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Purdy Bear
07-24-2015, 10:16 PM
Apologies if this has been done before, I did search but couldn't find anything specific. I am doing some research into buying the next Uke, as I brought a bit of a duff one from Ebay called a Sun Wolf - no one knows about those. I've heard about some shops on line and there are some music shops local to me but I wondered what shop members recommended to buy from?


The ones I'm tempted to buy from are:

Southern Ukulele Shop - online

Omega Music Shop - online

Duke Ukes - could visit but probably online.


I'm leaning towards the Snail UKS 220 Soprano, but I have a few on the list like the Makala Dolphin with Aquila strings and the Kala Ka S Soprano (has a problem with c cord at one fret what ever that means).

What do you think, is there a big difference where you buy from?

TheBathBird
07-24-2015, 10:35 PM
Hi Purdy Bear, Southern Ukulele and Omega are both excellent and will give you good, honest advice over the phone. I've also bought online from Eagle music in Huddersfield who were also very helpful and offer good customer service. I don't have any first hand experience of Duke of Uke (is that the one you mean?), there's a lot to be said for being able to try before you buy, but if you plan to purchase online I'd definitely go for one of the first 2 on your list. It does make a big difference who you buy from, SUS and Omega both do a basic setup on all the ukes they send out, so you can be pretty confident there won't be any nasty surprises :)

Walker78
07-24-2015, 11:54 PM
Agreed. Both Omega music and Southern uke store are great shops, 100% reliable. Matt at Omega lives and breathes ukuleke, check out their FB page and you'll see what I mean.
I'd drop both shops an email and ask them to recommend a uke based on your requirements, they will certainly put some better strings on it for you if you ask and double check it plays ok before sending

Purdy Bear
07-25-2015, 02:05 AM
Thanks for the advice. I'm definitely getting drawn to the SUS for some reason, not quite sure why. The teacher checked out my Uke today and he says it will be fine to play, it has Aquila strings already. My plan is to learn on this one and then get the more expensive model in a few months if I keep it up, I'm sure I will as I love the resonance and sound of the Uke.

It also means I have more time to do research on the next Ukulele. You never know a weekend down to Bournmouth might happen. :)

jollyboy
07-25-2015, 02:31 AM
Hi Purdy,

If you are going to buy online in the UK I would suggest that you take a look at the Moselele Bambookulele.

Here's a review (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07080pUE58o).

Moselele sell them through eBay - not quite the same experience as buying from a specialist retailer :p ...but they do seem to have a strong commitment to delivering a decent entry-level instrument.

Tootler
07-25-2015, 06:22 AM
+1 for Omega Music. I can back up what's said about Matt having bought a tenor Bruko off him at the first GNUF.

+1 also for Eagle Music. They have a good range of decent ukes and do setup. I've not bought a uke from them but I've bought other instruments and have been to the shop and they are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

I've also found SUS OK but have not dealt with them so much as I live in the North of England. They do have a good range at all prices - the largest range of them all because they specialise in ukuleles whereas the other two also deal in other instruments.

If you are based near London, Purdy Bear then SUS makes sense. It's worth considering having a day out in Bournmouth and visiting them. There's a good train service from Waterloo.

Purdy Bear
07-25-2015, 07:27 AM
Tootler, I'm thinking that too, but to make it a long weekend, as I love that area of the country.

Craig Chee
07-25-2015, 08:22 AM
I've only experienced Southern Uke Store first hand but they did have an incredible selection of ukes from entry level brands all the way to Kanile'a and KoAlohas. Great staff and vibe as well. I'd definitely recommend check them out!

YorkshireLass
07-25-2015, 01:14 PM
+1 for Omega Music. I can back up what's said about Matt having bought a tenor Bruko off him at the first GNUF.

+1 also for Eagle Music. They have a good range of decent ukes and do setup. I've not bought a uke from them but I've bought other instruments and have been to the shop and they are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable.

I've also found SUS OK but have not dealt with them so much as I live in the North of England. They do have a good range at all prices - the largest range of them all because they specialise in ukuleles whereas the other two also deal in other instruments.

If you are based near London, Purdy Bear then SUS makes sense. It's worth considering having a day out in Bournmouth and visiting them. There's a good train service from Waterloo.
+2 for Eagle Music, although not sure what their online service is like as they're local. Great 'in-shop' service when I was there on Tuesday. They made me a coffee, showed me to the uke room, then left me in peace to play my way through their stock. Also answered a few questions I had and gave me a good deal on the other bits n bobs I bought. They're the top performing dealer of Deering banjos too.

Tootler
07-25-2015, 07:25 PM
+2 for Eagle Music, although not sure what their online service is like as they're local. Great 'in-shop' service when I was there on Tuesday. They made me a coffee, showed me to the uke room, then left me in peace to play my way through their stock. Also answered a few questions I had and gave me a good deal on the other bits n bobs I bought. They're the top performing dealer of Deering banjos too.

On line service is good. I've bought a couple of items from them and they were very prompt with despatch same day or next day at the latest.

