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View Full Version : Soprano recommendations - 2nd uke



blueskyuke
10-02-2009, 09:30 AM
I got my first uke, Kala ST, 6 months ago. Now I'm itching to get a soprano uke. I would love to get something that looks a little different. I've been researching the Flea, Mele and Mainland. My excuse to hubby is that I "need" a uke tuned to a low G string. I would like to stay under $300. I also have two kids and "sturdier" uke would be great. Other recommendations? Yes, no, maybe on the 3 brands I listed? Thanks!

uke142464
10-02-2009, 09:56 AM
sound-wise, mainland, sturdier-wise, flea. I dont like how meles look, but I've never heard one, but I do hear great things about them.

existence
10-02-2009, 10:00 AM
I got my first uke, Kala ST, 6 months ago. Now I'm itching to get a soprano uke. I would love to get something that looks a little different. I've been researching the Flea, Mele and Mainland. My excuse to hubby is that I "need" a uke tuned to a low G string. I would like to stay under $300. I also have two kids and "sturdier" uke would be great. Other recommendations? Yes, no, maybe on the 3 brands I listed? Thanks!

You can't go wrong with a flea, that's for sure. Nice warm tone and tons of projection, and playability is a dream (although like many others, I find the plastic frets to be a little hard to see.)

I also recommend the Kiwaya KS-1 soprano, which I just got the other night. Those little suckers pack a serious punch (don't be scared by the fact that it's a laminate, the thing rings like a bell.)

Haven't played Mainland, though everyone else seems to like them. Really, you probably can't go wrong as long as you stick to a "UU Approved" model....lots of good ones out there for the price range you're talking about...

Happy hunting!

cocohonk
10-02-2009, 10:40 AM
I don't think you can go wrong with a mainland, a mele, or a flea. I hear great things about all three brands (which frankly, doesn't help with the UAS. Thanks, guys. :D)

Ahnko Honu
10-02-2009, 10:46 AM
Can't beat the kidproofness (new word) of the FLEA and FLUKE 'ukulele, and they sound pretty darn decent sounding, and you can take it to the beach or camping with little fear of damaging it. Everyone needs one designated outdoors 'ukulele. ;) With the leftover change you can buy your kids a new plastic bodied Makala Dolphin another bullet proof outdoors 'ukulele. :D

blueskyuke
10-02-2009, 02:04 PM
Thank you all! I looked at the flea some more and it's looking more like a toy to me (the painted top and plastic back). I wish I can look at one in person!! Other suggestions for fun-looking sopranos?
How does the sound of the flea differ from other ukes with wood backs? I assume a low g string can go on soprano ukes with no problem?

uke552
10-02-2009, 02:13 PM
I own the "basic Flea" and have been so very happy with it. It sounds like no other uke I own (all soprano's). I have yet to meet anyone that was unhappy with or had major complaints with the Flea. I have heard from others that the wood fret board really provides no "different" sound than the plastic board. The sound of the Flea is much "warmer" than my other ukes. If you search YouTube for "flea ukulele" you should come up with bunches of folks playing and hear for yourself. Hope that this helps...

uke552
10-02-2009, 02:19 PM
sorry Blue, just re-read your post and you asked about plastic back vs. wood back (I was answering fretboard-plastic vs wood). I guess all I would add in regards to plastic back / wooden back is the Flea is "warm" sounding and projects very well. Trying different strings on the Flea has been kinda neet too. I recently put Martin carbons on mine and it sounds good.

psesinkclee
10-02-2009, 02:23 PM
For sturdiness I'd aim for a flea. You can get a regular one with the plastic fretboard, but if you want Low G you'd need a set without any wound strings (Worth makes a Low G set like this). I just threw Worth Brown Low Gs on my Pono Mango Tenor and love the sound!

existence
10-02-2009, 05:51 PM
sorry Blue, just re-read your post and you asked about plastic back vs. wood back (I was answering fretboard-plastic vs wood). I guess all I would add in regards to plastic back / wooden back is the Flea is "warm" sounding and projects very well. Trying different strings on the Flea has been kinda neet too. I recently put Martin carbons on mine and it sounds good.

Amen to that...warm indeed! It's got a soft, sweet mellowness to it that I like a lot. I'm looking forward to replacing the stock strings (which sound good to me) with worth browns to see if they augment the warmth factor.

existence
10-02-2009, 05:54 PM
Thank you all! I looked at the flea some more and it's looking more like a toy to me (the painted top and plastic back). I wish I can look at one in person!! Other suggestions for fun-looking sopranos?
How does the sound of the flea differ from other ukes with wood backs? I assume a low g string can go on soprano ukes with no problem?

Don't let the looks frighten you away...they look great in person. Not at all toy-like...these suckers look and play like real instruments. I got a green one and it's way cool....do kinda wish I'd got a rosewood fretboard though, but it's no big deal. It's an expensive upgrade anyhow ($75.)