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View Full Version : Your Banjo Uke of choice



zac987
02-21-2011, 12:24 PM
I'm currently looking for a banjo-ukulele, preferably soprano size. However, I really wanted to check out my options before I made any sort of commitment I would regret. Therefore, I ask you, UU-goers! What banjo-ukulele do you have, and what do you like about it? A video would always be nice too :)

(If this is in the wrong section, by all means move it. I'm still kind of a noob to the whole forum thing xD)

Tudorp
02-21-2011, 12:27 PM
Well, not much help to ya. But my favorite is the one I got. It's a vintage one, but one I restored from a basket case with my own hands. So, I love playing it and love it's sound. But, there are several really nice choices out there for new modern ones out there. Im sure you will get some of those suggestions shortly.

PedalFreak
02-21-2011, 12:28 PM
I want a Beansprout Tenor Banjo Uke real bad :)

Tudorp
02-21-2011, 12:30 PM
I want a Beansprout Tenor Banjo Uke real bad :)

HEY... What are YOU doing here? Your supposed to be on your way to Asia to pick up my Epiphone Uke? lol

Hippie Dribble
02-21-2011, 12:41 PM
hi Zac

another vote for the BeanSprout Banjo-Uke's from me too mate. Mine is a concert scale. I love it for it's old-time sound and that it cuts through hard, whilst not being harsh.

I have a dodgy video of it being played...I'm singing as loud as I can but still struggling to be heard http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWBamQfbVak

gotta say I'm also looking forward to the release of the Magic Fluke banjo-ukes next month too. They could be a quality cheaper option for you.

PedalFreak
02-21-2011, 12:45 PM
HEY... What are YOU doing here? Your supposed to be on your way to Asia to pick up my Epiphone Uke? lol

Buy me that Beansprout Tenor Banjolele and I'll leave tonight to go get it for you haha :D

adam2180
02-21-2011, 12:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRW1KWf75ac

Uke Whisperer
02-21-2011, 12:54 PM
I really like my Gold Tone Banjolele (not to be confused with their Bango Ukuleles). NO REGRETS. Now I am glad I did't get the resonator. Don't think I need it, but if someday I do, I'll get the "kit" that makes it the Banjolele Deluxe.

Tudorp
02-21-2011, 01:00 PM
HEY... What are YOU doing here? Your supposed to be on your way to Asia to pick up my Epiphone Uke? lol
oh.. uh.. well.. I had thought you already left.. uh.. I'll just wait till they ship it to ya then.. ;)

Papa Tom
02-21-2011, 01:06 PM
I love the Rally I bought for $123 (+$60 shipping) on eBay, but I'm not a hardcore player like some of these other guys. How serious are you?

wheelgunner
02-21-2011, 01:58 PM
The only banjo-uke I have any experience with is from Waverly street. Dave's stuff is hard to beat for the money. He's a member here, check him out.

zac987
02-21-2011, 02:06 PM
Thanks guys! I'm definitely looking into the Flea Banjo Uke, as it's very inexpensive compared to the other options. I would love to have a concert Beansprout, but alas, I do not have the money for such a professional grade instrument. Mike from Mainland Ukes told me he'd have a soprano Banjo Uke by Summer, so I'm also looking into that.

Jnobianchi
02-22-2011, 04:34 AM
My banjo uke of choice is the Ludwig Wendell Hall. They are fairly commonly available for vintage ukes, and run between $800-1,000 for good, playable condition to up to $1,800 for mint condition. Among the new instruments, I'm looking forward to trying the Mainland and the Magic Flea.

My recommendation for folks starting out who don't mind vintage is the Slingerland MayBell model 20 - which runs from $100-$150, or the Dallas Formby model B and any of the Stromberg Voisinet ukes, which run about $150-$300 depending on condition.

Kem
02-22-2011, 05:02 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRW1KWf75ac

I must agree with Adam; I have another one of these. Here I am (http://audioboo.fm/boos/285056-gourd-banjolele-improv) improvising rather clumsily on it. Like Adam, I would recommend Jeff's instruments.

