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View Full Version : My Opio has put a damper on my UAS



cptdean
03-16-2015, 07:27 AM
I figured coming into this that the Opio would just be the first of many ukuleles I'd end up owning. After all, every one of us eventually falls prey to the spendy finger of UAS.

So I've played my Opio every day while, at the same time, keeping one eye on a web browser for my next acquisition. I've read this forum, I've watched all the new HMS video samples, and I've waited as my fun money has grown to cover the cost of a new Kamaka tenor (if that's what I want).

But with each new day of playing the Opio, it's getting harder to find a buddy for it. If only I disliked its tone, size, build quality, or playability, then I'd have a strong list of features to look for in the next one. As it stands, though, I can't find anything to fault, and I sincerely doubt that twice the money will get me twice the instrument. What a great problem to have!

Here are some pics, because threads are no fun without pics.


https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3118618/Forum_Pics/Ukulele/Opio2/01.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3118618/Forum_Pics/Ukulele/Opio2/02.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3118618/Forum_Pics/Ukulele/Opio2/03.jpg

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/3118618/Forum_Pics/Ukulele/Opio2/04.jpg

Icelander53
03-16-2015, 07:46 AM
If you're satisfied consider yourself lucky but IMO that won't last. It's really good to fall in love with a uke because that allows the UAS disease to go into remission for a little while. I went through this with my Pono's. I love them. I told myself that's it I've got what I want. So that didn't last and I just got a new electric uke a few days ago. Both places are fun to be but the most productive to learning and playing is just to stay focused on learning rather than acquiring. Advice I often have difficulty with. And BTW you have the uke that is next on my UAS list. It's such a beautifully made uke with amazing sound. I want one but I hardly need one. I have wonderful ukes already and don't have the time or willingness to give them all the attention they deserve. However I want to state emphatically that I'm still making progress in my playing even with all the time I spend just drooling over the next uke. UAS can be a huge distraction but sometimes that's what's needed.

cptdean
03-16-2015, 08:10 AM
I'm in no way suggesting that I won't get another one...just that choosing the next one is tough now, thanks to the Opio. :)

Transitioning from guitar was pretty easy, and I've gotten loads of chords worked out (except for E, because E is a jerk), but all my finger patterns are blown now. That said, I'm having loads more fun with the ukulele than I ever had with guitar!

And, yeah, I've been looking at electrics, too. I might be able to stave off UAS for a bit, but it can't be eradicated.

Brenda Wong
03-16-2015, 08:44 AM
I'm in no way suggesting that I won't get another one...just that choosing the next one is tough now, thanks to the Opio. :)

Transitioning from guitar was pretty easy, and I've gotten loads of chords worked out (except for E, because E is a jerk), but all my finger patterns are blown now. That said, I'm having loads more fun with the ukulele than I ever had with guitar!

And, yeah, I've been looking at electrics, too. I might be able to stave off UAS for a bit, but it can't be eradicated.



I played this Opio when I was at HMS. Its laminated not solid wood , right?

vcs700s
03-16-2015, 08:55 AM
I played this Opio when I was at HMS. Its laminated not solid wood , right?

All solid wood- Sapele I believe.

katysax
03-16-2015, 08:58 AM
I find that my UAS ebbs and flows. I can go months even years and be happy with what I have and then I get an attack. if your Opio is meeting your needs, enjoy it. Having UAS is not a good thing. And, yes, the Opio is most definitely solid Sapele.

cptdean
03-16-2015, 09:05 AM
The best reason for me to buy another may be to get a tenor scale that I can keep strung low G. I'm using a set of Worth clears now, and that low G string constantly fights me. It's nice, though, that the Opio's nut easily accommodates it. I'll be trying a set of standard Fremont strings tomorrow.

janeray1940
03-16-2015, 09:07 AM
I've never been a big UASer - the most ukes I've ever owned at any given time has been four. But I've cycled through about a half-dozen more.

The longer you play, the more your needs may change. This is probably not true for everybody - I can imagine the needs for one who is content to strum first position chords and sing are very different than my needs as an instrumental-only player who sometimes needs as many frets as possible - but I think it's a good general principle. The more you know, the more aware you will become to what you like and don't like, or what features will make your life easier.

