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rock_and_roll_camera
11-03-2009, 09:15 PM
Right guys, I've been getting a lot of advice and recommendations of late to go for Mainland Uke, rather than my original choice of brand. Just wanted to put it to the vote and see how many of you play, or have played, Mainlands and what you think of them. Let me know their good points, their bad points if any, your general opinion on them, and what model/size you've played. I'm after a Concert myself. Well, lets see where this takes us...

ainokeato
11-03-2009, 09:30 PM
Right guys, I've been getting a lot of advice and recommendations of late to go for Mainland Uke, rather than my original choice of brand. Just wanted to put it to the vote and see how many of you play, or have played, Mainlands and what you think of them. Let me know their good points, their bad points if any, your general opinion on them, and what model/size you've played. I'm after a Concert myself. Well, lets see where this takes us...

Well I just today received my Classic Mainland Mahogany Tenor with a pickup. And I have nothing bad to say about it lol it came strung with Aquila Nylgut strings and a gloss finish, it's absolutely beautiful to the eye and the ear. To me, the sound is amazing unamped so I can't wait to hear it with an amp.

HoldinCoffee
11-03-2009, 09:33 PM
I've only played the concert sized mango. What can I say? Its beautiful, setup was stellar, tuners are very good. Its got a beautiful voice, not high treble like spruce and not muddy either. Its louder than my old solid mahogany concert. Sounds great with either fingerpicking or strumming.

Faults? Ok, its almost TOO perfect...

edit: I thought of a fault! It came with Aquilas, YUCK!

ainokeato
11-03-2009, 09:39 PM
edit: I thought of a fault! It came with Aquilas, YUCK!

>.< Are aquila's no good?

HoldinCoffee
11-03-2009, 09:43 PM
>.< Are aquila's no good?

Worst strings EVER!

Actually, I have a love/hate thing goin on with Aquila. I love 'em when other people use 'em, but I hate playing 'em myself. I hate the feel of 'em. Don;t get me wrong, they are high quality, just not my cup of coffee.

sleepsinashoe
11-03-2009, 09:49 PM
I really like Aquila's. They're probably the loudest out there, and they just seem to sing. I didn't realize how much I liked them until I tried d'Addarios, which by no stretch of the imagination are bad strings, they just weren't as effervescent to me. Maybe better midrange tone, a cleaner tone, but it didn't sing to me.
Of course, I haven't tried Worth. From everything I hear, they're are most definitely "worth" a try after your Aquilas have worn out. I know I'm swappin'.

And to the feel thing, I can see how some people wouldn't like it, but my rather insensitive fingers had no troubles with them.

Boozelele
11-03-2009, 09:50 PM
I just got a Mainland Mango Pineapple, the review is HERE, (http://www.ukecrazybitches.com/) and I love it. :)

benmealer
11-04-2009, 12:12 AM
I've played a bunch of them and I don't own one yet but I'm lusting after a mahogany soprano. I know alot of people really like the red cedar ones. Their tone is a little melloer than the mahogany. If you want a concert you should get that one with the slotted headstock :drool:

bazmaz
11-04-2009, 12:58 AM
i've just received a gloss mahogany concert model - it looks great, sounds great, plays great, and was a great price.

You really cant go wrong with em in my view.

dnewton2
11-04-2009, 01:33 AM
I don't have a mainland nor have I ever played one. The reviews always seem positive though. GX9901 did a comparison between a mainland and a collings recently. The comparisons can be found on here oh his blog 'Ukulele Ghetto' (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/)

SeePM
11-04-2009, 01:54 AM
Mainland all the way - also recommend getting it straight from
Mike (hoosierhiver here on uu)! I got a concert mahagony goss just over a month ago and play it every day. Sounds great looks great. Lots of good info and positive reviews - just search forums for 'mainland'. Enjoy!

Nuprin
11-04-2009, 02:27 AM
I have a Mainland Honeybee second that I love. Just ordered a mahogany slotted headstock concert yesterday. Mike is installing a Mi-Si pickup for me so it should ship today or tomorrow. Can't wait!!!!!!

Uncle-Taco
11-04-2009, 04:28 AM
I have a mahogany concert that is fabulous. The only thing I would change (and this is sooooo unimportant) is that I am not in love with the itty-bitty tuner knobs. But others are, and I like it as well as anything I have ever played.

I had a Honeybee second for about a week. I can't complain about it in any way, but it just wasn't love for me like the concert, so I sold it to John (Link on the forum here) who ROCKS that uke.

