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View Full Version : Days reading yields chagrin. Help with 2nd uke choice!



Stompest
06-25-2008, 02:52 PM
I've been playing around with guitars for a while, but a camping trip with a friend and his ukulele sent me on the path toward the acquisition of yet another musical instrument.

I later bought a cheap uke so that I could: test it out, learn how to maintain/work on them, be able to travel with it, share it with others (without much worry), etc. Unfortunately, my ultimate purchase was a lemon; it soured me.

It was a Lanikai Kohala, which I think is Hawaiian for 'turd with strings,' also known as an U.S.O. All strings buzzed and the frets did not match the positions suggested by my handy fret spreadsheet. Impossible to tune. Totally unplayable and not worth a stick of gum.

Anyway, long story short: I am now in the market for a replacement. I am willing to pay what it takes to know that I have a good instrument of real value and potential to please.

I've read some people state that there is no difference between a $50 and $150, and from my experience there is not much difference between a $30 and a $50 uke. Following that logic, it is implied that anybody who is buying an uke $150 or under should spend no more than $30, because otherwise they are wasting their money. Well I've already had that $30 experience, so I would love some help in selecting my next uke without being a spendthrift.

Keep in mind that I am a beginner and not a connoisseur. I realize that while one made with koa is "authentic" that does not mean that it is "superior," and that authenticity comes with an inflated price. I do appreciate instruments that are pretty, but I tend towards a purist mentality (I want it to sound/look like it is supposed to). I suppose that I merely want to be fully satisfied in knowing that I have a quality instrument that sounds great, will last, and will retain value. That in mind, I can't imagine the need to spend more than $350 to satisfy my requirements, and I would hope/expect that there are quality instruments significantly under this price.

I have seen people suggest a variety of options, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus. I have compiled a small list of people's suggestions, shown below. I welcome any constructive feedback you all have to offer. BTW, I am looking for a concert uke of traditional shape.

KoAloha's Koalana, $165
Friction pegs, solid sapele (whatever that is). Simple in design, maybe lower end?

Ohana's CK-50, $250
Rosewood with cedar top, Friction Pegs. (some mentions of flat notes on lower frets). Very pretty instrument.

Mitchell's MU-100, $160
Geared tuners, koa laminate (less likelihood of cracking, is this a common problem?)
Many people say to steer clear from this mass produced offshoot of a major distributor (unfortunately, most companies are no different)

Kala's Mango, $240
Geared tuners. This might be a premium price for a pretty wood, instead of more money for better setup.

Kala's Koa/cedartop $236
Geared tuners. An interesting/attractive mix of wood. Good looking instrument.

Pono's Mahogany, $299
Geared tuners. This might be overboard for a beginner, I don't want to constantly worry about scuffing it.

Koa Pili Koko $259
Funny looking head cap w/geared tuners. Supposedly resembles Koa in sound and appearance.

So which one would you get? Are the more expensive ones worth the extra dough, or only for the ultra picky? I would love to hear from people who own these specific instruments, and would share any problems/complaints they have of them.

I've also noticed that MGM gives some of these tuneups, while he does not on others. Is this because it is necessary on some, and not necessary on the others? That might be an indicator of quality construction, if no alterations are necessary.
:confused:

UkeNinja
06-25-2008, 04:35 PM
Perhaps you can give him a call referring to this thread, ask his opinion, decide which one you like for looks, and then go for it. Rumour has it that MGM will play a bit for you over the phone, but try contacting him. It looks like the slightly more expensive ones are pretty much in the "very nice to have" range.
You already went cheap once and regretted it, so save up a bit and get a uke that you will pick up several times a day because you just can't keep your hands off it.

Keonikapila
06-25-2008, 05:02 PM
Lanikai and Kala are VERY similar in design and construction, so if you have a bad taste for Lanikai, you might not like Kala.

Personally, I'd go with the Pono. I have a satin-finish mahogany tenor Pono (first generation) and I absolutely love it. Great tone, accurate intonation, low action.

paulthebaker
06-25-2008, 05:14 PM
I ordered a Koalana Concert from Mike yesterday and am eagerly awaiting it.
I did a bit of research and talked to Mike (by all means, give him a call) and decided on this as my first Uke.

