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plunker
05-02-2015, 01:00 PM
I currently have a Kala KA-T . I am starting to think about moving up. Up grade suggestions would be appreciated. Price range around $ 200.00, and I like the tenor. Its easy to spend the next guys money. So please, be nice. Also, if you know, please give me some idea of what to expect in improvement. (sound quality, playability, looks probably is least to me.)

Icelander53
05-02-2015, 01:15 PM
Gretsch hog tenor, a super bargain imo, for just over $200.

kohanmike
05-02-2015, 01:46 PM
I say save up a little more, about $270 and get a Kala solid cedar top acacia body. It sounds and plays like a much more expensive uke.

co.jp
05-02-2015, 03:07 PM
You can't go wrong with any of the Mainland tenors.

plunker
05-02-2015, 03:40 PM
I looked up your suggestion. Makes me think I should shake the piggy bank a little harder. I know its tough to describ. What kind of differences should I expect?

kohanmike
05-02-2015, 04:13 PM
Are you asking about the Kala or the Mainland? My Kala really surprised me when I got it, very good projection and sustain right out of the box. I had the action lowered a little and it's very easy to play. I got the cutaway with pickup/preamp/tuner, it's my gig uke, except I'm playing more bass uke now.

DownUpDave
05-02-2015, 04:21 PM
I was thinking along the same lines. Either an all mahogany Mainland or the cedar topped Kala Kohanmike listed. This will take closer to $275.00 on your part but if you are going to up grade then make sure you upgrade.

To answer your question about what you should expect, better over all sound, individual note definition, more sustain and projection. Easiest way to describe it is the difference in listening to poor sounding speakers than great sounding speaker, you can hear the difference.

sam13
05-02-2015, 05:10 PM
A used entry level Pono. Or a second. Great value and worth waiting for or saving that extra money.

SteveZ
05-02-2015, 05:47 PM
Looking at the OP's budget, perhaps the best thing to do is nothing at all. The playability of the Kala is not bad, and maybe a change of strings might up the sound quality somewhat. Considering the money involved, the "bang for the buck" increase may not be worth the expense.

For $200 or so, it may be better to follow the UU marketplace (or other reputable sites) and see what comes available. Some very good, barely used instruments are often found in the marketplace, and the price difference between new-retail and used can make that $200 go a lot further.

plunker
05-03-2015, 01:23 AM
the kala. And it would be the standard not amplified.

plunker
05-03-2015, 01:27 AM
I was thinking along the same lines. Either an all mahogany Mainland or the cedar topped Kala Kohanmike listed. This will take closer to $275.00 on your part but if you are going to up grade then make sure you upgrade.

To answer your question about what you should expect, better over all sound, individual note definition, more sustain and projection. Easiest way to describe it is the difference in listening to poor sounding speakers than great sounding speaker, you can hear the difference.

I think that is the best advice. And you really answered my question. When I upgrade, it should really be an upgrade. I would hate to spend $ 200.00 and make a mediocre difference, when a little patience and some bag lunches would be really what I was looking to do.

UkerDanno
05-03-2015, 04:14 AM
Mainland would be a great choice...
http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc;jsessionid=A7A66C7F9DB9E68DCFE4632ADFA8 3448.m1plqscsfapp02?productId=10&categoryId=3
or...all solid mahogany!
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/size/tenor/kala-smht-solid-mahogany-tenor.html
or these sound great!
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/size/tenor/fender-solid-koa-top-tenor-exclusive-model-limited-run.html

plunker
05-03-2015, 08:04 AM
Ukerdano, are these good suggestions or have you had experience with the actual instrument, or...Mainline is just a good quality consistent instrument for the price. One of those you can,t go wrong with thm type of company.

UkerDanno
05-03-2015, 09:05 AM
Ukerdano, are these good suggestions or have you had experience with the actual instrument, or...Mainline is just a good quality consistent instrument for the price. One of those you can,t go wrong with thm type of company.

some friends have the Fenders, they sound good! The Mainland might be your best option of all the ones mentioned so far. No personal experience, but I've heard nothing but good comments. Kind of wanted a Mainland concert, but went with Kanile'a for my one main player.

stevejfc
05-03-2015, 11:09 AM
Mainland is a good step up. They are set up well and go under a rigorous quality control and assembly. Get in touch with them......they sometimes have
"2nds", new but with very slight blemishes, around your price range.

wayward
05-03-2015, 11:35 PM
I see some people have suggested saving a little more for the cedar topped Kala or a Pono. I have a 5 string tenor cedar topped Kala and can confirm the comments made about it previously on this thread: the sustain is particularly impressive. If you are choosing between these 2 brands you should also consider the wood available for your budget - which is down to personal preference. I have an acacia concert deluxe Pono and a mango baritone Pono - both sound very different and both have a richer tone than the Kala. Try listening to the sound samples on HMS if the tone and sustain are most important to you as I've found these very helpful when narrowing my choice, even through crummy computer speakers. Enjoy your new ukulele, what ever it may be :cheers:

plunker
05-04-2015, 02:07 AM
Thank you, I really don't need the worlds largest collection of unplayed ukes.

Icelander53
05-04-2015, 02:23 AM
I second the suggestion to save up. However it's advice I did not take myself and I found it a valuable experience to own many ukes. From that experience I now believe I can tell a good sounding and playing uke from something else. Hence I've moved up to Pono for acoustic and Risa for electric.

