View Full Version : Mainland Red Cedar Tenor

Uncle Leroy
12-27-2010, 01:02 AM
I am thinking of purchasing one of these with the MiSi pickup in it. Can anyone share their experience with me on this? Where are they made, quality, sound, customer service, ertc? Many thanks.;)

12-27-2010, 01:55 AM
Mainland Ukuleles (http://www.mainlandukuleles.com/index.html) are made in China and finished at the shop in Nashville, IN. Just maybe the best bang for a buck. The build quality is quite superb and the sound is loud and clear. Mike (hoosierhiver) a long time member and Tooki provide outstanding customer service. Many UU'ers will vouch for Mainland as one of the better instruments available in the $200-$300 price point ($350-$425 w/MiSi UST) +SH.

12-27-2010, 02:38 AM
Read my review on my Web site. Wonderful instrument: loud, clear, oodles of sustain. Nicely finished, too. A good choice.

12-27-2010, 02:55 AM
everyone should have a mainland... I say hypocritically lol. one day, one day

12-27-2010, 10:39 AM
I love my Mainland.

12-27-2010, 10:46 AM
I had the Mahogany Tenor w/Mi-Si, but didn't use it much once I got my Red Cedar tenor a week later (I didn't use the amp much). I LOVE my Red Cedar & will proably keep it a LONG time. Mine now has Worth clears on it & it just RINGS. My daughter has the soprano Honeybee w/Aquila's & it is pretty sweet as well. It would be hard to go wrong w/a Mainland.

As others have said, it would be hard to match the service that Mike at Mainland gives at the price he sells them & getting the Mi-Si installed while he sets them up beats either installing yourself or trying to find a competent ukulele installer (most guitar shops don't really know anything about ukes).

Chris Tarman
12-27-2010, 12:48 PM
I have 2 Mainlands: a mahogany soprano with Mi-Si pickup a, and a Red Cedar Pineapple. I've never played one of their tenors, but I don't see how you could go wrong. Mine are both fantastic, beautiful instruments. They sound great and play very nicely. Before I bought either of mine, I ordered a mahogany soprano as an 18th birthday gift for my niece, and I spent a couple of weeks playing that one too (you know... so the strings would stay in tune for her!). It was also great, and was the reason I decided to get one myself. I definitely plan on adding a couple more before I'm done.
As far as customer service... they are WONDERFUL! Mike installed the pickup for free (well, I had to pay for the pickup, of course!), which surprised me. I was expecting to have to pay SOMETHING for the installation. Also, about a week after I got my pineapple, the bridge popped off in the case one night. It was Sunday morning of Memorial Day weekend. I emailed them, not expecting to hear back before Tuesday after the holiday. Mike emailed me back within an hour and said they'd ship another out first thing Tuesday morning. That was just a freak bad-glue problem, which I've heard of happening with WAY more expensive ukes as well. But I was VERY impressed with how they handled it. They sent a new one with a UPS tag for me to return the old one.
I can't say enough good things about them, really. They are made in China, in (it is widely believed, at least) the same factory as Ohana ukes. They are certainly very similarly built. My mahogany soprano looks identical to an Ohana SK-35, apart from the binding. The fact that you can get a pickup installed, and choose what tuners you want really makes it more appealing than the Ohana (which is also a very nice uke).

12-27-2010, 01:10 PM
I have a Mainland mango tenor with the MiSi pickup and absolutely love it. I don't care for Aquila strings on solid wood ukes so I switched to fluorocarbon and it now has almost as good a tone, though lower volume, than my KoAloha concert.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I am probably spending more time playing the Mainland lately than the KoAloha - partly because I don't mind laying the Mainland casually on the shelf next to my desk so I can grab it easily when I need a short break from work.

The Mainland doesn't project as well as the KoAloha, and may not be quite as rich in tone (though it's definitely in the hunt on that score), but the action is actually a bit lower than on my KoAloha!

The MiSi Trio pickup system is great but you almost certainly will need some means of supplying some outboard EQ. The "SimpleJack" pickup is a model of simplicity, but it doesn't seem to have any built in EQ at all, so the "thump" commonly picked up by undersaddle transducers is quite prominent. It's not a big deal to EQ out with a good amp, or an EQ pedal, or a mixer with good EQ on the inputs - just don't expect to record straight to computer without something to EQ away the thump. Well, come to that I guess in a worst case scenario you could use software to apply EQ in post processing.

I don't really have any desire for a cedar uke (well, maybe someday if I decide to get a baritone) but if I did Mainland would be my first choice unless I'd just hit the lottery or something. :)


12-27-2010, 01:53 PM
I have a Mainland mango tenor with the MiSi pickup and absolutely love it. I don't care for Aquila strings on solid wood ukes so I switched to fluorocarbon and it now has almost as good a tone, though lower volume, than my KoAloha concert.
I also have a Mainland mango, but I think the red cedar has a nice, richer sound. The mango strikes me as a very soprano sound, a little brighter than I like. I hadn't thought of changing strings to something more mellow, but now that you've said that, I plan to replace the Aquilas with some D'Addarios or maybe Martins.

12-28-2010, 01:11 AM
I just purchased a new Mele concert with a MiSi installed. FANTASTIC! Don't let anyone talk you into a passive pickup.... go for the MiSi... it is MUCH better! Just ordered a new Mainland Concert with a MiSi myself. Can't wait to get that thing in my hands!

12-28-2010, 01:36 AM
I have a mahogany tenor with misi which I self fitted here is a video of me playing it in a gig . It's running through a di box straight into a pa which was set up an employed sound engineer. I normally use my Marshall as50sdacoustic amp which works fine. Thanks rae http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVXoJOFh884