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joeybug
09-23-2010, 10:45 PM
I've got my eye on a Mahalo Maplewood Soprano Uke (:iwant:) from a UK seller, it comes with a free hard case and I have decent strings to put on it when it arrives. My question is, is this a good Uke to step up from the one I have, which is a very cheap (though plays well to my ears) purple Uke which was probably mass produced in China somewhere. I don't have the money right now, but I will have in a week's time and want to know if it's worth paying out for it (it's 35 plus postage - which is about $56) or is it just a better starter than the one I have now?

Thanks

Joey

finbar
09-23-2010, 11:38 PM
Joey
I don't have any experience of the Mahalo you've mentioned, but if you can stretch your budget one of these two might be a better choice.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ohana-SK10S-Soprano-Ukulele-set-up-Aquila-strings-/220653136839?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item335ff3abc7

or

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Kala-KA-S-Soprano-Ukulele-Mahogany-/220670309604?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item3360f9b4e4

The Southern Ukulele store are excellent to deal with and either one of these ukes will give you a noticable difference in not only the sound, but also you're playing ability.:D
At 35 for the Mahalo with case, I suppose you have to consider how much of that 35 is for the Uke & how much is the case.
The instrument is the important thing.

Don't think for one minute that this will be you're last Uke.
You are on the rocky road to "Ukulele aquisition syndrome" There is no know cure.:music:
Start saving now.:biglaugh:

Finbar

joeybug
09-23-2010, 11:59 PM
Joey
I don't have any experience of the Mahalo you've mentioned, but if you can stretch your budget one of these two might be a better choice.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ohana-SK10S-Soprano-Ukulele-set-up-Aquila-strings-/220653136839?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item335ff3abc7

or

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Kala-KA-S-Soprano-Ukulele-Mahogany-/220670309604?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item3360f9b4e4

The Southern Ukulele store are excellent to deal with and either one of these ukes will give you a noticable difference in not only the sound, but also you're playing ability.:D
At 35 for the Mahalo with case, I suppose you have to consider how much of that 35 is for the Uke & how much is the case.
The instrument is the important thing.

Don't think for one minute that this will be you're last Uke.
You are on the rocky road to "Ukulele aquisition syndrome" There is no know cure.:music:
Start saving now.:biglaugh:

Finbar

I might go for one of the ones you mentioned, probably the Ohana, as it looks good and is the cheaper of the two and my budget is very tight! I've added it to my watch list so if I do find the fund to spring one, I'll have it saved there :D

Thanks for the advice!

GreatGazukes
09-24-2010, 01:41 AM
I like Ohanas, i have 2 and am waiting for a third one...not high priced ones...the advantage with the one listed are the Aquila strings, so there is a couple of pounds saved....you will be surprised at the difference they make, and they are tough I havent replaced mine since I got my uke 8 months ago and it gets played a lot.

joeybug
09-24-2010, 01:46 AM
I like Ohanas, i have 2 and am waiting for a third one...not high priced ones...the advantage with the one listed are the Aquila strings, so there is a couple of pounds saved....you will be surprised at the difference they make, and they are tough I havent replaced mine since I got my uke 8 months ago and it gets played a lot.

I think I'm gonna end up getting the Ohana when I next get paid, will have to find a case from somewhere, but those are easy to find on eBay..thanks for your input :D

Hippie Dribble
09-24-2010, 01:48 AM
I like Ohanas, i have 2 and am waiting for a third one...not high priced ones...the advantage with the one listed are the Aquila strings, so there is a couple of pounds saved....you will be surprised at the difference they make, and they are tough I havent replaced mine since I got my uke 8 months ago and it gets played a lot.

GreatGazukes is sure spot on there Joey...aquila strings can make an old dog of a thing sing like a bird. They're really great- on just about any uke that I've found!

Of the three possibilities raised so far, I'd lean towards the Ohana, but hey, like Finbar wisely said, you may end up with all 3 by years end!!!:o

joeybug
09-24-2010, 01:58 AM
but hey, like Finbar wisely said, you may end up with all 3 by years end!!!:o

I do like the Ohana, I think I'll go with that one, and I've found a few cases on eBay which I could also get should I get paid enough..I doubt I'll get all three by years end, I'm on disability benefits and so on a very limited budget and with Christmas coming and my goddaughter already having an Uke for her birthday next month, I think I'll have to either put it on my Christmas/Birthday list myself or wait till the January sales!

ukeshale
09-24-2010, 02:05 AM
Another endorsement for Ohanas here. I own two and almost bought a third a few weeks ago.

joeybug
09-24-2010, 02:41 AM
Another endorsement for Ohanas here. I own two and almost bought a third a few weeks ago.

