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tad
04-22-2008, 07:21 PM
I work at a research Center with a lot of-- and I say this with a high level of respect-- geeks. I find playing the uke eminently relaxing, and conducive to taking your mind off a problem and thinking "outside the box."

So I'm looking at getting a uke I can just leave in the Center, so I can strum on it, and I can encourage my coworkers to do the same...

Think of it as ukulele evangelism.

So I was wondering, what brand/style uke should I get? I'm gonna want to get the cheapest possible ukulele that still can hold a basic tune... Please note, we're talking about something I can keep in the break room, unsupervised. Something that I'm basically donating-- and I'm a poor grad student. Let's say under fifty bucks. Twenty to thirty is great.

Any suggestions? I'm thinking Mahalo...

degracia
04-22-2008, 07:29 PM
Mahalo is alright. My neighbor owned a Mahalo concert which sounded pretty nice. And I know someone over here at UU just bought a concert for $20? That's a steal. Musician's Friend has that Rogue Bari that guting has. Sounds great but we all know its' GUTING. He can make 4 strings and a piece of wood sound like a Pono. :o lol

tad
04-22-2008, 07:44 PM
Mahalo is alright. My neighbor owned a Mahalo concert which sounded pretty nice. And I know someone over here at UU just bought a concert for $20? That's a steal. Musician's Friend has that Rogue Bari that guting has. Sounds great but we all know its' GUTING. He can make 4 strings and a piece of wood sound like a Pono. :o lol

My basic concern is something where they're not making any shortcuts with the tuners-- sound quality isn't that big a deal, I just want something that won't need extreme tuning every time after a song or two.

davoomac
04-22-2008, 08:32 PM
Mahalo is alright. My neighbor owned a Mahalo concert which sounded pretty nice. And I know someone over here at UU just bought a concert for $20? That's a steal. Musician's Friend has that Rogue Bari that guting has. Sounds great but we all know its' GUTING. He can make 4 strings and a piece of wood sound like a Pono. :o lol

Haha I was about to mention guting's rogue bari from musicians friend. It's going for 30 bucks right? That's probably the next ukulele I'm planning on buying.

My Soprano Hilo was $40 bucks. Its a great little ukulele to take everywhere with you. It's cheap enough to take it with you and not worry about getting dings or scratches on it. the strings sound terrible though because they are about 5 years old though lol. I'm suprised they didn't break after all these years. When I first got it though it had a pretty decent bright sound. Not so good on the projection though.

Question: what strings should I put on it next?

jaggtmolina
04-22-2008, 09:09 PM
i've seen some cheap makalas at the store i buy my ukes at. so you might wanna check that out.

redsedge
04-22-2008, 10:16 PM
My soprano Makala was cheap, goes everywhere and has a few bashes and chips. It has geared tuners, so holds its tuning and Aquila strings really improved the sound. It's fairly quiet though, but that might be a good thing if the blokey ukey geeks band takes off. Hope so!

deach
04-22-2008, 11:57 PM
I work at a research Center with a lot of-- and I say this with a high level of respect-- geeks.

......NIH?

Plainsong
04-23-2008, 12:08 AM
Once the US Dollar rises a bit more, one popular brand here in Europe for a high bang-for-buck ratio is Bruko, or Brueko or Brüko. They're a German company that produces all their own stuff.

UkuCouS
04-23-2008, 12:42 AM
If you want a real CHEAP ukulele, there is the Harley-Benton HBUK-11, with Aquila's strings ...
Not the best ukulele you can have but reaaaally cheap and have a decent sound.

If you can pay a little more a recomment you the Brüko Slim, with a very very slim body, it's sound projection will surprise you Here is an example (http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=9SHVijKvmGA)

davoomac
04-23-2008, 01:39 AM
If you want a real CHEAP ukulele, there is the Harley-Benton HBUK-11, with Aquila's strings ...
Not the best ukulele you can have but reaaaally cheap and have a decent sound.

