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WhenDogsSing
06-16-2009, 11:34 AM
Can I get some feedback on Mele ukuleles? Build quality, tone, playability, etc.? I thank everyone in advance for their input. :)

haolejohn
06-16-2009, 12:51 PM
I'm little biased towards Meles and I think they are just as good as the Hawaiian "K"s. I won four of them (three tenors and one concert) My ukes are 6 string solid mahaghany, solid mahaghany concert, Koa top mahaghany back and sides with fishman pick-up, and a solid koa double puka tenor. I used to live across the street from the Mele store on Maui and Cheryl taught me my first three chords on the ukulele, but I didn't buy a Mele until I moved to the mainland and I couldn't justify buying a Kamaka when I thought that the Mele sounded just as good. Here is a video of me opening my double puka and i shot another video where I compare my koa top tenor with my double puka tenor. For the price you can not go wrong with a Mele.

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

danged
06-16-2009, 12:59 PM
I own 3 Mele's, so I guess I like them. I have a Concert pineapple Koa gloss top with pua inlay, 6 string Tenor Koa with Sitka spruce top with pua inlay, and a custom Tenor Koa cutaway with wide neck, pua inlay, Fishman pro pick up. All Mele's use solid wood, no laminates to be found here. Most Mele's have a satin finish, and each one looks a little different from the wood grain and color. The Soprano and Concert are made in the same fashion as vintage Martin's. They also sound like the Martins, a friend of mine has a old Soprano and Tenor Martin, and he got a Mele Soprano and Tenor to play daily because he didn't want to carry the Martins around. The sound from a Mele, is more traditional Hawaiian with a higher tone than the Pono's, Kamaka, Ko'aloha... The actual body size is smaller than the brands I mentioned. For the price they are hard to beat, as these uke's are hand made one by one. Mele's are very popular in Hawaii and used by many local musicians. If you ever get a chance to visit Maui, you must say hi to Cheryl who owns Mele with her husband Micheal Rock, they are good people.

deach
06-16-2009, 01:11 PM
I own a concert mahogany pineapple Mele. I love it.

Ahnko Honu
06-16-2009, 01:41 PM
I only have one a Koa Pineapple concert but I'm totally happy with it.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/My%20Ukuleles/P1010164.jpg

Kanaka916
06-16-2009, 02:41 PM
Here are two other threads about Mele . . .
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1798
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6199

WhenDogsSing
06-17-2009, 02:26 AM
My thanks to everyone above...your comments and thread links are greatly appreciated. I probably should have mentioned that I had just ordered a Mele all-mahogany "guitarlele" in my original post. I am anxiously awaiting its arrival and am frantic trying to figure out how to hide it from my wife...:D :eek:

rossjr
06-17-2009, 03:52 AM
I had the pleasure of meeting Cheryl and working with Eva on my last trip to Maui. Eva helped us out tremendously. We bought a 6 string Concert all Koa. They even put a gloss finish on it for us. It's a beautiful instrument and the sound is phenominal in my opinion. I would strongly recommend them and their products, FWIW.

Lori
06-17-2009, 07:41 AM
My thanks to everyone above...your comments and thread links are greatly appreciated. I probably should have mentioned that I had just ordered a Mele all-mahogany "guitarlele" in my original post. I am anxiously awaiting its arrival and am frantic trying to figure out how to hide it from my wife...:D :eek:
Ooooh! I would really like to see some video on that when you get it! I am keeping my eye out for a good guitarlele, and we are planning on going to Maui in the fall! I would love to be able to try one out in person. Would they have any at the factory/store to play?? And, I would prefer gloss finish!

–Lori

rossjr
06-17-2009, 08:09 AM
Ooooh! I would really like to see some video on that when you get it! I am keeping my eye out for a good guitarlele, and we are planning on going to Maui in the fall! I would love to be able to try one out in person. Would they have any at the factory/store to play?? And, I would prefer gloss finish!

–Lori

They have a store not too far from the airport. It's a little hard to find but as you leave the airport take a right on the Hana Highway and it's about 3-4 miles on the right. Get the address off thier web page. Eva works there and she'll take great care of you. They didn't actually have what we wanted in the store but they had one that needed to be finished at the factory, so they did all that in a day or two and we had exactly what we wanted. The day we picked it up we met Cheryl too, she's one of the owners.

WhenDogsSing
06-17-2009, 10:56 AM
I'll post a video when I get it. There seems to be a lot of interest in "guitarleles"...:)

haolejohn
06-17-2009, 04:51 PM
Ooooh! I would really like to see some video on that when you get it! I am keeping my eye out for a good guitarlele, and we are planning on going to Maui in the fall! I would love to be able to try one out in person. Would they have any at the factory/store to play?? And, I would prefer gloss finish!

–Lori

Lori when you get to Maui go into Wailuku town. As you leave kahului (where airport is) you will begin going up a hill. Baldwin High school is right next to Mele and so is the Maui national guard building. IF you go underneath a bridge you went to far. Tell them haolejohn says hi.

Lori
06-17-2009, 07:35 PM
Lori when you get to Maui go into Wailuku town. As you leave kahului (where airport is) you will begin going up a hill. Baldwin High school is right next to Mele and so is the Maui national guard building. IF you go underneath a bridge you went to far. Tell them haolejohn says hi.
Thanks Guys. I will save this info for my trip... print it out and put it in the guidebook. I have never been to Hawaii before, and I am really looking forward to it (especially with my new ukulele hobby).

–Lori

rossjr
06-18-2009, 09:16 AM
Lori when you get to Maui go into Wailuku town. As you leave kahului (where airport is) you will begin going up a hill. Baldwin High school is right next to Mele and so is the Maui national guard building. IF you go underneath a bridge you went to far. Tell them haolejohn says hi.

Thanks for filling in the blanks, the only thing I could remember was the Hana Highway turn by the airport. That and I was afraid I'd miss spell the rest...

Ahnko Honu
06-18-2009, 01:41 PM
When coming from the Airport make a right at your first traffic light right before the Crispy Kreme Donut shop. This Road merges with Hana Hwy. but right after the merge the the road makes a 90 degree turn to the left and becomes Queen Ka'ahumanu Hwy. Go up about 2 miles past Baldwin High School, Old Bowling Alley, Rex Tires, then make a right into driveway at Stillwell's Bakery and MELE is right next Door. If you want to check out Bounty Music they are located in last building on the right right before that 90 degree turn where Hana Hwy becomes Queen Ka'ahumanu Hwy.

MELE upper left, airport lower right
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/KahuluitoMELE.jpg

Lori
06-18-2009, 08:00 PM
I feel like I'm there already! Thanks!!

–Lori

WhenDogsSing
06-20-2009, 06:02 AM
Well, the Mele Guitarlele arrived yesterday and my wife knows I got it and she didn't throw me out so...I'm safe again until I buy another ukulele on the sly...!!! :rolleyes:

This instrument is simply awesome. Mele does a great job. It is all solid mahogany, has a one piece back and top, and has an ebony bridge, fingerboard, and nut. The tuners are Waverly open gear 18:1 ratio. It has top and back ebony binding with rope purfling around both the top and bottom on the sides. It has a satin finish. The instrument came with strings tuned to EADGBE, standard guitar tuning. I changed those out with a set of strings tuned to ADGCEA and the sound difference is incredible. If you get one of these, I highly recommend that you go with the higher tuning, it makes a world of difference in the sound. I did lower the action significantly. It now plays very easy with no buzzes or other issues. The intonation is right on. As I say at the end of my review in the link below, it's a keeper...!!!

http://www.youtube.com/user/WhenDogsSing

Hope you enjoy...!!! :smileybounce:

Lori
06-20-2009, 07:25 AM
When you lowered the action, did you have to do both the nut and saddle? What brand strings did you end up using.

Great video!

–Lori

Ahnko Honu
06-20-2009, 07:56 AM
Your dang dogs are hilarious, and your new Mele sounds great. To echo Lori what strings did to switch to?

WhenDogsSing
06-20-2009, 09:49 AM
The dogs are why I took the name "Whendogssing"...:D
Their names are Harley and Brattie and I love them...:)

The strings I used were:

1stHighA - Aquila Nylgut for Baritone "C" tuning
2nd E - Aquila Nylgut for Baritone "C" tuning
3rd C - Aquila Nylgut for Baritone "C" tuning
4th G - D'Addario NYL028W
5th D - D'Addario NYL033W
6thLowA - D'Addario NYL040W

The Aquilas can be purchased through Elderly Music in Lansing Michigan. They are very nice people to deal with. The D'Addarios came with the guitarlele. I just moved each of them over a notch. They were originally in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th string positions.

I just ordered 4 sets of D'Addario strings from Mele made for the guitarlele.
I will use those in the future by eliminating the low E from the set, moving each string over a notch, and adding a high A from some other source.

You can also buy strings for a "Requinto" that will serve the same purpose as requintos are tuned ADGCEA and have a short scale pretty close to the guitarlele. There are several places on the internet that sell those. I think GuitarCenter sells them too.

I didn't have to do anything at the nut. I did lower the saddle quite a bit to get the action down where I like it. There's only about 1/8" of saddle peeping out over the bridge now...

molokinirum
06-26-2009, 09:52 AM
Hey Dogs, loved the new Mele and it sounds sweet!!!! What's up with those crazy dogs!!!! Seems the sweet sounds of your new Mele calmed both of them right down!!!
Keep strumming!!!!:shaka:

WhenDogsSing
06-26-2009, 10:25 AM
The dogs usually start singing when I play (plunk)...For some reason, they settled down on that one...??? :)

fergs1
09-13-2009, 08:09 AM
Greetings whendogsing, I am very interested in your guiarelele, its got a lovely sound. Would you say you have small hands, just wonderinng about the playability and string spacing. Also is the fretboard flat or is it radiused. I've been after something like this for a good while, a small well made solid wood mini guitar. Please please post more vids!
kind regards fergs