Baritones, Mangos and Eastman - the Ukulele beasts from the east!

It's been a while.. We have some very cool new things to show you this month so put the kettle on and lets get going.

Mango KoAlohas - Mangoloha?

KoAloha have obviously settled into their new larger Hawaiian factory very well because since I saw them at the NAMM show they seem to have been experimenting constantly with new designs and materials.

The reintroduction of the Naupaka Ukuleles got us excited.. if you haven't seen one a Naupaka Ukulele is quite literally half Koa half Mango and sounded just a tad mellower than a normal KoAloha.

Then they intoduced an Opio version of their Guitalele which is gorgeous and they even found Papa Okami's original Sceptre prototype (try as I might they insisted on keeping it).

Opio - Guitalele (Available now)

Pop's Okami - Hawaii's very own Del Boy, The icing on the cake though has been the introduction of standard KoAloha Mango Ukuleles.

The two that arrived with us last week are just world class instruments and have a voicing and look that is completely KoAloha but unique in their own right.

We gave these new 'Mangolohas' models a play earlier this week against the other KoAlohas to try and highlight the differences between them all. What do you think?

June - Month of the Baritones

Last week I polled people that follow our social media profiles about what they wanted to see product videos of or more in depth insight about and the overwhelming answer happened to be a request for more information Baritone Ukuleles and the differences between them across the different price ranges.

I took it upon myself to record and touch on 8 different Baritones of all prices we had instore that day and it seems to be the only kind of straight up comparison out there at the moment.

If you were thinking of Baritone Ukuleles at all in the near future, I would be honoured if you check it out.

Eastman Ukuleles - Super Chinese Mahogany instruments

Eastman are a brand that have quietly produced fantastic instrument over the past decade and it's fair to say that they have built themselves up into an internationally renowned alternative to the larger US manufacturers - We're looking at you Gibson and Martin.

Indeed, this solid mahogany series of Ukuleles is distinctly vintage in feel and sound and some careful design choices go a long way in helping these stand out from the pack. For example the Eastman Ukes are possibly the only instruments at this price that use an intricate and delicate nitro-cellulose finish rather than modern harder polyester gloss. This means that the instrument sounds and feels a little bit tight at first but opens up as it is played in like a vintage Martin or Gibson Uke. Also, note how gorgeous the mahogany looks, Chinese factory instruments rarely feature such select woods. The rosewood fingerboard and bridge complete the ensemble - Maybe you have been hankering for a Pono but wanted something slightly more complex sounding rooted in tradition. Eastman are here to fill that gap.

As is the theme this month - We recorded the whole range at the beginning of the week and can't wait for our customers to come and give them a try! Watch the Demo

Something a little different...

Ever heard of Nik West? She is an American Bass Guitarist who seems to collect endorsees every direction she turns. Way back at NAMM in January I played her signature Kala Elite Ukulele Bass. We've been listening to her cover of Kiss by Prince for months at the shop. See what you think.

Until next time
Alex

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