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sinkcolinsink
07-06-2009, 03:59 PM
Hey guys, I'm getting ready to buy my first uke, been a musician all my life and have played guitar for 4 years and drums for 8. Not a beginner musician just a beginner uke player. I want a classic looking uke (figure 8 shape) that sounds good (obviously), and will last and survive for my next five years as a music major. I want something that will sound good live and that I would have no problems gigging with. The lower the price, the better. I've looked at the kala brand and I like what I see there. Recommendations?

KC8AFW
07-06-2009, 04:16 PM
What's your price range? If you can go in the neighborhood of about $200...then I would recommend a Mainland Uke. Here's mine:

http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=405&pictureid=2380

sinkcolinsink
07-06-2009, 04:23 PM
I've looked at the mainland ukes as well, would you say they are better than the solid soprano mahagony kalas? Also, would I notice a huge difference between the solid mahagony kalas and the laminate mahagony kalas? there is about a 130 dollar price difference.

KC8AFW
07-06-2009, 04:34 PM
I don't have a Kala...so I can't say for sure. My Mainland is a major step up from my Lanikai LU21. There are many on this forum that love their Kalas.

The biggest difference you'll find between a laminate and a solid body is sustain (also makes a difference in tone). The soundboard is the key here...even a solid-top with laminate back and sides will be a big improvement over an all laminate.

sinkcolinsink
07-06-2009, 04:39 PM
Is there a solid top with laminate back and sides that you would recommend? Is the kala mahagony series that isn't the all solid mahagony a solid top series? I can't seem to find much more info on them.

Ahnko Honu
07-06-2009, 04:57 PM
Bang for the buck hard to beat a Kala solid spruce top.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Kala-Solid-Spruce-Top-Concert-Ukulele_W0QQitemZ300233498918QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_0?hash=item45e74fa126&_trksid=p3286.m20.l1116

KC8AFW
07-06-2009, 05:13 PM
In case you haven't run across it yet...Ian has a review page that has both a Kala spruce top and a Mainland cedar top review.

http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/ukuleles.htm

Good luck on your quest. :music:

kissing
07-06-2009, 06:12 PM
Is the kala mahagony series that isn't the all solid mahagony a solid top series? I can't seem to find much more info on them.

If they don't specifically have the word "Solid" in the description, then it's usually Laminate.
So you either get the all-solid mahogany, or the laminate mahogany :)

The Kala All-Solid Mahogany ukes are quite good for the price. Good sustain, playability and sound. I haven't tried a Mainland uke before, but I hear wonderful stories about them too.

Choboy
07-07-2009, 03:10 AM
both kala and mainland are great ukes.
i owned a kala for a few weeks. but i returned it and bought myself a mainland. :D
i feel the mainland might be slightly more expensive than a kala, but the difference in sound far outbeats the price difference.

sinkcolinsink
07-07-2009, 06:12 AM
Thanks for all the input. I'm thinking a 50-75 dollar uke may be a better idea right now just because of price constraints. In that range I see a few different models, the Lanikai LU-21, the Kala 15S and the Kala K-S. I can't seem to find any difference between the 15S and the S. What are the differences?

Choboy
07-07-2009, 08:17 AM
I don't know too much about all the kala's. The one I had for awhile was the Kala KA-S. I liked it a lot. I own a lanikai lu-21 right now. It's good for it's price, but I definitely love the sound of the Kala KA-S a lot more.

KC8AFW
07-07-2009, 02:26 PM
Thanks for all the input. I'm thinking a 50-75 dollar uke may be a better idea right now just because of price constraints. In that range I see a few different models, the Lanikai LU-21, the Kala 15S and the Kala K-S. I can't seem to find any difference between the 15S and the S. What are the differences?

I have a Lanikai LU21 and like it a bunch. I would probably recommend the Kala from MGM...because he will set it up for you before it ships. If you call him, he can tell you the difference between the KA-15S and the KA-S.

http://cgi.ebay.com/SETUP-Kala-KA-15S-Mahogany-Soprano-Ukulele-w-Aquilas_W0QQitemZ370223875363QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5633100523&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A30 (http://cgi.ebay.com/SETUP-Kala-KA-15S-Mahogany-Soprano-Ukulele-w-Aquilas_W0QQitemZ370223875363QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5633100523&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A30)

danged
07-07-2009, 05:41 PM
Thanks for all the input. I'm thinking a 50-75 dollar uke may be a better idea right now just because of price constraints. In that range I see a few different models, the Lanikai LU-21, the Kala 15S and the Kala K-S. I can't seem to find any difference between the 15S and the S. What are the differences?

The Kala Ka-15s is almost identical to the Makala soprano. The KA-S looks nicer with binding and built much better, sound and lower action (easier to play). The Makala is made from a wood called Agathis, and the KA-15S is supposed to be Mahogany laminate, but the wood quality between the KA-15S and KA-S is very noticeable. As a bonus, the KA-S comes pre-strung with Aquillas from the factory, and there is also a KA-P pineapple, both of these ukes are within your price range. MGM has them bundled with a Light hard case, so the Ukulele by itself is in your price range. You can also get a Makala Concert for the same price, being a guitar player, you will find the concert easier to play.

cornfedgroove
07-08-2009, 07:12 PM
honestly...I would look into getting a homemade cigar box uke from any of the many nice uke builders out there. I make them myself and know for a fact that you can get a cigar box uke thats equal if not better than a Lanikai CK-TEQ for a third of the cost.

I own a lanikai ck-teq, and I dont even play it. my homemade uke is brigher, clearer, less expensive and way cooler...even has a transducer and jack in it.

just so you believe that I'm not just saying this to make a buck...I'll refer you to another builder.

http://tinyguitars.tk/

you can watch his vids...he may have one up on ebay, great builder, great player, great guy. good luck.