It may depend on your $$ resources. I was in a position to write off some ukes to find what I want and never miss the $$ loss. Not everyone is in that financial position. That's why I recommend you save up for something you'll be wowed by if you are only going to own a couple.

I actually want to sell a few off but I'm just too lazy. I have three very decent mid range ukes
($300-500) that I almost never play. The Pono's have spoiled me.

plunker
05-04-2015, 10:37 AM
I second the suggestion to save up. However it's advice I did not take myself and I found it a valuable experience to own many ukes. From that experience I now believe I can tell a good sounding and playing uke from something else. Hence I've moved up to Pono for acoustic and Risa for electric.

It may depend on your $$ resources. I was in a position to write off some ukes to find what I want and never miss the $$ loss. Not everyone is in that financial position. That's why I recommend you save up for something you'll be wowed by if you are only going to own a couple.

I actually want to sell a few off but I'm just too lazy. I have three very decent mid range ukes
($300-500) that I almost never play. The Pono's have spoiled me.

I have a Lute a lele in the too lazy to get up an sell. I know the feeling. Thanks. You really love the Pono, Huh?

plunker
05-04-2015, 10:45 AM
HHey Icelander53. I looked online. Pono MTDX can be had for about $350.00. I started at $ 200.00, then the suggestions said wait, many good suggestions were made in the $ 270.00 range. Now I am up to $ 350.00. I am now trying to figure what I can sell around thhe house, this is stating to get out of control. Thank you so much though. I really don't want to be penny wise and sound foolish.

JustinJ
05-04-2015, 11:08 AM
I will suggest the Pono ukulele. Their build quality is excellent and the sound is beautiful. I have a Pono MTD but really you could get a non deluxe and it would sound good. In my opinion, in the 350.00 price range, they can not be beat.

I'm especially impressed with their mango line of instruments. http://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-mgt-mango-tenor.html

There is a seller Paradise Ukulele who sometimes has seconds or hardly used Ponos for sale on Ebay. They are a little less than retail. He also owns a shop and worked for Ko'olau. Where ever you purchase your instrument, you want to make sure they set it up for you.

sukie
05-04-2015, 12:03 PM
I recently purchased a Mainland mahogany tenor. It was a second (although I can't find the flaw) with a pickup. The sound is lovely. Yeah, it cost more than $200, but I think it is well worth the price. Probably would be cheaper without a pick up.

UkerDanno
05-04-2015, 12:16 PM
HHey Icelander53. I looked online. Pono MTDX can be had for about $350.00. I started at $ 200.00, then the suggestions said wait, many good suggestions were made in the $ 270.00 range. Now I am up to $ 350.00. I am now trying to figure what I can sell around thhe house, this is stating to get out of control. Thank you so much though. I really don't want to be penny wise and sound foolish.

Ponos are nice I suppose. I thought about one at one point, but got a Martin C1K instead. Just like you, I started at a price point and after looking around spent more. But, I don't really think you'll do $100 of sound better than a Mainland. If anything look for a Martin T1K!

BTW, Ponos do have a thicker, heavier neck than most.

stevepetergal
05-04-2015, 12:30 PM
I think kohanmike is on the right track. Better to take some time to save up. Hard to take much of a step up at $200. If you want a significantly nicer ukulele, you should consider a solid top. The Mainlands are very nice, but still a solid top will cost you between 289 and 310.
My opinion; It's always beneficial to wait, maybe until you can wait no longer.

plunker
05-04-2015, 04:31 PM
Thanks to all, I will save my pennies and be back when I narrow it down to two or three.

bnolsen
05-05-2015, 06:18 AM
a 'b stock' tenor fluke or flea direct from FMM might fit the bill maybe? Not sure what that cost might be.

here's a new concert lava fluke, 199usd with bag. Scale is smaller than a tenor but larger than a concert:

http://elderly.com/new_instruments/items/FLUKE-BLK.htm

Adrian Ortiga
05-06-2015, 05:12 AM
Pukanala ukuleles have 200$ish ukes i think. :)

Icelander53
05-06-2015, 08:28 AM
I'm still pushing the Gretsch lol. I own three ukes in the $7-800 range. My Gretsch cost about a quarter of that and it competes fairly well IMO. If I was on a low end budget I'd go with that Gretsch and be completely happy about it.

Nickie
05-06-2015, 12:14 PM
plunker, you're smart not to collect a roomful of unplayed ukes. I only have three (down from 6 last year), and have a hard time playing all of them equally. At least one always gets neglected.
You can't go wrong with Kalas and Mainlands. I really like the Ohana concert I have, but the Ohana tenors I tried out a few months ago left a lot to be desired.
I'd take my time, watch a lot of review videos, read reviews here and on Got A Ukulele? You might wanna consider a pre-amp, in case you ever wanna hook up. One of mine has a pre-amp, and it really comes in handy for leading jam sessions, and open mic night.

Jerwin
05-06-2015, 06:28 PM
People here say good things about KPK ukuleles. Solid body for around 215 dollars might be worth checking. I upgraded my solid top Ohana with Pono MTD and I am really satisfied with the uke. What ever you buy, you should get it from a dealer who is able to set it to your liking....

UkeBus
05-07-2015, 03:54 AM
Gretsch hog tenor, a super bargain imo, for just over $200.

I concur. Great Value - I have Low G Red Aquila on mine.