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EmmaQ
02-01-2016, 08:32 AM
Hey,
I'm looking for a good quality concert uke. Play a lot up the fretboard so good intonation is a must. Also, tone and playability. I already have a Blackbird Clara which I love and I have it in low g so the new concert is for high g. I'm hoping I can find a mid priced one since I really can't afford another expensive uke right now. Ones I'm now considering include KoAloha Opio in sapele, Mainland, Ohana? Flea even? Others?
And, while I'm at it, to the Blackbird Clara owners, do any of you string yours in high g?
One final question- do you folks think I CAN get a quality concert at a mid price or do I need to spend big bucks?

MARKbOC
02-01-2016, 08:56 AM
"mid price" is a little subjective but im sure you'll be able to find a very nice uke in the price range of those you mentioned. others to consider: Pono and Loprinzi. both very well made and not super expensive

Doug W
02-01-2016, 09:02 AM
My wife and I both have Mainlands, hers is a concert. When I decided to use a different brand of strings on my Mainland, I had to do a little compensation on the saddle to correct the intonation but that is physics. I am happy with mine and not thinking of upgrading any time soon. I think I have been playing this one about 7 years. I have not owned any of the others that you mentioned.

Patrick Madsen
02-01-2016, 09:05 AM
There's a terrific Koa Kamaka concert for sell in the marketplace. http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?118078-Lovely-Kamaka-Koa-Concert

wayfarer75
02-01-2016, 09:38 AM
I love my Kelii; for $550 you can get an all-koa one, or less for koa/mahogany combo or all mahogany.

DownUpDave
02-01-2016, 09:58 AM
I am not sure what range you consider mid price but if a Clara is about $1000.00 I will guess at $500.00. You cannot do much better than a Koaloha Opio concert for around $400.00.

I have said this before but at one time I owned the Opio concert and KCM-00, Koaloha koa concert. At half the price the Opio held it's own. I still own it and sold the KCM-00.

UkerDanno
02-01-2016, 10:29 AM
Your choices of Opio and Mainland are good ones. If you're in the $400-$500 range, the Martin C1K is a great choice in high G!

ScooterD35
02-01-2016, 10:52 AM
You mentioned the Flea, and for intonation and playability you can't do much better than a Flea or a Fluke. My main Uke is a concert Tie-Dye Flea with a hardwood fretboard.

If you buy a Mainland direct from Mainland Ukes, the setup will also be excellent.

Scooter

EmmaQ
02-01-2016, 11:12 AM
Thanks for all the replies so far. I ordered the Martin CK1 and the KoAloha Opio and both came last week. Not in love with either one, I guess. The Martin has sharp edges and almost too low action because there's a definite rattle. The notes do ring clear and I do like that. The Opio is very easy to play and it's built well, but there's at least one fingerstyle piece I play where on a few of the measures, the uke just doesn't sound good. However, I do like the volume and warmth of the Opio; it has a huge sound. Neither uke has great intonation and I play a lot up the fretboard.
its because of my experience with these 2 ukes, that I'm asking for other suggestions.
Can someone describe the tone of the fleas?
Anyone have experience with Kamoa?
Mainland cedar top?
Etc?

EmmaQ
02-01-2016, 02:56 PM
Happy ending, folks. A friend came over a while ago and played both the Martin and the Opio and I got to listen to someone else play them. Without a doubt now, the Martin wins out; it sounds beautiful. It's the keeper! And for a 2nd happy ending, my friend needed a 2nd uke as well so she happily bought the Opio. All is well!!

jgarber
02-01-2016, 02:59 PM
Frankly if your idea of concert tone is a Clara you may have to get another Clara. I played one a few months ago and was amazed by the tone and volume as well as intonation up the neck. I have my lowly Kala KALA KA-ACP-CTG which I like a lot and I have a quartet of high end vintage Martin sopranos. As far as concerts the only one that I have played (not too many high end modern ukes tho) that would make me stop playing that Kala would be a Clara. Lots of bang for the buck.

