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Rnunes
05-15-2008, 07:41 AM
Hi to all,

few weeks ago decided to buy an ukulele, but I just find in my country (portugal) these ones (I just searched in google):

Mahalo u2k:
http://www.teamintlco.com/uploadImages/U2K_box.jpg

Mahalo U1:
http://www.music-direct-shop.de/081UKE~1/img008.jpg

At the moment, I havent found other ukulele or any ukulele acessories in Portugal.

Are those uke's good beginner options?

Thnks,

Ricardo Nunes

JackT
05-15-2008, 08:15 AM
I was rocking out on a Mahalo u30 (i guess its not much different from those two) until a friend of mine had a spare kala concert he gave me for a good price. All I really did to improve it a bit was replace the strings with Aquila Concert strings and changed the saddle around. Find out about stuff like this here... http://ukenoob.blogspot.com/2007/12/mahalo-u30-improving-intonation.html

Rnunes
05-15-2008, 09:38 AM
I cant find any Mahalo U30 in portugal, so I will start to see ukuleles stores on europe. The Mahalo U30 it's on a good price and I saw on 2 sites that is the best uke for begginers. Thnks for the tip JackT.

Im not giving up of these two uke's so if you already try it please tell me what you thought.


thnks,

Ricardo Nunes

s0me0ner
05-15-2008, 09:59 AM
I currently have the U1, the only thing is that nothing on that is stock anymore, I changed the tuners (stock are not too great, so I changed them for guitar tuners). Sanded it and repianted it and installed a pick guard (no need for it but still cool looking). The only advantage that there is is the instructional DVD that came with it. I had no knowlege as to how to play and that is what got me started. My advice to you for that uke is that if it is your 1st one great, pick it up but start saving your money to order a good one as soon as possible.

Rnunes
05-15-2008, 10:22 AM
I just decide that I have to buy the uke outside portugal, because even if i bought these U1 or U2K in portugal I have to bought at least new strings, and I just cant find uke strings in portugal.

The cost of doing that s0me0ner will be big compared to a new uke, because I have to bought all in UK or Germany.

Right now the Mahalo 'candidates' are:

- U1;
- U2K;
- U30;
- U50.

If you tried one of those please tell me your opinion.

Thnks for all,

Ricardo Nunes

deach
05-15-2008, 10:31 AM
Do you have a budget in mind?

Rnunes
05-15-2008, 10:39 AM
Total budget (uke + new strings if needed + shiping): 40 = $61.99 = 31

Jack33@
05-15-2008, 10:46 AM
Hey Rnunes

I have a U50, it comes with a (cheap) hard case and cost me 27 ($55-ish?)

The consensus amongst the people I have spoken to (and on other blogs and forums) is that the strings are no good and Aquilas are better.(i changed mine over and it is a different instrument, order new strings when you buy and change them as soon as you can!)
Some Mahalos are a little sharp or flat, some buzz on the fretboard and some go out of tune quickly.
In any batch of 50 Mahalos there will be a couple of beauties and a couple of turkeys and the rest will just be 'good for beginners'.
The current range is better looking than the older models but sound a little worse.

All I know is that mine was fantastic value and has been great fun, it gets terrible treatment at my hands and the hands of my small boy and bears up really well. It is tough and fun.

When i can play I will probably drop it like a stone and get a 'proper' instrument but for now we suit each other very well.


There are more qualified people who can advise you but for my money (and in Europe) the Mahalo is a great value first instrument.

Good luck

Jack

deach
05-15-2008, 10:47 AM
A Makala/Kala soprano on ebay is around that price and is probably better than the Mahalo. Most ebay sellers ship worldwide.

Rnunes
05-15-2008, 11:03 AM
Jack,

that seems to me the solution to go (buy a cheap mahalo and aquila strings)


deach,

on ebay.com the Makala/Kala dealers dont send to Portugal. Tomorrow I will search for reviews on mahalos and makala/kala and stores on Europe to try to make my decision


Thnks guys for the help.

Ricardo Nunes

Plainsong
05-15-2008, 01:15 PM
There's www.ukulele.de - Which would be the Risa brand's site although he sells Mahalos as well (not sure if there's anything in stock right now, but Rigk's a nice guy and it's worth asking).

