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Thread: First post, first time having UAS...

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by omlove View Post

    Also there are differences between brands on fluorocarbon too. Unlike acoustic or electric strings that I'm used to - 12-53 or 13-56 pretty much means the same across brands and models.
    As far as strings, you need to stop comparing steel strings and start looking a classical guitar strings. Ukulele strings are similar to nylon/fluorocarbon classical strings. Not to start a flaming discussion on steel strings, but in my opinion, there is not too much difference between brands, especially electric. There are some, but there's more hype than substance.

    But back to your original question. You really need to figure out what you are going to play on the ukulele. Are you playing chords or are you interested in fingerstyle instrumentals like Jake Shimabukuro (YouTube).

    If you play guitar, you can play a ukulele. If you have stores close by, try out different sizes and try to figure out what is going to fit your style. Check out HMS (The Ukulele Site) videos and sound samples so you can get educated on what this instrument can do.

    John

  2. #12
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    Feb 2013
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    Petaluma, CA
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    Quote Originally Posted by omlove View Post
    I'm thinking of getting an "upgrade" for my S1 and leaning towards an old Martin but would like to humbly listen to the people's advice here. Really appreciate your time and help.
    When I first got the UAS I couldn't afford the typical vintage Martins so I bought ones with issues and taught myself how to repair on some very cheap and free broken ukuleles. It is now a collection of 6 WWII Martins and have a few waiting rescue and better weather to French polish. I will probably have one or two this May or June ready to go.
    You could pick up some for less than 300 but would need attention. I've seen a few go for less than 500. A few years ago Martins were more expensive till the flood of decent Asian made ukuleles arrived. I don't think they will get back to their previous prices

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    L.A. California
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    Vintage Favilla Ukulele are worth looking into.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  4. #14
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    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by omlove View Post
    Please pardon my ignorance. I understand fluorocarbon is much thinner than nylon. But compare nylon to nylon, for instance these two D'Addario sets:

    EJ65S Pro-Arté Custom Extruded
    A 0.024 E 0.032 C 0.034 g 0.028

    EJ88S Nyltech
    A 0.023 E 0.03 C 0.036 g 0.025

    The first set is consistently thicker but suddenly the tension/diameter drops on the C string? I can't wrap my head around it.

    Also there are differences between brands on fluorocarbon too. Unlike acoustic or electric strings that I'm used to - 12-53 or 13-56 pretty much means the same across brands and models.

    EJ99SC Pro-Arté Carbon Ukulele
    A 0.0205 E 0.026 C 0.0319 g 0.0224

    Martin M600
    A 0.0191 E 0.0256 C 0.034 g 0.0216

    Again the EJ99SC C strings is considerably smaller than the peers.

    Never knew I'd one day dive so deep into uke world lol... I'm intrigued.
    The two "nylon" strings you compared are not both nylon. The Pro Arte are a very typical nylon string, both in sound and diameter. The Nyltech is a hybrid material, for lack of a better word.

    The florocarbon are both florocarbon but being a chemical compound with many components that make up the material. Because of this they vary a bit in diameter, tension and of course in sound. Experimenting with strings is a rabbit hole that once you go down you will not return the same person be warned.

    As a long time guitar player you know what you like when you hear it. Vintage Martin sopranos are legendary for the specific sound. You played one, you loved one, you could have already found what you really like.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #15
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    Jun 2014
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    CH
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    Sounds to me like you did not only enjoy the sound of that vintage Martin, but you also appreciate its history. With this background, I would not settle for a copy, be it accurately done or more blunt and hence more affordable. Get the real thing.

    Then again, knowing you like an instrument with a legacy, why not save up for a Kamaka, either a used one or a new one? The have the longest continuing history of building ukes, and they are deeply rooted in the instrument's place of origin.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  6. #16
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    Jan 2010
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    There are lots of ways you can go and there are and will be tons of great suggestions here. One thing I try to remember is that ultimately, the instrument is a tool to do a job. Try to find an instrument that you connect with, that has the voice that you desire, but don't go nuts. (That is the hard part)

    The vintage vs new debate can be a long one, with people weighing in on each side. In short, the vintage instruments have a certain feel, sound and mojo going for them, but they can have issues. You may have to deal with instruments that need or have some repairs or that do not look perfect. You have to decide if that is ok with you. The character, both in sound and looks can be kind of cool. Some of the newer instruments can sound and play great and lack issues. The Kiwayas you mention are great examples of this. The workmanship, sound, playability, intonation is superb. The KTS-4 is one of the best instruments going.

