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jollyboy
06-22-2015, 01:38 AM
So, after swiftly upgrading from a Makala MK-S to an Ohana CK-25S, I have been feeling the need for a slightly upgraded soprano. Nothing too fancy, but something that would serve as a general knockabout instrument and something that I could play whilst lying on the sofa watching TV.

Since I basically don't have any spare cash atm my initial plan was to try to pimp up the Makala a bit. This is still ongoing (waiting for new strings/tuners/nut/saddle to arrive in the post).

But I had not counted on the fiendish power of UAS!

Having become strangely obsessed with the idea of owning a pineapple soprano I found myself trawling the interwebs. Nothing that I recognized brand-wise seemed to quite be in the goldilocks zone however - I could find only budget models that didn't really represent much of a step-up from my MK-S, or higher-end entry-level models that were a bit more than I wanted to pay.

Then I noticed that Southern Ukulele Store had a Koki'o Solid Spruce Top pineapple soprano in stock. Hmmm, I'd never heard of Koki'o so I did my bit of research and, yeah, Made-in-China for Risa, basically.

The ones being played on YouTube sound okay and the brand seems to be reasonably popular in mainland Europe. SUS stock them so they are presumably doing something right. Also, some nice features for the price (solid top, arched back, fretboard binding, nut bone/saddle, lasered detailing).

And THEN I discover that I can buy a b-stock uke with some minor aesthetic imperfections - the same model that SUS has for sale - at 40% discount direct from Risa's German retail outlet.

Damn you, UAS!!!

So yep, long-story-short, it should be arriving in 3-5 days. Meanwhile, I will be spending the rest of the month living on packet noodles :D

SteveZ
06-22-2015, 01:51 AM
Be thankful it's UAS - much more affordable than MAS (mandolin), GAS (guitar) or BAS (banjo). At one time or another have been afflicted by all. My entire U-stock has dented the budget a lot less than when the others claimed my sanity.

RichM
06-22-2015, 02:07 AM
I had a moment this weekend when I was at a store that had the "older" version of the Kala resonator uke in stock. After hearing many reports that the newer version was way better the older version, I will testify that this "old" one sounded much, much better than the "new" one I briefly owned and then returned. Almost came home with me, but, jeez, I already have a lot of ukes!

Louis0815
06-22-2015, 02:29 AM
These are the downsides of the modern times with internet and search engines and online shops and worldwide shipping all over the place....

But it might comfort you to know you're not at all alone. I bet we could easily start a worldwide movement of Uke Acquirers Anonymous and tell us our stories ;)

As one could guess from my signature I already have more ukes than time to play - but just recently I stumbled upon a Firefly (almost brand new, just in use for a few hours before the previous owner decided not to like it) at half retail price and couldn't resist. Again.

Mivo
06-22-2015, 02:39 AM
I currently have the theory that if you get an expensive high-end instrument, or a custom one, UAS will lessen, at least for the chosen size. I'm presently testing this with a Barron River tenor. It might not actually work, but it made for a good excuse to get it. ;) But who knows! Perhaps it really is like jumping right into the ocean instead of dipping one's toe in the garden pool. Then again, if the addictive element isn't the actual instrument, but the dopamine created by the anticipation of something new, the tracking, and the moment of reception, then I'm in for trouble! It could just be retail therapy!

Ukejenny
06-22-2015, 05:56 AM
Downright fiendish!!! And fun!!!

Ukejenny
06-22-2015, 05:58 AM
I currently have the theory that if you get an expensive high-end instrument, or a custom one, UAS will lessen, at least for the chosen size. I'm presently testing this with a Barron River tenor. It might not actually work, but it made for a good excuse to get it. ;) But who knows! Perhaps it really is like jumping right into the ocean instead of dipping one's toe in the garden pool. Then again, if the addictive element isn't the actual instrument, but the dopamine created by the anticipation of something new, the tracking, and the moment of reception, then I'm in for trouble! It could just be retail therapy!

This theory worked for me. I was in need of... something... something really, really good. And I didn't know quite what. I would look at the custom builds in progress and yearn. I would research and yearn. And then I realized I needed something that sounded great and could withstand the elements. So, I saved up and got a Clara. I knew it was what I wanted, but also what I really needed. And now, my UAS is in remission, unless I can find a used Clara to have as a high G.

