PDA

View Full Version : Tenor suggestions



Astein2006
09-28-2018, 08:48 AM
I'm looking to buy my first Tenor. I have ukes made of Koa and Mahogany so I'm looking for different wood choices. Leaning toward cedar top but I am open to suggestions. I'd like to keep it under $500. So far I've looked at the Ohana TK-250G and 260G. Also, Mainland has some Tenors at a reasonable price.
What recommendations can you suggest?

Thanks!

p.s. Currently going through a case of UAS. I have purchased four ukuleles in the past month. OY!....but loving every strum.

Spicysteve
09-28-2018, 08:56 AM
There is an Ohana TK 470G listed on UU marketplace, it is a blemished model but the blemish is hidden and the Uke is gorgeous.

Ukecaster
09-28-2018, 08:56 AM
Any other requests, like a wide nut? Many production ukes have nut widths of 34mm or so. Getting a uke with a 1.5" nut width can make things much more comfortable for some players.

Astein2006
09-28-2018, 10:23 AM
Any other requests, like a wide nut? Many production ukes have nut widths of 34mm or so. Getting a uke with a 1.5" nut width can make things much more comfortable for some players.
I come from an acoustic guitar background so playing a wider neck is not a problem, or a more narrow neck. Just looking for some good solid suggestions. Thanks.

Jerryc41
09-28-2018, 10:23 AM
The Kala cedar with slotted headstock is beautiful, and you can get it for a little over half your budget. I saw Brett McQueen playing one in a lesson, and I had to look it up and order one. You can't go wrong with something like that.

https://www.theukulelesite.com/ka-atp-ct.html

For about four times that price, you can get a similar Pono.

https://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-cedar-top-mahogany-ul-nylon-baritone-ul4n-20c.html

Astein2006
09-28-2018, 10:27 AM
There is an Ohana TK 470G listed on UU marketplace, it is a blemished model but the blemish is hidden and the Uke is gorgeous.


Very pretty but I'm not a fan of the beveled edges. Call me old fashioned. I like my acoustic instruments pretty but simple. Thank you for the heads up. Nice deal though and I'm sure it will make someone very happy.

Astein2006
09-28-2018, 10:31 AM
The Kala cedar with slotted headstock is beautiful, and you can get it for a little over half your budget. I saw Brett McQueen playing one in a lesson, and I had to look it up and order one. You can't go wrong with something like that.

https://www.theukulelesite.com/ka-atp-ct.html

For about four times that price, you can get a similar Pono.

https://www.theukulelesite.com/pono-cedar-top-mahogany-ul-nylon-baritone-ul4n-20c.html

Very nice looking. Keeping my eye on that one. Any thoughts on Kala vs. Ohana? These ukes seem to be similar in specs and price. I only have limited experience with an Ohana soprano.

SA Condor
09-28-2018, 01:41 PM
Contact Fred Shields and have him make you one! He likes to keep the price under $500 and you could have an amazing handmade instrument that looks and sounds amazing.

DownUpDave
09-28-2018, 01:54 PM
There is an Ohana TK 470G listed on UU marketplace, it is a blemished model but the blemish is hidden and the Uke is gorgeous.

I would definitely go the softwood top route, either spruce or cedar. This one here that Steve mentioned is a killer deal. Spruce and rosewood works great together on a uke as on a guitar. You might not like the arm rest but once you play one you will. I own three with armrests and I would have them on everything if I could.

Another great sounding and well made tenor are Pono. They have a series one down from the top end Pro Classic called MTD-SP and are around $550. All solid wood spruce or cedar top with mahogany back and side. Ebony binding, radius fretboard, just not as much bling as the Pro Classic line. You are getting a tenor that plays and sounds like a $1200 uke, seriously.

edhaponik
09-28-2018, 02:46 PM
Lots of great options. I will throw in the Martin T1K as a suggestion. They tend to run at $539 pretty much everywhere, but you can often get an open-box for well under 500. They're solid koa and though they're pretty bare bones, very well made IMO. They've got great volume and a super comfy satin finish. I bought one right when they came out, played it for a couple years and eventually sold it, but I missed it enough to get another. Just super fun to play and made in Nazareth or no, it feels every inch a Martin to me.

I will also absolutely recommend the solid cedar top slot-head tenors from Kala. I played one of the ones at Hawaii Music Supply in July, and wow! They've got a depth of tone which I find shocking in a $275 uke. I can't really recommend it over the Martin on its own merits, but at half the price I sure can!

Astein2006
09-28-2018, 03:13 PM
Lots of great options. I will throw in the Martin T1K as a suggestion. They tend to run at $539 pretty much everywhere, but you can often get an open-box for well under 500. They're solid koa and though they're pretty bare bones, very well made IMO. They've got great volume and a super comfy satin finish. I bought one right when they came out, played it for a couple years and eventually sold it, but I missed it enough to get another. Just super fun to play and made in Nazareth or no, it feels every inch a Martin to me.

I will also absolutely recommend the solid cedar top slot-head tenors from Kala. I played one of the ones at Hawaii Music Supply in July, and wow! They've got a depth of tone which I find shocking in a $275 uke. I can't really recommend it over the Martin on its own merits, but at half the price I sure can!

That's two recommendations at least for the Kala. Is there a big concern it not being a solid back and sides. I currently only have solid ukes. I primarily strum with albeit very little fingerpicking(trying to learn). Is there an advantage or better choice of cedar vs spruce for strummers primarily?

kohanmike
09-28-2018, 03:16 PM
Another vote for the Kala cedar top slot head. I have the tenor cutaway electric version for $379 and it's my go to gig uke. I even compared it casually to a couple of the $1200 K brands and to me it's easily 90% as good.

8 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 9 solid body bass ukes, 7 mini electric bass guitars

• Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children's hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
• Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos

mikhou
09-28-2018, 06:23 PM
I'm looking to buy my first Tenor. I have ukes made of Koa and Mahogany so I'm looking for different wood choices. Leaning toward cedar top but I am open to suggestions. I'd like to keep it under $500. So far I've looked at the Ohana TK-250G and 260G. Also, Mainland has some Tenors at a reasonable price.
What recommendations can you suggest?

Thanks!

p.s. Currently going through a case of UAS. I have purchased four ukuleles in the past month. OY!....but loving every strum.

I really like the Ohanas that I have played and that TK-260G looks like a real beauty to me. I've heard good things about the Kala KA-ATP-CTG as well. I don't think that you would go wrong with either. That being said, the Ohana is a solid uke while the Kala is a laminate back and sides. Why not give Mim a shout? She carries both and can probably answer any questions that you have.

Rakelele
09-28-2018, 07:54 PM
For a tenor size in a cedar top, I'd definitely have a look at Pono. As Dave said, you'll get a uke that compares well to much more expensive instruments, that is well made of all solid woods and with a perfect finish by a well known and respected company that cares about environmental issues and working conditions.

Croaky Keith
09-28-2018, 11:08 PM
I don't think you'd be disappointed with Kala or Ohana, cedar or spruce, spruce is just that little bit brighter sounding than cedar, which is slightly mellower.

I have a Kala bari cedar top, great sounding uke, & I have Ohana solid mahogany ukes, which also have a great sound, whilst my most expensive is a KoAloha Opio solid acacia, which I think sounds just that little bit better than my Kala solid acacia. My only solid spruce is a slimline Baton Rouge, & I quite like it too. :)

Let's put it this way, if I didn't like the sound clips that I listened to, I wouldn't have bought any of them. ;)

Jerryc41
09-29-2018, 01:22 AM
Very nice looking. Keeping my eye on that one. Any thoughts on Kala vs. Ohana?

For no real reason, I lean toward Ohana, rather than Kala, although that Kala tenor is gorgeous.

Photodan
09-29-2018, 10:47 AM
I have a Martin T1-K that I also love but if you are looking for something beside mahogany or koa, Pono makes a solid acacia tenor. I have their concert sized acacia taropatch and it has great tone and built quality is always excellent. It is also in your price range I believe.

Kenn2018
09-29-2018, 10:52 AM
You might want to consider a Mango wood for your uke. If you like a warmer sound. The Pono MGT solid mango tenor is an excellent-sounding ukulele. The sell for about $375. I still marvel at the quality of the construction for the price. If you are comfortable playing a guitar, you won't have any problem playing a Pono neck.

For something really different consider an 8-string. Great full sound. Not much harder than a 4 to play. Unless you pick, then you have to be more accurate. Pono, Kala and Ohana all make them for under $500. I like the Pono because of the truss rod in the neck. A lot more tension placed on the neck of an 8-string. Just a thought.

jeffnboise
09-30-2018, 02:36 AM
Any other requests, like a wide nut? Many production ukes have nut widths of 34mm or so. Getting a uke with a 1.5" nut width can make things much more comfortable for some players.

Don't want to hijack a thread....but, Besides Islander, who makes instruments with 1.5" nuts? Thanks.

KanePono
09-30-2018, 06:11 AM
Don't want to hijack a thread....but, Besides Islander, who makes instruments with 1.5" nuts? Thanks.


I don't know if they are currently produced, but the Cordoba 30 series tenors were made with 1.5" nut width. I think one of the "K" brands also has a wide nut, but I'm not sure which.

SA Condor
10-01-2018, 05:34 AM
Contact Fred Shields and have him make you one! He likes to keep the price under $500 and you could have an amazing handmade instrument that looks and sounds amazing.

I just saw your other thread where you decided to go With Fred! Great choice, you definitely will not regret that. At Fredís prices, I donít know why anyone who is willing to spend $200-$500 would ever want a mass production instrument when you can have a beautiful handmade instrument for the same money :)

sculptor
10-02-2018, 10:20 AM
The Pono MT at $399 from HMS is really nice. It's well built and has a really good sound.
Note, I've got a Cordoba 35 series (selling for $250 more) but I prefer the Pono.

-- Gary

sculptor
10-02-2018, 10:29 AM
I just saw your other thread where you decided to go With Fred! Great choice, you definitely will not regret that. At Fred’s prices, I don’t know why anyone who is willing to spend $200-$500 would ever want a mass production instrument when you can have a beautiful handmade instrument for the same money :)

I find that price for a US handmade ukulele too good to be true. Look at the Kala Elites... they
cost twice as much and look at what the K brands cost... How can he do this without starving???

-- Gary

Astein2006
10-02-2018, 12:22 PM
The Pono MT at $399 from HMS is really nice. It's well built and has a really good sound.
Note, I've got a Cordoba 35 series (selling for $250 more) but I prefer the Pono.

-- Gary
Very nice instrument. I ended up going with a custom build from Fred Shields. Thank you for a great suggestion!

Astein2006
10-02-2018, 12:25 PM
I find that price for a US handmade ukulele too good to be true. Look at the Kala Elites... they
cost twice as much and look at what the K brands cost... How can he do this without starving???

-- Gary


I can understand your question. On the surface it sounds to good to be true. But from what I am told Mr. Shields is 80 years old and retired and it appears he does this for the love of the craft and to make some extra money. Hard to believe people today actually think this way but he must be one of them. There have been several UU members who can attest to the quality and honesty of Mr. Shields. So I took a leap of faith and ordered one. So far the process has been easy and professional.