There's also www.theukuleleshop.co.uk - and I do believe they also ship all over the EU. www.thomann.de probably does as well.

Then let's not forget http://www.brueko.de/shop/index.php?XTCsid=3f5ea28ad111219f171eb544299b8f39 - Although more than you want to spend, they're the probably the best deal going in handmade-not-in-a-factory ukes at an awesome price.

tad
05-15-2008, 05:52 PM
Jack,

that seems to me the solution to go (buy a cheap mahalo and aquila strings)


deach,

on ebay.com the Makala/Kala dealers dont send to Portugal. Tomorrow I will search for reviews on mahalos and makala/kala and stores on Europe to try to make my decision


Thnks guys for the help.

Ricardo Nunes


Yeah, I'd go for a Kala or Makala if that's your price range... Portugal is part of the EU, yes? That means you should be able to get stuff from other EU countries for less-than-exorbitant prices... There's some people here in the EU-- Plainsong is, I think... and there's UkuCouS in France... Maybe if you look at the member map (http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=109093481034122753733.00044cdb24d27208e3692&ie=UTF8&z=19) and then send out some PM's... some of our European contingency might be able to offer you some advice as to which European dealers are best...

EDIT:

And by the time I type all that, Plainsong swoops in and gives some good answers.

Rnunes
05-16-2008, 06:56 AM
Hi guys,

Plainsong,

thnks for the tips, they are all great stores but for the actually budget i cant only count on these two uke's on thomann.de :

Harley Benton (http://www.thomann.de/gb/harley_benton_hbuk11.htm)

Gewa Sopranukulele (http://www.thomann.de/gb/gewa_ukulele_512830.htm)

and I have no idea if theay are good or not.


tad,

I never remind of lookin for portuguese/european users thnks for that. And I cant find any UkuCouS website.Does anybody know one?


I just found these two shops:
Eagle music Shop (http://www.eaglemusicshop.com)
Folk Revolution (http://www.folkrevolution.co.uk/main.html) (I dont know if they sell online)

Damn I thought that would be easier to buy an uke. I started with two choices and right now I have a dozen. anyway, really really thnks for all the help.

Ricardo Nunes

Edit: Just found Musik Produktiv (http://www.musik-produktiv.com/shop2/artikelliste02.asp/ob_id/508/sid/!x10ptptc) too, but I just can afford Collin uke's. Sorry to ask you that too, but i dont have more time today, are Collin uke's a good hit?

Plainsong
05-16-2008, 04:36 PM
I've heard good things about the Harley Benton for its price, though I have no personal experience. The Gewa, as I understand it, is a laminated version of a solid wood Brüko. Brükos are, as the found of the local ukulele club put it, the Volkswagens of ukuleles: excellent at their price point and beyond. I can't think of any luthiers selling such ukuleles at that price at all. The Gewa isn't solid wood, but rather a laminate plywood. All-in-all, it probably isn't bad for the price.

UkuCouS is a member here at Ukulele Underground, he might also know of some affordable European brands. :)

As for the other sites, I don't much at all about those. I notice Musik Productiv is selling a Brüko under the Gewa brand, which just makes newcomers even more confused.

Hopefully some more people can chime in about those other brands. :)

Plainsong
05-16-2008, 04:50 PM
Replying to myself again, but the Eagle music shop you linked has plenty of Mahalos to choose from. :) I don't know how Samick's compare though.

JackT
05-16-2008, 09:18 PM
Just a quick addition about the Mahalo u30, it goes out of tune. ALOT. Even with the geared tuners. Yet if you have a ukulele tuner then you will be fine, definatly the must have accessory by the way http://www.amazon.com/4-STRING-UKULELE-ELECTRONIC-DIGITAL-TUNER/dp/B000WEH44Y/ref=sr_1_34?ie=UTF8&s=musical-instruments&qid=1211008836&sr=8-34 (in my opinion) Other than that its a pretty good learners the start with if you replace the strings.

Rnunes
05-18-2008, 09:12 AM
after a searching day, I found that Lehua (http://www.lehuaukulele.com/) uke's are made in Portugal so tomorrow I will call to the only uke exporter that I found in Portugal.

Because Lehua seem to expensive for me, I started searching for Mahalo's, Gewa's and Kala's review and I cant find anything in english, except for mahalo u30.