I can't think of any reason to recommend against getting a Mainland. I have a "K__" uke, and have played others, which are all they're cracked up to be, but I defy anyone to do better than a Mainland for that money.

ukeyermind
11-04-2009, 11:47 AM
Yeah, I got the mahogany concert gloss, too. There are some people and animals I like more than my mainland, but it is my very favorite thing.

If anything ever happened to it, I'd cry for the whole hour long drive down to Mike's shop and then I'd buy another.

mangorockfish
11-04-2009, 12:20 PM
When I was deciding on my first uke, Mike @ Uke Republic played the mahogany gloss concert over the phone against a $600 Ebony Pono and the Mainland skunked the Pono in my book. Just received my Christmas present last Wednesday - a mahogany gloss Mainland tenor w/MiSi pickup. Get you one. You'll never be sorry.

NewMexicoDawG
11-04-2009, 12:29 PM
http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk251/outkast90130/MyJezebel.jpg
http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk251/outkast90130/me.png
Mainland Tenor Mahogany gloss

iamdanielle
11-04-2009, 03:00 PM
I have a mango tenor and I couldn't be happier with it. I sold my Big Island Ukulele Company tenor which was more than twice the price of my Mainland and I believe strongly that that decision was a good one. It sounds so much better and the set up is fantastic. Mike is awesome.

The only thing I didn't absolutely LOVE was the Aquillas. I switched to Worth clears with a low G and it sounds so good.

KC8AFW
11-04-2009, 03:19 PM
I own 2 Mainlands now...a mahogany concert gloss finish and a Honeybee soprano. I believe that Mainland is the best deal going currently. You get a really well constructed, nice sounding solid wood instrument for not a lot of cash.

Check out the Mainland Ukes Owners Group for pictures and videos done by members: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/group.php?groupid=22

leftovermagic84
11-04-2009, 04:18 PM
I'll throw my hat in for mainland too. I have a concert mahogany with the slotted headstock, and it's awesome.

Ukulele JJ
11-04-2009, 04:30 PM
I can't think of any reason to recommend against getting a Mainland.

Well I can tell you what's keeping me from getting one: The rope binding.

Now granted, I've only seen Mainlands in pictures. Maybe I'd like it if I saw it in-person. Or maybe I'd fall so in love with the sound and/or playability that I'd be able to overlook the rope.

And, of course, that's just my personal preference. What really matters is whether or not you like the binding.

Everything else I've heard about the ukes, and the customer service, has been outstanding. The prices are great too.

*heavy sigh*

JJ

Uncle-Taco
11-04-2009, 06:01 PM
Well I can tell you what's keeping me from getting one: The rope binding.

I hear ya. I wasn't wild about it, either, but I am not repulsed as some are. It didn't keep me from buying a Mainland, but I wouldn't want it on EVERY uke I own, which is basically why I don't have several Mainlands.

rock_and_roll_camera
11-04-2009, 09:44 PM
Well I can tell you what's keeping me from getting one: The rope binding.

Hmmm, me too. I just don't find it very athstetically pleasing!...

bazmaz
11-04-2009, 10:07 PM
I'll say one thing about the binding - it is nowhere near as stark black and white in the flesh than it seems in the photos. It looks quite mellow on mine - kinda creamy aged white looking. Very nice, and doesn't stand out too much for me.

iDavid
11-04-2009, 10:29 PM
Well I can tell you what's keeping me from getting one: The rope binding.

Now granted, I've only seen Mainlands in pictures. Maybe I'd like it if I saw it in-person. Or maybe I'd fall so in love with the sound and/or playability that I'd be able to overlook the rope.

And, of course, that's just my personal preference. What really matters is whether or not you like the binding.

Everything else I've heard about the ukes, and the customer service, has been outstanding. The prices are great too.

*heavy sigh*

JJ

There are going to be some plain jane models after the 1st of the year!

ainokeato
11-04-2009, 10:57 PM
I'll say one thing about the binding - it is nowhere near as stark black and white in the flesh than it seems in the photos. It looks quite mellow on mine - kinda creamy aged white looking. Very nice, and doesn't stand out too much for me.

Very good explanation, I to have noticed that. The binding doesn't really look the exact same way in the pictures that it does in person. For a lack of better term I would say it looks like a brownish white kinda dirty white color, not in a bad way though, between the black parts of the binding the white kinda blends in to the point where you don't have a big bold white outline of the uke lol.

On my tenor the wood grain is simply fantastic, and with the gloss finish it looks even holographic lol, *yes kinda like the pokemon cards*. Lol it adds to a nice trippy feeling I would say in my own words. I don't know what people like or don't like about aquila's I think they're fine in my opinion, they feel nice to me and have a nice loud sound I love it.

