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View Full Version : Which are your top two?



SteveZ
08-30-2015, 04:28 AM
For those folk with multiple instruments, do you find yourself reaching more often to one or two of them while the rest get minimal time? It seems to be happening to me more often than I realized until my spouse asked me why I play a couple a lot more than the others. Had to think about it a while as to why. Anyway, here are my top-two time players and why.

1. Lanikai 6-string tenor - I just like the sound. Got it from another UUer. Have it tuned C4-G3-G4-D4-A4-A3 and it's bright and responsive. Also installed a preamp/pickup/tuner (fully chromatic) on it. Had a C3 string on it for a while, but it was too deep compared to the C4 normally on a tenor. I set it up to my feel and it is so smooth to the touch.

2. SideKick BanjoUke tenor - It's just the most convenient of all the banjo-type instruments I have or had. At only 24 ounces it's handy and easy to take anywhere. I still love my Deerings, but even though they sound spectacular, they are a lot heavier and are not spur-of-the-moment centric for me. With the SideKick tuned CGDA (just like the tenor banjo) it fits in well for all banjo numbers and easy to pick and-play when the mood hits. It also received a personal set-up.

The others in the stable are still used, but have become specialty-purpose instruments rather than "buddies" with which to kill spare time and relax when the moment occurs, or when I hear a tune and then want to immediately try to pick it out.

There have been a lot of instruments over time which have been stable-mates, some being in the higher-priced "better quality" category according to some critics. The irony is that neither the Lanikai nor the SideKick can be considered as budget-busters by any stretch of the imagination. Just goes to show that instrument cost doesn't factor high in which gets first nod.

hollisdwyer
08-30-2015, 04:53 AM
I don't think I could narrow it down like that with the collection I have right now. It really depends on my mood. Do I want to play linear or re-entrant, a Soprano or a tenor, a 4 string or a multi-course instrument?
My new commissions are just going to give me more choice on any given day.

Doc_J
08-30-2015, 05:01 AM
Steve, that is a tough question. I tend to cycle through my ukes, playing different ones more often over time, depending on what music I'm playing or learning. But, that being said, lately I find myself most often reaching for my koa Moore Bettah tenor (c tuning linear) & Grimes maple tenor (b tuning linear). I'm still squeezing in some time with my Compass Rose, Beau Hannam, Pegasus, and Makapili today.

DownUpDave
08-30-2015, 05:30 AM
That is a great question and much like Hodge it really depends on the music I am playing. But if I could only keep two I would pick my LfdM strung low G and my Mya Moe strung high G. That way I have both tuning covered. I just recently added a wound 3rd string to the Mya Moe and what a huge difference.

One characteristic about the Mya Moe is lack of big sustain and quick note decay. The wound third solves that and makes a really good re-entrant great. Plugged in the Mya Moe is a superstar.

If I was not interested in keeping a re-entrant I would pick my Webber tenor: spruce/cocobolo low G as number two.

This thread screams out for pictures. My two candidates. ........and back up :p

828798287882877

actadh
08-30-2015, 06:06 AM
My two would be my Martin OXK and my KoAloha Opio.

I am fond of the others and they fill special niches such as the plastic ukes for car/truck/boat/RV's.

But, I would truly miss those two. Playing them is like having a conversation with an old friend. Comfortable, yet they push me out of complacency and shallowness and make me strive to do better.

Buc-a-Roo
08-30-2015, 06:23 AM
I make it a point to play them all in a sitting. If one gets hauled out, they all do........for at least a song or two. I really enjoy listening to the tonal variety and the different feel of each one. If had to pick one for my favorite sound it would hands down be the Wurlitzer 2K - sweet and warm with great sustain. The Gibsons have great bark and presence, the Favilla a wonderful vintage voice with gut strings. The Oscar Schmidt is very mid-rangy with a quick decay and a huge, fat neck......feels terrific in the hand. The Kiwaya is sweet and almost piano-like, while the Collings (the only concert size) fairly roars. Love 'em all, play 'em all......no one gets ignored.

82899

Jacman Rasta Bicycle
08-30-2015, 06:30 AM
1. Stuart Wailing soprano resonator, 2. 20's Harmony soprano.
i play an un-amped eleuke when everyone's off to their slumber chambers.

Ukulele Eddie
08-30-2015, 06:55 AM
Sometimes when I get a new uke it will dominate playing time, but lately I've been spreading the love pretty evenly.

spongeuke
08-30-2015, 07:02 AM
My go to #1 is a 1943 Martin Concert Aquila strings, #2 for a different Soprano sound I go to a modified (Redwood sound board rosewood & maple bridge & nut, and Kala Red strings) 1930s Regal.
In a couple of months I'll complete a double sided Bari & Bass for a 2 in 1 "It's alive" Frankenuke

DownUpDave
08-30-2015, 07:11 AM
Sometimes when I get a new uke it will dominate playing time, but lately I've been spreading the love pretty evenly.

