View Full Version : What's the favorite in your stable?

11-14-2014, 08:04 AM
Do you have one ukulele that seems to be getting more "love" than the rest?

While sitting outside, playing a few Eagles tunes, started to think about the ukulele stable and which is used the most. So, am defining "favorite" as the one which receives the most playing time.

The current at-home ukulele inventory stands at five. Using my self-defined criteria, the "favorite" ranking comes out as follows:

1. Flea Soprano - 40% playing time. Simply the most convenient, especially when on the couch or sitting in the yard. It's durability outside and being able to stand on its edge on an end table just make it the handiest. With Aquila Reds (low-G, tuned reentrant CGDA) it sounds sweet, and also put a piezo pickup on it for the occasional amp times.

2. Lanikai Monkeypod Tenor - 30% playing time. The tenor size feels good, and this uke has the Fishman Isys+ electronics installed. The convenience of the built-in chromatic tuner is neat. With Aquila Nygut @ CGDA this uke rocks well. It's the easiest to take to jams and beat up a little.

3. Pono Pro Classic Tenor - 15% playing time. The Pono sounds great, feels smooth and looks sharp. However, probably because it's the best sounding ukulele in the stable, it is used mainly when I want a handy substitute for my tenor guitar and is saved for those occasions.

3. Kala Travel Pocket Sopranino - 10% playing time. This is the toss-in-suitcase, leave-in-the-car convenience ukulele. The sound is "okay" at best, but it's size makes it a decent travel companion. Will be adding an under-the-bridge pickup to it as an experiment.

5. Gretsch 1883 Concert Banjolele - 5% playing time. Have not warmed to the banjolele that much, but that may change over time. Got it to be a "convenience banjo-ette" when I didn't want to drag out the tenor banjo.

So, by the numbers, the Flea is the "favorites" winner for now. It just reinforces the belief that ukuleles are for fun, and the Flea definitely is that.

11-14-2014, 08:43 AM
My Kamaka Ohta-Sans are definitely my favorites. I have a Cedar Top Ohta-san and and a Koa Ohta-san (seen in my avatar). The others are not getting enough play time. Also, low G has been intriguing me lately and both of the Ohta-sans are in the low G tuning.

Ukulele Eddie
11-14-2014, 08:52 AM
With only two, it's easier to give equal love to my uke children. I play my Collings and Clara both regularly, probably the Collings slightly more. Today I just bought a vintage cedar-top mahogany baritone (Airplane, made by Harmony) which I'll have in a week or so, so we'll see if I can love three as equally as I've loved two. ;-)

11-14-2014, 09:10 AM
Soundwise, it would be my wife's LFdM Cedar/Blackwood. But as I am afraid to leave scratches, I'll rather take my Pono Pro Classic instead, that has similar features at a lesser price: Cedar/Ebony, cutaway and slothead. My Tenors definitively get more playtime than the Sopranos.

11-14-2014, 09:43 AM
I love my three Kamakas (pineapple, concert, and Ohta-San) pretty equally - I don't think I could pick just one favorite! But the pineapple probably gets the most play time because despite loving the sound of longer scale ukes best, with my little hands it's still the easiest to play.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
11-14-2014, 09:47 AM
for now, it's my Ukulele PuaPua longneck soprano, laminate with colorful Aurora Strings :)

Actually, sounds nice, bright, and loud.

keep uke'in',

11-14-2014, 09:59 AM
Currently, it's my Kanile'a Concert. With Living Water strings and an Oasis Low G, it really does make a "joyful sound".

11-14-2014, 10:06 AM
1-Epiphone Les Paul Uke...Is my travel uke right now. I travel a bit so it gets a lot of use.
2-Gretsch G9121-A.C.E.- Tenor of choice at the moment!
3-Gretsch G9110-L Easy to play
4-Kala-KA-CE For a change of pace
5-Makala MK-S $25.00 special from a pawn shop. It has monofilament strings, just a lot of fun to play!!

11-14-2014, 10:10 AM
The Kamaka pineapple is definitely #1.

11-14-2014, 01:09 PM
I'm sure my Martins are feeling pretty lonely, since getting an Ohana cedar top...

11-14-2014, 02:24 PM
Oscar Schmidt OU7t is consistently my comfortable, perfectly fitting, old brown shoe.

