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shores&hammocks
10-28-2009, 03:29 PM
okay, this question isn't to see your opinons (well, it is), but i'm really confused!

so before today, i have never played a k brand ukulele (kamaka, kanilea, koaloha, the sort) so i went to a local ukulele store and got my hands on a kanilea.

you see, i have a beginner's lanikai 21 tenor, and it's fine, but it sounds like a toy now. but when i played the 700 dollar kanilea, it didn't sound significantly better. ?? seriously, it may have had a 15 percent more volume but not much sustain..

now the confusing part is, i went to guitar center and played a concert cordoba ukulele. cordoba makes classical spanish guitars (?). and man, that cordoba just melted me. you see, the cordoba's sound seemed to melt into one beautiful harmony. the kanilea sounded good, but it was like individual strings sounding off, instead of the cordoba, where it sounded one and united.

i'm really confused, cause' i thought the k brands were the top dog.

oh btw, they didn't have a kamaka at the store, so i'll be waiting about a week or so when the shipment of kamakas come in.

are kamakas still good? i'm really nervous about playing them, cause' after listening to the kanilea, i don't know what to expect.

ed531
10-28-2009, 03:46 PM
The best ukulele is the ukulele that you think you'll play all the time. That's the bottom line. Doesn't matter what brand it is or how much it is. The point is if you play well enough, no one's gonna look at what ukulele you're playing.

Lori
10-28-2009, 03:55 PM
You really have to go by what you hear in person. I found the each uke is different, and I have played many "K" brand ukes, and walked away unimpressed. It is kind of hit or miss. Eventually, I found a Kanile'a that had the magic sparkle sound I was hoping for, and I bought it. At the same dealer, I player a number of other Kanile'a, different sizes, and by far, even though this was a super concert, compared to the tenor they had, it was far superior. The KoAlohas seem to be pretty consistent though. But I would probably have to have some hands on time with any high priced uke before I bought it. Don't buy on reputation alone, if you can help it.

–Lori

Blrfl
10-28-2009, 03:56 PM
The best ukulele is the ukulele that you think you'll play all the time. That's the bottom line.

Yep. And which one is "the best" will probably change over time. I actually haven't taken my Mainland out of the case in four or five days. For some reason the Makala is just doing it for me this week.


Doesn't matter what brand it is or how much it is. The point is if you play well enough, no one's gonna look at what ukulele you're playing.

:agree: Or they may look at it and say "whoa, that guy's making that $40 Makala sound awfully good!"

--Mark

ChamorroDT
10-28-2009, 04:00 PM
Personally, I think the best Ukes are solid wood and aged...I have an 8+ year old Koa soprano that, when I play, sounds AMAZING. To hear that little Soprano emit such magnificent sounds astonishes me. But that's just me.

And in my own experience, Lanikai's are good Ukes, my uncle has the same one that you have - but when I play that and then I grab my soprano and play that...I personally can not only HEAR a significant difference but also FEEL a significant difference - the fact that his Uke is laminate and mine is solid really produces a different sound to me. The last time I played a Cordoba, it was okay to me...it sounded rather "dry", if I may use that term. The wood felt weird to me as well, but then again...we're all different and have different opinions.

Ahnko Honu
10-28-2009, 07:02 PM
I know many claim they have the best wife on Earth but I know that's impossible because she's married to me. ;) I own one K brand 'ukulele a Kamaka pineapple but all and all I pick up and play my Flea the most often. If I ate the best tasting pizza every day I'd tire of pizza. Variety is the spice of life.
Am I making any sense? :confused:;)

Pueo
10-28-2009, 07:29 PM
This is kind of reminding me of that post that MGM made where he played all those ukes and dared us all to tell the difference by sound alone...

If it sounds great to you and you love playing it, then that's the best uke.

It's like everything else, what is the best car? What is the best food?
ask those questions and get many different answers...

I admit that my Lanikai does not sound as great as I remember it sounding when it was my only ukulele. My wife does not like the sound of my Lanikai much anymore either. I am going to swap out the Aquilas for D'Addarios and see what happens though.

I love the way my Pono sounds, and so does my wife, but others on this board say they are not impressed with Pono ukuleles.

So here's your answer:

IT DEPENDS!:biglaugh:

itsme
10-28-2009, 07:46 PM
The best ukulele is the ukulele that you think you'll play all the time. That's the bottom line. Doesn't matter what brand it is or how much it is. The point is if you play well enough, no one's gonna look at what ukulele you're playing.
Couldn't have said it better. :)

What's the best "anything" depends on your own tastes. My husband insists I buy only Best Foods mayo. Some might prefer another brand or even Miracle Whip.

