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Iulia
11-17-2016, 01:06 AM
Is it my imagination or is there a bucketload more choice of ukes in the usa than uk???

Or do I have a grass is greener syndrome?? :D

I've just been looking at Mim's shop on ebay, and feeling very sad ....

I've bought from SUS - and I know of Duke's of Uke and Eagle music - anywhere else that has a decent selection here .....

or do I just look wistfully across the water ........

PhilUSAFRet
11-17-2016, 01:29 AM
Probably the reason UAS may not be quite as bad in the UK as it is in the US. The more time you spend with ukes, the more you will notice that many of them are "essentially" the same, but with different names and sometimes cosmetic touches.

DownUpDave
11-17-2016, 01:46 AM
Try living in Canada......we got nothing and our dollar is way worse than yours. Fortunately there is this world wide web thingy. I can buy what every I want with the simple push of a button. Mim will gladly sell you anything your heart desires. Life is good.

Pirate Jim
11-17-2016, 01:58 AM
Matt Warnes has a good selection of intermediate to high end ukes in his new shop:

www.worldofukes.co.uk

There's also Omega Music although their stock variety is smaller than it used to be. They do a good set up and have great service though. The thing that always gets me is that $ = when it comes to ukes, so a K brand or something is way more expensive for us. Curse those import taxes!

WCBarnes
11-17-2016, 02:04 AM
You also have to look at the size of the countries. I live in Indiana, and there is only one shop (that I know of...) within reasonable driving distance (~1.5 hrs away) that has anything more than entry level ukuleles. The next closest is over 5 hours. We are fortunate, however, to have Mim, Uke Republic, Elderly, HMS, etc all located within the states so there is no additional import taxes, but all of my purchases have been bought without the benefit of trying them out because there is nowhere for me to try.

Mattyukaholic
11-17-2016, 02:06 AM
Undoubtedly there's much less choice over here, but that's getting better. I remember a few years back when it was hard to get hold of even a K brand, but now SUS is awash with choice - all models of KoAloha, Kanile'a and Kamaka.

Matt Warnes' new shop World Of Ukes also has a really amazing selection of intermediate and higher end ukes too.

Importing from the States is a lot harder post-Brexit decision because of the weak pound. This not only hits you when buy direct from the US (remember you pay 20-25% in import fees & VAT too) but I've also noticed the shops over here have had to increase prices. I remember new Kanile'as at around 500 (mind you that was a few years back.) Now they're closer to 1000 - partly because of brands increasing price but also because of the weak pound.

Long story short, it's getting better but it's getting more expensive!

Hms
11-17-2016, 02:24 AM
Southern Ukelele store is one to watch, if only to see who is coming to do a workshop, usually free of charge.

To clarify Mattyukeaholic's import figure:

To import you will pay
Invoice cost
plus 4.2% of instrument invoice cost as import duty,
plus Shipping cost
plus Customs clearance cost
plus 20% VAT on the total of the above figures.

h

Pete F
11-17-2016, 02:25 AM
I think you've pretty much summed it up Matt. On the positive side the dollar/pound situation will help restrain my UAS - hopefully! ;)

stevejfc
11-17-2016, 02:53 AM
Careful what you wish for, Iulia!

actadh
11-17-2016, 03:08 AM
Might be a grass is greener thing for me, too, since I heart the John Daniel Pixie sopranino and the Brueko tenor which are not easily available in my neck of the woods.

Iulia
11-17-2016, 03:17 AM
:D

all very good points thanks everyone ...

still

:iwant:

Croaky Keith
11-17-2016, 04:17 AM
A lot of SUS uke prices have gone up by 20 & more since BREXIT, a uke I just bought from them in September, at 129.99, is priced at 152 now!

Thankfully, I have just about everything I want now, (& more than I need). :music:

Iulia
11-17-2016, 04:21 AM
A lot of SUS uke prices have gone up by 20 & more since BREXIT, a uke I just bought from them in September, at 129.99, is priced at 152 now!




