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Skrik
08-21-2009, 07:37 AM
The ukulele is a small instrument. The soprano is about 12"/ 30cm long, and only 3"/ 8cm deep. It fits in most kinds of bag, sack, or case, and is immensely portable.

So what is the point of a travel ukulele, or a ukulele with a thin body? "The soprano can get into most places, but look, this thing can get into even more nooks and crannies. Wow!"

Yeah, I don't get it -- not that this rules out my getting a travel uke in the future -- I mean it's just one more, innit?

Tsani
08-21-2009, 07:59 AM
Me neither. Although if you have a regular case to protect your uke that makes it a little bulkier. A soprano fits easily into a beach bag or a book bag. Unless its a real beater though you need some kind of bag or sleeve to protect it. Actually a string bag or a small pillow case could work well.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-21-2009, 08:04 AM
I suppose in my mind, the box body of a regular uke (of whatever size) seems fragile and the term "travel" seems to communicate a sense of confidence in that the instrument was "designed" for travel (read "beater"?).

I would imagine that a thinner body (less depth) might make for a stiffer body, one less prone to easy crushing. (oh, I hate to use those descriptive words, it makes me shiver!)
And sometimes you just need a smaller form-factor for ease of storing/packing etc. If you've had to pack a uke, sometimes you just want something a bit smaller, thinner, shorter, etc.

I got a Risa Soprano Solid for it's smaller form-factor, solidity (can be used as a club to hurt assailants!), and the fact that it's silent. Of course that means I have to now carry some kind of amp (personal or performance) as well as cables, headphones, batteries, etc. So what happened to the small form-factor? It got traded for a "2nd-look, what's that?" effect!

So, to some of us, the "travel" uke design makes a little bit of sense. It also gives us a bit of relief for our UAS by providing, hopefully, a moderately-priced alternative. ($150 vs $500+).

Thumper
08-21-2009, 08:13 AM
The ukulele is a small instrument. The soprano is about 12"/ 30cm long, and only 3"/ 8cm deep. It fits in most kinds of bag, sack, or case, and is immensely portable.

So what is the point of a travel ukulele, or a ukulele with a thin body? "The soprano can get into most places, but look, this thing can get into even more nooks and crannies. Wow!"

Yeah, I don't get it -- not that this rules out my getting a travel uke in the future -- I mean it's just one more, innit?

A soprano is only 12" long? :confused:

Mine is 21" long. Are we talking about the same thing?

hoosierhiver
08-21-2009, 08:26 AM
I guess you could tuck them into your pants easier, or if your friend gets arrested for carrying an unwrapped uke you could slip it to them thru the bars into the jail cell.
Seriously though,I haven't tried one but I do have a cigar box uke that I made and it has a very thin body. I really like the way the cigar box nestles against your body and the bottom edge doesn't bother my right forearm when I hold it while playing. I suppose the thin body uke could have this same comfort factor.

Ahnko Honu
08-21-2009, 10:22 AM
I guess you could tuck them into your pants easier, or if your friend gets arrested for carrying an unwrapped uke you could slip it to them thru the bars into the jail cell.


Perfect undercover Utah Uke, a Ute Uke. ;):rolleyes::D

haolejohn
08-21-2009, 11:46 AM
It's all about exploiting the masses weakness (UAS). The travel uke was designed and built to take advantage of the weak and not for convienence. I personally see through the scheme and refuse to spend money on a "travel" uke. I like traveling with my tenors and if I am on the trail I take my soprano. They are not getting anymore of my money.

Bluke
08-21-2009, 12:50 PM
Right on Skrik! Yeah, it must be a marketing scheme to pretty stupid people.

Skrik
08-21-2009, 01:28 PM
It's all about exploiting the masses weakness (UAS). The travel uke was designed and built to take advantage of the weak and not for convienence. I personally see through the scheme and refuse to spend money on a "travel" uke. I like traveling with my tenors and if I am on the trail I take my soprano. They are not getting anymore of my money.

Right. Of course not.

dave g
08-21-2009, 02:00 PM
Well, some of the new "travel ukes" (by large unnamed companies) seem to just have thinner bodies; I'm at a loss as to how that makes them more travel-like than any other. The ones I make, on the other hand, are built to be stuffed into luggage along with your clothes (no case needed), and played in inexpensive hotel rooms without bothering the neighbors (not too much volume). (Like this one: http://www.wsukes.com/77/u77.html )

Uncle-Taco
08-21-2009, 02:24 PM
Perfect undercover Utah Uke, a Ute Uke. ;):rolleyes::D

Mmmm....yeah, but there's less internal volume for sticking stuff into the sound hole so you can smuggle liquor and dirty magazines. :D

haolejohn
08-21-2009, 04:26 PM
Mmmm....yeah, but there's less internal volume for sticking stuff into the sound hole so you can smuggle liquor and dirty magazines. :D

Lol. That was funny.

experimentjon
08-21-2009, 04:41 PM
I was talking to someone locally who was selling a uke on craigslist. At the same time he was looking for a new uke for his wife who is disabled, and thought that the uke that she was playing was a bit too wide. At first, I thought he was talking about how wide the soundboard was as opposed to how deep the body was, but eventually I figured out that he meant that the regular thickness of a uke body was too big for his wife and was a bit difficult to play. I guess for situations like that, a travel uke would be good because the thinner body would be easier to hold for some people.

And for the rest of us, those without travel ukes (like me) are in hot pursuit.

lancemanion
08-21-2009, 10:30 PM
Those of you who don't understand why someone would want a "travel uke" have probably never taken your uke to the top of Half Dome (see pictures), or packed your Uke on a 41 mile hike through the wilderness (did that last week, had fun playing in the snow at 10,500' in August) or never carried your Uke on a two week backpacking trip through Nicaragua (did that this summer). You also probably don't carry your Uke with you to work in the back pocket of your roll aboard suitcase (as an Airline Pilot love to practice my Uke on overnight trips). If you did take your Uke with you everywhere you go like I do you would "get it". And my Uke is no beater, it is a beautiful Kala. It is thinner than my Kailua, but sounds almost as rich do to it's concave back. If you get a chance to play a Kala Travel Uke you will probably fall in love with it as I have, my favorite uke.

http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/vv314/thecacyfamily/YosemiteHike173.jpg

http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/vv314/thecacyfamily/YosemiteHike174.jpg

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-22-2009, 01:19 AM
So that's what Airline Pilots do in the cockpit during long, overnight flights? What do your co-workers think of your playing? Got a little kanikapila going up front?

I just flew in (HNL to SeaTac) last Sat/Sun (15th/16th), but tried to sleep most of the way. I had my 6-string Concert with me, but no room nor privacy to play. I had packed my Risa Soprano Solid in my check-in bag.

OK, I'm officially envious of your job.

Keep uke-in' up in the friendly skies,

haolejohn
08-22-2009, 04:11 AM
Well I still don't get it. I flew from atlanta to honolulu with my tenor. Played it in my seat quietly so as to not offened anyone dleeping. I have hiked parts of appalachian trail as well as trout fish the chattooga river with my kala soprano. I have also taken it on 500 mile motorcyle rides and it fits well in my saddle bags. The travel uke isn't worth the money when I can get a soprano that will do the same thing.

RonS
08-22-2009, 04:41 AM
Maybe if we ask this company nicely they will make one for us?


http://www.voyageairguitar.com/products/VAOM-1C.htm


http://www.voyageairguitar.com/images/how/Voyage-Air_Guitar_howitworks.gif

Skrik
08-22-2009, 05:33 AM
trout fish the chattooga river with my kala soprano.

Does the sound attract them?

haolejohn
08-22-2009, 08:21 AM
Does the sound attract them?

Not really. Last time I went out I fell while fording the river. Luckily the uke stayed dry inside it's waterproof bag.

HaileISela
08-22-2009, 08:39 AM
Right. Of course not.

:D

well, think of it as a possibility to carry two Ukes in the space of one. i.e. you can take another Uke for your partner and it only needs as much room as one^^

uke5417
08-22-2009, 09:43 AM
OK with the talk. Let's get out the scales. My lightest uke is a 1950s West German Hilo, a fine player, too, weighing in at 9 ounces. Do I hear a challenger? Even the Tangi Manini and Ohana sopranino weigh more than that. I did recently play a 1920s no-name with wooden pegs that, from its heft, couldn't have been more than 8 ounces. Oooooh...