Lol the only downside to having this Tenor, is being afraid of scratching it XD

beeejums
11-05-2009, 02:06 AM
I hear ya. I wasn't wild about it, either, but I am not repulsed as some are. It didn't keep me from buying a Mainland, but I wouldn't want it on EVERY uke I own, which is basically why I don't have several Mainlands.

I said that on another thread somewhere sometime and had a bunch of links thrown at me... Apparently they're available with plain binding (or they are going to be available with plain binding at some point in the future). Honestly, I was busy with other stuff and didn't read, but it's a question worth calling and asking if you don't like the binding (and want a mainland, naturally).

hoosierhiver
11-05-2009, 02:11 AM
We'll probably offer some "Plain Janes " in the spring.

iDavid
11-05-2009, 02:18 AM
We'll probably offer some "Plain Janes " in the spring.

ah man, I thought they would be ready sooner......

mokai
11-05-2009, 02:39 AM
Or maybe I'd fall so in love with the sound and/or playability that I'd be able to overlook the rope.

I didn't like the rope either when I saw pictures and video. It's looked like a simple, repetitive, black and white pattern.
That's not the case
Some people say things look good from far, but far from good... Mainland is the opposite.
As you get closer to the instrument, you realize the white isn't really white and the black doesn't look that simplistic. Once you are within 4 feet, you really notice the grain in the rope and it really sets it off.
I used to think the rope was ugly and now that I've seen it in person, it actually looks classy to me.

Now, if you still don't like the rope in person, you will want to buy one once you play one for at least 10 seconds... the sound to cost ratio is difficult to beat.

Ukulele JJ
11-05-2009, 02:43 AM
We'll probably offer some "Plain Janes " in the spring.

:smileybounce:

You, sir, have got yourself a customer. :D

JJ

Ahnko Honu
11-05-2009, 05:43 AM
I like the bling, that's why I bought a Mainland in the first place. If I wanted vanilla I would have bought Ohana or Kala (heaven forbid Bushman). I love my "rocky road" Mainland. ;)

UKISOCIETY
11-05-2009, 05:46 AM
I like the bling, that's why I bought a Mainland in the first place. If I wanted vanilla I would have bought Ohana or Kala (heaven forbid Bushman). I love my "rocky road" Mainland. ;)

Too right. There's so many ukes out there that look the same. The Mainlands get noticed. :cool:

Russ Sonny Kemner
11-05-2009, 07:17 AM
I have never played or even seen in real life a Mainland Uke. I have however ordred tuners from Mainland, and the guy I talked to was cool, answered some of my questions about the tuners they sell, and got them shipped out quickly. So, despite not buying or playing a Mainland instrument, I would still like to vouch for their excellent customer service!

NewMexicoDawG
11-05-2009, 07:29 AM
Well I can tell you what's keeping me from getting one: The rope binding.

Now granted, I've only seen Mainlands in pictures. Maybe I'd like it if I saw it in-person. Or maybe I'd fall so in love with the sound and/or playability that I'd be able to overlook the rope.

And, of course, that's just my personal preference. What really matters is whether or not you like the binding.

Everything else I've heard about the ukes, and the customer service, has been outstanding. The prices are great too.

*heavy sigh*

JJ
I didnt like the binding neither pics dont do it justice in person the Binding is beautiful:)
http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/kk251/outkast90130/MyJezebel.jpg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRHG17Gmbrw
Mainland mahogany Tenor Gloss

ukecantdothat
11-05-2009, 10:19 AM
Here's a new video of my Mainland concert mahogany with the Aquilas it came with. It's about two weeks old now and the the strings are well broken in. Someday I might try Worths on it, but right now I don't see the point, because the Aquilas are so responsive to the way I play (plus, I have a buttload of Aquilas to go thru before I need more strings). Anyway, here's the vid - it's recorded on Garbage Band, so it's full of noise & brake squeals, etc. It's a rhythm track on the left, doubled on the right, with the live solo noodling you see, plus me thumping a 5gal water bottle for percussion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxYii9lVwEQ

bazmaz
11-05-2009, 11:15 AM
as a new Mainland owner, can I chip in here. I see lots of comments from those thinking of buying questioning the binding.

I can honestly say, the binding in the flesh is much more mellow and natural than it looks in the press photos - the white is more creamy and yellowed, and it suits the uke perfectly. Doesnt stand out at all - looks great!

kluson
11-05-2009, 11:32 AM
i've just received a gloss mahogany concert model - it looks great, sounds great, plays great, and was a great price.

