1L+, and HF-2+. Listen carefully for the differences in each model. What’s your sound? Or the one you prefer…? Share an opinion below.

Kamaka gotoh tuners 5Kamaka gotoh tuners 5-2Have you tried these tuners?

Soon we will offer this upgrade on all brands and models with friction keys so stay tuned. Thanks for hangin’ out at the review, and for sharing your experience. Aloha~

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