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View Full Version : Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome (UAS) - Is it real ?



itsmemattchung
09-18-2017, 12:25 PM
A few other members who had visited (or reside in) Seattle suggested stopping by Dusty Strings, a local music shop that not only offers lessons but also specializes in selling (since 1982) string instruments: violins, harps, guitars, and ukuleles. So I decided, this past Saturday, to pay a visit since for the past 2 years I've been playing on my Kala 15-S, my first and only ukulele. Up until two days ago, I've never even fiddled with a different model—let alone touched another ukulele.

When I stepped foot into the shop—the top of entrance door has a faced-down acoustic guitar mounted at the top, the strings sing a beautiful chord as the door swings open–I turned right and walked towards over to the 40 (or so) ukuleles neatly mounted on the 10 foot wall.

As I approached the ukulele section of the store, I was immediately greeted by a friendly employee, who I explained to that I was searching for a second ukulele—nothing too fancy—that falls within my budget: $200.00 and $300.00. He then suggested that I simply just try a few out, handing me a Shark tuner to clip on to the end of whatever ukulele I planned on test driving.

I grabbed a tenor ukulele from off the shelf, sat myself down on a leather stool, and cradled the ukulele in my arms. I then coiled the fingers on my left hand, positioning them across all four strings and forming a C chord in it's first inversion. With the strings pressed against the fret, I strummed all four strings.

And now ... I understand ...

I get.

I spent the next 45 minutes playing around with all sorts of ukuleles. Some concert sized. Some tenor sized. Some laminate. Some all wood.

There's a massive difference (in feeling ... in sound) between a $50 ukulele and a $150. I understand the bigger difference between a $50 and a $300. Because in the end, I walked out with a $400 ukulele, my second ukulele that I've been unable to put down since Saturday.

It's real people. I caught it—ukulele acquisition syndrome—it's no joke.

And here it is, my very first (and only, so far) Pono AT[1] with a artful strap installed:

103130

[1] https://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-at-acacia-tenor.html

Pueo
09-18-2017, 12:28 PM
Wait until you start playing $3000 ukuleles...
:iwant:

strings
09-18-2017, 12:52 PM
There are 2 choices: 1- Treat yourself to as many ukes as will satisfy the NEED, or

2- Get into a Compulsive Ukulele Buyer Rehab Center at even greater cost

perep
09-18-2017, 02:41 PM
Got 69 so far and need is still there, just looking at a really nice one for 4 days, has not sold yet--HELP

maki66
09-18-2017, 02:47 PM
Remember this:

What ever you think is all in your head.

:D

DownUpDave
09-18-2017, 03:36 PM
What you experienced was the difference in sound that a quality uke has over a cheap uke, it is massive. My first uke was an all laminate tenor which I thought was great, until I bought a used custom koa tenor, big difference, big, huge. UAS comes after this......like drinking better and better wine as time goes on. Then you are chasing the differences in the good stuff.

JackLuis
09-18-2017, 04:35 PM
In a way I'm glad my hearing is so poor, ( High Freq roll off) Onec you get over about $300 they all sound the same to me. ( He said as he sat surrounded by 12 Ukes!)

SoloRule
09-18-2017, 04:53 PM
So where is the ending of this story? Are you going reveal what was the $400 uke ?

itsmemattchung
09-18-2017, 05:07 PM
So where is the ending of this story? Are you going reveal what was the $400 uke ?

Updated the original post :D but here it is:

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=103130&d=1505786712

SoloRule
09-18-2017, 06:06 PM
Nice! I had the acacia classic series purchased from HMS. It has a warm guitar sound !

Ukulele Eddie
09-18-2017, 07:18 PM
Welcome to the UAS jungle! ;-)

Enjoy the journey, however it takes you. For me experiencing many different ukes has been part of my journey. Different sizes. Different woods (or non-woods.) Different builders. Different appointments. Different turnings. There's no right or wrong answer.

Rakelele
09-18-2017, 10:04 PM
Congratulations to your new uke, and welcome to the club (or therapy group)!

My own experience was very much like yours. And for me, the biggest step up is still the one between the laminated entry level stuff to an all solid Pono. I have bought several instruments that cost ten times as much since then, but that AT was the one that showed me how good a nicely built ukulele can be. And to be honest, I could be perfectly happy with just that one uke. But like others here, I do enjoy exploring different makers, sizes, woods, and build options.

Enjoy your journey! And remember, it ain't UAS if you don't buy your next uke within a month... ;)

robinboyd
09-18-2017, 10:05 PM
Enjoy your journey! And remember, it ain't UAS if you don't buy your next uke within a month... ;)

Oh good. I was getting worried...

AlohaKine
09-18-2017, 10:15 PM
Wait until you start playing $3000 ukuleles...
:iwant:

Hey you're from Hawaii... :shaka:

I can say as far as the Ks go, I've played the lowest priced ones, up to the higher, and every one of the higher priced models I never considered a better instrument, just different tones. Actually you can say, when it comes to the Ks, no matter what you pay, it really just gets down to the wood and the tone you like...

Aloha

Croaky Keith
09-18-2017, 10:47 PM
Nice choice - but there are still more ukes to try & buy. ;)

spookelele
09-19-2017, 05:15 AM
this is why I try to recommend getting a higher end uke that you can still afford.

Once you know that uke is going to be an integral part of your life, spending more will be spending less, and you get more time on a more enjoyable instrument.

