View Full Version : Should I buy this uke?

05-18-2016, 10:52 PM
The seller says it's more then 40 years old, and is solid Koa. I'm either getting this or a Pono, pineapple. Any ideas on manufacture. It plays quite well but had gas strings and a low g. Not really the best for a soprano of Koa.





Croaky Keith
05-18-2016, 11:08 PM
My own personal preference is to buy new. :)

(I don't have any knowledge about old ukes to take that sort of risk.)

05-19-2016, 02:27 AM
The seller says it's more then 40 years old, and is solid Koa. I'm either getting this or a Pono, pineapple. Any ideas on manufacture. It plays quite well but had gas strings and a low g. Not really the best for a soprano of Koa.

I play my KoAloha Pineapple soprano with a low g. I think it sounds amazing with a low g. Very balanced.

Is this the white koa that was on ebay?
If you like it, but it and play it.

05-19-2016, 03:26 AM
Since you asked for my advise, I would advise you to ask yourself if you are going to be satisfied with it, or if you are going to buy it then turn around and buy something else that you like better. Or one that you think you like better. It would appear to me, because you had to come here and aske us all to make the decision for you, this probably isn't the one you want.

05-19-2016, 04:09 AM
If it doesn't make you say "I love this thing" then really think about buyers remorse. You never want that. If the feel, and sound don't grab you, you might want to sleep on it some more. Only you can really tell yourself if you should buy it.

05-19-2016, 04:38 AM
I wouldn't if I were you. Unless you can afford both this and the Pono. The Pono will probably have more retained value in the short term than an no name uke. Also, if you buy both you have more 'stuff' to deal with. If you can afford a new Pono, buy it.

05-19-2016, 04:48 AM
I don't know if this is the case, and I'm not making any assumptions that it is, but I have a guitar playing friend that will get in his mind that he wants a particular guitar. So then he will drive far and wide looking for that guitar. He will say, "I gotta get my hands on one." I know, because I often times go with him just for the road trip. But if he doesn't find the guitar he is looking for he will often find something else along the way and buy it instead, just because he wants something and he can't find what he wants. And the conversation is always the same, and it always starts out by him asking me what I think.Then a few days later I will see him all excited and he will tell me that he ordered the guitar that we had gone looking for in the first place. So I will ask him what happened with the one that he bought before, and he will always say, "I still like it," but I never see him playing it again. This has happened with him three or four times that I've gone along.

05-19-2016, 05:38 AM
Well.. you've got it in hand to try it.
Does it sound/feel like it's worth the money?
That's something I think only you can answer.

Alotta people built alotta ukes over time.
Tech has progressed, but it's entirely possible a builder 40 years ago did a great job.
Also possible that's old crap.

IMHO a uke should not be judged by age or price or label.
A great uke is a great uke regardless if you know what it is, who made it, or when it was built.

If it's $$, ask them to change the strings to something you'd use, and try it. Then judge.
I don't think vintage ukes lose value with a string change... but I don't do vintage ukes and could be wrong.

05-19-2016, 07:20 AM
The market is soft right now so I would suggest the OP try to get what they can for the best value.

Remember, there is usually a lose of money when one goes to sell an instrument. Call it a "rental fee" but seldom do ukes retain or exceed their original value.

Right now on the marketplace is a KoAloha Soprano 2011 build date with hard case for 360. New they are over $700.

If I was going to invest in a soprano it would be that one. You could make your money back on it if you don't like it, I would think.

05-19-2016, 08:27 AM
It's impossible to tell from the photos, but there's a lot of unknown. The headstock is...uh....artless. That's one of the first things I look at to get a grip on the builder's approach. I was surprised to see $400 on the headstock. I wouldn't risk that amount of money without some convincing reason....like, an advanced ukulele player said it sounded fantastic and the fit and finish was in the +$400 zone. If the dealer who's offering this ( I see a ton of instruments in the photos ) vouches for it and sets it up perfectly, perhaps you'll get lucky. Do you trust this person to make a fair appraisal ( conflict of interest aside ). But how much can you afford to lose? If it's a stinker, you'll have to lie to your next buyer to get your money back. Or feign ignorance. If you told me you don't know much about ukuleles and you want that kind of money for a nameless pineapple with this unpleasant headstock, I'd pass. Many of us could suggest alternatives in this price range...perhaps the occasional Martin or a Favilla with the price of a setup.

05-19-2016, 11:12 AM
Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. You all sound like the voices in my head. If I've invented any of you please let me know. I'm going to check out ponos @ the showroom. Where they have blemished and seconds, and probably get one of those.

I just happened on this other uke, and it did catch my eye. And like Rllinks, friend. I at some point decided I wanted a pineapple Koa, to just check off those two boxes in my collection. GDUAS.