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guitar2adam
07-15-2008, 09:42 AM
I am a serious guitarist, but I have been playing ukulele for about a year (on a crap $10 one) and want to upgrade. I know I want a tenor uke with a pick up. And I am looking in the price range of $300-$600. But I have a few questions I hope some of you could help me out with.

1. Does getting a cut-away diminish the volume and tone of a uke significantly?

2. What kind of pick up is best for a ukulele? I've seen some that come with Dean Markley pick ups, are those a good way to go?

3. I want a uke thats good for finger picking and strumming, so is mahogany the best kind of wood for that?

If anyone can suggest a company or model for me that would be great. I've never bought an instrument before that I haven't played and tested out first, so I'm kind of nervous to buy a uke online, and its hard to tell which sites are good quality and which ones aren't. Thanks alot.
-Adam

rt1965
07-15-2008, 11:45 AM
I don't have any personal experience with the questions you are aksing, but I would highly recommend musicguynic in Hawaii. His real name is Michael. Here is a link to his e-bay store. http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room

You can also call him at 757-777-7873. He can answer your questions and get you going in the right direction.

nmelcher
07-15-2008, 12:47 PM
Hi, Adam, I can give you my experience on your questions from my experience owning a Lanikai S-TEQ cut-away tenor with electric pickup. I'm still new to understanding ukulele logistics so my apologies if any of this ends up being uninformed, but here's what I think...

1. I haven't noticed any deminished volume due to the cut-away or interior pickup. In fact, with the steel C string, the instrument sounds fuller than my concert ukes.

2. My Lanikai has a Shadow pickup and it works just fine with my Roland Microcube.

3. I don't know anything about woods, but what I have is a spruce top.

I picked up my ukulele in question from Rob at The Ukulele Shop - here's his eBay store address: http://stores.ebay.com/ukulele4u

cMejilla
07-15-2008, 12:55 PM
Go with the reference to MGM. He'll have a lot of high-quality acoustic electrics to go with that might suit you with that good of a budget (along with some extras). However, I'm not aware of any ukuleles constructed of all solid-wood (others usually have a solid-top but laminate sides) that have a cutaway body type that go for around that price range.

I currently use the Dean Markley passive pickups and have no problems with it since I'm not that demanding as of yet with electronics (at least not until I order my custom uke from Mike Pereira :D). But if you're serious about getting serious power and clarity from your uke to a sound system, you're going to want a pickup system built-in. On this and other forums, a lot of uke players really like to go with a K&K pickup, LR Baggs pickup, or a Mi-Si Trio. Those are some of the best systems that I've heard of so far on a uke.

Edit:
The type of wood for strumming and picking really depends on your own taste and experience. Tone woods like koa or maple produce that very bright sound that is typically associated with a uke. Since you've been playing guitar and it has an increased range in terms of lower and higher octaves, you might have developed a preference to warmer sounds like that of mahogany or cedar. You'll learn after a while what sound you're looking for but for now a ukulele that costs that much won't disappointment you that much if the tone isn't what you're looking for. Hell, MGM is very helpful with that regard on returns and other options afterwards.

grappler
07-15-2008, 04:22 PM
i was going to purchase this ukulele until i bought a custom

Its called a Big Island Honu Tenor. I cant tell you enough how good it is.
Soild Koa, not laminated!!!! it hass electrics also and a cutaway like u wanted.
on ebay at mikes store for around 500

check it out.

ichadwick
07-16-2008, 04:49 PM
1. Does getting a cut-away diminish the volume and tone of a uke significantly?
No. Especially not if it's amplified. I have cutaway and traditional figure-8 style tenors. No significant difference I can hear as a result of the cutaway.


2. What kind of pick up is best for a ukulele? I've seen some that come with Dean Markley pick ups, are those a good way to go?
Considering getting one with electronics already installed. The manufacturers have generally tried to pair their instrument with a good pickup match. I prefer passive pickups to pre-amps that require batteries and have more wires to rattle in the body.


3. I want a uke thats good for finger picking and strumming, so is mahogany the best kind of wood for that?
Wood is like discussing wine. Everyone has an opinion and few seem to match. I prefer cedar or spruce for picking style. But I like mango for strumming, too.


If anyone can suggest a company or model for me that would be great. Get one with solid wood top at the very least. Among the top of the mid-range line is Pono. Good quality is Kala. A Fluke is a great instrument too, and more fun per pound than any of the others. MGM on eBay may give you some direction.

uke142464
07-16-2008, 05:16 PM
i like this one
http://cgi.ebay.com/JUST-OUT-NEW-KALA-SPRUCE-TOP-KOA-TENOR-UKULELE-UKE_W0QQitemZ330253596203QQihZ014QQcategoryZ16224Q QcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

guitar2adam
07-19-2008, 07:26 PM
i like this one
http://cgi.ebay.com/JUST-OUT-NEW-KALA-SPRUCE-TOP-KOA-TENOR-UKULELE-UKE_W0QQitemZ330253596203QQihZ014QQcategoryZ16224Q QcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

Thanks guys for the advice. This is the one I just bought.
-Adam

upskydowncloud
07-20-2008, 03:40 AM
nice work, you'll have to tell us how it sounds and plays!