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raymeme90
01-09-2017, 05:14 PM
I really love my Kala travel ukulele, but does anyone know why they don't make the same size ukulele in plastic?

I know there are normal sized ukes that are made of plastic.

actadh
01-09-2017, 05:25 PM
My first travel uke was my thin body plastic First Act soprano with Martin strings.

Booli
01-09-2017, 05:50 PM
Kala's Waterman is a plastic uke in soprano size and likely if they thinned the body down to be like the travel ukes, it would then compete with their other products like the KA-SSTU that you have, and also the Makala Dolphin and Shark ukes...

Choirguy
01-09-2017, 06:14 PM
The NAMM thread suggests a coming concert scale waterman in addition to the existing soprano; Outdoor has sopranos and tenors; Bugsgear has soprano and concerts.

As Booli mentioned, the Ukadelics and Dolphin series (and Sharks?) have plastic backs with laminate fronts.

Don't forget Blackbird with carbon fiber and eKoa.

You could make a case for concert and tenor Dolphins. Incidentally, I finally put flourocarbons on my Ukadelic, Andy it a whole new ukulele.

But what I think you are really asking for is something like an Ovation guitar--high quality, great sound, plastic back, wood front--and likely thinner than a "traditional" ukulele. Maybe someone will come out with that!

Croaky Keith
01-09-2017, 11:09 PM
I think 'plastic' still carries an air of distrust in the stringed instrument world - although Outdoor Ukulele are proving it's suitability. :)

I have read that Kala are to release a concert scale 'Waterman', how well that gets accepted will probably determine whether they go forward with more 'plastic' ukes.
(I might give one a try. ;) )

Edit: I have a Brunswick plastic concert scale uke, it's just about OK strummed, but not much good picked.

Twibbly
01-10-2017, 01:57 AM
I think 'plastic' still carries an air of distrust in the stringed instrument world - although Outdoor Ukulele are proving it's suitability. :)

I have read that Kala are to release a concert scale 'Waterman', how well that gets accepted will probably determine whether they go forward with more 'plastic' ukes.
(I might give one a try. ;) )

Edit: I have a Brunswick plastic concert scale uke, it's just about OK strummed, but not much good picked.

I like my OU (tenor).

I haven't heard great reviews on the Waterman.

I flat out haven't heard of the Brunswick.

Croaky Keith
01-10-2017, 03:29 AM
I flat out haven't heard of the Brunswick.

You may know it as a Korala, a generic plastic uke.

spookelele
01-10-2017, 05:30 AM
You may know it as a Korala, a generic plastic uke.

im not sure thats a good long term one. It's kinda bendy in the neck, and I think some people reported that heat will warp it, so you cant leave it in the car.

spookelele
01-10-2017, 05:32 AM
But what I think you are really asking for is something like an Ovation guitar--high quality, great sound, plastic back, wood front--and likely thinner than a "traditional" ukulele. Maybe someone will come out with that!

Ovation did that and called it "applause". You can still find some used sometimes.

TheCraftedCow
01-10-2017, 01:12 PM
Eddy Finn has an all plastic soprano and concert in four different colours. The concert has a side port and a cutaway top with white Aquila strings.It has a slotted head with geared tuners and the grips facing down. The tops are coloured and the sides and back are black. Very much in tune up the fretboard, and a bright, lively sound!

Booli
01-10-2017, 02:04 PM
...But what I think you are really asking for is something like an Ovation guitar--high quality, great sound, plastic back, wood front--and likely thinner than a "traditional" ukulele. Maybe someone will come out with that!

With regards to the wooden top and neck with plastic back, in addition to what has already been mentioned there are also:

1. Ovation has made some ukes like this under the name 'Applause' in both soprano and tenor scales, but most of the reviews I read were just meh, and replacing the battery for the built-in pre-amps for the electric models was an exercise in insanity - fellow UU brother Ian Chadwick has a good review on his site that sums it all up: http://www.vintageukemusic.com/ukuleles/applause.htm

2. There this Alic soprano that seems to be available only in the UK from sources like Southern Ukulele Store and Omega Music, and brother BazMaz did a review here: http://www.gotaukulele.com/2015/02/alic-soprano-ukulele-review.html

3. There are ALSO these Mahilele ukes, that come in 31 different colors and wood tops and patterns, sold my Mercantino Dell Ukulele in Italy which seems to be the storefront for Aquila retail and online direct sales:http://www.mercatinodellukulele.it/index.php?keyword=mahilele&option=com_virtuemart&view=category&lang=en&language=en-GB

4. and of course there are Fluke and Flea ukes made by the Magic Fluke Company (http://magicfluke.com/) for which there is an extensive thread here: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93637-The-Magic-Fluke-Company-Appreciation-thread

and that's all I got for wood top and some form of composite or plasic back/sides as of now...

