PDA

View Full Version : First Uke? (Sorry!)



12imnew
06-30-2009, 06:31 AM
I apologise 'cause I know there are a lot of posts like this, and I have read many, but am still unsure.

I play guitar (self-taught for about 2 years) and would like also to play uke (I hear it's quite addictive!) I am making the assumption that, after the initial difficulties of picking up a new instrument, uke should be fairly simple as I already play guitar?

I would like:
A concert sized uke
Made of solid wood
A fairly low price (my budget is just under 200 (roughly $300?) but preferably keeping at around 150/$250)

Also, it does matter to me (to some extent) how the uke looks. I don't want to buy an instrument that I don't like the look of.

I am tempted by the Bushman Jenny Concert which is near the top of my price range (but I know you get what you pay for). I like how it looks and it has what I want, but I'm seeing mixed reviews on Bushman, which is putting me off (I can only buy online, no stores anywhere near me have an even semi-decent selection of ukes, so no try before you buy for me). If I buy this uke, I would buy through Bushman, which also worries me. I can find no email address to contact them and apparently their customer service is bad. Being in the UK, I worry that should there be problems with my order it would be difficult to sort.

Another which I am looking at is http://www.eaglemusicshop.com/details1.asp/ProductID/5673/sid/23/name/kahuna-mahog-concert.htm
which appears to be fairly similar to the Jenny? But I don't know anything about ukes/what brands are good etc.

Sorry for the length of my post!
I'd appreciate any information that may help me.
Thanks!

EDIT: so I am desperate to get a uke and will buy a decent one (I'm thinking Mainland Mahogany Concert) in a while, but as I cannot wait, I think I'm gonna get a cheap one and put some better than the supplied strings on it to mess around with until I can afford a proper uke. Would getting a Kala Makala Concert Ukulele (MK-C) be a terrible idea? I know it will not be fantastic as it is so cheap. Like I said, just to get me started 'cause I'm impatient.

UKISOCIETY
06-30-2009, 06:33 AM
Mainland Ukes. (http://www.mainlandukes.com/) Great ukes and good people.

casetone2514
06-30-2009, 06:45 AM
I would buy from a bricks and mortar shop if I were you. I have found, to my cost, that perfectly good musical instruments may not be the one for you and when you've already bought and paid for it, what do you do. At least in a shop you can try before you buy.

Where in the UK are you? Do you have a decent music shop that sells a good range of Ukes? Maybe an outing to Duke of Uke in London maybe in order.

I am currently in lust with this instrument:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14996

12imnew
06-30-2009, 06:45 AM
Mainland Ukes. (http://www.mainlandukes.com/) Great ukes and good people.
Thanks! They are beautiful lookin' ukes! I don't suppose you can explain the different types of tuning peg?

12imnew
06-30-2009, 06:50 AM
I would buy from a bricks and mortar shop if I were you. I have found, to my cost, that perfectly good musical instruments may not be the one for you and when you've already bought and paid for it, what do you do. At least in a shop you can try before you buy.

Where in the UK are you? Do you have a decent music shop that sells a good range of Ukes? Maybe an outing to Duke of Uke in London maybe in order.

I am currently in lust with this instrument:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14996
The stores near me sell £15 ukes... nothing better. Just toys, basically. I am worried that if I buy a crappy uke I will get frustrated and put it down, whereas if I love the instrument I will continue to play. Travel is not very realistic (although I shall certainly not rule it out). I must say, I am not actually buying for a while, but I want to be sure what I want to do when the time comes to part with my money. I appreciate your advise on this, thanks.

Dirka
06-30-2009, 07:49 AM
They (http://www.mercatinodellukulele.it/index_en.asp?) sell Mainlands in Europe. They're quite friendly :shaka:

Totally forgot: welcome to the Underground man, may the Uke bring limitless joy to your life.

12imnew
06-30-2009, 08:13 AM
They (http://www.mercatinodellukulele.it/index_en.asp?) sell Mainlands in Europe. They're quite friendly :shaka:

Totally forgot: welcome to the Underground man, may the Uke bring limitless joy to your life.
Thanks a lot, for the info and the welcome! I think it's actually cheaper for me to buy direct from Mainland, though.

UKISOCIETY
06-30-2009, 09:38 AM
Thanks! They are beautiful lookin' ukes! I don't suppose you can explain the different types of tuning peg?

Here's an earlier thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15389&highlight=tuners)on that topic. As a rule, I prefer friction peg tuners on my sopranos and machine geared tuners on the larger sizes. But it's strictly a personal preference.

