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Bao
09-13-2015, 10:01 PM
Just a little whinge

My fellow aussie UU members will agree with me that buying nice ukes or even strings overseas at this time will be so bad :(

I was thinking of buying a baritone ukulele for 460 US but converted to Australian, it became 650!!

My family is telling me to wait until our aussie dollar is better but UAS has gotten me good :(

EDIT: Perhaps searching for aussie builders is a better option like everyone has said. I'm new to the custom game so I've only ever heard of the big ones and bruce wei at this point :S

Hippie Dribble
09-13-2015, 10:13 PM
Yep. It's a nightmare now. Seriously Bao, you could be waiting two or more years. The Aus dollar won't be going up against the greenback anytime soon if what all the economists are saying is correct. The good times are over! Looks like I'm on the laminate train and buying from local shops from here on in, sad as it is. :(

pritch
09-13-2015, 10:14 PM
Yeah, I understand your problem. Things are even worse this side of the Tasman.

There are the two obvious options: wait until the A$ recovers somewhat,
or bite the bullet, buy the baritone, and ease your UAS.

Of course there is also a plan C, you could buy a Maton concert uke. Being made in Australia it would be unaffected by the exchange rate.

Hippie Dribble
09-13-2015, 10:18 PM
Of course there is also a plan C, you could buy a Maton concert uke. Being made in Australia it would be unaffected by the exchange rate.
Fair point. Only problem is they feel and sound like crap. :p

Mivo
09-13-2015, 10:21 PM
On the flip side, it did allow me to purchase an Australian built ukulele at a very lovely price! (At least until customs hit me like a truck!)

Bao
09-13-2015, 10:21 PM
Two or more years?! Boy, what a time we're in :(

I'll probably have to just bite the bullet because the baritone I want will be a custom bruce wei (Like my current custom tenor; which is still going strong and sounding brilliant!) as an early birthday present to myself :cool:

Are those matons that bad? :eek: I figured with their reputation as guitar makers, they'd get at least some compliments haha

Hippie Dribble
09-13-2015, 10:40 PM
Two or more years?! Boy, what a time we're in :(

I'll probably have to just bite the bullet because the baritone I want will be a custom bruce wei (Like my current custom tenor; which is still going strong and sounding brilliant!) as an early birthday present to myself :cool:

Are those matons that bad? :eek: I figured with their reputation as guitar makers, they'd get at least some compliments haha
Yeah, just do it mate. And enjoy the instrument. You can't really put a dollar value on the joy a new ukulele brings anyway.

The Matons? I've played three of their ukes and they are way overbuilt, not very well balanced and have sort of a muted, strangled sound. Overbraced. Tops too thick -Just like a guitar maker trying to build a new uke model as asmall version of their guitars. The sound is lost in translation. They are totally different instruments and one shouldn't apply those blueprints from guitars to ukes. That said, I have heard their ukes complimented by several folks. I haven't been impressed by the three I've played though.

But their guitars? Oh man, how good are they. I played live for 15 odd years and only ever owned two guitars. Yep, both Matons. Glorious things!

Andy Chen
09-13-2015, 11:17 PM
Buy a Barron River then! Direct from Cairns :)

Jerwin
09-13-2015, 11:27 PM
Just a little whinge

My fellow aussie UU members will agree with me that buying nice ukes or even strings overseas at this time will be so bad :(

I was thinking of buying a baritone ukulele for 460 US but converted to Australian, it became 650!!

My family is telling me to wait until our aussie dollar is better but UAS has gotten me good :(

Similar problems when u import ukes to Europe... So many fees and taxes pushes the price to different level.

Mivo
09-13-2015, 11:36 PM
Similar problems when u import ukes to Europe... So many fees and taxes pushes the price to different level.

Yep, importing a ukulele to Germany from non-EU countries adds 22% of the value (19% VAT, 3% import tax for instruments), before shipping and other fees (e.g. what the post service takes for collecting the customs fees). Insurance and shipping from Australia to Germany also added another €130-ish, if I recall correctly. It is probably the same in most EU countries, though some have even higher VAT values (something like 25% in some countries).

chefuke
09-14-2015, 12:05 AM
Kapono or Captain from NZ are both worth considering.

anthonyg
09-14-2015, 12:25 AM
Yeah, just do it mate. And enjoy the instrument. You can't really put a dollar value on the joy a new ukulele brings anyway.

The Matons? I've played three of their ukes and they are way overbuilt, not very well balanced and have sort of a muted, strangled sound. Overbraced. Tops too thick -Just like a guitar maker trying to build a new uke model as asmall version of their guitars. The sound is lost in translation. They are totally different instruments and one shouldn't apply those blueprints from guitars to ukes. That said, I have heard their ukes complimented by several folks. I haven't been impressed by the three I've played though.

But their guitars? Oh man, how good are they. I played live for 15 odd years and only ever owned two guitars. Yep, both Matons. Glorious things!


Matons have improved. I agree that they used to be overbuilt, however I played a new Maton at the end of last year and it was glorious! So light, So alive.

Funny story. I bent the ear of a Maton Sales Rep a year ago or so and I told him that in the ukulele world the expert opinion of Matons was that they were sweet enough, but overbuilt. Yes, there might be risks in going lighter but thats what exert players wanted.

Well, I'm not sure if I can take credit for it or not but the last Maton I played was light and fantastic.

Maybe don't buy one on line expecting a new one because there could be plenty of old instruments out there but definitely try one in a store if you see one.

And yes, the low aussie dollar sucks. Mind you. Its probably cured my UAS for a while.

Anthony

Tootler
09-14-2015, 01:00 AM
Yep, importing a ukulele to Germany from non-EU countries adds 22% of the value (19% VAT, 3% import tax for instruments), before shipping and other fees (e.g. what the post service takes for collecting the customs fees). Insurance and shipping from Australia to Germany also added another 130-ish, if I recall correctly. It is probably the same in most EU countries, though some have even higher VAT values (something like 25% in some countries).

Same with the UK. With shipping, VAT, import and other fees you end up paying pretty close in pounds to the original dollar price in spite of the being approximately $1.6 just now.

hollisdwyer
09-14-2015, 02:55 AM
I'd second Andy Chen's recommendation of Barron River Ukes, out of Cairns ( http://www.brguitars.com/ ).
Very high quality builds at half of what you'd pay for an equivalent build in the USA.
Scott Wise from Southwest Western Australia also has a great reputation for quality builds ( http://www.wiseukulele.com/ ). These are just two that I have personal experience with.

wayfarer75
09-14-2015, 03:12 AM
I love my Barron River concert. It sounds fabulous. I am fortunate that the Australian dollar fell, it gave me like a 20% discount. I didn't have to pay any extra for customs, just more for international shipping. It sucks for Australians, I know, but hopefully those who sell nice things from Australia to other countries can benefit.

RichM
09-14-2015, 03:37 AM
When I was travelling frequently to Australia a few years ago, the Australian dollar was actually a few cents *higher* than the US dollar. How things have changed (and what bad timing for me!).

hollisdwyer
09-14-2015, 05:49 AM
Rich,
Foot soldiers like us rarely get the timing right. I've seen the Aussie dollar at $1.25 U.S. and I've seen it at 50 cents US. Rarely has it been in my favour but sometimes it is. Last time the exchange rate was in our favour, I brought 3 ukes back to Oz with me.