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View Full Version : New Toy (AKA: Beater) Makai PK55



PhilUSAFRet
06-17-2011, 06:56 AM
UAS came to a head today. Keep your fingers crossed for me. I don't have a pineapple and didn't want to put a whole lot of money into one, so after exhaustive research, I chose for my new toy (AKA: Beater) the Makai PK55 w/gig bag for less than $50 including shipping. I opted to add $5 to upgrade the case and cover additional postage. Total cost: $54.96 from Nicom Supply on Ebay. Has synthetic bone nut and sadde, am adding Aquila concert strings after hearing a set on one of these laminate cheapies. I just hope it doesn't need much setup. Will give full report.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=390280921898&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:BIN

Received my uke quickly. So far a very nice uke with a slight intonation problem. I think it's just a high nut, but I'll check the saddle too. I look forward to using the guidance I've found on UU and a few other links to learn how to do a prope setup. The factory strings are even worse than I expected. Overall construction fine for this price point. Getting over a hand sprain. Will post a full review when I finish set up (I'll take good notes). Trying to decide if I should just get the $20 Grover tuners (nearly half te price of the uke).

Huna
06-17-2011, 07:09 AM
yeah he sells Makais and Hawaii Kais. Hawaii Kai is his brand which is like a Makai with a different paintjob.

Well I bought a Hawaii Kai from him and had to file the nut slots so it wouldn't be sharp when fretted. It was not hard to tweak it though and it sounded great afterwards. He is a good guy to buy from but I don't think he is into setting them up. Its not hard tweak the nut and saddle (if it needs it) a little. He ships real fast too.

PhilUSAFRet
06-17-2011, 07:13 AM
yeah he sells Makais and Hawaii Kais. Hawaii Kai is his brand which is like a Makai with a different paintjob.

Well I bought a Hawaii Kai from him and had to file the nut slots so it wouldn't be sharp when fretted. It was not hard to tweak it though and it sounded great afterwards. He is a good guy to buy from but I don't think he is into setting them up. Its not hard tweak the nut and saddle (if it needs it) a little. He ships real fast too.

I'm hoping. Makai doesn't usually screw them up too badly!

Huna
06-17-2011, 07:20 AM
I tried makai twice and both times were bad. First one was from Elderly and it was a mango concert. The paint job was all smeared around the soundhole. It was like Elderly didn't even look at the ukulele at all. I am surprised it got out of the factory like that. The other one was a tenor spruce top I ordered from Cecilias who had it drop shipped directly from Makai in San Francisco. Well that one had a buzz on the C string. At first I thought it was a rattle in the wound string so put on a set of martins with no wound and then it still rattled so I sent it back.... The tone was nothing special on that ukulele anyways. 2 for 2 on the makais so far for me but it just might be my luck. The Hawaii Kai (identical, made in same factory etc.) was basically ok. The knob did come off the tuner but I could push it back on. Nicom sent me a new tuner when I told him about it. I think he's a one man shop, -- definitely a nice guy and very responsive.

PhilUSAFRet
06-17-2011, 07:54 AM
I tried makai twice and both times were bad. First one was from Elderly and it was a mango concert. The paint job was all smeared around the soundhole. It was like Elderly didn't even look at the ukulele at all. I am surprised it got out of the factory like that. The other one was a tenor spruce top I ordered from Cecilias who had it drop shipped directly from Makai in San Francisco. Well that one had a buzz on the C string. At first I thought it was a rattle in the wound string so put on a set of martins with no wound and then it still rattled so I sent it back.... The tone was nothing special on that ukulele anyways. 2 for 2 on the makais so far for me but it just might be my luck. The Hawaii Kai (identical, made in same factory etc.) was basically ok. The knob did come off the tuner but I could push it back on. Nicom sent me a new tuner when I told him about it. I think he's a one man shop, -- definitely a nice guy and very responsive.

NOW i'm hearing this about Makai!!!!!!! LOL Oh well, read several positive reviews too, here's hoping I get a good one. At least I didn't pay top price for it.

kenikas
06-17-2011, 08:32 AM
I think for the money Makai's are hard to beat, and in their price range a little tweaking is to be expected. I have dealt with nicom several times, always with favorable results.

DAPuke
06-17-2011, 09:48 AM
I 'll be watching for your review. Makai's generally get a decent review for a "straight out o the box" uke. I've wanted to get a pineapple uke and there are always a couple Makai's on the local craigslist. At the price they're offered I'd expect to have to do some set up. Good luck with your new uke and congratulations.
Don

guitarsnrotts
06-17-2011, 03:27 PM
Bought a Makai Pineapple a month or so ago. Had to clean up the nut slots a bit. I also ended up replacing the tuners with some Grovers 2B's for another $10. The intonation and overall workmanship was more than satisfactory for the under $50 including shipping I paid. A new set of Nylguts also helped. So for around $65 in total I now have a nice, decent sounding what I call my 'campfire uke'.

PhilUSAFRet
06-18-2011, 02:15 PM
Thanks all. I have some jeweler's files. Havent done any nut work yet, but I think they'd work. Have some lapidary and jewelry making experience, gunstocks, etc. I used my diamond nail file to smooth some fret ends before.

Laouik
06-18-2011, 03:54 PM
When I heard "beater" I somehow pictured you in this music video:


http://vimeo.com/22506211

TCK
06-18-2011, 08:14 PM
When I heard "beater" I somehow pictured you in this music video:


http://vimeo.com/22506211
OH HELL YES! That was the best thing I have seen since...well, since nothing. Epic.
Back to Makai- I played one that was set up by a professional luthier while he was tweaking my Spalted Maple Kala. It was a weird wood- cedar and some kind of berry I think (awe heck, I don't really know- didn't really care at the time)? In any event- it was as awesome as the aforementioned video. I fell in love with it instantly, and if I did not think my wife would cut me up into little pieces and feed me to her chickens, I would own it.

PhilUSAFRet
06-20-2011, 09:36 AM
When I heard "beater" I somehow pictured you in this music video:


http://vimeo.com/22506211

Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! My Alter Ego! Guess I had better start letting my hair grow!

PhilUSAFRet
06-24-2011, 12:45 PM
Got my new toy. Updated original post.