Rllink
09-19-2017, 05:30 AM
I've only bought two ukes since April of 2014, my Makala, and then my Mainland a year later. But even though I haven't bought one since then, that doesn't mean that I don't look at them all the time. Anyway, I somehow got a student this spring and I decided that I would take the money that I was getting for teaching her, and that I would buy a Soprano. At first I was just going to get a Makala when I got enough for one. I mean, I really like my Makala concert still. I play it all the time. But then when I got enough to buy the Makala, I thought that I might hold off a for a while until I got enough saved up for a bottom of the line Kala. But then when I got enough saved up for a bottom of the line Kala, I thought that maybe I would wait until I saved up enough for a solid top uke with laminate sides. So now I'm saving up for a solid solid wood soprano with a spruce top. I don't know when I'm going to get a new soprano, but as time goes on it gets to be a better and better uke that I'm saving for. I really need to pull the trigger here pretty soon.

kohanmike
09-19-2017, 07:36 AM
I went through sixteen tenor cutaway ukes the first year I played, culled them down to four, and now I'm up to seven. I have no problem with UAS, it's fun.

Steedy
09-19-2017, 09:19 AM
The struggle is real! :cool:

Ziret
09-19-2017, 09:45 AM
Matt, you were lucky to go two years (!) without catching it. That's a beauty. I wish you another two years of playing, not shopping. I need to get to Seattle and visit Dusty Strings, if only you see that guitar door chime.

70sSanO
09-19-2017, 10:35 AM
Buying the best uke you can really pays off. I was fortunate to buy a Koaloha soprano from MGM 10+ years ago. Soprano wasn't my size so I sold it a few years later for about what I paid. Bought a tenor from a small builder on Oahu shortly after getting the soprano. It has been my main ukulele since then. Taken it on nearly all our trips. I have since bought a second one from the same person. In the last couple years I have bought 4 ukes.

I have the toughest time resisting lesser know ukes from small/hobbyist builders. I feel I can buy a production uke anytime, but not so with the off-the-beaten path ukuleles. Just my qwerk.

My only advice is if you are buying us to try not to let an impulse buy get the best of you. If you buy more try to buy with purpose to fill in a collection, so to speak. Quality is better than quantity.

John

70sSanO
09-19-2017, 10:36 AM
Duplicate post.

John

Croaky Keith
09-19-2017, 11:43 AM
.....My only advice is if you are buying is to try not to let an impulse buy get the best of you. If you buy more try to buy with purpose to fill in a collection, so to speak....

Totally agree, all my recent purchases have been to fill in a gap in my 'family' - & the odd one just for fun. :D

Nickie
09-19-2017, 01:57 PM
UAS doesn't exist after you find your dream uke, like I did.

Hey, whose uke is that over there in the corner? I like the tone....hmmmm.

Pueo
09-19-2017, 02:20 PM
Hey you're from Hawaii... :shaka:

I can say as far as the Ks go, I've played the lowest priced ones, up to the higher, and everyone one of the higher priced models I never considered a better instrument, just different tones. Actually you can say, when it comes to the Ks, no matter what you pay, it really just gets down to the wood and the tone you like...

Aloha

There is a gulf between really nicely built solid wood ukuleles (Like Pono) and the truly luthier-built ukuleles like Ko`olau (or Maui Music, or Hive, or Beau Hannam, or Louis Feu de Mesquita, or Hoffman Lutherie) that really does justify the significant gap in price.

I love my Pono, and it is, in my opinion, a superb ukulele. There is no justifiable reason for me to go out and buy a Kamaka or Kanile`a koa ukulele because my Pono, at least in terms of playability and sound, is really that good. Beautiful wood too, but it is not super curly or anything, but neither is an entry-level Kamaka or Kanile`a.

Now, if I want to pay eight times what I paid for my Pono, I will get an ukulele that has much prettier wood, but arguably not that much prettier sound.

I have played many expensive, high-quality ukuleles, and truly, the only ones that compel me to spend the money for them start at about $4000 and skyrocket up from there.
What you are getting for that price is superior craftsmanship, premium wood and finish, often some type of bling, and the fact that usually a single artisan did everything from start to finish.

The way these instruments feel in your hands, the subtleties in sound and resonance, they are usually easier to play well, respond to a light touch well, as well as being able to strum full force and still not get any buzz, that type of thing. I just can't afford any of them.

Tigermelon
09-19-2017, 02:48 PM
I think it's best for beginners to start with a cheaper, entry level uke and then, once they get a feel for the instrument, they can move up to something better and really appreciate it.

My first uke is a little Sawtooth tenor I got as part of a kit through Amazon and once I got the hang of it (I have zero musical background) I fell in love with it and thought that it was all I'd ever need. Still, I wanted to get a "nicer" ukulele eventually and when I found a solid koa tenor in my price range I decided to take the plunge and, woah, was there a difference. If I had started with the nicer uke, I never would have appreciated what it had to offer.

I've never played an uke in the four-figure price range (and I'm not sure I'll ever take that plunge) but I would love to try one after I've got a few more years with my current uke. I know that when I first picked up an ukulele I wasn't ready to experience variety and I'm glad that I'm able to slowly evolve to appreciate more and more of what the uke world has to offer.

Booli
09-19-2017, 04:10 PM
UAS is an infectious mental disease, communicable by even ONLY reading UU.

