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View Full Version : Sell my sinker redwood Ohana concert for a tenor uke?



mikelz777
06-26-2015, 10:56 AM
I currently own two ukes, a laminate Lanikai LU-21C concert and an all-solid wood Ohana CK-42R concert (limited edition sinker redwood/rosewood) Without going into all the details, buying more ukes is not an option for me so I've resigned myself to being a two uke guy and that's perfectly fine. (Really!!) Then I started thinking, if I'm going to be only a two uke guy, does it make sense to have two concerts? Isn't variety the spice of life? I'm not interested in a soprano but maybe it would be nice to have a concert and a tenor. Since spending much money on a different uke isn't really an option either, I'd have to cover all or most of the cost of a new tenor with what I could get for one of my current ukes. Since I wouldn't get much or anything for my Lanikai, selling the Ohana would be my only option.

Admittedly, I would be pretty excited at the prospect of getting a new tenor. I popped into a Guitar Center to try out the only tenor uke available to see if I would like the sound and the size. I liked the feel and the sound of it though it was hard to play since the action was so high. You'd need vice-grips to get a decent sounding Bb or barre chord with the action that high. I may seek out another store to give a tenor another test drive (though I'd probably buy online) but I'm already pretty much convinced I'd really like a tenor.

So what are your thoughts and opinions? Should I sell my sinker redwood Ohana concert in order to get a tenor? (My Lanikai was my first uke so I have a sentimental attachment to it plus I still love it and think it sounds great!) If you were a two uke person, would you want two different sizes or would you keep two of the same size? If you play both, which size do you prefer? I also had some tenor questions. If you play both a concert and a tenor, do you notice any difference in string tension between the two? Is it harder to play a tenor than it is a concert as far as force needed to push down on the strings? What are some good values in tenors out there either all-solid or a laminate with a solid top? I was kind of looking at a red cedar or mango Mainland or possibly a Pono but I'd still be wide open on possible choices. Still trying to weigh my options and figure things out...

Ukejenny
06-26-2015, 11:45 AM
It depends on how much you love the concert size. For me, concert scale is my sweet spot, and I have no need or want for a tenor. My husband now has the tenor I started on. I have two concerts I really like. If I really wanted a tenor, I'd be willing to sell one. But, as it is, I don't want a tenor, so I won't be selling my concerts. How much do you want a tenor? That answer should help you decide. I have a cedar/rosewood Ohana concert and I love it. Love it!

Nickie
06-26-2015, 11:51 AM
This is a very interesting dilemma you have here. I think you are gonna answer your own question. Maybe you just need us to "listen" and enable you. I have 3 concert ukes, and have no desire whatever to try a different size, but that is a very personal thing. Do you like the sound/feel/look of a tenor more than a concert?
I think you might want to play more tenors. Are the people around you who would let you strum a few bars on theirs? I thought I hated all tenor ukes until I strummed my friend's Sailor tenor. I was stunned by how much I liked it. The only reason, and I mean ONLY reason I didn't buy one like it was money....
Since you are only limited to two ukes, you wanna make da-- sure that you take your time and choose well, or you might waste time and money.
I'm sure more and better replies are soon to follow.
Good luck!

Ukulele Eddie
06-26-2015, 11:56 AM
Maybe I'm reading too much into your post, but it doesn't seem like you've really bonded with the Ohana. If that's the case, then sell it -- it will likely be somebody else's dream uke.

The other thing I'd say is often local music shops will allow you to rent something for 3 months for 25% of the purchase price. Often there is a limit, like only on instruments priced $500 or lower. So, you can rent a tenor uke for a few months and really test it out. The beauty is if you do bond with it, you can apply the rental to the purchase. If you don't, you turn it in and you're done. Just an idea to consider...

vanflynn
06-26-2015, 12:48 PM
I like the concert size, it seems to be the right size for me. I bought a Ohana TK-20 to try out the tenor and found out 2 things: I like high G tuning and tenor is a bit too big. Please note that I don't do much note picking, more chording.

