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View Full Version : Second Uke (or first in my case I guess)



Nonayourbeeswax
08-14-2009, 07:35 AM
As I stated in my introduction paragraph, I don't have a uke of my own, but I've played my mom's for about a year. Recently I've been quite paranoid of something happening to it and I would not want to be held responsible for braking it. So I've been thinking about getting one of my own.

My mom's ukulele is a cheap $50 Hilo Brand (which I have learned is just a name slapped onto generic souvenirs)Tenor. It sounds quite good for being such a cheap uke, but the quality control on such cheap brands are not very good, so I doubt that I'd find another one as good for the same price (my music store doesn't carry ones more expensive.)

So I'm looking for a tenor that's between about $100-$200. I don't have enough money at the moment, so I'm just looking for ideas. Thanks. :)

molokinirum
08-14-2009, 08:01 AM
Check out MusicGuyMic on ebay. He is in Hawaii, a great honest dealer, he has everything that you will need in your price range. Perhaps a Kala solid Mahog. He will set the uke up and send it out right away!! PLUS.....he is one of us!!:cool:

kissing
08-14-2009, 08:06 AM
Hey Nona! Good to see a fellow ocarina player wanting to get a nice uke! :D

Like the above suggestion, its hard to beat MusicGuyMic on eBay for quality ukes.
He sets each up so they play well and upgrades all the strings to high quality Aquila strings.

Finding the right ukulele is as simple as browsing through his list of ukes and choosing the one that fits your needs and price. His store is here:
http://stores.shop.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room
Kala and Ohana brands have great ukes for your price range.

Though just a few things is that instruments that are "Solid" or "Solid Top" generally have a louder, more sustained sound.
But they may require a little more maintenance, such as the use of a humidifier (they're quite cheap and easy to maintain).

I'd stick to geared tuners if possible - they're much easier to use in general :)

Good luck on uke hunting, and do tell us which ones you end up interested in!

Nonayourbeeswax
08-14-2009, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the link, Kissing and Molo. The setup service and the free stuff (case, pitchpipe, etc.) looks is really cool.

After a quick browse, the two that look most interesting to me are the Kala KA-TE Mahogany Tenor (http://cgi.ebay.com/Brand-New-Kala-KA-TE-Mahogany-Tenor-Ukulele-Acous-elec_W0QQitemZ370242042080QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item56342538e0&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262)
And the KALA KA-ST Sitka solid sprucetop Tenor (http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-ST-Sitka-solid-sprucetop-Tenor-Ukulele-w-case_W0QQitemZ250481819781QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item3a51e14085&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262)

The KA-TE is my first choice because its slightly cheaper, and has a pickup which would me good for recording. But my only concern is that the pickup may take away from the sound quality.

If that's the case, then I will go for the more expensive KA-ST. It does not have a pickup but it is a solid which makes it louder. Does that also make sound quality better?

Does the KA-TE have a nice acoustic sound? Is the Pickup good? Is the sound of the KA-ST worth it for the extra money? Also what are some of the tonal qualities of the woods?

Sorry is I'm asking for a lot.

haolejohn
08-14-2009, 09:33 AM
The pick-up does not effect the sound of a uke util you plug it in and then it makes it louder. www.ukerepublic.com (he's also a memebr here) has some great deals on the kala and other brands of ukuleles. Mgm did a blind sound test and the results were funny because the difference that a solid or solid top makes in the sound quality of a uke is not really that big of a deal. You have a good price reange and you should be able to get a decent quality uke at that price reange. The other option is just save more money and go even higher quality. Good luck with your UAS.

Kanaka916
08-14-2009, 09:37 AM
Does the KA-TE have a nice acoustic sound? Is the Pickup good? Is the sound of the KA-ST worth it for the extra money? Also what are some of the tonal qualities of the woods?
Depends on what you're looking for. Both those instruments have good tonal qualities. The spruce top will have a brighter sound while the mahogany is mellow and deep.

The KA-TE is my first choice because its slightly cheaper, and has a pickup which would me good for recording. But my only concern is that the pickup may take away from the sound quality.
The P/U will not diminish the sound quality.

If that's the case, then I will go for the more expensive KA-ST. It does not have a pickup but it is a solid which makes it louder. Does that also make sound quality better?
You're best bet is to give Mike a call and ask him to strum couple a songs on both instruments or ask him what he would recommend using the questions you've posted here.

Nonayourbeeswax
08-14-2009, 12:42 PM
If what Kanaka said is true, I think I'm leaning farther to the KA-TE. I think that the mellower mahogany would sound better, and if the P/U doesn't diminish sound quality, then I think it's worth it.

I read somewhere that its a low-g ukulele. Could I restring it to be a high-g, or will that ruin it?

CoffeeMate
08-14-2009, 02:30 PM
If what Kanaka said is true, I think I'm leaning farther to the KA-TE. I think that the mellower mahogany would sound better, and if the P/U doesn't diminish sound quality, then I think it's worth it.

I read somewhere that its a low-g ukulele. Could I restring it to be a high-g, or will that ruin it?

If your planning on going with MGM, ask him to set it up high G, I betcha he would.

Kanaka916
08-14-2009, 02:32 PM
I believe the Kala is strung with a high G and if you get it from Mike, you can ask him for a low G should you desire.

haolejohn
08-14-2009, 05:15 PM
Low g or high g won't matter. It is your choice. Heck it is a great idea to get one of each.
BTW MGM usually has sound samples of the uke so look for it.

kissing
08-14-2009, 06:03 PM
Tenors from Mike are generally tuned high-G, so you shouldn't have to worry about that.

The pickup on the KA-TE is a Shadow brand one. They are made in Germany and are very high quality!
In fact, it costs over $100 to buy just that pickup system separately, so buying a uke with it built-in is excellent value.

I'm kicking myself in the head right now, because I sold a uke that had the Shadow pickup system, and its only recently that I realised its high quality stuff.
Now I'm setting up a pickup system on my acoustic uke (in avatar), but I can't afford something like the Shadow system :(

Nevertheless, the KA-TE is a good choice :)

Nonayourbeeswax
08-15-2009, 02:43 PM
Well, I'm not anywhere near saved up enough to afford on. I'm not sure how much I have (I'm in a weird money situation),but I'm at least a quarter of the way. So, I have lots of time to think. :)

Susie A
08-15-2009, 03:11 PM
www.ukerepublic.com (he's also a memebr here) has some great deals on the kala and other brands of ukuleles.

I look forward to seeing his instruments @ the August 29 get to gether :D I don't know how much longer I can take being ukeless.:eek:

Susie

DeG
08-15-2009, 05:29 PM
The pick-up does not effect the sound of a uke util you plug it in and then it makes it louder.

OMG! ROTF!:rofl:

I would go for the sitka spruce top, but that is just me. They sound a little brighter than the lam koa imo.