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View Full Version : Help ! Totally confused what Uke to choose :0



KiwiOz
12-30-2015, 02:35 PM
Hey guys ,

So currently I have Monterey soprano , which I've had for like 5 days and already I'm frustrated - I understand ukulele's need to be tuned a lot when first purchased ( mine needs it every few min ). However I just find the sound is not clear nor loud - im hoping it's not just because of my inexperience?

I have been trying to find reviews online for my next purchase but I'm a little lost at what to purchase next ? I don't want anything to expensive at this stage but this $30 soprano I have now is not cutting it .
The local music shops only stock Mahalo and Lanikai , I think I want to upgrade to a concern size also .

Can anyone recommend a good band ? If I was to choose out of the brands the local shops provide which would be the best ?

SoloRule
12-30-2015, 03:51 PM
It has nothing to do with the size. A $30 uke is simply unplayable!
Ukulele is a musical instrument not a toy. A basic uke is around $150.

natchez
12-30-2015, 04:02 PM
Maybe $150 Canadian, but MIM sells a very nice beginners concert an Ohana CK-10s on her eBay store for $97 US + $10 shipping. I have one for travel and it is a perfectly acceptable laminate beginners instrument. It will never be a great ukulele, but the intonation is good and the action and play-ability just fine for learning. I am confident others will chime in with some alternative budget selections.

KiwiOz
12-30-2015, 04:10 PM
Thanks :)
Yet I figured it wouldn't be the best but wanted to get a slight idea weather I liked playing a uke and for this purpose it did just that , Im ready to spend more im just not sure on what brand to get ???

Lori
12-30-2015, 05:44 PM
I have had good luck with Kala, Ohana, and Mainland. My cheapest uke is a Makala Dolphin bridge. Most really cheap ukes come with awful strings. New strings might help, but if you have cheap tuners that don't hold the pitch, it is just a wall hanger. I have not heard of the Monterey brand.

–Lori

kohanmike
12-30-2015, 07:45 PM
I second the suggestion to buy from Mim, she won't steer you wrong and she sets up every uke she sells. She recommended the Kala I have and it's top notch for $370. That Ohana is a choice, or I'm sure she'll suggest something very good for around that price.

KiwiOz
12-30-2015, 08:23 PM
Thanks :)
Is Mim on EBay ? ( im still old school and don't really buy online lol ). I wonder how expensive it would be for post to Perth Western Australia . Ho would I contact her to dvice on the right Uke for me ?

mds725
12-30-2015, 09:31 PM
This is Mim's website. http://mimsukes.com/

You can contact her through the website, which has her phone number and email address.

DownUpDave
12-30-2015, 10:13 PM
You need to check out Hawaii Music Supply also known as the Ukulelesite. Shipping from Hawaii to Australia might be cheaper. HMS, as they are know by is considered by most to be the best in ths business, Mims is right up along side of them, they are just closer to you. They have a video taped performance of every uke they sell. You can spend days listening to them all.

KiwiOz
12-31-2015, 12:24 AM
You need to check out Hawaii Music Supply also known as the Ukulelesite. Shipping from Hawaii to Australia might be cheaper. HMS, as they are know by is considered by most to be the best in ths business, Mims is right up along side of them, they are just closer to you. They have a video taped performance of every uke they sell. You can spend days listening to them all.


Great ill check them out :) would they recommend a particular brand ?

KiwiOz
12-31-2015, 12:27 AM
So bring the monterey to Suffa (starts again 9 Jan) or to another local Perth group and look at what every one else is using. Often there is a good range to look at and everyone likes to talk about their uke.
Buying ukes into Perth is not as hard or as expensive as it seems. I have imported ukes from the Gold Coast, Mim, Magic Fluke, NZ, Spain, UK, Hawaii. Others have imported from the shops mentioned here on UU and other places.
Often it works out cheaper than buying the same model from a shop in Perth, but not always.
Another suggestion is to join the ukulele perth facebook page and ask if anyone has something better than the Monteray that they want to move on. After Christmas there are bound to be some ukes available. Others have done that before. Ginny the person who is the moderator is easy to get on with.
The advice from all the North Americans is very accurate, but there are some on-line shops in Australia and there are Australian made production ukes like the Matons. There is also Ali Express which I think will offer different conditions to Australian customers than what they see in the USA. Hong Kong and Beijing are in the same time zone as Perth.