There is no cure, but rationalizations and confirmation-bias will keep the neurons busy, as the money leaves your bank account.

It progresses in severity over time, and as it does so, it has it's peak moments, like buying ANOTHER uke while you are waiting for the most recent purchase to even get delivered, vs. going to every music store in diving distance that sells ukes, on a weekly basis to play and compare anything you can find...

There should be a warning on the UU forum signup page:

"abandon all your confidence of impulse control, all ye who enter here"

AlohaKine
09-19-2017, 05:29 PM
There is a gulf between really nicely built solid wood ukuleles (Like Pono) and the truly luthier-built ukuleles like Ko`olau (or Maui Music, or Hive, or Beau Hannam, or Louis Feu de Mesquita, or Hoffman Lutherie) that really does justify the significant gap in price.

I love my Pono, and it is, in my opinion, a superb ukulele. There is no justifiable reason for me to go out and buy a Kamaka or Kanile`a koa ukulele because my Pono, at least in terms of playability and sound, is really that good. Beautiful wood too, but it is not super curly or anything, but neither is an entry-level Kamaka or Kanile`a.

Now, if I want to pay eight times what I paid for my Pono, I will get an ukulele that has much prettier wood, but arguably not that much prettier sound.

I have played many expensive, high-quality ukuleles, and truly, the only ones that compel me to spend the money for them start at about $4000 and skyrocket up from there.
What you are getting for that price is superior craftsmanship, premium wood and finish, often some type of bling, and the fact that usually a single artisan did everything from start to finish.

The way these instruments feel in your hands, the subtleties in sound and resonance, they are usually easier to play well, respond to a light touch well, as well as being able to strum full force and still not get any buzz, that type of thing. I just can't afford any of them.

I hear what you're saying, I was just looking at it from the $3000 range you mentioned, but certainly something like a $5000 Grimes Uke, yes I know it's going to have a difference... ;)

RafterGirl
09-20-2017, 02:18 AM
I just started playing in April of this year, and there are 4 ukuleles sitting here in my office. My starter laminate (but it will get gifted to a friend who wants to learn to play), a Bonanza (but that's for outdoor adventure trips), an Islander tenor (but I won that at a ukulele festival), and a newly acquired KoAloha (but I deserved a nice uke). I think I'm infected?

Seriously, all my my pursuits in life have come with their own version of UAS. In the past 20 years I've owned 6 different whitewater rafts that cost a small fortune, and 2 different touring kayaks. My BAS (boat acquisition syndrome) is currently in remission. I have 2 rafts (one big, one small) and 2 kayaks (one to paddle & one loaner) that fit my needs perfectly. At least with ukuleles, they aren't quite as expensive and I can enjoy them everyday.

Croaky Keith
09-20-2017, 02:26 AM
At least with ukuleles, they aren't quite as expensive .....

...& that in itself can lead to UAS. ;)

Booli
09-20-2017, 03:30 AM
...At least with ukuleles, they aren't quite as expensive and I can enjoy them everyday.

Aye!


...& that in itself can lead to UAS. ;)

Preaching to the choir! :music:

Viva La UAS!!! :rock:

ha ha ha!!!

spookelele
09-20-2017, 05:07 AM
I think it's best for beginners to start with a cheaper, entry level uke and then, once they get a feel for the instrument, they can move up to something better and really appreciate it.

I absolutely agree.

The problem is.. people buy a starter uke, and then keep doing small incremental upgrades... when really they're going to end up with a more expensive uke.
The thing is... those small steps... each cost money.

You hear about people buying 12-40+ 200-400 ukes. If you do the math, 10x $200=2k... when you could have bought a nicer higher end K or something else in that price, that you're likely to do anyway.

It's cheaper to skip those intermediates and go for something higher end, or at least make bigger jumps so that you don't end up with a closet full of intermediates and cases.

Booli
09-20-2017, 05:17 AM
I absolutely agree.

The problem is.. people buy a starter uke, and then keep doing small incremental upgrades... when really they're going to end up with a more expensive uke.
The thing is... those small steps... each cost money.

You hear about people buying 12-40+ 200-400 ukes. If you do the math, 10x $200=2k... when you could have bought a nicer higher end K or something else in that price, that you're likely to do anyway.

It's cheaper to skip those intermediates and go for something higher end, or at least make bigger jumps so that you don't end up with a closet full of intermediates and cases.

I wish somebody had beat this into my head 4 yrs ago.

Now I have to get rid of so many that are just unplayed, in their cases, in the closet.

Saturated with a spectrum of ukes, feels like THEY own me, instead of the other way around...

I've not bought any new ukes in over 9 months and have committed to not getting another until I can downsize significantly first.

Ukecaster
09-20-2017, 05:36 AM
It's ALIVE! :D

Nickie
09-20-2017, 07:07 AM
I absolutely agree.

The problem is.. people buy a starter uke, and then keep doing small incremental upgrades... when really they're going to end up with a more expensive uke.
The thing is... those small steps... each cost money.

You hear about people buying 12-40+ 200-400 ukes. If you do the math, 10x $200=2k... when you could have bought a nicer higher end K or something else in that price, that you're likely to do anyway.

It's cheaper to skip those intermediates and go for something higher end, or at least make bigger jumps so that you don't end up with a closet full of intermediates and cases.

This is what makes the material world go around.....consumerism. I guess a lot of people are making money selling ukes that otherwise wouldn't be. They cash in on our fun disease. Pretty smart.

perep
09-20-2017, 07:31 AM
I absolutely agree.