Aloha from the Redneck Riviera,

Paul

seeso
06-25-2008, 07:24 PM
I've heard some of those Koa Pili Kokos. They sound great. One of the founders of this site has a review of it up on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GYZGv0WXVQ). I think you should get that one.

salukulady
06-25-2008, 07:59 PM
Okay, so you've got a great uke for the car. Perfect for practicing at stop lights. There is a big difference between a $30 uke and a $100 uke. For a beginner, you are very selective. I really recommend you play several ukes in person instead of buying one on the internet. Where are you located? Can you get to a location where they sell several different brands? Remember, a new ones with new strings has to be broke in before it will stay in tune. Take your time picking one out....get to know it and how it feels in your hands. Some are heavier, some have better action, some just sing to you when you strum them. Stop looking at the price tag and brand and just pick the one that's right for you.

salukulady
06-26-2008, 05:05 AM
http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=36633152

Stompest
06-27-2008, 09:45 PM
Thanks for all of the input so far. This site has been an excellent resource.

I'll definitely give MGM a call when I've narrowed down my preference a bit. He seems to be the authority on quality internet uke sales, lucky him. I've been saving up already and have only to choose my poison, I'm just having a terrible time making up my mind. I think the term "very nice to have" is exactly what I hope to end up with.

I have a confession. Before I posted this, and before I had discovered this forum, I had already chosen and ordered from the Musiciansfriend (a Mitchell MU-100). Since I pressed submit, I've been remorseful and will probably return the instrument (which I haven't received yet) for something I'll cherish more. I'll check it out when it gets here, but I have a feeling most other choices are superior. I have a Washburn steel string guitar that is excellent, and I'm pretty sure Mitchell, Oscar Schmidt, Washburn (among others) are made by the same people. But this isn't a guitar I'm looking for, after all, and I don't want to take any chances.

When I bought the Lanikai, I purchased a pretty cheap version, so I'm not sure if I should discount their pricier options. On the other hand, I don't want to support a company that is willing to distribute a wooden disappointment. Seeing that I am looking to narrow my options, I will take the advice and nix the Kala from my list.

As for the Koalana, I get a good impression from what I've seen written, but I've read a few complaints as well. I think there have been several generations, so maybe they have worked out initial kinks, but I remain wary. If the Koalana is a great musical instrument, only lacking bells and whistles, then is probably what I want. On the other hand, if a *much* better instrument could be had for 100-150$ more then I want to take that leap now instead of later (just a little better wouldn't make sense for a beginner).

I laughed out loud at the mention of playing at the stop lights. I thought I was weird for doing that.

I tried some local shops but they only had extremely cheap and extremely expensive options. There is another shop a bit farther away that I have been meaning to visit, but I am oh so eager and the internet calls to me. While my area (san francisco) has many shops, the selection so far has been poor and driving around sucks for many reasons.

After much pondering, I think I might go for the mahogany pono or the cedar ohana. I really like the way the ohana looks, but I'm not sure if the rosewood/cedar combo is a good one or whether it justifies the cost. I watched a youtube video that has nearly sold me on the Pono, but I get thinking again that because I am somewhat new to this, I would be spending more than is reasonable. In that case, maybe I should go for the Koalana... or maybe just go for a Flea... or keep the Mitchell... Aaaarrgghhh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hrgyu0MJdEI

FHS-72
06-27-2008, 10:06 PM
i have a lanikai concert and a kala 6-string tenor and i love playing them both. i think for the price, you won't go wrong with a kala or lanikai. i don't know the price u paid for your first lanikai, but i've also heard some bad cheap ukes. i always say u get what u pay for. good luck on your choice.:music::rock::nana:

Stompest
06-28-2008, 09:54 AM
So I received the new Mitchell yesterday and have been tuning it since. Today it has started to hold its notes so I can officially start to criticize it.

It definitely sounds much better than my $30 Kohala in terms of coherent notes. The sound is dampened; due the heavy gloss finish, I presume. My previous uke, while also made of plywood, was un-finished and very thin and allowed ugly sound to spew about with ease. This one is a bit quieter and less alive sounding, while much more pleasant to the ears.

Yet something irks me. If I use an electronic tuner and tune the strings open, then go to check if the strings are tuned to each-other, I find that they are not . The E string matches perfectly with the A and G strings, but when I play an E on my C sting (4rd fret C to open E) the C string plays sharp. I applaud the extra $120 I spent for getting me 3 good stings, but is the 4th asking too much? I'm wonder if the saddle is filed inappropriately. Hrumph.