TheBathBird
07-25-2015, 10:11 PM
On line service is good. I've bought a couple of items from them and they were very prompt with despatch same day or next day at the latest.

That's my experience too. And a couple of years ago I received a uke from them that turned out to have an almost invisible crack (not their fault, just one of those things), they let me keep it until their new stock came in, and then sent out a courier with a replacement who picked up the faulty one at the same time. Really helpful people and excellent communication.

Tootler
07-26-2015, 01:38 AM
Tootler, I'm thinking that too, but to make it a long weekend, as I love that area of the country.

Good idea. It's an attractive part of the country with plenty of interesting places to visit. My father and sister live in Hampshire (near Hythe) so I sometimes get over into Dorset when I visit them.


I've only experienced Southern Uke Store first hand but they did have an incredible selection of ukes from entry level brands all the way to Kanile'a and KoAlohas. Great staff and vibe as well. I'd definitely recommend check them out!

Now there's as good a recommendation as you'll get.

Uk3player78
07-26-2015, 03:17 PM
I'll throw in a recommendation for Normans.

I got a Tenor from them, nothing expensive but it had a small piece of binding missing inside. I emailed them and they sent up a replacement where the courier just swapped them over so i wasn't tenorless. :) They deliver fast, texts from courier too!

Also check out Ebony & Ivory. I got a Makala Waterman from them... Not my cup of tea at a all so it's going back. They sell Makala Dolphins and The Makala MK-S which i would highly recommend with Aquilas fitted! They trade on eBay mainly but have a web site.

wayward
07-27-2015, 04:58 AM
Southern Ukulele Store gets my vote: they are the shop with the largest selection of ukuleles in Europe; the staff are knowledgeable, helpful and friendly (they have "gone the extra mile" for me on more than one occasion); they do a lot for the local community (providing free workshops with international artists for customers, helping with charity events etc etc). Fab place and people :music:

maryagn3s
07-27-2015, 09:37 AM
I don't think you could go wrong with SUS (Southern Ukulele Store), Omega or Eagle Music.

SUS have been around perhaps the longest... they also deal in a lot of the higher-end and K-brand ukes that don't come to other shops.

EAGLE are the main place in the UK to go for Mainland Ukes (ukes that many of us know and love). They are worth a look in for that. They are also based in Huddersfield (which is where I put on my festival - GNUF) so I've had lots of dealing with them. Lovely folks.

OMEGA are kinda the newest of the three (in terms of the uke scene) but everyone here is absolutely right... they are massive uke fans, they are passionate about music and they are a solid business.

If you can take a trip to the seaside then a visit to SUS would be great. Craig saw them because they host in-store performances by all the overseas artists we bring in for our festivals. If I'm honest, every one of the GNUF touring folks who've visited SUS have had nice things to say.


I know that's not unique info but just another set of opinions to add to the mix. :)
mx

Mivo
07-27-2015, 10:57 PM
Do any of the UK online stores perform setups? I had a heck of a time finding a German seller that does (still only know of one), and had unsuccessfully looked across the channel for potential stores as well (that was a while ago, though). Not haunted by UAS at the moment, but ... just for future reference. ;)

autojoy
07-28-2015, 01:07 AM
@Mivo Omega Music, Eagle Music and Courtney & Walker state they do provide set-ups and this is included in the overall price. I actually can't find on the site whether Southern Ukulele provides set-up, but given the feedback and care they have as a shop I'd not imagine they'd send out a bad instrument at all, and if there were any issues I'm sure they'd be fixed! (It might say they *DO* provide set-up, I just can't find it on the site right now!)

Eagle Music has a detailed explanation on their product listings which shows you the kind of thing they do for every instrument. I have not ordered from any of those stores myself, but the feedback from others seems to suggest they are really good at what they do!

Hope that helps!

Christon Abike
07-30-2015, 03:25 AM
You can't go wrong with SUS or Omega. I've had more dealings with Omega and Matt is a fine chap. As for Snail Ukes, I played a few of their sopranos recently and they were a bit "meh". Nothing wrong with them, per se, but just not my thing. For starters, geared tuners on a sop is a big no-no, it throws the balance out big time.

Consider a Bruko, Omega sell them. High quality, all solid, made in Europe and at 125 an absolute bargain. They will last you for a long time. I've had mine for nearly 6 years and it's taken some serious abuse. It sounds better now than ever (check my YT channel out to hear some examples).

Hope that helped.

Hms
08-03-2015, 01:53 AM
If you do go down to SUS, check their events calendar and make sure you go on a Saturday when they have a workshop/performance on. (There is no charge for this! Just let SUS know you are coming as places are limited.)
12 Sep 14.00 to 16.00 they have Del Rey and Adam Franklin doing a workshop and performance.
Even though Del is giving my local group a workshop and performance the week before, I will head down to SUS. Del is too good to miss. Adam who generally plays support to Del when she is in the UK is also a superb blues ukulele player. It is great to watch players of Del and Adams calibre up close and personal, you learn so much more.