You know what Eddie your answer is more accurate than mine. After reading the question over again it is " which ones do you play the most". I read it as the two best if you could only play two ukes.

My Pono cedar/macassar ebony gets a ton of play because it is my performance uke in the ensemble I play with. When I am learning a new song it will be on the Pono to keep things familiar.

Oh hell I love them all........I can't just pick two only.......this is cruel :wallbash:

sam13
08-30-2015, 07:59 AM
Don't make me choose. Can't do it. I loves 'em, I do me preciouses.

k0k0peli
08-30-2015, 08:14 AM
I see the question as concerning favorites rather than exclusives. I certainly would not discard my other 'uke-like objects (especially the old Martin tiple) but what I reach for the most are my cheap solid-top Harmonia UK201 concert (tuned g-C-E-a) and my string-tweaked Kala KA6 tenor (tuned G-cC-E-Aa). The Harmonia is definitely Hawai'ian-sounding and the Kala is almost a Venezuelan cuatro. I expect to acquire more 'ukes in future (UAS, duh!) so those top-two will shift over time, as they did a couple days ago when I restrung the Kala and promoted it past the overpowering tiple (tuned gG-cCc-eEe-aa). Love forever changes.

Icelander53
08-30-2015, 10:26 AM
Sound wise my best two are Cedar/Ebony tenor Pono in low g and a Opio tenor in low g.

Cfiimei
08-30-2015, 10:45 AM
Right now I guess I have a top four getting about equal play time. I play the solid body I built a lot unplugged, because I can try new things recklessly without it being too embarrassing. Once I work things out on that one I usually try them on the Fluke. My Ohana 8 string sits by "my spot" in the living room and gets a lot of play. I recently picked up my 50's Harmony Baritone and now that my playing has improved I think it sounds much better. Most of the others (and my guitars) aren't getting much play right now. However, my favorite lineup seems to be rather fluid. I probably average about 1.5 hours of play time per day.

Steedy
08-30-2015, 11:11 AM
My #1 uke is a Kanile'a Concert Premium. My other ukes are all a distant second, so I'll have to mull over which one might be #2.

hollisdwyer
08-30-2015, 01:17 PM
That is a great question and much like Hodge it really depends on the music I am playing. But if I could only keep two I would pick my LfdM strung low G and my Mya Moe strung high G. That way I have both tuning covered. I just recently added a wound 3rd string to the Mya Moe and what a huge difference.

One characteristic about the Mya Moe is lack of big sustain and quick note decay. The wound third solves that and makes a really good re-entrant great. Plugged in the Mya Moe is a superstar.

If I was not interested in keeping a re-entrant I would pick my Webber tenor: spruce/cocobolo low G as number two.

This thread screams out for pictures. My two candidates. ........and back up :p

828798287882877
Dave, your mailbox is full, I can't send you a PM.

sukie
08-30-2015, 04:59 PM
#1 is my Moore Bettah.
#2 is my flea.

fretie
08-30-2015, 05:14 PM
Timely thread. I just decided to part with two of my four ukes because my focus is on my custom mango soprano and the tenor uke that I built for myself this summer. So, that makes it real easy to figure out which my top two ukes are!

Mivo
08-30-2015, 05:16 PM
It's not a static thing for me, and I don't really have many different ones. It'd be easy to pick the Barron River tenor, because it's definitely the one with the highest workmanship (by far) and it also cost the most. But, it's a mood thing for me. There are days when I only reach for my Chinese factory soprano, because it resonates best with me. The same is true for my three other ukes. So, can't really pick a favorite -- I enjoy them all, at different times. If I didn't, I'd sell or give away the extras.

Sorry, not a very clear-cut response. :)

gyosh
08-30-2015, 05:19 PM
#1 Compass Rose warm, rich tones
#2 a Uke I built in Rick Turners build class. Bright and punchy might switch to re-entrant tuning soon.

AJ Hill
08-30-2015, 06:18 PM
My best two are my Rob Collins Taropatch and my Deering Goodtime banjo ukulele

kohanmike
08-30-2015, 07:35 PM
I cut down my ukes to four and try to rotate them regularly, but I've been playing so much bass lately, I don't use the ukes often, which I'm trying to remedy. For the basses, since my two acoustics lend themselves to the uke group more, those are my gigging choices, and I practice with the one I'm going to use until the gig is over. The other four basses are just for the fun of it and if we don't have a gig coming up, I rotate them each Monday and Thursday for our play-alongs.

Luke El U
08-30-2015, 08:13 PM
My KoAlohas and my Chinese "Ponos"

kypfer
08-30-2015, 10:05 PM
Currently ... and things will change ... there's a copy of Peter Kennedy's "Fiddler's Tune Book" on the music stand, so, assuming I don't pick up the mandolin, my ukulele of choice will be either of my instruments tuned in 5th's, soprano pineapple or baritone, depending on my mood and the music I'm playing.

