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UkuleleDragon
03-16-2015, 01:55 AM
Hi everyone! I have been playing my Tanglewood Union Pack soprano ukulele for just over a year now and I was hoping to move onto a better quality soprano ukulele. I'm not sure where to start in this purchase so I was hoping that someone here could suggest some good brands or specific ukuleles you have played to help me out.

Editting my post after realising how unhelpful my information had been (sorry!)

Also, the ukulele I have right now the the Tanglewood Union Pack soprano, not the Tanglewood Union Series soprano which I originally said. :/

So. I am hoping to find a good soprano ukulele for under £100 (I live in Scotland) as my current ukulele (which cost around £30) slips out of tune a lot and as I'm planning on studying music next school year I'd like to have a decent ukulele for the exam. I mostly play pop-type music (basically whatever's in the charts) alongside a few friends but next school year I'll be playing solo and will be given songs to learn.

Thanks again!
~Sarah

PTOEguy
03-16-2015, 02:50 AM
Depends on how much more expensive you want to go.

If it were me I'd start by looking at the Koaloha Opio, sopranos from Kiwaya and then on to the higher end Koalohas.

if you're looking for less expensive, the Flea from Magic Fluke is a good playing/sounding instrument and I've heard great things about Mainland ukes.

There are a lot of good ukes out there, and I'm sure others will chime in.

DownUpDave
03-16-2015, 02:50 AM
First two pieces of info needed for recommemdations are your budget and where do you live, ie USA, England, Hong Kong etc etc.

SteveZ
03-16-2015, 03:06 AM
First two pieces of info needed for recommemdations are your budget and where do you live, ie USA, England, Hong Kong etc etc.

Adding to this, the obvious questions: 1) what about your current instrument is lacking? 2) do you want to continue "soprano" or try another size? Are you trying to obtain a different sound type? 4) what is your comfort level in doing basic setup work?

There are other questions, but these are a reasonable start.

mm stan
03-16-2015, 03:11 AM
What is you budget. And everyone may have a different preference tone and feel. Neck thickness..

Pukulele Pete
03-16-2015, 05:08 AM
Any Martin soprano , new or old .

Icelander53
03-16-2015, 05:26 AM
Hi everyone! I have been playing my Tanglewood Union Series soprano ukulele for just over a year now and I was hoping to move onto a better quality soprano ukulele. I'm not sure where to start in this purchase so I was hoping that someone here could suggest some good brands or specific ukuleles you have played to help me out.

Thanks!
~Sarah

If you want to jump to something approaching very good to great then try the Pono but without knowing your budget who knows what you are thinking.

billten
03-16-2015, 05:36 AM
For me the most important question is 'what style of music do you play'? You can bypass a lot of UAS expense by finding exactly what you want and buying just that instead of going through several mid-priced and mid-level instruments, but you have to do the research by playing a fair number of different brands and figuring out what your 'favorite sound' is.

Tootler
03-16-2015, 06:15 AM
+1 for Flea. Excellent uke great tone and robust whatever style of music you're into - you can take them anywhere.

You might also consider a Brüko. Not to everyone's taste but I like them - I have a soprano, concert and tenor. They tend to be very bright but I think they're great for Folk and Country.

Bill1
03-16-2015, 01:31 PM
Billten is on the money. Look at how much you have to spend and what you have been doing with your current uke, and also what things you want to do in the future. There is an amazing array of ukes available in 2015, from around $5000 to $50, which is why you have been brave and posted a question here.
The Tanglewood soprano TU-1 looks like it cost around 70 pounds RRP, and is made out of mahogany, probably not solid mahogany. So a step up might be a real solid wood uke which pushes the prices up a bit. Pricing is not always indicative of quality, but maybe you have saved 100 pounds or so?
If you do live in the UK and are dedazzled by the amazing selection available at present, be patient. Work towards a list of 5 -10 ukes that you like the look of after actually handling them. Look up some ukulele groups near where you live and see what the others have and talk to them, avoiding passionate brand specific conversations. Also if you can, travel to a shop that has many ukuleles on display and try a few out. Bournemouth looks like a great place for a weekend road trip and ukulele hunt and the Southern Ukulele shop is there, do some research beforehand on their range and show up with a friend and have a physical look at what is there. Make sure you call them and check opening times etc. As you go around looking at the ukes and asking about them, write out a list of the ukes which catch your attention and ask the shops that are not near your house about mail ordering. Don't buy yet. After you get about 5 - 10 ukes on your list, sit down with a coffee and pick the one you are going to buy, then buy it from the place which has the people you like the most. The best shop to buy from is the one in your area or within a nice daytrip range, because you can have a personal interaction with the seller, but that is not always feasible and you may end up buying over the telephone or internet.
When you actually have had your new uke for 1 hour and find you like it, then the passionate brand specific conversations about it are part of the fun of owning it.