The problem is.. people buy a starter uke, and then keep doing small incremental upgrades... when really they're going to end up with a more expensive uke.
The thing is... those small steps... each cost money.

You hear about people buying 12-40+ 200-400 ukes. If you do the math, 10x $200=2k... when you could have bought a nicer higher end K or something else in that price, that you're likely to do anyway.

It's cheaper to skip those intermediates and go for something higher end, or at least make bigger jumps so that you don't end up with a closet full of intermediates and cases.

I AGREE TOTALLY , That is some of reason I have 69. I council people to start with a low end uke with GOOD strings, play for months with it and try other's when in group, THEN go high end as you WILL get there in the end, skip the stuff you collect going through the UAS

RafterGirl
09-20-2017, 08:50 AM
Sounds like I'm following a good path then. Starter uke ($100) for about 6 months to learn on. Outdoor specific uke that I don't mind sticking in a dry bag & carrying on my raft or kayak, but has a good sound to it. Tenor that I won, which prevented me from spending money on a size that doesn't quite suit me. And now a nice quality instrument (KoAloha) that I'll really appreciate.

Ideally, I'd like three ukes. All concerts. My Bonanza for outdoor adventures & travel, my KoAloha, and maybe a nice quality mahogany. One of those with a pickup for plugged in play at some point. Now......I can hear you all snickering. Three ukuleles, yeah right.

Booli
09-20-2017, 09:13 AM
Sounds like I'm following a good path then. Starter uke ($100) for about 6 months to learn on. Outdoor specific uke that I don't mind sticking in a dry bag & carrying on my raft or kayak, but has a good sound to it. Tenor that I won, which prevented me from spending money on a size that doesn't quite suit me. And now a nice quality instrument (KoAloha) that I'll really appreciate.

Ideally, I'd like three ukes. All concerts. My Bonanza for outdoor adventures & travel, my KoAloha, and maybe a nice quality mahogany. One of those with a pickup for plugged in play at some point. Now......I can hear you all snickering. Three ukuleles, yeah right.

and this is how it begins - insidiously - the Rationalizations rise up and out into the open....

70sSanO
09-20-2017, 09:43 AM
Starting with a cheap uke might be good for a person with no other musical background. If someone already plays an instrument, that person should know the dedication it takes to become proficient enough to enjoy creating music. By the same token, he/she already knows the value if a quality instrument and the reasons why it is worth spending a bit more to get a better ukulele.

John

Tigermelon
09-20-2017, 09:46 AM
I jumped from a $50 uke to a $300 one that I'm really happy with (although I was really happy with the first one, too, until I outgrew it). If I ever decide I need something better than my second, I'm sure it will again be three or four times the price. I agree that you don't want to buy a dozen ukes, each on slightly better than the previous one.

I really don't want a big collection--I just want instruments that I'm going to use and enjoy.

Nickie
09-20-2017, 12:03 PM
I absolutely agree.

The problem is.. people buy a starter uke, and then keep doing small incremental upgrades... when really they're going to end up with a more expensive uke.
The thing is... those small steps... each cost money.

You hear about people buying 12-40+ 200-400 ukes. If you do the math, 10x $200=2k... when you could have bought a nicer higher end K or something else in that price, that you're likely to do anyway.

It's cheaper to skip those intermediates and go for something higher end, or at least make bigger jumps so that you don't end up with a closet full of intermediates and cases.

This is what makes the material world go around.....consumerism. I guess a lot of people are making money selling ukes that otherwise wouldn't be. They cash in on our fun disease. Pretty smart.
A woman who works in my credit union always has a car payment, because she sees something new she likes and buys it. That's way crazier than UAS. She's getting ripped off massively and doesn't care.

Rllink
09-20-2017, 12:15 PM
Starting with a cheap uke might be good for a person with no other musical background. If someone already plays an instrument, that person should know the dedication it takes to become proficient enough to enjoy creating music. By the same token, he/she already knows the value if a quality instrument and the reasons why it is worth spending a bit more to get a better ukulele.

John

When I bought my first ukulele, I didn't even know if I really wanted to play the ukulele. It looked fun. That's it. Nothing more. I thought, that looks fun. I had no idea about what ukuleles cost. I bought a Makala concert, because it got pretty good reviews and it was cheap. How would I know anything else? That's it. It took me a year on that Makala to come to the realization that playing the ukulele was going to be a long term thing for me, and realize that the Mainland Concert was what I really needed. I had never even heard of Mainland. The Mainland came as a result of my experience with the Makala, pure and simple. I don't know how anyone just starting in could just pick that one great more expensive ukulele that is going to carry them through their ukulele journey with no actual hands on experience.

70sSanO
09-20-2017, 12:40 PM
When I bought my first ukulele, I didn't even know if I really wanted to play the ukulele. It looked fun. That's it. Nothing more. I thought, that looks fun. I had no idea about what ukuleles cost. I bought a Makala concert, because it got pretty good reviews and it was cheap. How would I know anything else? That's it. It took me a year on that Makala to come to the realization that playing the ukulele was going to be a long term thing for me, and realize that the Mainland Concert was what I really needed. I had never even heard of Mainland. The Mainland came as a result of my experience with the Makala, pure and simple. I don't know how anyone just starting in could just pick that one great more expensive ukulele that is going to carry them through their ukulele journey with no actual hands on experience.