SuperSecretBETA
10-28-2009, 08:19 PM
I think it really takes a trained and experienced sound professional to describe certain quality of an instrument objectively.


If I ate the best tasting pizza every day I'd tire of pizza. Variety is the spice of life.

I hope you're still not talking about your marriage here. :eek:


the kanilea sounded good, but it was like individual strings sounding off, instead of the cordoba, where it sounded one and united.

This is just an opinion, but it seems to me like the Kanilea has more clarity. As always though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, one man's trash is another man's treasure, to each his own, whatever floats your boat, different strokes for different folks, and any other idioms about person preferences.

RyanMFT
10-28-2009, 08:23 PM
I can relate to what you are saying. I went and played several of the K brands one afternoon when I had the money to buy something. I thought my mind should be blown from everything I read online, but I found most of the K ukes I tried to be kind of average sounding at best. Then I picked up my particular Koaloha and it just sang out to me. It seriously sounded drastically better than the other three in the shop to me, so I took that one home.

Find the one that makes your heart sing, that is the best uke!

Pippin
10-28-2009, 08:45 PM
The idea of individual strings competing with one-another is not foreign to me. I understand what you are "hearing" with that description. One thing that makes a difference to me is that some ukuleles are "harsh" sounding to my ears. Then, there are other ukuleles that have a sweetness or tone that I just love.

I have a bunch of solid-wood, solid-topped, and laminated ukes sitting around. I am constantly "testing" ukes for Ukulele Player Magazine. What just happened this week is that I opened a package from Kala Ukes and pulled out the solid Acacia Slotted headstock tenor. When I started playing it, my wife piped up and said that it is the "best sounding ukulele I have ever heard". It did really sound wonderful.

Since I publish Ukulele Player Magazine, I have had my hands on lots of custom-made and production ukes at every price-level. Some ukes are LOUD but don't necessarily sound smooth and sweet to me. Others sound silky and smooth as honey. I have a one-of-a-kind Oscar Schmidt OU7 tenor here that is an experimental ukulele that we will be giving away and it is one of the sweetest sounding ukuleles I have ever heard (strung with D'Addarios).

Lori gave good advice when she said to play a uke before you buy it, if possible. You can also trust a few people in the business to give you an honest appraisal, like MGM. MusicGuyMic has a lot of ukulele sound clips online so that you can "hear" a uke before you make that investment. Talk with Mike and he will give you good advice and your uke will be setup perfectly before they ship it.

experimentjon
10-28-2009, 10:04 PM
Personally, I just like instruments with a certain "mojo." The mojo doesn't have to come from being vintage, but it just has to feel, look, and sound good to ME. It's sort of a personal decision.

But I find that it is hard to go wrong with any of the K brands. My Kanilea tenor, KoAloha superconcert, and Kamaka concert are my favorite ukes. But I also LOVE my Fluke...I just dig the design, feel, and sound of that weird little triangular instrument.

clayton56
10-28-2009, 11:42 PM
ukes seem to me to vary widely in character and that makes a difference as to what a person's opinion will be.

I recently got a Kanilea and I think it's probably the best instrument for expressiveness and versatility, but seems to have less character than some others. Just a little cold. But that makes if fit in fairly well everywhere. Koahloha ranks #1 for distinctive character but lower in certain playing characteristics. I have so far made one recording with a uke accompanying other stuff and I went with the Pono take over all the others, it gave me a very even strumming and very sweet sound.

scottie
10-29-2009, 12:01 AM
You really have to go by what you hear in person. I found the each uke is different, and I have played many "K" brand ukes, and walked away unimpressed. It is kind of hit or miss. Eventually, I found a Kanile'a that had the magic sparkle sound I was hoping for, and I bought it. At the same dealer, I player a number of other Kanile'a, different sizes, and by far, even though this was a super concert, compared to the tenor they had, it was far superior. The KoAlohas seem to be pretty consistent though. But I would probably have to have some hands on time with any high priced uke before I bought it. Don't buy on reputation alone, if you can help it.

–Lori

. . . really a good argument for NOT buying instruments over the internet. I know, for some folks it's hard to find places to try instruments, but even with a good return policy those return shipping charges can add up.

ukantor
10-29-2009, 01:43 AM
Interestingly, the more prestigious solid wooden ukes seem to vary more than the mid-range factory built instruments. I would happily buy an Ohana, Mainland, Kala, etc. on-line, but if I were in the market for a KoAloha, a Kamaka, or a Kanile'a, I would like to try the uke first, before parting with my cash. There is more at stake, of course, cash-wise.

Ukantor.

haolejohn
10-29-2009, 02:00 AM
I've read it here that it isn't the decal or engraving on the headstock that make the ukulele it is the player. I own 2 koalohas (one is a sceptre), a pono mango 8 string, a mele solid koa double puka, a kala soprano, and 3 makala dolphins. I think my sceptre sounds the best but all of them sound great to me. even the makalas. I also know that if someone like DeG, specialmike, Captn lovehandles, etc, etc, etc (basically anyone better than me) were to play my ukes they would sound better than when I play them. I have played many "K" brands and I have yet to find one that sounds so much better than others. Some did sound better but was that just my personal preference?????

keithy351
10-29-2009, 02:01 AM
i had the problem of not being able to try my uke before i bought it, but i kept saying to myself u cant go wrong with a k brand, and i was right, my kanilea saprises me each day, i dont believe your lanakai sounded the same, but the way each individual hears things is different, people say every instrament MGM plays sounds the same also......

Ukulele JJ
10-29-2009, 02:46 AM
But I find that it is hard to go wrong with any of the K brands.

Well, I'd avoid "K-Mart".

:p

JJ

built
10-29-2009, 02:54 AM
since sounding is very subjective, everyone is right.
but i truly think deached ukes are da best. :D

luke'nlele
10-29-2009, 05:07 AM
Well, I'd avoid "K-Mart".

:p

JJ

:biglaugh:+1
Ron and Jeanne

spots
10-29-2009, 05:11 AM
Always go with the instrument that has the sound you like best, and the feel/playbility you like best. You will always find an instrument with a combination of sound and feel/playability which you are drawn to. Once you find it, don't worry about the name on it.

If the maker is following well known design and construction practices, then the instrument will be respectable. The rest is about time and the specific pieces of wood from which any given instrument is made.

Wood is a curious thing. Generally it's tone gets better with age, but not always. Some pieces of wood will never open up over time regardless of the name on the instrument or the price paid. Other pieces of wood will age beautifully and become rich and vibrant (regardless of the name on the instrument or the price paid).

In the end you need to like how it sounds, and you need to like how it feels when you play it. If you have found that combination, then you have found the best instrument for you.

luke'nlele
10-29-2009, 05:21 AM
Yep. And which one is "the best" will probably change over time. I actually haven't taken my Mainland out of the case in four or five days. For some reason the Makala is just doing it for me this week.



:agree: Or they may look at it and say "whoa, that guy's making that $40 Makala sound awfully good!"

--Mark

Thanks for showing Makala some love! +1
We have a Makala Concert and a Makala Tenor that we just love,too.;)
Ron and Jeanne

iamdanielle
10-29-2009, 07:33 AM
When I was out to buy my first K brand, I played a KoAloha soprano and a new Kamaka soprano and the decision took me 5 seconds. The KoAloha was much louder and sweeter sounding than the Kamaka and I completely fell in love with it.
The next time I was out to buy a uke, I played a Kamaka that was built in 1996 and was very worn in and I had never heard anything more beautiful. I believe the aging of the wood has a lot to do with the way the uke sounds. See if you can find a used K brand. It might not be as pretty as the new ones, but it sure will sound better.

GX9901
10-29-2009, 07:35 AM
I have bought over 30 ukes and all but 3 were ordered online, including a few K-brands and several customs. I don't think I have been really disappointed with any, whether it's a Makala or Kanile'a. I try to do enough due diligence on each purchase and set my expectations accordingly, so I don't expect a Kala to sound like a William King, etc. It has worked out pretty well for me, but of course nothing beats actually trying the ukes out in stores. But even trying out ukes in stores isn't the ultimate test to see whether a particular ukulele is for you. Sometimes a uke start to sound better to you after several days or even months of playing (I'm not talking about the wood "opening up", as I don't really know if I've ever actually been able to hear that happening). I had a Honu concert I ordered online that I was initially not all that excited about. After a couple of months and a few string changes, it became one of my favorites at the time. Even my William King ebony/spruce concert was initially not what I expected in terms of sound. But after some playing I began to hear the difference and it's by far the uke I reach for the most now.

