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UkeDoxie
11-15-2018, 03:40 PM
Hello knowledgeable ukulelers!

My sister came to visit me for the long weekend, and it just so happened that it was also the monthly uke group weekend. So I took her with me, and now she is hooked. I would like to get her a ukulele for Christmas and would love some suggestions. I think she would like a soprano or a concert, as the tenor she tried was too big.

Thanks for your help!

Kyle23
11-15-2018, 03:47 PM
Plenty of good choices, but I have heard good things about this one -

https://www.mimsukes.com/listing/mims-ukes-ohana-concert-ck-20-solid-mahogany-top-lam-back-and-sides-ukulele-uke-078/14185388

I think she would be happy with it at the price, a solid top + Mim setup. I know you said under $150, but hey it's close enough.

Or check out this thread. Quality uke right here at a decent price -

https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?136262-FS-Mainland-Mango-Concert-and-Kala-ACP-CTG

UkeDoxie
11-15-2018, 07:31 PM
Thanks Kyle! Any other thoughts?

Kyle23
11-15-2018, 07:48 PM
This is all just personal preference but I have always been a fan of Islander ukes (Kanile'as import brand)

This is a pretty solid deal with a hard case
https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/islander/islander-concert-mahogany-mc-4.html

mikhou
11-15-2018, 10:12 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with getting a uke from Mim. First, make a decision as to what size your sister would like and then either check Mim's site or just give her a call and see what she has. I started out with an Ohana CK-10S from her, and I love that little uke. It wasn't very expensive, but it's well setup and it's a joy to play. I just looked and she's got an SK-10 package going right now with a tuner, bag, and a strap for $79. That's a soprano mahogany laminate. You can't go wrong with that as a starter uke, and if she doesn't stick with it, you haven't invested much. (How exciting to help someone else start their uke journey!)

(And you couldn't go wrong with the deal that Kyle23 posted as well.)

Croaky Keith
11-15-2018, 11:20 PM
I always suggest a concert for a beginner, (Kala or Ohana), & if you can afford it, get a solid top model. :)

Ukulele Eddie
11-16-2018, 04:14 AM
I picked up a new aNueNue Khaya soprano off Reberb for a bit over $150. These were close to $300 and come with a very nice gig bag. Really hard to beat.

Uk3player78
11-16-2018, 04:15 AM
I swear by the Ohana SK35G solid mahogany soprano. Even when I have significantly more expensive in the house, I consider it the one I’d keep if I fell on hard times.

ScooterD35
11-16-2018, 04:40 AM
If you can get another family member to kick in, you can’t go wrong with a Flea for a first Uke!


Scooter

Swamp Yankee
11-16-2018, 05:10 AM
Reverb has Cordoba 24 series blems for that kind of money. I've got a 24T tenor that I love enough that I'll likely pull the trigger on a blem 24C sometime soon. $139? Heck yeah! They have solid cedar tops over laminated spalted maple bodies trimmed in paduak... gorgeous, light as a feather, great setup right out of the box ...and they sound great.

spookelele
11-16-2018, 05:46 AM
The kala cedar top's are excellent value, and used is in that range.
There's one on ebay from sam ash that is very close to your price point.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Kala-KA-ACP-CTG-Concert-Slothead/153232498414

Ziret
11-16-2018, 05:55 AM
I picked up a new aNueNue Khaya soprano off Reberb for a bit over $150. These were close to $300 and come with a very nice gig bag. Really hard to beat.
I'll second this. I got it for $150, shipped. It arrives set up perfectly. It's worth at least the list price of $300. It's good looking, easy to play, and sounds great. It could easily be the only soprano she ever needs or wants. The gig bag is also exceptionally nice.

Swamp Yankee
11-16-2018, 06:54 AM
I'll second this. I got it for $150, shipped. It arrives set up perfectly. It's worth at least the list price of $300. It's good looking, easy to play, and sounds great. It could easily be the only soprano she ever needs or wants. The gig bag is also exceptionally nice.

That's a nice looking set up!

Jerryc41
11-16-2018, 07:17 AM
If you can narrow it down to size and appearance, Mim would be helpful, and it would be setup right.

UkerDanno
11-16-2018, 07:25 AM
This is all just personal preference but I have always been a fan of Islander ukes (Kanile'as import brand)

This is a pretty solid deal with a hard case
https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/islander/islander-concert-mahogany-mc-4.html

I was going to suggest Islander, If I could only keep one uke valued at under $150, I keep my Islander and be very happy!

PS, that's a very good deal!

UkerDanno
11-16-2018, 07:44 AM
And, someone just posted this...
https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?136429-FS-Islander-AC-4-EQ-Concert-Ukulele-with-Active-Pickup

shanmoon
11-16-2018, 08:03 AM
I've got an Islander Concert w/EQ listed on the marketplace. I'd take $150+shippng.

Junie Moon
11-16-2018, 08:05 AM
I was going to suggest Islander, If I could only keep one uke valued at under $150, I keep my Islander and be very happy!

PS, that's a very good deal!

Another Islander fan here. I love my AS-4: Acacia laminate soprano. This soprano is a bit bigger than most. I love sopranos and concerts, and love the slightly bigger size of this particular soprano. It also has a wider nut that many ukes (1 and 1/2 vs. 1 and 3/8 inch.) I found that extra width was extraordinarily helpful when I was just learning to play. And I love the sound! (I did not like my Islander laminated mahogany uke at all, which surprised me.)

I got mine from Uke Republic, which also does great set-ups. This is my "beginner uke" that I'll never let go of.

Good luck!

Choirguy
11-16-2018, 02:59 PM
I have been debating whether to answer this question or not. I have some really good recommendations around the $300 and $600 price points, but when it comes to $150, the price point is kind of weird.

Here are a couple of suggestions under the $150 price point.

1) Makala Dolphin, Concert or Soprano. ABS back, Wood Top. Order one from a dealer that will include set-up (Mim, Uke Republic).
2) Enya X1 series ukuleles on Amazon. EUC-X1 Concert, EUS-X1 Soprano. The HPL material is pretty cool, and the set-up has been great.
3) I know this brand has been a pain for a couple of people because of their marketing effort, but I have been very pleased with the instruments...the Aklot Concert AKC23 Kit on Amazon. The ones I have received and ordered have come set up to my satisfaction.
4) The Kala KA-SLNG Long-Neck Soprano (again, order from a dealer that offers set-up).
5) The Outdoor Ukulele Soprano (no concert)...take it anywhere, go anywhere.
6) The Flight TUS35 or TUS50 Travel Soprano from Amazon. I've been pretty pleased by this model, too, although the new gig bags are horrible.

I am sure others would recommend other brands...but these are all pretty safe bets for me.

The Ohanas I would recommend would be above the $150 mark, Mainland Ukuleles are awesome but above that price, and Ponos and KoAloha Opios are above that price.

Jerome collector
11-16-2018, 03:21 PM
Unless I missed it, I'm surprised nobody has suggested looking at reviews on Barry Maz's site (https://www.gotaukulele.com/p/ukulele-reviews.html). You could hardly go wrong by picking one of his recommended ukuleles at the price you're willing to pay.
Mike

UkeDoxie
11-16-2018, 06:41 PM
Thanks for all the great suggestions so far!

Ziret
11-17-2018, 10:55 AM
I'd add to what Choirguy says, in that I believe Kmise are made by the same people/in the same factory as Enya and Aklot. That belief could be mistaken, but regardless, they are excellent ukes and come set up perfectly. And if they're not as described--which I haven't experienced--having bought them on Amazon or eBay, they can be returned easily. They have a laminate soprano that's about $40 and comes with a very nice gig bag, tuner, strap, strap buttons, and extra strings that shocked me with how good it is and how good it sounds. I gave it to a new player and she loves it. It's very easy to play. Watch for them to be heavily discounted at Christmas; they were last year.

It's a puzzle to me how some of these Chinese companies can churn out super cheap ukes that are nonetheless well made and set up while others charge more for similar-quality ukes, and much nicer ones as well, that often as not arrive unplayable without a professional setup. But everything about our economy and Chinese products puzzles me.

maki66
11-18-2018, 09:31 AM
New, its very hard to beat an Islander.

Used, I really like Magic Fluke Company products.

If you can get to a decent ukulele store there is no substitute for playing instruments in person.

Among equal quality and priced ukuleles, your ear will prefer one sound to another. Its personal to a large degree.