12imnew
06-30-2009, 09:44 AM
Here's an earlier thread (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15389&highlight=tuners)on that topic. As a rule, I prefer friction peg tuners on my sopranos and machine geared tuners on the larger sizes. But it's strictly a personal preference.
Thanks. The guy from Mainland actually messaged me to answer that question and I should have looked before asking really. Sorry! This site is great! I've just gotta get used to it a bit, hahah.

whetu
06-30-2009, 01:47 PM
The stores near me sell 15 ukes... nothing better. Just toys, basically. I am worried that if I buy a crappy uke I will get frustrated and put it down, whereas if I love the instrument I will continue to play. Travel is not very realistic (although I shall certainly not rule it out). I must say, I am not actually buying for a while, but I want to be sure what I want to do when the time comes to part with my money. I appreciate your advise on this, thanks.

Given that you're talking in terms of those quaint Sterling Pounds things, you might have an easier time dealing with one of the plentiful UK based dealers such as: http://www.dukeofuke.co.uk/

(have a forum search for more links)

12imnew
07-01-2009, 02:18 AM
Given that you're talking in terms of those quaint Sterling Pounds things, you might have an easier time dealing with one of the plentiful UK based dealers such as: http://www.dukeofuke.co.uk/

(have a forum search for more links)
Thanks I shall look around. I have been looking at UK based stores (I to some extent just put up $ 'cause I assumed there would be a fair number of people from the States here and it would make it easier).
If I can buy what I want from the UK, I will do so. However, I find it is fairly limited compared to US based stores. I am also finding that the cost of a Uke in a UK store is far greater than that of one imported from the states, even inc. P&P and that, but I suppose import taxes will change that considerably? I don't know how it works with importing expensive items. It is something that I have never done before.
I am not looking to buy immediately, I have a few months so I will keep looking. I just wanted to get as many suggesgions and as much info as possible before buying something which I hope will last me many many years.
Thanks again for your suggesgion.

whetu
07-02-2009, 04:45 PM
I am also finding that the cost of a Uke in a UK store is far greater than that of one imported from the states, even inc. P&P and that, but I suppose import taxes will change that considerably? I don't know how it works with importing expensive items. It is something that I have never done before.

I'm not sure about the UK system, but here in NZ we have to pay customs tax on anything we import that's over NZD$350, and our GST tax rate is 12.5% on everything, so that customs tax can hit pretty hard. There is a little loophole that many of us kiwis use where we locate someone* in the sending country and get them to send us whatever it was we wanted with a shipping note stating that it's a gift. We typically don't have to pay customs tax on 'gifts', so we sneakily evade tax that way.

Resellers and distributors don't have that luxury, so after shipping from the manufacturer (or an upstream distributor), then import tax, plus their markup - they are in business to make profit - you will definately be paying more.

Buying from a local store does have advantages though.

* usually a friend or relative, or friend-of-a-friend type situation

danged
07-02-2009, 06:01 PM
I would buy from a bricks and mortar shop if I were you. I have found, to my cost, that perfectly good musical instruments may not be the one for you and when you've already bought and paid for it, what do you do. At least in a shop you can try before you buy.

Where in the UK are you? Do you have a decent music shop that sells a good range of Ukes? Maybe an outing to Duke of Uke in London maybe in order.

I am currently in lust with this instrument:
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14996

I agree with casetone2514, always try to buy from a brick and mortar store. :old: You will get better service, talk to real people face to face, and be able to try the uke before you purchase it. I would recommend the Pono Ohai for your price range.

12imnew
07-02-2009, 08:41 PM
I'm not sure about the UK system, but here in NZ we have to pay customs tax on anything we import that's over NZD$350, and our GST tax rate is 12.5% on everything, so that customs tax can hit pretty hard. There is a little loophole that many of us kiwis use where we locate someone* in the sending country and get them to send us whatever it was we wanted with a shipping note stating that it's a gift. We typically don't have to pay customs tax on 'gifts', so we sneakily evade tax that way.

Resellers and distributors don't have that luxury, so after shipping from the manufacturer (or an upstream distributor), then import tax, plus their markup - they are in business to make profit - you will definately be paying more.

Buying from a local store does have advantages though.

* usually a friend or relative, or friend-of-a-friend type situation
Indeed you are right. I had forgotten about import duty so I may well (if I order online) order from the European site. I did a little bit of research on the gift trick and I think it only works on items up to a certain value, which my order would exceed (by quite a lot I think). I could be wrong on that, though. Thanks for that information!

12imnew
07-02-2009, 08:53 PM
I agree with casetone2514, always try to buy from a brick and mortar store. :old: You will get better service, talk to real people face to face, and be able to try the uke before you purchase it. I would recommend the Pono Ohai for your price range.
I will try and go to a store, but it will be difficult for me. I shall also look at the Pono Ohai ukes, so thanks for that suggesgion. I also have been researching the Mainland ukes a lot 'cause I think they look (and sound, from poeple's videos) beautiful I haven't seen anywhere anyone with something bad to say about them. Perhaps I'm just trying to persuade myself that it's not that big a deal that I probably can't go to a store, though, haha. I'm beginning to worry about that, now, but I have said previously, I do have a few months to sort things out. I don't have the money yet, but I wanted to look early because I knew I would have trouble in this way.