I did. But as I indicated, I already played guitar and piano. My point has to do with already having a musical background, if you don't, buy cheap. And I'm not saying to go buy a expensive ukulele, buy a good one or a good used one.

I see it in surfing and cycling where people buy cheap and end up having to buy decent or having a tough time selling the cheap board or bike. Buy good used and sell for close to what you paid.

John

Croaky Keith
09-20-2017, 12:41 PM
My first ukes were Makala, a tenor, a soprano, & a concert. This was so that I would be able to decide which was the most suitable for me, without spending a fortune. Then I discovered the long neck soprano, & that became my most used/played of the lot. But I had to see if a better quality concert uke would make that much difference, compared to my cheap one. Then there were different woods, that were supposed to sound different, so I needed to try a couple just to see. In the mean time my hands had stretched, so I was now able to play a tenor scale, & if I could play a tenor, how about a baritone, so along came a baritone. Now I thought this would be the last one that I'd buy, so I spent a bit more on it. Turned out it wasn't really my scale, so I got an electric tenor. That was fun for a while, but it wasn't that easy to record, did I forget to mention, I had started to participate in the Seasons challenges. Next I needed a microphone to record with, to make it easier to take part in the Seasons. Where was I, oh yes, UAS does it exist, I'm keeping an open mind. :p

Tigermelon
09-20-2017, 01:30 PM
I did. But as I indicated, I already played guitar and piano. My point has to do with already having a musical background, if you don't, buy cheap. And I'm not saying to go buy a expensive ukulele, buy a good one or a good used one.

I see it in surfing and cycling where people buy cheap and end up having to buy decent or having a tough time selling the cheap board or bike. Buy good used and sell for close to what you paid.

I think, though, that if you have no idea if the ukulele is something you're going to enjoy, it's not a bad idea to get a cheap one. You'll never have a problem finding someone who will take it off your hands if you decide to upgrade and you won't feel bad letting go of an uke that cost less than a new video game. It would be a bigger pain to try to get your money back on the purchase of a more moderately priced instrument you ended up not enjoying.

manfrog
09-20-2017, 01:33 PM
Oh UAS is real, this is a microscopic image of the virus that causes it. And there is no vaccine... but why would you want one? :)

https://i2.wp.com/www.artofthecell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Art-of-the-Cell-UAS-Blue.jpg

Ziret
09-20-2017, 01:49 PM
I think, though, that if you have no idea if the ukulele is something you're going to enjoy, it's not a bad idea to get a cheap one. You'll never have a problem finding someone who will take it off your hands if you decide to upgrade and you won't feel bad letting go of an uke that cost less than a new video game. It would be a bigger pain to try to get your money back on the purchase of a more moderately priced instrument you ended up not enjoying.

You could buy a $50 uke and then keep it or sell it or give it away. Or a $350 uke and sell it for $300. It's either the same or slightly better to buy cheap.

Booli
09-20-2017, 01:55 PM
I think, though, that if you have no idea if the ukulele is something you're going to enjoy, it's not a bad idea to get a cheap one. You'll never have a problem finding someone who will take it off your hands if you decide to upgrade and you won't feel bad letting go of an uke that cost less than a new video game. It would be a bigger pain to try to get your money back on the purchase of a more moderately priced instrument you ended up not enjoying.

Lots of folks (on UU included) are of the opinion that a very nice playing uke starts at ~$100 with setup from a preferred vendor.

There is always someone who will happily accept that uke as a hand-me-down if/when when the time comes.

If that uke might sell for $30 at a garage sale (whether a month or 3 yrs later), might it not be worth just donating it to a needy person? you'll feel better, and yes I know 'feelings' does not buy groceries or medicines...

There is not much risk in being 'stuck' with an unloved ukulele.

We all also need to remember that even just $100 to spend can be LOTS of money for other folks.

Tigermelon
09-20-2017, 01:59 PM
I suppose it depends on where you live to some extent. I would have no trouble finding someone to take a $50 uke off my hands but trying to sell one for $300 would be a hassle. I'd end up having to sell it on eBay and thus would need to get good packing materials and all the other sundry tasks just to lose the same $50. To me, just not worth it.

Booli
09-20-2017, 02:04 PM
I suppose it depends on where you live to some extent. I would have no trouble finding someone to take a $50 uke off my hands but trying to sell one for $300 would be a hassle. I'd end up having to sell it on eBay and thus would need to get good packing materials and all the other sundry tasks just to lose the same $50. To me, just not worth it.

Everyone has their own tolerance for risk and/or tolerance for pain, and needs to follow their own best interests...nothing wrong with any of that. :)

OTOH - 'YMMV' :)

RafterGirl
09-20-2017, 02:52 PM
Confession time. I totally forgot about the Kala Waterman that I bought as my very first ukulele. Once I bought my Teton uke, I didn't care for the Waterman. I gifted it to the teenage girl in my "rafting family" and she adores it. It was fun to give as a gift to her, and now I'm guaranteed to have a second uke player to jam with on river trips. My Teton is already set aside for a friend who wants to learn how to play. She's almost done with grad school, and then she'll start playing. I feel good about sending my starter on the her.

My biggest challenge right now is what to do about my tenor. It's a sweet uke, and it holds a special place in my heart because of how I got it. I play it often, and for the most part like it, but the concert size is definitely my happy place. Reading uke1950's post above about growing into different sizes over time, makes me pause & consider just hanging on to it a little longer. A wise uke player told me a few days ago....."you can always let it go, but you can never get it back."