I haven't seen or played an Opio yet but if they're anything like the other Koalohas I've known, it may well be your one "keeper" all-purpose uke. I'm guessing it's strung reentrant; if you decide to try low G as well your Opio is going to need that buddy after all!

(ETA - whoops, just saw your response about low G written as I was writing mine. So there you go: get another dedicated low G uke and you might be able to call yourself "done." For now!)

JustinJ
03-16-2015, 01:10 PM
An interesting thing happened to me with UAS. I'd been playing about three months. I had just started Lyle Ritz's DVD "Lyle's Style" . I had purchased a Pono MDT as my first ukulele. I had some experience playing guitar and piano, so this was not my first instrument.

I thought to myself that a Ko'olau tenor would be the perfect instrument. I told myself if I learned three of the harder songs on the DVD that I could purchase a new Ko'olau. So I set to work but a funny thing happened along the way of learning. I begin to enjoy the sound of my uke and I was improving. I learned the songs but ended up not getting another uke.

I came to the realization that another uke would not improve my playing. This seems like an obvious statement but it is overlooked by many people including myself. The only thing that will make you sound better is hard work and proper practice. I think at the heart of UAS is the perception of a new uke means better playing. It'll sound better, hence I will sound better.

I think it is important to start out with a good sounding instrument. An instrument with poor sound and bad setup is not going to encourage someone to learn. Luckily, there are many Ukuleles $300 and under that are excellent instruments. It seems that we are at a time when instruments are better made for less money.

Debby
03-16-2015, 01:27 PM
You could take some of that "fun money" and get some recording equipment to make good videos and audio recordings of your uke! Just an idea. I'd get myself a MacBook and a nice microphone. Or something like that.

cptdean
03-16-2015, 01:47 PM
... I think at the heart of UAS is the perception of a new uke means better playing. ...

Ain't it the truth!

In the late '90s, my buddy (a singer/songwriter) and I got into home recording. We started with his '80s Tascam PortaStudio 4-track cassette recorder, but quickly gave it up because of all the tape hiss, declaring that it sounded "like crap." Then we tried a cheap software package on an equally cheap laptop computer, but the built-in audio card sounded like crap. Then we bought a Boss BR-8 (recorded to Zip disks, if I recall correctly), but we thought the built-in effects sounded like crap. Fast forward a bit and you would have seen us with our final setup: a Yamaha AW4416 DAW, three flight cases of studio grade outboard effects processors (guitar multi-effects, reverbs, compressors, etc.), more mics than anyone should legally own, and even an Alesis MasterLink ML-9600 finalizing deck, just to smooth out our finished product. It was an incredibly clean (and expensive) setup, with no unwanted noise anywhere. And in the absence of all those previous distractions, we realized that...uh-oh...WE sound like crap! LOL

The years have taught me well (and harshly) that better gear doesn't bring better talent. At this stage of my life I try to just enjoy the things I buy, without any hope of magic coming with them. A younger me would not have been so satisfied so quickly with the unassuming little Opio, but this older me sees its quality.

Still, I'll buy another uke when it makes sense to. I'm just not in a rush.

Mik
03-16-2015, 03:08 PM
You could take some of that "fun money" and get some recording equipment to make good videos and audio recordings of your uke! Just an idea. I'd get myself a MacBook and a nice microphone..

ITA with this! In my case, I have an Apogee mic (an Apple compatible cardioid condenser mic that can be plugged to iPhones, iPads, iPods ), and is absolutely one of my best investments ever! It really helps me track my uke progress because I can record and listen to myself, and as a result it provides me unbiased feedback. It gives me joy to hear my progress that I forget the "perceived" need to buy another ukulele as a reason to help me become a better player.

JustinJ
03-16-2015, 04:10 PM
This is a very funny story. I remember the tascam 4 track recorders.

I do think people should buy the best instrument that they can afford. It helps to start out on a good instrument. It is hard enough learning an instrument without having to mess with a poor instrument. Also, with a higher initial investment, you're more likely to stay with practicing. I'm not suggesting someone go out and buy a K brand as their first uke, especially if they are not sure they are going to continue playing.

