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bman40
08-11-2015, 08:58 AM
Following all the great reviews and comments on Mike's Mainland Cedar ukes, I received two Mainland Cedar ukuleles yesterday:

A Concert with MOP silver tuners for my wife and a Tenor with the Amber / orange siler tuners for my brother-in-law.

Packaging was solid, and both arrived in perfect shape. There is a tiny ding / flaw in the finish of the top of the tenor, but I am sure to add a few more in short order so its a 'whatever' kind of thing.

First thought on unboxing was: "Wow! Pretty instruments". The combination of cedar and rosewood, with the mahogany binding and the rope purfling is outstanding. I looked at a Kala Cedar / acacia uke last week, and the cedar was almost pink,and not nearly as nice as the Mainland top wood. I wish I had some photos to post, but there have been lots of reviews, so I think msot folks know what hey look like.

I got them home, tuned up and spent an hour playing. My brother in law will be getting a Home Depot gift card this year - I am keeping the tenor for myself! What a terrific playing and great sounding instrument.

My wife was not home so I switched her entry-level laminate Kala soprano out of her bag and dropped in the Mainland. After dinner, I said "Let's have a glass of wine and play some ukulele...." She opened her bag, picked up the uke, and looked away to pick up the tuner on the table, and then she noticed... :) she was blown away.

We played for over an hour with them, using the stock Aquila strings, and she is so so pleased. We will take these ukes on our road trip next month from Vancouver BC to the Wine Country Uke Festival in St. Helena CA. I wanted to give her a few weeks to get used to the new uke before we leave.

Before bed, I changed the strings on both: I put Worth Browns on the tenor, and Martin fluorcarbons on the Concert. BIG difference in tone - the Concert simply shines with these strings - clear, sweet, shimmery notes. The Worth really improve the tenor as well - its a warm, but still bright, chimey sounding uke.

I got up this morning and tuned them both up, and played afor a little bit with coffee before work. On Day 2 of owning these two lovely ukes, I am thinking the concert might sound the best of the two.

I have a Martin C1K Concert that I bought last year - its a great uke, with a lovely sound, very different as its Koa, but the Mainland Concert just shines.

I have a cheap kala tenor, and the Mainland blows it away. the Kala will be my knock-around backyard uke :)

We are two super happy new Mainlnad Uke owenrs and I can heartily recommend them to anyone looking for a new instrument to add to your collection. Mike at Mainland was responsive and very helpful.

Highmiles
08-11-2015, 12:24 PM
Congratulations, and thanks for the review.

Debby
08-11-2015, 12:38 PM
Wow!! Congratulations!!

deschutestrout
08-11-2015, 12:56 PM
:-) Congrats! I'm a Mainland fan ... now have three. A cedar/rosewood tenor that I picked up as a 2nd directly from Mike, a longneck soprano pineapple (cedar) which is incredible, and my most recent bought on UU, a longneck concert mahogany pineapple. Someday I'll get a cedar concert from Mike. Most excellent value I've found. And, Mike is a great guy! Mainland Ukes, yeah buddy!

And, Worth browns are my string of choice on Mainland cedars. I currently have Worth clears on the mahogany pineapple and they sound good ... but browns will go on next.

Steedy
08-11-2015, 02:09 PM
+1 for Mainland Ukes! I have a Mango Concert and a Cedar Tenor. Mike throws a whale of party every June too! :cool:

Debby
08-11-2015, 02:21 PM
+1 for Mainland Ukes! I have a Mango Concert and a Cedar Tenor. Mike throws a whale of party every June too! :cool:
He sure does!

Fleacia
08-12-2015, 07:26 AM
Thanks for the review! I have a Mainland mahogany concert, and though I'm not a huge mahogany fan in general, this uke itself is great! I don't know what Mike and his peeps do to them, but they're definitely doing something right!

I'm kind of glad to hear you say the red cedar concert sounds best... :o I played a red cedar tenor briefly and liked the sound. But I prefer concert size and hope to have a red cedar concert at some point.

Sorry if this is off topic, but since you have the C1K, and it's my other dream uke... Do you agree with this?

C1K: bright, loud

Mainland red cedar concert: resonant, sustain, loud, has bark/bite/punch/attack that the C1K doesn't have (not better, but different)

How wonderful that your wife plays too and loves the concert! Along with that concert, I dream of a uke-playing spouse/partner! :D

More good news - your brother-in-law doesn't know what he's missing... Mine wants a mandolin, but he's getting a gift card too!

Recstar24
08-12-2015, 07:36 AM
First real uke I had was a red cedar concert which was great. Sold off but recently re picked up red cedar tenor. Which I'm sending back to get a misi installed lol.

My classroom uses mainland hog concerts which have been great!

bman40
08-12-2015, 04:32 PM
Thanks for the review! I have a Mainland mahogany concert, and though I'm not a huge mahogany fan in general, this uke itself is great! I don't know what Mike and his peeps do to them, but they're definitely doing something right!

I'm kind of glad to hear you say the red cedar concert sounds best... :o I played a red cedar tenor briefly and liked the sound. But I prefer concert size and hope to have a red cedar concert at some point.

Sorry if this is off topic, but since you have the C1K, and it's my other dream uke... Do you agree with this?

C1K: bright, loud

Mainland red cedar concert: resonant, sustain, loud, has bark/bite/punch/attack that the C1K doesn't have (not better, but different)

How wonderful that your wife plays too and loves the concert! Along with that concert, I dream of a uke-playing spouse/partner! :D

More good news - your brother-in-law doesn't know what he's missing... Mine wants a mandolin, but he's getting a gift card too!

I think the Martin is a totally different animal. The Koa is much different in tone - its loud (not as loud as the Mainland), but more mellow? I recently put Fremont Blacklines (High G) on it and it sounds lovely. Its a really playable uke- I love the neck on it - its a bit of a flat profile, and the satin finish is terrific. It (the koa wood) also smells great :)

I am very very lucky that my lovely wife has taken to the uke of late. It sat on the bookshelf for a few years, but she has really focussed on it and is doing really well these days. I really must stress just how sweet the Mainland Cedar Concert sounds.... its really amazing.

* I actually just bought a mandolin on-line yesterday....we went to a bluegrass festival last weekend in Washington State, and my interest in the mandolin has been re-sparked.
It should arrive next week... I look forward to a mandolin / ukulele duet with my wife. :)

Fleacia
08-13-2015, 10:45 AM
Thanks for the reply. I agree they are different, and since I'm looking for brighter instead of mellow and can only have one, I will go with the red cedar. Bonus? It's pretty - I love the Mainland rope purfling and the rosewood back/sides on the red cedar ukes! :)

bman40
08-13-2015, 02:51 PM
the Mainlands ukes definiely are pretty and the sound is terrific. we couldnt be happier with these two instruments