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sunshiNee
04-18-2018, 03:33 AM
Hello,

are there a list of brands/manufacturers that are renowned for their "light build". After learning more about Ukuleles, I realize, my first one I bought was overbuilt ... I bought a Martin C1K and could clearly see the difference on the build... The Martin just feels so light and right to play and sound was just not comparable. I don't even touch my first Ukulele anymore... it's a shame because we bought it when we were in Hawaii. But since it was our first purchase we spent 380 dollars on it, so my wife and i can't bare to part with it out. It'll be just a display Ukulele :P

However I would like to buy another quality instrument and lightly built like the Martin. The easiest thing would be to buy another Martin. But would love to try another brand.

The only brand I know of right now that compare is perhaps the Kiwaya? Unfortunately there are no stores that carry Kiwaya where I live. So our next purchase would probably be blind through a trusted retailer (HMS, UkeRub,etc).

Feel free to list anymore brands of the same ilk.

Thank you.

saltytri
04-18-2018, 04:43 AM
The lightest tenor I've ever weighed was an all-koa Collings. These are not being built now as far as I know but regularly show up on the used market.

Uke Don
04-18-2018, 06:03 AM
Please tell us what price range are you considering.

Ukulele Eddie
04-18-2018, 06:08 AM
The lightest tenor I've ever weighed was an all-koa Collings. These are not being built now as far as I know but regularly show up on the used market.

There is one in the Marketplace now.

I would also add "light" does not mean good tone in and of itself. Where the weight on a uke is matters a lot. As a case in point, in the Luthiers for a Cause project, the weight difference between the Beau Hannam (the heaviest) and the Joji Yoshida (the lightest) was remarkable. But they both sounded fantastic. The tops on both ukes were quite close in thickness. Weight in other areas can actually be beneficial and I would imagine this is what we were experiencing with the BH.

Also, a top that is too lightly built is more likely to sink. There is a fairly well-known builder who I think has probably gone too far. I've see quiet a few of his ukes with tops that were significantly sunk in front of the bridge.

sunshiNee
04-18-2018, 06:52 AM
Under 2grand out the door would be my max.

Eddie - you make great points. I have no clue what goes in building a Ukulele nor do I want to pretend I do. I just know that I like my Martin which people considered lightly built with delicate bracing?? I like the slimmer neck as well. In the end, it's the sound that matters I suppose.



Please tell us what price range are you considering.

Doc_J
04-18-2018, 06:59 AM
The recent versions of the Larrivee ukes are very lightly built and very responsive, high quality too (IHMO).

Joyful Uke
04-18-2018, 10:02 AM
I like the slimmer neck as well. In the end, it's the sound that matters I suppose.

Someone already mentioned LoPrinzi, and I've never tried one, but:
From on-line videos, they sound great. They're supposed to have a slim neck, and be lightly built. Sounds like one that you might want to look into.

Since I've recently been browsing around, I've noticed the Uke Republic has some "coming soon", as well as one concert and one tenor currently on sale. I would think that if you contact Uke Republic, they'd be able to give you an idea of whether this is something that meets your wish list description or not.

Elderly Music has a used LoPrinzi tenor for sale last I looked, too.

EDW
04-18-2018, 10:39 AM
Under 2grand out the door would be my max.
Eddie - you make great points. I have no clue what goes in building a Ukulele nor do I want to pretend I do. I just know that I like my Martin which people considered lightly built with delicate bracing?? I like the slimmer neck as well. In the end, it's the sound that matters I suppose.

Earlier you mentioned Kiwaya. Those that I have played were very light.

For the budget you mention, you could easily get a lovely luthier made instrument that is custom to your liking.

blodzoom
04-18-2018, 12:31 PM
You've gotten some good suggestions here from people who know more than me, but based on my limited experience (a few trips to Hawaii), of the big K brands Koalohas always seem the lightest built and they've got a sound that really pops. Might be worth checking those out.

unrealdark
04-18-2018, 12:32 PM
Someone already mentioned LoPrinzi, and I've never tried one, but:
From on-line videos, they sound great. They're supposed to have a slim neck, and be lightly built. Sounds like one that you might want to look into.

You are right. Loprinzi has a very slim/confortable neck. I love it. It sounds awesome.

Steve Uke
04-18-2018, 03:39 PM
Hi, the expensive ukuleles of famous brand are mostly made of high quality materials and greatly designed. If you want to try a small brand of ukulele manufacture, you may have a look at this one: Soprano Ukulele (http://www.strong-wind.com/Strong-Wind-21-Inch-Mahogany-Professional-Aquila-Strings-Soprano-Ukulele.html), and you can listen to the sound of this ukulele played by Annie Rose on her YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHVSseA5eTTguk_o5InXu9w. :)

cyber3d
04-18-2018, 04:14 PM
I amazed at how light my Tiny Tenor Solid Mahogany is. And it resonates beautifully. Something to check out.

spongeuke
04-18-2018, 08:47 PM
The easiest thing would be to buy another Martin.

Yes and to go even lighter the Vintage Martins especially before WWII are lighter and lively. Try one and you'll see.

Ragtop232
04-19-2018, 06:12 AM
I agree with the recommendation of looking very seriously at another Martin. The C1K is an awesome ukulele for the price and quite honestly, the build quality is perfect. The one I have has that great jangly ukulele sound that I really like. I've played and tried a lot of different ukuleles and for me, I've settled on two brands, Martin (for the traditional ukulele sound) and Kanile'a, which has a more modern sound with deeper resonance and great for finger picking. These two brands offer, in my opinion, completely different tonal qualities. However, they're both built very well and as far as weight, they are both perfectly balanced and weigh about the same.

I recently had a Martin T1, and it was the same build and sound quality as the C1K. You may also want to step up to the style 2 Martin, they are sweet as well.

Jim

bratsche
04-19-2018, 06:30 AM
I amazed at how light my Tiny Tenor Solid Mahogany is. And it resonates beautifully. Something to check out.

I just got one too, and it does have a very beautiful sound. However, I don't know if it's "light". It might be. It's certainly lighter than my other two tenors, but it's supposed to be like a concert in size, and I've never had anything smaller than a tenor to compare it with. People always comment on how it reverberates against your body when you play it, but that's just something I expect of a good instrument - all of my ukes do that.

I also have the tenor version of the Kala ASOV (spruce/ovangkol). It's wonderful sounding, too. So is my Pono deluxe cedar/mahogany, which is most decidedly the heaviest of the three, but that doesn't stop it from sounding great and palpably reverberating. I have three tenors that are all very different in sound due to their wood combinations. I'm happy with them all (and will stop buying, for now). So I don't think lightness alone is all that big a deal, unless you're traveling, in which case I will definitely take my Tiny Tenor.

bratsche

70sSanO
04-19-2018, 08:11 AM
In reading through this, I think that the term light may not be the best way to approach this. Just because you bought a ukulele that weighs more and does not produce a good sound, does not mean every light ukulele will sound better than a heavier ukulele.

Ukulele Eddie is right on in stating that a well made ukulele will sound great even if it feels heavier than another one. You really need to find one that suits your playing style. For your budget that should not be an issue, but the journey to get there may meander a bit. Attributes such as mellow or bright, loud vs subdued, strum vs fingerpicking, etc. may serve you better than a postal scale.

As for your Hawaiian ukulele, I have tried a "k" brand that is not a "K" and was not impressed, and it was heavy and did not play well. The true "K's" are wonderful instruments.

John