DownUpDave
02-01-2016, 03:00 PM
Happy ending, folks. A friend came over a while ago and played both the Martin and the Opio and I got to listen to someone else play them. Without a doubt now, the Martin wins out; it sounds beautiful. It's the keeper! And for a 2nd happy ending, my friend needed a 2nd uke as well so she happily bought the Opio. All is well!!

Congratulations on finding one you like and same with your friend. Kinda like a double rainbow :cool:

EmmaQ
02-01-2016, 03:06 PM
Double rainbow, yes. What a perfect expression. Thank you.
And to jbarber, yes eventually I may go with another Clara- too much money right now though and who knows, maybe the Martin will do it for me. I actually hope it does.

PhilUSAFRet
02-01-2016, 04:15 PM
I'd also consider the Sailor Brand cedar top from Mike at UkeRepublic. I played a soprano long neck that sounded a little better than the LoPrinzi branded equivalent for hundreds less.

UkerDanno
02-01-2016, 04:50 PM
Happy ending, folks. A friend came over a while ago and played both the Martin and the Opio and I got to listen to someone else play them. Without a doubt now, the Martin wins out; it sounds beautiful. It's the keeper! And for a 2nd happy ending, my friend needed a 2nd uke as well so she happily bought the Opio. All is well!!

Awesome! I know my C1K was a great sounding instrument!

EmmaQ
02-02-2016, 06:19 AM
Even though I am FINALLY satisfied and happy with my new Martin Ck1, I was also happy to read the post from PhilUsaFret about Sailor ukes. I've read they're made by LoPrinzi without their label and actually quite good. I've never had the opportunity to see or hear one though.

strumsilly
02-02-2016, 06:29 AM
I'm not a concert man, but I've owned a lot, and the 2 that stand out for me are the Kiwaya KTC-1 and Koaloha pikake , both I bought used. I think the KTC-2 would be awesome.

bman40
02-02-2016, 08:53 AM
My wife and I both have Mainlands, hers is a concert. When I decided to use a different brand of strings on my Mainland, I had to do a little compensation on the saddle to correct the intonation but that is physics. I am happy with mine and not thinking of upgrading any time soon. I think I have been playing this one about 7 years. I have not owned any of the others that you mentioned.

Us too!!! Too funny - I have a tenor and she a concert . I put Martin M600 strings on her concert (we have the rosewood and red cedar model) no kidding her concert is one of the sweetest sounding I have heard. I have a Martin C1K nod whie it's nice - it's different .. It lacks the "chime" and 'sparkle' of her Mainland.

I fully recommend the Mainlands and Mike sets them up nicely

bman40
02-02-2016, 08:55 AM
Even though I am FINALLY satisfied and happy with my new Martin Ck1, I was also happy to read the post from PhilUsaFret about Sailor ukes. I've read they're made by LoPrinzi without their label and actually quite good. I've never had the opportunity to see or hear one though.

EmmaQ - what did you do to 'finally' be satisfied?? We're there problems with your C1K? Mine has been a solid performer...

EmmaQ
02-02-2016, 11:18 AM
Uh, I tend to worry a lot and while it was probably good that I asked different people their opinion (here on UU and in person in my hometown, I kept getting of course conflicting opinions. I knew I needed to listen to myself but it was hard. Finally the good friend who bought the Opio came over and simply played both of them- fingerpicked them- and I was able to finally listen to both of them being played by someone else. THEN, it was clear which one I wanted.

bman40
02-02-2016, 12:07 PM
I see - I came into the three a bit late and after I posted I saw your first post (my bad), but glad you like the Martin. I recently put a low g on and it sounds nice. I also have Fremont Blacklines on. They sound good with the koa.

EmmaQ
02-02-2016, 12:42 PM
I was happy to read of your experience with the Mainland ukes. I've never seen any in northern CA but I am intrigued by them and hope to come across one one day. Thanks.

Ukuleleblues
02-02-2016, 04:33 PM
I bought a Mainland cedar top concert at our uke fest last year, it it has become my favorite.