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Thread: First Ukulele Advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017

    Default First Ukulele Advice

    Hi everyone,

    I'm quite new to the board. I was given a cheap ukulele as a Christmas gift and fell in love with ukulele. I've been playing guitar for more than 10 years and felt the need to upgrade from my cheapie. I would like to ask some advice?

    My budget is around $200-ish. I've looked around and decided that I want to get a Concert length. Currently, I'm interested in either Kala Concert Travel, Islander AC-4, or Fluke/Flea from either HMS or UkeRepublic and wanted to hear your opinion on this. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    L.A. California


    Hello and welcome to the forum!
    Concert is a nice size.
    Any of your choices would probably suit just fine.
    I'm a huge Fluke fan, here is some light reading;
    Edited to add; $200 won't buy a new Magic Fluke, but you may find a decent deal occasionally on the Market Place Thread.

    I admire the Islander and its on my short list, for sure. Its got a very wide nut, 1 1/2", so great for large hands.
    Same for Most Kala's, of which we own 5 of various sizes and flavors.
    Last edited by maki66; 03-09-2018 at 07:12 PM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Davison, MI


    they are all competent products. go with whatever you like the most and whichever one you think will make you play more often.
    Youtube channel
    Ukulele start date: November 1st, 2013
    Cordoba 15CM concert uke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    In my experience, the one true upgrade is to an all solid wood instrument, so personally, I'd try to save up some more in order to get in the range of Pono or KoAloha Opio. I know these are a lot more expensive than what you want to spend right now, but it will save you money in the long run, as you won't have the need to upgrade any further.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    Welcome aboard.

    I always recommend a concert scale to beginners, but I see you play guitar, so you will know what is going to suit you best.
    For your budget, I would be recommending Kala or Ohana, I have personal experience of these makes, (& also Baton Rouge).
    As you already play a stringed instrument, what Rakelele says has some merit to it too.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2017


    Hello and welcome to the forums! I just wanted to add that you can get into all solid wood territory with the Mainland ukulele in the $200-ish price mark. Though I've never played them, I read they are quite nice and respected here on the forums.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Pickering, ON, Canada


    Quote Originally Posted by bsfloyd View Post
    Hello and welcome to the forums! I just wanted to add that you can get into all solid wood territory with the Mainland ukulele in the $200-ish price mark. Though I've never played them, I read they are quite nice and respected here on the forums.
    This is excellent advice. An all solid mahogany concert is $229 and an all solid cedar top rosewood back and sides is $279. Coming from guitar you will understand the value in an all solid instrument
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Franklin, TN


    Your post indicates that you have done some research, as you mentioned some well-regarded instruments.

    Question: How many guitars do you have?

    If you have several guitars, you won't be content with just one (nice) 'ukulele. Pick any of these as your "next" 'ukulele, and purchase any/all of the others later.

    If you have only one guitar and are content with it--then you may be content with one 'ukulele at a time. You can purchase one, play it for a while, sell it, purchase another, play it for a while... repeat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Michigan, US


    Here are two reasonably priced solid ukes at Elderly. I own the tenor Kala solid mahogany and highly recommend it.

    Kala solid mahogany concert, $239.99

    Ohana solid mahogany concert, $245.00
    Margaret, long-time classical guitarist gone uke crazy
    Concert: Kala ziricote, KA-ZCT-C - GCEA (NYL029W, Fremont Black Line)
    Tenor: Kala solid mahogany, KA-SMHT - gCEA (Fremont Black Line)
    Baritone: Kala solid cedar top acacia, KA-ABP-CTG - DGBE (NYL034W, NYL029W, Savarez Alliance KF74 .030", KF64 .025")

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Salt Lake City, UT


    The Fluke (or a Flea) is great for a first decent use because if (when) you move on to something more expensive you have a durable travel/camping use that always plays in tune and is relatively humidity proof.

    I’ve found that one of the best ways to hit a $200 price point on Magic Fluke instruments is to call and see what they have for seconds.

    The third uke I bought was a flea second (the first two were a kala and an islander). The flea still plays perfectly, the kala is long gone (neck profile way off) and the islander has minor buzz due to neck profile changes. I really like the islander - it has a wide neck that is super comfortable and a great sound, but the flea sounds great as well and has a perfect set up and intonation.
    Blackbird Clara
    Concert Flea
    Pono MB
    Deering Goodtime Banjo Uke (concert)
    Gold Tone Resouke
    Hadean Uke-Bass
    Gold Tone Microbass
    Deering Goodtime Special (5-string banjo)

    Buckle Up

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