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View Full Version : Anyone ever heard of the Unkelele uke brand?



Captain Simian
05-27-2015, 05:54 AM
My kid is on the east coast visiting and is thinking about buy a uke. It's a brand that I've never heard of called Unkelele. It's a soprano, there's a label inside but there's no model number on it, just Unkelele soprano with a serial number and build date. Looks like it's may be laminate Koa. Anyone know anything about this brand?

jbm
05-27-2015, 07:09 AM
http://theoriginalguitarguy.com/

spookelele
05-27-2015, 07:32 AM
I think it's more important to hear a uke, than to hear of a uke.
If you find a uke you like.. isn't that the important thing?

Captain Simian
05-27-2015, 08:58 AM
http://theoriginalguitarguy.com/

Thanks. Now I have an idea of what her uke may be.

Captain Simian
05-27-2015, 09:01 AM
I think it's more important to hear a uke, than to hear of a uke.
If you find a uke you like.. isn't that the important thing?

Yes, regardless you have to like how it sounds. However, you also don't want to spend your hard earned money on a piece of junk either. I want to know if they have any issues because I don't buy wall hangers, I buy instruments to play. She says it sounds good but I want to make sure she's getting her moneys worth and not overpaying.

spookelele
05-27-2015, 09:28 AM
Yes, regardless you have to like how it sounds. However, you also don't want to spend your hard earned money on a piece of junk either. I want to know if they have any issues because I don't buy wall hangers, I buy instruments to play. She says it sounds good but I want to make sure she's getting her moneys worth and not overpaying.

Oh.. I see. I misunderstood. I thought you'd tried the uke. Sorry for the confusion.

uke-garou
05-30-2015, 05:16 PM
There is a thread from a few years ago that has a couple of mediocre reviews regarding the build quality. I don't know if that is still the case. Is there a return policy?

PhilUSAFRet
05-31-2015, 04:05 AM
My virus scan had to remove a threat when I clicked on that link above

39ford
09-26-2015, 10:49 AM
These are quite nicely made and a bargain for a solid top, back and sides. They are made in China and are finished very fine I think with a good set of strings it will sound great.

Captain Simian
09-26-2015, 11:37 AM
What a coincidence that this thread was revived. My daughter didn't buy the Unkelele but I just picked up a tenor Unkelele on eBay after missing out on a soprano. Looks to be in good shape and made of mahogany. Solid or not I suppose I will find out but it was too good of a price to pass up.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CaptainSimian/Ukuleles/Unkelele%20Tenor_zps7urpqrml.jpg

Xtradust
09-27-2015, 09:04 AM
What a coincidence that this thread was revived. My daughter didn't buy the Unkelele but I just picked up a tenor Unkelele on eBay after missing out on a soprano. Looks to be in good shape and made of mahogany. Solid or not I suppose I will find out but it was too good of a price to pass up.

Hey Capt, I bought one too. They look like they sound good! :rock:

I'll post a quickie review when I get it.

What's that thing on the bridge? Squashed penny?


Great minds think alike...and make risky purchases.

RodTms
09-30-2015, 05:27 AM
I was watching those auctions too. I think they both used the same photo. Please let us know what you think of them. Is the entire body solid? Heavily or lightly built?
Thanks.

Captain Simian
09-30-2015, 06:06 AM
Hey Capt, I bought one too. They look like they sound good! :rock:

I'll post a quickie review when I get it.

What's that thing on the bridge? Squashed penny?


Great minds think alike...and make risky purchases.

It's just a sticker on the bridge.

I don't feel it's that big a risk for the price. At the absolute worse so long a the neck is good I have a radical plan on what to do with it if it's a dud.

Captain Simian
09-30-2015, 06:07 AM
I was watching those auctions too. I think they both used the same photo. Please let us know what you think of them. Is the entire body solid? Heavily or lightly built?
Thanks.

Mine is being delivered today. I'll definitely let you know how it turns out.