You really cant go wrong with em in my view.

Hi Paul that does look really nice.

Also i think the binding looks really cool . I found Eagle in the Uk seems to stock them, thanks for all your help
Did you get my PM?, cheers
Dave

franulele
11-05-2009, 12:59 PM
I LOVE my Mainland concert mahogany matte finish with gold tuners & black knobs!!!

When I first saw pics of the Mainlands I thought the binding looked a little LOUD, but when I opened that box it was true love! The white in the binding isn't pure stark white, it's natural white. It looks great, sounds great & feels great to play! And the faux alligator case is bees knees!

Now what's this I read about plain Mainland ukes this spring?!?!?! With mahogany, cedar and mahogany to choose from (and now maybe plain) ... I will have to give in to my UAS and buy a Tenor!

(reaching for a thermometer .... feeling ukulele fever coming on!)

mangorockfish
11-05-2009, 01:23 PM
Here's a new video of my Mainland concert mahogany with the Aquilas it came with. It's about two weeks old now and the the strings are well broken in. Someday I might try Worths on it, but right now I don't see the point, because the Aquilas are so responsive to the way I play (plus, I have a buttload of Aquilas to go thru before I need more strings). Anyway, here's the vid - it's recorded on Garbage Band, so it's full of noise & brake squeals, etc. It's a rhythm track on the left, doubled on the right, with the live solo noodling you see, plus me thumping a 5gal water bottle for percussion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxYii9lVwEQ
Where did you learn that tune? That was fantastic! I'm looking for tabs to start learning to finger pick like that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

ukecantdothat
11-05-2009, 01:48 PM
Where did you learn that tune? That was fantastic! I'm looking for tabs to start learning to finger pick like that. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks. That's an tune I originally wrote on guitar in the late 70's when I was heavy into progressive rock. I recently transposed it to a more uke friendly key and my band is going to work it up pretty soon in the studio with marimba, steel drums & bass added. This is like a working demo, all improv. I'm not a tabby kind of guy, so I wouldn't know where to begin tabbing it out. The arrangement will likely change a bit. I will tell you it's in Dm and the time signature is 21/8 (3/2/3/2/3/3/3/2).

Glad you liked it!

Boozelele
11-05-2009, 09:50 PM
As if you haven't heard this enough...I too wasn't a fan of the binding. But when I received it I was more than pleasantly surprised. It's not white at all...I thought it looked more of an Ivory color, and actually really classy. I think the term "rope" makes it sound like you are getting some cheesy, toy ukulele. I'm no marketing man, but maybe it should be called "string of pearl binding" or "ebony/ivory" binding or....hell i dont know what i am talking about...where is my wine???

hoosierhiver
11-06-2009, 03:35 AM
Thanks. That's an tune I originally wrote on guitar in the late 70's when I was heavy into progressive rock. I recently transposed it to a more uke friendly key and my band is going to work it up pretty soon in the studio with marimba, steel drums & bass added. This is like a working demo, all improv. I'm not a tabby kind of guy, so I wouldn't know where to begin tabbing it out. The arrangement will likely change a bit. I will tell you it's in Dm and the time signature is 21/8 (3/2/3/2/3/3/3/2).

Glad you liked it!

Really great! We want more!

ukecantdothat
11-06-2009, 01:07 PM
Really great! We want more!
Thanks, Mike! You in particular are going LOVE my next one. Stay tuned...

And as for the rope binding: I'll admit that at first, I too was thinking it was a little too "Howdy Doody" if you know what I mean. In fact, on Halloween, a neighbor of mine had his 4 yr old dressed as Woody from Toy Story, complete with the cowboy hat that had the rope twist brim, and I thought, "I know what would go with that..." I pulled out my concert mahogany gloss and said, "Here. You need this." As he started to reach for it, I pulled it back and said, "Keep you grubby little hands offa my Mainland, Woody!" Whew that was a close one...

leftovermagic84
11-06-2009, 01:31 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxYii9lVwEQ

Wow, that was positively stellar. I'm in awe.

kluson
11-07-2009, 10:51 AM
I'm going to have a look at the mainland concert gloss next week, something tells me I will not be coming out of the store with my wallet intact!:)

johncaudrey
11-07-2009, 11:00 AM
Kluson

Where are you going to have a look at the Mainland?
As I know you are based near me but the only store I know of in the UK selling Mainlands is Eagle Music and they are in the North!

phanzo
11-07-2009, 11:01 AM
I'm just going to join in with the consensus and say that I absolutley LOVE my Mainland. I have a Honeybee Soprano Factory 2nd with pickup and it is AWESOME. I literally have NOTHING bad to say about it. For the price, there is simply nothing better (at least that I have had experience with).