:mad:

I'm also surprised there isnt a better second hand market here - unless I'm looking in the wrong places ...

Michael N.
11-17-2016, 04:56 AM
The weak pound will have a much greater effect on the lower end of the market, certainly as a proportion of the price because they are virtually all imported. It will also have an impact on the mid to higher end. At the higher end you don't have to import because then you are into single makers who are based in the UK. They will probably pay a little more for materials but you aren't importing their labour, which is by far the biggest cost.

Croaky Keith
11-17-2016, 05:32 AM
There are occasionally some UK sales in the Market Place on here, so keep an eye out if you are after anything, or even ask in there.
If you know what you want, & can afford it, we have some very good luthiers here in the UK.

UkingViking
11-17-2016, 06:33 AM
A lot of SUS uke prices have gone up by 20 & more since BREXIT, a uke I just bought from them in September, at 129.99, is priced at 152 now!

Thankfully, I have just about everything I want now, (& more than I need). :music:

Oh, the prices have adjusted. Living in "mainland*" Europe, I was wondering if I should act quickly and buy while the pound was low. But it makes sense that the prices follow the exchange rate.

I was expecting this thread to be about people choosing different brands on each side of the pond, is seems that I misinterpreted the title. Perhaps there should be more threads.

*Well, the part of Denmark where I live is actually an Island, but I guess the expression still work.

Iulia
11-17-2016, 06:52 AM
Michael - uke 1950 -

that's a very good point. I guess many people gravitate to the big brand names simply because that's all they can find easily in the shop or online.

do you know of anywhere there is a directory of luthiers, professional or well thought of amateurs? I'd be happy to consider them - just who are they?? I don't know of any 'brands' actually made in the uk either.

Viking - I agree that would make an interesting thread. I imagine more people from the USA VISIT Hawaii than from Europe, so maybe that affects what people buy a bit?? but it would be interesting if certain brands were more popular depending.

cml
11-17-2016, 07:08 AM
Timms, Howlett, Michael N, greenscoe are names that immediately comes to mind due to my interaction with them in the luthier's lounge. Great people and ukes for sure!

Croaky Keith
11-17-2016, 07:33 AM
There is this site - http://www.luthierdirectory.co.uk/

But likely best to just ask those who have had ukes made by UK luthiers & hobby luthiers for their opinions. :)

Edit: Found this as well - http://ukulelehunt.com/buy-ukulele/categories/luthiers/

jollyboy
11-17-2016, 07:43 AM
I wish there was more choice in the mid-price range. I'm hoping to upgrade in the new year and I'm budgeting around 500.00. I would like to feel that gave me more options than Pono or Opio. Having said that I'm currently eyeing up the aNueNue ASR3...

Iulia
11-17-2016, 08:49 AM
funny you should say that - this caught my eye the other day

http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Product/3149/aNueNue-1879-All-Solid-Koa-Vintage-Style-Soprano-Ukulele-with-case

In fairness though I want a different uke most weeks at the moment :biglaugh:

pritch
11-17-2016, 11:02 AM
A lot of SUS uke prices have gone up by 20 & more since BREXIT, a uke I just bought from them in September, at 129.99, is priced at 152 now!


If nobody else had mentioned BREXIT I was going to, it made my most recent purchase less expensive.

The breakdown of import charges in this thread is similar to what happens here, we have GST which is similar to VAT. What got up my nose was that Customs charge GST but they don't get to keep that, they pass that to the IRD. So Customs charge you for charging you GST. Then they add GST to the charge they charge you for charging you GST!!!

I do note that the invoice for the most recent transaction was more in the nature of a summary and omits to mention any of this detail. There's just a possibility that it may have annoyed people?

