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Kakumae



Kakumae Concert
OS scale Concert
Kakumae
Olelele
Kakumae fan fret Tenor
Fan fret Tenor
In 1985 Shinji Takahashi started T's Guitars, to be joined later, in 1987, by his younger brother Kenji Takahashi. In 2000 the firm became T's Guitars and Ukuleles and in 2003 the brothers parted ways with Shinji starting T's Ukuleles as a completely separate business, and Kenji reverting back to T's Guitars.

Jump forward to 2015 and Kenji started his own Ukulele manufacturing enterprise in Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture. As his brother still had T's Ukuleles he called his Ukulele brand Kakumae (apparently after something in the locale but I can't see what?) They make Soprano, (PJ - Scale: 324mm), Concert, (OS - Scale: 360mm), and Tenor, (BC - Scale: 408mm, I assume the letters mean something?), models and one of the key features of all of them is a fully and independently adjustable bridge they call the "00Tune". Another feature is the use of 4:1 planetary tuners, (from Gotoh) and there are a number of wood and decoration level options available for each size. The Concert and Tenor models are quite small in scale length and with the Tenor being 16 frets to the body too, it's really more of a Tenor scale Superconcert.

As well as the standard models they do a lot of custom and semi-custom models and liking innovation, this includes fan fret Concert models, (they did make a Tenor scale one as a limited edition 30th Anniversary model), still with the adjustable bridge though this has to be staggered. Other things in the semi custom catalogue include a Concert scale Pineapple and a Concert scale Lili'u ,(but this doesn't have an adjustable bridge). On top of all this there are a number of one-offs and prototypes like the "paper lantern" Ukulele that was release on April Fools Day, (so I'm not sure if it actually plays or not) and the "pennant" Ukulele, (that does play, I've seen a video of it playing, just not very well!)

In 2017 they introduced an electric Soprano travel ukulele that folds in half they call the Olelele and they have now (2019) started making a solid electric roundbody Soprano they call "the cut pineapple" that is to be followed up with an acoustic version.

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