Olarte
06-22-2015, 07:22 AM
Well UAS.... it is addicting and a lot of fun. you won't find any help here.

with several dozen ukes that have passed and most stayed in my collection I can say that I don't regret getting any of them and\or gifting a few to friends and family as well.

regarding the high end theory, it might hold UAS at bay for a while but then sooner or later I spot something else that intrigues me.

Having many "cheaper" ukes in my collection is fun, and having more than a few high end (still less than 1500 a pop) including Koalohas, my precious Mya-Moe, Gary Gill and the two blackbirds... it's always fun, but also challenging to pick the right uke for the right song or recording.

Still my rationale is that at my age of 53, having had a long and steady career\employment for the last 30 years, and being able to pay all our bills and have a little bit of discretionary income, I have nothing but joy in being lucky enough and disciplined enough to be able to afford the instruments I have.

to balance things out, I also drive a 12 year old Mini that I will keep until it is not worth fixing anymore. It's in good shape and should last a few years. I'm also quite conservative in how I spend my discretionary money in other things that seem more trivial to me.

all in all while I have an impressive collection that I enjoy very much, most of the instruments have been bought at a good or better price, with discretionary funds, and\or part of a severance package that I received after being outsourced from a 25+ career, as my own "reward" for my winning battle with Diabetes and Cancer, and instead of having a new car, or leasing one every couple of years.

So as long as you can afford what you buy and you truly enjoy the instruments you buy hey all I can say is life is too short and tough to works for the bare necessities only.

Jenny, you don't need a 2nd clara, you need a Blackbitrd tenor. while not as loud it is one sweet instrument perfect for a low G. tuning.

speaking of tunings I just installed some Guadalupe low g strings on my baritone tuned an octave lower in GCEA. I LOVE IT! it brings new life to my baritone. And yes while I could learn Baritone tuning chords, I just love the low (classical guitar) sound from these strings.. but that's another story...

k0k0peli
06-22-2015, 08:09 AM
Be thankful it's UAS - much more affordable than MAS (mandolin), GAS (guitar) or BAS (banjo). At one time or another have been afflicted by all. My entire U-stock has dented the budget a lot less than when the others claimed my sanity. These are subsets of SAS (stuff) which includes LBA (lens-buying addiction) and CBA (cameras), my personal demons. Besides another 20 stringed instruments, I only have about 8 ukes at the moment (although that may jump by 2 or 3 tomorrow) with nearly 5x as many cameras and 30x as many lenses. But amongst our other collections, some individual pieces are worth more than *all* I have *ever* paid for *all* my photo and music gear in my long lifetime. So *there*.

It's all relative. Yes, one *can* spend more on a uke than on a bass boat or low-end Ferrari but you'd have to work at it. Yes, some ukes cost less than a good lunch. We can feed our addictions/syndromes at almost any price point.

About tomorrow: I'm scheduled to visit a shop with very inexpensive and supposedly quite decent instruments. I've flagged some of their offerings for close inspection: concert and baritone ukes, Puerto Rican cuatro (10 strings, 5 courses), mandola. I left home one this road trip with 3 stringed instruments. The current count is 7. It'll be fun if I go home in a couple days with 12, eh?

EDIT-UPDATE: My instrument count just incremented by 1. I found a beat-up but fixable USSR-made mandolin in a junk shop for US$30. And the day is not yet over! Will tomorrow see me adding the ukes, cuatro and mandola too? Yes, I'm doomed...

Mivo
06-22-2015, 09:01 AM
Actually, sounds a lot like UU.

It's true. This place is the home of the Ukulele Enablers, and a source of almost irresistible temptation. Just looking at the Marketplace requires iron discipline on some days. :) But the additional expenses are set off by the extra joy, the entertainment, and the learning. Without UU, I probably wouldn't have bought a higher end ukulele, but without UU, I also wouldn't have become as dedicated to the hobby -- and I'm glad I did. It's a great hobby that enriches my life.

DownUpDave
06-22-2015, 11:21 AM
It's true. This place is the home of the Ukulele Enablers, and a source of almost irresistible temptation. Just looking at the Marketplace requires iron discipline on some days. :) But the additional expenses are set off by the extra joy, the entertainment, and the learning. Without UU, I probably wouldn't have bought a higher end ukulele, but without UU, I also wouldn't have become as dedicated to the hobby -- and I'm glad I did. It's a great hobby that enriches my life.

Very well said. It is more addictive than cocaine, but healthier.

