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View Full Version : Super quick Mainland review



Mouthy1
11-12-2009, 12:23 PM
So I got both a Boat Shape soprano and slotted headstock concert because I have no ability to control myself and thought I would give my initial impressions and later will give more input.

Looks/Craftsmanship:
Wow, the gloss concert is amazing. Best wood, one piece top and bottom and overall beauty. Flaws, the headstock slots are missing a little gloss on the inside which is a shame since it is overall VERY nice. The boat shape is very cool. Wood is dark on the boat shape which makes the grains stand out super nice. Some uneven stain on the bottom of the next. Nice tuners and a very cool uke to say the least.

Sound:
At first, I was a little surprised at the concert. It was pretty quiet??? I have heard nothing but the opposite. I put it next to my Bushman which is VERY loud with a super nice sound....definately one of my favorites. The Bushman has AT LEAST twice the volume. The sound was nice but pretty muted sounding compared to the Bushman. I played it a bunch and started again this morning and it seems to be quite a bit louder and the sound is now very nice. I originally thought that I would send it back since I have 5 concerts and it was good but I have some great ones. Now, I think I am changing my mind. Sounds very warm with a nice ring to it. Day two is very different than day one and that is a good thing.
The Boat shape had a very similar thing. I was VERY quiet. I was a little disappointed but played it a bunch anyway and today. Sounds more open and bright and I love strumming it. It is still towards the quiet end but more open and full sounding without any muted sounds to it. Great to strum and the sound is really wonderful. I have changed my mind on this one too and will keep it. Nice work Mike!!!

I have been buying like crazy lately and got a Mele Pineapple, Koloa Soprano, Ohana Long Neck Soprano and the 2 Mainlands. Looks wise, the Mainlands are handsdown the prettiest. Sound wise, they are both just below the Ohana due to price. The Ohana was cheap and is such a great uke and sounds like magic(I absolutely LOVE my Ohana...what a great find!). If they all cost the same, I would give it to the Mainlands(well maybe the Bushman?). So, no sound clips, no pic's but I gave you my impressions anyway and I am getting happier as the minutes go by.:D

bazmaz
11-16-2009, 07:44 AM
wow fella, this thread came up via a search, and i can't believe you had no replies - great reviews! Thanks

RevWill
11-16-2009, 08:18 AM
Solid wood "opens up" over time. You know how strings take a while to settle in before they play in tune and sound their best? Wood that has been bent, shaped, glued and finished does the same thing only on a different scale. Subtle changes due to sonic vibrations and climate factors coupled with plain old time cause the wood to settle in so that it can resonate freely as a single piece.

I have heard of musicians leaning their new acoustic instruments against stereo speakers or subwoofers so that vibrations pass through the wood and help the "opening up" process. I have also heard of breaking an instrument in by running it through the paces daily, playing extra-aggressively for periods of time until the wood settles.

A buddy of mine has a Martin guitar from the 70s. He always thought it sounded muffled until one night he accidentally left it in the trunk of his car in sub-freezing temperatures. He brought it inside, lifted the case open, and could actually hear the finish checking. He cringed to think what he had done to his instrument - until it warmed up and he played it. He said the top opened up immediately and the guitar rings like a bell ever since.

I do NOT recommend that as a break-in method for your uke though. He was lucky!

I've been thinking about those boat-shaped sopranos, just like I think about the pineapples and figure 8 sopranos. Mainlands are great, and Mike is even better than great.

I'm just waiting to get famous so Mike will offer me an endorsement deal and I can have one of everything.

Mouthy1
11-16-2009, 09:48 AM
Yes, i was a little surprised no one replied either but I was doing my good deed just like so many before me. It has REALLY opened up since I wrote this and it sounds terrific and is a ton louder while still sounding perfect. Almost sounds like a classical instrument(the concert by the way). The boat shape is pretty quiet but it is a blast to play. I like playing that Subaru Outback song on it since it sounds so tiny. Oh, and I am still impressed with how pretty they are.

I started to think no one liked me....

kluson
11-16-2009, 11:20 AM
good review many thanks
Mainland stuff is great

phanzo
11-16-2009, 11:23 AM
Yes, i was a little surprised no one replied either but I was doing my good deed just like so many before me. It has REALLY opened up since I wrote this and it sounds terrific and is a ton louder while still sounding perfect. Almost sounds like a classical instrument(the concert by the way). The boat shape is pretty quiet but it is a blast to play. I like playing that Subaru Outback song on it since it sounds so tiny. Oh, and I am still impressed with how pretty they are.

