PDA

View Full Version : Best solid ukuleles on the market?



guitarjunky
03-02-2009, 12:02 PM
If you would name your top 3 brands of solid wood ukes.

Which ones would you name?

carpekd
03-02-2009, 12:12 PM
kamaka's will rate high

thejumpingflea
03-02-2009, 01:13 PM
I am assuming you mean factory made:

My list would have to be:

1) Kamaka: The Martin on the uke world. World class instruments that are known for being some of the best ukes around.

2) Kenile'a: Newer company on the scene. Great instruments.

3) KoAloha: Very warm sounding ukes. Very well made and they are played by some of the big name players, (Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta Jr, Victoria Vox, etc)

experimentjon
03-02-2009, 01:26 PM
1) Kanilea- they sound nice and look stunning, even without curly wood, if you get the gloss finish.

2) Kamaka- it is Kamaka. I think they look absolutly classy with curly koa...someday...

3) Pono- you could easily put another high end brand here like KoAloha, or GString or Koolau or one of the custom makers, but I think pono makes nice solid wood instruments that are reasonably priced.

thejumpingflea
03-02-2009, 01:32 PM
3) Pono- you could easily put another high end brand here like KoAloha, or GString or Koolau or one of the custom makers, but I think pono makes nice solid wood instruments that are reasonably priced.

That is a good point. For their price, Pono's are absolutely wonderful.

haolejohn
03-02-2009, 01:43 PM
1. KoAloha- Never heard one except over the phone and after talking to shop manager and hearing one over the phone they get my vote. (Never vote against God)

2. Ko'olau-After hearing one a few years ago, I want one but I'll wait.

2. Mele- Top of the line as far as mid price range and imports go. Better than Kamaka in my opinion however humble and misguided it might be.

experimentjon
03-02-2009, 01:51 PM
2. Mele- Top of the line as far as mid price range and imports go. Better than Kamaka in my opinion however humble and misguided it might be.

I played a Mele the other day. I saw it on craigslist, and the owner said there was a SMALL crack on the face, so I thought I'd check it out to see if I could get a good price on it and fix the crack myself. Turns out there was actually a fatty crack from the soundhole to the bridge and it had chips and dents all over...terrible shape. The owner totally beat on it.

But I played it, and I have to say that it sounded surprisingly good. I'd say better than my Pono PKT-1. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to offer anywhere close to what the girl was asking since it was in such terrible shape, so I ended up not buying it. But it was a very good instrument...or at least the specific one I picked up.

haole
03-02-2009, 01:55 PM
Being a Kamaka and/or KoAloha dealer will give you instant prestige if you're looking to start selling ukes. Pono is VERY popular because their instruments are generally high quality but significantly cheaper than Hawaiian-made ones, so you'd have luck selling them.

haolejohn
03-02-2009, 01:58 PM
I played a Mele the other day. I saw it on craigslist, and the owner said there was a SMALL crack on the face, so I thought I'd check it out to see if I could get a good price on it and fix the crack myself. Turns out there was actually a fatty crack from the soundhole to the bridge and it had chips and dents all over...terrible shape. The owner totally beat on it.

But I played it, and I have to say that it sounded surprisingly good. I'd say better than my Pono PKT-1. Unfortunately, I couldn't bring myself to offer anywhere close to what the girl was asking since it was in such terrible shape, so I ended up not buying it. But it was a very good instrument...or at least the specific one I picked up.

I am really getting into the mid range ukes. There are some great ones out there that are better than some of the highend ones if you can get past the name on the headstock. I see you gave a shout out to Pono as well. I've been debating getting a pono and when ever i see a good deal onb one they are gone pretty fast. that says something about their quality.

FadaBullet
03-02-2009, 05:06 PM
I am assuming you mean factory made:

My list would have to be:

1) Kamaka: The Martin on the uke world. World class instruments that are known for being some of the best ukes around.

2) Kenile'a: Newer company on the scene. Great instruments.