Iulia
11-17-2016, 09:45 PM
same here - there is the import charge, the VAT and a customs 'admin' free!

jimavery
11-17-2016, 10:07 PM
I don't doubt there's a little more choice over in the U.S.A., but I can't say I've found that a problem at all. I haven't seen anything specific about ukes in the U.S., that can't be sourced here. In fact if I'm after a solid-bodied uke which can be strung left-handed, for example then the suppliers that come to mind are in Germany, Italy and Australia.

jollyboy
11-18-2016, 08:11 AM
funny you should say that - this caught my eye the other day

http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Product/3149/aNueNue-1879-All-Solid-Koa-Vintage-Style-Soprano-Ukulele-with-case


Some ukes really should come with a health warning - 'May cause severe attack of UAS' ;)

Iulia
11-18-2016, 09:53 AM
yeah jollyboy - I so love that uke!!!!

I was just about to bid on a little birthday present for myself on ebay, and got a phone call from a colleague our hours are probably going to be cut after the holidays (I'm freelance) so no more UAS for me until I have some idea how good or bad it is :(

Pirate Jim
11-18-2016, 11:12 AM
Sure, but the pound crashing in the wake of the Brexit referendum result has driven up prices on imports in the UK. That's not to do with choice, just economics. It's even happened to foods produced in the UK if the company making them is US owned as they list their assets in US $. And, in fairness to the people posting here, I don't believe anyone has rubbished local product. Just discussed the ins and outs of what's available and at what price.

Tootler
11-18-2016, 10:27 PM
While we're still in the EU, it's worth looking at mainland Europe. My main players are all Brukos, one came from Omega Music, the others direct from Bruko. I've also bought direct from Risa. Of course, thanks to our politicians, prices will be higher than when. I bought them.

cml
11-19-2016, 12:49 AM
One could argue that it's thanks to the English people rather than your politicians that you have a brexit...you did after all vote for it. ;)

Croaky Keith
11-19-2016, 01:37 AM
One could argue that it's thanks to the English people rather than your politicians that you have a brexit...you did after all vote for it. ;)

We voted to join a Common Market, the politicians put us into the nightmare of the European Union!

Now the people have finally had a chance to vote & say what they think....

cml
11-19-2016, 02:41 AM
We voted to join a Common Market, the politicians put us into the nightmare of the European Union!

Now the people have finally had a chance to vote & say what they think....
Exactly, and you chose a Brexit. No criticism intented, just wanted to comment on Tootler's post that the politicians made it happen, whereas it was the people who said no to the EU membership.
Hopefully this wont mean too much of a downturn for your economy and I sincerely hope the UK and the EU can come to terms with the new situation! All the best :)!

jollyboy
11-19-2016, 05:19 AM
One could argue that it's thanks to the English people rather than your politicians that you have a brexit...you did after all vote for it. ;)

One could also argue that it was the false rhetoric of politically-opportunistic demagogues (none of whom could care less about the English people) backed up by the highly distorted reporting of right-wing media that brought about Brexit. Just another POV ;)

cml
11-19-2016, 05:26 AM
But nontheless, you have great luthiers in the UK :).

Michael N.
11-19-2016, 05:30 AM
Well whatever side of the fence you are on there's no denying that prices have gone up. I know because I import wood (amongst other things) from Europe. It's effectively a 20% increase in prices, which is quite a jump by any measure. Unfortunately I've yet to see the supposedly positive side - an increase in sales abroad, it hasn't happened, at least not yet. I haven't increased my prices but there's no doubt that I will in the new year. That's not profiteering, that's survival.

Iulia
11-19-2016, 09:02 AM
But nontheless, you have great luthiers in the UK :).

as I said - I'd love to buy locally made if I knew where to go!

I'm not aware of any 'brands' made in the UK. If you live in Hawaii - easy. You can shop local SOOOO nice :-)

Whoever caused Brexit, we'll all suffer from it .... imo

cml
11-19-2016, 09:18 AM
Did you see my post earlier in this thread? I named a few that I know of :)!

wayfarer75
11-19-2016, 09:23 AM
Pete Howlett, DJ Morgan, and Ken Timms have all been well spoken of here on UU.

