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View Full Version : Rank your brands - Top 5



DigableKid
07-01-2008, 06:38 PM
What's crackin'?

Like the thread says, what top 5 uke brands would you buy if money didn't hold you back?

I'm planning to buy another uke so please help me out.


Thanks,
Digablekid

brokenwing
07-01-2008, 06:46 PM
You have no price ceiling?

DigableKid
07-01-2008, 06:56 PM
I have a budget...but this thread doesn't. I just want to know what brands would come after or before a Kamaka. And also where Martins stand...

drubin
07-01-2008, 07:17 PM
Aside from my custom MP (which I remain consistently amazed by and head over heels in love with :love:), I'd really like to get my hands on ukes by the following custom luthiers. I'm no good at ranking, so... in no particular order:

William King (Chantus)
Dave Means (Glyph)
Kevin Crossett (Kepasa)
Peter Hurney (Pokahau)
Michael DaSilva
Duane Heilman (Black Bear)
Dave Talsma

Whoops...that's seven, not five! :eek::biglaugh: Guess I'm no good at counting either.:rolleyes:

brokenwing
07-01-2008, 07:32 PM
They all have their own character. It's not really a matter of one being "better" than another. The major Hawaiian builders appear to be more alike than they are different.

Some of the high-end Ko'olau's get very pricey but I'm sure they deserve their price tag. The current mainstream production Martins aren't anywhere near the standards of those made in the 20's and 30's. They do make re-issues of the 3k though, that will run you a few thou and the 5k which will run you considerably more. The vintage all-mahogany Martin sopranos are another animal.

Individual luthiers like R.L. Saul and John Mayes will build you a beautiful instrument for $3K plus. Dave Means of Glyph makes a great uke whose prices are a little more reasonable. Michael DeSilva's another good one. There's more, of course, but finding someone who has been lucky enough and experienced enough to sample all of these and give an informed comparison is going to be hard.

Plainsong
07-01-2008, 10:18 PM
Pete Howlett
David Means
Michael DaSilva
Kanilea
Koaloha

Edit - G-String can't not be on this list. That makes it 6. My bad.

ricdoug
07-01-2008, 10:26 PM
Stop by Thursday and check out the many models and brands we play:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3011

or go to Giacoletti Music (it's only 2 blocks away from where the Ukulele Society of America meets), where they keep over 100 models of ukes in stock! Try, before you buy. Ric

http://www.carlsbadmusic.com/v2/ukuleles.htm

Slipz
07-02-2008, 12:15 AM
I haven't had the chance to play very many exotic ukes but I'll give a vote to a local Florida fella ------ LoPrinzi ----- Top rate build, wonderful sound and a terrific guy - Prices aren't bad for a custom hand built uke

Check him out

http://www.sptimes.com/2002/01/21/Floridian/The_Duke_of_Uke.shtml

http://www.augustinoloprinzi.com/

deach
07-02-2008, 01:38 AM
Just 5 ??!?!?

:::head explodes

Poi Dog
07-02-2008, 01:52 AM
Kamaka
G-String
Koaloha
Kelii
Valley Made (Waianae)

bof
07-02-2008, 06:54 AM
Brueko
Risa
Martin
Ko'Aloha

Plainsong
07-02-2008, 07:10 AM
Oh jeez, Risa. Such an excellent high tier brand and none of us remember them! Ok then, 7. :D

Howlin Hobbit
07-02-2008, 07:12 AM
Glyph
Just about any of the other fine solo builders, too many to list but Drubin made a good start (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showpost.php?p=42807&postcount=4)
KoAloha
National
Ohana


(You notice how I cleverly covered the gamut in pricing? Damn, I'm good!) ;)

LoMa
07-02-2008, 07:15 AM
My favorites have different sounds from each other, although the Larrivee's and Stradelele are much more akin to one another than the others:

Larrivee, Larrivee, Larrivee!!!
Stradelele concert from Joel Eckhaus' Earnest Instruments
Kiwaya
Ohana (for the price, they're great)

I've played a lot of ukes, including Pete Howlett, Mike Da Silva, Pohaku, Kanilea, vintage Martin, vintage Kumalae, Mele, Bruko, Ukebrand, Todaro, Beltona, and a host of others, but Larrivee are my most favorite, with the Stradelele a strong second.

MGM
07-02-2008, 04:23 PM
Baskin and Robbins
Gummy Bears from Black forrest
Starburst
Mentos
Whoppers

Oh did somebody mean uke brands.....awwww shucks

h-drix
07-02-2008, 05:41 PM
Baskin and Robbins
Gummy Bears from Black forrest
Starburst
Mentos
Whoppers

personally the tone of whoppers is just nil to starburst. Besides the smaller fingerboard of the starburst there really is no downfall to them. im surprised woppers made your list considering the low quality of there entire production line.

your number 1 MGM.:bowdown:

DigableKid
07-03-2008, 11:21 AM
Thanks to everyone for the info and opinions. I learned alot of different brands and can now do some studying and searching.

KiLO
07-03-2008, 03:02 PM
Right now, I can only base this on what I've actually played, but for me, my top brand is Kanile'a. I played a Kanile'a "Sound Monster" today and fell in love. That will definitely be my next uke. As far as the next 4, I'd have to say Pono, Ohana, Kala, and Lanikai.

I can't go and play anything more expensive than that, I'll get in trouble, haha. :D