PDA

View Full Version : Mele + Braddah Ukes



FromTheWayside
01-30-2010, 06:03 PM
Hi All -

I have a quick question about two brands of ukes. I've stumbled on a few "Braddah" ukes, and I was wondering a few things.

What is the Bruddah uke's relation to Mele ukes?
What is the quality of said ukes?
Can you still buy Braddah ukes?

Any info on them would be appreciated, as Google and Wiki searches haven't been very fruitful.

Thanks! :D

Skaluke
01-30-2010, 07:01 PM
Hi,

as far as I know is Braddah the name Mele used for its all mahagony line until a couple of years ago. Therefore, you usuallyu will only find second hand models. I have a concert pinapple which is made well (typical mele quality) and has a good sound. It has a more mellow tone, and I have it as my low g concert.
Hope that helps
Skaluke

SuperSecretBETA
01-30-2010, 07:34 PM
What is the Braddah Ukes' relation to Mele?
They're both designed by the same person, Michael Rock. Braddah Ukes was a previous name to his company. All Braddah ukuleles are solid mahogany construction. Mele offers koa wood as an option. The designs are the same.

What is the quality of said ukes?
The quality is there where it needs to be. Both Braddah and Mele ukes are initially assembled in the Philippines and finished in Maui. If I had to gripe about something, it would be the headstock label; it's a veneer rather than an inlay. Of course, this doesn't really affect the sound. Also, if you're going to buy new from Mele, a hard case will cost you $40-50. Unfortunately, they aren't included with the prices. One thing that distinguishes itself from the others is its incredibly thin neck. It might take a little bit getting used to. Whether or not it's an advantage is up to the player. I've grown accustom to it, but good luck getting a Shubb capo on it... hahah. I don't use capo on ukulele anyway.

Can you still buy Braddah Ukes?
Every once in a while, you'll find one used on ebay. Nothing wrong with used. I'm guessing it would be cheaper than a new Mele mahogany. Personally, I love used Mele/Braddah ukuleles.

haolejohn
01-30-2010, 08:05 PM
The braddah line was Mele's solid mahaghany line until 2003ish (could be wrong on that date). Mele itself was for the koa line but then Mele decided to make all their ukes Meles. I have owned 2 braddah ukes and I'd like to get one more b/c they are a little bit less expensive than the current mele line. The only way to get a braddah is by getting a used one but you can get a Mele mahaghany which is the same thing. Supersecretbeta brought up my only complaint which is their headstock decal. I asked Cheryl Rock about it and she told me it was to save cost for customers. Great company and I always recommend a Mele or a Braddah.

FromTheWayside
01-31-2010, 08:42 AM
Hi,

as far as I know is Braddah the name Mele used for its all mahagony line until a couple of years ago. Therefore, you usuallyu will only find second hand models. I have a concert pinapple which is made well (typical mele quality) and has a good sound. It has a more mellow tone, and I have it as my low g concert.
Hope that helps
Skaluke

That does help! Thanks for the tip. I was a little worried it might have been a subsidiary to Mele, and thus a lesser uke (for those of you familiar with guitars, a situation like Squier and Fender, or Epiphone and Gibson). Do you have a sound-sample or a YT video lying around somewhere? I'd love to hear your uke.

FromTheWayside
01-31-2010, 09:13 AM
What is the Braddah Ukes' relation to Mele?
They're both designed by the same person, Michael Rock. Braddah Ukes was a previous name to his company. All Braddah ukuleles are solid mahogany construction. Mele offers koa wood as an option. The designs are the same.

What is the quality of said ukes?
The quality is there where it needs to be. Both Braddah and Mele ukes are initially assembled in the Philippines and finished in Maui. If I had to gripe about something, it would be the headstock label; it's a veneer rather than an inlay. Of course, this doesn't really affect the sound. Also, if you're going to buy new from Mele, a hard case will cost you $40-50. Unfortunately, they aren't included with the prices. One thing that distinguishes itself from the others is its incredibly thin neck. It might take a little bit getting used to. Whether or not it's an advantage is up to the player. I've grown accustom to it, but good luck getting a Shubb capo on it... hahah. I don't use capo on ukulele anyway.

Can you still buy Braddah Ukes?
Every once in a while, you'll find one used on ebay. Nothing wrong with used. I'm guessing it would be cheaper than a new Mele mahogany. Personally, I love used Mele/Braddah ukuleles.

Wait, so...people actually play uke with a capo? That's sort of news to me. I've tried it, of course, but only with limited success. What songs do you even use a capo for?

I dunno about this headstock veneer business. Is it a sticker that could come off, or what? I have a grasp of what an inlay is (I'm thinking of Ko'olau headstocks), but I don't think I quite understand what a veneer would be. When you say incredibly thin necks, how thin are we talking? When I think of thin necks, I think of Ibanez guitars and ridiculous shreding...but that's probably not a useful comparison. Enlighten me, please?

haolejohn
01-31-2010, 10:24 AM
Wait, so...people actually play uke with a capo? That's sort of news to me. I've tried it, of course, but only with limited success. What songs do you even use a capo for?

