Next up was the Luna booth. Luna has some cool new models. Two all solid mahogany concert that will go for $199 are called “Pearl” and “Coral”. They also had a concert model called “Heartsong”. It has a spruce top, and with a B-band active pickup and USB connection is still gonna sell for only $199. Wow, although I couldn’t find any USB connection and the Luna salesman couldn’t either, but that’s what the tag and catalog said. I have a meeting with one of their product developers tomorrow so perhaps I will see then. They were also showing four new “UBass” models, but they were strung with thin metal flatwounds and tuned up a whole octave, EADG. I thought it was ridiculous, but maybe somebody won’t. I won’t be ordering them but these should be available for 3-400. A few other new designs from Luna but these were the most unique new offerings.
From there I went back downstairs to find one of my favorite makers, Asturias, from the island of Kyushu in Japan. For the first year he showed a tenor. I bought the Koa slothead tenor for the store along with one of the concert cutaways with cedar and brazilian rosewood. These ukes are among the best. Look out for these to show up at The Ukulele Site when I get back.
Now most of you know that our island has some of the world’s finest ukulele makers, and one of our store’s best sellers is Kanile’a ukulele, building from the windward side with the most gorgeous koa and super sweet tone. We bought many of the ukes displayed at this show, but I want to feature the new models that they just released. The first is a super tenor with a 19″ scale, two inches longer than a normal tenor. This model is the SEST19. It has their new UV satin that is now seen as SILK on their labels. Also with this finish is a premium tenor and concert with ebony bridge fingerboard and faceplate. These models are SET and SEC. The other model from their Hawaiian production is the “Diamond” tenor. It has premium koa, a zebra wood rosette, top and back binding, and a “snake head” thin slotted headstock with Gotoh stealth tuners. Oh and of course the Diamond inlay on the fretboard. There is also a few new models in the Islander line and we’ll be bringing you more news on those soon.
Then I realized I had an appointment with Gretsch and Fender and made a mad dash to the third floor. Some sad news from Gretsch, no more deluxe series. They said we were the only ones selling it. But, they are replacing it with an all solid koa concert and tenor that will go for $399 and $429. They also came out with a long neck soprano that will go for $109 and a long neck concert with Fishman pickup that will be $179. (Not available without pickup?) They also have a revised banjo uke I liked and did the Guilele with a solid top, cutaway and pickup (still under $300!). The thing with all of these Gretsch models; they sound good and they are at an amazing price point. I am a huge fan. Still, no more 9121? Why Gretsch, why?! Oh well. Anyway, on to Fender, a new Tele style ’52 and a T-Bucket model that looks really cool. Corey and I have VIP badges to go up there tomorrow and do sound samples before people come in and make noise. Stay tuned for that and more tomorrow.
I’ll leave you with some pics of ukes that I thought looked really cool, but just didn’t want to make music. At least for me. But anyway, they look cool. What’dya think?
Any other ukes you want me to feature? Still three more days of madness so stay tuned to the review. Aloha, a hui ho~