3) KoAloha: Very warm sounding ukes. Very well made and they are played by some of the big name players, (Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta Jr, Victoria Vox, etc)

Why aren't Martins the Martin of uke world?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v228/fuzztone65/Ukulele/100_3666-1.jpg

http://blogs.smh.com.au/lifestyle/allmenareliars/tiny_tim.jpg

thejumpingflea
03-02-2009, 05:13 PM
Why aren't Martins the Martin of uke world?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v228/fuzztone65/Ukulele/100_3666-1.jpg

Because they don't have enough product of new to be the big name in ukes.

Kamaka consistently makes great ukes and they make them of all sizes. To my knowledge, Martin is only currently making Soprano ukes and neither of them are great. (To my experience) The vintage Martins are a real hit and miss, but I'll tell ya, a hit on one of those means one of the best sounding ukes around.

The OP wanted to know the best solid wood uke companies around and Kamaka is better then Martin in that way.

FadaBullet
03-02-2009, 05:24 PM
Because they don't have enough product of new to be the big name in ukes.

Kamaka consistently makes great ukes and they make them of all sizes. To my knowledge, Martin is only currently making Soprano ukes and neither of them are great. (To my experience) The vintage Martins are a real hit and miss, but I'll tell ya, a hit on one of those means one of the best sounding ukes around.

The OP wanted to know the best solid wood uke companies around and Kamaka is better then Martin in that way.

I Keed! I Keed!

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0euh7R6cSv8Xg/610x.jpg

thejumpingflea
03-02-2009, 05:49 PM
I Keed! I Keed!

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0euh7R6cSv8Xg/610x.jpg

FadaBullet, you are my hero. :shaka:

FadaBullet
03-02-2009, 06:28 PM
FadaBullet, you are my hero. :shaka:

Aw,shucks...

100percenthapa
03-02-2009, 06:44 PM
1) Kamaka
2)KoAloha

GX9901
03-02-2009, 06:56 PM
I too assume factory built ukes.

1. Kanile'a: Great sounding ukes. Appears to be the most durable and resistant to humidity related issues since they are built in completely humidity controlled environment. Uses technology help to achieve great build quality and sound.

2. KoAloha: Great consistency and sound. Innovative designs.

3. Kamaka: Long time builder with great sounding traditional ukes. One piece necks (hey, I was impressed by their one piece necks!).

I consider Ko'olau to be more of a custom builder, but they do great work as well.

guitarjunky
03-03-2009, 09:24 AM
Thanks everyone. I understand that Just a few brands get recognition by the community... I will contact them.

thanks!!!

paul1
03-03-2009, 11:12 AM
I have a 1970s martin baritone - bought on ebay 3 years ago - unbelievable sound - seeing all the comments here I really have to try some of the more modern ukes!

grappler
03-03-2009, 02:35 PM
kamaka
koaloha
G string

Dont know why G string hasnt been mention but i think they're top on the bunch.
Not the brand or size of the uke its the person they plays it. WOO :eek:
dont go there gf :stop:

h-drix
03-03-2009, 02:44 PM
Dont know why G string hasnt been mention but i think they're top on the bunch.

There seems to be a lot of problems with Gstrings, anything from intonation, sharp frets, poor bridge placement, etc. I went with Gstring and love every second of it (had it for less then a week). I havent seen/heard anything wrong with it. Personally i dont believe all the bad press. Then again its the most expensive uke ive played.

every forum has there "brandalization" no matter how good the forum is and cool the people are. each forum will like a particular brand over another.

haolejohn
03-03-2009, 04:29 PM
There seems to be a lot of problems with Gstrings, anything from intonation, sharp frets, poor bridge placement, etc. I went with Gstring and love every second of it (had it for less then a week). I havent seen/heard anything wrong with it. Personally i dont believe all the bad press. Then again its the most expensive uke ive played.

every forum has there "brandalization" no matter how good the forum is and cool the people are. each forum will like a particular brand over another.

h-drix so true about the "brandalization". That is why I want them all.