View Full Version : What makes you favorite uke, your favorite uke?

06-05-2011, 03:28 AM
I got into uke about a year and a half ago. At that time I got a KoAloha concert and really liked it, but was looking for a more "guitar" sound uke. I have gotten a few tenors in my search and found some that have that guitar quality. I also wanted it to be loud. Mainly because I have a LOUD voice and so do my daughters.

Now that my uke collection has grown, I find myself drawn to the more uke sounding ukes.

The Mya-Moe has this jangly-folkish chorus vibe... a sparkle if you will. It doesn't sound like a guitar and it is not my loudest uke, but man am I drawn to it. I think it is the tone, and the feel to a certain extent. Maybe it is because of how responsive it is, I really am not sure.

So, what draws you to your favorite uke. What make it your favorite?

06-05-2011, 04:51 AM
Hello, Interesting question. It is always hard to name "favorite" because I like to jump around a bit. The Kamaka Pineapple is my favorite because the sound of it just blows me away and... I don't know the words to describe but I swear I play better when playing that uke. But.... It is not yet the perfect uke for me because it is a chubby little thing and playing a standard soprano is like coming home to me. I love my Mainland soprano because it feels good, sounds good and I don't worry much about hurting it. If I want to play in a group the Pineapple has much better projection. If I had to choose just one it would be the Kamaka Pineapple. So happy that I don't have to choose just one.

06-05-2011, 09:05 AM
Seeing that I only own two ukes this one is easy for me, Kanilea K-1 satin. But I did go through a couple of others to reach my current favorite.

I love the sound of my Kanilea, it is loud, deep and rich. There is a lot of depth to the sound. The strings made a huge difference. It came strung with Aquilas, but I found that the sound was a bit muffled and dull. I could hear that deep sound, but it was missing something at the top end. I strung it up with Worth Clears and it brought out the ringing high end that it needed. It got a more balanced sound now, if still on the low side a bit.

If I were to get a uke to compliment it, I would look for something with more of a middy bite.

06-05-2011, 09:10 AM
What is a middy bite?

06-05-2011, 09:18 AM
You know I just can't put my finger on it! I like the way it looks, the way it sounds, and the way it feels in my hands. It is not the most expensive or even the most beautiful but I like it best.:drool:

06-05-2011, 09:32 AM
To Roxhum:

A tone with more concentrated mid range.

If you've ever seen basic 3 band eq's there is usually Low (bass) Mid (mid range) and High (treble).

mm stan
06-05-2011, 09:45 AM
I like my soprano Rogue because it has a simple old traditional non complex sound...it's light and portable and a real comfort and with good playability...I'm stuck in the old ways of sound, and simplicity..

06-05-2011, 09:47 AM
I prefer my koaloha pikake concert.
The sensation of holding a koa uke without gloss finish is fantastic. I love the sound and tone of this uke, that vibrates in full body on each note.

06-05-2011, 09:47 AM
I love everything about my two Kamaka concert ukes, but it's hard to put it into words. All I can say is I've tried out a lot of nice ukes and never been tempted to upgrade to anything fancier.

06-05-2011, 10:28 AM
I probably have the unpopular opinon but, my favorite is my Makala Concert. When I first played it at the store, it was one of ukes that i could not put down. It was comfortable to play with. The sound was amazing with cheap GHS strings. There were Kamakas but, one stuck out and it was this Makala. Maybe because im crazy but, the plain look of a "regular uke" and the amazing sound just had be dumbfounded.

06-05-2011, 10:36 AM
I don't have a fave; it depends on my mood.

The ukes I play most are my Makala LightBlueBurst Tenor (low G) and my Makala OrangeBurst Dolphin (high G).

I usually play the Tenor first (am working on the Fingerpicking Style for Ukulele Book), then the Dolphin feels so easy!

There are times when I want a Low G soprano experience, then I go to the Red Dolphin.

As I've noted before, my folks love the sound of the Tenor, too, so they prefer that I practice on that one in the living room.

06-05-2011, 10:43 AM
I like them all or I wouldn't still have them. (I don't really factor in the cheap sopranos when I count them). The Kamakas have a unique traditional woody sound but both have that ring from the harmonics. The concert is my fave for just picking on the couch late at night when I want to go to bed and not dream that I'm at work all night long. The vintage pineapple is just fun and plucky. The Halekoa soprano is the most responsive tonally, the whole body vibrates with each note, when I reach for a note on any open string it is vibrating. The Bradford Donaldson custom has the most perfectly comfortable body feel and a lovely sound, it is in the top three. The Kanile'a tenor has the richest sound but the gloss makes it very slippery to hold. It is probably the most lovely, on a level with the Halekoa. The Yasuma tenor has the sweetest sound of all of them.

The one that is absolutely the most fun to play and most responsive overall is the Risa LP tenor. I can't say it's my favorite yet because it needs an amp and I use headphones so I don't annoy the neighbors, so it is not a sitting on the porch picker. And it is really different from a traditional uke. I don't intend to ever let it go, so it is definitely a top three.

I have to figure it all out though, I have a lot of arthritis in my hands and so need to sort out the easiest players, and I do need to downsize. :p

06-05-2011, 12:10 PM
mine is my kala lacewood tenor. Because its my highest quality instrument and it has great volume and tone. i still play my othe ukes but mainly for picking around the fretboard when i just want to play uke casually and not try to improve or learn something new.

