Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Kala KA-KCG-CE Kala Hawaiian Koa Ukulele with cutaway and EQ

Just arrived in Australia the Kala KA-KCG-CE Kala Hawaiian Koa Ukulele with cutaway and EQ.

I have a feeling these slotted headstock Gloss Koa Ukuleles are going to be Big.

Also back instock are the Pacific Walnut, Spalted Maple, Spruce Top and Paduak Ukuleles.

Cheers CC from The Ukulele Trading Co Australia.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Worth Ukulele Strings shipment arrives in Australia

My latest shipment of worth Strings arrived today, this time I included Baritone and 8 String sets into the mix.  I do most of the Browns, but not the Clears, they are special order.

The table shows the Model, Gauges and the Tone.

If you want to calm down a ukulele and knock off some of the brightness then fit a set of Worth Browns.  I find them to be lovely and warm sounding with a jazzy mellow tone and they have less finger squeak and extraneous handling noise, especially if you like a Low G as its Not Wound.

I also LOVE the feel under my fingers, if you like to play lead and bend those notes then I highly recommend you try a set of Japanese Worths.  They feel nice and soft on your finger tips, you can bend a string without it rolling under your fingertips. 

Cheers CC 

Worth Brown Ukulele Strings Tone Comparison Chart
"I’m Masaya Takahashi producer of Worth Strings.
“Worth Strings” has been selling well since we started to sale, first of September 2002.As I said on the strings page, When I started playing the ukulele,I searched for strings I liked, but couldn't find them in existing products.  At last I found Fluoro Carbon,but to get the strings, I had to purchase a large amount,that I could never use in my lifetime. 
Thankfully many players liked it.First, there were just 3 types. But little by little our customer’s desire for more variations, and now we have many different strings, as you know.
“Worth Strings” is made of an special material called Fuluoro carbon.  The specific gravity is about 1.78(nylon:about 1.14).  The features are a clear sound and a good balance, so it can be adaptive not only for solo play but also for stroke(strumming) play.  

Therefore, despite “Worth Strings” is higher price many people choose them,because the length is longer than other company’s string, and you can get two from one of our strings sets as long as normal size ukulele.  Many Japanese customer are particular about sounds and intonation,and they are very satisfied with Worth Strings."

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Try a Baritone Ukulele for More Volume and Aquila gCEA Vs DGBE tuned strings

QUESTION: I need Maximum Ukulele Volume
I got an interesting question via Ebay, someone asking about how to get more volume and what ukulele to go for, interested in Baritone or Resonators.

My Answer: The larger in size you go the more volume you get out of a ukulele because the sound box is bigger and the top is larger. But you get a deeper more rounded mellow sound out of the bigger ukuleles.  

So a little Soprano may actually have more "cut through" and be perceived as louder as all the energy is centred in the Mids and Treble range, which we humans hear best.

If your Ukulele is a Starter low end one then fitting a set of the Italian Aquila Strings will increase your volume over the nasty clear fishing line junk that are fitted some starter ukuleles.

If max volume to get heard above the crowd is what is required then the Resonator Ukuleles are the way to go, Banjoleles are still the loudest of the ukuleles, but they sound like, well... banjo.

Baritones are the biggest ukuleles and sure enough they are loud, but Baritones are not tuned like a ukulele (Uke = GCEA five steps above guitar). Baritones are tuned like a guitar in same register of DGBE (basically no E or A strings)

Great new is that Aquila do a set of Ukulele strings for Baritone ukes that convert them to Ukulele tuning in the same 5 steps above register. Normal baritone strings snap if you try and tune them up five steps. So you get that baritones big box volume, but in that higher register of Ukulele.

If you want a set of those Aquila GCEA baritone strings give me an email.

Cheers CC

Friday, 7 February 2014

Review of Kala Tenor Resonator Ukulele KA-R-T

Kala KA-R-T Tenor Resonator Ukulele - Natural Mahogany Satin Finish

$425 RRP In Australia.
FREE Setup, Headstock Tuner, Hardcase, Chrome Slide and Shipping.  
Yep I include a Chromed slide should you wish to give “slide” playing a go on this resonator.

What we are looking at today is a Tenor size Kala Resonator Ukulele  with natural finish Mahogany Body and Neck.

I really like this ukulele, I like its look, but I especially like its Chunky Neck.  Originally a guitarist, sometimes ukulele necks are too thin for my taste.  Generally I have found that the thicker the neck profile
the more comfortable the neck is for my fretting hand. It’s nice to have something to really grab a hold of.

The custom made aluminium resonator cone gives a totally different tone to a standard Tenor Ukulele, with lots of Honky midrange growl and bite.  It’s a loud Ukulele too and the sound has that top end jangly brightness not dissimilar to a Banjo.  But you get increased volume without losing your bottom end sustain as happens playing Banjoleles.  The KA-R-T sits tonally halfway between a regular Wooden Ukulele and a Banjolele.  The Kala Resonators projection is most impressive,  you will be heard over the regular ukuleles, but the Banjolele players will still beat you on sheer volume.