One day, I may buy another Uke. I play both high G and low G. I could not justify more than two ukes though, but this is just me. Also the prices of higher end ukes is the same price as well made guitars. It's hard for me to justify buying a 2000 dollar uke. For $2000, there are some very nice guitars. Although, if you only want to play a uke then I can see someone spending the money on one.



Ain't it the truth!

In the late '90s, my buddy (a singer/songwriter) and I got into home recording. We started with his '80s Tascam PortaStudio 4-track cassette recorder, but quickly gave it up because of all the tape hiss, declaring that it sounded "like crap." Then we tried a cheap software package on an equally cheap laptop computer, but the built-in audio card sounded like crap. Then we bought a Boss BR-8 (recorded to Zip disks, if I recall correctly), but we thought the built-in effects sounded like crap. Fast forward a bit and you would have seen us with our final setup: a Yamaha AW4416 DAW, three flight cases of studio grade outboard effects processors (guitar multi-effects, reverbs, compressors, etc.), more mics than anyone should legally own, and even an Alesis MasterLink ML-9600 finalizing deck, just to smooth out our finished product. It was an incredibly clean (and expensive) setup, with no unwanted noise anywhere. And in the absence of all those previous distractions, we realized that...uh-oh...WE sound like crap! LOL

The years have taught me well (and harshly) that better gear doesn't bring better talent. At this stage of my life I try to just enjoy the things I buy, without any hope of magic coming with them. A younger me would not have been so satisfied so quickly with the unassuming little Opio, but this older me sees its quality.

Still, I'll buy another uke when it makes sense to. I'm just not in a rush.

Sylvan
03-16-2015, 04:17 PM
I feel much the same as you with respect to my Opio. I really can't imagine a concert sounding better so I have no UAS now. I'm thinking of trying out low G on my Opio. A low G tenor will be next for me too but I'm in no rush to buy although the new Ponos look sweet. For now I am enjoying learning my way up the fretboard.

Ukejenny
03-16-2015, 04:44 PM
I think it is wonderful to have an instrument that mystifies and seduces you to the point that you can't imagine a replacement. It is like musical nirvana, even if it isn't permanent, it is a great feeling. Long may it last!!!

Fred Ukestone
03-16-2015, 05:26 PM
I came to the realization that another uke would not improve my playing. This seems like an obvious statement but it is overlooked by many people including myself. The only thing that will make you sound better is hard work and proper practice. I think at the heart of UAS is the perception of a new uke means better playing. It'll sound better, hence I will sound better. .

An obvious point but a good one Justin.

I think another aspect of UAS is the need a person feels to be accepted and acknowledged by the group, in this case the UU community. Specifically the feeling that, unless you own a 'significant' brand of instrument you will not be respected or accepted by the ukulele community.

As you have already said Justin, owning a high end instrument does not make you a better player. There are numerous great players on UU who play what are considered to be 'middle of the road' brand ukuleles.

Jeffelele
03-16-2015, 05:38 PM
"the spendy finger of UAS."

Well said Sir, my compliments.

Jeff

actadh
03-16-2015, 05:50 PM
I so love the sound of my Opio. I got it in August and played it nonstop through October and only played my other ukuleles when I changed the humidifiers.

But, a funny thing happened in November. I play at the foot of my bed in a cold and drafty house, so I have a small space heater that is right next to me. I did not want to subject the Opio to that drying heat - I would feel the skin on my face dry out while huddling to stay warm.

So my UAS kicked in and I started looking again at what had been my second choice uke - the Martin OXK. I got it Black Friday and played it pretty much all winter.

When winter weather broke last week, out came the Opio. It sounded sweeter than ever.

I am traveling this week with the OXK, so it is nice to have an excellent travel uke. I am still not ready to toss the Opio in the front seat and drive 5 hours in uncertain weather.

peterbright
03-16-2015, 06:06 PM
You only think you are in remission. Reality is another dimension.

Hammond
03-16-2015, 06:13 PM
This is all good that you love your Opio. I have similar feeling.

I play a Covered Bridge ukulele, similar to you, this ukulele provides everything I desired, even included liking it's imperfections, which is part of its characteristic.

