View Full Version : A Visit to "Mainland"...

12-28-2009, 02:12 PM
Today was a great day for a drive through the light snow covered landscape of West to South Central Indiana and visit the "Mainland Uke" shop in Nashville, IN. I blame and thank you all here at UU as it was the discovery here that led me to the Mainland.

I will have to say that in all my years of guitar shopping and now the search for "the" Uke... I have never met anyone as patient, cordial, interesting and just an all around good guy as "Mike". I would have searched online in the most anal and consuming ways for the right Uke if I had not discovered Mainland was less than 90 minutes away from me. Mike was kind enough to have a few requested tenors ready for me and it did not take long to satisfy my tonal palate for mahogany over red cedar & rosewood.

Mike's "boss" was very kind and promptly changed the tuning key knobs from ebony to MOP. While I waited, I browsed and found every Uke was set up very nice and I found everything quite impressive. It was an unexpected treat to get my hands and ears around a Fluke, Vineyard and other varieties.

My visit was refreshing as Mike and I talked bees, prairie restoration, blue stem grasses, music of course and a bit of "Hoosier speak". In all my travels for guitars having collected them over the past 30 years.... not even my visits to Elderly were as pleasing as an hour or so with Mike.

A great day, a great deal, and a very good lunch recommendation :) Thanks Mike.... I am already thinking about the next one and the festival in June !


12-28-2009, 05:29 PM
That is awesome, Doug! So...where are the pics? :D

12-28-2009, 05:44 PM
That is awesome, Doug! So...where are the pics? :DFor real, we need pics! :D

Glad your visit went so well!

Ahnko Honu
12-28-2009, 06:08 PM

12-28-2009, 10:32 PM
So what made you pick the Mahogany or the Red Cedar?

12-29-2009, 03:01 AM
Thanks for this Thread Dougccox. I am currently going through the Anal Internet searcing through web sites and message boads and blogs and of course asking the folks on UU. Throughout my searching I seem to comeup with nothing but people with your same oppinion. I am done. as soon as I have the moeny, I will be ordering my Mainland. Actually, as soon as I have the money and can decide on a Conert or Tenor also. Did you have the oppertunity to see a Slotted head model during your visit. If you did, did you happen to find out if it effectsthe sound in any way? I have also decide like you to go mahogany. Did you go Glossy of Matted? Also, like you I like the MOP. I have to decide on the Tenor or Concert soon. I may flip a coin at this point. Do you have any sugestions? I am a play at home type of playe and have no intentions of playng out except maybe the beach on vaction. do you have any opinion on what which model would be best for me? I have been playing since October so I am open to all opinions. Thanks again for your thread. Be well

12-29-2009, 03:30 AM
Rob and David... I will try and answer all the questions.

1. As for choosing the mahogany over red cedar/rosewood..... the mahogany had better tonal range and balance across all strings G > A. I thought the red cedar was less definitive between the strings and perhaps while crisp, did not have the note for note individual string character of the mahogany and was not as resonant or sustain as long as the mahogany. My previous experience with mahogany and spruce and cedar is that the cedar has a quicker decay than sustain. Both had Aquila strings so I consider my A/B comparison test worthy to "my" ear. "Tone" is so hard to describe and the beauty of it is that we each "hear" differently.

2. As for the matte and gloss.... I LOVE the matte, but the gloss screamed "class"... The matte was the gorgeous "girl next door", while the gloss was "Coste de Pablo" dressed to steal hearts. Not that it really matters to me but it was just too beautiful and the gloss brought out the unique richness of the wood grain. I would be equally happy with the matte finish. the gloss just has a unique character that you cannot look away from...... if that makes sense.

3. I did not see a slotted headstock model. Personally, my experience with nylon strings and slotted headstocks is that I notice no difference, but perhaps I more into intonation, tonal balance across the register and resonant sustain versus decay.

4. As for tenor over concert.... the tenor scale is just plain more comfy to me. If you plan to play up the neck at any level, I cannot imagine the more cramped concert. My first was a concert "big island" and I quickly decided a tenor was my only choice. I did an A/B comparison test on Aldrine's "Brown Eyed Girl" lesson and the basic up the neck progression was 10 times easier for me on the tenor. But, alas I am a guitar player making the transition, but to me the tenor is the logical choice for me and MY hands.

I hope this helps...


12-29-2009, 02:46 PM
Oh my gosh! I am so psyched to have discovered UU, and then to find that there's an awesome uke shop just an hour from my house! I think a see a new tenor uke for me in the not too distant future... time for a trip to Mainland!!