Please tell me I am doing something wrong, ukes can't be that hard to make.

salukulady
06-28-2008, 10:54 AM
What brand of strings did it come with?

Stompest
06-28-2008, 10:55 AM
A tag hanging from the neck indicated "GHS" strings. Could the string type affect the tuning? I would have thought that would make more of an impression on the overall brightness, response, tension, durability etc.

salukulady
06-28-2008, 11:10 AM
GHS is sort of the standard string a lot of ukes seem to come with. I have changed all my ukes over to Aquillas and after they go flat I'm going to try Worths. There are a lot more knowledgeable people here than me so wait for another answer before acting. Also, you seem to have a very sensitive ear.....don't be too picky....it's a uke. It's suppose to sound a little twangy. It' not a guitar. It took me a while before I got used to that. Going and playing with large groups of uke players solved my critical ear.

Howlin Hobbit
06-28-2008, 06:20 PM
....it's a uke. It's suppose to sound a little twangy...It took me a while before I got used to that. Going and playing with large groups of uke players solved my critical ear.

Sorry salukulady, but that's just plain wrong.

My Glyph has a throaty, contralto sounding voice. It is not twangy at all. Cheaper ukes sound twangy (really, "plinky" is my term of art for that). In my experience, large groups of uke players have a large percentage of the cheaper ukes.

Just to be clear, plinky is not necessarily a bad thing. I always seem to pick on him for these sort of threads, but if you listen to Hot Time Harv you'll see that his sort of material requires the plinkier sounding ukes. And I love his stuff.

But ukulele can sound rich and full too.

Just because a lot of the general public has lowered expectations from ukuleles does not mean that those of us who play the little thing should.

salukulady
06-28-2008, 06:56 PM
I really didn't mean twangy as a bad thing, I meant it in comparison to a guitar. A few guitar players I've been around want a deeper fuller sound and end up picking up my tenor or baritone that are both strung with a low G. My experience with traditional Hawaiian players is it's suppose to sound plinky, especially the 20's and 30's haole type music.

Also, it's kinda relative to the owner, what's the definition of a cheap uke. My least expensive one was my first, it was $100 Ohana concert. It's probably my least favorite one now, but a decent uke. Most of the groups I play with have at least that level of uke.

And if you wanna hear a really cool little uke with great sound, Stompest, Check out this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqskh0HgQ1Q And it's played by a really cool guy, too!
I'm still saving my pennies to get one, and they're very reasonably priced.

Howlin Hobbit
06-30-2008, 03:30 PM
And if you wanna hear a really cool little uke with great sound, Stompest, Check out this, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqskh0HgQ1Q And it's played by a really cool guy, too!
I'm still saving my pennies to get one, and they're very reasonably priced.

:rolleyes:

That is the cheapest uke I play. Also the plinkiest. But it's not near as plinky as the legions of Mahalos and such like that I run across.

After a bit of searching I found ol' Harv and J. Boy on YouTube doing Harv's song Lesbians (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBpEE2pljDs) on a couple really plinky ukes.

WARNING: Highly non-PC and NSFW content. (aka Harv's normal stuff.) Humorless sorts should probably just not click that link at all.

Plainsong
06-30-2008, 05:09 PM
Yeah, there's a difference between clear and bright, not-at-all-guitarlike, and just plain plinky. That's a good word. And there's a place for plinky depending on the song, like above.

My Koaloha soprano? Not at all-guitarlike, very clear, no roll-off of complete lack of intonation. No toy-like sound. My koa concert flea - More of a ringing tone to it, a little more guitar like but not really, intonation is still great, very different sound than the Koaloha, but they play in the same ballpark depending on what you want, and not plinky.

The concert uklectic - no point in even bringing that up, it'll do what I want it to.

And the reason for posting this quick comparsion - the above ukes completely spoiled me. My Kala aqua tenor, the one I use as decoation and for autographs - it's got a laminate body and sounds completely plinky. It doesn't sound like a real instrument at all. It doesn't sound guitarlike, it doesn't sound like anything. It's got a plink to the sound, and sometimes that's appropriate.

Of the ukes I've had, my Pono mahogany tenor with Low G Worth's was the most "guitar like." - but that's not the only standard to judge a uke I don't think.