I bought some other ukes to my friends, I love browsing uke stores, but my inventory doesn't gain any new ukes.

UAS or not, it doesn't matter, maybe it will come later, as long as we love ukuleles & live happily.:):music:

DownUpDave
03-16-2015, 11:14 PM
So glad you found real love with your first girlfriend. The Opio is a great instrument at twice the price, all Koalohas have that signature sound of resonance and sustain. While acquiring multiple high end ukuleles won't make you a better player, it doesn't hurt either.

Experimenting with different makes and different woods is alot of fun and can lead to some cool discoveries. Even as simple as tenor vs concert, low G vs high G, the sound of spruce vs cedar. You might not venture down this road for a while but it is out there if and when you become curious. Right now just keep enjoying and playing the daylights out of your Opio.

cptdean
03-19-2015, 02:31 AM
Okay, so I can apparently only make it 3 days before deciding to buy another ukulele (looking for a KoAloha KTM-00 now). To be fair, though, I'm just adding a tenor to the mix and keeping the concert. Now, where's that sheepish blush emoticon...

Brenda Wong
03-19-2015, 03:23 AM
In the way I am lucky for not living in the U.S. cause I have to think about shipping and custom which delay my addiction a little. However, I did take a trip to HMS in person just to shop so I don't know which is worse.

drmosser
03-19-2015, 03:57 AM
[...] To be fair, though, I'm just adding a tenor to the mix and keeping the concert.[...]

Rationalizing...it's a very good sign that you are infected with UAS. The words "I'm just..." should be a red flag wherever they are uttered. ;)

At least you've got good tastes in ukuleles and that should slow the spread of infection a little. ;)

cptdean
03-19-2015, 05:10 AM
At least you've got good tastes in ukuleles and that should slow the spread of infection a little. ;)

It definitely does. At the moment, a KoAloha tenor, an Apple Watch, and a Taylor 214ce are all competing for the same lump of cash. ECON101 reminds me that I have unlimited wants to balance against my limited means, so only one of these will be bought (and the uke is the front-runner).

drmosser
03-19-2015, 06:39 AM
No contest. The Apple Watch will be obsolete in a few years. The ukulele will last a lifetime.
The guitar, well... you're going to lose interest in that after playing ukulele for a while. Just find a guitar addict and borrow one from him/her every once in a while. ;)

cptdean
03-19-2015, 07:08 AM
No contest. The Apple Watch will be obsolete in a few years. The ukulele will last a lifetime.
The guitar, well... you're going to lose interest in that after playing ukulele for a while. Just find a guitar addict and borrow one from him/her every once in a while. ;)

Perfect logic.

deschutestrout
03-19-2015, 10:04 AM
While you're being logical, add a Clara to your wishlist :drool:. Very, very, very impressed with my newest addition.

cptdean
03-19-2015, 10:11 AM
While you're being logical, add a Clara to your wishlist :drool:. Very, very, very impressed with my newest addition.

Yeah, you got to that one in the sales forum before I could. I'm still jealous, but glad you're happy with it. It's definitely near the top of a very short list of wants!

deschutestrout
03-19-2015, 10:18 AM
Yeah, you got to that one in the sales forum before I could. I'm still jealous, but glad you're happy with it. It's definitely near the top of a very short list of wants!

Figured I'd better jump on it (before you had a chance :-) ). Was a hard decision as my UAS has been rather active lately and it was not at all within my budget ... but WTF ... and they don't come up used too often, so I justified my financial extension by telling myself I was actually saving $200-300 ... that's the way I roll and my bank account reflects that :). There have been a couple in the last couple of months, so be patient...then POUNCE! Or, if it's what you want (and you should) put a WTB ad up ... you may just get lucky. I'm often impressed by how quickly most WTB ads are closed.

turtledrum
03-21-2015, 06:09 AM
I'll second the check-out-the-Clara motion! Got mine on March 5th and have been smitten! (Must confess, though...a few days ago I changed the strings to Aquila Reds on my Lanikai spalted mango tenor and it now sings as never before!) All that being said, the enthusiastic comments here about the Opio line, just resulted in my placing an order for a soprano at HMS....May the force be with all of us and our beautiful ukulele friends!