Booli
06-22-2015, 01:04 PM
These are subsets of SAS (stuff) which includes LBA (lens-buying addiction) and CBA (cameras), my personal demons. Besides another 20 stringed instruments, I only have about 8 ukes at the moment (although that may jump by 2 or 3 tomorrow) with nearly 5x as many cameras and 30x as many lenses. But amongst our other collections, some individual pieces are worth more than *all* I have *ever* paid for *all* my photo and music gear in my long lifetime. So *there*.


Back in the mid-to-late 90's I was very heavily into photography too. Being a member of 3 different camera clubs, setting up my own darkroom and not only developing film, but also making prints (both only B&W) was an incredible learning experience. I was a real fanatic about older Nikon cameras, and my first was the EM, which I traded up with some cash for an FG, and then again for an F2, and then again for a 6006 and then again for an F4. Also did the same along the way with lenses, both primes and telephoto, fisheye, etc, and also studio lights and flash units of all shapes and sizes. B&H in NYC was always a great place to buy/sell/trade photo quipment, as well as the local monthly 'Second Sunday' flea-market type camera show with dealers from all over the country. It was lots and lots of fun too.

All along the way the point of the equipment was as a tool to learn photography and take better pictures (mostly for the regular club competitions), and on a huge path to UPGRADE to the ULTIMATE 'OMG' Camera. At the end of it all I sold most of it (few places to get color slides developed any more, and those that still exist are VERY expensive and mail-order/internet only) and eventually I got one of the more affordable Nikon D40x DSLR (6 megapixel). The D40x is 'good enough' for me.

Now I mostly use my iPhone, unless it is a special occasion (I admit to being lazy now), for the BEST camera is the one that you have with you ALL THE TIME!

With ukes, the obsession at first was about trying all the scale lengths, and I finally settled on tenor and baritone. Then it was about high and low-G, and then high and low-D, and then all kinds of different tunings. I never intended to buy the ukes with stepping up the ladder like I did with the cameras, but much more as a lateral move, in mostly a similar price range. Now I have more than a dozen ukes and anything smaller than tenor rarely gets played. I'm sure many have been down this path before. I use my ukes primarily for songwriting and recording at home, and as such the ones that are unplayed should probably be re-homed, but yes, laziness has also taken over that task at the moment.

I will also confirm that the dopamine/adrenaline rush during the hunt and eventual acquisition is a powerful, and severely addictive and reinforcing motivator. However, my UAS has been on pause for about 6 months now, and some days I get the itch, but due to lack of funds right now, and other priorities, the itch is typically scratched by enjoying the instruments that I already have, instead of lusting for something new.

I still have a wish list, but those ukes in the wish list are a big jump in price, and as such have the requisite homework associated in order to mitigate buyer's remorse, and also in this higher price range, I really need to play the instrument in person before purchase in order to make sure that I am not going to duplicate the sound or feel of something that I already own. All previous purchases except the first one, were done over the internet, without hands-on before purchase, and was heavily guided by lots of 'research' which of course included the content and opinions submitted here on UU by my fellow brethren, who are also all diabolical enablers of this terrible affliction, and yet I'd be truly lost without this crowd, for you all truly are my brothers and sisters in arms. :)

Nickie
06-22-2015, 01:36 PM
"Meanwhile, I will be spending the rest of the month living on packet noodles"

I understand, but have you read the label on that junk? Eat better food, feel better, live longer! You can't take your ukes with you when you kick the bucket!

Booli is right, this is a den of enablers. And we are all brothers and sisters in arms!

Booli
06-22-2015, 02:00 PM
"Meanwhile, I will be spending the rest of the month living on packet noodles"

I understand, but have you read the label on that junk? Eat better food, feel better, live longer! You can't take your ukes with you when you kick the bucket!

:agree:

Sorry if this derails the topic, but...

If you look in the pasta section of your grocery market, and look for GLUTEN FREE and LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX, you can find noodles made from RICE FLOUR instead of Semolina or Durham Wheat flour, which are often actually CHEAPER than the Wheat flour or egg-noodles, and are also better for you as they don't cause huge surges in your blood sugar nor have the unburned carbohydrates stored as fat in your body.

If you have never had RICE FLOUR noodles, they taste a bit different than the WHEAT flour noodles, but you can use your favorite low-calorie/low-sodium sauce...

Also, you can get RICE FLOUR noodles that are enriched with Spinach or Pomodoro Tomatos, that are good for you...

Typically I will make a sauce by melting some real butter, and adding fresh cut garlic, dill, tumeric and basil, and mmm mmm mmm that's good. I'm not a fan of heavy sauces like Marinara (unless I puree the tomato myself as store brands are LOADED with sodium) nor Alfredo.