SonSprinter
03-17-2015, 10:06 PM
Tanglewood Union Series soprano ukulele looks to be about 70 pounds, which is about $100. How much you are willing to spend may help you make your decision.

You could try http://www.theukulelesite.com/

Bsically ... there is "hand made" like the big K's ... Kamaka, Kanilea, Ko Aloha, Koolau, etc. These will run you a little less than $1,000. But Kanilea, Ko Aloha, Koolau, have their "import" brands. Kanilea has Islander, Ko Aloha had Ka Aloha. And Koolau has Pono. I have gotten the sense that Pono is slightly preferred by some to the other aforementioned import brands of the Big-K's.

But, Kala is one of those very popular import brands. But you may want to purchase an import ukulele from a shop that will check and do a final set up ... for free. (http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukulele-setup; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adeFF0nQyzM)

Steve in Kent
03-17-2015, 10:33 PM
Billten is on the money. Look at how much you have to spend and what you have been doing with your current uke, and also what things you want to do in the future <huge snip>
When you actually have had your new uke for 1 hour and find you like it, then the passionate brand specific conversations about it are part of the fun of owning it.

Oh how I wish I had seen this piece of wisdom, (the whole thing, not just what I have left after snipping), would have saved me a couple of mistakes and some pounds sterling.

Brenda Wong
03-18-2015, 03:25 AM
First two pieces of info needed for recommemdations are your budget and where do you live, ie USA, England, Hong Kong etc etc.


I saw a Kamaka Soprano on Kijiji for $375 Cdn. It has been on kijiji for a couple of weeks already. Very tempting.
http://www.kijiji.ca/v-string-instrument/markham-york-region/ukuele-kamaka/1056076146?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true

UkuleleDragon
03-27-2015, 04:27 AM
Hi everyone. Just posting to let you know I have editted me post to give the information you asked for. :)

igorthebarbarian
03-27-2015, 08:53 AM
Too bad this one is out of your budget because they're in the UK too
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?105657-FS-KoAloha-Soprano

I would stress the importance of a good setup from dealers like HMS. But I can't recall who if any UK dealers do full uke setups.

Mattyukaholic
03-27-2015, 12:43 PM
Omega Music is probably the best uke shop in terms of you travelling. Carlisle is a lot closer than Bournemouth ;) Southern Ukulele Store is of course great though.

Mattyukaholic
03-27-2015, 12:45 PM
If I were you I'd get a Mainland from Eagle Music Shop. That's where I started and I still love Mainlands. Great build, set up and intonation at an affordable price.

DownUpDave
03-27-2015, 12:55 PM
If I were you I'd get a Mainland from Eagle Music Shop. That's where I started and I still love Mainlands. Great build, set up and intonation at an affordable price.

OP you want to listen to this guy, especially pertaining to places to buy from. They are almost more important than the instrument itself. He is also a great player, performer and teacher in your end of the world. Check out his links.

How you been Matty........still playing tenors or have you reverted back to the smaller sizes

Tootler
03-27-2015, 01:18 PM
I agree with Matty. Omega Music or Eagle music are both excellent. I've had dealings with both and found them spot on for service. I've just bought a Fluke from Omega and it arrived in two days.

Tootler
03-27-2015, 01:29 PM
On your budget, take a look at the Bruko no 5 or no 6 sopranos at 129 & 136 Euros respectively direct from the maker in Germany. At the current exchange rate they come out pretty close to £100.

Bruko ukuleles are hand made by a small firm in Germany and are amazing value, especially their standard range. I've bought two Brukos direct from Germany and they come with spot on set up. My third one came from Omega music at a festival. I love my Brukos.

http://www.brueko.de/shop/index.php?language=en

pritch
03-27-2015, 03:48 PM
Further to the comments by Tootler:
http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/05/bruko-no6-soprano-ukulele-review.html
http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/08/bruko-black-slimbody-soprano-review.html

There is more on Bruko at the same site but the bigger ukes are unsurprisingly more expensive.

Mattyukaholic
03-27-2015, 10:06 PM
Aw thanks Dave! You're a gent. I'm good. Back on the little ukes now. I've developed a Kamaka obsession.

Ukulele Dragon - feel free to PM me or email me for more advice. I'd be glad to help. Getting a decent ukulele to learn on is so important.