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savagehenry
07-01-2011, 11:14 AM
I was reading a post by UUer France entitled "Give it time?" (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?49360-Give-it-time) and a lot of interesting things popped up. He was saying that he had a Mya Moe that he wasn't really into. The conversation turned into that maybe it just wasn't the right ukulele for him. Many people have claimed that UAS is just the search for your perfect uke.


Finding your holy grail sounding ukulele is not as easy as it seems..we all have personal tastes..so no one uke will be perfect for everyone..that is why we keep buying and searching for the "right one"


I totally agree. It took me about 6 years and 20 ukes to find "the one". I even thought I had "the one" a few times too early. In my case, it was definitely worth it to sell my ukes repeatedly and keep looking.

I'll be the first to admit that my UAS (6th uke on order now, bought first one in February) is not a quest for "the one", I just want to buy as many as possible (haha). But it did get me thinking about how many other people had cured their UAS by finding "the one." I've seen some UUers happy with their longneck sopranos, while others have a Silva or Moore Bettah and could care less about getting something else.

What do you think of "the one" theory?
If you've found "the ONE", please share your story.

OldePhart
07-01-2011, 11:21 AM
As somebody else mentioned in another recent thread - I think there are two forms of UAS. One is good ole' hording and the other is the search for the perfect uke. I used to buy several guitars a year. Then, I finally got my Taylor acoustic and a custom-built-to-my-design double-cutaway electric and I haven't purchased a guitar since (and I really need to get around to selling the guitars I don't play any more).

I got lucky with bass. My second bass, a Conklin GT5, is "the one" for me. Unless I someday decide to go to a six string or dip my toe in fretless waters I don't need any more basses.

With ukes I learned from my experience with guitars. I bought inexpensive ones until I figured out what I really liked, then bought good ukes of those, and now I'm pretty content with what I have.

John

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-01-2011, 11:44 AM
For years, I was perfectly happy with my cracked Camp Uke with awful intonation. It sounded great. Never considered buying another ukulele.

Then those cracks opened up beyond repair. After a suitable mourning period, my search began. The Camp Uke had a great sound, which no ukes at local music shops could match. A little research got me interested in Hawaiian ukuleles... I ended up finding my Kamaka on craigslist. I thought I was done shopping, but I quickly convinced myself I needed a beater to take to the river, the beach, etc. Now I know I actually "needed" more ukulele shopping. Now I've got the beater and a "travel" ukulele, and my wife and I picked out a Dolphin together to take on a car trip. Wait... wasn't that what the beater was for? Oops.

I guess my Camp Uke must've been "the one", since now I have four, and there are couple more ukes I'm "convinced" that I "need". Maybe our consumer culture has consumed me?

The good news is my Kamaka is an absolute joy to play (and I'm having plenty of fun with the other ukes as well).

uke4ia
07-01-2011, 12:05 PM
I found my one 15 years ago. I have a total of 5 ukes and a tiple.

From 1976 to the mid-80s, all I had was a Martin M-2 soprano. In the mid-80s, I got a Martin M-3, mostly because it had more frets so I had a little more range. A few years later, I got a tiple that I couldn't ever figure out a good use for. Then in 1995, I went to Waikoloa on the Big Island. We checked into the resort and I saw that a ukulele lesson had just ended. I asked the activities director if it would be okay for me to use one of the resort's ukes because I'd played for 20 years. He handed me his Kawika uke and said, "Play something for me". It was the best sounding uke I'd ever heard, by miles and miles. It made my Martins sound like $10 plastic toys. I asked where it came from, and he gave me the address and phone number for David Hurd, a luthier in Hilo. The day we went around the island to see the volcanoes, we stopped at Mr. Hurd's house and toured his workshop. I put in an order for a tenor with a pickup, which he built six months later. I've never looked back. Now the Martins never come out of their cases. I have a K-Wave as a backup uke, a Fluke for travel, and I'm trying to come to terms with the tiple. But as long as I have my Kawika, my uke needs are being met.

janeray1940
07-01-2011, 12:24 PM
I think it's too soon to tell but - I might have found "the one" in my Kamaka pineapple. Maybe. I think.

I started out wanting a vintage Martin, then realized I didn't want to pay the "vintage" price... ended up with a Koaloha soprano and a 1920s mahogany uke that have since found new homes because I outgrew the limits of their 12 frets. Moved on to a 14-fret Kamaka soprano, which was nice enough, but again I needed a couple more frets. Lucked into my first Kamaka concert and thought that was "the one" - so much so that I bought a second one to string low G.

At that point, I thought I was done. Even went to Hawaii, tried dozens of ukes, wasn't tempted at all - EXCEPT by the lone Kamaka pineapple I encountered at the factory, which of course wasn't for sale. A couple months later two of them turned up locally, and after a week of agonizing decision I bonded with one of them (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?48391-new-uke-day!) and have hardly put it down since.

