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View Full Version : Recomendations for a 100 budget



squizz
08-04-2009, 07:23 AM
Firstly, Hi! and congratulations on a very helpful and friendly forum!

I need help please! I want to get my husband a uke for our anniversary. I want to spend about 100 (about $169 US). He is a keen guitar player and also owns a banjo uke. I don't want to get him a uke he is disappointed with, but also don't want to ask him and ruin the surprise. So....

As I think he will pick it up quickly should I get him a tenor (I read that it allows for more flair)?

I was looking at the Ohana range or a Mahalo les Paul edition. Am I on the right track?

Any comments appreciated and thank you in advance

Spooner
08-04-2009, 07:29 AM
I always recommend Kalas when working with a budget.
They're GREAT ukes and great for the money!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Brand-New-Kala-KA-TE-Mahogany-Tenor-Ukulele-Acous-elec_W0QQitemZ370239241553QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item5633fa7d51&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

squizz
08-04-2009, 07:33 AM
I always recommend Kalas when working with a budget.
They're GREAT ukes and great for the money!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Brand-New-Kala-KA-TE-Mahogany-Tenor-Ukulele-Acous-elec_W0QQitemZ370239241553QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item5633fa7d51&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262

Thanks - it's good to get advice from someone who plays, I will check them out. Then just have to work on a disguise for it when it arrives!

Spooner
08-04-2009, 07:34 AM
Thanks - it's good to get advice from someone who plays, I will check them out. Then just have to work on a disguise for it when it arrives!

If you call up Mike (the seller of the uke) you might be able to get him to throw on a Victoria's Secret label or something. :p

KC8AFW
08-04-2009, 07:37 AM
If you call up Mike (the seller of the uke) you might be able to get him to throw on a Victoria's Secret label or something. :p

And you can discuss shipping options...as I am assuming you're somewhere in the UK.

upskydowncloud
08-04-2009, 10:16 AM
Firstly, Hi! and congratulations on a very helpful and friendly forum!

I need help please! I want to get my husband a uke for our anniversary. I want to spend about 100 (about $169 US). He is a keen guitar player and also owns a banjo uke. I don't want to get him a uke he is disappointed with, but also don't want to ask him and ruin the surprise. So....

As I think he will pick it up quickly should I get him a tenor (I read that it allows for more flair)?

I was looking at the Ohana range or a Mahalo les Paul edition. Am I on the right track?

Any comments appreciated and thank you in advance

Hey I'd recommend not buying a uke from the US if you're working a budget, import tax and shipping can make them really expensive.

Here's a few websites of places in the UK that sell ukes that might be handy:

http://newcastlemusic.co.uk/
http://www.dukeofuke.co.uk/
http://www.eaglemusicshop.com

I always recommend Lanikai ukes, Eagle Music have the LU21 Tenor uke which is within your budget. You're on the limit of what you can get for 100 as tenors tend to be a bit more expensive.

Good luck!

P.S. great present by the way.

ukerazy
08-04-2009, 10:35 AM
Depending on where you are in the u.k there is also,

http://www.wmcmusic.co.uk in Taunton

http://www.forsyths.co.uk in Manchester (They have more in stock than appears online)

Both deliver, I agree that you should buy within the u.k to avoid being stung by customs.

I have also been to Eagle Music shop as mentioned above but they don't have as much in stock as they appear to have online, so you could be in for a wait if you ordered from them.

GrumpyOldMan
08-04-2009, 11:10 AM
I was looking at the Ohana range or a Mahalo les Paul edition. Am I on the right track?
Don't go for the Mahalo Les Paul uke. They're barely any better than the 15 jobs they sell and are poor value for money. I have an Ohano Tenor but I got it for a very good price when Ukuleleshop.co.uk closed down.

