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molokinirum
06-23-2009, 05:12 AM
Aloha!
Looking into purchasing a Mele Uke. I would love to hear any feedback about the Mele Ukes, sound, craftsmanship, quality in build and finish etc. I plan on buying a Koa wood (solid) made in Hawaii while on a future trip.
Mahalo!!

Kanaka916
06-23-2009, 05:28 AM
A quick search "Mele ukulele" . . .
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1798
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6199
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10409

MrsMeyerMusic
06-23-2009, 05:28 AM
My husband and I both have Meles that we bought in the store on Maui-He has a concert and I have a soprano. We have been happy with them for the 3 and 6 years we have had them. They are made of several different woods; I can't remember which ones exactly. They sound great, though, and I would purchase one again.

haolejohn
06-25-2009, 12:56 PM
I now have four Meles and may buy another one next week when i go visit Mele. I just purchased a solid koa double puka tenor that i did a review on and a comparison with my solid koa top mahaghany back and sides tenor. Here is the link.

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


Good Luck and you can not go wrong with a Mele IMO.

specialmike
06-25-2009, 01:33 PM
How's the quality on a Mele? Can it compete with say.. a KoAloha or Kanile'a?

haolejohn
06-26-2009, 04:17 PM
How's the quality on a Mele? Can it compete with say.. a KoAloha or Kanile'a?

I played a kanile'a at the swap meet and my Mele sounded just as good and the construction appeared to be the same. I noticed no difference.

experimentjon
06-27-2009, 09:18 AM
I played a kanile'a at the swap meet and my Mele sounded just as good and the construction appeared to be the same. I noticed no difference.

I'm going to have to agree and disagree. I own two meles, and they are both very nice instruments, made with great woods and the construction is solid. My mele koa top, mahogany sides/back tenor is also a real player. And I'm not just being brand-myopic when I say this, but, for me, there is a distinct difference when I pick up my Mele compared to when I pick up my KoAloha or Kanilea. All of the above are good sounding, fun to play ukes. But theres a certain feel to the hawaiian K-brand ukes, possibly because of a finer attention to detail, that I don't get from the Meles.

That all said, I've had only good experiences with my Mele ukes, and love playing them. And I've been thrashing on my tenor, and it is still going VERY strong. The thing stands up to abuse almost as well as a Fluke.

haolejohn
06-27-2009, 05:57 PM
But theres a certain feel to the hawaiian K-brand ukes, possibly because of a finer attention to detail, that I don't get from the Meles.

That all said, I've had only good experiences with my Mele ukes, and love playing them. And I've been thrashing on my tenor, and it is still going VERY strong. The thing stands up to abuse almost as well as a Fluke.

I haven't yet gotten a hold of a koaloha yet. but I like the kamaka and would buy one and will buy one one day but the Kanile'a just didn't impress me. Now not to say it wasn't good it sounded great but i just kept looking at that price tag and wished it was $150 less.

Ok. I'm being biased I want one of all of them.

danged
06-27-2009, 06:12 PM
How's the quality on a Mele? Can it compete with say.. a KoAloha or Kanile'a?

I own 3 Mele's all of them are Solid Koa and have Paua inlay and sound great. But you just can not compare the attention to detail and the overall quality put into building a Kamaka or the other K's. The wood used on the Mele tops, are OK, but the backs are usually a lower grade. The Mele is a great sounding uke for it's price and is definitely an extremely good value. If you compare the sound to any uke within the same price range, the Mele will win hands down. The bottom line is you get what you pay for.

ichadwick
06-28-2009, 05:41 AM
Meles are in the same general price and build bracket as Pono, Honu, some of the Kalas, Mainland. get some comparisons with owners of these brands - it's not really fair to compare them with the upper end K lines. Bit too much like comparing a Jaguar with a Ford.

WhenDogsSing
06-28-2009, 07:07 AM
I just bought a Mele "Guitarlele" and couldn't be happier...The instrument is built well, has an understated beauty, and plays and sounds great...It is all solid mahogany with ebony binding on the top and back, ebony fingerboard and bridge, and ebony nut. It has rope purfling around both the top and back of the sides. It was strung EADGBE as a guitar but I changed it up to ADGCEA tuning and it really brought the sound out...Here is a link to a review I did on it...:)

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

My only qualm with the ukulele is that I don't like the Mele decal they put on the headstock...the instrument would look a whole lot better without the decal...:(

Overall, it's a keeper...:)

fabioponta
12-07-2010, 07:25 AM
Funny,
If Mele makes a especific line of his ukuleles in Asia, the whole line is overrated mele. Now, many ukuleles koalana Koaloha made in Asia and nobody stopped valuing their ukuleles.

haolejohn
12-07-2010, 07:31 AM
Funny,
If Mele makes a especific line of his ukuleles in Asia, the whole line is overrated mele. Now, many ukuleles koalana Koaloha made in Asia and nobody stopped valuing their ukuleles.

huh??? You got me confused.

