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Thread: New Uke player looking for advice

  1. #11
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    Sep 2017
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    The action at the first fret is good. Maybe 2/32". At the 12th fret it is VERY high. Even if I removed the saddle completely, it would be very high at the 12th fret. I asked the luthier about thinking the bridge, and he thought that was a bad idea as the saddle would lose too much support material and be at risk for cracking.

    I set up my own guitars and basses, and understand the geometry involved, and the moving parts, and agree the neck angle is probably the biggest culprit. I'll get a string height gauge and get some measurements, but I think this use is hopeless for becoming a nice player. I'd love to be wrong as it would make a great beater since it was so cheap.

    In the mean time I sent a pm to the owner of that kanilea tenor in the classifieds. We'll see where that goes.

  2. #12
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    Sep 2013
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    Arizona, USA
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    I would say send it back, resale it or learn to work out these bugs on this instrument. If it were mine I would take the saddle out and file it as low as it can go and put some living water strings on it and play it at first position. Everyone should learn how to take the action down at the saddle and at the nut. Its just good practice that will save you money in the long run for every instrument.

    Get yourself another either here or from HMS or MiM. You can't go wrong having those two stores setting the action up just the way you want it and if for some reason your still not happy you will know how to go about tweaking it just for you. You shouldn't have to do anything coming from them but then some people like me want a really low action without the buzz and sometimes as a general rule luthiers just wont take the risk. If you give either of these stores a call they can help you decide by brand/build what can be taken down enough for you.
    Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.

  3. #13
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    Aug 2017
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    The Land Of Aloha
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    So no local stores to get your hands on some nice ukes to check out the differences?

    You mentioned Kanilea, from the factory they have nice action, same with Kamaka too.
    Kanile'a Kuuipo - Tenor - (For Sale)
    Lanikai LU-21C - Concert

  4. #14
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    Sep 2017
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    The only local stores to me that carry uses either carry $40 sopranos, or the occasional kala. I've yet to find a local store that has a solid use or a tenor of any kind, never mind a nice one.

    To be honest, I don't want to learn to do the work. I am a former hobbyist woodworker, and my eyes and hands Were never that great. I find that kind of detail work more exasperating than enjoyable, and I make enough money to outsource it to someone who knows what they are doing.

    As for returning it, I didn't keep the original packaging (cleaning lady tossed it) and it seems like a hassle. I am using it now in first position. Maybe the living waters strings will help.

    There are songs I know how to play on guitar that would translate directly to uke, but the high action makes them very unpleasant and very hard to play. It's too bad, it sounds ok and is attractive (splayed maple). I'll probably sell it on eBay after I get my nice uke.

    Hopefully the person with the kanilea gets back to me and we can work out a deal.

  5. #15
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    May 2013
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    NH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Rob View Post
    The only local stores to me that carry uses either carry $40 sopranos, or the occasional kala. I've yet to find a local store that has a solid use or a tenor of any kind, never mind a nice one.

    To be honest, I don't want to learn to do the work. I am a former hobbyist woodworker, and my eyes and hands Were never that great. I find that kind of detail work more exasperating than enjoyable, and I make enough money to outsource it to someone who knows what they are doing.

    As for returning it, I didn't keep the original packaging (cleaning lady tossed it) and it seems like a hassle. I am using it now in first position. Maybe the living waters strings will help.

    There are songs I know how to play on guitar that would translate directly to uke, but the high action makes them very unpleasant and very hard to play. It's too bad, it sounds ok and is attractive (splayed maple). I'll probably sell it on eBay after I get my nice uke.

    Hopefully the person with the kanilea gets back to me and we can work out a deal.
    Sounds like a Kanilea strung low G from HMS would be perfect for you. HMS has a great reputation for setting up ukes and customer service.
    Martin OXK Soprano
    Kamaka HF3 Tenor
    Eastman EU3C Concert
    Martin S1

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Either a Kanilea because of the 1-1/2" nut width or a Koaloha which has a 1-7/16" nut width. Koaloha are known for having a very consistent sound from one instrument to the next. I support your idea of getting a high quality instrument as soon as possible. You play other stringed instruments so you know the huge differece a good instrument makes to your playing enjoyment. Buy from HMS, MIM or Uke Republic with total confidence. Ukes are all they do and they inspect them throughly and do a great set up. You won't get a dud from those people.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 09-10-2017 at 05:00 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  7. #17
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    Jun 2014
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    CH
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    I, too, tend to think that the problem you're describing could be resolved by adjusting the action both at the saddle and - more importantly in this case - at the nut, even on most cheap ukes.

    But since you're thinking about upgrading, I think Kanilea would be a great way to go. They have the most beautiful Koa wood, the nicest finish, a very light build, open sound, and there aren't many others with a nut width of 1.5". I like unwound strings on my Kanilea; I have used Worth Brown, Worth Clear, and now Fremont Blackline, but I'm sure Living Water would be great, too.

    When ordering from HMS, you will get free shipping, and they make sure the action is perfect without buzzing. You can add a note to your order requesting for low action. They can also set it up for the particular set of strings you order along with it.

  8. #18
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    Jun 2017
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    There is a UU member who was selling his Romero Tenor with a 1.5" at the nut. He may still have it. Romero Creations - pure magic IMO.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...ghlight=romero

  9. #19
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    Sep 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyber3d View Post
    There is a UU member who was selling his Romero Tenor with a 1.5" at the nut. He may still have it. Romero Creations - pure magic IMO.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...ghlight=romero
    Do you really think a Romero measures up against a kanilea? I have no way of trying either except to buy them.

  10. #20
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    Jun 2017
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    West Los Angeles, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Rob View Post
    Do you really think a Romero measures up against a kanilea? I have no way of trying either except to buy them.
    Yeah, I guess it is such a personal matter I could not tell you if it does measure up. I've not tried a kanilea. All I do know is that the products coming out of Romero Creations have been exceptional. IMO. He has a small operation and his reputation is high. I played his Tiny Tenor and immediately fell in love with it. You can play it gently, you can play it hard, it has such emotional range and more to give. Ask the guy that is selling his Tenor what he thinks about it.

    Now, we are not talking about a $2,000+ uke here. There are so many available in your price range and especially when you consider a possible used one.

    Here is a new review of the Tiny Tenor from Southern Ukulele: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_G5ifrj568w It's on the Tiny Tenor but it does talk about the quality of the Romero instruments.
    Last edited by cyber3d; 09-11-2017 at 07:20 PM.

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