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Mog
09-09-2009, 06:27 AM
Hello, I posted a while ago about 'environmentally friendly' ukes. I recieved some fantastic advice, thanks everyone, but unfortunately I could not find anything of a reasonable price (under 500) in the UK as I needed to either have one made or buy vintage. However I still need a uke (UAS is obviously stronger than my principles)

So my second slightly unusual request....

Can anyone recommend a uke which isnt too loud? I know this is not the usual requirement but I live in a very small flat and dont want to annoy the neighbours when playing at home. Ive seen that solid body electric ukes are available but they are so ugly I cant bring myself to buy one. I currently have the cheapest of the Mahalo, which is about fine volume wise for me but the intonation is appalling, but I understand the better the quality the uke the louder the sound.....

Citrus
09-09-2009, 06:33 AM
This is one of the few times I'd recommend the ukulele I'm using, a mitchell mu-100 or mu 70 is made out of all heavily laminated koa and has a very mellow and quiet sound. Of course you could always just try to play more quietly =p

haole
09-09-2009, 06:36 AM
Pono has a reputation for making mostly high-quality ukes with good intonation, but the biggest complaint about them is how quiet they are for solid wood. This might actually be an advantage for you.

Blrfl
09-09-2009, 06:41 AM
If you want to be able to practice quietly with one of your existing instruments, plugging the sound hole will go a long way. There are flexible polyethylene plugs available in a number of standard sizes, one of which will probably snap right in. (See attached photo.) About US$10 will get you a whole sack of 'em. I'd get them from McMaster-Carr in the US, but they don't export and I don't know what to suggest for the UK.

Of course, if you have a case of UAS and want to buy a new instrument, I'd say you probably won't get any quieter than a solid-body electric.

--Mark

upskydowncloud
09-09-2009, 07:23 AM
Hello, I posted a while ago about 'environmentally friendly' ukes. I recieved some fantastic advice, thanks everyone, but unfortunately I could not find anything of a reasonable price (under £500) in the UK as I needed to either have one made or buy vintage. However I still need a uke (UAS is obviously stronger than my principles)

So my second slightly unusual request....

Can anyone recommend a uke which isnt too loud? I know this is not the usual requirement but I live in a very small flat and dont want to annoy the neighbours when playing at home. Ive seen that solid body electric ukes are available but they are so ugly I cant bring myself to buy one. I currently have the cheapest of the Mahalo, which is about fine volume wise for me but the intonation is appalling, but I understand the better the quality the uke the louder the sound.....

Hey I'm saving up for a uke with the same features. So far I'm leaning towards the eleuke which is electric and can be plugged direct into headphones and has virtually no noise. Another UK member called ukerazy has one and she recommends them.

Check out their site here:

http://www.eleuke.com/

P.S. they cost £139 including delivery on eBay.

ukantor
09-09-2009, 07:29 AM
I have a BugsGear EleUke, and it is practically silent when not plugged in. You can just hear it yourself as you play. You can use earphones (they plug in directly - no amp needed), and you are in a world of your own.:music: I too live in a flat, and find it ideal.

Alternatively, just get a regular uke, and shove a sock in it.

Ukantor.

Lanark
09-09-2009, 07:39 AM
Pono has a reputation for making mostly high-quality ukes with good intonation, but the biggest complaint about them is how quiet they are for solid wood. This might actually be an advantage for you.

Yeah, the koa Pono I've got is kind of overbuilt that way. The intonation is decent, but it has very little physical resonance or volume. (it does have a pickup though.) Not great for me, but maybe the droid you're looking for...

haolejohn
09-09-2009, 08:09 AM
Recommend the Ponos. I got a mango 8 string tenor that is quieter than my concert.

Duddles
09-09-2009, 08:13 AM
If check out some of the YouTube videos of the Pete Howlett Uklectics. They are electric, but gorgeous and have a nice unplugged sound as well. They are high end, so I'm not 100% of your budget, but I would check them out.

Mog
09-09-2009, 08:13 AM
Thank you so much for your comments. I did'nt know that is possible to mute a ukulele or that there are solid body ones available which are'nt really ugly.

Spooner
09-09-2009, 10:15 AM
Kala makes some inexpensive solid body ukes that arent too shabby.

MGM has had them in his store. You can keep an eye ova deah or go a searchin for one.