I have several Fluke and Flea ukes, all play super comfortable, with great tone and near-perfect intonation, and are built for rugged use in the mainland USA, using local materials, run by a Mom & Pop family business company that runs all of their facilities on 100% solar power, and even feeds back excess to the power grid.

DISCLAIMER: YES, I am a fan and repeat customer, and NO, I am not a shill nor otherwise compensated for evangelizing what I think is I great product made by great people. I have paid for my MFC ukes with my own hard-earned money every single time.

So many ukes to try, and so little time (or money) Good luck. :)

fowl
01-11-2017, 04:04 AM
I second what Booli said about the Magic Fluke Co. Some of the nicest people you will ever meet. I am always looking for used Fleas and Flukes to pass on to people I evangelize into the ukulele movement.

PTOEguy
01-11-2017, 08:11 AM
I'm going to pile on - what Booli and Fowl said is correct. Magic Fluke Co. is awesome.

Booli
01-11-2017, 10:06 AM
Might as well just get one of these for $7:

http://img2.banggood.com/thumb/view/2014/huangxiaobin/09/SKU216021/SKU216021i1.jpg

http://www.banggood.com/4-String-Acoustic-Guitar-Wisdom-Development-Simulation-Toy-For-Baby-Children-p-999539.html?rmmds=category

fowl
01-11-2017, 01:18 PM
Booli, have ever seen or played one of the Mahilele ukes? I wonder what the cost would be to get one shipped to the USA. That website says free shipping but I am guessing that means in Europe.

Booli
01-11-2017, 01:44 PM
Booli, have ever seen or played one of the Mahilele ukes? I wonder what the cost would be to get one shipped to the USA. That website says free shipping but I am guessing that means in Europe.

Not yet, and also not likely to make new purchases for a while since I'm about to shed some ukes and guitars as I go into downsizing mode soon...

I'd guess shipping to the USA would maybe be about $15-$20 USD and take anywhere from 7-14 days from Italy based upon what I've read here on the forum.

Since they are sopranos, they dont weigh much and are small to ship, even overseas...

Also not sure about US Customs fees/process if any. Likely you can email Mercantino and find out. If you do, please report back.

spookelele
01-12-2017, 03:40 AM
Not yet, and also not likely to make new purchases for a while since I'm about to shed some ukes and guitars as I go into downsizing mode soon...

I'd guess shipping to the USA would maybe be about $15-$20 USD and take anywhere from 7-14 days from Italy based upon what I've read here on the forum.

Since they are sopranos, they dont weigh much and are small to ship, even overseas...

Also not sure about US Customs fees/process if any. Likely you can email Mercantino and find out. If you do, please report back.

I emailed mahilele last year, and they said they would not ship to the US, and suggested I get a fluke.

fowl
01-13-2017, 08:13 AM
I found the Mahilele is now for sale on Amazon. I ordered one for a grandson. I will try to give a report on it after it is here.

ukatee
01-14-2017, 01:31 AM
I'll be very interested to hear how you/he get on. Some reviews of the earlier model 2 with a wooden neck complained that the plastic frets wore very quickly. The new model 3 (https://www.facebook.com/mahilele/) launched in May 2016 has an all-plastic neck, and it may be that the fretboard is now made of more durable material.

I would like one of these as a beater - I can't justify the price of a Flea.

coolkayaker1
01-14-2017, 02:59 AM
I once owned the Applause by Ovation baritone and it was heavy but played very well, was intoned accurately, was indestructible, and looked great. Maybe I just got a good one, don't know. I used it unamplified, for the most part. I had no issues changing the battery, even using Ian Chadwick's battery-lament blog post as a guide. Was only $300 used, and easily sold it again for the same price, with case. I wish I'd have kept it. I found it considerably better than the other plastic ukes I've tried, including the Fluke, that clear plastic thingy with the square neck (forget the name), and MacCafferi (sp) vintages...all that I've tried and never owned. I'd lIke to try the soprano version, but in person to assure a "good one".

All that said, I travel with my Kiwaya thinline soprano wooden uke, which sounds lovely in every way, but cannot be stepped on; or my Risa soprano stick, which can be stepped on.

bazmaz
01-14-2017, 06:50 AM
To the best of my knowledge - the Mahilele and the Alic ukulele referred to above are exactly the same thing. Different names for different territories I think.