Plainsong
06-30-2008, 05:17 PM
Getting back the OP's post, the Ohana cedar top would interest me, as would the Koa Pili Koko and Koalana. I have an electric uke with a spanish cedar body and it just owns.

I can't speak for how Mitchell is as a brand, but if you don't plan to return it, it could be worth changing the strings. I've never had the issue where the tuner said they were in tune but the strings weren't in tune with each other. That must be aggrivating!

14twelve
06-30-2008, 05:28 PM
I have the Kala Koa/solid cedar top mentioned in the original post. It has a really beautiful tone. I can't compare it with any of the others mentioned as I haven't tried them, but can say that I'm really happy with it. A friend heard it and instantly wanted to buy the concert size of it (mine's tenor) after just one listen. I hope she does cause I want to try that one too!

redsedge
06-30-2008, 10:21 PM
If I use an electronic tuner and tune the strings open,

Ghs certainly aren't the nicest strings on the market but I'd like to add that electronic tuners have their limitations too. Maybe use it as a benchmark and then fine tune by ear?

Stompest
06-30-2008, 10:21 PM
I can't speak for how Mitchell is as a brand, but if you don't plan to return it, it could be worth changing the strings. I've never had the issue where the tuner said they were in tune but the strings weren't in tune with each other. That must be aggrivating!

The strings would have to be pretty terrible to throw the instrument off by as much as it was. On the other hand, most people probably wouldn't be as nit-picky as me, and would never notice. The Mitchell actually sounded pretty good. I'm surprised you haven't had the false fret tuning issue because in my other thread, specifically about that phenomenon, almost everybody's uke is off in the same way to varying degrees. It seems that very few instruments are right on.

I look forward to getting my next one. I'll pay special attention to the reading from my tuner with the stock strings, then with new strings to see how much affect it has.


I have the Kala Koa/solid cedar top mentioned in the original post. It has a really beautiful tone. I can't compare it with any of the others mentioned as I haven't tried them, but can say that I'm really happy with it. A friend heard it and instantly wanted to buy the concert size of it (mine's tenor) after just one listen. I hope she does cause I want to try that one too!

That one has been on the top of my ever changing list several times. I just can't seem to commit to one or another, it's driving me crazy!

If you are willing and able, 14twelve, I would be very grateful if you checked the tuning of your uke as is being discussed on the "do me a favor" thread. Preferably by tuning each string with a tuner and then checking the tuner readout when playing fretted notes as in response #5 of that thread.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3826

Boozelele
06-30-2008, 11:04 PM
I have the Kala ka-asmt solid mahogany tenor. I know this isn't one of the ones you listed, but my two cents is this....I love this uke. Is it in tune all the way up and down the fret board? I don't have a clue. All I know is it sounds good to me, has good action, and I love to play it. I guess my point is that I would hate to see you drive yourself crazy over uke selection based on variation from perfect pitch up and down the fret board. I struggled with my decision to buy this uke, and I think I over-thought the whole process. I have three ukes now, and am looking for a fourth. If it turns out that you love the uke as much as most of us do...you will always want one more...regardless of which one you buy.

14twelve
07-01-2008, 03:42 AM
That one has been on the top of my ever changing list several times. I just can't seem to commit to one or another, it's driving me crazy!

If you are willing and able, 14twelve, I would be very grateful if you checked the tuning of your uke as is being discussed on the "do me a favor" thread. Preferably by tuning each string with a tuner and then checking the tuner readout when playing fretted notes as in response #5 of that thread.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3826

Hey Stompest, I had read that thread, but sorry, I can't do it, as I don't have an electronic tuner. I do check my tuning against the fretted note on the next string after I tune it, but it's all done by ear, so I can't say that it's perfect pitch. Sounds fine to my ears though, and as I play mostly fingerstyle, it's easy to tell if a string is out of tune. Sorry I can't help you there! I read in another post that you've bought a flea. Hope you enjoy it!! I love mine. And if you do end up getting the Kala Koa with Cedar Top, I don't think you'd be disappointed.