Ahnko Honu
10-29-2009, 08:56 AM
I hope you're still not talking about your marriage here. :eek:



You're right, I'm not making sense. :p

FHS-72
10-29-2009, 09:22 AM
A uke that you enjoy playing and can afford.:D Everyone has their own opinion of the best uke. As you get better, you'll be able to tell what's best for you.:shaka:

the.ronin
10-29-2009, 09:29 AM
I know what you, OP, mean about the Cordoba though ... I always go back to it and find that it has a really nice sound. I’ve tried different strings on it and have setlled on Worth Brown medium tensions ... the thing sounds so good.

deach
10-29-2009, 10:17 AM
The one coming in the mail is usually the best uke.

mannyukeboy
10-29-2009, 10:18 AM
The best uke is one that is comfortable for you and suits you best as a person :]

molokinirum
10-29-2009, 10:32 AM
Couldn't have said it better. :)

What's the best "anything" depends on your own tastes. My husband insists I buy only Best Foods mayo. Some might prefer another brand or even Miracle Whip.

This is right on the money!!:agree::agree:

ukantor
10-29-2009, 11:43 AM
Last year, I was at a uke fest in Oswestry, UK, and there was a little boy (5/6 ish) rushing around with a red Makala "Dolphin" in his hands. He was using it to hit his sister with, and didn't seem to realise it was a musical instrument. I asked him if he could play. He shook his head. I asked if I might play his uke. He handed it to me. I tuned it, played it, and he showed an interest. It was a surprisingly good little uke, for a cheapie.

I told the lad I would be playing on stage later that afternoon, and asked if I could use his uke - if his parents agreed. They did, of course, and it all went very well. I did my full set on the Makala, and it was fine. The boy's face was a picture!

That was definitely the best uke that afternoon.

Ukantor.

upskydowncloud
10-29-2009, 11:46 AM
okay, this question isn't to see your opinons (well, it is), but i'm really confused!

so before today, i have never played a k brand ukulele (kamaka, kanilea, koaloha, the sort) so i went to a local ukulele store and got my hands on a kanilea.

you see, i have a beginner's lanikai 21 tenor, and it's fine, but it sounds like a toy now. but when i played the 700 dollar kanilea, it didn't sound significantly better. ?? seriously, it may have had a 15 percent more volume but not much sustain..

now the confusing part is, i went to guitar center and played a concert cordoba ukulele. cordoba makes classical spanish guitars (?). and man, that cordoba just melted me. you see, the cordoba's sound seemed to melt into one beautiful harmony. the kanilea sounded good, but it was like individual strings sounding off, instead of the cordoba, where it sounded one and united.

i'm really confused, cause' i thought the k brands were the top dog.

oh btw, they didn't have a kamaka at the store, so i'll be waiting about a week or so when the shipment of kamakas come in.

are kamakas still good? i'm really nervous about playing them, cause' after listening to the kanilea, i don't know what to expect.

Best ukes, in this order (I think):

1. Fully custom Kamaka
2./3. Maui Music
3./2. Moore Bettah

1014
10-29-2009, 12:08 PM
best `ukulele: hilo soprano with aquila low g strings.

ukecantdothat
10-29-2009, 01:16 PM
Best one I ever played was a 30's Martin mahogany "O" style soprano. Actually, it played me. :drool:

Wagster
10-29-2009, 02:09 PM
No Miracle Whip for me. I like my ukes with a good slathering of Helman's Mayonnaise!! A dash of salt & pepper :drool:

Of all my ukes, I find myself grabbing my Kala spruce top more often than not. Since I put the Worth CL's on it, it is a sweet uke to play. I will take that one to the grave with me!

Doc_J
10-31-2009, 01:13 PM
I know what shores&hammocks means about the Cordoba.

I was killing a little time today at Guitar Center. Most of the ukes there really are not very good (for many reasons). But I tried a solid mahogany Cordoba tenor . It sounded pretty awesome, very similar to my new K-1 SC Kanilea. The floor model was a little beat up, maybe it had been around there awhile. That probably enhanced the sound. Great sound for 1/3 the price of a Hawaiian uke. I still prefer the Kanilea but....

Annemazing
10-31-2009, 04:08 PM
This thread was incredibly helpful to me! I'm in the market for a new uke and I had the exact same question.