Have a look at the Stagg Ukes that GAK sell. www.gak.co.uk GAK are about the cheapest for them and do mail order. Although Stagg instruments generally are a bit naff their Ukes have a very good reputation, especially for their bargain prices and you will get a decent tenor for 75 which, even with postage, is well within your budget. GAK also have the new Epiphone uke in stock but that is 179. They also have the Fender range from 109, your husband will know the Fender name and could be impressed by that. They also have the Ovation range from 99 and Ovation is also a name he will know.

Also have a look at www.thomann.de as they also offer some of the best prices in Europe.

My personal favourite size is a Concert and I have a concert size Tanglewood. Most people don't rate the Tanglewoods but I tried a few out and liked the sound and feel of it over all the others I played and that is usually the best way to buy an instrument but you can get some bargains by buying blind over the web.

Cheers and good luck,
Ian..

squizz
08-04-2009, 11:17 AM
thanks for the replies. I will buy from a UK shop, I think that will leave less margin for error!

Thanks for warning me off the Les Paul, its easy to get sucked in by the gimmick!

I'll get online tomorrow and order one of your recomendations & let you know how i get on.

Thanks again

Ken Middleton
08-04-2009, 11:36 AM
Buy from Paul at Southern Ukulele Store. Google it or access them on eBay. They have a very big choice and competitive prices. Or go to JusteCordes or Exquisite in France.

If you buy from the US you will have to pay 15% VAT, high shipping costs and a bit of import duty.

Contrary to what you may have been told, don't buy a laminate instrument. For 100 you can get one with a solid top. With a little bit of haggling you may even get an all-solid instrument for just over 100. If it doesn't say SOLID mahogany, for instance, it is laminate.

I work for Ohana, but whether you buy an Ohana or a Kala, you can get a good instrument for around that price.

buddhuu
08-04-2009, 10:26 PM
A word of caution on Staggs. I have owned two and played a couple more. If you get a good one they are very good value, but their quality control is inconsistent. Bridges are sometimes not quite accurately placed, which can ruin the intonation unless one does an awkward modification. They appear to be made in the same place as Ohana, but Ohana seem to be more demanding in their quality control.

Ohana or Kala are sound recommendations from Ken. There are others, but they aren't so easily available in the UK. I play a Kala.

Purchasing from USA can be difficult and expensive. You'd get hit for tax and duty. Be aware that if a US supplier makes a false declaration on a customs form in order to try to save the customer money, that seller is taking a BIG risk. It is a serious offense with a big slap attached to it.

It is easy to buy from EU countries such as France and Germany. Ukulele.de is one store I have bought from successfully. Shipping is not really any more expensive than from within UK, and there are no extra customs/tax charges as it is within EU.

Much as I respect MGM and the fine and experienced people on UU, I'm with Ken on the solid wood thing. Although it is difficult to hear a difference on a recording played on a computer, in 35+ years of playing acoustic string instruments I have come to believe that there are differences.

IMHO, solid woods seem to mature in a more marked fashion and the character of an instrument evolves more. Solid tops often achieve more volume and resonance than laminates.

There are many variables that mean this isn't always true, but on balance my experience has convinced me.

Good luck.

laudrup
08-05-2009, 09:16 AM
You've all made good points, that have helped me make a decision on buying a uke for a similar budget.

I was in a rush and considered spending around 50-80 on a laminate uke this weekend but have decided that i'm going to wait a week or so and buy something with at the very least a solid top or preferably a solid body.

I remember when I bought my acoustic guitar I spent extra on a solid body and it was worth every penny in terms of sound quality and it keeps getting better with age so why should i treat a uke any different?

I've narrowed it down to two concert sized ukes. I'm hoping to get a solid top Ohana or totally solid Kala from the southern ukulele store when i've raised sufficient funds. I'll see which one feels best i suppose.

squizz
08-05-2009, 10:39 AM
thanks from me too!

Unwell bunnies & vet trips prevented me from uke shopping today! Tomorrow i think im going for a solid wood ohana. Thanks for the help. Im thinking i might learn too!