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Thread: Best inexpensive uke that plays in tune?

  1. #1

    Default Best inexpensive uke that plays in tune?

    What is the best inexpensive/beater uke that plays in tune?

    I've played for 9 years and am just about to get a new job that will require me to travel 3 days a week.

    I only take one bag when I travel. I want to just throw my uke in a gig bag and wrap it some clothes, stuff it in the carry on bag and not worry about it.

    I've bought and worked on mahalos, lanakais, and kalas but they all seem to have intonation problems. Most of those ukes I have given away. I have a tenor fluke, but it will not fit into my carry on bag and my koa soprano's case will not fit either. All my other ukes are either too irreplaceable or valuable to be treated this way.

    What is the least expensive uke that plays in tune... ie does not have intonation problems?

    Here are my requirements:
    soprano uke
    gig bag
    fit in my carry on (redoxx small aviator bag 22x11x8)
    replaceable within a week
    less than $100.00 (flexable)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Portland OR, The Rose (and Uke) City
    Posts
    2,623

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by andywergedal View Post
    What is the best inexpensive/beater uke that plays in tune?

    I've played for 9 years and am just about to get a new job that will require me to travel 3 days a week.

    I only take one bag when I travel. I want to just throw my uke in a gig bag and wrap it some clothes, stuff it in the carry on bag and not worry about it.

    I've bought and worked on mahalos, lanakais, and kalas but they all seem to have intonation problems. Most of those ukes I have given away. I have a tenor fluke, but it will not fit into my carry on bag and my koa soprano's case will not fit either. All my other ukes are either too irreplaceable or valuable to be treated this way.

    What is the least expensive uke that plays in tune... ie does not have intonation problems?

    Here are my requirements:
    soprano uke
    gig bag
    fit in my carry on (redoxx small aviator bag 22x11x8)
    replaceable within a week
    less than $100.00 (flexable)
    Well, my Makala Dolphin has no intonation issues. Buy it from Musicguymic to be sure it's set up right, and give it lead time for the strings to settle in. Also, I've played the entry level makalas and they play in tune.


    My Soprano Empire:
    VINTAGE MARTINS: c.'48 Martin 0; '50s 1M
    OTHER VINTAGE: c30s Blue Favilla, c50 TV Pal, 30s Redhead
    MODERN MARTINS: OXK; 2012 2M
    KAMAKA: 2010 Pineapple (RIP MGM)

    My Baritone Empire:
    '12 Kala KA-B, '69 Silvertone, c.'53-57 Favilla, c.'63 Martin, '11 Kamaka

    STRUMTESTS//ADD to The STRING DATABASE and UKE CASE DATABASE // Take the NAME THAT MARTIN test.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,561

    Default

    Have you looked at the Kala thinline travel ukes? My tenor is awesome.

    Bought it used, you might be able to find a soprano in your range.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii 5min away from waikiki
    Posts
    23,684

    Default

    How about a Koa pili koko....thin bodied and I had two with great intonation...about 140.00 solid body arcacia...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    5

    Default

    My Makala Dolphin is fine all the way up the fretboard. Went in my backpack in the overhead locker from Australia to UK and back with no problem. Brilliant!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Sandy Bay
    Posts
    12,268

    Default

    What about the Rogue Sopranos's from Musician's Friend. $24.95!!!!!! Recommended by a number of members here. For the money you can't go wrong!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    118

    Default

    I don't own one, but it will be a future purchase for me I'm sure, I would recommend you look at the Bruko Slimline. It was just so perfect for your requirements.

    http://www.brueko.de/shop/product_in...dd9311bf4d4d5f
    Kala Archtop Tenor
    Korala UKB-60-NT Baritone
    Kala KA-B Baritone


    My Photography Website

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    330

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    Makala Dolphin or Makala MK-s inexpensive, well crafted and fun.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    near chicago
    Posts
    435

    Default

    My best inexpensive uke was an Ohana Vita. Great intonation, robust sound.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Okanongan Valley
    Posts
    2,647

    Default

    ditto on the dolphin, bought a Rogue baritone and I wasn't impressed , bought a rogue soprano for a gift, it should arrive tm, will give a review
    there is no substitute for LOVE

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