JoshFromTallGrassUkes
12-07-2010, 07:40 AM
My very first uke was a Mele soprano. Nice sound, very thin neck, low action, sharp looking. The fretwork is really shoddy, though--the fret ends aren't clipped straight and they're overly square in profile. Could be an isolated incident though. Also, there's a good deal of finish checking (like one sees on a vintage Martin) for an instrument that's only 5 years old. But again, your experience may well be different (I'm not known for being gentle with my instruments).

mm stan
12-07-2010, 08:12 AM
Aloha Molokinirum,
I have a older Mele 4 string tenor double puka Koa top with Mahogany back and sides..with a fishman pick-up...It is the model made in the phillipines....Nice great sound...little distinctive if you play them side to
side..otherwise unnoticable....worth every cent and probally more.. I'd say between upper middle level to premimum ukulele....I enjoy mine very much...Hope it helps...Good Luck!!! MM Stan...

Coconut Willie
12-07-2010, 09:10 AM
Funny,
If Mele makes a especific line of his ukuleles in Asia, the whole line is overrated mele. Now, many ukuleles koalana Koaloha made in Asia and nobody stopped valuing their ukuleles.

I'm confused too!!! :confused: :confused: :confused:

haolejohn
12-07-2010, 04:19 PM
I'm confused too!!! :confused: :confused: :confused:

yeppers. Anyways I went back and read some of my earlier posts. I was very inflicted with KAS when I was posting thast I prefered my Mele to the Kanile'as that I played. I must've been jonesing for that KoAloha that I got a few days latter.

I got to play another kanile'a and I think my next K brand is going to either be a ko'olau or Kanile'a soundmonster, unless I get a crown bridge koaloha:)

v30
12-09-2010, 12:55 AM
Those $300 koa pineapple soprano's on ebay were giving me a serious case of buy it now finger.......but I didn't bite I think because there's not alot of info to be found on them.

Paul December
12-09-2010, 04:25 AM
I briefly had a soprano Mele, and was very disappointed. So much so, I returned it. Mele not only made me pay for the return shipping, they also deducted from my refund the original shipping to me :mad:
My observations of the soprano Mele sent me:
- poor, uneven, overall finish with multiple blemishes
- sharp crude frets
- cheap, ugly "Mele" sticker on the headstock
- sounded absolutely dead (even after I changed the cheap stock strings to Aquillas)

Coconut Willie
12-09-2010, 05:05 AM
Wow...that sux! I have only heard Mele ukes on sound clips, but the reviews are usually pretty good. Their return policy does not bode well for next purchase, especially spending $400 and up!!!

OldePhart
12-09-2010, 12:13 PM
...Bit too much like comparing a Jaguar with a Ford.

Yeah, and that's so unfair to the Jaguar... LOL

John

OldePhart
12-09-2010, 12:30 PM
Take this with a large grain of salt because I'm fairly new to ukes and I have never actually had a Mele in my hands. Also, I don't want to be taken out back and stoned by the AHMO - that would be the Association of Happy Mele Owners. That said, there was one thing I did notice when I was doing the research to get my first "good uke." Leading up to when I bought my KoAloha concert I spent probably nine weeks or more looking at every single uke for sale/auction on eBay, from cheap PacRim, to "vintage" Harmony, to top end. I had a pretty decent idea what I wanted, and I wasn't necessarily planning to buy used, but doing that kind of research on used instruments can tell you a lot about quality.

Pretty early on I put Mele on my "no buy" list because, while I'd only seen a handful of used Mele's on eBay every one of them had what I consider to be fairly serious issues (cracks, tops or backs either pulling free or poorly joined to begin with, etc.) Now, I probably only saw five or six used Meles, but when I noticed that all of the used ones seemed to have issues that kind of put me off.

Now, I've seen a few used Mele ukuleles on eBay since and they looked fine - so it may have just been coincidence - but I'm an engineer and we don't really believe in coincidences... LOL

John

Russ
12-12-2010, 07:12 AM
I got a Mele Tenor with a Fishman pick-up maybe 4 years ago from the Mele shop in Wailuku and love the uke and the people there always treated me great. About a month ago, I got a Kamaka Tenor (no pick-up...you just don't mess with a body like that with an after-market pick-up) from Bounty Music in Kahalui and....ayeeeeeee!!! Magical, mystical, playful, vibrant, alive. Also, props to Aquila strings...they really make both instruments dance. For me, I had first traded the Mele for credit on the Kamaka purchase, but went back next day to buy it back (nice guys at Bounty charged me the trade-in price, not the mark-up), first because I wanted the electric option and second because the instrument was close to my heart. Both are excellent instruments, really. But the Kamaka is just a whole 'nuther critter. I would say if you're looking to spend about $500 or so, you can't go wrong with a Mele. But if you've got $1000 to spend, check out a Kamaka.