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scottie
10-20-2009, 02:55 PM
Pull the trigger and buy my first ukulele :cool:

I've been a guitarist for over 30 years. . . and ukuleles just look like TOOO much fun. I've been tooling around the web lookin' at YouTube vids and such. . .

. . . so I called up Steve at Acoustic Music Works in Pittsburgh, He told me that he has about 80 ukuleles in stock currently, so this weekend I'm going to go try some out. I need to restrain myself because, as we all know, it's so easy to spend money on great musical instruments. I think I'll likely get a concert as my first one, perhaps a tenor later if I decide I want a little more room to flail, although part of the charm of the thing seems to be flailing on a tiny little thing, it looks so surreally fun. . .

He mentioned Lanakai, He has Collings the UC 1 is concert size :drool: and I've played a bunch of Collings guitars so I know they'll be good but $900.00 seems a bit rich at this stage. . . and some other brands but I stopped him and just said that I guess I'll just have to stop in and bring a lunch or something. :biglaugh:

I'll let yinz know what I buy.

cornfedgroove
10-20-2009, 03:01 PM
sounds like a blast...good luck.

itsme
10-20-2009, 03:10 PM
He mentioned Lanakai, He has Collings the UC 1 is concert size :drool: and I've played a bunch of Collings guitars so I know they'll be good but $900.00 seems a bit rich at this stage.
Welcome to UU, scottie!

As a veteran guitarist, I'm sure you know all about the range of quality and prices instruments can cost. ;)

My advice would be to start out on the low end. Since you'll be going there in person and will be able to try them out, go for playability as your #1 priority. Action makes a big difference and that can vary a lot even between the exact same make/model when they're factory produced.

Steiner
10-20-2009, 03:10 PM
yinz

in Stiller Country!!!:cheers:

Citrus
10-20-2009, 03:59 PM
trying out different ukes is something I would advise if you have the opportunity. If you're going to buy on the cheaper side, buy sturdy. It can be your "outside uke" so if you take it outside on too extreme a night and it busts, no big deal.

and of course we welcome our new convert

Uncle-Taco
10-20-2009, 04:17 PM
Wow, I really liked you up to "yinz." ;) (kidding...):rolleyes: I'm sure I can look past that, though.

Welcome!

I did the same thing. If you've been a guitar player for that long, you'll know what you will and won't put up with in a ukulele right away. Play anything you can get your hands on, pick something, and recognize that if you like it at all, it will only be the first of many you'll buy. :D

Enjoy! Have fun!

scottie
10-20-2009, 04:38 PM
I was planning on setting an elastic limit of about $300.00 plus a case. I could go a bit higher if I find something really cool. If I go under $200 it'll likely be a fluke cause they seem pretty sturdily made and they sound pretty good. . . and they look fun. The nice thing is that this is my 4 day week and so I have all day Friday to decide what I'd like.

I listened to MGM's uke challenge and it was ear opening. I'm listening on my iMac with Yamaha HS50M monitors although I understand the source files are compressed. There's no substitute for hearing 'em live.

Right now I'm just looking forward to some noodling on a bunch of different instruments with the payoff of being able to take a nice one home at the end.

Mr. Miyagi
10-20-2009, 04:41 PM
Welcome!

If you've been playing guitar for that long, you already know what you like. When I got the "uke" bug after 30+ years playing guitar, I started out with an inexpensive uke and immediately wanted something better. I would buy the best you can afford and hopefully you can keep the UAS at bay for a while!:D

pithaya9
10-20-2009, 04:51 PM
Buy the best you can afford, a K brand would be the best choice.

And welcome to the underground.

mrplatypus70
10-20-2009, 04:56 PM
Welcome to the ukulele world. I was also I long time guitar player and I still play but ukulele is highly addictive and I would say I now play ukulele about 70% of the time. I would agree with getting a decent uke for a starter, no need to go crazy but for about 200 bucks you could get something way better then the cheap ones. Then of course you will need more, I have 5 after about 3 years and if my financial situation was better I would have more. Good luck on your purchase and welcome!!!

scottie
10-20-2009, 05:06 PM
I just googled K, there aren't any dealers in PA, closest is Arlington VA. The entry level Collings at about $950, but it's highly likely that Bill Collings is charging a premium on his outstanding rep as a guitar builder, and overcharging a bit for what you get in comparison to others. . . but I'll play one or two and see. For the prices on his higher level models, I think Moore bettah likely beats Mr. Collings on aesthetics but the fit and finish on Collings guitars, even the entry level ones, is something to behold.

scottie
10-20-2009, 05:09 PM
I think it makes sense to limit myself on my first one. I think that I can get a fine first uke for around $300.00.

haolejohn
10-20-2009, 05:18 PM
May the FORCE be with you on your ukulele journey. You obviously understand quality and your budget is a great starting point. I am going to recommend 2 ukuleles you may not find at this store a mele from www.meleukulele.com and a mainland from either ukerepublic who sales them or hosierhiver who owns them. Both are members here. I understand your reluctance maybe to buy without playing the uke but the mass produce ukes are all kinda the same. Meles are handmade and mainlands are one of the best bangs for the buck. Regardless get a uke and let us know. BTW pictures are always great.

RevWill
10-20-2009, 05:22 PM
Definitely. $300 uke > $300 acoustic guitar.

As you go up the scale, however, they get closer together. If you want a uke built to the same standards as a Martin, Collings or Taylor guitar you're going to pay close to the same price. But you know how say a Seagull can be a pro-quality guitar for 400 or 500 bucks? Mainland, Ohana, Kala, etc. are like a uke equivalent of Seagull.

haolejohn
10-20-2009, 05:22 PM
I just googled K, there aren't any dealers in PA, closest is Arlington VA. The entry level Collings at about $950, but it's highly likely that Bill Collings is charging a premium on his outstanding rep as a guitar builder, and overcharging a bit for what you get in comparison to others. . . but I'll play one or two and see. For the prices on his higher level models, I think Moore bettah likely beats Mr. Collings on aesthetics but the fit and finish on Collings guitars, even the entry level ones, is something to behold.

Please don't take this wrong way but did you google "k" as in letter k or kamaka, koaloha, kanilea, koolau?

haolejohn
10-20-2009, 05:24 PM
I'm an idiot you mention moore bettah so you more than likey know the "k" brands.

scottie
10-20-2009, 05:32 PM
Kanile'a. . . took me a couple of terms but that's where I landed first. The prices seem quite reasonable.

by comparison

Collings UC1 all mahog satin 950.00, UC2 mahogany or Koa and/or spruce/cedar top about $1700, UC3 and custom designs about $2800 and up. He did an Art Deco piece which is really quite nice:

http://www.acousticmusicworks.com/UC3Artdeco172.html

You can see his designs are understated and his execution is razor sharp perfect.

haolejohn
10-20-2009, 06:50 PM
Collings uke look nice but I prefer a koaloha as my high price uke. The meles are comprable I guess to a takamine. Good solid imoport that is hand made. Your smart though keeping your first uke around 300.

flyingace
10-20-2009, 06:56 PM
was happy, after 27 yrs of playing guitar, to finally get my first Uke in June of 2008. I got a good oscar schmidt entry level for about $150. Upgraded to a solid wood OS uke in Sept. 08, now I have, a year later, a Kala Acacia Tenor that I'm in love with. Get going first, then find the sound and size you love, then get the most playable and best built for the $300 range and I think you'll be happy.

Also, put a capo the 7th fret of your guitar and the bottom four strings (DGBE) are GCEA. I find it to be a great way to practice Uke when I'm at work and only have my guitar there (which reminds me UAS is kicking in and I need a work Uke!)

Good luck! Playing the Uke is the most satisfaction I've gotten from playing any instrument in 28 yrs!

Pippin
10-20-2009, 08:44 PM
There are lots of great ukuleles in the $300 price range. In fact, the shop in Pittsburg will have a bunch in that range and some higher-priced models. I fall on the side of getting something in the $200 to $300 price range and play that until you get your sea legs. Once you know what sort of ukulele you think that you will prefer, and whether a pickup is necessary, then you will have a higher level of satisfaction playing and possibly performing.

I am fortunate because I get to play with a lot of ukuleles. I publish Ukulele Player Magazine. In the low-to-middle price range, the three main players are Ohana, Kala, and Mainland. All three offer laminated and solid-wood instruments with different configurations. Ohana and Kala have a broader range of choices. So, you can spend a lot of time looking at great performing, inexpensive solid wood instruments.

Enjoy.