Iulia
11-19-2016, 10:50 AM
yeah but its not a lot to go on for a newbie compared to Kala, Ohana, Martin, Schmidt, Pono, Fluke, KoAloha etc :-)

wayfarer75
11-19-2016, 03:59 PM
What more information do you need? Links? Reviews?

cml
11-19-2016, 09:48 PM
Any of those builders will give you a ukulele on par or better than K brands.

Iulia
11-19-2016, 11:54 PM
What I meant was apart from word of mouth its not as easy to find these guys and reviews etc as it is to get info on the commercial brands.

These are recommended so far

Ken Timms, Peter Howlett, Michael N, Greenscoe, DJ Morgan

any others?

Ukador
11-20-2016, 12:02 AM
What I meant was apart from word of mouth its not as easy to find these guys and reviews etc as it is to get info on the commercial brands.

These are recommended so far

Ken Timms, Peter Howlett, Michael N, Greenscoe, DJ Morgan

any others?

http://www.fidraukulele.co.uk/

http://marshallstapleton.wix.com/guitars#!guitars

Maybe http://www.moonguitars.co.uk

cml
11-20-2016, 12:03 AM
What are you looking for in a uke and how much are you prepared to spend are the key questions here I think.

Of course there'll be more info on big brands over luthiers, these are hand built instruments from small shops with only one (or in one case two) person. You're really looking at two very different approaches of building a ukulele.
A handcrafted uke is a wonderful thing (I have a Timms soprano and have built a Tenor myself) but I also love my KoAloha.

Michael N.
11-20-2016, 02:47 AM
I mean the Timms is so very, very reasonably priced that folk should be thankful he is virtually on their doorstep. It's a luthier made instrument for the price of a factory one.
Some makers also give a trial period, anything from a few days to around 10 days. The advantage is that you can try it in the comfort of your own home, no feeling of pressure and having to make a quick decision. You can get to know the instrument over a few days or even more. The disadvantage is that you'll probably have to pay shipping fees or travel fees if you pick it up in person. Swings and roundabouts, as they say.

Hms
11-20-2016, 05:46 AM
Another UK luthier not mentioned, Rob Collins.
H

Pete Howlett
11-23-2016, 12:13 AM
I'very been in the business since 1994... longer than some of the new K brands. Ask Southern Ukulele Store what they think of my stuff....

Tootler
11-23-2016, 11:14 AM
Most music shops in the UK will carry a selection of ukuleles. These will be, for the most part entry level instruments with a few mid range ones. If you don't want anything special, you can probably find something workmanlike at your local music shop with the advantage that you can try them out. If the shop is any good, it's possible they may carry some instruments from little known makers that are better than you might expect at the price. I know I was in one local music shop some months ago and they had a range of instruments from a small Portuguese maker which were excellent value at the price. I would have been very tempted if I hadn't already got instruments as good.

If you are looking for something a bit out of the ordinary, then you have to look for specialist dealers and most of the UK ones have been mentioned in this thread. If you're prepared to spend a bit more, you can get a luthier to hand make on to order and, again, there have been several names mentioned in this thread. So I don't think we are short of suppliers in the UK but if you want to go beyond what your local music shop stocks, you need to be willing to seek them out.

Tootler
11-23-2016, 11:15 AM
One could argue that it's thanks to the English people rather than your politicians that you have a brexit...you did after all vote for it. ;)

Don't get me started, this isn't the place. I didn't vote for it, btw.

In my earlier comment, I was just stating a fact that, while we remain EU members, the option to buy direct with minimal hassle remains.

Mivo
11-24-2016, 11:08 AM
The used market is definitely much worse in Europe. That's not necessarily bad, though, as there's less temptation. When buying new, the difference between importing and buying the same brands locally isn't huge.