If you can pay a little more a recomment you the Brüko Slim, with a very very slim body, it's sound projection will surprise you Here is an example (http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=9SHVijKvmGA)

So how much are those ukuleles and where do you get them? Is that you in the video? that ukulele sounds good!

UkuCouS
04-23-2008, 02:04 AM
Here (http://www.brueko.de/shop/product_info.php?info=p43_Soprano-Ukulele-Maple-Flat.html)
$183, I was expecting a cheaper price, a friend told me she had it for $130, I'll ask her where she got it.
Not it isn't me on the video ^

backdoc972
04-23-2008, 02:22 AM
My Hohner (lanikai) solid spruce top with geared, guitar type tuners seems to stay in tune forever (once the strings settle in).

I don't know that I would leave it laying around for anyone to pick up though. Even though cheap, it is made with pretty thin wood (which I think is why it sounds pretty decent)

How bout a fluke for a bit more money? Would certainly be more durable and you can stand it in the corner.

davoomac
04-23-2008, 02:45 AM
over 100? whoa. I consider a cheapie ukulele to be $50 or less.

UkuCouS
04-23-2008, 02:50 AM
Yup the Harley Benton HUBK-11 is 15€ - $23

davoomac
04-23-2008, 02:55 AM
Yup the Harley Benton HUBK-11 is 15€ - $23

Oh wow, Okay that sounds good :D

Plainsong
04-23-2008, 03:49 AM
I think brukos are thought of as the best "cheap" ukes because they're all solid wood, all handmade, all not imported, and still cheaper than laminates that are factory made. So yeah, they're most expensive than 30 bucks but the euro goes far with them is all.

degracia
04-23-2008, 04:04 AM
Musician's friend has a lot of varieties of cheapies. I just ordered a friend an Oscar Schmidt concert for 60. They have Lanikai sopranos as well going for 30 or so :eek:

bof
04-23-2008, 04:55 AM
If you want a real CHEAP ukulele, there is the Harley-Benton HBUK-11, with Aquila's strings ...
Not the best ukulele you can have but reaaaally cheap and have a decent sound.

If you can pay a little more a recomment you the Brüko Slim, with a very very slim body, it's sound projection will surprise you Here is an example (http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=9SHVijKvmGA)

I think it will be very expensive importing it these day. Without doubt, They are the ebst at their price range, very good quality, a very good tone, solid wood for around 130$, I'm a real fan of brueko and own one (not a slim one).
But shipping to the USA and the devaluation of the dollar makes it rather expensive to import from the EU market.
The reason why the brueko shop sells the bruekos at higher prices, is because they follow a fair policy towards shops selling brueko ukes as well. Of course big music shops like the german giant thomann don't need to sell their bruekos for as much money as a small ukulele internet store, so they benefit from the fair price policy and can offer the ukes for dumping prices.

As for the cheap ukes.. Don't try Mahalo, I tested them at a locala music store and they are just horrible, really horrible. I have heard good stuff about Makala, look for more information about them.

UKISOCIETY
04-23-2008, 05:09 AM
If you want to risk it a little, you can sometimes get a great old cheap Japanese uke from the 1950's or 1960's on Ebay. The risk is that you might need to glue the neck back - which is actually easy to do and then they work fine. Make sure the tuners look good too.

I bought two ukes from a guy that had no picture of them on the listing for $14 and although one was moldy and had to be thrown away, the other uke was a Decca from Japan and plays and sounds great! Those old Japanese ukes sound waaaay better than a $34- 45 Johnson.

tad
04-23-2008, 06:23 AM
As for the cheap ukes.. Don't try Mahalo, I tested them at a locala music store and they are just horrible, really horrible. I have heard good stuff about Makala, look for more information about them.

I really don't care about sound quality. I'm just looking for something that can play, that I can set out in the break room... (AKA, where anyone could just walk off with it...)

