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View Full Version : Best Value Tenor ukes help needed



jonnyfriendly
09-24-2009, 08:30 AM
Need some advice on tenor ukes - best models/makes etc. looking for something around $400. Ive been recommended Pono with spruce? top and laminated Kiwaya.
Please share your thoughts

thanks

j

buddhuu
09-25-2009, 03:37 AM
Welcome, Jonny. :)

You'll hear many different suggestions, no doubt!

If I were currently shopping for a tenor, the first one I'd be looking at would be the Kala solid acacia tenor.

Here's thejumpingflea's review (In ukes of similar design, the selection of wood for the top will affect sound more than feel or playability.).

jonnyfriendly
09-25-2009, 08:37 AM
thanks Bud - ive read a lot about this uke
do you know how this would compare sound wise to a mahogony tenor such as say the pono with spruce top. As a guitarist i like the mellow sound mahogony gives

nukulele0
09-25-2009, 09:10 AM
the acacia prolly will be louder and brighter than mahogany, it'll soud more like a koa uke with that "barking" sound, if u haven't checked out the jumping fleas revriew on utube, check it sold me

Spooner
09-25-2009, 10:13 AM
the acacia prolly will be louder and brighter than mahogany, it'll soud more like a koa uke with that "barking" sound, if u haven't checked out the jumping fleas revriew on utube, check it sold me


An uke with a bark...I like that description! :)

jonnyfriendly
09-25-2009, 10:29 PM
thanks for the bark comment
does anyone have experience of the pono mahogany tenor with spruce top ?

ddepp
09-26-2009, 05:59 AM
If you haven't seen them, there are reviews of the Pono PTS and PTS-E on pages 3 and 4 here in the reviews section. RonVa and GCOW 55 do a great job reviewing theirs. Ron's with low G and GCOW55's with high G.

jonnyfriendly
09-27-2009, 09:31 AM
i hear that pono are about to introduce a new line in November - has any one any information on these ?

specialmike
09-27-2009, 12:01 PM
Best tenor uke? for $400? Go for a mainland tenor (http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc?productId=13&categoryId=3). Personally, I've only had experience with a soprano, but it's awesomely loud *as loud as a KoAloha... two month old strings :D* Consider that a soprano is THAT loud, and you've got quite the canon in a tenor I would believe. RevWill (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?u=12157) has one. Kicker; it's only 300; for the money, it's a great ukulele.

PeformanceUke
10-04-2009, 02:42 PM
If you looking for a good built cheap ukulele try check out tangi ukulele he makes cheaper stuff and there not all that bad, for the price good to learn with.

RevWill
10-04-2009, 02:45 PM
Best tenor uke? for $400? Go for a mainland tenor (http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/product.sc?productId=13&categoryId=3). Personally, I've only had experience with a soprano, but it's awesomely loud *as loud as a KoAloha... two month old strings :D* Consider that a soprano is THAT loud, and you've got quite the canon in a tenor I would believe. RevWill (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?u=12157) has one. Kicker; it's only 300; for the money, it's a great ukulele.


You are correct. I love my Mainland tenor (mine's the Red Cedar, but I wouldn't hesitate to go for Mahogany either). It is loud, crisp, clear and beautiful.

phanzo
10-04-2009, 06:22 PM
You are correct. I love my Mainland tenor (mine's the Red Cedar, but I wouldn't hesitate to go for Mahogany either). It is loud, crisp, clear and beautiful.

I've been considering getting the Mainland tenor and I am wondering what the difference is between the Mahog and the Cedar?

Also, I want it with a pickup; anybody have any experience with the pickups that Mainland puts in their ukes?

Thanks.

loondoo
10-06-2009, 08:49 AM
If you're looking for a relatively cheap tenor mahogany uke to perform with, I've been pretty pleased with my Fender Pai'ina Tenor Mahogany Uke, which has built in passive electronics.

It's not the finest uke out there for that price, and the finish is actually quite rough, but with a little steel wool and polish, you can make it look and feel decent, and the sound is surprisingly decent as well.

Good luck with your search! :)

bornagainjeeper
10-06-2009, 10:30 AM
mainland, mainland, mainland....thats all i have to say...

but i'll be long winded...I have both a Mahogany tenor and concert from them, they are unbelievable for the price. At the world ukulele congress i played them in comparison to dozens of ukes more expensive...pono, koaloha, kamaka to name a few...as far as sound goes i honestly prefered the mainland, I too love mellow sounding instruments, and my mainland tenor sounds like a big fuzzy ukulele blanket. Its very loud, i have no problem playing it outside to large groups of people. Their customer service is perfect, as mike, a UU member, is a top rate guy. So go with the mainland FOR certain

grammy
10-07-2009, 01:31 AM
basically it all comes down to cost, if you want a low cost playable first uke, which is actually still a decent instrument then you can't go far wrong with the Lanikai LT21 tenor, it's a bit over a hundred bucks and it sounds great. bang for your buck this can't be beaten until you get up over 400 dollars.