I have been shopping for a 'K-brand" tenor or super-concert for many months now but have almost decided to just go with a Mainland Tenor because I like mine so much (unless HoosierHiver is producing a Super Concert any time soon, which would be RAD-tastic!!) :iwant:

For the price...PERFECTION.

Just my :2cents:

phanzo
11-07-2009, 11:10 AM
Here's a new video of my Mainland concert mahogany with the Aquilas it came with. It's about two weeks old now and the the strings are well broken in. Someday I might try Worths on it, but right now I don't see the point, because the Aquilas are so responsive to the way I play (plus, I have a buttload of Aquilas to go thru before I need more strings). Anyway, here's the vid - it's recorded on Garbage Band, so it's full of noise & brake squeals, etc. It's a rhythm track on the left, doubled on the right, with the live solo noodling you see, plus me thumping a 5gal water bottle for percussion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxYii9lVwEQ

Ummmmm...wow. Not gonna lie...kinda speechless right now :drool:

I think as soon as I sell my OU-5 Concert, I'm gonna but one of these bad boys. I love my Honeybee but I just gots to have me a concert...mmm mm mm mm MMMMM.

Amazing video by the way (which is 96.5% of why I'm speechless....the rest is because all of that was played on a Mainland). Great **:wtf:** Job!!

bazmaz
11-07-2009, 11:35 AM
interesting to hear there may be a "plain jane" mainland coming.... but....

one question.... why would you want to be a plain jane?? you want a plain uke? There are a ton of them out there. Apart from the name on the headstock, a lot of em look the same!

I say - go for the bling - the Mainland look rocks!
:cool:;)

NewMexicoDawG
11-07-2009, 12:47 PM
As if you haven't heard this enough...I too wasn't a fan of the binding. But when I received it I was more than pleasantly surprised. It's not white at all...I thought it looked more of an Ivory color, and actually really classy. I think the term "rope" makes it sound like you are getting some cheesy, toy ukulele. I'm no marketing man, but maybe it should be called "string of pearl binding" or "ebony/ivory" binding or....hell i dont know what i am talking about...where is my wine???

shewwwtttt your wine wheres mine O same place at the store LOL:cool:

iDavid
11-07-2009, 12:47 PM
interesting to hear there may be a "plain jane" mainland coming.... but....

one question.... why would you want to be a plain jane?? you want a plain uke? There are a ton of them out there. Apart from the name on the headstock, a lot of em look the same!

I say - go for the bling - the Mainland look rocks!
:cool:;)

Why?

My wife doesn't like the bling and I want the legendary Mike set-up and quality control....

The rope is going on me

bazmaz
11-07-2009, 12:52 PM
fair enough.

(I was being tongue in cheek - each to their own and all that..)

The binding is really very nice in the flesh, but I too will be interested to see a plain Mainland.

Mike - if you go plain, you need to enlarge the headstock logo which doesnt, in my view, stand out enough.

Ukulele JJ
11-07-2009, 01:03 PM
one question.... why would you want to be a plain jane??

Ah, but playing a plain uke does not make one a plain person.

Besides, some of the coolest things are "plain"...

http://prestigeri.com/en/images/uploads/Basic_Plain_White_T_Shirt.jpg

http://www.tedsclothiers.com/productimages/Blue%20Jeans.jpg

http://grandpianorental.com/images/C7.jpg

http://www.nyslices.com/indexcart/mystore/prodimages/Cheese9555.jpg

Mmmmm... now I'm hungry.

JJ

blueUke
11-07-2009, 01:21 PM
I was sketched out by the rope binding at first. A little too "sailor-ish" for me, I guess.

The pictures dont do it justice. It's more creamy than white and bright. It really gives it a lot of character and looks awesome.

Bringing back the subject to Mainland ukes and who digs em... well, I love my new Pineapple Mango uke. I just got done going to the park and playing it for 2 hours. It's got a beautiful clear tone. Fingerpicking it is so fun and when I switch up my picking and strum with my nail it gives it such a beautiful bright clear tone. Soooo fun.

I have this one tuned to 5ths (GDAE). I'll probably get another Mainland in a year or 2 tuned to GCAE. It will be interesting to see what they come up with then. I'm sold on the rope and maayyyybe would pass on the plain jane. I'd have to see pics.

Final words.... love the price, love the tone. I would recommend Mainlands to anyone and everyone.