Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Take-Anywhere Plastic Ukulele, Makala Waterman Soprano Ukulele

So you own some very nice ukuleles and you may be a bit squeamish about taking one out in extreme conditions. Well I can't blame you. So what's a good alternative? I'd say some of the new plastic ukuleles out on the market. We have been carrying Woodi USA and Bugsgear for a while and were well pleased when Kala came out with their Makala Waterman. The Waterman features a body very close to the classic Maccaferri ukuleles that premiered in 1959 and sold more than 9 million. The plastic poly-carbonate used is very durable and is not too heavy and dense, so the sound projects well. The Waterman comes standard with a back pack style bag, geared tuners and Aquila Super Nylgut strings.

UKE Republic Demo - Makala Waterman Soprano Ukulele

Lots of colors and other choices like swirl patterns and translucent.Soon to appear in later 2015 a glow-in-the-dark top Waterman coming to Uke Republic.

Makala Waterman, many color choices!

So, will a plastic ukulele replace your current wood ukulele? I don't think so but it's a great addition to your ukulele family and truly adds to your possibilities of playing most anywhere.
So, is the Waterman a good choice to take out in the elements? From personal experience I'd say yes.

During a recent vacation, I took one to Daytona Beach Shores, Florida and left it in the sun by the pool, took it into the pool, put it into the ocean and more. The little soprano still played well and brought a lot of fun with it. Oh! do be sure to rinse off salt water.

Greetings from UKE Republic - Daytona Beach Shores, Florida

I also had the chance to go down Georgia's famous Chattahoochee River with friends in our local Uke Club - The SouthEast Ukers. Many of us used our ukuleles as paddles and rudders along with playing many tunes with no ill effect on our plastic ukes. We had Watermans, Bugsgear and Woodi being used.
Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee with a Makala Waterman Ukulele!

In June 2015, we sponsored a friend with a Waterman, to take on tour of the Olympic Mountains in Washington. So it was exposed to cold temps and high altitude and a little bit of a fall, but held up well I'm here to report. See his full blog here:

Makala Waterman Olympic Mt. testing tour

So if you have a plastic ukulele, you know how fun they are. If not, I'd suggest getting one for a take most anywhere ukulele. Perfect choice for camping, water-sports, boating, hiking, beach time, singing in the shower, lunch breaks at work, crossing barren wastelands,  arctic research bases, emergency paddling, playing bad mitten and more.

So where can I buy one of these nifty Makala Waterman Soprano Ukuleles? Why, at UKE Republic of course!

Please enjoy our videos.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pineapple Ukuleles

Pineapples! Pineapples! Pineapples! Perhaps you own one or two in your own personal collection or maybe you've thought about trying one out and wanted to know something about them.

To start with the pineapple's design was patented first by Samuel K. Kamaka in Hawaii, 1928. The design and style proved to be popular and over the years others have produced their own pineapple styled ukulele in various scales and tonewoods. Some that we carry are Kala, Makala, Ohana, Kamoa, Mainland Ukes, Pono, Ko Aloha, Ko'olau, Makai, Magic Fluke's Flea and sort of a pineapple shape from Pepe Romero's Tiny Tenor.

Tone wise it seems the pineapple shape produces more bass than the traditional figure eight shaped ukuleles. Using a variety of tone woods change the sound as it would with any other ukulele.
mahogany and Koa tend to produce the warmest tone with mango adding a bit more treble. Very lively sounds are coming from the spruce and cedar tops. The sizes UKE Republic carries are soprano, soprano with concert scale neck, concert and concert with tenor necks and then of course tenor body and scale currently being produced by Ko'olau and Pono using solid mango wood.

So what's coming in 2015 for pineapples? Ohana is producing a solid spruce top with solid mahogany back and sides in a deluxe model. I had the opportunity to play it in both soprano and concert and was very impressed. I'm sure many more models will be produced by all the makers as this style of ukulele continues it's popularity.

We carry an excellent hard case that fits soprano pineapples from Ohana, Mainland Ukes, Makai and Kamoa ukuleles.The Steady semi rigid case and RBX by Reunion Blues will fit the other sizes and styles.

Currently we are featuring some excellent prices on pineapple ukuleles so check out UKE Republic's  Pineapple and Unique Ukulele category page and try out one of these "sweet" ukuleles. 

Here's a sneak peak of Ohana's new pineapple for 2015 being demoed by Ken Middleton.