Rebel Ukuleles are made in Thailand by the folks that make the Opio line for KoAloha. They shared a booth with KoAloha and it was great to meet the kind Thai brothers doing such great work. We bought most of the ukes Rebel brought because, well, they sound and look amazing. I’ll take some better pics and give you some sound samples in the coming days. They sound good. REAL good! Also the leather bag you see in the last picture is coming back with us and we’ll be ordering more from Rebel though they say it is very limited in production. Let me know if you are interested and I can share more info on these super stylish gig bags.
From there I’ll take you over to the Takumi booth where I snagged some uber cool ukes I think you’ll like. The D’Angelico ukes are electric archtop sopranos made in Japan and I LOVE them! They have previously only been available in Japan but I bought the three that Nobu and Hitomi brought. They sound and feel so good and come with a really nice custom case. Even though they are soprano they are extremely comfortable with wonderful tone and a quality pickup system. At Takumi’s booth I also hand picked a half dozen LoPrinzis that I thought were an exceptional value. We also bought the Kiwaya Telecaster style ukes. Kiwaya made some improvements to this design and we are excited to bring them back to The Ukulele Site.
Speaking of the website…Today we launched a brand new version of the site I have been working on for months. In the next few months I’ll be adding many features and improving on it but it’s up running so check it out HERE! Ok, back to the show.
A few booths over from Takumi I found an amazing custom builder from Japan named Teruyuki Tashiro. Without hesitation I bought a spruce top concert and tenor that sound and look top notch. Real top of the line quality from this one man shop and I can’t wait to show them to you.
A great company I haven’t ordered from in a while (who knows why) is Fluke. Their Firefly banjo uke is one that I have been meaning to reorder for a long time so I have more of those coming and also got the last of a limited edition run of Mandala Fireflies. I also ordered some of the fleas for us to stock. We only order from Fluke with the wood fretboard and metal frets so that we can adjust as we need to and maintain our standard quality control as needed. Flukes are all American made and they simply have a great product. There’s no reason for us not to be supporting these great folks and soon you will see them back at the store and website. I also odered a new double CD from Jim Beloff that includes the sheet music for all of the songs as well as a new book they are putting out from Fred Sokolow. See samples of these in the gallery below.
Oh, I forgot, they are also coming out with a UBass fluke that sounded and felt good. I ordered for our store though we most likely won’t be listing them online.
So let’s visit some of the other Hawaiian makers that we love so much. Kanile’a just introduced a new scoop cutaway and the one Joe is holding will be coming home with us. This style cutaway takes very little from the soundboard while still offering easier access to the highest frets. On a side note Islander introduced some mini guitars that are quite an impressive value. We’ll have a few of these in the store though they won’t make it on the website. Inquire for more info on these.
Kamaka is always a fun booth to hang out at with fantastic artists like Benny Chong, Bryan Tolentino, and Kalei Gamiao. I am gonna try to catch some sound samples of their new prototypes with these guys before the end of show. These models include the slothead tenor and (for the first time) slothead concert, as well as a sweet new tenor with a headstock inlay of a honu riding a wave! More pics and videos will come so stay tuned throughout the weekend.
We pre-bought most of what Ko’olau brought including a mind blowing CS slothead we’ll show you later in the show and the first ever slotted headstock CS you see here.
We also pre-bought the Collings ukes they brought and I’ll be showing you those and many other ukes as the show goes on. Check back tomorrow for more ukes from NAMM 2015 and sound samples to go along with them! Also, feel free to comment or ask any questions below, and let me know if there are any models or brands you want us to sample. Aloha from Anaheim. A hui ho~