Ian Boys
07-01-2008, 04:19 AM
Maybe I just got a fluke from the Mitchell factory, but my MU-100 (after swapping the strings for a nice sit of Ko'olau Golds) sounds really nice. The intonation is near perfect up until about the 10th fret, after which it gets slightly off, but only slightly (maybe a max of 20Hz). The uke does have a rather bright tone, which annoys some people, but I personally love it. I'd suggest going to a local guitar center and trying it out, or requesting one to be shipped to the store to try out if they don't have one in. For a 160 uke, you get a rather nice one (or at least I did).

salukulady
07-01-2008, 05:09 AM
After a bit of searching I found ol' Harv and J. Boy on YouTube doing Harv's song Lesbians (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBpEE2pljDs) HILARIOUS! Wish I was a man so I could pull it off.

Plainsong
07-01-2008, 03:36 PM
I'm VERY picky about intonation. Could it also perhaps be the tuner? I had an electric guitar tuner that said "Huh?" when it came to ukuleles, but then again it already wasn't a great tuner. Although it tuned the Risa concert stick just fine.

Howlin Hobbit
07-01-2008, 05:37 PM
After a bit of searching I found ol' Harv and J. Boy on YouTube doing Harv's song Lesbians (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBpEE2pljDs)


HILARIOUS! Wish I was a man so I could pull it off.

I loves me some Hot Time Harv. He does those sort of songs so that I don't have to.

Stompest
01-09-2009, 09:55 PM
So once upon a time I had been trying to decide between this uke and that, and I ended up deciding on the KA-KC-CT Kala "Solid" Cedar top concert. And I'd like to offer a small review of my experience.

I must say that I really liked the strings that were on it. Those Aquila strings that are so soft and flexible, blew the strings on my first uke and my flea out of the water.

But I have a few issues with the instrument:

The cedar top is only partially solid. That's right. And by partially solid I mean to say that it is not solid at all. There is a pretty thick ply of cedar as the face, backed by another thin ply (of cedar?). In other words, it is two-ply or laminated cedar, with the thin lamination on the inside. This is somewhat concealed by the beveled edge of the sound hole, presumable an attempt to taper the second ply away from view for an enhanced solid top-like experience. I'm a bit irked, but oh well.

My instrument also came with two pretty fissures in the face, free of charge, one for each side of the bridge. What a deal. Anyway, cedar is a fragile wood, especially if it was solid, and I can imagine it being hard for the manufacturer to avoid cracks. It is somewhat hard to see them because they are small (2 and 4 inches long), visible only upon the type of inspection any owner might give their instrument. Personally, I would rather that the cracks result from my lack of care or mistreatment, than straight from the factory. Two plugs of dark wood(?) fill holes in the bridge where screws or something might be, they are both half polished, half scratched, and one has a little chip in it.

The entire instrument is covered in some type of coating to give it the nice matte finish. I actually enjoy this type of finish, not joking this time. It gives instruments a look and feel of real wood. In my opinion, a gloss finish gives a heavy plastic-like feel. They almost covered the entire uke with it, minus a few areas on the side of the sound hole where I guess they thought it wasn't necessary, er overlooked. A minor detail.

The rosette, if it is made of something natural, looks very artificial. It looks more like tortoise shell than sea shell (not in a good way), it doesn't accent the instrument. Instead, I'd rather they give me the precious wood they carved out to put this in place. The dots in the fret board are made of something much prettier, but are more scratched than polished, pretty small, and also not centered between the wires, or centered on the neck.

The wood is very pretty (tho the cedar is meh). It has koa laminated sides and back and a solid mahogany neck, both look nice. The sides are especially pretty with some curliness in the wood. Another issue is that the two halves that make up the back are not equally wide. There is a line of maple bisecting the koa laminate sections of the back that should run from the bottom center of the back up to meet the neck. The line itself does not meet the neck centered, but is off to one side. This asymmetry is unappealing IMHO. I'm guessing the inner ply of the back and side is made of rosewood, but whatever it is, I almost wish it was on the outside.

The sound is vastly better than my first uke, and also better than my soprano flea, but it leaves me not completely satisfied. From my run-ins with other uke players and recordings I've heard, my ukulele lacks that ooh-lala hawaiian beach sound. Instead it seems to have more of a tinny plunk, as if the sound is dying. Don't get me wrong, it is still a fully competent instrument that I have had a lot of fun with, but I look back at the other instruments I pondered a year ago with a bit of longing... like a bushman, or an ohana, all of similar price. I think that for $250 the people in the Philippines or Indonesia or wherever this unit was made could have tried a little harder. It took me a long time to earn that money, far longer than it took them to harvest and manufacture this very obviously mass produced item.

