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View Full Version : help with chosing a new uke



sophie358
07-29-2009, 04:20 AM
i've been playing for about 2 months now on a mahalo soprano that i bought off ebay on a whim. I bought a cheap uke to start because i didn't know if i would actually bother to learn but i've gotten really into it. I've noticed some problems with tuning (all the strings are in tune but the chords sound out of tune) and tinnyness. I've seen a lot of other people post on her with the same problems with this uke so it seems i just chose poorly. So now i've decided to buy a new uke to get a nicer sound. However, i literally have no idea where to start. I can't afford more than about 75 (i think that's around $125). I'd be really greatful for some advice. Also, there are no shops anywhere near me that sell decent ukes so it will have to be an internet buy so i can't go in and get a feel for different types which is a problem.

Another thing, the uke's i've seen people playing all seems to come in different sizes. The one i have now is very small but i like the look and sound ones that are a big bigger. What's the difference?

Thanks!

Greeno
07-29-2009, 05:47 AM
I improved the intonation on my Mahalo - as others have - by filing down the nut slots a little at a time - it's far from perfect but it's useable.

The uke sizes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukulele) are:

soprano or standard - 33cm scale (g'c'e'a' or a'd'f#'b')
concert - 38cm scale (g'c'e'a' or gc'e'a')
tenor - 43cm scale (gc'e'a', g'c'e'a', or d'gbe')
baritone - 48cm scale (dgbe')

Personally I consider the tenor and baritone to be small, 4-string guitars. The soprano is slightly too small for me (difficult to play some chords) so I'm leaning towards buying a cheap concert: http://www.wmcmusic.co.uk/ukulele/kala-makala-concert-ukulele-mk-c.html

leftovermagic84
07-29-2009, 06:46 AM
$125 might just net you a Kala KA-T off of ebay if you look hard enough. Its a tenor uke, the biggest you can get with standard g tuning. Kala is a good entry brand, and I have the KA-T myself and like it a lot. Its a laminate uke, not solid wood, but to my beginner ears it doesn't sound too bad with upgraded strings.

I've had the itch to upgrade to the Kala KA-ST, the solid spruce top version, but there's no way my wife would let me without first selling the one I have. Best of luck!

seeso
07-29-2009, 08:33 AM
The differences with sizes are number of frets and tone. For the purest, most ukulele-like tone, you want the soprano size, also called "standard." As the size gets bigger, more overtones seep into the ukulele's sound, giving the instrument a more complex, deeper sound.

I would take a look at the Makala brand of ukuleles. For $125, you should be able to find what you need. It's a great starter brand.

zaiu
08-04-2009, 12:59 PM
I bought a cheap ukulele for about 20, and it just sounds 'off'. I want a slightly bigger ukulele as well.

Did you manage to find anything better in your price range ?

LazyRiver
08-04-2009, 01:42 PM
I've had the itch to upgrade to the Kala KA-ST, the solid spruce top version, but there's no way my wife would let me without first selling the one I have. Best of luck!

If you can encourage your to take up the uke, she can have your current one and you can get a new one.:old: