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View Full Version : Which tenor is best range of $350 - $601.83



Varsagod
06-03-2009, 04:35 PM
Hello all,
As the subject implies I'm looking for an Tenor Uke (solid wood) in the price range of $350 to $601.83 (USD). Though I don't believe "if it's expensive it's better" but I do believe one gets what one paid for.

One I found appealing is the EW PONO OHIA solid wood Tenor. However it sounds "too good to be true".

I'm willing to make an investment in my uke for that best sound, but I can't afford something too costly since, my skills still needs work nor am I a professional.

So I ask the UU members for their advice and suggestions.

Thanks!

Var

seeso
06-03-2009, 05:07 PM
"Best" is a very subjective term. What kind of sound are you going for?

lolsara
06-03-2009, 05:07 PM
I must ask.... why so specific? $601.83? What if the perfect uke was $601.84? :p

ukeatan
06-03-2009, 05:12 PM
$601.83? What if the perfect uke was $601.84? :p

I will volunteer right now to pay that extra $.01 -- that's just the kind of guy I am :p

jdmcnasty
06-03-2009, 05:19 PM
I've heard good things about the Honu tenors. They're relatively inexpensive and they're made out of solid koa.
They're only $471 here:
http://www.ukes.com/big-island-ukulele.html

Spooner
06-03-2009, 05:23 PM
I've heard good things about the Honu tenors. They're relatively inexpensive and they're made out of solid koa.
They're only $471 here:
http://www.ukes.com/big-island-ukulele.html


I have to say the Honus have been calling to me for some time now. I hear conflicting reports and of course...it's like a movie review (take the new Star Trek for example)...someone might not like it but that doesn't mean you wont.

I need to play one of these!!!!

jdmcnasty
06-03-2009, 05:26 PM
I have to say the Honus have been calling to me for some time now. I hear conflicting reports and of course...it's like a movie review (take the new Star Trek for example)...someone might not like it but that doesn't mean you wont.

I need to play one of these!!!!

I was pretty set on getting one for a while. I figured you really can't go wrong with solid koa. But eventually I bit the bullet and picked up a Kanile'a K1 :D

Spooner
06-03-2009, 05:28 PM
I was pretty set on getting one for a while. I figured you really can't go wrong with solid koa. But eventually I bit the bullet and picked up a Kanile'a K1 :D

When I was able and ready it came down to the fancy shmancy Honu tenor and a customized Pineapple Sunday.
I dont have a Honu. ;)

But am still curious.

jdmcnasty
06-03-2009, 05:30 PM
When I was able and ready it came down to the fancy shmancy Honu tenor and a customized Pineapple Sunday.
I dont have a Honu. ;)

But am still curious.

Good choice :).
I'm sure when my UAS picks up in a few months the honu will look a bit prettier ;)

Spooner
06-03-2009, 05:35 PM
Good choice :).
I'm sure when my UAS picks up in a few months the honu will look a bit prettier ;)


My UAS is no longer a syndrome but a Sickness!!

It started out with the customized Pineapple Sunday....2 customs later, one in the making and two vintage martins still have me looking for more. :eek:

Somebody please shoot me in the face with a bazooka!

jdmcnasty
06-03-2009, 05:40 PM
My UAS is no longer a syndrome but a Sickness!!

It started out with the customized Pineapple Sunday....2 customs later, one in the making and two vintage martins still have me looking for more. :eek:

Somebody please shoot me in the face with a bazooka!

That's a terrible thing to say!

.....But just in case someone takes you up on that bloody offer, I'm sure your ukes would fit in quite nicely with my collection ;).

Spooner
06-03-2009, 05:43 PM
That's a terrible thing to say!

.....But just in case someone takes you up on that bloody offer, I'm sure your ukes would fit in quite nicely with my collection ;).


Here's an example of this sickness...

I was given a Kamaka Aloha shirt for my birthday recently.
I dont own a Kamaka.
UA-SICKNESS tells me I have to have a Kamaka now...and Im loking for Pineapples...and dont like sopranos lolol.

Sick! Sick I tell ya!

jdmcnasty
06-03-2009, 05:51 PM
Here's an example of this sickness...