06-05-2011, 12:28 PM
I hate to admit it, but it's the most recent I've acquired, whatever that happens to be. I guess I'm still in transition..

06-05-2011, 12:49 PM
My favorite Uke is my Custom Concert. I think of this Uke like a stubborn girlfriend.... She is willing to give me what I want, the sweetest sounds that I've ever heard, save for my wife and child, but I have to adapt to her headstrong ways. She is gorgeous to look at, and she feels so perfect in my hands. I guess in a weird way, she is more than an instrument.... we are involved....

06-05-2011, 03:17 PM
It would have to be my pre-war Martin O. My Dad gave it to me on my 10th birthday. Besides being a family heirloom, it sounds so amazing. Also, my Dad had such pride and love when he handed it to me. He had just finished building our house and I suspect he didn't have any money to buy me a gift, so he gave me his uke. He taught me to play "Yes Sir, That's My Baby". It was the only time I saw that look or that he took the time to patiently show me how to do anything....a "golden memory."

06-05-2011, 03:30 PM
Two are my favorite. The one I would never sell and love is my Locals soprano that I picked up when I visited Oahu. I will always remember that trip and every time I pick it up I feel as though I have a little feeling of Hawaii with me. Plus it sounds and plays amazingly even though I prefer tenors. The second is my Kala acacia Tenor because it plays like butter and has a fullness that will punch you in the face. Also the inlays are really cool!

06-05-2011, 03:54 PM
My fave ukulele is my Kamaka HF3 tenor. Though I do like the sound of it above my other three ukes, it is really three other things make it my true favorite.
1) The curl of the koa -- I specifically was looking for a curly koa uke since my other three lack curl in their wood patterns.
2) The feel of it -- the size of the neck, and the body just feel perfect in my hands. It is just the most comfortable of my ukes to play.
3) Finally, maybe most importantly - the tradition behind the Kamaka name. Although my KoAloha and Kanilea were both made in Hawaii, to me, Kamaka IS Hawaii.

06-05-2011, 04:31 PM
My Kanile'a K1-T because the neck fits so nicely in my hands. Hard to describe but it's just perfect for my hand size.

06-05-2011, 04:41 PM
My favorite uke is by far my Slingerland banjo uke. It has a narrow fretboard which is perfect for barre chords with my small hands, and has the tone I want. After playing my first banjo uke, I realized that it was the sound I was looking for in an instrument, and my other ukes have been slightly neglected.

06-05-2011, 06:35 PM
So many things factor into favorite for me- I read the posts of people who have found that K brand uke that floats their boat and sigh...
Martin 3m...Mojo by the bucketful, delightful plucky tone, perfect for bringing the roaring 20's to my living room
Kala Spruce Top Bari- best finger picker in the stable, especially with the new Southcoast Strings...brilliant for nightly hootenanny
Ohana Vita- right at my computer, loud enough to play with Itunes
Makala Tenor and Soprano...don't mind the kids playing them in class every day (those poor starters...)
Kala Spalted Maple- ringy chorusy I better play a Smiths tune fast!
Kala Lacewood Tenor- best set-up ever...too bad I bought it for my wife (so easy to learn on)
Risa Kidneybean tenor- That' right! This is MOTORHEAD on the Uke neighbors.
CB Reso-uke- perfect for learning the blues on, and I made it in my garage
Maybell Banjo Uke- I worked for three weeks straight to set her up, and she sounds great now!
Morgan Monroe Banjo Uke- 5 foot 2 eyes of blue....thank god for a wider neck!
Uggghhh- they all are favorites for various reasons, and they all get played every day as I show the world that harnessing ADHD into something creative can be beneficial (unless you happen to be my neighbor).

06-05-2011, 07:23 PM
My favorite uke is my Ohana TK-10. I just love the volume and tone that harder/faster strums can get out of it. It is highly conducive to leaping around and screaming and playing the ukulele in my underwear and a cowboy hat at two in the morning. At the end of the day, isn't that what we're all looking for in an instrument?

06-06-2011, 01:37 AM
My fav uke is simply Moore Bettah than any other uke I have played.

06-06-2011, 04:50 AM
The Kamaka Pineapple is my favorite because the sound of it just blows me away and... I don't know the words to describe but I swear I play better when playing that uke. But.... It is not yet the perfect uke for me because it is a chubby little thing and playing a standard soprano is like coming home to me.

Hey Rox, here's a thought - although this might sound like heresy to some! - how about putting a strap on it? I got to hang out with a Kamaka Pineapple yesterday (that I'm probably buying in a couple days, but am "thinking it over" - yeah, right, not much to think about!). I'm not sure if it's the shape, or the fact that I use straps on my concert ukes and am accustomed to that, but I did find the pineapple kind of tricky to hold.

06-01-2013, 03:28 AM
I thought I'd revive this thread as I was going to ask the very same question.

"What's your favourite Uke?"

Mine is my first uke which is a simple Makala MK C Concert. I've had few others since due to UAS (which I'm getting over now lol) and they've gone now and I'm left with this and 2 others. However the Makala is my favourite. I changed the strings for Aquilas, I changed the tuners, I lowered the nut and saddle and the intonation is almost spot on. I'm just about to add a pickup.