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Brendan688
09-01-2017, 03:11 AM
Good morning all, first time poster. Never tried a ukulele before. I play guitar and have been thinking of trying a ukulele out. To be honest, I don't know the first thing about them, which leads me here. Looking around online, I've been drawn to the Kala Scallop in mahogany. Also if I'm being honest, it's because it looks like my main guitar.

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I know I shouldn't go on looks, so I'm hoping that someone here can give me some advise.
My budget is around $200-300 but willing to go a bit higher for something really nice.
From what I found online, Kala seems like a good brand. But the only review I could find was on Amazon. One five star and a one star. Could be great or terrible! Thanks for any advise!

Kalahan
09-01-2017, 03:37 AM
I found the reviews from Gotaukulele.com (http://www.gotaukulele.com/p/ukulele-reviews.html) to be very helpful and insightful

Choirguy
09-01-2017, 03:37 AM
There are a ton of directions you can go, and one of the challenges with this forum is that there are a number of players at the high end of the spectrum with a lot of disposable income (for a ukulele or many ukuleles). I have seen advice to new players to buy the best instrument they can afford, even if it is a Kamaka.

This advice ignores the idea that ukulele isn't for everyone, even if we love it and want others to love it.

I would suggest a less expensive starter kit to see if the instrument catches your heart. If it does, you can then invest in a $200-$800 instrument down the road.

You also have to be careful about buying ukuleles online, like guitars. Ukuleles are being shipped out of factories by the thousands, many in need of a set-up. Maybe, as a guitarist, you can do this, but many beginnners are uncomfortable doing so.

There are a number of online dealers who have a reputation for setting up ukuleles, such as Mim's Ukes, Uke Republic, and the Ukulele Site. Also to be considered: Mainland ukuleles, with excellent solid wood instruments at incredible prices.

As for a first uke from Amazon, I would suggest two kits from companies that have proven to be ultra-reliable in terms of set-up and keep stock in the US. The first would be the Enya Mahogany Concert (laminate) which is $55, the other is the Aklot Solid Top Mahogany Concert for $55. Both come from the factory with perfect set-up and are excellent starter instruments. When you are ready for the next instrument, that one can become your travel Ukulele. And that is when you can contact one of those above mentioned dealers for that next level ukulele.

Croaky Keith
09-01-2017, 04:25 AM
Welcome aboard.

Personally, I would prefer a standard cutaway; to me, a scallop means you are going to have to twist your hand to get all the way up the fretboard, & that's what I do on a normal body, so I see no great advantage in the design. Having said that, if it appeals to you, no problem, we're all different. :)

The usual brands, Kala, Ohana, & Mainland, are good ukes to start with.
As you already play a guitar, it will be getting used to just 4 strings, & the re entrant tuning, (unless you put a low G on it, which a lot of us do).

JackLuis
09-01-2017, 06:28 AM
Call Mim in Virigina, (540) 505-5444 she handles all sorts of Uke's and can give advice and prices. Her uke's come well set up and her prices are reasonable. Check her store on E-Bay for her current stock.

There are a lot of good dealers that are mentioned on UU. Ukes are fun and easier to play than a Dreadnaught. ;-)

Nickie
09-01-2017, 07:01 AM
I 2nd Jack's suggestion. Mim is an expert at ukulele setup, and knows the Kala and Ohana ukes really well. She has quite a few reviews on YouTube. I have bought 3 ukes from Mim and have never been disappointed. There is a digit missing from her phone # here. Her web address is http://mimsukes.com/
And yes, Got A Ukulele is a very reliable source for uke info. Barry has a ton of reviews on YouTube.

Booli
09-01-2017, 09:34 AM
There are a ton of directions you can go, and one of the challenges with this forum is that there are a number of players at the high end of the spectrum with a lot of disposable income (for a ukulele or many ukuleles). I have seen advice to new players to buy the best instrument they can afford, even if it is a Kamaka.

This advice ignores the idea that ukulele isn't for everyone, even if we love it and want others to love it.

I would suggest a less expensive starter kit to see if the instrument catches your heart. If it does, you can then invest in a $200-$800 instrument down the road.

You also have to be careful about buying ukuleles online, like guitars. Ukuleles are being shipped out of factories by the thousands, many in need of a set-up. Maybe, as a guitarist, you can do this, but many beginnners are uncomfortable doing so.

There are a number of online dealers who have a reputation for setting up ukuleles, such as Mim's Ukes, Uke Republic, and the Ukulele Site. Also to be considered: Mainland ukuleles, with excellent solid wood instruments at incredible prices.

As for a first uke from Amazon, I would suggest two kits from companies that have proven to be ultra-reliable in terms of set-up and keep stock in the US. The first would be the Enya Mahogany Concert (laminate) which is $55, the other is the Aklot Solid Top Mahogany Concert for $55. Both come from the factory with perfect set-up and are excellent starter instruments. When you are ready for the next instrument, that one can become your travel Ukulele. And that is when you can contact one of those above mentioned dealers for that next level ukulele.