If you're able to afford to set out a $50-100 instrument where anyone could steal it, I'm jealous. Personally, I don't make that kind of money. I'm looking for something $35 or less-- something I can afford to lose or have broken.

tad
04-23-2008, 06:25 AM
......NIH?

I wish-- then I could afford the expensive ukes some people are suggesting.

I'm a research assistant at a Center based outta GMU.

ChiyoDad
04-23-2008, 06:36 AM
Aren't Hilo ukes in that price range?

Cascade Instruments also sells decent ukes for about $35. Their website is down for an upgrade right now. I think you can still call them at 877-604-TONE (8663). They import laminated mahogany concerts and super-concerts.

NukeDOC
04-23-2008, 06:48 AM
"best cheap ukulele"? is that an oxymoron? hahaha jk.

anyway cheap is in the eye of the buyer hahaha. there are some that would feel any uke under $300 is cheap. and there are others who think anything over $100 is expensive.

for me, an instrument in the $50-75 (for a tenor) range would be considered "inexpensive". i dont like to say cheap in this point. but you have to do some shopping. Hilo from my experience... not that impressed. sunlite... very impressed. makala... very impressed. none of these are solid wood. none of these have great components. but the sunlite and the makala, with good strings, are actually pretty damn surprising. ive even had my makala concert out (the one that i modified into a slotted head) with my big white sticker of the philippines on the lower bout, and people have commented on how nice the uke looked and sounded. my brother's sunlite is also nothing short of amazing. soundwise i had to do some thangs to her. switched out the friction tuners with geared ones, set the action, installed a pickup, better strings... the only thing i dont like about that little champ is that the fretboard meets the body at the 12th fret.

ChiyoDad
04-23-2008, 06:57 AM
NukeDoc, based on the OP's requirements, I think he's looking for a functional uke in his price range.
:D

I'd agree that the Hilo's aren't the best but they're more or less okay.

Too bad Costco.com isn't selling the $50 Cascade super-concerts anymore.
:(

NukeDOC
04-23-2008, 07:28 AM
hahaha yeah like i said, it comes down to the player. my hilo baritone is such a POS though IMHO. the intonation is just so off that its painful. haha. the other two ukes were in the same price range and sooooooo much better playability, intonation, and all around sound. and, at least for me, the price tag lets me toss it around the office without worrying about a ding or two.

also, having an instrument with good intonation is going to be essential to developing your "ear". practice with something out of tune enough, and it might become standard (heaven forbid). it happened to me. i just settled for whatever as long as it wasnt expensive. after 15 years of that, now that im finally making it a point to get my instruments set up right, im still having trouble hearing the proper tones. but im at the point that if i do, it hurts! haha

then again, maybe i just got a dud hahaha. thats why i said to shop around.

also, i started typing that last message before the next three or four were posted hahaha. so now that i know that...

dude, ebay is your friend. any of those "toy" souvenir ukes... you know the ones that say "hawaii" on them and have painted hibiscus flowers or honu on them... yeah, should be able to get them for about $20. and believe it or not, once set up correctly, you can actually play em!

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v176/pEsCaDoR/ukuleleunderground/?action=view&current=toyuke.flv

ChiyoDad
04-23-2008, 07:31 AM
dude, ebay is your friend. any of those "toy" souvenir ukes... you know the ones that say "hawaii" on them and have painted hibiscus flowers or honu on them... yeah, should be able to get them for about $20. and believe it or not, once set up correctly, you can actually play em!

No! No! Nuke! Dem haole tourist junk's da kiss of death!!
:D

bof
04-23-2008, 07:34 AM
Is 33 $ in your price range? If so there is a makala for that amount of money

http://www.ukuleleworld.com/product.php?productid=1091&cat=0&page=1

Edit: You see the problem of those 15 $ ukes is not only the sound, but that the intonation may completely be wrong and the tuners won't keep the strings in tune for mroe than 5 minutes. That's exactly the picture I got from Mahalo

tad
04-23-2008, 07:52 AM
Is 33 $ in your price range? If so there is a makala for that amount of money

http://www.ukuleleworld.com/product.php?productid=1091&cat=0&page=1

Edit: You see the problem of those 15 $ ukes is not only the sound, but that the intonation may completely be wrong and the tuners won't keep the strings in tune for mroe than 5 minutes. That's exactly the picture I got from Mahalo

See, and that's what I'm hoping to avoid.
But I could care less if the tone is a bit meh and the intonation isn't perfect. I have several ukes at home that are really pretty well set up. This is just a distraction ukulele.