Thanks Bill I'll check the facebook page out and thanks for the great advice :)

sculptor
12-31-2015, 06:56 PM
Hey guys ,

So currently I have Monterey soprano , which I've had for like 5 days and already I'm frustrated - I understand ukulele's need to be tuned a lot when first purchased ( mine needs it every few min ). However I just find the sound is not clear nor loud - im hoping it's not just because of my inexperience?

I have been trying to find reviews online for my next purchase but I'm a little lost at what to purchase next ? I don't want anything to expensive at this stage but this $30 soprano I have now is not cutting it .
The local music shops only stock Mahalo and Lanikai , I think I want to upgrade to a concern size also .

Can anyone recommend a good band ? If I was to choose out of the brands the local shops provide which would be the best ?
Those toy ukes go out of tune so fast simply because the friction tuners are simply no good.

Some other people have recommended HMS and Mimi's and so do I but for the reason that they will sell only ukuleles that have been setup properly. There are a lot of necessary adjustments that potentially need to be made to a factory built ukulele. Not doing these can result in a ukulele that is hard to play and sounds bad.

Kala is a decent brand but I recommend Pono (which is more expensive) because even though a Kala is decent it's still a beginners instrument and sooner or later you'll want to replace it. Ponos are good enough that you won't have to replace it.

-- Gary

70sSanO
12-31-2015, 09:30 PM
Bill is giving you great advice. If you have an opportunity to try different ukuleles that can be purchased cheaper in Australia, you need to do it.

As for your Monterey, if you can get a refund, that might be the best way to go. If not, take the advice already given to try better strings. There was a comparison between a Monterey and a better uke, and it is probably the strings not the tuners.

John

Nickie
01-02-2016, 04:58 AM
Does Maton guitars build ukes?
I know they build fabulous guitars...
And while it is true that Kala builds a lot of entry level ukes, that's not all. They have some very nice higher end ukes coming from California now. You can't go wrong with a Kala, and HMS isn't that far away.

sculptor
01-02-2016, 09:08 AM
Does Maton guitars build ukes?
I know they build fabulous guitars...
And while it is true that Kala builds a lot of entry level ukes, that's not all. They have some very nice higher end ukes coming from California now. You can't go wrong with a Kala, and HMS isn't that far away.

Those Petaluma built Kalas are in a totally different league than their off shore built ones. However, I feel buying other Kalas is a mistake if you are at all serious about ukeleles because they don't get nearly the kind of sound that a Pono or Cordoba 30 series (which are also pretty inexpensive for what they sound like) would give. Therefore, if you keep playing ukuleles you'll sooner or later sell that Kala and get something better. Note, you are also more likely to keep playing if you have a good sounding instrument in the first place.

-- Gary

Sylvan
01-02-2016, 03:08 PM
Lots of good advice here. I'd recommend buying the best quality uke you can comfortably afford. A better quality instrument will make you sound better and give you more enjoyment as you are going through the normal struggles of learning. As you grow and learn as a player, you will feel less need to "upgrade" in the future, or even if you do decide to upgrade, you will still have a good playing uke that you will not want to discard since it was your first.

hollisdwyer
01-10-2016, 08:14 PM
What's the conclusion to the story? Have you found the right Uke to start you on your journey? I'm sure we would all like to know.

blodzoom
01-11-2016, 05:28 AM
A lot of people here are upselling but if you started by buying a $30 uke, I'm guessing that money is a factor. not everyone can afford a Pono. I don't know exchange rates, but in US, You can buy a perfectly playable and enjoyable Kala or Lanikai for under $100.

Getting a professional setup will make all the difference though. If you order from Amazon, you could just end up frustrated because it's harder to play than it needs to be. That's why ordering from HMS or Mim's or some other reputable dealer is a good idea.

bnolsen
01-11-2016, 05:52 AM
Kala or lanikai. A slight upgrade would be an islander, which has the benefit of having a slightly wider nut which makes things easier if you have big hands.