+1 to the above and I totally agree with this.

As a newbie on uke, your intent dumping a ton of cash, without knowing what scale length you will end up with, YES IT WILL CHANGE over time, is a fool's errand.

Also, DO NOT buy from Amazon or Guitar Center or similar big-box drop-shippers as they do nothing to inspect the instrument NOR do they do a setup, so chances are you are highly likely to be buying a problem instead of a playable ukulele...

Hawaii Music Supply, Mainland Ukes, Mim's or Uke Republic, all do inspections and setups FOR FREE with ALL instruments and are highly regarded here on UU.

Ignore the above at your own peril. :)

AlohaKine
09-01-2017, 11:24 AM
Whatever you choose, just be sure to go with the Tenor size, since you're coming from a Guitar which is a bigger fretboard...

Kala, Ohana, Luna just to name a few have nice inexpensive brands...

Have fun hunting...

UkingViking
09-01-2017, 11:51 AM
Buy from a ukulele dealer with a good reputation. Asking for ukuleles in Denmarks largest general music store gave me bad advice. Buying from a huge German online store gave me an inferior specimen of the ukulele model I bought.

If you buy a soprano, tenor or concert is up to you. You could argue that the Tenor is easier coming from a guitar, but on the contrary that a soprano adds more of a contrast if you want to try something completely different, or the concert because it is the middle way where you can decide if you want it larger or smaller. If you live near a music store that sells ukuleles, I would suggest trying some different sizes to get an idea of them.

As to whether to start with a cheap ukulele or a higher quality one, it can depend on why you want to get a ukulele in the first place. Starting out with a cheap one and turning it into a travel uke might be a good idea, if you plan to get rid of it if playing the ukulele doesn't stick. But if you want to have a nice ukulele in your instrument collection even if it collects dust most of the time, might as well buy something decent to start with.

actadh
09-01-2017, 01:48 PM
Sounds like that Kala is what your heart tells you to get. There are many reputable Kala dealers mentioned above to make sure you get it set up correctly. So, go for it!

I bought my first uke based on that type of gut reaction to all the many ukes I looked at online. I think that is why I am still playing nearly four years later. All my ukes kind of spoke to me :) and I really don't regret any purchase. I did not buy any of them in person.

krubby
09-01-2017, 02:34 PM
One thing, you are already a guitar player, so you know you are someone who likes to take the time to learn and play an instrument. My point is you are not someone that never has and thinks one day "hey this MIGHT be fun" and then kind of tires of it and moves on.

My point of all of that is I might tend to say knowing that, maybe getting a nicer instrument isn't all that bad of an idea. If you had never played before I might say grab a cheaper one (but still good enough it won't cause frustration) in case it turns out it isn't your thing. if that makes sense

kohanmike
09-01-2017, 03:11 PM
I also say go to Mim. I played guitar for almost 50 years before I played a uke and went through 16 in the first year, all tenor cutaway. When I contacted Mim, she recommended the Kala KAATP-CTG-CE solid cedar top cutaway with preamp for $369, the best money I spent on a uke at that time and got me to cull down my collection to 4. In my opinion it comes very close or even equal to $1000 ukes.

http://www.kohanmike.com/uploads/Kala Cedar.jpg

JackLuis
09-01-2017, 09:51 PM
+1 on a Cedar topped Uke. I bought a Ohana TK-50G (~$320) from Mim last January and have found it to be excellent, but very responsive, with a much mellower tone than my spruce topped Ohana concert. I've played a few Kala Cedar topped ukes and found them to be very nice.

crisson
09-02-2017, 02:09 AM
I don't know anything about the specific uke you are considering but I do have two Kalas and am very happy with the build and sound quality of both. Also, as everyone has already said, buy from someone who will give you a good set up. I got both of mine from HMS but I also know that Mim is great for this as well. Enjoy!

Benjolele
09-06-2017, 08:58 PM
If you are already a guitarist then you have a huge leg up. Go ahead and get the uke that calls to you. I'm a fan of Kala and own a few of them. I've been pleased with the consistancy of quality, even with a couple entry level instruments I've bought as gifts. And having an instrument that makes you smile when you look at it, makes you want to pick it up and play it.

I would also passionately agree with those who urge you away from Amazon or Guitar Center. And I can also recommend Mim's from personal experience. Great seller who actually cares about her customers and has competitive prices. She tracked down a specific Risa electric for me recently, that I hadn't been able to find anywhere else in the US, and her price was lower than any of the European sites (that wouldn't ship here anyway). If she doesn't have the model you want in stock, it's likely she can get it for you if you ask.