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geetarlover
04-11-2011, 08:55 AM
hey, i am new to the ukulele world as my friend let me play on his Stagg electric strat uke. ever since playing it i have played ukulele songs on my guitar by using a capo on the 5th fret and i am hoping to buy my first ukulele soon. i was wondering, how are Mahalo ukuleles? the starter ones? i like the look of them but i have heard mixed reviews and was wondering if they are a good beginner buy :confused:

thanks much,

geetarlover.

BadLands Bart
04-11-2011, 08:58 AM
Have not heard too many good Mahalo reviews. You need to answer basic questions...how much do you want to spend, what size uke, pickup, solid wood or laminate.
If you can list these answers, trust me, you will tons of suggestions as there are tons of ukes to choose from!!!

geetarlover
04-11-2011, 09:01 AM
Okay urmm, well i live in the UK so that may limit suggestions. i have about 40 (about $50?), preferably a soprano, acoustic and a laminate as that will be cheaper :D

BadLands Bart
04-11-2011, 09:09 AM
Then check into a Makala soprano or a Makala Dolphin. Both are about $50USD. Makala is a lesser expensive brand of Kala ukes and they are very good and are an excellent uke for the money. If you go the way of a uke such as the ones I mentioned, it is important that the strings be aquila strings as these strings really bring out the sound in a laminate uke. In addition, if you can, buy the uke from a dealer who will "set up" the uke before you get it. MGM (Musicguymic on ebay) does this and I believe he carries these ukes. Not sure who in the UK sells them. But there are a lot of UK folks here at the UU and I am sure they can help out as well. Good Luck!!!

claudios
04-11-2011, 01:07 PM
[QUOTE=geetarlover;653000]hey, i am new to the ukulele world as my friend let me play on his Stagg electric strat uke. ever since playing it i have played ukulele songs on my guitar by using a capo on the 5th fret and i am hoping to buy my first ukulele soon. i was wondering, how are Mahalo ukuleles? the starter ones? i like the look of them but i have heard mixed reviews and was wondering if they are a good beginner buy :confused:QUOTE]

I bought one as my 3rd uke just to take on holiday and not worry about spanking it around. Don't get it as your first uke. Get at least a Kala or a Makala at the very least. The Mahalo I have is a toy. I changed the crap strings to Aquila strings and it is now playable but this toy doesn't compare to my Kalas.

If you're an American, you have loads of cheap choices but spend a little more if you can. I wrote a page on this subject here: http://claudio-uke.blogspot.com/p/choosing-ukulele.html


Cheers,
Claudio
http://claudio-uke.blogspot.com/

bunnyrawr
04-12-2011, 01:18 AM
I think I got lucky with my Mahalo, because after the better strings I had put on had settled it sounded great- still does, actually.
That, and it doesn't fall out of tune for about five days (Don't worry, I don't believe it either- I'm waiting for it to bite me or do something equally awful).
I don't have one of the shiny coloured ones though, I got one of their natural ukes, which I think are made of Mahogany?
I've never had a tone problem with it, but with Mahalos it's a bit 50/50 I think.

Huna
04-12-2011, 01:20 AM
I like the U-350. It sounds great. I am playing it right now. Those Les Paul ones are good too, but the U-350 is great. I have not played the colored ones but it looks like they recently upgraded them.

claudios
04-12-2011, 02:38 AM
I think I got lucky with my Mahalo, because after the better strings I had put on had settled it sounded great- still does, actually.
That, and it doesn't fall out of tune for about five days (Don't worry, I don't believe it either- I'm waiting for it to bite me or do something equally awful).
I don't have one of the shiny coloured ones though, I got one of their natural ukes, which I think are made of Mahogany?
I've never had a tone problem with it, but with Mahalos it's a bit 50/50 I think.

A sort of mahogany laminate I think. Mine is the shiny stuff and I agree probably isn't as good.

claudios
04-12-2011, 02:44 AM
I like the U-350. It sounds great. I am playing it right now. Those Les Paul ones are good too, but the U-350 is great. I have not played the colored ones but it looks like they recently upgraded them.

