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View Full Version : No Ukes at local stoes! Can you suggest online sellers who do good setups etc?



insaneinthemembrane
05-04-2010, 02:06 AM
I live an hour from the nearest Sam ash and an hour from another decent store [Guitar store I think?] I called ahead and they just don't have much stock for me to try?
So, I may have to buy online?
It's very important to me to get a well setup instrument!
Any good experiences with online buying and getting a well setup Ukulele?
I know the Ebay Mike guy in Hawaii offers that, but I kind of fear such a long distance ship?=Possible damage.
From past experiences with other items, damage in shipping usually results in lots of lost time with no item and return shipping costs etc.
I'm in SW Florida and was hoping a "GOOD" seller who does a "GOOD" setup may exist in Georgia, Alabama, or somewhere not to long distance?
Also, now i'm back to having to buy with nothing but information-no hands on.
So again I ask for a list of Ukes you all have that you love.
I did get to try a few Kala brand ukes at 1 store. 1 Tenor, 1 Concert and 1 Soprano, but I could tell they all needed a setup and no one here ever said anything great about kala, that I saw? I did come to feel that a Tenor is going to be my size choice-so lets use a tenor as a model size. I sure wish I could have just been able to play a number of tenor ukes and maybe a couple of concerts and got a better feel!
So, from what I have seen, it would appear a real decent uke will cost me between $150.00 and $250.00
What makes and models do you suggest?
What online dealers for a good setup on it?

darkwater
05-04-2010, 02:16 AM
Check in with http://ukerepublic.com . He's based in the Atlanta area near me and dealing with him will be a good experience. I especially like the Mainland ukes he carries, but he's got a number of lines from starter to pro.

Nuprin
05-04-2010, 02:19 AM
I've bought from MGM (http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room__W0QQ_pgnZ1QQ_scZ1QQ_sidZ34517586QQ_sopZ2QQ_t rksidZp4634Q2ec0Q2em14) many times and have never had any damage. He ships fast and everything is always very well packed. Plus, he throws in a free hard shell case for almost every ukulele he sells so you get some extra protection during the shipping process.

I've never bought from him but I understand that Mike from Uke Republic (http://ukerepublic.com/) also sets all his ukuleles up before shipping. He is located in Atlanta, GA and has a great reputation on this board.

People speak well of Kala on this board. For a not-too-expensive ukulele, they make great stuff.

haolejohn
05-04-2010, 03:07 AM
I live an hour from the nearest Sam ash and an hour from another decent store [Guitar store I think?] I called ahead and they just don't have much stock for me to try?
So, I may have to buy online?
It's very important to me to get a well setup instrument!
Any good experiences with online buying and getting a well setup Ukulele?
I know the Ebay Mike guy in Hawaii offers that, but I kind of fear such a long distance ship?=Possible damage.
From past experiences with other items, damage in shipping usually results in lots of lost time with no item and return shipping costs etc.
I'm in SW Florida and was hoping a "GOOD" seller who does a "GOOD" setup may exist in Georgia, Alabama, or somewhere not to long distance?
Also, now i'm back to having to buy with nothing but information-no hands on.
So again I ask for a list of Ukes you all have that you love.
I did get to try a few Kala brand ukes at 1 store. 1 Tenor, 1 Concert and 1 Soprano, but I could tell they all needed a setup and no one here ever said anything great about kala, that I saw? I did come to feel that a Tenor is going to be my size choice-so lets use a tenor as a model size. I sure wish I could have just been able to play a number of tenor ukes and maybe a couple of concerts and got a better feel!
So, from what I have seen, it would appear a real decent uke will cost me between $150.00 and $250.00
What makes and models do you suggest?
What online dealers for a good setup on it?

I'd recommend Mike at www.ukerepublic.com if he doesn't have what you want then MGM is just as good. Where at in Florida are you? I am heading to Orlando this weekend and I am bringing two ukes with me.