If I had to limit myself to just one, I think I would absolutely be happy with this one. For some reason, the pineapple shape is more comfortable for me than the figure-8, the sound on this thing is absolutely dreamy, and just looking at it makes me smile because it's a reminder of Hawaii.

I've never been on a collecting mission when it comes to ukes - never felt the need to have one of each K brand, or one of every size, or anything like that. The worst UAS I ever went through was for that Kamaka pineapple, and now that that's resolved, I think the quest is over.

Er, for now, anyway.

NatalieS
07-01-2011, 12:29 PM
I was one of the people who spoke of "the one" in that thread you mentioned. I've always been a one-instrument sort of person, rather than a collector. Since I started playing ukulele several years ago, I've been on the quest to find that one instrument that I can take everywhere with me, bond with, and have with me until the day I die. Maybe it's a romanticized image I've had of music and playing, but I always wanted a unique sweet-sounding uke that I could pass on to my relatives when I die and then they say "Remember how much Grandma loved that thing?". Sort of like George Harrison. Whenever Paul McCartney mentions him, he says he always remembers him with that uke in his hands.

I recently found "the one" and my UAS is effectively gone. A few times before, I thought I had a ukulele that might be "the one" but there was always something lacking. I can't think of a single thing I would change about my current uke. Not the fretmarkers, not the neck shape, not one single thing. I can't imagine anyone else having my uke. I love it, and I'll have it forever. :)

diego
07-01-2011, 01:19 PM
I like Oldephart's take on it. Good instruments are expensive. Lately I figured I would just wait to buy a good one instead of buying lots of crappy ones. Let's face it, other than using a brace for a harmonica we can't normally play more than the instrument we have in our hands. My acoustic guitar search has ended, I found "the one" in the Yamaha (in my sig). I know exactly what electric guitar I want, and with the ukulele I am still figuring out by other's experience what I should acquire. I have stopgap ukulele's for now, but I will buy a good one in the coming months. I guess I am selective. Well I have been trough hoarding hobbies before haha, Warhammer and Japanese Robots.

mm stan
07-01-2011, 02:14 PM
When I first started I bought alot of lower level ukes....and grown to love them...but my quest for my perfect goes on..even though I say I am completely satisfied now and say this is the one for me, I always eat my words eventually...there is always a better uke...there is no end to the upgrades..and finding a better one than the last may be harder each time and cost a hell more...sheesh...

mr moonlight
07-01-2011, 03:47 PM
For me there definitely is "The One". I just haven't found it yet. With guitars I definitely found "The One" many years ago... at least when it comes to electrics. For me it was a vintage Gibson ES335. For classicals and acoustics I have the one's I play, but still haven't found "The One" yet.

savagehenry
07-01-2011, 03:48 PM
I love it: There's always a better ukulele to buy, finding a better one than the last gets harder each time and costs a lot more.

NatalieS
07-01-2011, 04:07 PM
Maybe something to ask yourself is whether you have an ideal uke in your mind, or if you're lenient as to what you want? If it's the former, then there's got to be something out there that will be the "perfect" uke for you. If you're open to different designs/woods/sizes, then UAS might just take over. ;)

savagehenry
07-01-2011, 05:11 PM
I have a soprano, soprano longneck, concert, concert longneck, baritone, and a 6-string tenor on order. After the 6-string is built, I'm going to do my best to chill out on the UAS and really explore all of my ukuleles. I'm still not sure what my favorite size is, that would be a good start.

70sSanO
07-01-2011, 05:42 PM
I have found that it is easier to find "The one that got away" than actually finding "The one."

What I have learned ovet the years, whether is was a guitar or bass, was I didn't know it was "The one" until down the road when I was able to appreciate what I could have had.

It was usually a money thing that kept from spending more than I wanted, only to find out that it was a relative bargain when I went to look for one later.

With ukuleles I have to look back a year and see that my playing style has changed and therefore my priorities have also changed. A year form now who knows. I have not been able to come to grips with spending a couple grand to get exactly the right tone, ring, sustain, "C" string, etc. What I have now is working, although I am open to adding a couple off-the-beaten path ukuleles.

John

brucemoffatt
07-01-2011, 06:36 PM
With me it's the three, not the one. My Makala soprano was a gift from my kids and you couldn't buy it from me for less than a mil. My second uke is a solid body electric and you could argue that they are not the same musical instrument, each being great but as different to each other as say a classical guitar is to a strat. You would have to peel my cold dead fingers from my electric to get it from me. I'm now waiting on delivery of a $200 solid wood concert size acoustic, and at my ability level, I can't see myself needing any more than these three ever. I may even have trouble doing the new uke justice .

Having said that, I suffered chronic UAS for the electric and same for the new solid wood concert. If the new uke is a keeper, I think I'll have 'the three'.

Jake Wildwood
07-01-2011, 07:22 PM
Having a chance to work on hundreds of vintage instruments of all types all year long, and being a collector as well... I just have to say... variety is the spice of life, though too much variety is a damper on creativity.