I was given a Kamaka Aloha shirt for my birthday recently.
I dont own a Kamaka.
UA-SICKNESS tells me I have to have a Kamaka now...and Im loking for Pineapples...and dont like sopranos lolol.

Sick! Sick I tell ya!

I think we've strayed off topic, but here's an example of my illness:
I bought my Kanile'a Tenor about 2 weeks ago and I'm already looking at a Kamaka HF-3. Totally impractical yet totally necessary!

Spooner
06-03-2009, 05:54 PM
I think we've strayed off topic, but here's an example of my illness:
I bought my Kanile'a Tenor about 2 weeks ago and I'm already looking at a Kamaka HF-3. Totally impractical yet totally necessary!

...and the wierd thing is I totally understand you lolol!

(Getting back on track) How much do they cost? :p

Back off topic: Just noticed you're a fellow NY'er. (Im in the city).

Back on topic: How much do tenors go for by you?

Varsagod
06-03-2009, 05:57 PM
Seeso, the sound I'm looking for is nice rich ample sound that resonate. If one were to transfer sound to a visual experience, it'll have to be that perfect quiet ripple in a pond during dawn. The color would be range around rich purple to dark wood green with a tint of brown. The feeling would have to be something close to the listening to Yo Yo Ma's Bach prelude suite 1 while having tea. Does that make any sense?? Once again it is subjective as you said. ^^

lolsara, I picked $601.83 as a mini joke. :) But in reality my budget is around $700, which is thinking for a hard case plus shipping.

Thanks for your suggestions.

The Honu is appealing to me in a vain way; I love turtles. ^^ I do have a quick newbie question, (pardon me for asking) Is it worth to get one with a pickup in the long run? My gutt answer is yes.

Spooner
06-03-2009, 06:04 PM
Seriously....Varsa...

What you are describing as far as what you want will run you a bit more than what you have stated as your budget.

I can speak of my ukes that have that sound:

Pineapple Sunday
Les Rietfors
Makani

I have had a Kala for a long time and love the way it sounds but after playing affordable ukes compared to higher end ukes....the sound you are looking for is a little bit steeper than what you are quoting.

That's not to say you wont be able to find a good deal on a custom second hand uke here or at Flea Market or Ebay for that matter.

Just my two Lincolns.

Ahnko Honu
06-03-2009, 06:07 PM
MELE are highly regarded by most here bang-for-the-buck the solid Koa Tenors starting at $449.00, and the Mahogany side/back, Koa top Tenors starting at $399.
http://www.meleukulele.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=1&cat=Koa+Ukuleles
I love my Koa concert pineapple MELE. :shaka:

Varsagod
06-03-2009, 06:13 PM
Heheh Spooner.
I agree with you 110%. I have experience the same thing with my percussion instruments; the sound from a good instrument (generally pricey) is worth all its Abrahams and nothing less.

Currently, I'm looking for a upper middle ground sound from my future uke. Of course eventually I will want to upgrade my uke as I practice more and hear other professionals at work. However, as you know a cheap instrument will sound cheap and flat.

Are there any tenor uke around ( or slightly above) my price range worth getting? :)

Cheers,
Var

Spooner
06-03-2009, 06:16 PM
Heheh Spooner.
I agree with you 110%. I have experience the same thing with my percussion instruments; the sound from a good instrument (generally pricey) is worth all its Abrahams and nothing less.

Currently, I'm looking for a upper middle ground sound from my future uke. Of course eventually I will want to upgrade my uke as I practice more and hear other professionals at work. However, as you know a cheap instrument will sound cheap and flat.

Are there any tenor uke around ( or slightly above) my price range worth getting? :)

Cheers,
Var

I think Ahnko suggested a good brand and I definitely suggest Kala as a contender. I still love and play my Kala and you can pick up their highest priced model and still be able to buy some Taco bell on the way home. :p

jdmcnasty
06-03-2009, 06:28 PM
I was looking at a Mele for my first solid koa but I didn't like the look of the multi-colored fretboard. It had that 'leftover scrap wood' look to it. I'm sure its quality wood, just a little unattractive in my opinion.