I started to think no one liked me....

of course we like you!!! :D

I have a Mainland Honeybee Soprano (Facotry 2nd) that I bought used from a fellow UU'er. Since I got it used, it was really loud, right of the box, so I was a bit suprised to hear that yours were quiet (since I always heard the opposite, as well). However, I also knew that it would get louder with time due to the solid wood (which I'm glad yours did).

I had been saving money to get a K brand (either cocnert, super-concert, or tenor; still havent decided) but after getting my Mainland, I thought that maybe I would rather save about $600 and go with a Mainland slotted headstock cocert with mi-si.

So since you have so many concerts, how does the Mainland hold up to the rest?

Mouthy1
11-16-2009, 12:15 PM
Finally someone is validating me.... ha ha

The Mainland does very well. I love my Pono Koa concert, very sweet sound. Very quiet and I can strum and watch TV. The Tangi is very unique and I love playing it since it was cheap and has a slightly louder sound and a unique sound. Great Uke also. The Bushman is WAAAAYYYY louder than the Mainland and it sounds super!. Actually is too high so that part makes it played less but boy does it sound loud and beautiful. I have a Koloa soprano that has Worths on it and it sounds plinky and soprano-e so I play it for songs that should sound like that. I have a Mele Pineapple concert that sounds more generic to me because I have such great ukes. I have more but that is mostly the concerts. the Kala Acacia Tenor is such an amazing sounding uke but I don't tend to play it since it is a tenor for some reason even though I should!!! The Ohana Long Neck Soprano is Marvelous! Get one!

Soooooo....the Mainland is like a fine instrument sound with a wide variety of sounds and very full with lots of depth. Is any of this making any sense? Did I mention I have no musical talent and the Mainland makes me sound like I have a clue?

phanzo
11-16-2009, 11:10 PM
for a while I thought about getting a Kala acacia. Why dont you play it much?

if you were only able to play one of your ukes (you have to get rid of all of your ukes, except one), which would you keep?

I, of course, really want to get a k brand, but I am afraid that the extra money spent will not be worth it. I know that k brands are "amazing" but with my ability, will I be just as happy with a Mainland Concert or a Kala Acacia Tenor?

Man, these questions kill me. :anyone:

bazmaz
11-16-2009, 11:46 PM
I am really really hankering for one of the Mainland boat paddle ukes. I think they are a short production run, so I do hope they dont run out..

dentuke
11-17-2009, 04:01 AM
Yes, i was a little surprised no one replied either but I was doing my good deed just like so many before me. It has REALLY opened up since I wrote this and it sounds terrific and is a ton louder while still sounding perfect. Almost sounds like a classical instrument(the concert by the way). The boat shape is pretty quiet but it is a blast to play. I like playing that Subaru Outback song on it since it sounds so tiny. Oh, and I am still impressed with how pretty they are.

I started to think no one liked me....


I had a couple of tabs for you that I was going to email you ....one of them was the Subaru one.....

BTW: If you're looking for a nice underrated concert uke try the Ohana 70rb...Mike has tehm for 159.00 shipped second day ups
http://cgi.ebay.com/Ohana-CONCERT-solid-sprucetop-CK-70RB-Ukulele-w-case_W0QQitemZ250529160830QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item3a54b39e7e

Mouthy1
11-17-2009, 06:13 AM
Thanks Carlos,I appreciate it. Dentuke sent me some cool stuff and I really appreciate it. The Subaru song is soooo easy and really fun. I am currently driving my wife crazy with it. I actually see the Ohana plastic back and wondered about it. Would be nice to have another cheap travel uke.

As far as what one I would keep. I would have to say it would be the Ohana long neck soprano because it is so many things in one. That wouldn't be easy for sure but it is great and i don't mind playing it all the time. Not sure on that but probably. The Acacia Tenor is amazing for sure but I just haven't played it much. Probably because it is a tenor and I haven't really got into Tenors yet. It sounds great and no one in their right mind would be disappointed but it just doesn't get played.

The "K" brands: I am by no means a great player but I have played all the K brands and I have a wonderful Koa Pono but they are too nice and I don't always feel as comfortable picking it up and playing it because it is too pretty to set on the counter. It gets played less then some of the others even though it is fantastic.

Apparently I will do anything to get out of real work since I have been typing like crazy.