70sSanO
09-20-2017, 03:59 PM
If someone can only spend $50-$100 for a uke, that is great. A lot of decent sounding ukes out there if you take your time to find a good one. I think if someone can only afford a half-a-dozen $50-$100 ukes due to UAS, it might be wise to limit the UAS and get a little nicer one, or two.

John

JackLuis
09-20-2017, 05:49 PM
Last Christmas I decided to get a "Good" uke. I had been playing my Caramels which are 'cheap Ukes" but sound pretty good to me. I bought a solid cedar and rosewood Ohana TK-50G and love it, however it doesn't work well for strumming. My Caramel Zebra woods do work well for strumming and that's what I've been concentrating on since I started playing.

Now I have to start finger picking to get my "Best Uke" to thrill me.

Croaky Keith
09-20-2017, 11:18 PM
It's good to buy fairly cheap ukes to start with as they can be passed on without any worries about losing money, after all, how much does a night out cost you.

My neighbours are spending £4,000 on a weeks holiday for two, they enjoy cruising, but my uke collection hasn't cost me half as much as that, so basically I wouldn't be losing anything but a week away if I lost them, that's the way I look at it. :cool:

(I've just passed 6 of my first cheap ukes over to a nursing home for the residents to enjoy, they're no loss to me, but will bring joy to someone else.)
I'm not rich by any means, I'm on a state pension, but once I've bought something, the money is gone & I don't really think of it again. ;)

70sSanO
09-20-2017, 11:26 PM
Not sure the issue is a more expensive ukulele or the wrong wood for certain types of playing. My wife and I both have cedar top ukuleles. I wouldn't classify either be of them as strummers. I'm sure some people have had great success strumming, especially heavy, with that tone wood, but I have found that it has a definite ceiling and doesn't like to be pushed beyond a certain point.

Koa and mahogany seem to hold up well. Not sure about spruce on a uke for more aggressive strumming. I need to try out a few more.

John

robedney
09-22-2017, 10:05 AM
It says something that a thread about buying ukes is up to six pages now! Let's keep it going -- at least it's keeping me from shopping while reading it.

In case there are any folks new to the ukulele reading this thing: There are a lot of lower end ukes that are not "set-up" well. This makes playing and learning harder. Do your best to purchase from someone who checks and corrects the set-up on every uke they sell. Search the site for HMS and Mim as an example. A well set-up decent cheap uke is fine to learn on. I've given away several.

Croaky Keith
09-22-2017, 10:18 AM
This is definately the last uke I'm going to buy :rofl: - just ordered a Kala KA-ASAC concert scale uke, (those ukes I gave away left an empty space), & I needed something a little brighter than mahogany. :D

itsmemattchung
09-23-2017, 05:38 AM
So it's been about a week since I kicked off this thread and about a week since I upgraded my ukulele, from the Kala S15 to my all wood Pono AT. And I cannot seem to put the instrument down. Since upgrading, I've probably played more on the Pono in the past week than in all the 2 years that I haphazardly picked up the Kala S15. Perhaps I feel compelled to invest more time since I've invested more money? Not sure. Or maybe I have it backwards? Maybe since I had been playing the ukulele more recently, I felt compelled to invest in a higher quality instrument? In either case, I'm happy with the investment.

But given how much I love my Pono, I cannot imagine ever needing to purchase another ukulele. I'm actually returning to Dusty Strings (the Seattle string store where I purchased the Pono) today for a group ukulele lesson (my first group jam) and I'm going to seriously avoid the section where I originally tested (and purchased) my ukulele. Because in my first post on this thread, I failed to mention that I deliberately avoided picking up any ukulele from off the shelf that was labeled above $400.00; I was afraid that if I felt and heard a $1000 (or more) ukulele I would be taking it home.

Maybe that's the solution: just avoid testing those high end ukuleles all together :o

strat4me
09-24-2017, 09:54 AM
First picked-up a uke two months ago. Own and play 10 now. UAS is real... FUN!

rubykey
09-24-2017, 10:55 AM
Oh UAS is real, this is a microscopic image of the virus that causes it. And there is no vaccine... but why would you want one? :)

https://i2.wp.com/www.artofthecell.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Art-of-the-Cell-UAS-Blue.jpg

Love this image. It's more fun to be infected and hang with the afflicted. Even if we're relegated to the Underground.

Anybody hankering for an Opio? I can help you with that.

Nickie
09-24-2017, 11:07 AM
First picked-up a uke two months ago. Own and play 10 now. UAS is real... FUN!

