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aussieuke
05-07-2008, 05:13 PM
Hi everyone
Ive been playing the uke now for about 6 months, and love it, at the moment i only have a cheap one, as i wanted to see if i would stick to it before i got a better one. And well i have so its time to upgrade. Not to a full on expensive one just yet, but just something a little bit better than the one i have now. Just wanted to know if any one knows anything about a martin HS-O uke or greg bennets ukes. Or any one in australia know where to get a good one from, i know i can order it off the net, but i dont want to order one before picking it up and playing it, as i some ukes just dont feel right. Know what im saying. anyway any help would be great.

seeso
05-07-2008, 07:01 PM
Have you taken a look at the Acoustic Centre (http://www.acousticcentre.com.au/Text/1137029994015-9752/Ukuleles) in Melbourne? They seem to have a wide range of ukes.

LonBoi808
05-07-2008, 07:52 PM
u can check out ukes.com for some ukes i think they got all the brands

14twelve
05-08-2008, 01:23 AM
Hi Aussieuke,

I haven't tried the Martin, but I have the Greg Bennett concert size - it's not a bad beginner's uke. You need to change the strings straight away though, as the ones it comes with sound awful. I've got Aquilas on mine now, and it sounds heaps better. I did a review in the UU Reviews section, so you can get to it here:

Greg Bennett Review (http://ukuleleunderground.com/ukereviews/viewReviews.php?modelID=372&manufacturerID=21)

And have a click around in the reviews section (http://ukuleleunderground.com/ukereviews/) as there are Kalas and Fleas reviewed, which you can sometimes find in Australia.

What part of Australia are you from? Seems like Sydney, Cairns and Melbourne have some good music stores that know about ukes. In Brisbane the best one is Arties up at Aspley. I got mine there.

If you're near Cairns, or are able to order on eBay, musiccitycairns are good (that's their eBay store name). I bought my Flea from them - very helpful and very fast in posting it and take the time to answer any questions you may have.

I know what you mean about not ordering before playing it - I'm having that problem at the moment as I want to add a tenor to my collection, but I'd suggest looking up the brand you're interested in on YouTube. Someone has probably made a video playing it, so you can get an idea of the sound.

Good luck! And when you get one, post a pic :)

Gaby
05-08-2008, 02:18 AM
Hi Guys,

I am Gaby from Music City in Cairns. Thanks, 14twelve, for the reference. I am a uke player and have been fortunate enough to play a large amount of ukes out there in the market place. I also run our local ukulele club.

When I fell in love with the uke myself, I found out that there are hardly any decent ukes available in Australia. I searched all over the world and even went to a large trade fair in the US early this year to be able to meet all those uke makers and important people (Ko'Aloha, Ko'olau, Jumpin Jim, etc), and play as many ukes as possible. Our selection at the shop is what I consider the pick of the bunch. All for different reasons. A big part of our collection is listed on eBay (but not everything), stores.ebay.com.au/musiccitycairns
We get new ukes and accessories in all the time, so check back regularly.

Of course, it is not nice to have to buy a ukulele online or over the phone, however, I always try to describe a uke as accurately as possible, and am more than happy to help you decide. On top of that, we offer a return policy. So if you are unhappy with your uke you may return it within a week and you will receive a full store credit (except from the postage costs), allowing you to pick another uke (or any other item in our store). However, as you can see in our eBay feedback, all our customers are extremely satisfied.

I will never bag a brand, and we used to stock the brands you mentioned, but let me suffice with just saying that we don't anymore. There is so much more out there than what the average shop in Australia stocks! I am more than happy to talk about the various ukes. Just give me a call after midday at the shop, 07 40516826.

14twelve, why are you looking for a tenor sized uke?

Cheers,

Gaby

UkuLeLesReggAe
05-08-2008, 02:32 AM
When I fell in love with the uke myself, I found out that there are hardly any decent ukes available in Australia.

Cheers,

Gaby

Come on... "hardly any decent ukes" the 'only' decent ukes in Aussie are yours, unless there is another shop.. i want to open up a ukulele store when i get older.. i think it will hit around my area..

Once i have my car paid off ill be buying ukuleles here and there.

anyways, Gaby i still plan on buying a ukulele from you :D :D I just want to search around a bit for the cheapest (exact model) Concert flea tiki ukulele with rosewood fretboard... But if yours is only about $30 more i will buy from you :D :D including postage... hmm, ill prob end up buying from you.

14twelve
05-08-2008, 04:09 AM
14twelve, why are you looking for a tenor sized uke?



Hi Gaby, I'm tossing up two ideas at the moment - a solid wood soprano, or a tenor. I've been playing Karen's archtop when she brings it over, and I like the difference in sound, so like the idea of having a contrast between my flea and a tenor, but I also like the idea of having a solid wood instrument (again, a big contrast in sound). I'm loving my flea though, and now that I've put the Aquila strings on my Greg Bennett, it's sounding good too, so it will probably be a while before I make a decision :)

pwnoman
05-08-2008, 11:46 AM
hey aussieuke I know what you are going through. My cousin and picked up some cheap $30 uke's and fell in love playing them. about 5 months ago I too decided to upgrade to the next level I bought a Cordoba 25ck on black friday at the guitar center near D.C. in the US. It set me back about $200 dollars. When I got the uke I was very pleased I took it to college and the neck of it began to twist. Now just about all the cords have a disgusting buzz to them and I can no longer even play the first fret A string. It was a real bummer and I had to move back to my $30 cheap uke.

I know I am going to be playing my uke for a good while so I decided to cut my loses and go for a nice uke with a little insurance. I just purchased a Pono ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ELECTRIC-PONO-MAHOGANY-SPRUCETOP-TENOR-DELUXE-UKULELE_W0QQitemZ230250755709QQihZ013QQcategoryZ16 224QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) which was a little more expensive but it comes with truss rod in the neck of the ukulele to help prevent or bend back the neck if warping occurs and it comes with a 5 year.

My advise would just be that if you are sure this is something you have a great interest in and will be playing for years it might be best for the long if you pay a little extra. I understand that the probability of the same problem occurring to your ukulele is slim, but believe me it is no fun have to pay almost double because a mid to low grade uke craps out on you.

tad
05-09-2008, 11:05 AM
hey aussieuke I know what you are going through. My cousin and picked up some cheap $30 uke's and fell in love playing them. about 5 months ago I too decided to upgrade to the next level I bought a Cordoba 25ck on black friday at the guitar center near D.C. in the US. It set me back about $200 dollars. When I got the uke I was very pleased I took it to college and the neck of it began to twist. Now just about all the cords have a disgusting buzz to them and I can no longer even play the first fret A string. It was a real bummer and I had to move back to my $30 cheap uke.

I know I am going to be playing my uke for a good while so I decided to cut my loses and go for a nice uke with a little insurance. I just purchased a Pono ( http://cgi.ebay.com/ELECTRIC-PONO-MAHOGANY-SPRUCETOP-TENOR-DELUXE-UKULELE_W0QQitemZ230250755709QQihZ013QQcategoryZ16 224QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem) which was a little more expensive but it comes with truss rod in the neck of the ukulele to help prevent or bend back the neck if warping occurs and it comes with a 5 year.

My advise would just be that if you are sure this is something you have a great interest in and will be playing for years it might be best for the long if you pay a little extra. I understand that the probability of the same problem occurring to your ukulele is slim, but believe me it is no fun have to pay almost double because a mid to low grade uke craps out on you.

Which Guitar Center is that? Fairfax? I tried to play the Cordoba there, and I couldn't get any help getting it off the wall... (It was hung practically from the ceiling.)

Glad I didn't pick that one up...

deach
05-09-2008, 11:09 AM
I played a soprano and a concert at the one in Seven Corners last week. The soprano was ok, the concert was pretty nice but over-priced. Now the Taylor T5 guitar I played was awesome! but that's a whole different story....

Gaby
05-09-2008, 08:59 PM
Hi all,

With interest I read the story about the Cordobas.

Unfortunately, warping or bending of necks happens to the best of instruments, most often due to exposure to different temperatures and climates (e.g. think about how cold your uke gets if it would be in the storage part of the plane (not in the cabin)). Warping is more like a twisting, but the problem described above sounds like the neck bent backwards. This happens mostly when you take your instrument from a hot to a cold climate or from a humid to a dry place.

I would take it to a luthier for professional advice, as I cannot look at the instrument myself.

Sure, trussrods are a solution, but made the neck very heavy and affect the tone(that's why you will never find a trussrod in a real Spanish nylon string guitar).

Matthew, as for prices, you know I am very competitive! :cool: I should have the Tiki uke in stock the end of this month, so let's talk then!

Tenors or solid sopranos...that's a big difference! Personally I prefer the tone of sopranos and concerts, and the scale of concerts. But some people like the longer-scale necks of tenors... Karen's archtop is a non-typical tenor in the sense that the acoustic tone is very mellow (helped by the Aquila strings, which are definitely the most suitable strings on this uke I reckon). Many tenors have a bit more of a guitar-ish sound.

We have lots of tenors coming in next week, cutaway electrics, plus more archtops. If you like I can send you a comparison once I have them in stock.

Also more Ohana and Pono sopranos coming in. Happy to give you all comparisons of these ukes any time!

Howlin Hobbit
05-10-2008, 08:08 AM
Sure, trussrods are a solution, but made the neck very heavy and affect the tone(that's why you will never find a trussrod in a real Spanish nylon string guitar).

My Glyph has a carbon fiber reinforcing rod in the neck (so it's not a true -- i.e. adjustable -- truss rod) but it doesn't appreciably add to the weight and the neck is not going to bend in any direction until you get to some extreme conditions.

I don't think any "factory" made ukes do that sort of thing though.

Gaby
05-10-2008, 02:33 PM
That sounds like a good idea, a carbon fibre reinforcement! I have not come across this concept before (though I have read about non-adjustable trussrods). Carbon fibre is actually pretty good material to make instruments with and is indeed extremely strong.

For the sceptics out there, have a look at Michael DaSilva's proto type with carbon fibre top and wood back and sides (www.ukemaker.com). I played it and it's awesome! Loud and well-balanced.