As far as trying ukes, are you close to Willie's in St Paul?

Hippie Dribble
06-26-2015, 01:05 PM
Higher string tension on a tenor, but given a decent set up the force required to make clean fretting shouldn't be an issue at all.

Like Eddie, reading your post makes me think you're sorta already well on the way to having decided mate. Jump in, I'm sure the water's fine. Thing is, until you try one out you'll forever be curious so go for it! Sentiment matters so let go of the one you're not attached to. If you find you change your mind down the stream, so be it, you can always grab another concert.

"I've resigned myself to being a two uke guy".... hmmmm, let me take my valium and ponder that awhile.

Fleacia
06-26-2015, 04:43 PM
Higher string tension on a tenor, but given a decent set up the force required to make clean fretting shouldn't be an issue at all.

Like Eddie, reading your post makes me think you're sorta already well on the way to having decided mate. Jump in, I'm sure the water's fine. Thing is, until you try one out you'll forever be curious so go for it! Sentiment matters so let go of the one you're not attached to. If you find you change your mind down the stream, so be it, you can always grab another concert.

"I've resigned myself to being a two uke guy".... hmmmm, let me take my valium and ponder that awhile.

Agree on the higher string tension and also that it's not an issue when the uke is set up well.

However, there's more to playing a tenor than tension, though it is a factor. Some others are scale length and holding the uke. If you can play that tenor again, figure out whether you like those things - the scale length and holding position.

I play concert and tenor and though I don't hold them exactly the same way, I enjoy both. And I have one of each and it's going to stay that way. :)

I like the resonance of the tenor and how it responds to low G tuning. It has a fuller sound, could be louder too, but "ain't necessarily so..." :o It's a different sound from the concert in general. I like both for what each brings to the table.

mikelz777
06-26-2015, 05:22 PM
I appreciate the thoughts and good advice so far.

My thoughts on the Ohana- It's a beautiful uke, I love it's looks and it sounds great. I have no knocks against it and I'd be perfectly happy if I decided to keep it but I wouldn't say that it's untouchable if I decided that I'd like the variety of owning a concert and a tenor. I've never played a soprano but I already know that I wouldn't like one because sometimes my fingers feel a bit smashed on the concert scale so I know I wouldn't want a fret board smaller than what's on a concert. I think I'd like the tiny bit of extra room on the tenor scale.

I think it was good advice to try and test play more tenor uke. I am close enough to Willie's to check it out but I have a couple of other options that would be closer. Neither of those other options would have something I'd consider buying but I'd be playing them just to test out the size. I only played the tenor in the Guitar Center for about 10 minutes but it left a good impression. It felt comfortable and really didn't feel that much bigger than a concert. Putting in some more playing time would help me decide if I really wanted a tenor more than keeping two concerts. I like the idea of having the variety of a slightly lower register available to me. I'll probably have to bring my song book into the store and play through a bunch of songs. Nickie makes a good point, "Since you are only limited to two ukes, you wanna make da-- sure that you take your time and choose well, or you might waste time and money." If I let that Ohana go, I'm not going to find another one. It's a limited edition and I had a heck of a time getting it. No retailers anywhere had it so I had to work behind the scenes a bit to acquire it. (I think I waited around 9 months before I finally got it.) I guess it would be kind of a drag to give it up and then find out I favored concert over a tenor. Then again, a nice tenor might make me forget all that. What a teeter-totter this is! Decisions, decisions...

andylama
06-26-2015, 09:18 PM
My 2 cents:

Sentimentality be damned--keep the Ohana and trade the Lanikai for a tenor.
I'm going to guess that your Ohana is a slightly finer (even prettier?) instrument than the Lanikai. Lanikai's are nice enough, but I never met one that truly excited me.
And for me (a big guy with big hands), tenor > concert.
I own two Ohana tenors (a 6 string and an 8 string, both with solid spruce tops and solid mahogany bodies), and I love them both. They were only $300 each, which I think is a great price for the nice quality and pleasing chime-like sound.
Of the 'cheap Chinese made' brands, Ohana gives you a lot of bang for the buck (except for the lowest-end models, which are no better than the cheapest Lanikai, Kala, etc.)

