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View Full Version : Best Ukuleles to get around for around 200 or $260?



RelaxedPenguin
08-14-2017, 08:28 AM
Hi :)

I've got around 200/$260 to spend on a ukulele. I could probably stretch to 250/$325. I'm open to suggestions for ukuleles at around this price. Can anyone suggest in their opinion the best ukulele at around this price (or in general recommend ukuleles they have bought around this place so I can check them out). Need a lot of different suggestions, as in UK choices are a little bit more limited in terms of what is in stock.

I don't have too many preferences, but I want a concert or tenor ukulele. And I want to sing over it. A built in pick up would be preferred but if I not mandatory.

Also what do people think about solid wood/laminate at this type of price. I assume for most part there aren't many solid wood at this price, but some have told that 250 is a bit much to spend on a laminate.

Will appreciate the suggestions very much. Thanks!:D

Croaky Keith
08-14-2017, 09:09 AM
My suggestion would be for a Kala cedar topped uke, great tone. :)

However, in this price area, I have, the Kala cedar top baritone, RISA solid electric (concert & tenor), Ohana solid mahogany CK35L (tenor scale/concert body), & a Baton Rouge solid spruce concert (with MiSi pickup), all bought in the UK.

Edit: Stores I've dealt with include the Southern Ukulele Store, & Omega Music.

JackLuis
08-14-2017, 05:28 PM
+1 for the Cedar topped Uke. I have a $320 Ohana Tenor TK-50g ( Cedar top, solid rosewood) that is really nice. The Concert version is in your price range and should be available in the UK. I've played a Kala Cedar top bari too and it is very nice.

Choirguy
08-14-2017, 05:44 PM
I'm going to throw a crazy idea out there. There was a Enya EUR-X1 soprano ukulele that was sold for a special price of $29 in the US and 45 in the U.K. They ran out of them in the US, but may have the ukulele in the U.K. at that price until tomorrow (look up Enya Ukulele Kit). I bought 14 of these...one for me at first, and then 13 for our school library to check out to students.

Having bought an Enya, I will eventually buy a concert or tenor version. The soprano camp ukulele is quiet, most likely because of bridge placement (hats off to Barry Maz) on a small body...but I expect the regular shaped ukuleles to be quite good...and not subject to weather conditions.

Therefore, I would actually recommend an Enya X1 model in a larger size...Concert or Tenor...coming in at $140 or less...possibly more in the U.K., but who knows.

deznuchs
08-14-2017, 06:24 PM
My suggestion would be for a Kala cedar topped uke, great tone. :)

I would second the vote for a cedartop Kala. The KALA KA-ATP-CTG seems like a great value. Maybe also the Kala KA-STG solid sprucetop (even more inexpensive). Both seem pretty great.

Tootler
08-15-2017, 02:04 AM
You might also consider Brueko, a small German maker whose instruments are much better than their prices would suggest. I have a soprano, concert and tenor of theirs and when I bought them were well within your budget. Although a combination of their prices rising and the pound falling against the Euro has pushed their prices up. Many of their sopranos are well within your budget and their standard concert and tenor are probably just about at the upper end of your budget and are well worth the money at that price, especially the sopranos. Their ukuleles are largely hand made. The basic shaping is by machine but the finishing is by hand.

RelaxedPenguin
08-15-2017, 02:08 AM
My suggestion would be for a Kala cedar topped uke, great tone. :)

However, in this price area, I have, the Kala cedar top baritone, RISA solid electric (concert & tenor), Ohana solid mahogany CK35L (tenor scale/concert body), & a Baton Rouge solid spruce concert (with MiSi pickup), all bought in the UK.

Edit: Stores I've dealt with include the Southern Ukulele Store, & Omega Music.


+1 for the Cedar topped Uke. I have a $320 Ohana Tenor TK-50g ( Cedar top, solid rosewood) that is really nice. The Concert version is in your price range and should be available in the UK. I've played a Kala Cedar top bari too and it is very nice.


I would second the vote for a cedartop Kala. The KALA KA-ATP-CTG seems like a great value. Maybe also the Kala KA-STG solid sprucetop (even more inexpensive). Both seem pretty great.

I really like the look of the cedar ones but am worried about how loud they are. It will make them harder to sing over, especially if I want to record. That's why I was looking at laminate koa models, but find it hard to find any of them in stock in the UK.

I know this sounds silly but my guitar is spruce top so would rather not get spruce top again. I know ukulele and guitar are different instruments but a change would be nice :).

RelaxedPenguin
08-15-2017, 02:14 AM
You might also consider Brueko, a small German maker whose instruments are much better than their prices would suggest. I have a soprano, concert and tenor of theirs and when I bought them were well within your budget. Although a combination of their prices rising and the pound falling against the Euro has pushed their prices up. Many of their sopranos are well within your budget and their standard concert and tenor are probably just about at the upper end of your budget and are well worth the money at that price, especially the sopranos. Their ukuleles are largely hand made. The basic shaping is by machine but the finishing is by hand.