Good goly!
If I'd done that, not only would I be broke, I'd probably be divorced, too! I see you have GAS too....

robedney
09-24-2017, 01:03 PM
Uh oh. Went to our uke group today and one of our members has a tenor Opio. I asked if I could try it, wandered into the other room and played it a bit. I've played lots of mid-range ukes and own one of the more expensive Pono offerings. This Opio reached right down into my soul and spoke to me. Beautifully voiced, clear resonant sound and plenty of volume. Sounds great picked and strummed. I really shouldn't do this right now, I really shouldn't...

rubykey
09-26-2017, 02:06 PM
Uh oh. Went to our uke group today and one of our members has a tenor Opio. I asked if I could try it, wandered into the other room and played it a bit. I've played lots of mid-range ukes and own one of the more expensive Pono offerings. This Opio reached right down into my soul and spoke to me. Beautifully voiced, clear resonant sound and plenty of volume. Sounds great picked and strummed. I really shouldn't do this right now, I really shouldn't...

oh Rob if you can bond with a concert size I have an Opio that can sooth your craving and I'm local.
Gorgeous specimen with all the attributes you describe above and it's brand new. No shipping hassles for me = $100 off list price and it's brand new. Let me lead you into temptation. UAS is real. I have my eye on another.

dinghy
09-27-2017, 08:36 AM
ahoy

yes yes yes

started about six months ago
now have nine ukes

may sell my only concert
have become a hard core
soprano kind of guy

yours truly
mac

Subfanatic
09-27-2017, 10:18 AM
It's absolutely not real.

kkimura
09-28-2017, 03:15 AM
UAS is not real. I can quit any time I want too. In fact, I've already quit several times.

DanY
09-28-2017, 04:13 AM
Matt Dahlberg has a new web cam sessions video on UAS: https://youtu.be/x9plCbLa8sA

Joyful Uke
09-28-2017, 01:11 PM
It's all too real.
Browsing the Marketplace is dangerous.
But I'm looking forward to the incoming ukulele. :-)

70sSanO
09-28-2017, 08:58 PM
Just got back from Kauai. Saw a ukulele from a local luthier (not Raymond Rapozo) at Scotty's. It played so nice and was really tempting and my wife gave me the okay. I decided to think about it. In the end I had to pass on it since I have a few nice ukuleles that I probably won't get rid of so it really wouldn't fill a need... just a want.

One thing I have found is that each uke has a little quirk that is not obvious when your brain is shouting buy, buy. Sometimes the weather/humidity is just right and the sounds are heavenly, but at other times it doesn't seem quite as magical. So, unless it is just so unique to what I already have, it will probably end up being just another variation.

John

drbekken
09-30-2017, 02:07 AM
UAS is real.

Nickie
10-01-2017, 02:57 PM
UAS is real.

By the gods, if it is, Santa Claus better be real too!

AmandaJ
10-02-2017, 07:32 AM
I think I might be catching UAS.

I only have two at the moment - an entry level soprano and an very lovely super-soprano cocobolo that I got a few months ago. However, I'm now finding myself looking at banjo ukuleles... :D

Tanman
10-07-2017, 08:38 AM
I'm not sure what's wrong with UAS in any proportion. It's widely hailed that the ukulele is a happy instrument. UAS at its most innocent is just an attempt to increase that happiness!

RafterGirl
10-07-2017, 09:21 AM
I keep telling myself that ukuleles are a lot less expensive than my other hobbies. Whitewater rafts & gear, and sea kayaks & gear cost considerably more, and they sit in my garage all winter waiting for warmer weather to get used. My lovely little ukulele family warms my heart every day :D

MopMan
10-07-2017, 10:21 AM
Yes. UAS is real.

There is only one ukulele in my house so far, but I have already managed to get myself into a luthier's custom build queue. It is only natural to want a really nice instrument since I spend so much time playing with it. Right?? Now, will I be able to wait the long months required for my build to be finished before acquiring another? Only time will tell...

Mivo
10-09-2017, 03:29 PM
Buying a second uke after a longer period of playing the first one isn't really UAS. :) That's just a healthy form of upgrading! I think when you end up with five, ten or even more, bought within just a year or three, and you're still unfulfilled feeling and still looking for "the one", that is where things get a little challenging. Perhaps that is really what it comes down to: the level of satisfaction and happiness, and the reason why one looks for more ukes. When UAS plagued me, buying more ukes didn't make me happier, or play better, just more swamped and torn feeling.

If I could go back in time, I would skip the mid-tier upgrades and go straight for an expensive instrument, but financial limitations aside, preferences are shaped by experiences, so getting it right early on is difficult. It seems to work for me with banjos now (I only have one), but that is largely because of the lessons I learned from "collecting" ukuleles. I feel that the real cure for UAS, at least for some of us, is to become better players.

Matt did a UU Webcam Session on the topic recently. I don't agree with all of his points, but I do feel that focusing on one (ideally good) instrument helps with improving and, perhaps, happiness and satisfaction from making music.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9plCbLa8sA

VegasGeorge
05-24-2019, 06:07 AM
FYI - UAS is alive and well in Texas! I recently posted a review on how nice the Alvarez Grateful Dead 50th anniversary Ukes are for the price. Then, I ordered another one to be delivered to the hotel at Disney World so I'd have a new Uke to play while on vacation, and to bring home as a souvenir, so to speak. (It turned out that Disney doesn't sell any Ukes in the park, despite what the online ads say.) Then I realized that I had two of the five commemorative models. "So," says my UAS infected brain, "why not go ahead and complete the collection?" Yesterday that nice brown truck arrived with the additional three Ukes. Boy do they look handsome all lined up on the music room table!

Now, what to do with five, almost identical, Concert Ukes? Lets see: Low G, High G, D tuning, Slack Key, and ......? What would you suggest for the fifth one? Gotta have something different!

AQUATOPAZ
05-24-2019, 06:16 AM
A few other members who had visited (or reside in) Seattle suggested stopping by Dusty Strings, a local music shop that not only offers lessons but also specializes in selling (since 1982) string instruments: violins, harps, guitars, and ukuleles. So I decided, this past Saturday, to pay a visit since for the past 2 years I've been playing on my Kala 15-S, my first and only ukulele. Up until two days ago, I've never even fiddled with a different model—let alone touched another ukulele.