11-14-2014, 02:41 PM
I try to rotate through all of my ukes day to day, but in order of which sounds best to me:

1. Kala KAATP-CTG-CE Solid Cedar top, Acacia Koa glossy
2. Uku Hanknn HK-V760DC Acacia Koa two hole slot head
3. Gretsch G9121 A.C.E. Solid Honey Mahogany top, Mahogany

A step below are:
4. Bruce Wei Arts Custom Gypsy Jazz Solid Curly Maple, Solid Rosewood glossy (it's built very well, maybe too well, I'm trying to play it more to get it to 'open up')
5. Lanikai LQA-TCA Solid Spruce, Quilted Ash (flat, even with Worth CT and browns)

I also have a custom mandolele in transit, all solid acacia koa, glossy black, that I'm hoping will fit in the upper category. (I actually received a custom mandolele a couple of months ago made of solid mahogany that sounds pretty good, which I've tried to sell since I prefer the glossy black.)

11-14-2014, 02:45 PM
Hard to choose!
My Pono is way up there for sure.
My R&L Koa is way up there for sure.
My Milo custom six string is way up there.
Then come the Kamoa and my other Milo.
The rest of them are just ukuleles.

11-14-2014, 03:30 PM
I only own 1 uke but when totaled against the three guitars I own it takes first place in practice time:

1. Makala Baritone uke
2. Taylor GS-Mini (mahogany)
3. Squier Vintage Modfied Surf Stratocaster
4. Squier Vintage Modified Bass VI

11-14-2014, 04:08 PM
#1 would have to be my KoAloha Opio solid sapele soprano. Since I got it in August, I rarely play anything else. It also is the only one with strap buttons, which makes it so easy to grab and play anywhere. The sound is superb.

#2 is my Luna solid spruce top concert. The laminate sides make it a bit more stable to take out in hot or cold weather. Once I get Living Water strings on it, it should be like a new ukulele to me.

#3 is my vintage Silvertone solid mahogany soprano with Aquila Reds. It has a unique sound that fits the old time music my mom likes.

11-14-2014, 04:35 PM
My Compass Rose walnut tenor.

11-14-2014, 05:07 PM
I have two ponos in high and low g that get virtually all my playing time. One gretsch that gets a tad but it's so far below the pono's in sound that even that gets less and less. I have about 10 others that just hang in the air conditioned humidity room. I need to unload them one way or another.

Captain Simian
11-14-2014, 05:31 PM
1. Mystery Japanese made soprano

2. Ohana sopranino

3. Silvertone baritone tuned re-entrant D

4. Gretsch soprano

5. Harmony baritone in Cuatro tuning.

11-14-2014, 06:02 PM
I try to rotate, however my fender always seems to be the first I grab. Thouhg my martin is deff number 1 right now as I just got it. banjolele for the cottage and place that I just want something easy, pono for my soprano moods.... havent played that one in a little while

11-14-2014, 06:05 PM
My everyday player is my Flea Koa Tenor. It sits on the coffee table and gets plenty of play time while watching TV.

2nd is my National Concert Resonator - Has good volume when I play out. Also love the sound with Tin Pan Alley music.

3rd is my Boat Paddle 5 String. Has both High & Low G strings, and sounds great when I accompany myself on harmonica.

4th is my Kamaka Ohta San -Bell Concert. Sounds great but don't break it out nearly as much as I should.

5th is my Makala Dolphin which I keep in my car. When ever I am waiting for my wife, I reach into the back seat, grab it and start strumming. I have had it for 4 years and it basically it has not left my car much. Very durable and stays pretty much in tune.

11-14-2014, 07:14 PM
Luis Feu de Mesquita tenor with Alaskan Yellow Cedar over Quilted Maple. My wife's name is inlaid on the 12th fret and the uke is a blonde just like her.


11-14-2014, 08:07 PM
I make it a point to rotate among my three tenors. The least convenient is the Pono electric because I have to drag out an amp and be sure that the MiSi pickup is charged, but one it is prepped, I really like both the sound and the playability.

The Pono ATDC has a distinctive tone and great feel. But, because of the combination of wonderful tone, great feel and beautiful esthetics, my MP Cedar/Mango/Koa is what I think of when I feel the need to pick up a uke.