Captain Simian
09-30-2015, 02:12 PM
Got it in and here are my initial thoughts.

It's not a bad little uke for what I paid over all. Solid mahogany top, laminate mahogany back and sides, plastic nut & saddle, and the setup is spot on. The friction tuners look like they're high quality but they are slipping pretty bad. The C & E tuners are tightened almost completely and only then did they final grab hold. I'll have to research later how to remedy that. The sides are also a little rough but I don't remember if I should use super fine steel wool or sand paper to smooth it out. Again, I'll look into that later. The sound is surprisingly bright for mahogany although that could be the Aquila strings. Whoever strung it up used all of the string so they were overlapping on the tuner posts. The C string broke down by the saddle when I initially tried to bring it up to pitch but luckily there was enough string to still be able to use it.

Now I'm trying to decide what to do with it. Initially I was going to string her up with a low G but now I'm not sure. Part of me wants to keep it high G, another part wants to move around the strings that are currently on it and do low re-entrant G tuning. First world problems. Again, for the price I think this is a decent little uke.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/CaptainSimian/Ukuleles/F03C848E-4182-4238-B470-B3E788A8E40B_zps5l1kin9g.jpg

Captain Simian
10-03-2015, 09:55 AM
I finally managed to spend some quality time with the Unkelele last night and I'm starting to like it more and more now that I've done some work on it. I switched out the tuners with some Grover 3W's, cleaned and oiled the bridge, cleaned and oiled the fretboard, tweaked the nut to fit a low G, and restrung her with some leftover Worth clears from my Ohana 6 string uke and a Fremont soloist. I'm extremely pleased so far with this set up. New tuners don't slip like the originals and the sound is a touch dark but clear. I have a feeling I'll eventually get a bone or Tusq nut & saddle installed. I'm so pleased with it over all I also ordered the Soprano. This may be the best $40 I've spent in a while.

Xtradust
10-03-2015, 02:34 PM
Dang! I'm sending mine to you!

I changed out the tuners. The ones that came with it looked fine, but would never hold the strings. I don't know that I've ever seen that. I figured you could always tighten them down tighter and tighter and eventually they'd hold.

The strings were strange and all the same width, other than the rusty wound C, so I changed them out with some Daddarios (sp) I had. The new C string is too wide for the nut and I don't have nut slot files, so it's riding high until I see my guitar tech buddy.

Now that the tuners hold and the strings are actual ukulele strings, it sounds like it...well...it has that "brand new factory uke" feel. Like it needs a couple hours of strong strumming to make it come together.

The label says that it has a solid top, so I've been giving it the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I'll put a set of low G's on it and see how it does.

Glad to hear you got a good one Capt Simian!

Captain Simian
10-03-2015, 04:28 PM
Try switching out the tuners with another set. On a whim I just put the original tuners from the Unk on my Alic soprano and they're holding tune just fine. For some reason I suspect that the tuners just can't hand the tension of a tenor.

I had to closely examine the top but mine is definitely a solid top. Until I got under some good light I couldn't really see the grain.

Xtradust
10-07-2015, 07:42 AM
I'm afraid to look at the top much closer! Ignorance is bliss. :confused:

The new tuners I put on (Chinese $1/set) are working well. Maybe I'll give the original ones a shot on something else someday. But, it's hard to beat tuners, that work, for a buck.

I think a good set of strings would really help it too. I've recently developed an ear for Low G, so the high G tenor doesn't have the depth I'm looking for.

There's another tenor on ebay, ending today, and it looks like the price is going up! Hopefully the high bidder is on UU and will let us know how theirs turns out.

Captain Simian
10-07-2015, 08:03 AM
I got the soprano in a couple of days ago and initially I wasn't thrilled with it. I put some Martin M60"'s on her and the sound was meh. Last night I stumbled across a set of Aquila Reds in one of my gig bags and decided to try those on the Unk. So far I like how they sound. By the way, these are definitely solid top instruments.