If staying quiet for your neighbors is the key looks shouldnt matter too much.

franulele
09-09-2009, 02:09 PM
I can't believe there are people in this world who would be bothered by the plinkity plink of an ukulele!

mailman
09-09-2009, 03:07 PM
Risa also makes a very nice electric uke, based in Germany.

As for the Eleuke....there's a nice used one up for bid on eBay at the moment....

itsme
09-09-2009, 03:53 PM
Alternatively, just get a regular uke, and shove a sock in it.
A lot of classical guitarists suggest placing a sock or rolled up washcloth under the strings right at the bridge. If you want something a little more stylish looking, you could cut a piece of sponge.

But unless you're wailing away and hitting chords really hard, I can't imagine that the normal volume of uke playing would be any more disruptive than having the tv on.

Strummingbird Stu
09-09-2009, 04:03 PM
Funny you should ask about a quieter uke, because that is just what I have. My primary uke is a Koaloha concert which I love to play, but it is loud and not ideal for all occasions.

My softer sounding uke is a Kala KA-KC koa concert. It is ideal for practicing because it plays very softly and still has a good tone. It came with Aquila strings which are soft but kinda scratchy sounding, so I put on D'Addario's which are great. I can practice with it alot and not bother anyone around me. Also, it cost only half as much as my expensive uke, so I don't worry about wear and tear when I take it outdoors to play. Happy strumming!

eleuke
09-09-2009, 05:24 PM
Ukantor is dead on with his advice. I also live in a flat (we call em apartments in the colonies) and I purchased an eleuke specifically so I could still practice and not have to beef with the neighbors. To my surprise, the thing turned out to have the best intonation and playability of any of my ukes. It's a joy to strum, and it's virtually silent to anyone not within 10 feet of you. I recommend eleuke as the best practice uke available. I actually amd starting to dislike performing with my Pono cause it's not built as well as my eleuke!

uke5417
09-09-2009, 05:27 PM
Sorry. I'm having a hard time relating. I, too, live in a flat, but would still want the liveliest ukulele possible. One can always strum a loud uke more softly, but what does one do with a quiet uke when one wants to be heard?

I've played for years, and have only heard kind comments from neighbors. If I'm about to record a vid with singing and am going to wail (20 times until I get it right) I just just close the window.

Spooner
09-09-2009, 05:32 PM
I have the same problem.
I live in an apartment and my upstairs neighbor (if you have seen any of my references to her on my YouTube vids) is an insane asylum escapee.

I have heard conflicting reviews on Eleukes but haven't heard any bad things about the Kala solid body ukes.

Playing quiet is something I am forced to do (late nights) since I keep odd hours.

What I need to do is get a small shed from Home Depot, soundproof it and then I can play as loud as I want...I'd just have an interesting conversation piece sitting in my living room. :p

ukantor
09-09-2009, 10:13 PM
There is another advantage of playing a "silent" uke. When practising, I am much less inhibited about what I will attempt to play. Knowing that I'm not getting on anybody's nerves frees me to try some very odd things, and sometimes they work - or lead to some kind of new insight. Also, we sometimes have to repeat a passage or phrase, over and over. My dear wife is very tolerant, but there ARE limits to what she can take!

Ukantor.

Ukuleleblues
09-10-2009, 02:40 PM
Have you tried ear plug? :D Seriously, I have a oscar schmidt OU13 and OU5 I use for camping when it is real quiet. They are beautiful ukes but not very loud. Work great when I don't want to wake folks up.

RevWill
09-10-2009, 02:56 PM
This is the one time I would recommend against a Mainland or a Fluke. They're delightful ukes and they are quite loud.

bigseth2468
09-10-2009, 03:47 PM
My first Uke was an Oscar Schmidt tenor with a Select Spruce Top. It did not project nearly like my fluke or kala. It didn't sound bad, it was just very quiet. It has since found a new home, but might work well for what you need.

ukulele2544
09-10-2009, 04:07 PM
The bigger the size of the ukulele, the louder the sound is.