    I am sure with some thought and after playing a few things, you will find what feels right for you. While you can listen to lots of advice here and lots of videos and soundless, there is no substitute for having the instrument in your own hands. Have fun with it and let us now what you find.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
    As far as strings, you need to stop comparing steel strings and start looking a classical guitar strings. Ukulele strings are similar to nylon/fluorocarbon classical strings. Not to start a flaming discussion on steel strings, but in my opinion, there is not too much difference between brands, especially electric. There are some, but there's more hype than substance.

    But back to your original question. You really need to figure out what you are going to play on the ukulele. Are you playing chords or are you interested in fingerstyle instrumentals like Jake Shimabukuro (YouTube).

    John
    Thanks for the advice. I play finger style guitar, on both acoustic and classical. I did experiment a bit with classical guitar string but not long before I settled on D'Addario EJ46. I am not a classical guitar player so classical guitar is just a tool, of which I like the tone very much. I like the clear nylon treble strings for smoothness rather than the rectified/coarse strings, so an easy pick. Also classical guitar strings are not that different, EJ44 extra hard tension is only 2lbs more than EJ46 hard tension. It's almost negligible to me

    Uke, being exactly the same string interval as guitar and with two less strings, is relatively easy for me to jump on. It's a convenient tool for family/friends gathering and entertainment. So mostly some strumming, singing, and finger style instrumental and turnaround. I guess in that sense I shouldn't be fretting too much about the tone as nobody in the room but me (and or some guitar playing friends) would probably notice it...

  8. #18
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    Jan 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDW View Post
    There are lots of ways you can go and there are and will be tons of great suggestions here. One thing I try to remember is that ultimately, the instrument is a tool to do a job. Try to find an instrument that you connect with, that has the voice that you desire, but don't go nuts. (That is the hard part)

    The vintage vs new debate can be a long one, with people weighing in on each side. In short, the vintage instruments have a certain feel, sound and mojo going for them, but they can have issues. You may have to deal with instruments that need or have some repairs or that do not look perfect. You have to decide if that is ok with you. The character, both in sound and looks can be kind of cool. Some of the newer instruments can sound and play great and lack issues. The Kiwayas you mention are great examples of this. The workmanship, sound, playability, intonation is superb. The KTS-4 is one of the best instruments going.

    I am sure with some thought and after playing a few things, you will find what feels right for you. While you can listen to lots of advice here and lots of videos and soundless, there is no substitute for having the instrument in your own hands. Have fun with it and let us now what you find.
    That's some very sensible words there. Appreciate it!

    I remember a long time ago I went nuts about vintage Martin and Gibson stuff. They do sound unique, in a way, but in the back of my head I knew it was because of the "mojo", the history, the story, the Brazilian Rosewood, the whatever but sound that attracted me. It's vanity. For instance I had a very nice and all original Gibson L-00 from 1931, which can play blues by itself But it only has 12 frets and from 13th fret up because the fingerboard sinks, it's really really hard to play. Not to mention a few quirky spots here and there despite I had set it up as best as I could. Eventually I realized guitars are just tools. It's me that's making music. And as I got better and better, I could make cheaper and cheaper instruments sound as good. I did like the L-00 sound dearly so I settled on a new black Waterloo with 14 frets at neck joint and superb workmanship as well as perfect playability.

    But every now and then I would be hit by something. It's this little vintage Martin on this random trip to Hawaii that struck me and started this thread.

    Did I answer my own question Maybe a KTS-4 is the answer for now.
    Last edited by omlove; 01-14-2018 at 05:30 AM.

  9. #19
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    Jan 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    Sounds to me like you did not only enjoy the sound of that vintage Martin, but you also appreciate its history. With this background, I would not settle for a copy, be it accurately done or more blunt and hence more affordable. Get the real thing.

    Then again, knowing you like an instrument with a legacy, why not save up for a Kamaka, either a used one or a new one? The have the longest continuing history of building ukes, and they are deeply rooted in the instrument's place of origin.
    Kamaka HF-1 is around $1000 in the US; Gryphonstrings right now has two Style 0 from 1950s that look really nice asking about $600-$700.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Here is a very reputable place that often has vintage instruments as well as the Kiwaya http://www.vintage-instruments.com

    Yes, you are right, you may have answered your own question!

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