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View Full Version : Rebel, kamaka, or Moore Bettah ukuleles



Nathan Ratalsky
05-17-2016, 04:48 PM
I'm thinking about buying a tenor ukulele in the future, but I've been somewhat divided on which brand to invest in. It's between a custom Moore bettah, a standard longneck kamaka, or an alchemist rebel. Does anyone have any recommendations?

mm stan
05-17-2016, 04:57 PM
Depends what your budget is, moore bettah holds their value best if you csn get on and afford it

hawaii 50
05-17-2016, 05:19 PM
I'm thinking about buying a tenor ukulele in the future, but I've been somewhat divided on which brand to invest in. It's between a custom Moore bettah, a standard longneck kamaka, or an alchemist rebel. Does anyone have any recommendations?

you have a good chance to get a new Kamaka or a Rebel....but not as easy to get a new Custom Moore Bettah as you think.....there some used ones on Ukulele Friend....and a couple other sites

good luck

Tigeralum2001
05-17-2016, 05:20 PM
I'm thinking about buying a tenor ukulele in the future, but I've been somewhat divided on which brand to invest in. It's between a custom Moore bettah, a standard longneck kamaka, or an alchemist rebel. Does anyone have any recommendations?
Is this for real? 4 posts in and you are asking this question? Just in case....
1. Moore Bettah. #1 by a mile, BTW
2. Kamaka
3. Rebel

Jim Hanks
05-17-2016, 05:57 PM
I've been somewhat divided on which brand to invest in...Does anyone have any recommendations?
I recommend not buying a ukulele to invest in. Buy a ukulele to play. I doubt any of those 3 would be on my list for a first tenor.

Luke El U
05-17-2016, 06:36 PM
Is a Rebel Alchemist even available? Or have all 6 (7?) sold already?

hawaii 50
05-17-2016, 07:07 PM
Is a Rebel Alchemist even available? Or have all 6 (7?) sold already?


I see a new shipment every 4-6 months.....

spookelele
05-18-2016, 03:30 AM
If you're thinking of it as an investment... then the MB is clearly the way to go.
Of the 3, it's most likely to hold or gain value. Good lord.. can you imagine what they'll go for after Chuck dies? (hopefully many many years from now) It'll be like the Stradivarius of ukes. It's also at the top of the brag scale if that matters to you.

I'm biased, as I picked the alchemist over a kamaka, although.. the cedar top tenor deluxe.. has always called out to me as the factory uke I'd want most.

I will say I'm still in love with my alchemist, and I'd pick it again in that price range.

stevejfc
05-18-2016, 03:54 AM
MBU's are in a class of their own (in my humble opinion and no offense to Kamaka or Rebel).
Kamaka Ohta-san model would be my Kamaka choice.
Never have played a Rebel........ but have heard good things.

strumsilly
05-18-2016, 04:13 AM
those rebels were not on my radar. I didn't think there was anywhere to go after my collings. thanks a bunch.

strumsilly
05-18-2016, 04:29 AM
I recommend not buying a ukulele to invest in. Buy a ukulele to play. I doubt any of those 3 would be on my list for a first tenor.
I agree. For investment I'd go for a vintage Martin, maybe a 2 0r 3. They are collectible and limited in supply. But then you have to worry about theft, cracking, play wear, etc. My most expensive uke is a Collings, which I almost sold because it was so perfect I didn't want to scratch it. Then I said to myself "this is crazy, the uke was made to make music and I;m playing the hell out of it and enjoying it. I did buy it used so I can probably sell it for what I paid, but when buying new I think you will take a hit, I could be wrong in the case of a Moore.

Joyful Uke
05-18-2016, 05:01 AM
If it's an investment vs. for playing, I think any of the ukuleles are a gamble. No telling how the economy will be and what the ukulele market will be when you decide to sell.

If you're looking for a high end ukulele to play, then the best one is the one that sounds best to your ears, and feels best to you to play. They would all be very special ukuleles, I'm sure.

Why did you pick those 3 as the ones to decide between? Maybe knowing that will help people give you input that fits your situation.

wickedwahine11
05-18-2016, 05:59 AM
you have a good chance to get a new Kamaka or a Rebel....but not as easy to get a new Custom Moore Bettah as you think.....there some used ones on Ukulele Friend....and a couple other sites

good luck

I am with Len. It is not so easy to just go out and buy a Moore Bettah, almost impossible to get on Chuck's list and at only four built every few months, they go fast on auctions too. The used are out there, I think Ukulele Friend and Reverb both have or recently had one, but even they are pretty rare as most people don't give them up. That being said, if you can, you will never regret it. And if you do, people will line up to buy it from you. They are few and far between, but I have never seen or played a uke that was its equal. And you will not lose money if you decide it isn't for you.