And dude, I have to say-- I know a lot of people on this board hate it when ukes are called "cute," but that's one cute Makala.

I really like the dolphin!

delostech
04-23-2008, 08:03 AM
Check out the Makala dolphin sopranos from Musicguymic on eBay. I don't think he has them listed all the time, but he probably has a few in stock. With his setup, upgraded strings, and shipping, they are under $50, and in my opinion sound and play better than some $100 and up ukes.

tad
04-23-2008, 08:24 AM
Check out the Makala dolphin sopranos from Musicguymic on eBay. I don't think he has them listed all the time, but he probably has a few in stock. With his setup, upgraded strings, and shipping, they are under $50, and in my opinion sound and play better than some $100 and up ukes.

He's got none up at the moment. But I'd rather wait and find out if any are coming, and get the MGM setup, than get it via Musician's Friend...

Minamin
04-23-2008, 09:26 AM
If you don't mind a blemished uke, you can get a Makala from Ukulele World (http://www.ukuleleworld.com/product.php?productid=1130&cat=2&page=1) for a bargain.

That's a $9 price difference between the un-blemished model, enough to cover a set of Aquilas. Here (http://www.ilovefizzypop.co.uk/2008/03/17/cheapo-uke-ahoy/) is a good review.

bof
04-23-2008, 10:07 AM
See, and that's what I'm hoping to avoid.
But I could care less if the tone is a bit meh and the intonation isn't perfect. I have several ukes at home that are really pretty well set up. This is just a distraction ukulele.

And dude, I have to say-- I know a lot of people on this board hate it when ukes are called "cute," but that's one cute Makala.

I really like the dolphin!

intonation should really be correct. If it's totally wrong and differs by 20 cents in the third fret, everything you play will sound wrong, and secondly it's not really the best thing for the development of your musical hearing.

tad
04-23-2008, 11:11 AM
intonation should really be correct. If it's totally wrong and differs by 20 cents in the third fret, everything you play will sound wrong, and secondly it's not really the best thing for the development of your musical hearing.

I said a little off, not dramatically off. If I got, say, a Makala from MGM, I really doubt he'd sell an instrument that goes twenty cents off on the third string.

Honestly, if I'm playing daily at home on good instruments, I don't really see how occasionally playing on a crappy one at work will somehow destroy my "musical hearing."

I think maybe we're different, we want different things. I play because I find it fun and relaxing. I'm not striving for amazing, virtuoso musicianship. I like playing when I'm stuck on a problem, or I need to de-stress before or after class. I realize some people here consider themselves to be serious musicians, but I think it's important to remember that not everyone is, or should be, or even wants to be.

If playing the ukulele ever stopped being fun for me, I'd probably sell off my ukes and buy a Nintendo or something, and not think twice about it. This is just an avocation for me, a hobby, something I don't want to stress over.

Worrying that playing for five minutes on a badly-made instrument will stunt my musical progress seems stressful.

degracia
04-23-2008, 11:44 AM
Lanikai Kohala for 29.99 (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lanikai-Kohala-Standard-Ukulele?sku=512535)

Lanika HU-212 for 29.99 (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Lanikai-HU212-Standard-Ukulele?sku=512534)

Guting's Rogue Bari for 29.99 (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Rogue-Baritone-Ukulele?sku=519282)


Hope that helps. I would've bought that red bari myself if I had a CC.

uke142464
04-23-2008, 11:52 AM
I just bought a makala concert for 50 bucks, and the soprano's are only around $30, heres a video of me playing it, http://youtube.com/watch?v=lYyR55fPmuw
hope this helps, good luck

bof
04-23-2008, 12:11 PM
I said a little off, not dramatically off. If I got, say, a Makala from MGM, I really doubt he'd sell an instrument that goes twenty cents off on the third string.

Honestly, if I'm playing daily at home on good instruments, I don't really see how occasionally playing on a crappy one at work will somehow destroy my "musical hearing."

I think maybe we're different, we want different things. I play because I find it fun and relaxing. I'm not striving for amazing, virtuoso musicianship. I like playing when I'm stuck on a problem, or I need to de-stress before or after class. I realize some people here consider themselves to be serious musicians, but I think it's important to remember that not everyone is, or should be, or even wants to be.

If playing the ukulele ever stopped being fun for me, I'd probably sell off my ukes and buy a Nintendo or something, and not think twice about it. This is just an avocation for me, a hobby, something I don't want to stress over.

Worrying that playing for five minutes on a badly-made instrument will stunt my musical progress seems stressful.


I didn't say Makala was any bad, I said i have heard good stuff about them. I said Mahalo was bad and that any kind of instrument like Mahalo which is just not playbale and won't be any fun playing it, is not a good investment, no matter how many dollars you invested.
I play instruments as a hobby, too, but, its certainly not as much relaxing and fun if everything just sounds wrong.

Bourbon Boy
04-23-2008, 02:54 PM
Great Clip UkuCous. I cant believe how big that little things sounds....WOW

tad
04-23-2008, 04:54 PM
I didn't say Makala was any bad, I said i have heard good stuff about them. I said Mahalo was bad and that any kind of instrument like Mahalo which is just not playbale and won't be any fun playing it, is not a good investment, no matter how many dollars you invested.
I play instruments as a hobby, too, but, its certainly not as much relaxing and fun if everything just sounds wrong.

Dude, sorry-- I think I was just a bit defensive 'cause you were pushing for $100+ ukes earlier in the thread... I value the advice, I just start to feel at times on this site like my willingness to enjoy ukes that cost less than 300 bucks makes me a bit of an outsider. I just feel like it's a great instrument 'cause it's fun, and all this talk about solid wood vs. laminate, etc. gets to the point where it invalidates the perspective of those of us who just buy what we can afford and enjoy it...

seeso
04-23-2008, 05:14 PM
Dude, sorry-- I think I was just a bit defensive 'cause you were pushing for $100+ ukes earlier in the thread... I value the advice, I just start to feel at times on this site like my willingness to enjoy ukes that cost less than 300 bucks makes me a bit of an outsider. I just feel like it's a great instrument 'cause it's fun, and all this talk about solid wood vs. laminate, etc. gets to the point where it invalidates the perspective of those of us who just buy what we can afford and enjoy it...

There are many people here who agree with your sentiments, myself included.

Guting
04-23-2008, 05:29 PM
My rogue had perfect intonation, especially in the upper frets.

It literally put my LU-21T to shame.

drubin
04-23-2008, 05:37 PM
Out of all the uke sites I visit, I find that UU is the friendliest, and is the most welcoming of diverse perspectives, players, and instruments. That's why I come here first, before anywhere else. :D

That said, I don't see how discussing the relative merits of solid vs. laminate woods in any way invalidates the perspectives of "those of us who just buy what we can afford and enjoy it." Maybe I'm missing something here, but the two positions don't seem mutually exclusive to me at all. :confused:

tad
04-23-2008, 06:33 PM
Out of all the uke sites I visit, I find that UU is the friendliest, and is the most welcoming of diverse perspectives, players, and instruments. That's why I come here first, before anywhere else. :D

That said, I don't see how discussing the relative merits of solid vs. laminate woods in any way invalidates the perspectives of "those of us who just buy what we can afford and enjoy it." Maybe I'm missing something here, but the two positions don't seem mutually exclusive to me at all. :confused:

I'm probably just being cranky.
But personally, I think that there's a real merit to laminate ukes-- that you can buy a serviceable instrument for around 100 bucks.

Of course, I'm a fan of Rock That Uke (http://rockthatuke.com/)... I really think that part of what's cool about the ukulele is that you can buy one for thirty bucks, attach an amp with a ten-dollar piece of electronics, rock out on it, and smash it onstage, Pete Townsend style, at the end of the show, on a BUDGET.

I'm all for a quality instrument, but I think that what's exciting about the uke renaissance right now is, in part, the rise of more low-to-mid- pricepoint instruments. I like the affordability that borders on disposability.

And I get frustrated, making a post like this, looking for something I can basically buy and not look after, not care about if it gets stolen or broken, when people talk about instruments that cost over a hundred dollars. I have four ukes, in the fifty dollar to three hundred fifty dollar range, and you know what has the best sound, traditionally speaking? The Kala soprano you can get for fifty dollars or so.

And to me, that's a wonderful, beautiful thing. I get frustrated when I hear people saying that the only ukuleles of any worth are those that cost over three hundred, or five hundred, or whatever.

It's not that I doubt that they sound better, it's that THAT is not why I like ukulele. If I wanted to get into an instrument that costs ridiculous amounts of money before it's of any quality, I'd get a french horn or a piano or something.

I'm all about drooling over others' purchases... I love seeing the stuff I can't afford yet. But I get irritated about the implication that instuments I can afford are somehow worthless. I want to write a cheap uke manifesto. I want to be able to express the idea that the affordability of the instrument makes it BETTER than the ridiculously expensive instruments.

And when I feel like people are saying that the instruments I *can* afford are just cheap crap, I think I get the same reaction a lot of people get when they hear people say the uke's a toy.

You know what? It's not a toy, but being able to get one for a similar price to a collector's-item toy? That's part of the appeal of the instrument, to me.

tad
04-23-2008, 06:37 PM
Having said all that, I gotta say, I love this community.

It *is* generally very broad and accepting-- and I really value that.

Just sayin'. Y'all rock.

Plainsong
04-23-2008, 07:05 PM
There are many people here who agree with your sentiments, myself included.

Hell, I was feeling out in the cold because the most expensive uke I have is just over 300 bucks, and I actually think it's good. Not only that, but I'm getting the much-maligned Flea with a solid koa top because I actually LIKE the extra resonance of the plastic back.

I had thrown Bruko out there because of the huge bang-for-buck but with the strength of the euro that's a bit less at this present point in time.

I can't remember how much it cost, but MGM has (or had) this Ohana with a solid spruce top and plastic back. It seems like you could play golf with it (the plastic side anyway) and still get a nice sound?

And hey, I can't remember who posted the review, but the one of that laminate black Kala tenor, I actually showed that one to my husband and said. "Now here is a uke made just like those cheap acoustic guitars that look so pretty in the shop but sound crap when you play them. It's a laminate, and you should be able to really hear that, especially since I just told you. And for all that, it breaks the rules because listen to this..." (he really hears differences between solid wood and not), and he agreed, it was a sweet sound.

So I'm not bashing budget ukes at all. :D

JoeyJr858
04-24-2008, 11:16 AM
yeah, I have 3 hilo ukes that I beat up... I think they were $20-$35 max...

one I sat on by accident... the body's got a big gash, but at least it wasn't my kamaka, yknow? AND, it still plays! LOL...

I have one I keep next to my bed for when I come up w/ an idea and need to hammer it out, or if I just learned somethin that I'm really trying to nail before I knock the hell out...

got one in the living room, and one in car... LOL

they suprisingly really hold their pitch! Plus, with these cheapies... I can sticker or marker it up when I'm working exercises!

word!

JoeyJr858
04-24-2008, 11:19 AM
forgot to mention too... cuz I teach basic uke on the weekends...

for my students who can't afford the Ko'aloha's n kamaka's n G-Strings... I have them invest in lanikai and fluke's (tenors preferably, so there's more fretwork to learn)... low 100's to no more than 250, you don't feel like you own a toy, and you don't feel like you broke the bank! LOL

:D

UkuLeLesReggAe
04-24-2008, 04:56 PM
i would say the mahalo LOL

only because its the cheepest uke i have ever seen and im sure they got some nice sounding ukes around

delostech
04-25-2008, 08:12 AM
From what I have heard, the Mahalo's tend to be hit or miss. I played a couple that didn't hold a candle to the Makala I have, at least IMHO. I haven't heard anything bad about the Makala's.

If they are not listed on MGM right now, try emailing him. He may have one or two in the corner somewhere. If he doesn't have any the scratch and dent sale at UkeWorld2 seems a good option

tad
04-25-2008, 08:29 AM
If they are not listed on MGM right now, try emailing him. He may have one or two in the corner somewhere. If he doesn't have any the scratch and dent sale at UkeWorld2 seems a good option

I already did just that. He said he's got a couple of the dolphin Makalas, but it might take a bit of time... I was like, "Dude, whenever!" I'm just a lot more confident making a purchase through him than anyone else. I can wait a bit for one from him, rather than get one off Musician's Friend or wherever, that hasn't been seen by human eyes since it was boxed at the factory.

Plunky
04-27-2008, 06:24 PM
This is a "Cheap" student uke and sounds really decent. I just got one for banging around and was amazed at the sound once the strings settled. It cost $39.98 and free shipping!

It is used in a lot of school programs so it's tough but still musical. It should fit your requirements perfectly. They are out of the guitar style tuners until July, they only have the more traditional tuning pegs in stock, but it seems fine to me. I purchased the Tenor size which they say is actually a concert size. Model # CL500. This uke is also recommened on James Hill's site and several others as an inexpensive beginner. I was pleasantly surprised with it.

http://www.empire-music.com/us/english/contact_us.cfm

tad
04-27-2008, 07:18 PM
This is a "Cheap" student uke and sounds really decent. I just got one for banging around and was amazed at the sound once the strings settled. It cost $39.98 and free shipping!

It is used in a lot of school programs so it's tough but still musical. It should fit your requirements perfectly. They are out of the guitar style tuners until July, they only have the more traditional tuning pegs in stock, but it seems fine to me. I purchased the Tenor size which they say is actually a concert size. Model # CL500. This uke is also recommened on James Hill's site and several others as an inexpensive beginner. I was pleasantly surprised with it.

http://www.empire-music.com/us/english/contact_us.cfm

Dude, I think you've got the URL wrong-- that's the "contact us" page! :D

Plunky
04-27-2008, 07:40 PM
Dude, I think you've got the URL wrong-- that's the "contact us" page! :D

Okay, one more time.:o


http://www.empire-music.com/US/English/Catalogue.cfm?ProductID=CL500

Queen Dee
08-19-2009, 06:21 AM
I just bought a Kohala-C Soprano ($50)...at first, I thought the tuning issues were my poor technique, but this poor thing can't keep a tune for anything. Its painful to hear.

Going to have to move on up the scale if I want to pursue this little adventure further...

sigh.

uke552
08-19-2009, 06:58 AM
It could be the strings need to settle down (stretch), usually takes a few days. Also, are you using an electric tuner? Those work best especially if you are new to the uke or stringed instruments. Also you might try new strings. Click on the search feature here in the forums for threads about strings and see what others have to say about some of the name brands. Most of all, don't be discouraged and keep us posted.

Queen Dee
09-02-2009, 04:58 PM
After struggling with that Lanikai (had a slippy tuning peg from a poorly constructed intrument), I went to a different music store and picked up an orange Flea Fluke. $160 (plus bag) It is really quite wonderful. Great sound, stays in tune and solid.