Plainsong,

like i said, unfortunately I cant find any info about Gewa, but it seems really nice. About Harley, what makes me confuse it's the price (14 = $20 for an uke?)


JackT,

the u30 get's out fo tune alot in the begging or always?
can that equipment be replaced for guitar tuner's? cause I have one of those.



Well right now I only have 3 to choose:

- Mahalo u30;
- Gewa Sopranukulele;
- Harley Benton.

After the few I coul read, I think that I will go to Gewa, but Im waiting a few emails to arrive that could change my decision.


Thanks to all,

Ricardo Nunes

Howlin Hobbit
05-18-2008, 12:46 PM
can that equipment be replaced for guitar tuner's? cause I have one of those.

Tuners made specifically for guitar only have EADGBE on them. You need a chromatic tuner. They're cheap too. Musicguymic (http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room) has an awesome clip-on tuner for about $20. I like it better than the clip-on I bought for $65!

(Live and learn. *sigh*)

Call him if he doesn't happen to have one in his online store at the moment. He's a great guy, made of 100% Aloha, and terrific to chat with. Remember, he's on Hawaii time so adjust accordingly.

JackT
05-19-2008, 12:20 AM
They're cheap too. Musicguymic (http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room)

Wow, just checked that ebay store out. There are some selection of ukes on there. But yes you can't use a guitar tuner. With the u30 its not much of a pain having to tune it everytime I pick up, I'd still majorly reccomend it. could also be something to do with the humidity in my room constantly changing (2 computers 1 server always on or off) makes the temperature and humidity variate a bit with their cooling systems.

Jack33@
05-19-2008, 02:28 AM
www.purpleturtlemusic.com

There is this shop as well, they post a lot on E Bay but you can call them direct.

Not nearly as comprehensive as Mic's but they were very helpful when I had a problem and called them direct.

My Mahalo used to go out of tune a lot, I changed strings to Aquilas and gave the tuning heads a squeeze with a screwdriver, the problem seems to have stopped (or at least gone into remission)

Jack33

JackT
05-19-2008, 02:38 AM
gave the tuning heads a squeeze with a screwdriver, the problem seems to have stopped (or at least gone into remission)

Jack33

Just did that, hopefully, it will work. Oh yeah and RNunes, make sure you order Aquila's, the concerts I have on my u30 make it sound so much better.

Howlin Hobbit
05-19-2008, 04:38 AM
Oh yeah and RNunes, make sure you order Aquila's, the concerts I have on my u30 make it sound so much better.

Yeppers. The little bit of extra tension it takes to get concert gauge strings up to pitch on a soprano is often enough to drive a laminated top a bit harder and get more volume too.

Ukulelebeginner1
12-05-2009, 06:51 AM
Is the Mahalo U2K good or is the other you bought better

(Need help choosing between a mahalo U2k & U-35BU)

kissing
12-07-2009, 03:44 AM
With Mahalos, you really have to pick a "good" one from a bunch. Some come with horrible nuts that are hardly grooved.

And you will probably have to sand the heck out of the saddle to get a comfortable action.
On my U30, even if I have sanded the saddle down as low as it can go, the action is still high because the bridge that the saddle rests on itself is quite high, and there isn't much you can do about it.

My other two Mahalos, the Les Paul replica and the UK220E have a nice low action now and are some of my most comfortable ukes to play. But I had to sand the saddle down A LOT.

The intonation is better on some than others.
But with Aquila strings, they all generally have a good sound.

Doug W
12-08-2009, 03:08 PM
With Mahalos, you really have to pick a "good" one from a bunch.

I am sure that this is true but I decided to take a chance and ordered a Mahalo U30 online for my daughter's birthday. I was really impressed, in fact last weekend during a visit to my daughter's apartment I played it again to see if my first impressions were correct. The thing plays in tune all the way to the 12th fret and the tone and volume are decent and heck, a purple ukulele, who wouldn't want one.

I just ordered 2 more (pink and white) for presents. Let's see if my luck holds out.

tmoon
12-09-2009, 01:20 PM
Just adding another thumbs up for the Mahalo Les Paul replica - I've had one since June. A couple of months later I bought a 160-euro ukulele since but often go back to the Mahalo. The plastic-y tone isn't as good as the more expensive (wooden) uke, but the Mahalo's intonation is fantastic! Definitely recommended.