I dunno about this headstock veneer business. Is it a sticker that could come off, or what? I have a grasp of what an inlay is (I'm thinking of Ko'olau headstocks), but I don't think I quite understand what a veneer would be. When you say incredibly thin necks, how thin are we talking? When I think of thin necks, I think of Ibanez guitars and ridiculous shreding...but that's probably not a useful comparison. Enlighten me, please?

If you go to my YT page I have a sound clip of a solid koa mele and I show the headstock. I also have a sound comparison of the mele that SSB has (used to be mine) and the double puka. I never got around to making a video with the two braddhas I had (one was concert and one was a 6 string tenor) but they did sound good. If you can find a sound sample of a mahaghany it'll be the same thing.

haolejohn
01-31-2010, 11:02 AM
The neck is thinner than normal but I found that I like that. It is supposed to make playing faster but I'm not a shredder. Koalohas have a similiar neck that the Meles have. The pono neck is much thicker.

FromTheWayside
01-31-2010, 11:31 AM
If you go to my YT page I have a sound clip of a solid koa mele and I show the headstock. I also have a sound comparison of the mele that SSB has (used to be mine) and the double puka. I never got around to making a video with the two braddhas I had (one was concert and one was a 6 string tenor) but they did sound good. If you can find a sound sample of a mahaghany it'll be the same thing.

I just watched both videos - the one of the double puka and the one of the uke that used to be yours. From the videos, I think I have a slight preference for the double puka, but it's hard to say after only one listen (and on YT).

A quick inspection of YT yielded a lot of videos about concert-scale mahogany (edit: Mele) ukes, but not tenor-scale. Go figure. Maybe if I end up with one, I'll have to put up some videos. How did you like your 6-string tenor, by the way?

haolejohn
01-31-2010, 11:44 AM
I just watched both videos - the one of the double puka and the one of the uke that used to be yours. From the videos, I think I have a slight preference for the double puka, but it's hard to say after only one listen (and on YT).

A quick inspection of YT yielded a lot of videos about concert-scale mahogany (edit: Mele) ukes, but not tenor-scale. Go figure. Maybe if I end up with one, I'll have to put up some videos. How did you like your 6-string tenor, by the way?

Both mine were tenors. My braddahs were a concert and a tenor. I loved my 6 string. I only sold it along with the koa top to fund a pono 8 string mango uke. Big mistake on my part. I lost 2 awesome ukes and got a uke I no longer have. The guy that bought my 6 string looked into getting my 8 string and I offered him a trade of the 8 string for the 6 string. He wouldn't do it. It was a loud and neat sounding uke. My next mele will problly be a 6 string concert or tenor in mahaghany.

SuperSecretBETA
01-31-2010, 01:39 PM
Wait, so...people actually play uke with a capo? That's sort of news to me. I've tried it, of course, but only with limited success. What songs do you even use a capo for?

I dunno about this headstock veneer business. Is it a sticker that could come off, or what? I have a grasp of what an inlay is (I'm thinking of Ko'olau headstocks), but I don't think I quite understand what a veneer would be. When you say incredibly thin necks, how thin are we talking? When I think of thin necks, I think of Ibanez guitars and ridiculous shreding...but that's probably not a useful comparison. Enlighten me, please?

About using a capo... sometimes I use B tuning (f#BD#G#), and I get too lazy to tune it back up to C tuning for certain things. Capos really just get in the way for ukuleles. I don't recommend it.

The veneer can't really come off. It's kind of like a really thin sticker (practically immeasurable) but adheres well to the headstock. It's on there for good. Maybe it's applied with heat or something.

The neck is about a 0.5 inch thick near the head from the back of the neck to the fretboard. It gradually increases in thickness but not by much (~5/8" thick at the 10th fret).

FromTheWayside
02-03-2010, 07:05 PM
The braddah line was Mele's solid mahaghany line until 2003ish (could be wrong on that date). Mele itself was for the koa line but then Mele decided to make all their ukes Meles. I have owned 2 braddah ukes and I'd like to get one more b/c they are a little bit less expensive than the current mele line. The only way to get a braddah is by getting a used one but you can get a Mele mahaghany which is the same thing. Supersecretbeta brought up my only complaint which is their headstock decal. I asked Cheryl Rock about it and she told me it was to save cost for customers. Great company and I always recommend a Mele or a Braddah.

Okay. Hmm...I'll have to look into getting one of these. The headstock decal sounds a little bit lame, but if that's the biggest complaint anyone can muster against a Braddah, well...they must be good ukes. Are they hard to take off? I don't really care about resale value because I rarely sell my instruments, unless they just don't fit me (had a Jackson Randy Rhodes flying-V when I was a bit younger...but that's a story for another time).

haolejohn
02-04-2010, 02:04 AM
Okay. Hmm...I'll have to look into getting one of these. The headstock decal sounds a little bit lame, but if that's the biggest complaint anyone can muster against a Braddah, well...they must be good ukes. Are they hard to take off? I don't really care about resale value because I rarely sell my instruments, unless they just don't fit me (had a Jackson Randy Rhodes flying-V when I was a bit younger...but that's a story for another time).