Estudiante
01-17-2017, 03:03 AM
I had a chance to handle an Outdoor tenor model. It's poly-carbonate, not ABS plastic. You can tell it's nearly indestructible just by holding it. Loud, bright, clear tone, though very different sounding than wood. Intonation is perfect. The only thing I don't like (maybe true of most plastic or poly-carbonate ukes) is the plastic fretboard has frets the same color as the fretboard (the frets and board and neck are all one molded piece). I prefer to have some color contrast between fret and board. Really unique and high-quality product, though.

ukatee
01-17-2017, 06:08 AM
To the best of my knowledge - the Mahilele and the Alic ukulele referred to above are exactly the same thing. Different names for different territories I think.
O yes, I agree. However your review of the Alic was in February 2015, and has a wooden neck.

In May 2016 Mahilele announced an upgraded model (https://www.facebook.com/mahilele/):

We are proud to launch our upgraded serie, Mahilele 3.0!! No more buzzing ukes but only full colors and warm sound!!

What's new: the plastic neck is designed to be lighter and with a special plastic compound so to feel like wood at first touch, and to participate to the vibration of the body, resulting in a warmer sound and a stronger uke.

So it's possible that the fretboard is also new and more durable - though maybe I'm clutching at straws!

Debussychopin
01-17-2017, 09:37 AM
I really love my Kala travel ukulele, but does anyone know why they don't make the same size ukulele in plastic?

I know there are normal sized ukes that are made of plastic.

The makala shark /dolphin are really sturdy and intonated precisely. They are easy to play (at least mine is) and I've thrown it around outside in the car and trunk without a case or bag in this winter season and it is perfect.
It is not wholly plastic though. Top is laminate.

Sound is much better than one would believe upon first glancing upon this toyish looking uke.

plastuku
01-17-2017, 10:12 AM
I had a chance to handle an Outdoor tenor model. It's poly-carbonate, not ABS plastic. You can tell it's nearly indestructible just by holding it. Loud, bright, clear tone, though very different sounding than wood. Intonation is perfect. The only thing I don't like (maybe true of most plastic or poly-carbonate ukes) is the plastic fretboard has frets the same color as the fretboard (the frets and board and neck are all one molded piece). I prefer to have some color contrast between fret and board. Really unique and high-quality product, though.

I've got one, and yeah, they're pretty much bomb-proof.

I hear a lot of people complaining about all-plastic fingerboards and how the frets don't show up ... trust me, you get used to it. We're supposed to learn to play by feel anyway, not by eye.

fowl
01-26-2017, 06:18 AM
I got one of the new model Mahilele off Amazon for a 3yr old grandson. It looks pretty indestructable, poly body and now also the neck. Intonation is good and sounds descent. It was $75 on Amazon which seems a little expensive, how ever it comes with a nice enough padded bag that is probably worth $10 to $15.

I think it is a good one for kids. The soundboard and headplate come in some bright colors.

I still think the best travel uke for an adult might be the Flea. Look at the last post from Bazmaz on gotaukulele.com

ukatee
01-26-2017, 10:26 AM
I got one of the new model Mahilele off Amazon for a 3yr old grandson. It looks pretty indestructable, poly body and now also the neck.


Do you get any impression of the durability of the frets? On the previous model BazMaz said that it was quite easy to dent the plastic frets with, say, a screwdriver, and that they quickly wore down with playing.

deschutestrout
01-26-2017, 10:31 AM
I still think the best travel uke for an adult might be the Flea.

Yep. I support this 100%

fowl
01-26-2017, 01:16 PM
I think the fretboard on the newer Mahilele is more durable. It was not easy to put a mark on it.

ukatee
01-26-2017, 11:01 PM
Thanks - that's very helpful.

Croaky Keith
01-27-2017, 12:43 AM
If it hasn't been mentioned already - Kala are to be bringing out a concert version of their Waterman, (According to NAMM reports).

Choirguy
01-27-2017, 07:43 AM
It isn't just a rumor.

97354

Tootler
01-28-2017, 08:32 AM
I have an Alic and, in my opinion, Bazmaz was a little unkind to it. For the money it plays very well and sounds good. Not as good as a Flea but then the Flea costs three times as much and the difference in quality shows. The Alic is good though, intonation is good, sounds good and plenty sustain. I keep mine in the car but we don't tend to get the high temperatures you folks in the US do. I got mine from Risa in Germany, btw.