Thanks for the input...I'm crossing everything that I get paid enough so I can get it next weekend :D

kissing
09-24-2010, 03:07 AM
My question is, is this a good Uke to step up from the one I have, which is a very cheap (though plays well to my ears) purple Uke which was probably mass produced in China somewhere.

The irony of your question is that Mahalos are the mass produced ukes in China somewhere lol.
I don't think the Mahalo would be much better than the one you have. Every Mahalo I've tried had iffy intonation and very high action.
Adjusting the saddle by sanding it down helps a bit, but if you're looking for an improvement, it is much better off saving up for a Kala or an Ohana.

That said, most affordable ukes are produced in China. However, this does not mean they're bad. There are good ukes from China and bad ukes from China.

UkuLeLesReggAe
09-24-2010, 03:40 AM
Never had an ohana before. I like my lanikai and will never put it down, so I guess I would like the kala. Ohana sounds good though.

mm stan
09-24-2010, 05:38 AM
Aloha Joeybug,
Congrats on your new purchase of your Maplewood Mahalo soprano ukulele...Is is a slight step up from your poiple ukulele which besides for
the color was a good starter..I suggest that you start saving up your money and stop buying entry level ukes and be wasteing your money..
But if it makes you happy as it did for me, do it..from an experience standpoint looking back now for me, Your next new ukulele should be a
mid level one that is more better made with a quality sound, better comfortability and playability. You may learn faster on a quality one and get less fustrated
and sound a whole lot better...besides you won't have alot of old ukes lying around...a good one will keep your intrest much longer....
Have Fun and "Keep strumming them strings" MM Stan...

joeybug
09-24-2010, 05:45 AM
Aloha Joeybug,
Congrats on your new purchase of your Maplewood Mahalo soprano ukulele...Is is a slight step up from your poiple ukulele which besides for
the color was a good starter..I suggest that you start saving up your money and stop buying entry level ukes and be wasteing your money..
But if it makes you happy as it did for me, do it..from an experience standpoint looking back now for me, Your next new ukulele should be a
mid level one that is more better made with a quality sound, better comfortability and playability. You may learn faster on a quality one and get less fustrated
and sound a whole lot better...besides you won't have alot of old ukes lying around...a good one will keep your intrest much longer....
Have Fun and "Keep strumming them strings" MM Stan...

I haven't brought the Maplewood...I was asking for advice on it, and have decided to go with the Ohana one suggested...should be able to pay for it next weekend :D

soupking
09-24-2010, 06:03 AM
I agree with MM Stan. If the uke you already have sounds good to you, why not start saving up for a mid-level uke?

roxhum
09-24-2010, 06:15 AM
I am a newbie so often think I don't know enough to answer but, that said, I am well into UAS. So my input is #1 Uke case not that big of deal since they can live in the box they were shipped in for awhile. #2 I purchased two ukulele's from two different UU members from the Market Place forum. I got great deals, so great I almost feel guilty, and I am completely in love with my purchases. Good luck, and do consider saving for a mid level since you already have your entry level uku.

Roxhum

joeybug
09-24-2010, 08:06 AM
I agree with MM Stan. If the uke you already have sounds good to you, why not start saving up for a mid-level uke?

How much does a mid-level uke cost? That's my big problem, I don't have much money and have trouble saving, what's in my bank account usually gets used for bills so it's something I'd have to ask for Christmas or something and again that depends on the cost!

Tudorp
09-24-2010, 08:38 AM
You will be happy with the Ohana. They really are nice Ukes for the money. Even though they are assembly line built, they sound very nice and can even rival some of the ones costing twice as much. I love "Iz" (My SK35).

I also have the smaller Sopranino one, which also has an awesome voice for such a small instrument.

Teek
09-24-2010, 08:40 AM
Play the poiple patiently and wait for an Ohana. Get one with a case from MGM on eBay. OR a Kala, but I don't own a Kala. I have an Ohana Vita uke, MGM just had one up on auction for $170+ with shipping, and it's a wonderful uke! I don't see it relisted but it didn't sell.

Here is a link for a cheap Kala, take a look and just my opinion DON'T buy a Mahalo ANYTHING! ;)

I can't vouch for this Kala but it should be way above any Mahalo, I just grabbed the link from his store. Others here will chime in.

http://cgi.ebay.com/JUST-ARRIVED-Flame-mahogany-Kala-SOPRANO-Ukulele-KA-SEM-/370436828526?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item563fc16d6e

Good luck and keep on strummin' as mmstan says. :)

Oops PS: I do have a Makala dophin bridge uke, what a little charmer! $43 shipped from Uke King on eBay and MGM has just had a black sparkle one on. Made by Kala. Kala, Ohana, Lanikai, all made in China, most ukes are now except for the expensive K brands and a few others made in Hawaii, and others mostly customs made in the US.

Also look into Mainlands as an option, they are highly thought of, also Chinese made but with great US support.

