View Full Version : Contemplating a new uke

05-01-2011, 07:39 PM
Hi UU friends,

I'm being really good and controlling UAS, and starting to contemplate buying my third uke.

I have a Makala soprano, which I play lots, and an Eleuke solid body concert size which I play even more. I've played a tenor size arch-top Kala, and I didn't feel so comfortable with that. What I'm thinking is that I should get a reasonable concert size acoustic uke. I've been playing for seven+ months

My stash is still quite small at $150 but I'm not in a hurry to buy, and I'd welcome comments about what you think might be a good purchase. I could hang on for a while and buy up to the $450 range, or I could jump in at around $250 a lot sooner.

Your thoughts are very welcome. What uke options would you consider if you were me?

05-01-2011, 08:31 PM
I'm not sure how available these are in Australia, and I don't have one, but people here rave about Mainland Ukes (http://www.mainlandukuleles.com/). They're solid body ukes at reasonable prices, and the guy who owns Mainland is UU-er hoosierhiver. Kala sells solid mahogany concerts and solid acacia (a form of koa) ukuleles for between $250 and $300. My Kala solid mahogany concert was my first ukulele and I'm very fond of it.

You may also want to contact another UU-er named Mike, the guy who owns Uke Republic (http://ukerepublic.com/Merch.html)in Georgia. He's an authorized dealer of Kalas, Big Island, and Pono, and he recently launched his own line of very nice-looking ukuleles called Sailor Brand Ukuleles, which I believe are luthier-made in the USA. Again, I'm not sure how much it would cost to ship an ukulele from Georgia to Australia, but he may be able to at least give you some guidance about the benefits and drawbacks of various brands.

05-01-2011, 08:37 PM
what about those uluru ukes? I think they are aussie ukes made in vietnam in a lutherie shop?

Hippie Dribble
05-01-2011, 08:51 PM
hi Bruce

nice ukes within your budget and available in Australia are these:


Their Royal ukes are awesome. Lovely, full and rich tone, great projection, intonation and super smooth players. I'd recommend those for sure. Have a lil look-see anyway... :)

05-02-2011, 06:43 AM
"Do not contemplate, do, Luke."

Personally, I'd hold out for the best you can get - it's not like you don't have something to play in the mean time. I think a lot (not all, but a lot) of extreme UAS is fueled by purchasing a number of instruments that are a bit inadequate - you never really feel "fulfilled" by the purchase.

There are some good ukes in the $300 price range (I +1 the Mainlands) but, as much as I like them (and own 3), I would not be happy without at least one Hawaiian uke in my stable. If you hold out for something of that caliber you will probably find that there is much less "urgency" to make future purchases - it's not a total cure for UAS, but it will probably keep you from having a wall full of "cheap" ukes.

Now, for that handful of the elite who have a wall full of vintage and Hawaiian ukes, well, they're just hopeless UAS cases. :)


05-03-2011, 01:40 AM
Thanks for the great responses guys. I'm going to slowly build up the fund and watch for opportunities that arise.

Like John says I don't have to hurry, I have some ukes that I really enjoy playing. In the meantime I can browse Mainland, Uke Republic, Uluru, Royal Uke, and other sites, as well as keeping an eye on Mim's, Sailor Brand, Tony 'Tudorp' and everyone else that puts their wares out on display, as well as watching the Marketplace. We live in interesting times musically, riding a wave of very rich uke opportunity.

05-03-2011, 05:48 AM
Seems like you have easy access to Kala in Australia, there's always the solid acacia concert, including one model with a slotted headstock. Lots of YouTube sound clips for the Tenor model, here's MGM testing the Solid Acacia concert model" You can get in these for under $300 CONUS< not sure about over there.


05-03-2011, 05:55 AM
If you were within a reasonable drive to Burleigh, Queensland, I'd suggest you mortgage your Mother-in-law, add to your pot, and go pick up this Mele Koa Concert for AU $350
( or, you can always make an offer)