Back on subject, Duke of Uke, last time I asked them, a couple of years ago, they did not do set ups as they had no technician on site. Generally their prices seemed higher also.
iirc SUS also include UK shipping in their price.

h

Christon Abike
08-03-2015, 02:52 AM
Top tip. I may have to see what I'm up to that weekend and schedule a visit down there!

wayward
08-03-2015, 04:51 AM
If you do go down to SUS, check their events calendar and make sure you go on a Saturday when they have a workshop/performance on. (There is no charge for this! Just let SUS know you are coming as places are limited.)
12 Sep 14.00 to 16.00 they have Del Rey and Adam Franklin doing a workshop and performance.
Even though Del is giving my local group a workshop and performance the week before, I will head down to SUS. Del is too good to miss. Adam who generally plays support to Del when she is in the UK is also a superb blues ukulele player. It is great to watch players of Del and Adams calibre up close and personal, you learn so much more.



Yes. great idea: I went to Del Rey's workshop at SUS last year and found her to be the best ukulele teacher I've come across. Great workshop!

Purdy Bear
08-27-2015, 12:43 AM
Another shop I've recently heard about is Hogoblins Music shop. They aren't specific to Ukuleles, but do Mandolins and the like, as well as having a Luthier contact. From the looks of it, they have shops rounds the country, the ones nearest to me being London and Canterbury. Has anyone had experiences with these people?

http://www.hobgoblin.com/

TheBathBird
08-27-2015, 03:27 AM
I often pop into the Bristol branch of Hobgoblin, I've always found the staff knowledgable and friendly, and they have a great selection of folk instruments. The range of new ukuleles they stock isn't so good in my opinion, but they do sometimes have something interesting second hand. And in Bristol they always have a few Wunderkammer instruments for sale, made by Liam Kirby (who works part time in the shop), Bazmaz, of "got a ukulele", reviewed one of Liam's sopranos recently and he really liked it. I don't have any personal experience of the other branches, but I'm pretty sure Hobgoblin is still a family business, so imagine they're all fairly similar.

kaizersoza
08-31-2015, 08:41 PM
I have used SUS, Omega and Eagle music, they are all excellent, great after sales service from them all, you can buy from these 3 shops with total confidence

autojoy
09-01-2015, 01:07 AM
I visited SUS the other day! I had a great time. One of the employers spent ages with me figuring out which soprano would be best for my next instrument. I let them know my budget and that I was interested in the Ohana models, and we eventually picked out an Ohana SK 50MG, which I'm spectacularly excited about purchasing in a coupla months' time (it's gonna be a christmas present!)

Before I picked, I was struggling between the 50MG and the 35G, and the employer suggested it was sometimes hard to hear the exact sound when you're playing, and we tried a "blind test", where I stood with my back to him as he played each soprano in turn. I then knew the 50MG was the one I wanted. It was a really fun thing to do! I bothered him to let me see the SK 50WG as well, which wasn't on display, and we spent a while figuring out the difference in sound between the MG and the WG, and discussing laminates, solid tops, solids, gloss finishes, tuners, everything!

I'm glad I had such a great time there and I'm really excited & happy about purchasing an instrument from them soon :)

OmegaMatt
09-01-2015, 11:29 PM
Thanks to those who have given the thumbs up to Omega Music in this thread. Now, obviously I am going to back my business in a discussion like this - everything goes through the workshop, everything free shipping, real-time stock info on the website and usually same-day dispatch (using 24hr Fedex)...

However, if we haven't got it (and our ranges tend to stop where the Hawaiian brands begin), I know that the guys at Southern Ukulele Store do a good job. If I run out of something, or can't get an item for a regular customer, I would usually point people in that direction.

jollyboy
09-15-2015, 03:48 AM
I felt the need to add my votes for both Southern Ukulele Store and Omega Music. I have bought instruments from both of them online now and would recommend either one without hesitation.

I have found them both to be very helpful and pleasant to deal with (via email and telephone), and have received well set-up instruments on each occasion. They both also deliver very promptly.

Rodney.
09-22-2015, 09:54 PM
There's also Highly Strung (.co.uk). Nice people, bought my first ever Dolphin from them (gift for a family-member), it came with some nut-work done, action and intonation was great.

bazmaz
10-02-2015, 04:28 AM
I've bought lots from most UK shops so happy to chip in with my experiences.

Southern Ukulele Store and Omega are the top options - comparable on price and service - just superb the pair of them.

Others i would recommend

Eagle - small selection, but the only UK dealer for Mainland - run by real musicians who know what they are talking about.

Highly Strung - online only now - but great choice at the cheaper end. Nigel who runs it will look after you.

Forsyths - in Manchester - venerable old music store - small selection, but some great stuff.

Other UK stores I have shopped at and I will comment on for completeness

Duke Of Uke - I think they are too expensive and their online stock system is pretty lacking (telephone before you buy)
Hobgoblin - Small ranges and some questionable quality on their own brand stuff (which they push hard)
Dawsons - avoid like the plague.

There may be others, but generally Just stick to the first couple.

One Man And His Uke
10-06-2015, 05:19 AM
Has anyone mentioned The Music Room in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire? No? Ok, The Music Room in Cleckheaton :). Good selection of ukes and friendly helpful staff.