jonnyfriendly
10-09-2009, 07:01 AM
thanks for all the comments so far - the Mainland does look good for the price
Just one thing puzzles me about the Mainland tenor. Why is it so cheap compared to similar sounding or sometimes lesser sounding ukes.
Does anyone know where they are made ? etc.
I know that cheap does not always mean lesser quality, but just interested.

hoosierhiver
10-09-2009, 09:11 AM
thanks for all the comments so far - the Mainland does look good for the price
Just one thing puzzles me about the Mainland tenor. Why is it so cheap compared to similar sounding or sometimes lesser sounding ukes.
Does anyone know where they are made ? etc.
I know that cheap does not always mean lesser quality, but just interested.

Some of that has to do with my peculiar nature. I'm kind of an atypical American. I've steered clear of debt my whole life. I drive an old truck, not some fancy pants car I can't afford. Paid off my shack and land a few years back after years of working towards that goal. I also feel pretty comfortable living a little 3rd worldsy and only upgraded from my outhouse after getting married. We are a small company located in a low rent area. My wife is also fairly thrifty. So, combining all these elements, has given us a bit of an advantage and we are able to operate at a lower cost than alot of other companies. My goal isn't getting rich, it's more about having a good life and feeling good about what we offer. Pretty weird, huh....

ichadwick
10-09-2009, 09:22 AM
Check my ukulele review page. I list several in that price category worth looking at.

Mainland and Kala top the list for me.

Ian

ichadwick
10-09-2009, 09:23 AM
My goal isn't getting rich, it's more about having a good life and feeling good about what we offer. Pretty weird, huh....
I KNEW you were an old hippie....

jonnyfriendly
10-09-2009, 09:55 AM
Nice to hear Hoosier - really value small, quality outfits. Uke does sound good just hope there may be a distributer here in the Uk so i can try one out. If not I may well be contacting you - though the pound is rather low at the moment.
Hope the business continues to go well.

mokai
10-09-2009, 07:24 PM
Some of that has to do with my peculiar nature. I'm kind of an atypical American. I've steered clear of debt my whole life. I drive an old truck, not some fancy pants car I can't afford. Paid off my shack and land a few years back after years of working towards that goal. I also feel pretty comfortable living a little 3rd worldsy and only upgraded from my outhouse after getting married. We are a small company located in a low rent area. My wife is also fairly thrifty. So, combining all these elements, has given us a bit of an advantage and we are able to operate at a lower cost than alot of other companies. My goal isn't getting rich, it's more about having a good life and feeling good about what we offer. Pretty weird, huh....

Weird? no.
That's how it should be. Too many people go for profits alone but you likely make less per sale yet have better customer service and quality control than most. This makes me happy that I have my first mainland in the mail.

jonnyfriendly, buy mango mainland tenor from hoosierhiver and call it a day. Look at his beard, you can't go wrong buying from someone with that much wisdom hanging from his face.

eleuke
10-09-2009, 07:36 PM
thanks for the bark comment
does anyone have experience of the pono mahogany tenor with spruce top ?

I have a Pono Tenor but not a spruce top. I think it's all mohagany. It is my performance uke and it is "good to very good" quality with excellent (but not perfect) intonation all the way up the neck. Very nice sound when played acoustically but the pickup and electronics leave a lot to be desired. Hope that helps.

infinitipearl
10-11-2009, 04:43 PM
i'm so new to this scene i haven't even purchased my first uke yet, but i already know i will be picking up a mainland, if not for the generally lauded sound i've read on the boards, but on general principle on how this man runs his shop.

jonnyfriendly
10-12-2009, 06:30 AM
I agree infi the more Hoosiers in the world the better - if only companies would realise that a less profit focussed, more personal service would benefit all in the end - and they will make more money.

euchre
10-13-2009, 03:38 PM
Weird? no.
That's how it should be. Too many people go for profits alone but you likely make less per sale yet have better customer service and quality control than most. This makes me happy that I have my first mainland in the mail.

jonnyfriendly, buy mango mainland tenor from hoosierhiver and call it a day. Look at his beard, you can't go wrong buying from someone with that much wisdom hanging from his face.

+1. My next uke will definitely be a Mainland

tom

mangorockfish
10-16-2009, 06:43 PM
I am a new Mainland owner. Had it three weeks. Was only on this forum for a couple of days and had my mind made up, I wanted a mahogany gloss tenor. As luck would have it, there were none to be had. Mike@ Uke Republic had a concert, but tried to make me a deal on a Pono Ebony w/spruce top tenor. He played both over the phone and the Mainland romped and stomped all over the Pono soundwise, so I got the Mainland and couldn't be happier. Oh yes, I'm sending the concert back to Mike@Mainland to get a Mi-Si pickup installed and change the gold tuners out for chrome. All of this after I get a mahogany gloss tenor (regular headstock) w/Mi-Si. Mainland all the way, Baby!!!