Rzr
05-04-2010, 03:29 AM
I bought my first ukulele from MGM. Kala ka-st, love it. Mike was great to deal with and the ukulele got to me in perfect condition in about 3 days. My second ukulele I purchased from Uke Republic. Big Island Ukulele tenor cut a way with pick up. This Mike was also great to deal with and even took the time to meet me on my way back from Florida. Both have comparable pricing and wonderfully set up Ukuleles. You won't go wrong with either. PM me if you have any questions about my experiences.

insaneinthemembrane
05-04-2010, 03:53 AM
I'd recommend Mike at www.ukerepublic.com if he doesn't have what you want then MGM is just as good. Where at in Florida are you? I am heading to Orlando this weekend and I am bringing two ukes with me.

GREAT OFFER! However I am in Port Charlotte,FL about 160 miles from Orlando. I am going to check out Ukerepublic right now!
Thanks!!!

hoosierhiver
05-04-2010, 04:03 AM
Check out the Tampa uke fest, there should be some good stuff there.

insaneinthemembrane
05-04-2010, 04:08 AM
Thanks everyone! Keep it coming!!!
With no way to actually play ukes to make a choice, I would really appreciate some suggestions.
#1. I "belive" from the few I did try, that I want a tenor.
#2. I do not wish my uke to have a traditional sound, as I want it for contemporary folk music.
Below are 2 Youtube examples of songs I do. Of course, i'm not suggesting that I can play anything like Martin Simpson! :-)

http://www.myspace.com/joecrookston { Choose "Freddy The Falcon" on right side }

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtbsfDiDLTM

PS: Any of you happen to play contemporary folk music? Got any vids I can watch?? :-)

UkeDan77
05-04-2010, 04:19 AM
I'm about an hour from you in Sarasota. In fact, every Thursday night I go to Port Charlotte to be with my significant other. I can tell you that the last time I went to the Sam Ash store in Sarasota they had at least a dozen or so Kala brand ukes. That's where I purchased my first Uke from. I also ordered my sceptre from www.ukulelesource.com (via phone). They're located in CA and I received my uke a few days later without any damage. Most of these sellers package the ukes really well that it is near impossible to have them damaged. Most will also upgrade your shipping (possibly at no additional cost) to overnight shipping so it's only in transit for a day or 2 max.

haolejohn
05-04-2010, 04:51 AM
I think that most and I emphasize most on-line dealers know what they are doing. I purchase my ukes from either other players UkeRepublic or makers (like Mele and KoAloha). I have never bought an 'ukulele from MGM but Ihave bought accessories. I personally know Mike from UkeRepublic and he is a friend. Not just someone that takes my money (not to say the other dealers are like that). I know that all the Mikes (Ukerepublic, MGM, and the famous Mainland Mike) all love the 'ukulele and they will take care of you. For what it is worth the whole quality control of the manufacters has grown tremendously. Many of the makers of iimports are producing very playable out of the box 'ukuleles. Good luck with your search and remember that we demand pics.

haolejohn
05-04-2010, 04:52 AM
Thanks everyone! Keep it coming!!!
With no way to actually play ukes to make a choice, I would really appreciate some suggestions.
#1. I "belive" from the few I did try, that I want a tenor.
#2. I do not wish my uke to have a traditional sound, as I want it for contemporary folk music.
Below are 2 Youtube examples of songs I do. Of course, i'm not suggesting that I can play anything like Martin Simpson! :-)

http://www.myspace.com/joecrookston { Choose "Freddy The Falcon" on right side }

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtbsfDiDLTM

PS: Any of you happen to play contemporary folk music? Got any vids I can watch?? :-)


Check into mahogany and low G.

CountryMouse
05-04-2010, 05:25 AM
Thanks everyone! Keep it coming!!!
With no way to actually play ukes to make a choice, I would really appreciate some suggestions.
#1. I "belive" from the few I did try, that I want a tenor.
#2. I do not wish my uke to have a traditional sound, as I want it for contemporary folk music.
Below are 2 Youtube examples of songs I do. Of course, i'm not suggesting that I can play anything like Martin Simpson! :-)

http://www.myspace.com/joecrookston { Choose "Freddy The Falcon" on right side }

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtbsfDiDLTM

PS: Any of you happen to play contemporary folk music? Got any vids I can watch?? :-)

I don't know if you'd consider some of my music contemporary folk. I write a lot of my stuff. Here's my channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/ctrymaus

I absolutely adore both my Flukes and Flea ukuleles. There IS no set-up because they come perfect from the factory. Great action, great intonation. Look at my newer videos to hear better sound (crappy camera earlier on, using a Snowball mic now). But you should search on YouTube for others playing Flukes and Fleas and give them a listen.

