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View Full Version : Decision - indecison........



Tack
02-21-2011, 01:55 PM
Hello - all,
New member/novice here and new to the world of Ukulele. I will post more about that in the intro forum I guess.

My question..... Well ... like so many others here, which uke? I know this must get kinda boring for the pros here, but seems important to us beginners :p

Looking to spend around $200-$300 (plus postage/case etc) on a nice uke I can learn on and hopefully keep for some time. Like warmer tones/mellow sounds and am vacillating between a Concert and a tenor. Both have strong proponents here but I note that Tenor seems to be increasingly popular......and I do not intend to buy BOTH - for the moment!
I also LOVE wood..... great wood grain with depth is a pleasure for me to simply look at and hold - this kinda leads me away from the fluke/flea despite the plaudits they get. Hope I will be picking a fair bit as well as strumming.
Am thinking solid mahogany - (?Mainland?) Uke. No idea what a mango-wood uke really looks/sounds like and doubt the pictures on the net do it (or the mahogany) justice.

So please help me choose :D Concert or tenor and why? Mainland? - not wedded to the Mainland, just see a lot of good reviews here. Also feel if I start of with a well made, good sounding Ukulele that doesn't cut my fingers to shreds on the fret board, the whole learning process will be more pleasurable for me. MGM and Mainland both get good reports....

Don't worry - I won't blame you - it will be MY decision but any advice appreciated.

ps - seem to have very limited local potential for finding decent solid ukuleles so suspect I will be buying over the 'net

seoulsister
02-21-2011, 06:50 PM
I just purchased my first uke and did quite a bit of research. What about the acacia tenor or concert? The sound is lovely and it is solid acacia. Hawaii Music Supply has them and also MGM on ebay. There are vid of the sound on utube as well.

bazmaz
02-21-2011, 10:22 PM
Tack - concentrating on the Mainland (and why wouldn't you?!), they are marvellous instruments in your price range, and IMHO about the best bang for buck at that price.

Whilst they are generally built in the far east (most are at that price) the Mainlands are finally put together and set up in the USA by the wonderful Mike and his team. As such, you know you are getting a quality instrument, not something that has not seen daylight since it left the chinese factory. I have the Mahogany concert and it sounds as sweet as a bell. Intonation is spot on all over the neck, it feels nice in the hand, and it looks beautiful - the grain through the gloss on mine really shimmers.

As for Concert or Tenor, that is just personal preference. Tenor v popular in the US, less so in the UK. I personally think Tenors push to sound too much like guitar, and as a guitarist myself, I like the Sopranos and Concerts for a clear different sound.

Review of my Mainland Concert here - http://gotaukulele.blogspot.com/2010/05/mainland-mahogany-concert-slotted.html

Tack
02-21-2011, 11:38 PM
Thanks Seoulsister and Pauljmuk, must admit the acacia was not on my radar. I do love its wood-grain on the few photos I have found. How would you describe the sound? Bright? mellow? warm?

Pauljmuk :- I notice you seem to have the mahogany concert with slotted headstock AND rope purfling - I can't't see that option (slotted with the purfling) on Mainland's site any more but do think it looks fantastic. I assume the slotted headstock is effectively cosmetic 'only' but it looks very nice! your comment "The Mahogany finish is wonderful, deep grained with a kind of 3d shimmer effect to it." sent shivers down my spine :D.

I now realise that - if I stick it out - I will develop severe UAS anyway..... so think I will probably go concert to start. It will also be less physically intrusive as the chancellor of the exchequer comes to terms with my chosen direction! ;)

ps Pauljmuk - a week or more back bought your primer on things ukulele players REALLY want to know - a good read for a novice!

bazmaz
02-22-2011, 12:30 AM
Tack - I hadn't noticed on Mainland site, but you are right - the rope binding seems absent from the current slothead concert - not sure why? But yes, the headstock is purely cosmetic - I think it looks great.

ps - thanks for book comment

mangorockfish
02-22-2011, 08:38 AM
Get a mahogany concert regular headstock with chrome tuners and you'll never look back. Ask Mike, either one, Mainland Mike or Uke Republic Mike to pick out a dark red one for you. Mainlands RULE!!!

Tack
03-01-2011, 11:50 AM
OK!
One MAINLAND regular gloss mahogany concert sealed geared GOLD tuners / MOP plus accessories (tuner/case) ordered and soon on its way! :D
Thanks to all for their advice and general good temper in helping out this newbie! Thanks to Mainland Mike for deciphering my Australian accent ;)




And just out of interest - I did find a store locally that had a single Curly Koa Lanikai CK-C for $399 (Current exchange rate Aus$ - US$ about 1:1).


PS: Asked Mike about the slotted headstock PLUS purfling etc - He thinks he may have more later in the year but Not at the moment... maybe in time for me to get a tenor <ponders>

joeybug
03-01-2011, 12:26 PM
Just wanted to add that although I haven't played a Mainland, from all the reviews I've read, you're going to love it! Just to warn you that you may face extra charges because it's being sent from the USA into Australia and you may be hit with extra taxes and charges because of that..it's not something you think about too much until it's happened to you! But yes, going with the Mainland concert (I, like Paulmjuk, love the feel of Sopranos and although I've played a concert, I still prefer the sopranos for the moment!) is a good choice! And from MGM you'll get a great set up too! Do you know what strings he suggested?

Let us know when it arrives and be sure to post pictures and possibly a sound sample! I always love to hear how a new Uke sounds :D

Keep :music:

Joey

Tack
03-01-2011, 12:57 PM
Hi Joey,
thanks for the heads up about added charges. Luckily, in Australia, we don't get charged GST (Tax/VAT) on imported goods under $1000 as the paperwork involved apparently doesn't make it worthwhile for customs (or something :D). So I suspect I will get by without added costs. As for the strings (Mainland MIKE Not MGM :D) - Aquila - although I have heard good things about Fluorocarbons on the Mainland concert mahogany so might give them a go in the fullness of time.
Hopefully will post an "unboxing" when everything arrives.
Cheers!

joeybug
03-01-2011, 01:20 PM
Hi Joey,
thanks for the heads up about added charges. Luckily, in Australia, we don't get charged GST (Tax/VAT) on imported goods under $1000 as the paperwork involved apparently doesn't make it worthwhile for customs (or something :D). So I suspect I will get by without added costs. As for the strings (Mainland MIKE Not MGM :D) - Aquila - although I have heard good things about Fluorocarbons on the Mainland concert mahogany so might give them a go in the fullness of time.
Hopefully will post an "unboxing" when everything arrives.
Cheers!

I get confused with the many different Mikes, sorry! Aquila's are a good string, but it's also good to try different ones for the sound you want..I have four Ukuleles (saving for a fifth) and all but the solid acarcia KPK have Aquila's on them, I use Worth Browns on the KPK, I like the sound they give her rather than the "brightness" of Aquilas.

Look forward to seeing the "unboxing"!

downtoearthed
03-01-2011, 04:34 PM
Congratulations on your new Mainland! I think you will be very happy with it. Post pics as soon as it arrives.

Nickie
03-01-2011, 08:22 PM
Congratulations! I know you're gonna love that new uke.