I like the light colour natural looking satin finish mahogany body.  No edge binding, it has plain, but neat a pin side and back joints with a slightly arched back.  The Resonator is a simple good looking uke and the chrome plated resonator cover is the visual star of the show that screams "vintage look at me"

Kala have developed a special Logo for the Resonator Series headstock reading "Qualitas Innovatio Veritas'.   I think it is cool, in a tongue in cheek manner, and very in keeping with both the nature of Ukulele community and Resonators i.e. not shy and very "outside the box".

As seems to be universal these days Kala fits the Italian Aquila strings in standard re entrant tuning with the
high G.  If you want during the setup I can fit Low G Strings.  A low G is a bit less jangle, and a touch more
beef to the tone I find.  In keeping with the vintage vibe the machine heads are open geared tuners with
metal buttons that work smoothly and look the part.

There are a few resonator ukuleles out there in the Market place these days.  Some similarly priced entry level all metal constructed resonators compete with the Kala Resonator.  By comparison they are heavy buggers, and very bright sounding.  In the wood bodied resonator field there are a few top shelf brands out there, and as fancy looking as they may be, none are around $400 that Kala is pitching the KA-R-T.  That makes the Kala a very attractive proposition for those players who want to broaden their Ukulele collection with a Reso Uke without taking out a second mortgage.

Whatever your budget the real attraction is that unique “Reso Tone” that mechanically amplified instruments have because of the vibrating aluminium resonator cone.  And the KA-R-T has that in spades.

Mahogany top, back and sides
18 Silver-Nickel Frets
Fret position Marks at 5th,7th,10th, 12th and 15th frets on neck
Rosewood Fingerboard
Mahogany neck
Satin Finish
Aluminum resonator cone with chrome plated cover
Open geared Tuners with black buttons
Custom Kala Headstock logo
Aquila Strings
17” Tenor Scale (Distance from Nut to Saddle)
25” Overall body length
11-5/8” Body length
6-5/16” Upper Bout
8-1/2” Lower Bout
5” Waist
2-7/16-” TO 2-3/4” Arched-Back Body depth
1-3/8” At Nut

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Kala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele Concert Size $395 with FREE Setup, Hardcase, Shipping and Headstock Tuner

Do you fancy some "Mechanical Amplification" with that Mahogany Ukulele?

  • $395 Aussie Dollars,
  • INCLUDES FREE Setup, Shipping, Hard case and Headstock Tuner.
  • Rosewood fingerboard,
  • Mahogany Neck,
  • Tilt back Angled Headstock,
  • Satin finish,
  • Cover Plate polished silver-nickel,
  • Open geared tuners,
  • Custom Kala Headstock logo and Tail-piece cover.
  • Strung with Aquila Nyglut Strings.
  • What does it sound like? Soundcloud Demo
Kala Brand Music has blended the worlds of blues and bluegrass tone in the Resonator Series of Ukuleles that really capture the sound of classical Americana.  That usual ukulele 'sweet and mellow' tone has been given some tasty bite and growl in the form of the aluminium resonator cone.

What’s that then?

Resonator AKA Dobro Instruments have a distinctive tone and volume that sets music made on them apart. John Dopyera (born Ján Dopjera) (1893–1988) was a Slovak-American inventor and entrepreneur, and a maker of stringed instruments.

Kala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele from The Ukulele Trading Co AustraliaIn the 1920's something was needed so the emerging jazz guitarists could be heard above the orchestra, this was before the electrical public address system was widely used. In 1925, vaudeville promoter George Beauchamp approached John Dopyera and made a request; he asked Dopyera to make him a guitar loud
enough to be heard over other instruments. Dopyera invented a guitar with a mechanical amplification scheme similar to the diaphragms inside a speaker.

A cone sat inside the soundbox of an instrument and that was directly linked to the bridge so that the cone vibrated like a megaphone.  Such instruments were much louder than normal acoustic instruments and had a rich, metallic tone.  He applied this Mechanical Amplification to Ukuleles also.

Such mechanical amplified instruments found welcoming homes in the largely un-electrified Southern USA or in the poorer boroughs of the larger Northern towns such as Chicago or New York City.

The Mahogany body is clear satin finished, great to see a natural mahogany finish, most guitars or ukuleles
normally have a stain applied to the wood to darken it.  Mahogany wood is actually a lot lighter than people
think in its natural unstained state.  The Neck is Mahogany and is a really likeable playable neck with a chunky round C profile.  The headstock is angled (tilt back) so you get Max pressure of strings over the nut for Max energy transfer... that makes for the best sustain and volume.