The tenor size is my favorite. Easiest to handle, richer sound.

Mattyukaholic
06-27-2015, 01:43 AM
I find string tension on a tenor not quite right for me when tuned GCEA. It's not the soreness on my fingers etc, I just find the instrument doesn't resonate as well, or perhaps looses the low-end. So I tune my tenors in Bb (FBbDG) (in fact I tune one of my concerts that way too). I find it more comfortable and I think it has a better sound for it. When I'm playing in a group if I really want to use that ukulele I just throw a capo on.

Trying out lower tunings really opened up a whole world to me. I thought I didn't like tenors but I really do now.

mikelz777
06-27-2015, 04:44 AM
My 2 cents:

Sentimentality be damned--keep the Ohana and trade the Lanikai for a tenor.
I'm going to guess that your Ohana is a slightly finer (even prettier?) instrument than the Lanikai. Lanikai's are nice enough, but I never met one that truly excited me.


The Ohana is a finer instrument than the Lanikai and most definitely prettier. The Lanikai is their plain, entry level concert often advertised as mahogany but it's an all nato wood laminate. The Ohana has a solid sinker redwood top, solid rosewood back and sides with contrasting maple binding and rope purfling. (The top on mine is a bit lighter and more contrasting than the one in the picture and the tuning peg heads have cream colored buttons on them which match the maple binding.)

Lanikai pics: http://www.amazon.com/Lanikai-LU-21C-Concert-Ukulele/dp/B001EOXCOW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435413840&sr=8-1&keywords=lanikai+lu+21c&pebp=1435413840966&perid=0YS2RDA5D8HKJDVTW022
Ohana pics: http://www.ohana-music.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29887

I bought the Lanikai as part of a package deal (uke, canvas hard case, tuner, cloth) for around $100 delivered and then paid to have the action lowered at a local instrument shop. It would be a tough sell because there wouldn't be much interest and if I found a buyer, I wouldn't get much for it. I don't think I could get a tenor I'd be happy with with what I'd get for the Lanikai. The Ohana would be worth significantly more.

Sentimentality isn't all the Lanikai has going for it. It plays like a breeze. The action is nice and low and there is no buzzing so I really love the feel when I play it. You wouldn't mistake it for a Koaloha but despite being a low end uke, I still think it has a nice sound.

mikelz777
06-29-2015, 12:38 PM
My last post got me to thinking about and comparing the ukes that I currently have. If I wanted funds for a new tenor, I could get a lot more money selling the Ohana CK-42R than I could with the Lanikai LU-21C but then I'd be selling the better quality uke and I'd be left with a much lesser looking starter uke. Hmmmm... do I really want to do that?

So which one sounds better? I started playing them side by side. I'd play a song with one and then play the same song with the other. Then I'd play passages with one and then the other. I like the sound of both. There's not a night and day difference in the quality of sound between the two so I had to listen more for nuances. The Ohana is definitely louder and brighter sounding. The Lanikai is softer and a bit more muted, kind of a warmer sound. Because the Lanikai is a bit softer and muted, I found it is more forgiving. I could be lazy and play with a bit more sloppy and slushy chording and I was less likely to hear it. Because the Ohana is brighter, if I played with sloppy and slushy chording, I could hear it more. In the looks department, the Ohana wins hands down. In the sound department, it's kind of an apples and oranges thing. I'm going to have to play them side by side some more. I think the Ohana has a cleaner sound and the Lanikai is a bit duller and muted but not muddy or bad sounding.

I'm still interested in a tenor and still need to sit down and play one somewhere and somehow to get a feel for it and draw some comparisons with playing a concert. If I'm still interested after that, I may have to re-think about how I would get one and end up with only 2 ukes...

UkerDanno
06-29-2015, 01:13 PM
keep them both (that Ohana is too beautiful to sell, you'll be sorry), save up for an entry tenor to see if you like it. Tenors have a longer reach for chords, I find my self leaning toward sopranos more and more, just because they are "faster"...

