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Sugar
09-15-2009, 01:53 AM
Hey everyone
just wanted to know if MAHALO is a good brand?

and also if the guitar machine heads (Tuning Pegs) the same as the ukulele?

buddhuu
09-15-2009, 02:17 AM
Hi Sugar.

Mahalo a good brand? Well it kind of depends on your requirements. It is a budget brand which makes inexpensive instruments available to people who don't have a shedload of money to spend on ukuleles, but it is not generally regarded as a brand of particularly high quality.

If you are looking for an inexpensive ukulele then most of the Mahalo models can be made playable with a small amount of set up work. On the other hand, there are other choices out there as well. Makala ukuleles occupy a similar budget price range, and they are generally regarded as being amongst the best of the very inexpensive brands.

Still, if you were to buy a Mahalo, no one would criticise. With a good set of strings and a bit of a set up, Mahalos can make good music! :nana:

Rainhill
09-15-2009, 02:53 AM
Hi Sugar.

Mahalo a good brand? Well it kind of depends on your requirements. It is a budget brand which makes inexpensive instruments available to people who don't have a shedload of money to spend on ukuleles, but it is not generally regarded as a brand of particularly high quality.

If you are looking for an inexpensive ukulele then most of the Mahalo models can be made playable with a small amount of set up work. On the other hand, there are other choices out there as well. Makala ukuleles occupy a similar budget price range, and they are generally regarded as being amongst the best of the very inexpensive brands.

Still, if you were to buy a Mahalo, no one would criticise. With a good set of strings and a bit of a set up, Mahalos can make good music! :nana:

Hi all,

I'm new to this as well, and have yet to buy myself a uke (I know, I'm ashamed of myself...). Ive thought about getting a Mahalo and fitting some better strings on (aquilas). I was wondering whether, as its a budget item, the Mahalo could actually have the strings changed, but you've answered that for me Buddhu - thanks! Putting £7 strings on a £16 uke is within my budget :-D.

The other thing I noticed in your reply tho, what would the "bit of a set up" involve?

Apologies in advance for any daft questions, I've combed the FAQs and the board in general, loads of info and if I could get a certificate for knowing uke theory I'd have passed foundation level by now!!

ukantor
09-15-2009, 05:19 AM
I second Buddhu's advice to consider the Makala before you get involved with trying to sort out a Mahalo. I've got three Mahalo sopranos which I use for guerrilla-type strumming, when I don't want to endanger my better ukes. They all needed to have the strings changed, and some major adjustments to the height of the strings ("setting-up") at the saddle and the nut.

The Makalas are at least playable as you get them. The Mahalos are sometimes woefully poor. The painted Makala with the dolphin shaped bridge is OK - the Makala MK-S type is better.

Whatever you decide on, enjoy your playing!

Ukantor.

buddhuu
09-15-2009, 05:20 AM
OK, if we take it as read that a budget, entry-level uke is never going to sound like a much more expensive solid mahogany or koa uke...

To get a cheap ukulele playing comfortably, and with fair intonation often needs a little bit of a tweak at the nut and sometimes the bridge saddle. The thing is that cheap ukes very often have pretty high action. This means that they can be a little difficult to play. It also means that the high action makes the notes stretch out of tune when you fret melodies and, most obviously, chords.

Very often a lowering of the action will vastly improve intonation issues.

So, a bit of time with a needle file and/or sandpaper is a worthwhile exercise. Spare nut and saddle blanks may be found on ebay. If you need instructions on saddle or nut adjustment, the best site I know for the infomration is www.frets.com.

As for strings, I would totally recommend Aquila strings on cheap Mahalo or Makala ukes. They will maximise the volume you can wring out of a laminate uke.

Rainhill
09-15-2009, 05:24 AM
Thanks guys, thats great. Perhaps I can be sold on that odd-looking dolphin bridge after all :D.

ukantor
09-15-2009, 08:13 AM
I can't take that dolphin bridge myself, Rainhill. I'd go for the Makala MK-S (I think that's the correct designation). It doesn't cost much more, and it doesn't have a comical bridge. If you intend to buy on line in the UK, have a look at Southern Ukulele Store. It is run by uke enthusiasts. I've bought from them, and they give good service.

