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Thread: Need suggestions on a good mid-range low G uke

  1. #1

    Default Need suggestions on a good mid-range low G uke

    Hey guys!

    The UAS bug has bitten me again, and this time I'm looking for a good mid-range ($200-$350ish) uke dedicated to low G tuning. I'd like to stay all solid wood and in a tenor size, but if there's a must-buy laminate uke, then I'll consider it as well. Ones that I have in mind are:

    Kala SMHT
    Ohana TK35
    Tiny Tenor (laminate version)
    Mainland Tenor (whatever tone wood sounds good low G)

    Playability is the biggest factor here. I want something that just melts in your hands coz it's so easy to play (I like to play finger style). After that, tone and loudness. Looks aren't much of a concern for me at this point, just want it to play and sound good.

    Thanks in advance guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
    Posts
    3,364

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    With a good setup I think all those would sound good with low G. The tiny tenor is a solid spruce top so conventional wisdom says it should have a brighter tone than the mahoganies. The Mainland cedar has a rep for being on the brighter side as well.

    Here's a real world sample (not mine - just googled it) of the Ohana:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTXUuUJVKh0

    your opinion of that tone should help guide your selection.
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    -KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET-Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    -Bonanza super tenor, FBL cFAD
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Near Lake Okeechobee, Florida
    Posts
    233

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    Add the Kala ATP-CTG and possibly the tenor Fluke to your short list.
    Last edited by bacchettadavid; 05-04-2018 at 02:45 AM.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    4,906

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    Ohana mahoganies have lovely tone, as does Kala cedar tops - can't vouch for the others.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    228

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    Have heard some good suggestions here. I'd add the following to your list:

    Ohana tk-38 (own one, which I bought from Mim, thinking of selling if you're interested)
    Cordoba 24T (I played it in a Guitar Center and tuned it down to see how it sounded, I'm thinking of buying it)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    341

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    I'm going to be talking out of both sides of my mouth. I am guilty of the tone wood thing: I have a spruce top kamaka for high G and a custom Tin Guitar plane wood (similar to mahogany in density) ukulele for low G. However, I don't think you should focus on that. Tone wood is a nuance thing. I think you should get the best ukulele you can get for your budget, and then put the low G strings on it. I would suggest getting a solid wood ukulele, whether that is a mahogany ukulele or a mango ukulele from Mainland. The key is to get a good ukulele. Get a good foundation, regardless of what the actual woods are, and then the strings will be icing on the cake.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Blaine, Washington
    Posts
    1,991

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    At the prices listed, I suggest buying used or a minor flawed second. You'll get a much better deal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    228

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Get a good foundation, regardless of what the actual woods are, and then the strings will be icing on the cake.
    I think a lot of us (probably the OP, and definitely me) are concerned that some are not built in a way that accomodates the low G as well as possible. As in, sometimes the low G booms and rattles the top, or is overly louder than the other strings.

    So I guess, based on that, I've made the presumption that overall quality is separate from being constructed for a low G. I am sincerely curious to hear if you think that's not the case - that overall quality is really the thing, rather than being built particularly for low G.
    Last edited by 13down; 05-04-2018 at 05:55 AM.
    current ukes:
    Johnson UK-200 baritone, Kiwaya Famous KTS-5 soprano, Ohana TK-38 tenor

    former uke collection:
    Martin 1T, Martin Oliver Ditson Style 2 Dreadnought, Ohana SK-28, Ohana SK-25S, Favilla Baritone, Kala KA-FMBG, Luna Great Wave Concert, Mainland Red Cedar Baritone, Oscar Schmidt OU53, Oscar Schmidt OU57

    songs:
    https://soundcloud.com/bennypaul

    videos (includes uke demos):
    http://youtube.com/user/theschumanity

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Walla Walla, WA
    Posts
    595

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    I'd suggest waiting for any all solid Tiny Tenor. It's really made much more nicely than the solid top one. Plus, you'll be done, and not looking for an all solid in a month or two, wondering what you may have missed.
    Tiny Tenor spruce/mahogany
    Kiwaya KTC-2 mahogany concert
    Timms 1K soprano
    Famous FS-5 soprano
    Flight Travel soprano

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Kansastan
    Posts
    13,715

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    Pono tenors are great in hogh or low G. Versatile, well-built, great sounding instruments.
    Dig Infinity!

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