As far as those RAMEN or Cup-O-Soup, if you must eat them, throw away that 'flavor' packet (and make your own sauce or use low-sodium chicken broth for a soup), as those flavor packets are mostly poison powder and will kill you faster than McDonald's.

[yes I cook a lot at home from scratch, and am always trying to eat healthier :)]

SteveZ
06-22-2015, 02:30 PM
Or you can ignore the previous post and just go to the "dollar menu" and burger up. If you bring the uke, you may be able to busk for food.

Mivo
06-22-2015, 10:11 PM
Booli's history with stuff acquisition, overthinking choices, and geyser-like enthusiasm sounds a lot like my own. :)

I think it's probably worthwhile to remember that we would probably spend our money anyway, just on something else. If it's not a ukulele, it may (in my case) be yet another synthesizer, a computer upgrade that I don't need because my machine is a year old, a console with a TV set even though I haven't felt the pull for video gaming in a while and never watch TV, furniture that I also don't really need because I'm quite happy with I have, and so on.

So at least for me, it's just a choice of what unnecessary but exciting and life quality enhancing thing I spend money on. I think ukuleles are far better picks than many of the alternatives. The only thing I make sure is that I don't spend money I don't have (don't even have a credit card), but that aside, I think spontaneity is a good thing.

Unlike synthesizers, ukuleles have never made me change my food plans for a month or two, either. :p Though I actually found that when I eat more healthily, and cut out the junk food, the sweets, the "comfort food", and the "I'm bored" snacks, I save quite a bit of money anyway (even when I buy mostly organic food). There's no real need to eat crappy things just to save money. Careful planning and thoughtful shopping do the trick.

Okay, I think I have done my Good Deed of Enabling for the day!

Booli
06-23-2015, 12:15 AM
Booli is right, this is a den of enablers. And we are all brothers and sisters in arms!

I think that fellow UU sister Lynda aka 'Bird's Eye View Of My Ukulele' sums it all up pretty well for many of us in this video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDbwBIraWmQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDbwBIraWmQ

jollyboy
06-23-2015, 12:29 AM
Thanks for all the enabling :p

Don't worry about my diet too much. I have a fridge full of organic miso (bulk purchased) to supplement my noodlefest. Hey, I like noodles :)

Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to pay for that Gold Tone banjolele...

WCBarnes
06-23-2015, 02:53 AM
speaking of tunings I just installed some Guadalupe low g strings on my baritone tuned an octave lower in GCEA. I LOVE IT! it brings new life to my baritone. And yes while I could learn Baritone tuning chords, I just love the low (classical guitar) sound from these strings.. but that's another story...

Where did you get these strings? I would love to give them a try!

Rllink
06-23-2015, 03:40 AM
I certainly am not immune to acquisition syndromes. I've been through many of them in my life. I think the thing that holds me back with ukuleles is that I live in two places, Iowa, and Puerto Rico. My uke makes the trip several times a year. I do have two now, but the Makala has been relegated to PR and the beach. The other, the Mainland, goes back and forth with me. So for now, I just can't see leaving a nice uke in either place while I am not there. Iowa winters are dry, with the cold weather and the furnace running all the time, and the place in PR is close enough to the ocean that the salt air causes havoc on things. So in the case of ukuleles, it is circumstances that help me avoid UAS. Neither is a good place to leave a ukulele unattended for months. It also helps me not accumulate gizmos, gadgets, and a lot of books, as I need to be able to travel light.

Olarte
06-23-2015, 03:50 AM
Where did you get these strings? I would love to give them a try!

Their site is not easy to find, and I believe the strings are also available form Mainland Ukes but I rather buy from the source since it's a family business...

http://thegcs.co/ukulele-1/ (http://thegcs.co/ukulele-1/)

k0k0peli
06-23-2015, 03:59 AM
It also helps me not accumulate gizmos, gadgets, and a lot of books, as I need to be able to travel light. Travel is wonderful. Travel also requires that we leave most toys behind. For toys and tools, that's not so bad, but for tech gadgets, it's disastrous, because those go obsolete. Travelers need the smallest and most value-packed gadgets, and the most carefully-chosen toys/tools. I can't schlep around a full set of axes, and an SLR system, and a crate or two of reading materials. But I only live in one place, so I can let that stuff accumulate at home, and select a small subset for journeys. If I had two homes... I don't know. Stuff might conquer me anyway.