'course there's nothing wrong with having your Lanikai grab and go and a really nice Ohana! I have 2 concerts, one handy on the wall and once in it's case with a humidifier.

k0k0peli
06-29-2015, 02:36 PM
My blatherings: I now own a pile of ukes. The sopranos are a bit small for my big hands so I have those strung so that doesn't matter too much. Two (Varsity banjo-uke and basic Kohala) are in open tunings and two (another basic Kohala and Ohana) are in fifths for comfortable use of mando chord forms -- the soprano necks are a bit wider than mandos. My tenors are 4- (Alvarez RU22T), 6- (Kala KA6), 8- (Oscar Schmidt OU28T) and 10-strings (Martin tiple), all tuned standard. They all feel right in my hands, and all have very different voices. My one concert does not look much smaller than a tenor but its body is obviously more compact -- the tenors all have deeper, richer voices. The concert's fingerboard is comfortably larger than a soprano's but first-position Db and Gb chords are still clumsy. As a concert compares to a tenor, so a tenor compares to a baritone, but my bari just doesn't seem as uke-like.

My suggestions:

* The cheap way to get another instrument is to re-string your Lanikai for a completely different tuning and playing experience. Try tuning in 5ths if you have any mando experience.
* If your Ohana is unique and your Lanikai plays like a charm, keep them both and save up for a tenor, as suggested.
* For a *really* different voice, get a 6- or 8-string tenor. My Kala's street price is a bit over US$200; the Schmidt was US$92 on eBay, a little less than my Alvarez.
* If you are adventurous and not too fuddle-fingered, you might think about building your own tenor from a kit.
* If budget is a total killer, there's always air-uke. :)

Fleacia
06-29-2015, 02:51 PM
My thoughts are with you - been there, made my decisions, several times. It's not easy.

I like your description of the Lanikai vs. Ohana sound. I've found Lanikais to be overbuilt. They're also all laminate as you know, at least the LU21C is, but I'm not saying that's the only culprit of the muffled sound. A uke you can hear well is always better than one you can't. Good for you for noticing that.

Keep us posted :o As I said, been there... I have one concert and one tenor myself. I like both, but if I had to part with one, it would be the tenor. Not for any reason of sound or aesthetics, but simply because the concert is a little more comfortable to hold and play for longer periods. You may come to a different conclusion. Whatever you play, it will be in your hands, so comfort is important.

vanflynn
06-29-2015, 03:01 PM
Three things to consider:

Why a Tenor? Is there an aspect of it that makes you want one? You can try low G on a concert. $5 of strings will let you test that out.

IMHO it sounds like the Lanikai is worth more than you could ever sell it for.

Any used tenors in your area?

SteveZ
06-29-2015, 03:02 PM
Another suggestion: Just watch the UU ads. Someone is always wanting to trade X for Y. Some of the best deals are trades where both win. Which uke gets traded depends on the value of the other one. So, just see if you get lucky.

Steedy
06-29-2015, 04:35 PM
Keep the Ohana! Sometimes "you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone", and that CK-42R is too good to let get away! I own a CK-42R and it is top notch in every way. One of the best bang-for-the-buck ukes out there. The build quality and appearance is gorgeous and that sinker redwood sound is amazing! Definitely keep the Ohana, sell the Lanikai, and save up until you have enough for another uke.

mikelz777
06-29-2015, 07:19 PM
Thanks again to everyone for their thoughts and advice. After this comparison thing I have a much better understanding of why people have multiple ukes!

Some responses:

Why a tenor? I like the concert scale and I'm certain I couldn't comfortably play anything smaller than that. I don't really have problems with the concert but there are times when I think that it would be nice to have a smidge more room on the frets because some chord forms are a bit smashed and hard to hit cleanly. I also like the idea of having the variety of a slightly lower voice and slightly fuller sound available without having to go into alternate tunings. Also, for whatever reason, it just seems right to me that if I'm only going to have two ukes, that they should be different sizes. I'll have to bring my song book into a music store and sit and play a tenor for a while to see if that's what I'm looking for as far as sound, feel and size. If not, maybe alternate tunings on one of my concerts will work as was suggested.