Not in stock in UK I don't think, tried to search :(.

I think the ones that seem most in stock in UK are Ashbury, Tanglewood, Ortega and Snail. They seem to have multiple models of those. I've tried Ashbury and I hated it. I don't know too much of the rest, but I've heard Snail is good. Was thinking of picking up the odd Kala they might have around though given as people said, it does seem better value for money. There aren't too many ukulele stores in UK unfortunately.

Croaky Keith
08-15-2017, 02:48 AM
If you feel cedar & spruce are too bright, then you should be looking at mahogany. :)

Either of these should suit you at your upper price range.
http://www.southernukulelestore.co.uk/Product/284/Ohana-TK35-Tenor-Ukulele-All-Solid-Mahogany-Satin-Finish
(https://www.omegamusic.co.uk/products/kala-ka-smht-all-solid-mahogany-tenor-ukulele)

(I have a Kala KA-T laminate which sounds pretty good for the price too.) ;)

Edit: A lot of our American cousins like Mainland ukes.
http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/prod/tenor-ukuleles/classic-mahog-tenor.htm

Ziret
08-15-2017, 05:47 AM
I'd recommend what I want, but don't have, the Romero Creations Tiny Tenor with spruce top and laminate back and sides. I think they're about $260 at HMS.

ErnieElse
08-15-2017, 08:14 AM
Hi there,

Please take a look at this thread. It might be of interest...

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?128056-FS-Ohana-TK35-CG-Tenor-All-solid-mahogany-with-cutaway-Mint-condition-UK-seller

I also have a beautiful all solid Kala KA-ASOV-T in as new condition with a top quality Fishman AG passive pickup installed by a top quality luthier for 260 including next day postage. It has barely been played.

A new one without pickup costs 230, the pickup costs 110 and installation 40 so you're getting 380 worth of instrument for 260.

I am in Yorkshire UK.

Please pm me if you are interested. The reference in the linked-to thread shows that I can be trusted. I am simply looking to thin my ukulele herd as they are not getting played at all these days as I focus my time on guitar.

Ernie

Graham Greenbag
08-15-2017, 08:44 AM
Not in stock in UK I don't think, tried to search :(.

There aren't too many ukulele stores in UK unfortunately.

Omega music sell Bruko, see: https://www.omegamusic.co.uk/products/bruko-no-5-all-solid-mahogany-soprano-ukulele-full-body

I bought a Uke mail order 'cause I couldn't find what I wanted locally, a pal then went into a local guitar shop (off the beaten track in a run down part of town) that had a few Ukes and bought a great sounding Uke for much less money - sometimes in life what you want is there but seemingly hidden.

wayfarer75
08-16-2017, 12:52 AM
Cordoba ukes sound really nice for the money, I tried a mahogany top/laminate back and sides model in a big box music store and was impressed.

Tootler
08-16-2017, 12:57 AM
Not in stock in UK I don't think, tried to search :(.

I think the ones that seem most in stock in UK are Ashbury, Tanglewood, Ortega and Snail. They seem to have multiple models of those. I've tried Ashbury and I hated it. I don't know too much of the rest, but I've heard Snail is good. Was thinking of picking up the odd Kala they might have around though given as people said, it does seem better value for money. There aren't too many ukulele stores in UK unfortunately.

I bought my Brueko tenor from Omega gmusic. The others I bought online direct from Brueko in Germany.

You can also get Baton Rouge ukuleles from dealers in the UK. I bought a six string from World of ukes in Carlisle, though I was at one of their events. I've recently bought an 8 string from a local music shop in Northallerton. They are excellent value, laminate but not too thick and they sound well with good projection. Setup of both was spot on and they play well. Barry Maz (BazMaz on UU) of Gotaukulele blog has given them good reviews.

World of Ukes is run by Omega's former ukulele man.

Rakelele
08-16-2017, 01:35 AM
With your budget, an all solid wood Pono is within reach. Best value, IMO.

ErnieElse
08-16-2017, 05:51 AM
Rakelele,

Can you please point me to where one can buy a new solid Pono tenor or concert for the equivalent of $260 ?

Ernie

Rakelele
08-16-2017, 08:11 AM
Rakelele, can you please point me to where one can buy a new solid Pono tenor or concert for the equivalent of $260?

What I meant is that the maximum you quoted comes close, so it might be worth saving a little longer (sorry for the confusion, English is not my first language). From what I see, a new Pono Concert MC costs 319 at Southern Ukulele Store, so that would be 69 over your momentary maximum, but for an all solid wood instrument that I'd rate almost as high as any Hawaiian K brand. I realize this isn't helpful if your budget is fix and firm.

wayfarer75
08-16-2017, 09:25 AM
A Pono could be worth stretching the budget, I agree.