The logo doesn't look terrible. It just doesn't look as nice as an inlayed or engraved logo. I thought one time about taking mine off and I don't think it could be done. Or it wouldn't be worth doing. Good luck finding a braddah uke. A regular Mele is the same thing. So just because it doesn't say braddah doesn't mean it isn't good. I think there is a 6 string on ebay but I thought the price was kinda high.

FromTheWayside
02-04-2010, 09:40 AM
The logo doesn't look terrible. It just doesn't look as nice as an inlayed or engraved logo. I thought one time about taking mine off and I don't think it could be done. Or it wouldn't be worth doing. Good luck finding a braddah uke. A regular Mele is the same thing. So just because it doesn't say braddah doesn't mean it isn't good. I think there is a 6 string on ebay but I thought the price was kinda high.

I guess I'll see it when I get it...I was the one who ended up winning the 6-stringer on eBay. It seemed like a good price compared to a new Mele, but I figure if I don't like it, I could resell it and get something else. Who knows? Can't say until I have it in my hands...which won't happen for another 5 days or so, sadly.

haolejohn
02-04-2010, 10:58 AM
I guess I'll see it when I get it...I was the one who ended up winning the 6-stringer on eBay. It seemed like a good price compared to a new Mele, but I figure if I don't like it, I could resell it and get something else. Who knows? Can't say until I have it in my hands...which won't happen for another 5 days or so, sadly.

If you decide you don't like it and it is in good shape let me know. I'd be interested in it maybe.

rpfrogner
09-05-2010, 02:33 PM
Haaaaa.......wow......I was just trying to find out more about the Braddah uke I have (6 string which I love), and guess what? I'll be darned if the last thread was about the one that I have. Yes, I did have interest in the Mango 8 string, but I couldn't let go of this Mele. I bought it through a 3rd party, but by happenstance ended up in contact with the gentleman who had owned it previously while I was looking at another uke. He is a very nice gentleman. Very soon you will see it in my next YouTube post (it has a great sound).

sharp21
07-10-2011, 06:54 PM
Ive got a Braddah baritone & it is a fantastic uke! I got it from a hawaiian gentleman that lives here in town, who got it in hawaii in 1995. He had them do a custom dolphin inlay at the 5th fret & 2 little ones on the bridge.

That man recently turned 70 incidentally & he taught me to play Crazy G

S.

cluetrain
02-24-2016, 10:35 AM
Hello FromTheWayside, I noticed other posts about Braddah as I had the same question and found a little history here (as a newb in the forum I apologize if this has already been posted): http://www.easyukulele.com/mele-ukulele.html "Michael Rock who created the beloved Mele Uke first moved to Hawaii intent on starting a business making wooden furniture. This led him into the creation of the Mele "Some of the top names in the genre started playing his instruments, and this brought him a substantial amount of renown. In the early 90s, he started Hawaiian Instrument Designs, or HID Maui. Once this brand was off and running, he was able to improve the techniques used for creating the instruments, and he was able to add a number of features to them. In 1995, he introduced Braddah Ukuleles, which became extraordinarily popular."

"The 90s were a great time for the instrument, as it really began to see a huge resurgence in popularity. In fact, ukes, and the Mele ukulele, were selling so quickly that Rock actually had to open up a separate factory just so they could produce the number of ukes that were in demand. The factory is in Waiehu, while the store is in Wailuku."

With Mele Uke, they’ve solidified their place as one of the top uke makers in the world. They offer up a wide range of different lines, and all of them are popular with uke players. It is possible to find models that are ideal for students who are just starting to learn the instrument all the way up to semi-professional ukuleles. While Rock is not able to make all of the instruments himself, all of them are still handmade using their special two-part process.

"One of the reasons that people love these ukuleles is the fact that they are actually quite affordable, which is stunning when you consider that they are handmade and very high quality. They are a great buy for just about any uke player."

deschutestrout
02-24-2016, 10:48 AM
The logo doesn't look terrible. It just doesn't look as nice as an inlayed or engraved logo. I thought one time about taking mine off and I don't think it could be done. Or it wouldn't be worth doing. Good luck finding a braddah uke. A regular Mele is the same thing. So just because it doesn't say braddah doesn't mean it isn't good. I think there is a 6 string on ebay but I thought the price was kinda high.

I have two Meles and disliked the logo as well ... and they were both quickly removed. In my opinion they look WAY better with just a plain wood headstock. One was gold with a "surround" of sorts and was just a decal. Just get it damp, and I used the edge of a guitar pick to gently scrape it off. The other was silver "script" that seemed to be more of a sticker. Gently lift one corner (I used the tag end of the "e") and it will peel right off. May have a tiny bit of residue that a damp rag or polish will pull right off.