Nice to know I'm not the only one to play ukulele atop Half Dome. There's a vid on my yt channel somewhere. We should all have a meet-up-up up there, so to speak. That way Yosemite jamming won't just refer to crack-climbing technique.

Ahnko Honu
08-23-2009, 08:52 PM
http://i695.photobucket.com/albums/vv314/thecacyfamily/YosemiteHike174.jpg

Lance, You write REALLY good for a little kid, and you have a really cute sister. ;):shaka:

lancemanion
08-24-2009, 06:44 PM
Lance, You write REALLY good for a little kid, and you have a really cute sister. ;):shaka:
That's my son, and thank god that's not my sister or I would feel really conflicted right about now!

GrumpyCoyote
08-24-2009, 07:56 PM
Well I still don't get it. I flew from atlanta to honolulu with my tenor. Played it in my seat quietly so as to not offened anyone dleeping. I have hiked parts of appalachian trail as well as trout fish the chattooga river with my kala soprano. I have also taken it on 500 mile motorcyle rides and it fits well in my saddle bags. The travel uke isn't worth the money when I can get a soprano that will do the same thing.

I travel with my tenors when I can get easy and reliable transport, and when the weather is good. If I rent a car, no brainer - bring the bigger ukes. Ditto if the destination is a gig or gathering of ukes.

But I absolutly see a need for a small, strong, thin-body uke for some trips. I'm currently in Thailand for the week on business, and I toted along my Fluke - it's just too big to carry from train, bus, taxi, beach easily. As small and tough as it it, it's small, but still a PITA.

If I need to walk much, or even transfer planes alot, I would much prefer a travel size. I also like the idea of carrying TWO ukes on may trips. But with airline regulations, you only get one personal bag, and one carry on. So stuffing a flat uke in with my laptop would solve that problem and still leave room for my tenor in it's case overhead.

Note, most sopranos would do ok - and I could get a Flea for this purpose, but that kala is compelling for the body width.

I'm clearly the target market:
1) UAS
2) Travel ALOT
3) On foot, carring baggage on a semi-regular basis.
4) Want to travel with more than one Uke on a plane without checking bags

ricdoug
08-24-2009, 08:42 PM
That looks a lot like the Martin Backpacker, Dave. You have any sound bites? Ric

Spooner
08-24-2009, 08:51 PM
Personally, I don't get the "travel uke" concept either.

An ukulele is already lightweight.

If I were climbing Kilimanjaro I wouldn't take any wood or laminate on the journey.

If this was the kind of traveling/activities I was going to do I would buy me one of those Flea/Flukes...and then do my Pete Townsend impersonation. :p

UkeNinja
08-24-2009, 09:56 PM
What's with all the travel uke bashing all of a sudden? I think it is a great concept, and if you do not need it all the more power to you. But Kala (isn't that what everyone is talking about?) is not the first to build a slimline uke. Brueko does some as well and I think they are very cool to look at, sound seems fine from videos as well. Mike DaSilva made a slimline tenor custom for Honey. Beautiful ukes.

A soprano is small, a travel uke flatter, a sopranino smaller, and they all smell of goodness to me.

Ahnko Honu
08-24-2009, 11:34 PM
AMEN, Vive la difference! Variety is the spice of life... and UAS. :shaka:

Skrik
08-25-2009, 05:28 AM
What's with all the travel uke bashing all of a sudden? I think it is a great concept, and if you do not need it all the more power to you. But Kala (isn't that what everyone is talking about?) is not the first to build a slimline uke. Brueko does some as well and I think they are very cool to look at, sound seems fine from videos as well. Mike DaSilva made a slimline tenor custom for Honey. Beautiful ukes.

A soprano is small, a travel uke flatter, a sopranino smaller, and they all smell of goodness to me.

I simply stated that I don't get it. Then I said that I would probably buy one anyway. This isn't bashing, after my definition.

And anyway, we got to see a couple of pictures of a hot chick. I'd say it was worth it.