CountryMouse

cletus
05-04-2010, 05:28 AM
I got the Kala lacewood/spruce tenor from MGM and it is a great instrument. Check out the sound samples from MGM on youtube for more info and best wishes on your new uke!

brickerenator
05-04-2010, 06:30 AM
Check out Ken Middleton's channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/KenMiddletonUkulele

He does a lot of folk songs, mostly Ohana ukes

sukie
05-04-2010, 08:15 AM
You have MGM, Mike at Mainland and, while I've not done business with him, I hear UkeRepublic is good.

I've done business with MGM -- he won't steer you wrong.

arashi_nero
05-04-2010, 08:33 AM
to the OP. if you're worried about stuff coming to you quickly, my friend just ordered from MGM on thursday night/friday morning and he got his uke yesterday and that's going from hawaii to utah. i'd expect yours would take another day or two. that's not bad. for some reason, hawaii to utah and utah to hawaii is pretty fast (i work for a company that ships to hawaii regularly). reversly, inside the continental US takes forever. it's going to take ups a week to bring my eleuke from NC to utah.

Coconut Willie
05-04-2010, 08:56 AM
I vote for MGM, I have used him and he did a great job on the set up and shipped the uke out super fast!!!

molokinirum
05-04-2010, 11:23 AM
The uke sellers that get very good reviews on both the ukes sold and the customer service are MGM, Mainland and Ukerepublic. I suggest that you check out each of these three excellent sellers, see what they have to offer, call them and speak directly and I have no doubt that you will be very happy with your choice!
Let us know what you bought!!!!

jordan bello
05-04-2010, 12:31 PM
I live in Los Angeles and there are many stores around to buy a uke, but I felt like I got my best value by buying used from the Ukulele Underground Marketplace forum. I got a used mainland concert mahogany gloss for only $200 with a case. I like to support local brick and mortar stores, but I was not sure if I would enjoy playing the uke so I bought used. I absolutely love playing the uke and do not regret buying a used ukulele off of the forum. But I believe it is common knowledge to UU'rs that the aforementioned Mikes are the bomb.

insaneinthemembrane
05-05-2010, 11:53 AM
Very nice music and ya, i'd say it falls into folk!
Thanks for sharing that!
Now, no more playing naked!
It can make you go blind-I hear? :-)

FourChordWonder
05-05-2010, 09:44 PM
You could probably make the drive to Compass Music (http://www.compassmusicsales.com/). They're located in Madeira Beach, Florida. Looks to be maybe 100 miles or so north of you and they have a pretty good selection. I bought my last uke from them, a Makala MK-C with a free Ohana padded gigbag and digital tuner for a whopping $70 shipped (before Kala raised their prices), and it came set up perfectly. This way you could test drive all the ukes in your price range, pick out the one you like most and not have to worry about shipping damage or USPS losing it or whatever.

I've also a uke from ordered from MGM and it came set up perfectly as well. Ordered Monday morning and it was at my door in Texas on Thursday I believe. The only reason I chose Compass Music over MGM for my last uke was because it was a little cheaper and, well, I'm a cheap ass.

CountryMouse
05-06-2010, 04:51 AM
Very nice music and ya, i'd say it falls into folk!
Thanks for sharing that!
Now, no more playing naked!
It can make you go blind-I hear? :-)

I have to assume this was meant for me, since I did the playing-naked thing. :p

Thanks! As you can see, I can't settle on just one ukulele! But as I said, with a Fluke or Flea there is no set-up, so you can get one of those almost anywhere. And you can safely buy them from any reputable online seller because they are just about perfect out-of-the-box. :)

CountryMouse

molinee
05-06-2010, 05:31 PM
Mike at Mainland does a fantastic job. Never been disappointed in three times buying there. Also like Elderly, who has some good people there who do some nice setups.