11-14-2014, 09:16 PM
SteveZ --

Math and I seldom get along, but it seems to me that your numbers add up to 105% ... ?

11-14-2014, 11:50 PM
The uke that gets the most play time is my Pono cedar ebony tenor pro classic. I love the sound and even with relatively high tension strings, South Coast HM with a wound 3rd, it is effortless to play.

Next in line is my Kolahoa Opio concert, just a fun instrument to grab and play some hard and fast tin pan alley stuff on.

I have a car-uke in the form of an Islander AS-4, long neck soprano. I am in outside sales and spend all day in my car so I play it if I have time to kill between appointments.

The other ukes don't see much playing time, maybe once or twice a week for a little bit. Just enough to justify keeping them ;)

11-15-2014, 12:34 AM
Good question. I take my nicely loud Koaloha soprano to the weekly pub session, so I can hear myself, but hardly play it any other day. The LoPrinzi soprano is the one I pick up the most at home, as it is quieter but a joy to play. But the one which, when I do pick it up, makes me go "aahhh" is the tiny La Foley soprano. There's something about its delicacy and its sound which wins me over every time.

11-15-2014, 01:57 AM
Luis Feu de Mesquita tenor with Alaskan Yellow Cedar over Quilted Maple. My wife's name is inlaid on the 12th fret and the uke is a blonde just like her.

Wife's name inlay! I'm filing that away for my future custom uke. Great idea.

My favorite is my KoAloha and it's no contest even though I only have a stable of two.

11-15-2014, 02:04 AM
My ukes all serve a different purpose so it would go as:
1. Lanikai SMP-TCA
2. Alulu Guitarlele
3. Luna 8 string
4. Bruce Wei Custom

The bruce wei would definitely be at the top if I had gotten it sooner.

11-15-2014, 02:59 AM
SteveZ --

Math and I seldom get along, but it seems to me that your numbers add up to 105% ... ?

Just goes to show the last edit sometimes doesn't catch. Thanks for the heads-up!

11-15-2014, 07:38 AM
I'm confused I thought stables were fro horses hmmmmm

11-15-2014, 11:01 AM
For sure my number one is my Harmony hog baritone. I love that beat up old thing since i first picked it up from a fellow local member here. All unwound aquila reds,very warm bassy sound. Good for finger picking some slower,slightly darker tunes. Next and pretty close to first is the Pono ATC-PCC. Tenor cedar top acacia sides. Hands down my best looking uke,has the best sustain out of any of them. In the process of trading it,and the ONLY reason that is up for trade is because i really love the baritone scale. If i could have the same uke in bari id never need another,i truly believe that. So if any of ya have a nice bari u wanna chuck lemme know ;) lol after that is my little makala pineapple,good for fast-pace, jangly kinda songs. Its the one i throw in the truck when i know ill be havin a bit of free time in the woodz or being outside working. Its not a uke but after that is my merlin, that banjo-ish twang sometimes hits a spot that a normal uke just cant!

11-15-2014, 11:17 AM
the one I play the most is my Koaloha tenor [it has a pick up], but the one I like the most is an old favilla baritone [it has the mojo]

11-15-2014, 03:10 PM
Well, I really only have two (my husband has adopted my tenor) and I play both of them. My soprano is an Ohana mahogany. My concert is an Ohana cedar/rosewood. Love'em both.

11-15-2014, 04:37 PM
Of my baritone ukes- I have four (Martin, Leonard Young, Boat Paddle 5 sting, and a Favillia), all are excellent, but I am with strumsilly- the Favilla tone/sound is my favorite.

11-15-2014, 05:55 PM
The one in my hands.

11-16-2014, 08:35 AM
I would say my Kamaka Ohtasan for fingerpicking and my Tony Graziano 8 string for strumming. They're both very special and my favorites.

11-16-2014, 08:40 AM
All of them. Each was bought for a different sound, so when I'm, writing a song or playing a cover, it's nice to try out different styles.

11-16-2014, 12:57 PM
gotta put a plug in for my ken timms, but I have an old silvertone sop. that I had to move the saddle back 1/4 inch and recut the last three frets to move them north 1/16 and viola absolutely better than my 30's martin. No kidding.