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View Full Version : Would you recommend a Kmise Concert Ukulele to a beginner (solid mahogany top)?



Niamhers
12-14-2016, 11:31 AM
Hi!

Newbie here so I'm hoping someone will alert me if I'm about to make a terrible mistake in purchasing this uke!

Basically, I've done a good bit of research trying to figure out what uke to buy and although reviews for this particular brand are very few and far between they seem to be good for the most part.

Note: I have a soprano that I've been playing for a few weeks now but I just borrowed it off a friend to have a go so will be giving it back soon, it's a cheap and cheerful model anyway.

I'd be buying the Kmise off AliExpress (so direct from the factory I assume?) and it'll cost approx 45 euro with free shipping.

My main concern is sound quality and that it'll last a while because as a poor student I won't be able to replace it every 6 months!

The actual look of the model is something that there's no need to factor in when advising me because I'd be planning a little arty remodel myself anyway! :D

Thanks for any advice given in advance, I appreciate it!

-Niamhers

WCBarnes
12-14-2016, 12:25 PM
Hi Niamhers! Welcome to the world of ukuleles!

I have not heard of Kmise ukuleles before. This doesn't mean they are bad, just that I have not heard of them. My concern would be that it sounds like it is coming directly from the factory and you are new to the ukulele. Often times, especially with lower priced ukuleles, they come from the factory without being properly setup. A poor setup can make a ukulele difficult to play and many times newbies give up because it is not fun. If you do go ahead and get it you can always find a music store to perform the setup for not that much money. Or, you can look on the internet and learn to do it yourself. It is not very difficult to perform yourself.

Mivo
12-14-2016, 01:03 PM
I feel that where you buy the instrument is as important, if not more so, than what you buy. A well set-up instrument makes a world of a difference, especially when you are new. If you are "crafty" and have tools, or are prepared to pay $50+ for a proper set up at a music store, I would buy an instrument from a place that includes free setup and quality control. In the US, the likely best choice is TheUkuleleSite.com/HMS, in Europe there are Southern Ukulele Store and Omega Music.

eBay and Amazon aren't particularly good places to get one's first stringed instrument. Yes, they are cheap and look flashy, and reviews seem fine, but you're buying the bag in the cat without someone even opening the bag to check if the cat is alive. I bought my first ukulele that way too and it was, in retrospect, a poor decision that nearly made me give up on the hobby before I had even properly started.

Niamhers
12-14-2016, 01:09 PM
Hi Niamhers! Welcome to the world of ukuleles!

I have not heard of Kmise ukuleles before. This doesn't mean they are bad, just that I have not heard of them. My concern would be that it sounds like it is coming directly from the factory and you are new to the ukulele. Often times, especially with lower priced ukuleles, they come from the factory without being properly setup. A poor setup can make a ukulele difficult to play and many times newbies give up because it is not fun. If you do go ahead and get it you can always find a music store to perform the setup for not that much money. Or, you can look on the internet and learn to do it yourself. It is not very difficult to perform yourself.




Thanks for the tips about learning to set up myself, I'd say that would be my best option! Unfortunately, I'm in a place in Ireland where my only options are either (a) buying from a toy shop (b) buying from the one music shop and they don't do set up or (c) buying online so I better get my DIY music know-how up to date :o

Niamhers
12-14-2016, 01:11 PM
I feel that where you buy the instrument is as important, if not more so, than what you buy. A well set-up instrument makes a world of a difference, especially when you are new. If you are "crafty" and have tools, or are prepared to pay $50+ for a proper set up at a music store, I would buy an instrument from a place that includes free setup and quality control. In the US, the likely best choice is TheUkuleleSite.com/HMS, in Europe there are Southern Ukulele Store and Omega Music.

eBay and Amazon aren't particularly good places to get one's first stringed instrument. Yes, they are cheap and look flashy, and reviews seem fine, but you're buying the bag in the cat without someone even opening the bag to check if the cat is alive. I bought my first ukulele that way too and it was, in retrospect, a poor decision that nearly made me give up on the hobby before I had even properly started.

Your point about eBay/ Amazon etc is definitely valid but it's hard not to be tempted into it! I'll look into Southern Ukulele Store and Omega Music. Thanks, I appreciate the reply :)

Snargle
12-14-2016, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the tips about learning to set up myself, I'd say that would be my best option! Unfortunately, I'm in a place in Ireland where my only options are either (a) buying from a toy shop (b) buying from the one music shop and they don't do set up or (c) buying online so I better get my DIY music know-how up to date :o

Not sure how it is in Ireland, but here in the U.S., any shop that sells guitars and has a technician on staff should be able to do a basic setup on a ukulele. The techniques & tools are no different...it's all just smaller.

Mivo
12-14-2016, 01:25 PM
There is also ukuMele.de -- Guido, the online shop's owner, only carries relatively few instruments, but he sets them all up, changes strings when necessary, and I think he'll ship anywhere in Europe. This would be an alternative. I have had positive experience with both ukuMele and SUS. :)

Yes, eBay is tempting. I have come close to buying a guitar from there recently, but I figured the problem is the same as with ukuleles, and I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. So in the end I bought from a store that claimed to set up every guitar before they ship them. That didn't happen, so I sent it back and then they set it up. It will arrive (again) tomorrow. But yes, my first hand experiences with ukuMele and SUS have been positive. Both were good about answering mail also, before and after the purchases.

JackLuis
12-14-2016, 01:33 PM
At that price point I'd say look for a Caramel. (Amazon-Ebay) I don't know about ordering from Ireland but Caramel has some pretty good ukes for $45 to $65US, they are pretty well set up from the factory, though they can be improved, as you get more discriminating.

Also strings can make a world of difference. I think Kmise come with Aquila which are good, but have a distinctive sound. What ever you buy try some different strings it can make a lot of difference.

PhilUSAFRet
12-14-2016, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the tips about learning to set up myself, I'd say that would be my best option! Unfortunately, I'm in a place in Ireland where my only options are either (a) buying from a toy shop (b) buying from the one music shop and they don't do set up or (c) buying online so I better get my DIY music know-how up to date :o

Many, many tutorials online covering every aspect of setting up a uke. Surprisingly few tools may be needed to do the job as well, especially if you are or know someone who used small craft tools such as saws, files, etc. on any number of craft projects. Get stuck, you always have us.

Dooke
12-14-2016, 02:29 PM
Kmise also sells on Amazon if you feel more comfortable. I considered buying one myself but ended up buying a Caramel.

Corius
12-15-2016, 09:14 AM
Your point about eBay/ Amazon etc is definitely valid but it's hard not to be tempted into it! I'll look into Southern Ukulele Store and Omega Music. Thanks, I appreciate the reply :)

I bought a Uke from Southern Ukulele store a couple of weeks ago. I was very impressed by the store and people, and I suspect the online experience will be excellent as well. Give them a call and have a chat. That's what I did and they were very happy to provide advice.

Doug W
12-15-2016, 11:46 AM
drbekken was pretty happy with his Kmise:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?118348-Kmise-ukulele-anyone