View Full Version : How much is it worth to get ukulele from MGM

08-04-2009, 03:20 AM
Hi Everyone,

I have been poking around the forums for the past couple weeks looking into what ukulele to get for my first ukulele etc. I think I have decided to start off with the Kala KA-T Tenor. I really wanted to spend under 150$ total...

MGM - has this at ~ 140$ (w/case and book - which I dont think I need) but then there is 22$ shipping - so its 162$

This other place Cecilia's music has it for 109.95$ shipped (has anyone had experience with this store?)

Both our listed with coming with Aquila Nylgut strings.
So I guess my question is is it worth the 50$ premium to get it from MGM??

I dont think I need a case - ie I dont plan to travel with it for a while - is it that necessary for storage (ie humidity, I live in NC and dont know if this would be an issue)

BTW this site is pretty amazing. Thanks for all your help.

08-04-2009, 03:24 AM
I cant say anything about Cecilia's Music but Mike is one of the most trusted sources for the ukulele.
I have bought a number of ukes from him and recommend him highly.

His customer service is extra primo good!

08-04-2009, 03:24 AM
From what I hear, I vote MGM as his set-up sounds worth it. Also, you will want a case to protect it. You never know what could happen with it sitting around. I know my next purchase will be through him.

08-04-2009, 03:40 AM
I cant say anything about Cecilia's Music but Mike is one of the most trusted sources for the ukulele.
I have bought a number of ukes from him and recommend him highly.

His customer service is extra primo good!

I second this. He does some other things for the set up too.

As for the case, I don't think humidity would be that bid of a concern for a KA-T ( i think it is laminate). It would protect it from getting banged up if you are traveling around with it. If it is just going to be sitting in your house, try not to sit on it.:D

08-04-2009, 03:54 AM
I vote for Mike, I have bought sevral uks from him. One of the most honest guys you will ever deal with.

08-04-2009, 03:55 AM
There was a similar thread about ordering from one vendor or another and this will probably come down to customer service and Mike (MGM) has built a solid rep within this community. Another vendor you may wanna checkout is The Ukulele Shop (http://www.ukuleleshop.net/) in Virginia and Rob has received a number of favorable comments. As far as a case goes, I would definetly opt for one just for the protection factor.

Ukulele JJ
08-04-2009, 05:22 AM
What you won't get from Cecilia's (I'm assuming--I could be wrong) that you will get from someone like MGM is the set-up. That's the key thing, IMHO, especially with the low-end to mid-range ukuleles.

They churn these things out of the factories, and the quality control isn't always too hot. They'll check for blemishes, defects, etc., but they don't necessarily check for playability, intonation, and such. When you get your uke from MGM, he makes any adjustments needed to get the uke playing and sounding as good as it can get.

It's kinda like buying a bicycle. You can get one from Target or Wal-Mart, and it will be put together more-or-less correctly. The wheels will spin and the handlebars will turn. Beyond that, who knows? Or you can pay a bit more and get it from a dedicated bike shop, where it will not only be assembled correctly, but it will be adjusted correctly.

If I were in your shoes, I'd call up Mike personally (he puts his phone number on all his eBay auctions) and see what sort of price he'll give you on the uke without the case, book, etc.



08-04-2009, 05:22 AM
MGM is clearly a first-rate person, and that translates into the way he does business. If every business owner operated like Mike the world would be a better place. Rarely will you find someone who bends over backward to make sure their customers are happy to the extent that Mike does.

08-04-2009, 05:24 AM
I've played guitar only for myself for years, never going out. Until I bought my first Ukulele. Now I'm in a club and we meet and play every week.

I never thought I needed a case either. I was wrong.

08-04-2009, 05:29 AM
There's a ukulele academy shop (http://ukuleleacademy.bigcartel.com/products) in Wilmington, NC. I bought my koaloha from him. Music guy mic has a wonderful reputation and I plan to buy something from him, just don't know what or when yet. Meanwhile, you can go check out Ukulele Academy and see if you can talk the owner down if you can't find one in that price range. He carries a bunch of different ukuleles.

If you go, or contact him (his name is Kent), tell him Mike KoAloha Tenor sent you.

08-04-2009, 05:42 AM
My recommendation is to buy from MGM. I recently purchased a ukulele from him and had a few issues with it - he responded very quickly - his customer service is tops. Consider the few extra bucks 'insurance'.

08-04-2009, 07:34 AM
From what I have read MGM is the man to deal with. In addition I believe he is a member of the UU as well!!!!!! He is one of us and he knows what must be done to make your uke perfect. :):cool::)

08-04-2009, 09:15 AM
First off, a case is a really good idea.

Secondly, if you want to know the value of the instrument being set up, call your local guitar repair shops and ask how much they charge to set up an ukulele.

I take my new ukuleles that I didn't get from MGM to chicago fret works and they charge around 30 - 60 bucks depending on what's being done, and you have to wait even after you get your uke to play it, however with MGM you have to wait for shipping.

For me this means if MGM has the uke I want, I get it from him. And if he doesn't, I mentally add $50 bucks to the price of what I'm buying to get it set up. Plus the cost a tuner and a case, usually.

08-04-2009, 11:46 AM
The set up he does is worth $30 - $35 if you had it done after purchase,(thats about what it would cost in coastal SC). New Aquilias are $5-$6. So I would say he gives you and extra $35 - $41 worth of stuff withthe set up. I've played a couple of his and the set up is really good. I bet the set up is higher in larger cities.

Get the case if for nothing else for shipping.

08-04-2009, 01:57 PM
I have never, yet, bought anything from MGM.

That said, his reputation is SOLID gold. This is clearly a man who knows the right way to conduct a (largely online) business, and how to keep his customers happy.

I hope to be a customer myself sometime soon, if customs and taxes allow.

08-04-2009, 04:01 PM
Thanks everyone for your input... I have gone ahead and placed my order with MGM.

08-04-2009, 04:21 PM
just saying .. mgm will send you a very good case ! i got a kala ka-tg from him recently and he sent me i think a 100 dollar case with it .. it is a hardshell case inside of a gig bag basically .. if that makes sense lol i love my case i take it to new orleans with me and its easy to carry my uke around ! id def reccomend mgm! hes awesome

08-04-2009, 04:32 PM
I have purchased two ukuleles from MGM. I have only great things to say about the service and fast shipping from Hawaii! The ukes are set up and come with good strings.

I recomend to always store the uke in a case when not playing. You will be glad you spent the extra 10 seconds to put the uke there after playing if the unforseen happens.

'nuff said...two thumbs up for MGM!

08-04-2009, 05:06 PM
Thanks everyone for your input... I have gone ahead and placed my order with MGM.

Congrats! Be sure to post and tell us about your new uke when it arrives. Pictures would be nice. :music: