View Full Version : I've been to Mainland heaven..

01-24-2010, 06:52 PM
I just happened to be in the neighborhood of the Mainland Ukes store this weekend (I actually don't live all that far away), so I just HAD to stop in to check it out.

And can I just say, "WOW!!!!". I've never seen so many ukes all in one place! Should I get a soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone? Hey, I'll just try them all! Mahogany, cedar, or mango? Gee, I'll just play them each and see how they sound! Oh, and look! Here's a lovely cutaway tenor... I'll try that one out! How cool! I can get to all those teeny frets at the top! Glossy or matte finish? I'll compare them side by side and see which looks best! What about a MISI pickup? I'll just plug one into this amp here and try it out!!

I have to say, I ended up buying EXACTLY what I had it mind before I went there: a glossy-finish mahogany concert with a MISI pickup. Most of what I'd read here on UU about the Mainlands was spot on. They're wonderful ukes at a great price. The mahogany and cedar both sound great, but they are quite different from each other. I'd describe mahogany as a mellow, rich, fuller sound, where the deeper tones resonate through a bit more. The cedar sounded clean, crisp, and brighter to my ears. The only mango Mike had was a soprano, and I'd say it was pretty similar to the mahogany.

The matte vs glossy finish doesn't seem to have any effect on sound. They're both nice looking, but I preferred the glossy.

The MISI pickup is really cool, too. It just seemed silly NOT to get one!

And once I made my choice of what to get, it was so nice to be able to look at several different concerts and pick out the one with the wood grain pattern I liked the best. What a treat!

And, of course, the very best thing of all about Mainland Ukes is Mike and his wife! They're both super-duper nice, and were very patient as I tried out tons and tons of ukes.

So, add me to the group of happy Mainland owners. I consider myself really fortunate that I got to try them all out in person!

- Jill

Hobgoblin Steve
01-24-2010, 06:56 PM
I can say for myself at least, I cannot WAIT to preorder a Mango concert.

01-24-2010, 08:13 PM
That sounds like a great trip. My wife and I made our way through there right after New Year's. For one thing, the town is terrific and seemed artsy, the countryside is beautiful. Anyone considering going to UWC in June is in for a treat. I wish I didn't live so far away, for I would love to road trip back in the summer. Unfortunately, Mike was out when we got there, but Tookta took great care of us and I didn't leave empty handed. It's great that you got the MiSi too. If Mike had been around and we weren't in such a hurry to get back on the road (we were dealing with the "arctic blast: storm of the century") I might have been inclined to hang around and ask him to install one for me. But I do love my concert mahogany gloss as it is and if I do get back in the summer, maybe I can bring it with and have the pickup installed. :)

Congrats and have fun with your new uke!

01-24-2010, 08:19 PM
What a wonderful story. Can't wait to go to UWC to meet Mike and his wife. Thank you for sharing.

01-24-2010, 10:48 PM
Sounds like a great place! :)

01-25-2010, 03:38 AM
That sounds incredible. It makes me even more excited to meet them and see some Mainlands in person this June.

I already know that when I can afford to buy another uke it's definitely going to be a Mainland tenor (hopefully mango in matte) -- I just hope I can afford to buy one by June so I can pick it up in person :D

Papa Dave
01-25-2010, 04:52 AM
Thank you for sharing "heaven" and congratulations on your new uke! It sounded like you had a great experience.

01-25-2010, 05:05 AM
any pics of the store/shop? So interesting!... unfortunately I'm located too far away to see in person...

01-25-2010, 05:41 AM
Same uke I've got!

Good choice!

Joe H
01-25-2010, 05:49 AM
Great story. I have been thinking of making the trip there this summer. I've been looking at the sopranos, and I've been dying to try them out.

01-25-2010, 06:04 AM
I'm all set to go to UWC2010 in June, and one of the things I look forward to most is having the experience you just described. I want to buy a Mainland, but I want to do it in person at the store. I want to see, touch, feel, hear. I want to actually know the difference between sizes, hear the difference between tone woods, see the difference in finishes.

I've already contacted Mike (Hoosierhiver), and he assures me that he expects to be well stocked with ukes for the occasion. I can't wait! I'm leaning toward a concert, perhaps slotted headstock. Tending toward mahogany, although I want to see and hear the mango....I've heard great reviews. Almost positive about glossy rather than matte, and would love the MISI system (although that's strictly a money issue).

The only thing better than getting to go to UWC is getting to go and coming home with the perfect (for me) brand-new Mainland uke!