I recommend it...and have to say that you get what you pay for.

Sigh.

leftovermagic84
09-02-2009, 05:03 PM
160 for a fluke?!?! wow

uke552
09-02-2009, 05:24 PM
Great deal for a Fluke (unless they charged $50.00 for the bag)...I think you will be very happy with the Fluke. Congrats!

salukulady
09-02-2009, 05:54 PM
My car uke is one I found at Costco for $30 made by Pignose. Geared tuners and with some decent strings, sounds great in the car or at the beach. If I ever run into them again at Costco, I'm going to buy a few to give away as gifts. Much better sounding than several Makala dolphin bridge ukes that I've given as gifts before.

RevWill
09-03-2009, 05:16 AM
If I were buying a cheapie uke, there are three little words:

Dolphin Bridge Makala.

Skrik
09-03-2009, 06:20 AM
My car uke is one I found at Costco for $30 made by Pignose. Geared tuners and with some decent strings, sounds great in the car or at the beach. If I ever run into them again at Costco, I'm going to buy a few to give away as gifts. Much better sounding than several Makala dolphin bridge ukes that I've given as gifts before.

Pignose uke. (http://www.creativenewproducts.com/ukulele2.html) Interesting.

I am going to go for Hora ukuleles (http://www.hora.ro/pages/mandolins.htm) (known as Amigo in the States, I think, for obvious reasons). I like the robustness of laminates, but a solid top is just so much more lively than a laminate top.

Actually, I think I am addicted.

Blrfl
09-03-2009, 06:38 AM
My car uke is one I found at Costco for $30 made by Pignose. Geared tuners and with some decent strings, sounds great in the car or at the beach.

And here I was hoping that since it's a Pignose, it would have a nice battery-powered amp (http://www.pignoseamps.com/index.php?disp=detail&subcat=portamps&id=253) built in. Would help keep those guys with the banjo ukes in line. :D


If I ever run into them again at Costco, I'm going to buy a few to give away as gifts.

You can order them directly from Pinnacle Pacific (http://www.creativenewproducts.com/msmorderpg.html).

--Mark

Ahnko Honu
09-03-2009, 07:16 AM
My car uke is one I found at Costco for $30 made by Pignose.

I'd want one just for the awesome brand name, reminds me of my pet piggy Lucille whom I miss very much. :(
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v504/Ahnkochee/INOSHISHI/mini-Someprivacyplease.jpg

cornfedgroove
09-03-2009, 08:01 AM
i aint buying nothing from musician's friend unless I have to...its owned by Guitar Center and I hate that place.

support a local or online uke store who know their products and will do right by you. I've never met one Guitar Center employee who could play anything in the acoustic room other than the guitar...and I used to work at a big one in North Chicago

Big_e
09-06-2009, 06:15 AM
Even from my guitar playin' days, I noticed that some people have issues with new strings and waiting a few days for the strings to stretch and adjust on the instruments.
Before I put new strings (nylon strings) on, I always wrap the ends around my hands and gently (don't pull to breaking point!) pull each string. Pulling too hard can hurt your hand too so just give a gentle pull for afew seconds This gets all the stretch out of them.
Ernest

franulele
09-06-2009, 02:50 PM
I didn't say Makala was any bad, I said i have heard good stuff about them. I said Mahalo was bad and that any kind of instrument like Mahalo which is just not playbale and won't be any fun playing it, is not a good investment, no matter how many dollars you invested.
I play instruments as a hobby, too, but, its certainly not as much relaxing and fun if everything just sounds wrong.

It's really about quality control. QC depends on who is in charge at the factory, and varies from brand to brand, and year to year. Plus, some dealers send back the ukes that don't measure up & do a wonderful set up on the ones they sell giving an extra level of QC. I got really lucky on my first "playable" uke, a Mahalo 320-T (2006) that has wonderful action & intonation. (Believe it or not!) Now that've moved on to ukes that have a richer tone, I still use the Mahalo as my loaner uke.