Before writing this I tried finding this instrument on the Kala site to see what they had to say for themselves. I couldn't find it, I'm guessing they don't sell it (anymore?). Um... very interesting.

All in all, this is not an instrument I would recommend. Food for thought.

HoldinCoffee
01-10-2009, 12:30 AM
Always wondered about the "Solidness" of the top. Thanks for the update. And I looked through Kala's online product line, and I don't see it mentioned. Good to know.

Ukuleleblues
01-10-2009, 03:35 AM
I played a Tenor set up by MGM, the set up was very nice. It was bought by a beginner and the set up itself makes such a difference. Call him.

freedive135
01-10-2009, 05:56 AM
Keep in mind that I am a beginner and not a connoisseur. I realize that while one made with koa is "authentic" that does not mean that it is "superior," and that authenticity comes with an inflated price. I do appreciate instruments that are pretty, but I tend towards a purist mentality (I want it to sound/look like it is supposed to). I suppose that I merely want to be fully satisfied in knowing that I have a quality instrument that sounds great, will last, and will retain value. That in mind, I can't imagine the need to spend more than $350 to satisfy my requirements, and I would hope/expect that there are quality instruments significantly under this price.


The sound is vastly better than my first uke, and also better than my soprano flea, but it leaves me not completely satisfied. From my run-ins with other uke players and recordings I've heard, my ukulele lacks that ooh-lala hawaiian beach sound.

These 2 ^quotes^ provide the answer....


My Pono Mahogany Soprano sounds like a Ukulele.... and i love it, when played I can hear the oldtime sounds of Ukulele Lady and Honalulu Baby...

But my new Koaloha Koa Soprano sounds like a UKULELE!!!!!
When playin it closing my eyes, I can feel the sand between my toes, hear the laughing of the Waikiki Beach Boys and smell the Frangipani...

I think it has to do with the wood and the bracing.

GX9901
01-10-2009, 07:19 AM
The cedar top is only partially solid. That's right. And by partially solid I mean to say that it is not solid at all. There is a pretty thick ply of cedar as the face, backed by another thin ply (of cedar?). In other words, it is two-ply or laminated cedar, with the thin lamination on the inside. This is somewhat concealed by the beveled edge of the sound hole, presumable an attempt to taper the second ply away from view for an enhanced solid top-like experience. I'm a bit irked, but oh well.


While I can't comment on whether this is indeed a solid cedar top, it should be noted that some ukulele tops have some sort of soundhole reinforcement underneath that could give the impression of it being a thick laminated top as you've described. I think for softwoods such as cedar and spruce, such reinforcement may be a necessity. I have a Kala tenor neck soprano with a solid spruce top, and it looks as you've described on the edge of the soundhole. However, sticking a finger inside the soundhole and feeling around it, I can tell that it's only in an area around the soundhole where this reinforcement is glued.

Here's an example of the inside of a Kepasa Little Mac with soundhole reinforcement:

http://kepasaukulele.com/building-pages/building-pix/LM-pix/LMbacklook.jpg

salukulady
01-10-2009, 07:34 AM
My Pono Mahogany Soprano sounds like a Ukulele.... and i love it, when played I can hear the oldtime sounds of Ukulele Lady and Honalulu Baby...

But my new Koaloha Koa Soprano sounds like a UKULELE!!!!!
When playin it closing my eyes, I can feel the sand between my toes, hear the laughing of the Waikiki Beach Boys and smell the Frangipani...

Beautiful description. You should write a song.....

Stompest
01-10-2009, 09:44 AM
GX9901: You are absolutely right! I thought of trying to stick a mirror in the hole to look around, but I didn't have one; poking my finger past the strings revealed that it is a reinforcement indeed. I retract my accusation. That makes me feel better knowing that it wasn't false advertisement.

Ukuleleblues: This instrument was purchased from MGM, and I agree that it was strung nicely. It is hard not to purchase from that guy, he has taken over. The man must be a millionaire.

I think I'm going to build my next ukulele. That way I will only have myself to blame for any shortcomings. Plus, that would be a lot of fun. I just had a pretty cool idea: growing a gourd inside a mold shaped like the ukulele body. That way I could grow ukuleles! Solid and seamless!