The others are fine as well, I mean them no disrespect, but for me, it would be the MB by a mile.

perep
05-18-2016, 06:11 AM
YEH, I want MY two cents here, owning 64 UKES (crazy person)and played most (love them all) except have not played one of the Moore Bettah, I would go with one like Koala or Kanilea, Kamaka OK also but you know you will not get much better than these in the playability & looks which Kanilea tops them (in my book)all except $3000+ models which are mostly BLING & fine looking woods. Hey if I could get one from Chuck I would but too much to hope for, the 4 K's are GREAT selections for final UKES, except for my UAS , I would go there. I am hopeless

Nathan Ratalsky
05-18-2016, 08:53 AM
I should clarify that I'm new to UU, but I've played for about 9-10 years. Ive only gotten really serious about it in the past couple though. Right now I'm playing on a cheap concert. thanks for the list!

perep
05-18-2016, 08:59 AM
You play with Salem group?

Nathan Ratalsky
05-18-2016, 09:08 AM
I probably shouldn't have said "investment" in my original post, I meant to ask which of those three brands people would recommend for playability, and value.

Rebel is a relatively new brand, and I haven't seen many reviews on them. I kinda wanted to know what y'all thought about them. Kamaka is really well known, like the rickenbacker of the uke community. The videos I've seen have really impressed me. My play style is pretty jazzy most of the time, and I like how their longneck tenor sounds with the low G. As for Moore bettah, that's kind of a far off dream uke �� I just wanted to see people's thoughts on chances of getting one!

Nathan Ratalsky
05-18-2016, 09:09 AM
Nah, I wish I could find a group nearby, but I live in Corvallis. Salem is still a bit of a drive for me.

hawaii 50
05-18-2016, 10:27 AM
I probably shouldn't have said "investment" in my original post, I meant to ask which of those three brands people would recommend for playability, and value.

Rebel is a relatively new brand, and I haven't seen many reviews on them. I kinda wanted to know what y'all thought about them. Kamaka is really well known, like the rickenbacker of the uke community. The videos I've seen have really impressed me. My play style is pretty jazzy most of the time, and I like how their longneck tenor sounds with the low G. As for Moore bettah, that's kind of a far off dream uke �� I just wanted to see people's thoughts on chances of getting one!


Haha...Kamaka the Rickenbacker of the uke community,,,that is a good one....:)

Kamaka celebrating their 100th year...I call Kamaka the granddaddy of all ukulele....IMO

Uke man
05-18-2016, 10:53 AM
Well, as stated, MB's are hard to buy since the supply does not meet the demand. Not sure about the Rebels availability so your best bet would be on a anniversary Kamaka. If you want to save some money, buying last year's model is selling at discounts since everyone wants the 100th logos for collecting as well as playing since they are a one year item.

Booli
05-18-2016, 10:55 AM
Haha...Kamaka the Rickenbacker of the uke community,,,that is a good one....:)

Kamaka celebrating their 100th year...I call Kamaka the granddaddy of all ukulele....IMO

Yeah, Kamaka is like the seed for the Tree Of Life when it comes to ukuleles.

Rickenbacker is really more a niche brand, which I do not think is an apt comparison to Kamaka given both the long history and the widespread and global popularity of Kamaka.

Rickenbacker instruments are in fact really hard to maintain them over the long term. I've had Rick basses, and electric guitars in both 6 and 12 string, and between the truss rod issues and saddle issues could never get them to intonate properly.

I ended up selling them all, and going back to Gibson and Epiphone guitars and Fender and Aria basses...

Nathan Ratalsky
05-18-2016, 11:44 AM
Are there any other brands y'all would recommend over the three I mentioned?

peanuts56
05-18-2016, 12:16 PM
I have a Kamaka Tenor and also Kanilea Tenor. I love them both, however if push came to shove I would choose the Kamaka. I had it built in 2013 and just enjoy it more everyday. Never had the opportunity to play a Moore Bettah and have never even heard of the Rebel. I'm sure they are wonderful instruments. I'll stick with my two K Brands. My wife would probably change the locks if I bought another expensive instrument. Find one or two you like and have fun. Jim Hanks gave good advice. Buy it to play it, not as an investment.

wickedwahine11
05-18-2016, 12:59 PM
Are there any other brands y'all would recommend over the three I mentioned?

I like Kamaka and Kanile'a but unless you play it first in person, I would choose a KoAloha over either. Just my two cents, but they have the best warranty and customer service of the K brands - for lifetime of the instrument, and transferrable to subsequent owners. Also, while I have owned all three and played many of each brand, personally, I have heard duds on Kamaka and Kanilea. I have never heard a KoAloha that didn't sound amazing. That being said, Kamaka has the wonderful history, Kanilea has the good looks, but of the three big K factories, I would give KoAloha the edge for tone, volume and warranty.

