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View Full Version : Snail Ukulele - Solid top worth it?



Grego
08-05-2017, 11:27 AM
Hey guys,

Looking at buying my first Uke (coming from guitar) and I've been doing some research for a budget friendly tenor. I've read lots of good things about Snail ukes, being they have great quality control, decent factory setups, and great prices.

My question is, should I get the $230 CAD for the all laminate mahogany (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Glossy-Ukulele-Snail-SUT-M1-High-Quality-Musical-Instruments-Hawaii-4-Strings-Guitar-Mahogany-Ukulele-26/32804351429.html

Or should I spend $280 for the same version but with solid mahogany top? This model also comes with a pickup I don't need. (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Electric-Ukulele-Glossy-Snail-SUT-M2-High-Quality-Hawaii-4-Strings-Guitar-Solid-Mahogany-Ukulele-26/32802358984.html)

Does anyone have experience with these models? Would I even notice a sound difference for such similarly priced models? I do live in a fairly humid climate which makes me think laminate might be the better option. I'd like to hear your guys opinions on this, or if you have any other recommendations of ukes that would ship to a Canadian town. Thanks!

Greg

Doc_J
08-05-2017, 12:37 PM
Don't know anything about that Snail Brand. But, a solid top should sound better.
I'd recommend a Kala solid spruce-topped tenor as a first tenor uke.

Jim Hanks
08-05-2017, 02:10 PM
For your first uke, I think it's more important to get it from a dealer that does a proper inspection and setup rather than the lowest price drop shipper. I'd recommend contacting Uke Republic, HMS, Mims Ukes, or Mainland Ukes and see what they recommend for your budget.

All things being equal I agree a solid top should sound better but at around $200USD, all things are not equal and you can get a good quality laminate that will sound great and play well if properly setup. You might also be able to get a good solid top or even all solid for not a whole lot more.

Booli
08-05-2017, 04:17 PM
For your first uke, I think it's more important to get it from a dealer that does a proper inspection and setup rather than the lowest price drop shipper. I'd recommend contacting Uke Republic, HMS, Mims Ukes, or Mainland Ukes and see what they recommend for your budget.

All things being equal I agree a solid top should sound better but at around $200USD, all things are not equal and you can get a good quality laminate that will sound great and play well if properly setup. You might also be able to get a good solid top or even all solid for not a whole lot more.

:agree: and full ditto to all Jim said above.

A race to the bottom on price for a first uke is going to be an exercise in futility.

One is free to ignore advice at their own peril. :)

Grego
08-07-2017, 10:05 AM
Hey guys thanks so much for everyone's input!

Theirs only one instrument store near me, and they carry kala ukuleles. However, when I called and asked about setups, the guy on the phone responded by saying you can't really set up ukes because theirs no truss rod. I talked with him for a couple minutes and really got the vibe that they don't know how to set up ukes which I found strange because, aside from the truss rod, setups should be rather similar to an acoustic guitar.

This is the reason why I was looking at ordering online from Snail because, from the reviews I've seen, their factory setups are actually pretty decent with free shipping. How are Kala factory setups? The big music stores in Canada are tomleemusic and long&mcquade, neither of which come with a setup, so it would be a gamble.

I checked out some of the sites listed above (uke republic, mainland ukes...) and they all seem fairly priced except shipping is around $50-$80 to Canadian, which is quite high considering the price of the instruments I'm looking at. There is a reasonable deal for a kala solid spruce top tenor for $185 from theukulelesite, which ends up coming to $300 cad after shipping. That may be my best option right now. http://www.theukulelesite.com/kala-ka-st-solid-spruce-top-gloss-finish.html



I'll have to think about this for a little longer, $300 is a bit high for what I can afford right now.
Thanks again for everyone's comments

Jim Hanks
08-07-2017, 01:24 PM
Well, all I can say is that the factory setup is a bit of a gamble, as you said. It could be just fine out of the box. But if it isn't you're kinda stuck since your local store is clueless :-)

So the question you gotta ask yourself is "do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?!" (Sorry, that's a joke - a little Clint Eastwood humor) :D

Hms
08-08-2017, 05:01 AM
Have you tried Cosmo Music, Toronto.
They currently list 569 ukes! alphabetically, so the list starts with lots of cheap stuff.
Don't know if they do set ups.
Don't know if they carry stock or just drop ship from the distributor.

This is not a recommendation for this company, never used them.

Address:
10 Via Renzo Drive
Richmond Hill
Ontario L4S 0B6
Canada

Phone:
1-800-463-3000
905-770-5222

h


10 minutes north of Toronto
on Leslie St, north of
Major Mackenzie Dr

h

EllisLo
11-14-2017, 08:09 PM
I think, for a first uke, a laminate in the 70~150 price range would suffice, Kala, Ohana, Baton Rouge, & some say Mainland, (but I have no personal experience the pedigest website (http://www.pacaoffice.org/) of them).

If you take to the uke, it won't be your only one. ;)

I bought one and feel it's well worth the money.

Croaky Keith
11-15-2017, 01:45 AM
I think, for a first uke, a laminate in the 70~150 price range would suffice, Kala, Ohana, Baton Rouge, & some say Mainland, (but I have no personal experience of them).

If you take to the uke, it won't be your only one. ;)

DownUpDave
11-15-2017, 02:08 AM
I live just outside of Toronto and even being close in a big city there is no place to buy ukes that get a set up, not even Cosmo music. You have two options, actually three. The first option is forget the Snail uke, second and best option get the Kala you listed from HMS, third get the same Kala from Cosmo or Long and McQuad shipped to you. That will be a bit cheaper but you will not have it set up. This may or may not be an issue. Kala is a very well made instrument with a great reputation, another is Ohana. I have that same model Kala, solid spruce top with lamiante mahogany back and sides in a super soprano and they are a very nice instrument.

Spend the money once on a good quality product that is fully inspected, professionally set and supplied with a satisfaction guarantee. After one month of playing and loving it you wont even think twice about the cost. Coming from guitar I would think you would know all about that

SoloRule
11-15-2017, 02:33 AM
Here....speaking from experience

Cosmos WILL do set up free of charge if it is purchased from them. They just don’t set up on every uke and the salesman will not tell you they include set up either. In fact, those young men at cosmos know nothing about ukulele. Don’t even waste your time asking question !

Second...
If your uke is purchased else where, you pay approx $45-65 . They will do the set up.

Same deal at Long and McQuade

spookelele
11-15-2017, 08:46 AM
Don't know anything about that Snail Brand. But, a solid top should sound better.
I'd recommend a Kala solid spruce-topped tenor as a first tenor uke.

+1

For a solid top on a budget from a factory that tends to ship with good playability out of the big box... I think that one is a good choice.
Also.. coming from guitar, you may click better with a soft tone wood.

https://www.amazon.com/Kala-KA-STG-Ukulele-Spruce-Mahogany/dp/B00EY7XWGO/

at $189 US=241 CAD, it seems about in your price range.

The snails I've tried were all built well, but IMHO overbuilt. Everything felt a bit chunky, and the projections always seem quiet.