When I stepped foot into the shop—the top of entrance door has a faced-down acoustic guitar mounted at the top, the strings sing a beautiful chord as the door swings open–I turned right and walked towards over to the 40 (or so) ukuleles neatly mounted on the 10 foot wall.

As I approached the ukulele section of the store, I was immediately greeted by a friendly employee, who I explained to that I was searching for a second ukulele—nothing too fancy—that falls within my budget: $200.00 and $300.00. He then suggested that I simply just try a few out, handing me a Shark tuner to clip on to the end of whatever ukulele I planned on test driving.

I grabbed a tenor ukulele from off the shelf, sat myself down on a leather stool, and cradled the ukulele in my arms. I then coiled the fingers on my left hand, positioning them across all four strings and forming a C chord in it's first inversion. With the strings pressed against the fret, I strummed all four strings.

And now ... I understand ...

I get.

I spent the next 45 minutes playing around with all sorts of ukuleles. Some concert sized. Some tenor sized. Some laminate. Some all wood.

There's a massive difference (in feeling ... in sound) between a $50 ukulele and a $150. I understand the bigger difference between a $50 and a $300. Because in the end, I walked out with a $400 ukulele, my second ukulele that I've been unable to put down since Saturday.

It's real people. I caught it—ukulele acquisition syndrome—it's no joke.

And here it is, my very first (and only, so far) Pono AT[1] with a artful strap installed:

103130

[1] https://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-at-acacia-tenor.html

Might not be UAS. Could just be a hunger for a better sounding uke in a size that suits you better combined with a deep appreciation of the nuances of sound. If you truly had UAS, you could easily have walked out with 2 $200 ukes, which many with UAS would have done.

VegasGeorge
05-24-2019, 06:20 AM
I entirely agree with his two main points: (1) That broadening one's experience by playing a variety of instruments is beneficial, and; (2) That for a beginner, it's very important to learn on a good instrument. Because, a poor instrument will hold you back. It's tricky, because a good player can make a crappy Uke sound pretty darn good, especially to a beginner. But, a poor instrument is harder to play, and can even lead a beginner to eventually give up.

Jarmo_S
05-24-2019, 07:38 AM
Remember guys and girls all acquisition "syndroms" are basically bad.

I only spent about a total of 400 euros for the safety razors/soaps/brushes, but what I now use are just 2 ones. And I don't like the others being unused.

It was years ago and not as harmful as UAS you guys have at all though. Musical instruments can be so costly. And when you feel guilty, it must feel more bad too, not playing them I mean and them being just junk you don't need.

about2
05-24-2019, 06:00 PM
Interesting topic. I started my instrumental hobby playing Irish whistle. As it is not a chromatic instrumental, I had “justification” for buying a variety of keys. I stopped buying once I had a quality instrument in keys ranging from low c to high d.

Then I started playing uke. I’ve been playing for 18 months and have 6 instruments at present....although I’ve owned a total of 11. I think I have met the requirements to join this club.

However, I have found this syndrome has helped me refine my playing. I know more about the sound I’m looking for and am learning how to milk better sound out of each instrument...

I’m also grateful for second hand marketplaces like uu. It has allowed me to sell and buy/try instruments without additional cash. I even sold some whistles and a few ukes to purchase a nice nice uke. It’s all part of the journey and all part of the fun.

KaminTheWeaver
06-03-2019, 01:41 PM
Ironically, it was getting a very nice uke that drove me to UAS. I LOVE my Koaloha Koa tenor, and could play that thing all day long. Because of that, I never want to put a pickup in it or anything like that.

That being said, I find myself wanting to get into styles of playing that can only be done with a pickup and amp. My other uke, a Pono mango pineapple tenor, sounds great for strumming, but not for picking. So here I am, searching for a spruce top tenor that will compliment my Pono. [On a separate topic, any suggestions?]

Oh, and I also recently picked up a Pono jumbo baritone steel string, which I also adore. It’s totally different than anything else I have or want to have, and let’s me feel like a guitar player when I want to. So I don’t know if what I have is your classic UAS or if I am just unable to focus on one particular style or sound I enjoy.

Nickie
06-03-2019, 03:44 PM
Ironically, it was getting a very nice uke that drove me to UAS. I LOVE my Koaloha Koa tenor, and could play that thing all day long. Because of that, I never want to put a pickup in it or anything like that.

That being said, I find myself wanting to get into styles of playing that can only be done with a pickup and amp. My other uke, a Pono mango pineapple tenor, sounds great for strumming, but not for picking. So here I am, searching for a spruce top tenor that will compliment my Pono. [On a separate topic, any suggestions?]

Oh, and I also recently picked up a Pono jumbo baritone steel string, which I also adore. It’s totally different than anything else I have or want to have, and let’s me feel like a guitar player when I want to. So I don’t know if what I have is your classic UAS or if I am just unable to focus on one particular style or sound I enjoy.

I Think if you have more than one or two ukes, and you want another, then you get it, and later you want another, you are probably a victim.

You may have the belief that "the next one is the holy grail, it just has to be."

If you spend the rent money or the grocery money on ukuleles, you need more help than you can get here....we're enablers, but we'd never recommend going into debt like that.