Even though this is the Concert Model (a Larger Tenor size is available) it is still a loud ukulele.  Not as loud as a Banjolele but louder than a regular concert ukulele.  All the extra volume comes in midrange cut-through, yes you will be heard in the mix with this KA-R-C resonator.  The KA-R-C has way way more sustain to its notes and chords than a Banjolele.  In Comparison to a Resonator Ukulele, Banjoleles are all note attack with little in the way of sustain.   Check out the Soundcloud and Video Demos to hear for yourself.

SUMMARY: Kala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele
Kala Brand Ukuleles have designed a Mahogany Ukulele crafted an aluminium resonator cone into the body
resulting in a distinctive voice and appearance all its own. Whether adding a little extra output in a jam or for
providing musical inspiration when playing alone this is one barking loud ukulele with Vintage Americana tone by the bucket load.

Only a few of these came in, so if you want to get it with my professional setup and quality control, act now!

Kala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele from The Ukulele Trading Co Australia

Kala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele from The Ukulele Trading Co AustraliaKala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele from The Ukulele Trading Co AustraliaKala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele from The Ukulele Trading Co AustraliaKala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele from The Ukulele Trading Co Australia

Kala KA-R-C Resonator Ukulele from The Ukulele Trading Co Australia

$395 Aussie Dollars,
Rosewood fingerboard,
Mahogany neck,
Tilt back angled Headstock,
Satin finish,
Cover Plate polished silver-nickel,
Open geared tuners,
Custom Kala Headstock logo and Tailpiece cover.
Strung with Aquila Nyglut Strings.
INCLUDES FREE Setup, Shipping, Hard case and Headstock Tuner.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

How did a simple song on a ukulele top the Hottest 100 over monster singles from Lorde and Daft Punk?

Just as Nirvana going Number 1 signalled the "Year that Punk Broke" maybe Riptide by Vance Joy heralds the "Year that Ukulele Broke" into the mainstream.  Of course this isn't the first time that Ukulele has broken through into the mainstream, but that was last century.

The Year Ukulele BrokeWell that's it then, it's official the Ukulele is the Comeback Kid, James Keogh aka Melbourne singer-songwriter Vance Joy is the latest Triple J Hottest 100 No 1 song.  A Ukulele player at Number 1 on the Charts, worldwide fame and a 5 Record deal with Atlantic Records in the USA. Not bad for a Melbourne boy and his Ukulele.

Darren Levin from Faster Louder finds out more

"James Keogh aka Melbourne singer – and his management team gathered together in a small room at Auckland radio station Kiwi FM. The triple J Hottest 100 was getting down to the pointy end, and when Breakfast hosts Matt and Alex back-announced Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ at #3, things got real. “We huddled around headphones and it was pretty tense,” recalls Keogh. “We were really just celebrating being in the top two, because it was such an achievement, such a special moment.”

His manager Jaddan Comerford was also in the room. “Each time it went down a number, it was like, ‘Oh cool, we got Top 5. Oh cool, we got Top 4. Oh cool, we got Top 3’ – and when the inevitable happened it was just a magical human experience,” he says.

Comerford – who also looks after Illy, Violent Soho and Amity Affliction under his We Are Unified banner – was elated when ‘Riptide’ came in at #1, but not surprised. He first heard the track via Soundcloud back in May 2012 – and was instantly smitten. “I’ve been managing bands for a long time, all sorts of bands – whether it’s the Amity Affliction going #1 [on the ARIA chart] or Illy doing what he’s doing – so I’ve got a pretty broad experience. But when you hear a song like this, you just think that anything is possible.

“Maybe you’re blinded by your own faith,” he continues, “but I can’t picture someone listening to a song like that and not thinking, ‘Wow, that’s an amazing song’. It’s just undeniable.”

“He seems to come up with clever ways of making the ordinary sound quite magical.”

It was ‘Riptide’ that convinced Comerford to track Keogh down"
By Darren Levin Faster Louder

Read More about how Vance Joy and his Ukulele broke through at Faster Louder, DARREN LEVIN spoke to the people behind it to find out. How Vance and Ukulele broke into the mainstream

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Beginner Ukulele Workshop Tues 4th Feb 2014 Beginner to Rockstar in 2 Hours.

The 1st Tuesday of the month is usually beginner night, this can get a bit tedious for you experienced NUkers.

So what I propose we will do next Tuesday is split into 2 groups. 

I'll give the beginners a two hour workshop to coach them on a bit, 

and all you experienced NUkers can jam out what you want, practise old or try new songs, be ready to step up to the mic and lead a song or two.

Beginner to Rockstar in 2 Hours.
WHEN: Tuesday 4th Feb, 7pm to 9pm
COST: A couple of Gold Coins Donation to The NUkes (The Northern Ukuleles)
WHERE: The Old Spot Hotel, Dining Room, 1955 Main North Road Salisbury.

Learn the FOUR Essential Rhythm Strums.
Learn the FIVE Essential Chords to get you playing.
You WILL be playing songs on the night.
Find your "Inner Rockstar"