I agree that the Lanikai is worth more than what I could sell it for. That's one reason that's making this decision so difficult.

The more I look at it, the more I'm thinking that if I let the Ohana go, I'd regret it. It's a beautiful and lovely sounding uke.

This is where I'm at. You know when you've shared your life with someone for so long (in my case, married 20+ years) you know exactly how they will react to something? And do you know what it's like when you are totally free to do something if you choose but it's not always wise to exercise that option? Ukulele 1 (the Lanikai) barely registered on the "care scale". My wife knew I could sing and that I dinked around on the guitar (long since abandoned) for years. I told her I was really curious about the uke and that it didn't cost much so it was a non-issue. When I floated the idea that I wanted ukulele 2 (the Ohana) I got a serious eye roll, a discouraging remark and a somewhat begrudging acceptance after I reasoned that I really enjoyed playing the uke (which she knew and could see) and that I wanted a quality, solid wood instrument. I know for CERTAIN that a 3rd uke would not fly. My wife would argue that the money would be much better spent on X,Y or Z. (And she'd be right. I'd agree with her and that's actually all right with me.) If I really wanted to I could spring for a 3rd uke but I know it wouldn't be worth it in the long run. Every time I pulled it out or every time she saw the 3 ukes sitting there I'd get little comments or at least this unspoken yet detectable air of disapproval. I'm not gonna rock that boat so a peaceful household with 2 ukes it is! :cool: If a new uke comes in, one of my other ukes has to go. (I'm not going to try and hide one.) Truthfully, if I sold one uke and got another, she might not even notice. The specifics of my ukes are kind of under her radar. If I asked her to describe them she'd probably only be able to come up with, "brown"! :D If I sold the Lanikai and got a Mainland mahogany tenor she really wouldn't know the difference because they look so much alike! I'd have to save a few bucks here and there and/or sell some of my other stuff so the household budget wouldn't take a hit which would most likely be noticed.

The adventure continues! I need to get to a music store somewhere and test drive a tenor to see if that's really a place where I'd like to go. The little bit I played (10 min) on a tenor has me interested. Now I have to go into it with a more discerning and comparative mindset.

uke-garou
06-30-2015, 05:37 PM
Is the guitar worth selling if you still have it?

mikelz777
07-01-2015, 03:02 AM
Is the guitar worth selling if you still have it?

The guitar is nice but it's not "nice". It's not a starter guitar but it's nothing too many people are going to get excited about either. I had it listed on Craigslist as a package bundle including all my guitar related stuff. I only had one bite from someone who was really low balling me. So far the experience has taught me that used guitars are, in large part, a dime a dozen. I need to adjust my expectations and get realistic about what I'm likely to get for it. Instead of asking for what it's worth, I need to ask for what I'm more likely going to get and unfortunately, it's probably going to be a lot less. It's a dust collector now just taking up space so I think I just need to bite the bullet, move it for what I can get for it and take the hit.

If I continue my tenor uke pursuit, it's looking like I should sell the Lanikai and a bunch of my other stuff to finance it. If I continue to pursue the tenor then the next question is, "How much tenor should I buy?". I don't think I'd want just a starter tenor but I wouldn't get anything as nice as a Koaloha either. At the very least it would have to have a solid top.

Steedy
07-01-2015, 07:09 AM
Pono tenors are nice, like their Mahogany Deluxe or Acacia Deluxe models. I have a Pono ATD that just rings like a bell! Kala tenors are pretty sweet too, and a Mainland Tenor will get you an all solid wood uke for around $300 USD. Ah, so many ukes and so little time, and money! :)

mikelz777
07-01-2015, 07:52 AM
A Pono would be my extravagant, "go wild" option, my upper limit and a bit of a stretch. I was looking at the AT, MT or MGT. From the HMS site, they sound wonderful. They have a simple charm to their looks but they're kind of plain. I wonder if HMS ever has blems in any of those models and what kind of discount they would offer for them.