Ukantor.

Rainhill
09-15-2009, 08:41 AM
Cheers UKantor.

Has anyone ever heard of Vintage as a cheap (inexpensive / budget) brand of uke? The music store in Liverpool sell them, and its the same sort as I played when I went to the Beatles Tour (horrible clear twangy strings tho).

As an aside, and really so just to apologise for hijacking Sugars' topic, do all these budget ukes come with geared machine heads (Ive seen them on Mahalo), and can anyone confirm they're pretty much the same as guitar heads?

Sorry Sugar, wont happen again ;)

uke_n00b
09-15-2009, 08:50 AM
and also if the guitar machine heads (Tuning Pegs) the same as the ukulele?

The geared tuning pegs on an ukulele work the same as geared tuning pegs on a guitar. Just bear in mind that not all ukuleles use geared tuning pegs; others use friction tuning pegs.

brickerenator
09-15-2009, 09:26 AM
I've owned my Mahalo U-30 for 2 weeks now.

You will be disappointed by the initial sound, but after a week of tuning and playing the sound quality is much better. Not great, but better.

I wanted to spend as little as possible because I tend to get into a lot of different things and then lose interest after a few weeks. This Mahalo has definitely made me want a nicer sounding uke sometime in the future.

I have yet to change the strings or work on the intonation problems (a few of the notes sound awful) but that will come sometime next week.

Part of me wishes I had spent $20-$30 more, but I'm content to learn on this one for now.
It's my first uke, not my last.

Barney
09-15-2009, 09:50 AM
I bought a shamelessly red Mahalo u30 at the start of summer when I was at a festival. For £20, I can't fault it. By the time I got back to my tent I was strumming that Noah and the Whale bit like a man possessed.

I only bought it to keep our 4 year old quiet (his litte brother has a spongebob uke) but he's barely had a turn...

Mine stays in tune fairly well (even with the original strings), is perfectly playable (the action is not too high) and actually sound quite good at times. The intonation is not perfect - notes higher up the fretboard (7th fret and up) are noticeably sharp but for general strumming and starting out it was fine.

I've just uprgraded to a Brueko no.6 (still cheapish - £75 or so). You can hear the difference (intonation on Brueko is near perfect by comparison) but I still mess about with the mahalo.

Rainhill
09-15-2009, 10:00 AM
Brickerenator - loved that line "its my first uke, not my last"! I'll shamelessly add that to my signature once I figure out how to do it :confused:.

Barney, thanks for your story, it all helps. The mahalo is sticking with me for some reason. I saw SamWise on youtube playing one for the Up Yours Deach contest, and thought it was alright.

I'm just after a cheap uke my 7yr old can come in and play on without me worrying too much, that I can buy without the wife noticing :D, and leave in the car, or whatever. I'm guessing by the time I've strummed and plucked it to death I'll need another one anyway :rolleyes:

From what I've read on here, the No 6 is a good upgrade once you've got some skills (I think Ukerazy has one?).

brickerenator
09-15-2009, 10:12 AM
Brickerenator - loved that line "its my first uke, not my last"! I'll shamelessly add that to my signature once I figure out how to do it :confused:.

.

I stole that from a motorcycle forum, they advocate starting cheap and small as it's "your first bike, and hopefully not your last"

To add it to your sig...quote my post, delete unwanted text, copy the line (including the "[QUOTE]" tags), click quick links up at the top, "edit sig" and then past in your signature

Rainhill
09-15-2009, 11:23 AM
I stole that from a motorcycle forum, they advocate starting cheap and small as it's "your first bike, and hopefully not your last"

To add it to your sig...quote my post, delete unwanted text, copy the line (including the "[QUOTE]" tags), click quick links up at the top, "edit sig" and then past in your signature

Brickerenator, you're a legend, done :shaka: