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View Full Version : Why does size matter...?



brokenwing
05-31-2008, 11:48 AM
...when it comes to the cost of ukes.:confused:

Because, I'd like to point out, size has no bearing when pricing guitars. Yet when you go to a uke manufacturer's site, it's routinely: soprano, concert, tenor, baritone in order of how much you're going to spend. The difference in amount of materials used is so small - that can't be part of the equation.

GX9901
05-31-2008, 05:51 PM
I think it has more to do with consumer perception. It's a tough sell on a soprano if it costs the same or only slightly less than a tenor. The people who understand that a soprano doesn't necessarily take less work to build than a baritone is an extremely small minority. Because of that, I think, ukulele builders must price their ukes according to size if they hope to sell any of the smaller ones.

KoloheBoy
05-31-2008, 08:54 PM
Well, Ukulele's tend to have nicer woods and qualities then guitars would have. And because they are a lot smaller then most guitars, people expect more perfection and quality.

NukeDOC
05-31-2008, 09:25 PM
Well, Ukulele's tend to have nicer woods and qualities then guitars would have. And because they are a lot smaller then most guitars, people expect more perfection and quality.

i have to disagree with this statement. ukuleles and guitars use many of the same woods with comparable quality. as a matter of fact, quality in material for uke and guitar are almost side by side when it comes to price.

at $1000 you would expect an uke to have all solid wood construction with excellent sound and workmanship. you should expect the same from a guitar at the same price range.

on the other hand, at the $250 price level, most ukuleles will not even have a solid soundboard, while it is almost expected to have a solid spruce top on a guitar at that price.

KoloheBoy
05-31-2008, 09:35 PM
i have to disagree with this statement. ukuleles and guitars use many of the same woods with comparable quality. as a matter of fact, quality in material for uke and guitar are almost side by side when it comes to price.

at $1000 you would expect an uke to have all solid wood construction with excellent sound and workmanship. you should expect the same from a guitar at the same price range.

on the other hand, at the $250 price level, most ukuleles will not even have a solid soundboard, while it is almost expected to have a solid spruce top on a guitar at that price.

thanks for that. that was just an opinion

titoboy5
05-31-2008, 09:52 PM
for me, id have to say that there arent enough manufactures that makes quality ukes . so that in mind , they can charge what they want and how they want.

brokenwing
06-01-2008, 01:32 AM
I didn't mean to necessarily drag guitars into this discussion, only to use them as a point of reference. But I will just point out that there are many independent luthiers and small boutique guitar companies (Collings, Santa Cruz, Hawaii's own Goodall) that use woods that are hellishly expensive with a level of craftsmanship that's as high as you can imagine. You want Brazilian Rosewood back and sides? That'll be a $1K - $2K upcharge. Adirondack spruce top? $500 - $1K. Build quality is unbelieveable. A small parlor-sized guitar can easily start at over $4k while its big brother concert or jumbo will go for the same starting price. No concessions made for size.

So... that has nothing to do with the disparity in the price of varying sizes of ukes.

I think GX9901's reply is closest to the truth of the matter. Consumer perception = supply and demand. Simply, it's probably harder to sell a soprano than it is a tenor, so sell it for less.

northern uke
06-01-2008, 02:23 AM
Dave Means commented on this a few yrs. back and said just about the same thing. Consumers expect the variance. Some builders even say sopranos are a little harder to build because they're so small.

Woodstocksp3
06-01-2008, 07:31 AM
...when it comes to the cost of ukes.:confused:

Because, I'd like to point out, size has no bearing when pricing guitars. Yet when you go to a uke manufacturer's site, it's routinely: soprano, concert, tenor, baritone in order of how much you're going to spend. The difference in amount of materials used is so small - that can't be part of the equation.

Yeah, I know what you mean. When I first started looking at buying a ukulele I was very surprised that the price of them varied with the size. I guess you can argue that a tenor ukulele takes a little bit more wood than a concert but that shouldn't be a $20-$40 difference.

ichadwick
06-02-2008, 10:56 AM
...when it comes to the cost of ukes.:confused:
... size has no bearing when pricing guitars.
Not entirely true. I have bought dreadnought guitars that cost more than the standard size. I've seen bigger woodwinds cost more than smaller ones.

But I think it has something to do with manufacturing volume, too. Fewer numbers in a production run of anything usually leads to a higher price for the consumer.