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Thread: Mele Ukes

  1. #1
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    Default Mele Ukes

    I've been looking over some of the older threads, especially the ones about brand name instruments and ukulele purchases, I noticed that Mele Ukuleles aren't mentioned. They do have a varied assortment of styles and options and their prices are very comparable. Just curious! Just for the record, I am in no way associated with them if anyone is wondering. This is just an observation I made.

  2. #2
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    I sampled a Mele tenor while in Portland OR over a year ago that I thought sounded great. But since then Ive become a bit more discriminating. I'd be curious to hear it again to see if I still liked it.
    -Alan (UKISOCIETY)

    My muse.

  3. #3
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    Haven't tried them.

    They're set-up in Hawaii. I think most of their ukes are made in the province of Cebu in the Philippines. That's the center of the country's fretted-instrument industry.

  4. #4
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    Pretty much the only uke player that lives in Massachusettes...
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    Hey guys.
    I have a Tenor Mele ukulele made of Mahogany and with two holes. I bought it last summer and I love it! if you want to see it, check out my youtube videos.

  5. #5
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    Thread revival.

    I was wondering if any one else has a mele uke or has played one and what their opinion of it is. I have been thinking of getting one and have not seen many reviews, but they seem to be pretty nice.

  6. #6
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    I know LoMa is selling an 8 string Mele, see this thread.

  7. #7
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    I've had several Mele's over the years and liked them a lot. I've had baritones and tenors, 4 string and 8 string isntruments, and an old Braddah concert. They all had fan bracing, excellent balance from string to string, very good resonance, and very good to excellent volume and dynamics. Slim fast neck with low action. Very pretty tones, in my opinion.

    Except for the Braddah, all my Mele instruments had sitka spruce tops with mahogany back and sides, ebony fretboard, tie block tie bridge, peghead overlay, and top and back binding. Rope purfling on the sides. Satin finish. Very nice appointments, and well-made. I think they're made in the Philipines (or maybe Java? I don't remember which), and are set up by Michael Rock in Hawaii. They'll set it up for anyway you want. The only thing I've noticed about Mele's is that the fret ends could be more finely filed - but they areen't anything like some of the Kanile'as I've played that had very sharp fret ends. But I've just been kind of aware of the fret ends on my Mele's. Otherwise, the Mele's were all very nicely finished with very nice build quality.

    The Braddah was a cheaper all-mahogany uke with simpler appointments (this is a long-discontinued line of cheapo Mele instruments - in the days when an all solid uke for under $200 was shocking!!!). Playability was as good as on this little guy as on its more expensive brethren, but the tone was not as nice on the Braddah as on the regular Mele's. Not sure exactly why.

    I've heard stories about Mele's having humdity/drying problems, but I have never experienced anything like that. All the Mele's I've had have been super stable. I think though, a lot of folks had bought some Mele ukes from an ebay seller who stored the ukes in a garage - so the storage method was problably the problem rather than the brand of uke.

    The only reason I've been selling my Mele's is because I can't handle the longer scales anymore because I have arthritis - looks like I'm concert gal now!

    By the way, Mele's Cheryl Rock is a super nice person to work with.

    Oh yeah, Mele supplies balck Hilo's on their ukes - which I don't think bring out the best qualities of these ukes. I like Aquila's on them - never tried any of the flourocarbon strings on 'em though.
    Last edited by LoMa; 07-21-2008 at 06:37 AM. Reason: typos and note about the strings at the end

  8. #8
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    Oh, another thing about Mele's - the satin finish on them is very thin, so the finish sure ain't deadening the sound, that's for sure! But the finihs will show plaing wear pretty quickly if your nails tend to hit the face of your uke or if you use a pick.

    Just something to be aware of!

    For some reason, my Mele's have never shown playing wear except for that old Braddah I had. Not sure if it's because of my playing style or if the spruce tops are tougher or something. I'm certainly a better player than I was when I first got my Braddah, which was the first uke I bought as an adult!
    Last edited by LoMa; 07-21-2008 at 06:50 AM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks LoMa and Kanaka. I wish I could help out by taking that 8 string off your hands but I am looking to get a soprano or maybe a concert if I find a good deal.

  10. #10

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    I have a Mele concert. It is a beautiful uke made of solid Koa. The face is flaming Koa. It plays as good as it looks. Very nice action. My only negative is the fret ends. Someone else also pointed this out. Next time I change strings I plan to fix that minor problem. I have had no drying problems but keep a case humidifier in the case.

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