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Thread: Soprano shopping

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Utah
    Posts
    388

    Default Soprano shopping

    UAS is flaring up. I’ve been window shopping lately for a solid wood soprano. Wider nut size & satin finish. Under $500. I like my Islander AS-4 laminate soprano a lot and I am certain I don’t need anything else, but you know how it goes with UAS. I know Islander makes a solid mahogany soprano. Tell me about Mele ukuleles. They have mahogany and mango sopranos that would fit my wish list & budget. Good ukes? Do they come well set up? Thanks.
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 04-16-2018 at 11:01 AM.
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    Loprinzi cedar & rosewood concert
    Gary Gill concert scale tenor, Douglas Fir & Mahogany

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    2,912

    Default

    Mim carries Ohana. I got an Ohana soprano from her last fall. The one that I got was quite a bit less than $500, but she has more expensive ones if you want to spend more money on one.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978485476...rds=R.+L.+Link

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    4,841

    Default

    I have Ohana solid mahogany long neck sopranos, but they have the 'standard' string spacing.
    I really like the tone of them, & they can be quite loud.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Amelia Island Florida
    Posts
    388

    Default

    My personal opinion, seach internet uke site, ebay, reverb, post a want ad for a used Koaloha soprano.....they are outstanding. I waiting and got a beautiful one for 475.00 recently.

    like this

    https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/msg/6531362433.html
    Last edited by uketanzon; 04-16-2018 at 09:31 AM.
    (Originally a Northern Yankee
    But now a good old southern boy)

    Martin IZ Commenorative Tenor
    Koaloha Special issue Purple heart Tenor
    Koaloha Long Neck Soprano Koa
    Collings UC1 Koa
    Kamaka 100 year anniversary model hf-1
    Southern Cross Banjo Concert
    Cocobolo concert
    Duke 10 banjo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    116

    Default

    You seem to appreciate the quality of a handcrafted beauty by a luthier. I suggest contacting Vic Jones of Blue Frog ukulele. His handle on the Forum is Diogenes Blue http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...-Diogenes-Blue

    Vic hasn't been active on the forum lately. I know he had a prior account here years ago. My Blue Frog ukulele is my favorite. It's gorgeous, it plays well, and it has a harp-like tone with the right strings ( worth clear). I play it everyday when I wake up. Vic is a master Craftsman with a great eye for design, He's also funny, and honest. He's not a salesperson. I don't think his website has been updated with his current contact. I have his email if you private message me I could send it to you. I'm suggesting Blue Frog because I think we are kindred spirits in the tone department. I have a Loprinzi, a Koaloha, and I'm jealous of your Gary Gill :-) I have also flirted with getting a Mele. I heard from Vic recently and I know he's still making ukuleles. He likes to make Sopranos. He puts his soul into it. I feel it everytime I play my Blue Frog.
    KoAlana Sapele Concert -- now known as the KoAloha Opio
    Mainland Mahogany Concert - my knockabout jam ukulele
    Mahalo Pineapple Soprano -- the one that started it all
    Kala Travel Soprano -- tiny profile with BIG sound
    Blue Frog Maple Soprano - Beautiful sonorous sound cannon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    388

    Default

    Lots of great Ohana choices, but I have test driven one and didnít care for it. It felt cramped compared to my Islander.

    A used Kanileía would be sweet, but I kind of want a different wood than koa. I have a KoAloha concert that I love a lot and I see they are now making mahogany and mango ukuleles. HMS has both of those in long neck soprano. While out of my budget, one of those is a regular soprano would be be very tempting.

    Iíve not heard of Blue Frog and would love to learn more about them. Someone in another thread mentioned Pohaku as having a wider nut. Thereís a couple sopranos on that website that looking stunning but almost double my budget.

    A guy sitting next to me a a ukulele jam on Saturday was playing a 6 string Mele. Thatís why I looked at their website. Iíll have to talk to him.
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    Loprinzi cedar & rosewood concert
    Gary Gill concert scale tenor, Douglas Fir & Mahogany

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    1,169

    Default

    Hi RafterGirl. Last year I decided to buy a uke when I went to Hawaii and settled on a Mele. They are well set up and sound fantastic. One thing to be a little bit wary of is the finish is a little bit messy. Not nearly as neat and tidy as a Pono, for instance, but I liked the feel and sound of them better. Another thing to look out for is the strings. They are strung with the equivalent of Hilo nylon strings, and I found it sounded much better after restringing it. I'm honestly not sure about the size of the nut. You'd have to ask them about that.

    Let me know if you want pictures of the "messy" finish and I'll take some of mine. It wasn't enough for me to decide not to buy it, but it was enough to make me think twice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    How R' Ya
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    @RafterGirl

    Hmm I see two words you mentioned mahogany & soprano, and in all seriousness I would hold out, save a few more pennies and buy a Ken Timms Soprano;

    https://www.ebay.com/usr/squarepeg_3000

    It might take time, but you could always email and pm Ken...
    Looking For My Next Uke!
    Lanikai LU-21C - Concert

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    388

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by robinboyd View Post
    Hi RafterGirl. Last year I decided to buy a uke when I went to Hawaii and settled on a Mele. They are well set up and sound fantastic. One thing to be a little bit wary of is the finish is a little bit messy. Not nearly as neat and tidy as a Pono, for instance, but I liked the feel and sound of them better. Another thing to look out for is the strings. They are strung with the equivalent of Hilo nylon strings, and I found it sounded much better after restringing it. I'm honestly not sure about the size of the nut. You'd have to ask them about that.

    Let me know if you want pictures of the "messy" finish and I'll take some of mine. It wasn't enough for me to decide not to buy it, but it was enough to make me think twice.
    Pics of the finish would be appreciated. On the Mele website their ukuleles have a cool look, but good sound and good set-up are most important. According to their website the nut is 1 7/16. How would you describe the neck size & shape.
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 04-16-2018 at 03:22 PM.
    My ukulele family.....
    Islander Acacia laminate soprano
    KoAloha concert - circa 2006
    Loprinzi cedar & rosewood concert
    Gary Gill concert scale tenor, Douglas Fir & Mahogany

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    How R' Ya
    Posts
    301

    Default

    As some might say your mileage might vary and that's true for Mele, the quality at times just isn't there. So for the money, better spent looking at the bigger names.

    Most of them I have seen don't hold up well over time...
    Last edited by AlohaKine; 04-16-2018 at 03:27 PM.
    Looking For My Next Uke!
    Lanikai LU-21C - Concert

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