Tudorp
09-24-2010, 09:07 AM
And BTW. For the record, I agree with Stan. Dont just keep buying entry level Ukes looking for the right one. Stick with what ya got, and save your money for one ya find ya really want when ya learn more of what's out there..

For now, play and enjoy the Purple Urple. Besides, it matches your font.. ;)

casarole45
09-24-2010, 09:36 AM
I believe one of the best mid range brands on the market are Ohana, as for their mid range ukes I'd recommend the Ohana Sk-35g, most people (and myself) swear by them... they are awesome in sound! all solid wood body, Southern Ukulele Store did have some for 110 graded stock or you can get them unmarked for around 135 maximum.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Ohana-SK35-Soprano-Ukulele-All-Solid-Mahogany-NEW-/320581176338?pt=UK_Musical_Instruments_Sting_Instr uments&hash=item4aa4208c12 (without gloss finish).

Heres a vid of me and my old one to try and convince you =D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkuZPmiE-30

kissing
09-24-2010, 06:05 PM
Check out the Ohana Vita ukes.
Best acoustic sound at that price range IMO.
It has Musicguymic's tick of approval.

Unique look, great playability/comfort/intonation and a fantastically bold and bright sound!

Chris Tarman
09-24-2010, 06:27 PM
Hello joeybug.
I've not owned an Ohana, but I have played several, and they seem like really nice ukuleles for the money. Like Kala, Lanikai, and several other companies, they make ukes in a wide range of prices. I think even an inexpensive Ohana would sound a lot better than your purple uke (which is very cute, btw, and even after you get better ukes, you should definitely hang onto that one for sentimental reasons, if nothing else!). I don't know this for a FACT, but I think it is commonly acknowledged that Ohana and Mainland ukuleles are made in the same factory. Mainland, if you haven't noticed, is a very popular brand around UU.
Several people have told you to wait and save up for a much better ukulele, which you'll someday do anyway (when you're able to), but I think if you get the Ohana you have your eye on it will be a much better instrument than your current uke, and THEN you can start saving toward a nicer, more expensive one.
Best of luck to you, and happy playing!
Cheers!

GreatGazukes
09-24-2010, 06:48 PM
Hi Joey

I have to agree with Chris, its easy to start going up a notch when deliberating on which uke to buy, but when $$ matter, and dont they allways, then best buy for buck is the motto.

As an aside I would hesitate to recomend a Vita Uke as a starter/only uke...mine is great and I love it but it is LOUD..so any dischordant note is UGH.(I would hesitate to jam with other ukers till my playing is adequate) Its my other sounding uke for when I want a change of noise...but my little Ohana 20s is the use anytime uke (lol, bounced nicely on the escalators at the railway station the other week with barely a ding, so a soft case is adequate)

Cheers, Tony

Chris Tarman
09-24-2010, 06:51 PM
How much does a mid-level uke cost? That's my big problem, I don't have much money and have trouble saving, what's in my bank account usually gets used for bills so it's something I'd have to ask for Christmas or something and again that depends on the cost!

I guess I would define a mid-level uke as somewhere in the $125 - $200 range, give or take a bit (80 to 125 pounds or so). I know that's a big step, especially on a disability income. But you will definitely notice a difference between a 40 pound ukulele and a 100 pound ukulele (sorry, I can't figure out how to do the symbol with my American keyboard, although I KNOW there's a way!). But that's something you can work up to eventually. You can get a lot of perfectly good playing out of a less expensive uke.

Dorsetmike
09-24-2010, 10:35 PM
Hi Joey

Buying a UKE is very personal whatever your budget. The best advice for anyone is try before you buy, that is if you're luckily enough to live close to a decent store. If your budget is tight I would first spend as much as you can on the instrument, not a high value case just yet - put a hard case on your Christmas wish list :)

If you fancy a day trip to the seaside, why not visit the Southern Ukulele Store in Bournemouth plus their sister store just across the road. They will give you excellent advice and you can try the UKe's out. Southern Uke's are also on Ebay.


Mike




Mike

GreatGazukes
09-25-2010, 02:33 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5UW8ifMhW4

Apparently the words laminate and solid top are the same in Thai!!

farmerboy
09-25-2010, 02:48 AM
Ohanas have a great reputation, but I'd swear by my Makala MK-C (35). I've compared the two and I've upgraded my Makala with aquilla strings and bone nut and saddle (lowered the action etc) and I much prefer the Makala.

Best you can do is get yourself into a music shop and try them out!

mm stan
09-25-2010, 08:02 AM
Aloha Joeybug,
I'd save up first.....Get the best you can comfortably afford...I know how it is on fixed incomes..and good idea, asking family on christmas time, as they can combine their xmas present and get you a
very nice one...for the meantime,you could upgrade your strings which will improve it's sound.....Good Luck!! and Have Fun girl....."Keep strumming them strings" MM Stan....