Varsagod
06-03-2009, 06:32 PM
I was looking at a Mele for my first solid koa but I didn't like the look of the multi-colored fretboard. It had that 'leftover scrap wood' look to it. I'm sure its quality wood, just a little unattractive in my opinion.

So which one did you ended up getting?

-Var

NVM just read back and you said "Kanile'a K1".

seeso
06-03-2009, 06:57 PM
Seeso, the sound I'm looking for is nice rich ample sound that resonate. If one were to transfer sound to a visual experience, it'll have to be that perfect quiet ripple in a pond during dawn. The color would be range around rich purple to dark wood green with a tint of brown. The feeling would have to be something close to the listening to Yo Yo Ma's Bach prelude suite 1 while having tea. Does that make any sense?? Once again it is subjective as you said. ^^

Sounds like you're going for a warmer, darker tone. I'd go with something in solid mahogany. There are plenty of budget mahogany ukes to choose from, but I've always liked the sound of this Kamoa tenor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ7qeSIfAuA).

Ahnko Honu
06-03-2009, 07:01 PM
I was looking at a Mele for my first solid koa but I didn't like the look of the multi-colored fretboard. It had that 'leftover scrap wood' look to it. I'm sure its quality wood, just a little unattractive in my opinion.

Me, I like the looks of the contrasting grains making the MELE unique from other 'ukuleles. I was a tad disappointed when my concert arrived with a fretboard a solid dark brown.

Spooner
06-03-2009, 07:03 PM
.... but I've always liked the sound of this Kamoa tenor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZ7qeSIfAuA).


VERY nice sounding. I detect a wound C on that one.
Looks like he has the right idea to satisfy UAS. :p

nikolo727
06-03-2009, 08:35 PM
Pono solid mahoganys sound really really nice imo.

take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWZdSvRThuA

Witters
06-04-2009, 12:03 AM
Pono solid mahoganys sound really really nice imo.

take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWZdSvRThuA
I have watched that video about a dozen times now and really like the sound of that Uke.
Also, the Pono Cedar top one's sound pretty good.

I would imagine an email to MGM would be the order of the day asking his opinion.

ichadwick
06-04-2009, 01:19 AM
Lots of choices in that range. You can buy several factory made solid-wood and solid-top ukes, from Mainland to Pono.

Or you could get a customized Cigar Box Uke by Tom Guy. It's a great choice...

Who knows, maybe now he's made a tenor banjo uke, even Dave at Waverly Street will be offering tenors in other styles.:D

Depends a lot on what you want out of an instrument. You want bright, loud and lots of sustain, look at Mainland. You want electronics and more modern design choices (like cutaway), look at Kala. You want a little more upscale, and don't need the separate volume/tone control on the pickup look at Pono.

Do you want or need electronics? The best in-uke package pre-amp is in the Applause. Lots to consider. Make alist of choices and read reviews.

haolejohn
06-04-2009, 03:45 AM
Heheh Spooner.
I agree with you 110%. I have experience the same thing with my percussion instruments; the sound from a good instrument (generally pricey) is worth all its Abrahams and nothing less.

Currently, I'm looking for a upper middle ground sound from my future uke. Of course eventually I will want to upgrade my uke as I practice more and hear other professionals at work. However, as you know a cheap instrument will sound cheap and flat.

Are there any tenor uke around ( or slightly above) my price range worth getting? :)

Cheers,
Var

I agree with Akno Honu. Meles are GREAT for the price. I did a comparison of a solid koa double puka with abalone inlay and my koa top mahghany back and sides. Check it out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA5r5JpyWZc

After clicking link go to my videos and click on comparison video. I will say that when my koa top mahaghany back and sides has a nice deep sound when strung with different strings.

I had a pick-up installed in my koa top uke and I have only used it once in two years.

freedive135
06-04-2009, 06:26 AM
I like the Kala ASMT for the bucks its a great deal and sounds good.
I have the Kala Spruce Top Maple body Tenor and LOVE the sound and the way it plays but it doesn't sound like that is what you are looking for.

A guy that I jam with has the Pono Mahogany Tenor PTO and I like it alot too and would get one If I wasn't savin for a KoAloha Tenor.