Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The NAMM 2017 UKE Republic Experience

2017 Winter NAMM Impressions and NEW Items at Uke Republic

Always a fun time going to southern California and attending the 2017 NAMM show but it's also serious work going over all the new products, trying them out and choosing new things to introduce at Uke Republic.

Some of these items are available now and others will be made available throughout the year.

To start off, there was plenty to see and try. New ukuleles were abounding, so here are some highlights.

First, let's start with Blackbird.


  • Blackbird Guitars and Ukuleles

Blackbird continues to impress us with their innovations using their own Ekoa material to produce their new tenor -Farallon and concert Clara. The sound is so sweet and it's nice to know it's made from a sustainable and green material. Check here to see Blackbird Ukuleles in stock at UKE Republic.

Joe Luttwak (L) of Blackbird Guitars and Mike McQueen of UKE Republic

  • Kala Brand Ukulele

Kala introduces an eight string baritone from their cedar/acacia line. It has a big full sound and will be available for $299.99

Kala Brand Booth at NAMM 2017


Kalas Ukadelic line will now be all plastic like the Waterman. We love the new designs made by artist from around the world.

Kala Brand Ukadelics NAMM 2017

Makala Shark has now been made available in some cool new colors like green, purple and shark color-grey!

Everyone's favorite Makala Shark soprano ukulele has grown  - now available in Concert Size! These no doubt will be very popular as well.

Makala Shark Soprano Ukuleles NAMM 2017

The Kala Waterman will now come as a concert and will sell for $55.00. These sounded great and played well with lower action.




Kala Waterman Ukuleles
Kala Waterman Concert Plastic Ukuleles




















Kala Elites are offering some exciting new models. One being the dog hair mahogany. These really impressed me with their warm tone and clean projection. Another cool thing is that you can get them in slim neck and all sizes including baritone.
Baritone lovers rejoice as the Elite is now available in koa and mahogany. 
Kala Elite is also available in some amazing custom models. Keep checking back here to see what we have in stock. 







Kala Elite Salt n' Pepper Dog Hair Mahogany Tenor Ukulele


  • Kanile'a and Islander

Kanile'a brought some amazing ukuleles with gorgeous koa. We were able to bring some of these show pieces back and were the first to introduce the new Islander gloss spalted maple. The spalted maple in gloss really enhances the looks on these. New Islander mahogany with laser etched Honu will be available later this year. Islander also makes some nice guitars and bass you may see around here soon.








  • Magic Fluke

First at Uke Republic the all new tenor banjo-uke. These have a tuneable head tenor scale. Click here to see the demo video. 



 More first at Uke Republic are the new fleas and flukes. Check out this playable art that was inspired by surfing, Volkswagen, tropical flowers and more.


  • Ohana Ukuleles

We are impressed once again by all the new products from Ohana.
First, the upcoming solid mahogany soprano and concert that takes inspiration from the classic 3M. This one felt, sounded and played brilliantly. We hope to have these in late spring/early summer. Check back here to see what's in stock at UKE Republic. 


Ohana also introduced white ebony ukuleles, fantastic custom series with eucalyptus and spalted maple, concert banjo-uke, new cases and gig bags along with all the standard Ohana ukuleles we know and love. Ken Middleton was kind enough to do a few demos for us.



  • Leolani

This brand has regularly been seen in Hawaii but now U Republic carries them for you. This is a sister company to Kumu and also uses real Hawaiian koa veneers on their instruments. The nut width is 1.5" as opposed to the more common 1 3/8". Currently, three sizes are available in super soprano, concert, and tenor.

Leolani Ukuleles

  • Pepe Romero Creations

An amazing luthier and player Pepe introduces a new line in satin/semi-gloss with solid spruce top and mahogany laminate for back and sides. Still using high-quality tuners and strings these body shapes will be available in the XS soprano, Tiny Tenor, Grand Tenor and small body Guitar. We were able to bring back a grand tenor that left the day it came in. More expected in April. 
Pepe Romero fluorocarbon strings soon to be listed as well at UKE Republic.
Check back here to see what's in stock at UKE Republic



  • Risa

Really cool electric ukes inspired by teles, strats and Les P along with their own Risa stick all made in Germany.







  • Aquila

New string set that has a sound much like fluorocarbon but uses Aquila own unique formula to make these black strings. Expected in store very soon.

These were just a few things that stood out. We look forward to getting these new products in-stock here at UKE Republic and get feedback and reviews from our customers.