Joyful Uke
05-18-2016, 01:33 PM
Are there any other brands y'all would recommend over the three I mentioned?

Kinnard. Not in stock, but you can see and hear one here:
http://www.theukulelesite.com/kinnard-series-3-tenor-spruce-walnut.html
I wish I had that one. :-)

There is a lovely LFDM at HMS right now. (Or so it seems from the video, and comments here at UU.)

Hoffman also has appealed to me from the videos at HMS.

I really liked this Collings:
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/collings/collings-tenor-ut2k-u1572.html

(I enjoy daydreaming about owning a house full of ukuleles while checking out videos on-line. Daydreams are free.)

ETA:
This is a concert, but if they make tenors, I'm sure they'd be amazing.
http://www.theukulelesite.com/naturel-custom-concert-by-naoki-yoshiro.html
Wish I had this one, too. LOL.

mmfitzsimons
05-18-2016, 01:56 PM
I have a Kamaka tenor and a Kanile'a longneck supertenor, so a bit apples to oranges even more than it already is when comparing two handcrafted instruments.... but the Kanile'a is my favorite, hands-down. Tone, playability, looks, the way it feels in my hands... man, I love that uke.

But a Kamaka is pretty special for all the reasons already noted ("seed of the uke tree of life"—love it!). The history, the sound, the aesthetic simplicity.... So in the end you're talking about choosing between great choices, which makes it really hard, but also pretty much guarantees a good outcome.

Booli
05-18-2016, 02:04 PM
Why not get one (or a few) of these : http://www.rondomusic.com/product6903.html

at the very least, you could use it for skeet shooting and not feel bad. :)

CiceroAnon
05-18-2016, 04:01 PM
Rebel makes great looking and sounding ukuleles and ukulele site has a few.

Nickie
05-18-2016, 04:13 PM
Nathan, one of my BFFs just got a Kanilea tenor. It's a boom box, and although a little plain looking is pleasing to the eyes and hands. I can't wait to play it again when it ages a little more.
You couldn't go wrong.....

CiceroAnon
05-18-2016, 04:46 PM
Props to Booli and the $9.95 ukuleles! I would guess their sound would rival a MB. :p

Pueo
05-18-2016, 04:52 PM
Are there any other brands y'all would recommend over the three I mentioned?

There are several other high end brands to consider:
Ko'olau
Hive
Compass Rose
Kinnard
Hoffmann Lutherie
Luis Feu de Mesquita
Maui Music
Beau Hannam
DeVine
Char
Hmm, that's about all off the top of my head, you would be very happy with any of those, I sure would be!

spookelele
05-18-2016, 06:24 PM
Are there any other brands y'all would recommend over the three I mentioned?

Maybe not over.. but Steve Grimes.
They may not look super pimped, but they sound super pimped.

http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/steve-grimes-custom-walnut-tenor-0841.html

mds725
05-18-2016, 09:00 PM
All the custom builder ukes and high-end production ukes (i.e., the K brands) that have been mentioned here are wonderful instruments, but they all have different voices. To my ear, for example, KoAlohas are brighter than Kamakas and Kanileas, and Beau Hannam and Compass Rose ukes have more sustain and, to me, sound a bit like guitars (in a good way). Among these brands, some might have more aesthetic appeal than others, but that doesn't make the ukuleles people like less any less good than the ones they like more. (Having played most of these brands owning some of them, I'd have to say that my personal favorite is my Moore Bettah, for its rich "Hawaiian" voice, how it feels in my hands, and how it responds when I play it. But I love my Beau Hannam tenor, too -- it just serves a different purpose, more suited to its voice, for me.) Ultimately, you, as the purchaser, have to decide, based on your own sound preferences and even visual and bling preferences, which of these ukes is better for you.

UkeInTW
05-18-2016, 09:59 PM
I would second the recommendations to also consider Hive & Beau Hannam ukes. I have ukes from these luthiers, and they are right up there with my MB uke. Each of these 3 has their own unique differences in sound and feel. The craftsmanship and sound on these are all amazing.

I would also recommend I'iwi tenors. If you like a more unique sound hole design and dreadnaught shape, I'iwi's are also right up there with the best in tone and playability. I'iwis arent talked about as much, but are great ukes. I would also recommend to look at LFdM's. I really like mine and the latest batch HMS were really nice looking and sounding. I was tempted on that curly mahagony.

You cant go wrong with any of these, just a matter of taste and preference.

good_uke_boy
05-19-2016, 02:11 PM
Are there any other brands y'all would recommend over the three I mentioned?

Not to recommend one brand over another, but you might want to add Blackbird's Farallon to your considerations. https://vimeo.com/167329164