Awesome.

northern uke
10-31-2009, 06:15 PM
80% player, 10% set up, 10% build. The higher up the food chain you go, the greater chance you have of getting the last 20%. Mass produced ukes like Mahalo and Samick still have some pretty decent ones every few thousand, other higher end models can have duds too. But remember, 80% player! I learned this from James Hill when after one of his shows, he did serious damage on a guys 20$ Hilo I'll never forget! I think it was an Irish fiddle jig of some kind. The sound was plenty amazing in his hands.

ukumele
11-01-2009, 05:02 AM
The one coming in the mail is usually the best uke.

Deach, you make me laugh!:D

UkéDan
11-01-2009, 03:35 PM
Best ukuele???? MINE. Especially my Kumalae... or is that my Koaloha... Anyways, my old Northern is good too... like my Koa Pili Koko that I can bring to the beach...... Ah... stop psyching me.... UAS is around the corner..... (next best ukulele.)

phanzo
11-08-2009, 04:38 PM
Well, I'd avoid "K-Mart".

:p

JJ

Yea, that's just freakin' hilarious. Wow.

hapuna
04-09-2010, 10:04 PM
I'm not sjre what you did with the Kanilea you tested but I would suggest you look at Ken Middleton's revieiw of the Kanile'a on You Tube. He is very thorough and just listening to it on You Tube you can hear a beautiful sustain and a very rich full sound.

dparrothead1
04-09-2010, 11:40 PM
Last year, I was at a uke fest in Oswestry, UK, and there was a little boy (5/6 ish) rushing around with a red Makala "Dolphin" in his hands. He was using it to hit his sister with, and didn't seem to realise it was a musical instrument. I asked him if he could play. He shook his head. I asked if I might play his uke. He handed it to me. I tuned it, played it, and he showed an interest. It was a surprisingly good little uke, for a cheapie.

I told the lad I would be playing on stage later that afternoon, and asked if I could use his uke - if his parents agreed. They did, of course, and it all went very well. I did my full set on the Makala, and it was fine. The boy's face was a picture!

That was definitely the best uke that afternoon.

Ukantor.

What a great story!!!!

nomis
04-10-2010, 05:10 AM
You can keep all your handmade (by Hawaiian virgins from Bongo Bongo wood) Ukuleles because my Kala Archtop is the best Ukulele in the World...period. This is not open for debate lol.
I Mean, it's got a bl@@dy palm tree on it so you know it's good......
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/3198/59329copy.jpg (http://img231.imageshack.us/i/59329copy.jpg/)

grubblybubbly
04-10-2010, 11:42 AM
the best ukulele is the one that is too rare or expensive for you to ever have... unless you're bill gates.

ceviche
04-10-2010, 02:40 PM
Solid wood is the only way to go! It will only get better with age.

Like others said before me, knowing you have a good one in your hands is as much about that magical feel as the sound itself.

--Dave E.

BobN
04-11-2010, 12:42 PM
The best ukulele IMO, would be a custom build by a luthier that knows you and understands what would be the best for you. A collaboration between the musician and luthier. It is a rare occurrence.

whetu
04-11-2010, 05:08 PM
IMHO, if I had the cash... James Hill Signature model (http://ukulelejames.com/signature_model.htm). But I don't have the cash, so I currently have my heart set on an Eleuke and a Fluke surf concert with the upgraded pegs and fingerboard.


the best ukulele is the one that is too rare or expensive for you to ever have... unless you're bill gates.

From what I understand he doesn't play anywhere near as well as Warren Buffett, who plays an Oscar Schmidt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7ovjjwyLPg&NR=1), amongst others (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRDbpOgfonU).


. . . really a good argument for NOT buying instruments over the internet. I know, for some folks it's hard to find places to try instruments, but even with a good return policy those return shipping charges can add up.

Definitely hard here in NZ... I can go to a couple of nearby stores that have a range of: Carlos Sanchez, Mahalo, Makala, Kala, Lanikai, Fender and that's about it. You'll see the odd Applause kicking about. Every so often something like an Eleuke, Pono or an Ohana will show up on Trademe (http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/SearchResults.aspx?searchType=0343-&searchString=ukulele) (our version of Ebay)... but for all intents we're a Kala country.

So my attitude is different: buy it, get it into the local uke ecosphere and if I don't like it, I can sell it locally for not much of a loss, if any. I could even potentially use them to trade up/down/sideways at the aforementioned stores...

SweetWaterBlue
04-11-2010, 06:09 PM
Whetu - I don't know where they stand in a ranking of the World's great ukes, but the Cole Clark ukes I have heard on YT sound pretty good, and several players I follow seem to think they are a definite upgrade from the usual Ohanas, Kalas etc. They are made in Melborne, Australia. You can find them in NZ here:

http://www.coleclarkguitars.com/dealerfinder/Default.aspx?region=NewZealand&heading=New%20Zealand

The reviews of Cole Clark here on UU seem mixed, but you can probably try them out in Wellington:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?3487-Cole-Clark-Ukes

nikolo727
04-11-2010, 06:13 PM
i dont think there is a deffinate answer to this question haha. its a personal choice to be honest. every single instrument is different and they all have unique sounds. its just whatever one fits you.

whetu
04-12-2010, 05:05 AM
Whetu - I don't know where they stand in a ranking of the World's great ukes, but the Cole Clark ukes I have heard on YT sound pretty good, and several players I follow seem to think they are a definite upgrade from the usual Ohanas, Kalas etc. They are made in Melborne, Australia. You can find them in NZ here:

http://www.coleclarkguitars.com/dealerfinder/Default.aspx?region=NewZealand&heading=New%20Zealand

The reviews of Cole Clark here on UU seem mixed, but you can probably try them out in Wellington:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?3487-Cole-Clark-Ukes

Thanks for that! I had actually seen the Cole Clark's at The Rockshop, but The Rockshop guys are your typical metal heads looking down their nose at you and none of the ukes there are properly setup. I had to ask them to bust out a tuner so that I could tune up and sample, and got an indignant look for my troubles. Anecdotally I liked the CC's better than the Fenders I've tried, but really didn't have enough time with them to form a solid opinion.

Bit of a shame... The Rockshop see the uke as a mere sale, we have better local shops that actually do the setup and show a bit of interest or even a passion in the instrument. I bet they turn through more novelty Spongebob ukes (http://www.rockshop.co.nz/04/shop/groupname_search.php?265) than any other uke :(

SweetWaterBlue
04-12-2010, 05:23 AM
whetu - reyalpeleluku on YouTube is an Australian player that plays a Cole Clark very well. You might shoot him and email. Also on YouTube, Davideckingham in Christchurch, NZ may have some ideas.

sjeby01
08-11-2013, 06:49 AM
I have several ukes, but I always go back to playing my tenor Cordoba. I think the satin finish has a lot to do with it having such a rich sound to it.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
08-11-2013, 07:29 AM
The best ukulele is the one that you were playing when you realized you love playing ukulele. (The rest of the ukuleles are great, too.)

OldePhart
08-11-2013, 08:54 AM
The one in your hands...

Dan Uke
08-11-2013, 09:19 AM
the one in your mind

barefootgypsy
08-11-2013, 09:22 AM
When you want a new uke, there's no fun that compares with going into a shop full of ukuleles and trying them all out. One may grab you round the throat - that's the one! And it isn't ONLY the sound - it's the look and and the feel as well - the whole sensual experience of it! And beware that foolish heart - it really hurts if the one you love is financially out of your reach........

hammer40
08-11-2013, 09:51 AM
How did a 4 year old thread get revived? Nothing wrong with it just odd.

gyosh
08-11-2013, 10:17 AM
okay, this question isn't to see your opinons (well, it is), but i'm really confused!

so before today, i have never played a k brand ukulele (kamaka, kanilea, koaloha, the sort) so i went to a local ukulele store and got my hands on a kanilea.

you see, i have a beginner's lanikai 21 tenor, and it's fine, but it sounds like a toy now. but when i played the 700 dollar kanilea, it didn't sound significantly better. ?? seriously, it may have had a 15 percent more volume but not much sustain..

now the confusing part is, i went to guitar center and played a concert cordoba ukulele. cordoba makes classical spanish guitars (?). and man, that cordoba just melted me. you see, the cordoba's sound seemed to melt into one beautiful harmony. the kanilea sounded good, but it was like individual strings sounding off, instead of the cordoba, where it sounded one and united.

i'm really confused, cause' i thought the k brands were the top dog.

oh btw, they didn't have a kamaka at the store, so i'll be waiting about a week or so when the shipment of kamakas come in.

are kamakas still good? i'm really nervous about playing them, cause' after listening to the kanilea, i don't know what to expect.

Mine :). .