I have an old 1880s Lyon & Healy gut-strung guitar that is the best sounding, nicest-playing guitar (for me) that I've ever had, despite its lowly origins as a catalog guitar, and I'll never let that sucker go, as it's bonded to me like a family member. If I had one musical tool, I wouldn't be dissatisfied owning just that, as I just can't get sick of it.

However... it can't do everything, and neither can any one uke or any other instrument, for that matter.

I'd be very non-creative with my music if I had to just play one instrument over and over and over and over. Been there, done that, got boxed in (eventually), never want to be there again.

Teek
07-01-2011, 08:31 PM
As a former artist (painter and also a sculptor in bronze) and an antiques collector with a love of the Arts & Crafts period (not Sears, Google Greene and Greene), I loved the lines and woods of the really well made ukes.

I love the details and fit and finish in my Brad Donaldson concert pineapple and my Halekoa soprano, and my Kanile'a tenor. As I prefer concerts my Kamaka white label is my vintage keeper, it has such a distinctive sound. Those and my Yasuma tenor and Risa LP tenor are my keepers for now. Doesn't mean I want to give up my three wall hangers. They are the equivalent of paintings at the moment, though the Kala Watermelon is a honey to play (my current travel uke). LOL.

So I've discovered I like koa, and spruce and cedar tops, and steel string electrics. I like low slinky action and thin necks and fat Martin/Gibson style frets. Where to downsize from that lot I don't know yet. I have come to believe that more time spent with less ukes will lead to better playing for me, since going from soprano to tenor to concert means adjusting muscle memory. Like Jake S, better to put more effort into getting to know one primary uke.

marymac
07-01-2011, 08:55 PM
When I went through UAS I wanted to try one of everything so I bought one of everything. Crazy! Anyway, that quest stopped about 6 months ago (until my new baritones that is...) and I have several ukes I wouldn't want to part with. I could rank them, I guess, but since I don't neeeeeed to sell any right now I'm happy keeping what I have and learning what I like about the ones I've kept.

For me it was about trying all these ukes that people talk about, not about finding "the one".

ADD
07-01-2011, 09:33 PM
I was one of the people who spoke of "the one" in that thread you mentioned. I've always been a one-instrument sort of person, rather than a collector. Since I started playing ukulele several years ago, I've been on the quest to find that one instrument that I can take everywhere with me, bond with, and have with me until the day I die. Maybe it's a romanticized image I've had of music and playing, but I always wanted a unique sweet-sounding uke that I could pass on to my relatives when I die and then they say "Remember how much Grandma loved that thing?". Sort of like George Harrison. Whenever Paul McCartney mentions him, he says he always remembers him with that uke in his hands.

I recently found "the one" and my UAS is effectively gone. A few times before, I thought I had a ukulele that might be "the one" but there was always something lacking. I can't think of a single thing I would change about my current uke. Not the fretmarkers, not the neck shape, not one single thing. I can't imagine anyone else having my uke. I love it, and I'll have it forever. :)

What is your "one" now? I remember when your Kamaka Pineapple was the "one" and was so surprised when I found out you sold it. What was lacking? Or am I mistaken?

NatalieS
07-01-2011, 11:44 PM
What is your "one" now? I remember when your Kamaka Pineapple was the "one" and was so surprised when I found out you sold it. What was lacking? Or am I mistaken?

"The one" for me turned out to be a DaSilva custom koa based on the old Martin 3K model. As soon as I saw the original buyer was selling it, I knew that was it and just hoped it would sound as good as it looked. I wasn't disappointed. After getting it, I realized that what was missing in the Kamaka pineapple (for me) was that I wanted some abalone somewhere on the uke, and I adore the figure-8 shape more than the pineapple for some reason. Also, I've always been into the old Martin binding on the 3M/3K, but thought the actual wood on the 3M was too boring for me. The koa on mine really jumped out at me. It was a match made in heaven for me.

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa270/nksteckler/Instruments/016.jpg

Nixon
07-01-2011, 11:59 PM
Don't think I could have "The One" as I don't like fingerpicking sopranos and I don't like to strum tenors with a low G. Therefor I have "The Two", 1927 Gibson soprano and soon to have my Pete Howlett custom tenor. Then UAS will be cured, well except for a piccolo and a dobro. Different ukes sound so different so in my mind I need a few ukes to cover the copmplete tonal range.

ADD
07-02-2011, 01:52 AM
"The one" for me turned out to be a DaSilva custom koa based on the old Martin 3K model. As soon as I saw the original buyer was selling it, I knew that was it and just hoped it would sound as good as it looked. I wasn't disappointed. After getting it, I realized that what was missing in the Kamaka pineapple (for me) was that I wanted some abalone somewhere on the uke, and I adore the figure-8 shape more than the pineapple for some reason. Also, I've always been into the old Martin binding on the 3M/3K, but thought the actual wood on the 3M was too boring for me. The koa on mine really jumped out at me. It was a match made in heaven for me.

http://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa270/nksteckler/Instruments/016.jpg

It's definitely a beauty. Any sound samples?