I looked at Mainland ukes too. I wonder if Mainlands and my Ohana are basically the same uke with different brand names and slightly different features. If you look at them, they look very similar.

http://www.ohana-music.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=29887

I was looking at Mainland's red cedar, mahogany or mango. I think I'd be gravitating more toward a warm, mellow and woody sound rather than a loud, bright, or brash sound. (More middle to lower tones than middle to high tones.) How would you rank those woods in tone warmth from most to least?

I haven't really looked into Kalas yet. Any suggestions there?

Fleacia
07-01-2015, 08:10 AM
My experience - others' may vary - is that cedar is bright and loud. Mahogany I know as I have a tenor in hand, is warm and mellow. Mango I haven't played, but when I've heard it, it seemed brighter than mahogany, but not as loud as cedar. Depends on what you're looking for. But if as you said, you want lower, mellow, more resonant, then I would go mahogany.

On the 2 ukes... If a tenor fell into your lap and you didn't have to part with the others for either financial or peace-keeping reasons, would you keep them all?

Ukulele Eddie
07-01-2015, 09:36 AM
My experience - others' may vary - is that cedar is bright and loud. Mahogany I know as I have a tenor in hand, is warm and mellow. Mango I haven't played, but when I've heard it, it seemed brighter than mahogany, but not as loud as cedar. Depends on what you're looking for. But if as you said, you want lower, mellow, more resonant, then I would go mahogany.

While people's ears and preferences do certainly differ, I think cedar being characterized as "bright" would be a less common view. Regardless, it really depends a lot on the build and the specific instrument.

k0k0peli
07-01-2015, 10:08 AM
When I floated the idea that I wanted ukulele 2 (the Ohana) I got a serious eye roll, a discouraging remark and a somewhat begrudging acceptance after I reasoned that I really enjoyed playing the uke (which she knew and could see) and that I wanted a quality, solid wood instrument. I know for CERTAIN that a 3rd uke would not fly. My wife would argue that the money would be much better spent on X,Y or Z.
Sounds like a relationship thang and I don't have a counselor's hat to don. But here's what helped when I went lens-crazy a few years ago: Anything that didn't touch the household budget was fine with my finance director. So, I became a lens dealer on eBay. I bought cameras and lenses, kept the keepers, and sold the rest for enough profit to continue. Cashflow through my PayPal account was my own affair. Seed money for that came from selling some old electronics. I now have more lenses I don't need, a couple instruments that don't really excite me, and more vintage electronics. Selling those will provide funds for yet more mandos and ukes, all totally separate from the household budget. Domestic tranquility is maintained. Whew.

mikelz777
07-01-2015, 11:16 AM
On the 2 ukes... If a tenor fell into your lap and you didn't have to part with the others for either financial or peace-keeping reasons, would you keep them all?

That's an excellent question!

I tend to be a practical person, perhaps at times, overly so. That's kind of what got this whole thing started. I started thinking, "If I only have two ukes, why do I own two of the same size?" I'm thinking that if I'm going to own two of something, one should offer a considerable and more defining difference than the other one. That's what got me thinking of substituting a tenor for one of my concerts.

Now if a tenor fell into my lap, would I keep all three? My initial reaction, if there were no other factors involved, is that it would be kind of cool to keep all three but then the practical me pipes up. When I think about it, I don't really want to own a bunch of ukes even if money weren't a factor. My ear isn't so refined that I need several ukes to cover the spectrum of small differences found in ukes of the same size. My skill certainly doesn't warrant even owning more than one uke. I really dig the look of a lot of ukes I've seen but I don't want to own a bunch because they look cool and I don't feel the need to play a variety of different tone woods. But this is all me. I know a lot of people out there feel differently and that's fine. The practical me could rationalize having a concert and a tenor because they are substantially different. If I had three ukes, I'd feel guilty or wasteful because there's most likely going to be one uke that rarely or barely gets played. Even now with only two, I switch to the other uke more out of guilt and duty to give it more or equal playing time than I do the need and/or desire to play that specific uke for what it has to offer. So if a tenor fell into my lap, I'd still probably let go of one of the concerts.