MGM
08-11-2013, 10:33 AM
The one I always Play...Its a K???????......opphs Mentalpause......such a lovely sound and feel and it has my name inlaid on the headstock....ha ha

mm stan
08-11-2013, 01:00 PM
Krands are a good choice, but like in every thing else...you have to pick and choose... even the same models of the same brands sound different...and the factory comes with
their stock strings....Hart to guage in the store then....many times a set up and nes strings will enhance any new uke....buy from a reputable dealer like HMS to do setups for free and the ukulele
site....they are really good at setups and the best in Hawaii

Radio Flyer
08-11-2013, 06:08 PM
wow! this thread is 4 years old, still interesting.

Pukulele Pete
08-11-2013, 11:57 PM
I would have to say Martin ukuleles and Cain's mayonaise .

uketeecee
08-12-2013, 12:24 AM
Asking what is the best ukulele is like asking 'What are the best pair of shoes?'
Old Martin ukes make the best shoes. ;)

strumsilly
08-12-2013, 12:24 AM
Krands are a good choice, but like in every thing else...you have to pick and choose... even the same models of the same brands sound different...and the factory comes with
their stock strings....Hart to guage in the store then....many times a set up and nes strings will enhance any new uke....buy from a reputable dealer like HMS to do setups for free and the ukulele
site....they are really good at setups and the best in Hawaii

I bought an vintage no name baritone off the bay a while ago. the thing was built out of some heavy plywood and sounded so dull all it was good for was a weapon. I sold it to my son-in law and put some Aquila GCEA strings for bari on it and it totally transformed it. I love playing that $50 uke whenever I visit. lesson for me is don't give up on a uke until you try some different strings on it.

UkerDanno
08-12-2013, 03:43 AM
My first was a $45 Lanakai soprano and I still enjoy plunking around on it. Then I pull out the Martin C1K and it sounds incredible. Then I go to Uke Club and a lady there has her Kanilea Super Concert and that thing looks and sounds simply AMAZING! 'Course, she's a good player too...

Manalishi
08-12-2013, 07:24 AM
I think this thread has a certain ammount of 'overlap',with the
repeated threads we get about 'why have more than one ukulele?'
I have three handmade,luthier built ukes in my home. Yet I still play
my 'cheap and nasty' ones,as the mood takes me! I find that to me,
certain songs/tunes sound better,or more appropriate,on certain
instruments. My home made reso is fine for blues,(which I built it
for in the first place!) But some of my other ukes are also fine on
this or that song. So which is the best uke? Well usually,the one I
happen to be playing at the moment.Best for me, for the song I am
playing,best to suit the mood,or the feel of the piece.
Just my opinion!

bnolsen
08-12-2013, 07:25 AM
At the local uke meet I notice more than a few people are playing mya moe's. I can't say myself how good they are. I always want to show up to those meets with the nastiest and cheapest (but well intoned) ukulele I can get my hands on. Well intoned the the challenging part.

GKK
08-12-2013, 07:28 AM
Remember...

The "K" brand Ukes, don't necessarily mean a better Sounding instrument but, a Quality made instrument.

bnolsen
08-12-2013, 10:16 AM
Remember...

The "K" brand Ukes, don't necessarily mean a better Sounding instrument but, a Quality made instrument.

at some point, however, you are buying a name, not just a ukulele. no i don't know at what point that is.

ChaosToo
08-12-2013, 11:38 AM
Surely the 'best' uke is the one you enjoy the most?

Just like the 'best' surfer is the one having the most fun?

:D

Tsani
08-13-2013, 04:24 AM
There is no best, only play.

jollyboy
12-14-2016, 06:39 AM
Quote deleted.

I have a strange feeling of deja vu.

Croaky Keith
12-14-2016, 07:56 AM
There really is only one answer to the question "what is truly the best ukulele?", & that is " the one you play!" :)

Rambo2
12-14-2016, 08:25 AM
The simple answer is.. "MINE" :cool: :o

Mivo
12-14-2016, 08:46 AM
There really is only one answer to the question "what is truly the best ukulele?", & that is " the one you play!" :)

I agree with that. The best ukulele that money can buy, but sits in its case most of the time, is inferior to an inexpensive ukulele that sees daily play.

jollyboy
12-14-2016, 09:11 AM
Just to point out that this is an old thread that has been revivified by someone plugging their fake Amazon-affiliates-scam blog.

Mivo
12-14-2016, 10:23 AM
Still a good topic! :p Gotta make the best of the spammer necro-ing old threads.