Drunken Discovery: Tahitian 8-Stringed Ukulele

So, I had a few beers last night and it started out that I was going to be searching eBay to find a replacement/upgrade for my Danelectro Hodad Guitar.  I played an American Fender Stratocaster at band practice and, while I did enjoy it, I think I'm too used to my Hodad's whammy bar and I really like the thin sound it has (see, it's made of masonite).  Anyway, that's how the evening began.  I'm not totally sure how it ended but here is what I do know.

  1. I had to clear more than 4 beer cans off of my desk this morning
  2. I had about 30 eBay browser tabs open
  3. I had e-mail from eBay saying that I had made an offer on a Banjolele
  4. I discovered the Tahitian 8-Stringed Ukulele

I'm most excited about number 4.  You see, I never knew there was such a thing as a Tahitian Ukuelele.  What's awesome about them is that they are all carved into cool representations of sea creature.  So, some have pairs of dolphins on them and others look like gigantic manta rays!  The bad news about this discovery is that it's only a matter of time before I have to buy one of these.  Regarding the Banjolele offer I made, though, I heard from a guy today that's going to let me review a Banjolele soon.   If I like it, I'll probably buy it as well, so I'll make sure and show it off to you guys.

Here's some Tahitian Ukuleles to peak at as well:
[phpbay] tahitian ukulele, , "16224", "", , , , , , , , uke-tahitian[/phpbay]

ACK! Musician’s Friend is having a HUGE used sale!

Apparently the downside to being hungover for three days after your birthday is that you apparently are prone to missing out on important announcements.

Take this one as a fer instance.  Musician's Friend is having a HUGE sale on used items!  I just checked out the sale and I see 13, count em 13, ukuleles!  Quite a few Fender ukes and a Rogue ukulele for $10.50.  Holy smokes!

BUT, the sale ends tonight!  ACK!  I promise to not be so damned hungover next time.  Hopefully I can keep you guys better informed.

The Kala “Round About” Ukulele Amp (Sure is purty!)

I have been meaning to post this for awhile, but freaking summer just gets busier and busier. Anyway, Rick from Kala sent me a press release about Kala's new "Round About" Ukulele Amplifier. I know I've talked about the Roland Micro Cube before and I do love that amp, but as far as looks go, the Round About is the winner.  It comes in three styles: Black, Pink and Tweed!  What great choices!  The whole look of the amp feels really retro and fun.  It seems like something a foxy lady in the 60s would carry around with tiny white earbud headphones.  Or maybe something that Frankie Avalon would bring to a beach party.  Here's some pictures:

Kala Black Round About Amp
Kala Black Round About Amp
Kala Pink Round About Amp
Kala Pink Round About Amp
Kala Tweed Round About Amp
Kala Tweed Round About Amp

The amps are 10 watts with a 5" speaker.  If you want more details, here's a YouTube video talking all about the Round About Amp:

Take a peak at these Round About Amps up on eBay:
[phpbay] kala round about, , "16224", "", , , , , , , , uke-round-about[/phpbay]

More Talk about Ukulele Strings

So, after my last post about my new Aquila Ukulele Strings, I got a fair amount of feedback from my Twitter buddies.  @ApollosTowel (from Finland, no less) had the following to say (I'm paraphrasing):

The rule I use is Koa Ukuleles sound best with Aquila or D'addario Strings.   Mahogany Ukes sound better with Worth. The exception to this is Koaloha. Spruce goes either way.
Laminates generally like Aquila Strings (except for Kiwaya) as well. I think Worths are so much better than Aquilas on Flukes and Fleas.
Kiwaya laminates tend to like the fluorocarbon types, including Worth. The same rule applies for their solid ukes. 🙂

@hermanvdc had this to say on the subject of Ukulele Strings:

Indeed, Aquila helps give more brilliance to cheap ukuleles but on good the better ones Worth and especially Orcas sounds better!

So, I figured that I should post this so that everyone can make up their own mind and then give you some links to buy Orcas and Worth Ukulele Strings.

Orcas Ukulele Strings:
[phpbay] orcas ukulele strings, 4, "16224", , , , , , , , , uke-aquila[/phpbay]

Worth Ukulele Strings:
[phpbay] worth ukulele, 8, "16224", , , , , , , , , uke-aquila[/phpbay]

New Aquila Strings (before and after)

Two weeks ago I was running pretty much ragged with work and family visiting, etc.   I pretty much didn't know which direction I was headed.  But, sometime during the two weeks window of insanity, I had the clarity of mind to order some new Aquila Ukulele Strings and then pack them into my ukulele case (for my Lanikai CK-TEQ).  Then I surprised myself even further by remembering to pack my Ukulele and my flipVideo when I had to leave town for a week-long job.  Long story short?  I had new strings and the means to make a before and after video in my lonely hotel room.  Boo-yah!

Hopefully you can tell a difference from that video, but I think it's definitely more clear during the single note stuff.  On the Aquila Strings it's just so much more percussive and it really rings out.  I'm totally loving these strings!

I mention Musicguymic in this video.  He's a big eBay seller and I would consider him a great resource for any ukulele-related purchase.  Hell, he's got almost 600 ukulele-related items up for auction right now.  I'll include a few sample items at the bottom of this post, or you can check out Musicguymic's eBay Store.

I was going to make a video showing everyone how to string their Ukulele, but I'm not a big fan of re-inventing the wheel and Aldrine from UkuleleUnderground.com already made this great video:

So, if you need to re-string your uke (and if it's been so long since you've done it that you can't remember, then it's time), I would highly recommend Aquila strings!

As promised, here's some listings from Musicguymic!

[phpbay] , 8, "16224", "", , musicguymic, , , , , , ukuleleguy-musicguymic[/phpbay]