mikelz777
07-01-2015, 11:37 AM
Sounds like a relationship thang and I don't have a counselor's hat to don. But here's what helped when I went lens-crazy a few years ago: Anything that didn't touch the household budget was fine with my finance director. So, I became a lens dealer on eBay. I bought cameras and lenses, kept the keepers, and sold the rest for enough profit to continue. Cashflow through my PayPal account was my own affair. Seed money for that came from selling some old electronics. I now have more lenses I don't need, a couple instruments that don't really excite me, and more vintage electronics. Selling those will provide funds for yet more mandos and ukes, all totally separate from the household budget. Domestic tranquility is maintained. Whew.

I'm probably painting my wife a bit unfairly with my description. I can totally understand where she's coming from. She's never been bitten by the ukulele bug so she doesn't "get it". She doesn't understand the fun and the joy of playing one. In addition to that, I'm in a transitional period and not as gainfully employed as I could be plus we have two daughters attending college so finances can be tight. Something as trivial and unnecessary as adding **additional** ukes to the ones I already have is a pretty hard sell so her reaction is actually pretty understandable and justified. I get it. :)

Your advice is good though, I do the same thing (buying/selling/PayPal) to finance stuff I want without denting the household budget. If I decide to go for the tenor, I'll be selling some stuff to finance it.

mikelz777
07-02-2015, 07:59 AM
I find string tension on a tenor not quite right for me when tuned GCEA. It's not the soreness on my fingers etc, I just find the instrument doesn't resonate as well, or perhaps looses the low-end. So I tune my tenors in Bb (FBbDG) (in fact I tune one of my concerts that way too). I find it more comfortable and I think it has a better sound for it. When I'm playing in a group if I really want to use that ukulele I just throw a capo on.

Trying out lower tunings really opened up a whole world to me. I thought I didn't like tenors but I really do now.

Trying out lower tunings was a brilliant suggestion! :cool: I was playing both ukes last night, switching back and forth as I described earlier when I remembered your post. For the fun of it, I gave it a go but I only tuned down a half-step. (Gb/B/Eb/Ab) While I really liked what it did to the sound of both ukes, I LOVED what it did to the sound of the Ohana! It gave the Ohana a richer, warmer and fuller sound. It was as if the sinker redwood top was giving off an aural smile! I think I actually prefer the sound of the alternate tuning over the conventional G/C/E/A tuning. I was also kind of surprised that even though I only tuned it down a half-step, that I could feel a slight difference in the feel of the strings as I was fretting chords. The alternate tuning also made it easier to sing a lot of the songs in my song book. When I add a song to my book I'll transpose it to better suit my (limited) vocal range. Even then, a good number of songs are a little high or have certain passages where I'm straining to hit the highs. The lower tunings made them much more comfortable to sing. I'm going to have to play around more with alternate tunings. Since I don't play with anyone right now (I'd like to some day) the alternate tuning isn't an issue.

This may be a dumb question but would you be able to alternate tune a concert to sound like a G/C/E/A tenor? I'm guessing that maybe trying to do so would probably make the strings too slack.

mikelz777
07-08-2015, 03:43 PM
Update: There's been a very interesting development this last weekend! A totally unexpected windfall was tossed into my lap! Now if I decided to go ahead with the tenor I wouldn't have to scrimp, save or sell a bunch of my stuff, I'd be able to buy it outright! It wouldn't be anything in the realm of a Koaloha but it will allow me to get a better uke than what I was initially expecting to consider. I'm already getting ahead of myself and looking into a Cordoba 30T, Pono MT, Pono MTD, Pono AT or Pono ATD. I plan on getting to the music store tomorrow or Friday to test out tenors to see if a tenor size would be something I'd want and enjoy enough to warrant spending the funds. If I were a betting man I'd say that the odds are pretty good that a new tenor will be coming my way! :cool: :D