For finger-style or clawhammer my first choice is my re-entrant tenor. My re-entrant sopranos and banjolele do get less use these days, the soprano simply because it just feels too cramped and the banjolele can be unsociably loud. The cat objects to it and it's my only stringed instrument my neighbour can hear when I've got the doors and windows closed!

I've got both concert and pineapple soprano tuned "low-G" with Aquila red's. They get used for the occasional tab that's been published in "low-G", but I must admit, one or the other is probably redundant :(

Then there's the four guitars (6-string jumbo, 12-string jumbo, nylon-strung and small-bodied "travel"), an open-backed 5-string banjo, a mandola (like a mandolin but with attitude!) a balalaika and an Appalachian dulcimer. These last two need rather more time spent on them ... maybe when I fully retire ;)

After that ... there's the woodwind section ... do you really want to know ?

Rakelele
08-30-2015, 10:08 PM
I think I would be content with just my Ko'olau CS Sinker Redwood/Milo and my KoAloha Opio Tenor. Both have great clarity, depth, warmth, and sustain, and they are both great allrounders, with the Ko'olau being best for Guitar-like fingerpicking, and the Opio for strumming.

However, I'm glad to own several more nice ukes, and they all get played fairly equally.

Ukejenny
08-31-2015, 04:55 AM
I reach for my Blackbird Clara just about every time.

turtledrum
08-31-2015, 05:53 AM
Right now....the Kamaka all koa Ohta-san that arrived last Wednesday and the Phil Riggio myrtle tenor that arrived in June.....but I grab that Koaloha pineapple lots.

pbagley
08-31-2015, 06:07 AM
Current two favorites would be #1: Mele mahogany concert, and #2 Kamaka gold label soprano. This can change day to day. I probably should sell the RipTide since it gets little love, and perhaps the old Silvertone baritone too. My wife plays the Traveler most of the time, and the Martin gets it's share of attention too. The Dixie sits on the sidelines waiting for the right moment...

katysax
08-31-2015, 06:35 AM
My best two - and favorites for overall sound and feel are a Moore Bettah Tenor and a Luis Feu de Mesquita tenor. Right up there is my Pete Howlett Vita uke copy.

What gets play most is my Clara concert (strung low G) and my Kanilea concert followed by the Pete Howlett Vita, an Ohta San concert and a Mya Moe concert.

The reason is that my hands get tired on the tenor much faster. The Clara is my toss around, throw in the car, go anywhere ukulele. The Kanilea and Ohta San have a little more room on the fretboard in a concert size.

BearMakingNoises
08-31-2015, 06:37 AM
I have two mains.. both Kamaka sopranos. They just sing in such beautiful but different ways.

Hippie Dribble
08-31-2015, 11:52 AM
My favourites (and only two ukes) are my Ono 16" koa concert and my Gerard Guasch maple>koa soprano. Both feel so nice to play and sound beautiful to my ears.

UkerDanno
08-31-2015, 04:23 PM
Easily, my Kanile'a is my favorite sounding and playing uke.
82928
My 30's vintage Martin style 0 is second just for fun and certain songs.
82930
I really need to take a new pic', I put Martin strings on it as soon as I got it and there are no strings ends sticking out! ;-D

The rest are mostly novelty/special interest, which are fun in certain situations or just quick to grab. I could live with just 2 ukes, the Kanile'a and the Martin.

CeeJay
08-31-2015, 04:28 PM
When I get fed up up with the plinky lack of bass I pick up my Ackordeen.....later I may play the guitar a bit.

Andy Chen
08-31-2015, 04:34 PM
1. Kinnard cedar/rosewood tenor: Its tone is just as sweet, buttery and mellow as can be. Totally peerless in my experience.

2. Blackbird Clara: Every time I play it, my jaws drop at its sustain and deep tones coming from such a small body.

Teek
08-31-2015, 06:23 PM
I grab the Pono rosewood and cedar Pro Classic tenor for linear, and whatever is easiest to dig out on the uke closet for re-entrant. Mostly I'm picking up a Larrivee parlor guitar.

wickedwahine11
08-31-2015, 07:22 PM
I only have two ukes, both Moore Bettahs, so they are my two faves. But when I got these two, I sold all of my other ukes, so they would have "won" even back when I had the KoAloha, Kamaka and Kanilea.

k0k0peli
08-31-2015, 07:32 PM
Well, going beyond 'uke-ola, what I'm most likely to reach for are the Keith E Coleman 'Celtic' mandolin and the Ibanez Performance guitar. Unless I'm going strolling in the forest, in which case I reach for my Generation tinwhistle and Hohner Chromonica, both in C. Those are my top two in their realms.

kaizersoza
08-31-2015, 07:45 PM
the 2 ukes i play most are my Pete Howlett marmite cherry tenor and My kala jazz top, which is my gigging uke and work uke

ukeeku
09-01-2015, 03:32 AM
1. David Gill Spruce top Concert pineapple
2. Kanile'a K-1T 8-String

All other ukes just sit.