My Les Paul does buzz on some of the frets unless you play it softly.

Skitzic
04-12-2011, 03:17 AM
Mahalos can be fine, like any other brand in the price bracket they can have issues. Play it first if you can. I know someone who picked up a hideous yellow Mahalo on a whim and it's fine. No worse than the Makala Dolphin I have.

Happy strumming!

bazmaz
04-12-2011, 05:28 AM
I've played several and not liked any. The best I played was ok I suppose, but flat sounding, the worst (an entry level model) was badly put together, the fretboard was painted black (badly) and the bridge was crooked.

If you want a uke at this level, look no further than a Makala Dolphin!

I did a sound comparison of various ukes - the Mahalo is the first one - judge for yourself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ0VmBe0r04

Now - to get that Mahalo to a point where it could even be played took a LOT of work on my part at the nut, bridge, frets etc.

And a review of a Makala Dolphin here - http://www.gotaukulele.com/2010/04/red-special-arrives-makala-dolphin.html


The Dolphin is the same price as the entry level Mahalos, and sounds SOOOO much better. It needed the saddle taking down a touch but that was it.

I personally dont want to deal with a company that lets any uke go out of the factory in the state mine was in (regardless of the cheap price - using price to justify an instrument that is just plain badly made is not good). I have played other Mahalos and had the same experience.

Manalishi
04-12-2011, 08:22 AM
I must admit to being lucky with Mahalo ukuleles!
My first ever soprano was a 15 purple painted one
and it was fine for intonation and action.Bit 'thin'
sounding but acceptable.That went on to other things
and i have bought a few of the painted cheapies
since,for the Derby Ukulele Club.Mostly okay,no real
rogue ones among them.Best one ever,I got as a spare
for club members to noodle on,and it has to be the
best Mahalo soprano I have ever owned/played! I
fitted it with Aquila CONCERT strings and it is really
responsive.
The other bit of good luck I had,was with my Mahalo
Tenor,which was superb (for the price) from the word
go.I have removed the bracing immediately above the
soundhole,and thinned the brace below the soundhole,
fitted a strap button,and gone to LOW G tuning/stringing
on it,and it is my regular workhorse! So yes,they are cheap
and can be 'nasty' but I have had good fortune with them!
Paul is right about Makala Dolphins though,they are in a
different league,for only a few pounds more; but you CAN
get good results with a Mahalo!

Huna
04-12-2011, 08:29 AM
and some folks are influenced by a lot of things hence psychoacoustics... My ukes sound diff to me every time I play them... and then theres the favorite brands touted on here etc... strings... etc... but then theres this: reality strikes!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUgMZVvYkT4

Maiyah888
04-12-2011, 08:29 AM
I'm so glad for all the threads here on UU -- b/c I don't have tools or luthier skills (not McGuyver), I've chosen to go with Makala Dolphins and Ukadelics when getting Ukes for my friends, family and kids' projects.

I'm like the Borg Queen of Ukes -- Resistance is Futile! You will be Uke-similated!

geetarlover
04-13-2011, 05:30 AM
Thanks for all of the replies and advice. I have decided not to go for the mahalo and i would really love a makala dolphin but the only issue is there are no trusted stockists in the UK and i don't have enough money to pay for shipping -.- hopefully a stockist will come about soon and then i'll buy one.

thanks again :D

bazmaz
04-13-2011, 06:12 AM
In the UK - try Highly Strung (if they can get them in stock)

I also ordered one from http://www.bonsaiguitars.co.uk/products.php?cat=Soprano+Ukuleles&pg=2

Arrived next day, but needed a touch of setup

Nixon
04-13-2011, 06:19 AM
I was about to advise the same website paul :D

Manalishi
04-13-2011, 08:22 AM
Where in the UK are you? No one stocks them here in Derby
either,but one of my local shops was able to get hold of mine
for me,when requested! Give it a shot with your nearest good
music shop,you never know....