Re: the sinker redwood Ohana. I'm really digging the sound tuned a half-step down from GCEA. If you've never considered or tried alternate tunings you should give it a try. I've made up my mind that I can't give up this uke. It's a beauty to the eye and ear and I know I'd regret parting with it so I have to keep it. If I end up getting the tenor, the Lanikai would have to go...

mikelz777
07-09-2015, 10:54 AM
I went to the music store today armed with my song book and a tuner. I sampled various tenors for about an hour. I was actually surprised and impressed with the number of ukes they had there, easily 3-4 dozen or more. Anyway, the bottom line is:

-tenor yet to be named = in!
-my current Ohana = in!
-my current Lanikai = is going to need a new home

Anyone in the Mpls./St. Paul metro area looking for a nice deal on a Lanikai/case/tuner/cleaning cloth? :cool:
It has no issues, has low action and plays like a breeze! I've been playing it for 3 years and still love it. It would be great for a beginner too!

My journey continues here:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?108669-Mahogany-tenors-Cordoba-30T-or-Pono-MT

Steedy
07-09-2015, 04:07 PM
Sounds like a good plan! :cool:

Cthulhu
07-10-2015, 05:31 PM
Glad you kept the Ohana - I have the tenor version with the sinker redwood top and it is far better than it deserves to be. I keep trying to justify another tenor, but I can't quite bring myself to do it. Mind you, I'm notorious for buying/selling/buying, so I don't know what I'm going to tell my wife to justify another purchase.

The Ohana is a keeper.

Tootler
07-10-2015, 08:22 PM
I don't know what I'm going to tell my wife to justify another purchase.


My wife just raises her eyebrows and gives me that "What do you want another for?" expression. :)

I have my tenors tuned DGBE (high D) It makes a nice contrast to the brighter tone of the smaller instruments.

mikelz777
07-11-2015, 05:00 AM
Glad you kept the Ohana - I have the tenor version with the sinker redwood top and it is far better than it deserves to be. I keep trying to justify another tenor, but I can't quite bring myself to do it. Mind you, I'm notorious for buying/selling/buying, so I don't know what I'm going to tell my wife to justify another purchase.

The Ohana is a keeper.

It is indeed! I think I was temporarily blinded by thoughts of a new tenor and the prospect of paying for all or most of it with what I could have potentially sold the Ohana for. I'm glad I came around, the Ohana has so much going for it. I'm fascinated by and really love the whole story of how sinker redwood came about and how it was salvaged. I also really liked the idea that the top of my uke was made out of old-growth wood, possibly harvested in the 1800's! Here are two interesting articles which hooked me and set me off in pursuit of a sinker redwood Ohana.

http://www.redwoodsalvagesales.com/the-salvage-story.htm
http://lichtyguitars.com/2010/06/26/what-is-sinker-redwood-2/

Besides that cool story is the story of what I had to go through to even acquire one. I was late into this model's game and since this was a limited edition, there wasn't one to be had anywhere. I was searching everywhere on the internet and even had a hopeful, long-term lead which never panned out. My last ditch effort finally paid off. I think from the time I started actively looking for the Ohana until the time I actually got it was almost a year. Even then, it only happened because I found someone with a special connection. A little mix up with the tuners lead to a situation that left me with a truly unique looking head. I bet I'm the only one who has one like it.

Of course it's a beautiful looking uke and it sounds great. I'm falling in love with it again after tuning it down a half-step. (Gb/B/Eb/Ab) When I hear it, it's almost like the Ohana is saying, "Yes! This is what I've been waiting for!" I'm loving how it resonates in response to the alternate tuning.

Cthulhu
07-11-2015, 06:23 AM
Funny you should bring up how you found your Ohana. I found the tenor on Elderly's website. I was looking at the tenor guitars, and I saw the Ohana mixed in with the other "tenor" instruments instead of in the uke section and I snapped it up before anyone else would notice it. Good karma perhaps!