Ahnko Honu
09-10-2009, 07:32 PM
Surprisingly my quietest 'ukulele is my only baritone my eBay special "Doane Clone". I usually grab her for some late night strumming. Even with the new set of Aquilas she still sound mellow. I believe they are called Skylarks in the UK. Best part is they are very affordable and of very nice quality. :)

Pippin
09-10-2009, 08:37 PM
A laminated Lanikai is a quiet uke. Kala is a better choice because of build quality and variety. Oscar Schmidt's OU5 is a soft, sweet sounding uke and bridges the gap between their budget starter ukes and the professional models at a reasonable price.

ukantor
09-10-2009, 08:57 PM
I bought an Ohana solid mahogany Pineapple soprano. It was surprisingly quiet, and initially I was disappointed. Then I realised that it sounds really good when played softly in quiet circumstances. Now it is the uke I use when I want to play quietly. It seems to produce a very nice sound when strummed lightly, where other, louder, ukes don't give their best.

Ukantor.

UkuEroll
09-10-2009, 10:34 PM
I can't believe there are people in this world who would be bothered by the plinkity plink of an ukulele!

How very dare you;) us ukulele players certainly do not plinkity plink, tell someone you plinkity plink on the ululele and the responses will be even more derogatory.:D

ukerazy
09-10-2009, 10:49 PM
Yep, I have an Eleuke and i love it... and like one of the other people in the thread says... mine plays and sounds great, i think they are pretty funky looking too but i guess its each to their own!

I also have a Pono Mango tenor, I LOVE IT!! I can't stress that enough, recently they have been seeming to get a little stick on the forum, and maybe i just got a good one but it sounds amazing, it sings, its resonant but it is quiter than say a mahogany ukulele, or Koa so i hear.
Mine has such a wonderful sound, but is mellow and tame... its also a seriously good looking bit of stuff lol check out the album in my profile! If you're wanting the standard looking ukulele without goin out there with an eleuke a Pono would be a good buy I would say... but, even though I didn't try mine before i bought it, on the advice of other people here I would go and try something out first.

The southern ukulele store is carrying Pono now i think...

UkuEroll
09-10-2009, 11:03 PM
Yep, I have an Eleuke and i love it... .

Have you got your new uke yet?

ukerazy
09-10-2009, 11:06 PM
Have you got your new uke yet?

Nah mate, have you read the 'Where for art thou KoAloha' thread? It's nowhere to be found, different people tellin' me different things!

Mog
09-11-2009, 12:00 AM
Thank you everyone. I think I need to explain that I live in a flat converted from a Victorian house (very common here), I can even hear when my neighbour turns over in bed and I know what time the man upstairs takes a pee at night! yep London is lovely. I think even softly playing a instrument which has good projection can be annoying - I used to play the violin but had to give it up.

At the moment Im leaning towards getting a cheapish solid body uke and saving up for an acoustic later.

buddhuu
09-11-2009, 12:30 AM
Just to confirm that soundhole plugs work fine at reducing volume on acoustic ukes. The plastic caps from cardboard mail tubes fit Kala and Makala sopranos with a little bit of tape winding, and the lids from gravy granule containers fit Kala and Makala tenors.

Alternatively, stuffing a couple of socks or sponges inside an acoustic instrument will mute it very effectively.

cocohonk
09-11-2009, 12:30 AM
Maybe a Pono Ohai? While on the quiet side, it has a gorgeous tone that I do love. I've had some quality control issues with the one I got a while back, but if you can inspect one carefully before purchase (check inside the hole!), and make sure it's a good one, then it's a pretty great sounding and quiet uke.

And, it's a solid wood ukulele that's not too expensive.

thomas
09-11-2009, 01:48 AM
My Makapili ukuleles fit into your green standards. There are two in the marketplace here, now.

But they are not quiet. Soundhole plug??? It is easier to play a loud ukulele quietly than it is to play a quiet ukulele loudly, which you may want to do one day.

it comes down to what is more important? A quiet ukulele or an environmentally conscious one.

Take care, and happy hunting,
Thomas

UkuEroll
09-11-2009, 08:00 AM
Nah mate, have you read the 'Where for art thou KoAloha' thread? It's nowhere to be found, different people tellin' me different things!
Just read it, I feel for you, I know what a pain it can be waiting, my Mainland was sitting at the post office for over a week and I never knew. Stay chilled it'll be worth the wait, you lucky lucky girl!!

Teek
09-12-2009, 10:09 PM
Pono koa tenor here, shockingly it's much quieter than any of my sopranos, but very sweet, add a sock or two I'd imagine you'd be ok. I'll have to dig it out and try it. BUT very easy to play very quietly, more so than any of the others, and yet get very mellow and lovely sound. I think most of the Ponos are quiet, I think it's the thick finish?