Deek
02-22-2011, 06:45 AM
I too cast my vote for a vintage banjo uke. You have to be patient and wait for the right deal to present itself, but that process can be a lot of fun! As you watch the deals go by and you lose a bunch of eBay auctions, you will slowly become a banjo uke expert.

As long as all the parts are there, I see very little risk in taking on a minor resoration project. In my case, I found a 20's SS Stewart University (made by Slingerland - very similar to the Maybell model) on the Elderly Instruments web site. It was "as-is" priced at $160 which seemed very reasonable - worth a 1 hour drive to Lansing. It turned out that all it needed was a tension screw for one of the tuners. It was an oddball No. 4 thread pitch that confounded their repairmen, so they put it in the as-is pile to await me. To me, it's a great addition to my collection with mojo to spare.

Susie A
02-22-2011, 06:58 AM
I too cast my vote for a vintage banjo uke. You have to be patient and wait for the right deal to present itself, but that process can be a lot of fun! As you watch the deals go by and you lose a bunch of eBay auctions, you will slowly become a banjo uke expert.

As long as all the parts are there, I see very little risk in taking on a minor resoration project. In my case, I found a 20's SS Stewart University (made by Slingerland - very similar to the Maybell model) on the Elderly Instruments web site. It was "as-is" priced at $160 which seemed very reasonable - worth a 1 hour drive to Lansing. It turned out that all it needed was a tension screw for one of the tuners. It was an oddball No. 4 thread pitch that confounded their repairmen, so they put it in the as-is pile to await me. To me, it's a great addition to my collection with mojo to spare.

I vote vintage too! I have and old Slingerland that I won on ebay.

zac987
02-23-2011, 03:06 PM
I ended up getting a Mainland Concert Banjo-Uke! I originally wanted the soprano, but he said he wouldn't have it until summer. I figure if I'm still itching for a soprano by summer, I'll have a job by then (and keep uke'ing it up at a local downtown area for money), so I can buy the Mainland Soprano or the Flea Banjouke. By then I'll see some solid reviews so I can feel confident about whatever purchases I make. Thanks again guys! :)

Jnobianchi
02-23-2011, 03:12 PM
Nice! please post video - would love to hear it!

pdxuke
02-23-2011, 03:30 PM
Banjo ukes scare me a bit because of all the hardware on it! Which is why the upcoming Flea banjo uke has great appeal; I really like its simplicity of design, AND I love the sound!

zac987
02-23-2011, 05:34 PM
I'll definitely post a video once I get it! And yes, the Flea Banjo Uke is quite tempting! I feel UAS setting in, lol.

ADD
02-23-2011, 06:44 PM
I must agree with Adam; I have another one of these. Here I am (http://audioboo.fm/boos/285056-gourd-banjolele-improv) improvising rather clumsily on it. Like Adam, I would recommend Jeff's instruments.

I couldn't hear a word he said, so couldn't agree or disagree. Love the sound of the instrument though.

TCK
02-23-2011, 08:13 PM
Another vote for vintage- My Maybell is my favorite thing ever I think, and she was mine for a song...

Chap
02-24-2011, 02:00 AM
I love my vintage little Maxitone, but dang, the neck is narrow, makes fretting difficult for my fat fingers.

DukeOfUkes
02-24-2011, 07:02 AM
I really like my Gold Tone Banjolele (http://thedukeofukes.com/products-page/banjoleles/gold-tone-banjolele-deluxe/) (not to be confused with their Bango Ukuleles). NO REGRETS. Now I am glad I did't get the resonator. Don't think I need it, but if someday I do, I'll get the "kit" that makes it the Banjolele Deluxe.

The Banjolele Deluxe is by far the nicest one I have ever laid eyes (or hands!) on. Makes me think of floating down the mighty Mississippi!

aaronckeim
03-01-2011, 07:10 PM
I have restored at least 50 old maybell/slingerland banjo ukes. The only issue is the skinny neck! I am always happy to scare up an old one and get it restored and setup for someone. Drop me a line!