View Full Version : Picking a pineapple?

07-18-2011, 08:23 PM
As I'm new to UU, I'll apologise in advance if this is one of those questions that has been asked a million times before, I'm just trying to learn!!! I'm currently having fun researching my next uke (for when I move on from my cheap little starter uke) and am curious about the pineapple shape.

I understand that this design was patented by Kamaka in the 1920s, so does that mean Kamaka is the only maker that buildes ukes in this shape? In my web research, I don't see many others around.

I'm also curious about what the advantages / disadvantages of the pineapple shape are, compared to the more guitar-shaped body? Is it more mellow? I'm just trying to understand what the differences are and what factors would influence the choice of one shape over the other.

07-18-2011, 08:30 PM
Kamaka patented the pineapple, but now other companies also make them. In my experience the pineapple shape projects better and has a fuller tone - my Kamaka pineapple sounds more like a concert uke than a soprano uke, and it is LOUD. As for advantages/disadvantages, I think you need to play one and compare it to a traditional figure-8 uke to decide. I find the pineapple shape to be a perfect fit; I've heard others say they are difficult for them to hold. I think it mainly comes down to personal preference.

Brad Bordessa
07-18-2011, 08:47 PM
Pruners probably work best. You wait until it starts to smell sweet to know it's ripe. Oh wait...

07-18-2011, 08:48 PM
I once had a chance to play a KoAloha pineapple ukulele---one of the nicest ukuleles I've had a chance to play!! But pricey...

There are plenty of less expensive pineapple ukuleles out there as well. Lanikai's LU-21P is nice for under $100. Ohana's PK series are very nice as well---the solid mahogany PK-25G is dreamy.

That's my favorite three I've held in my hands; there are lots more good options for lovers of sweet pineapples!!

mm stan
07-18-2011, 09:12 PM
Love them sweet Kamaka pineapples.. lots of other brand building them now..the pineapple has a bigger inner cavity like a concert..still retaining the soprano scale..

07-18-2011, 10:39 PM
I have owned 2 pineapple ukes, Mainland and KoAloha. Both are great instruments. Some day I would like to own a Kamaka. There are soprano, concert (http://www.google.com/search?q=concert%20pineapple%20ukulele&sourceid=mozilla2&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=concert+pineapple+ukulele&hl=en&prmd=ivns&source=univ&tbm=shop&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=f0AlTublHYSRgQe6qMjCDA&ved=0CB0QrQQ&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=655262693fbb3d7c&biw=1018&bih=593) and some tenor pineapples (search the forum for tenor pineapple. Quite a few posts). Good luck with your search. Here are two more links.

Pineapple Ukulele (http://www.google.com/search?q=pineapple%20ukulele&sourceid=mozilla2&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8#q=pineapple+ukulele&hl=en&tbm=shop&prmd=ivns&ei=Pz4lTrO5Cerk0QGjy9jOCg&start=0&sa=N&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=655262693fbb3d7c&biw=1018&bih=593)

Elderly Instruments Pineapple Ukuleles (http://elderly.com/search/elderly?terms=pineapple+ukulele&x=0&y=0)

07-19-2011, 01:31 AM
As has already been stated lots of uke makers now make pineapples.
I guess the sound depends on the wood used and what you are comparing it to.
My DS Gill tenor pineapple sounds sweet, punchy, bright and loud compared to my red cedar Mainland tenor.

07-19-2011, 03:23 AM

07-19-2011, 05:20 AM
Yes Yes! The Anuenue u900 bear! I have it and love it. I am new to ukes and am becoming a pineappler. I also have a bright green Kala Kiwi which is lots of fun, tho nothing fancy sound wise. But Cathy Fink played it and liked it! This little uke is getting some good autographs on it.

07-19-2011, 06:17 AM
Pineapples are quickly becoming my favorites! I have a Gold label Kamaka, a Kala KA-PSS, an was recently very pleasantly surprised by an Oscar Schmidt OU2-P which is a concert size and for about $65 with a gigbag is a real bargain. There are several brands of pineapple ukes that you can get for well under $100 (Kala, Lanikai, Makai, and OS all seem to make decently playable models).

07-19-2011, 06:46 AM
My first decent uke was a pineapple, I'm always surprised they aren't more popular in general.

07-19-2011, 06:54 AM
Pruners probably work best. You wait until it starts to smell sweet to know it's ripe. Oh wait...

Be sure to both thump it to check for how solid it sounds (good thud means sugary juciness!) and take a sniff of the bottom where it was connected to the stalk. A strong pineapply smell means this is ready for cutting!

Jimmy Ukulele
07-19-2011, 08:08 AM
Not necessarily a serious suggestion, but this is going to be my first pineapple ukulele in a few days (ordered yesterday):


Of course I am a huge Spongebob fan so I don't care that the quality will probably be crappy ;)

Coconut Willie
07-19-2011, 08:32 AM
Be sure to both thump it to check for how solid it sounds (good thud means sugary juciness!) and take a sniff of the bottom where it was connected to the stalk. A strong pineapply smell means this is ready for cutting!

I prefer a Maui Gold Pineapple!!! Ohhhhh soooooo sweeeeeet!!!! :drool:

07-19-2011, 08:39 AM
Thanks very much for all the great comments, folks, I've learned a few things (and made myself hungry in the process... :) ) These little babies seem to be more common than I'd thought, which is great. I llike ot have lots of options to choose from, and it's a lot of fun looking and finding out what's out there!


Coconut Willie
07-19-2011, 08:48 AM
Check out the Pineapple Patch (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/group.php?groupid=37)group here at the UU!! Some good picks and get some more information.

07-19-2011, 05:05 PM
I heard and played savage henry's Mainland long neck concert pineapple....extremely great value for the money, sounds, plays great.

07-19-2011, 05:36 PM
Hey Fliss, are you the same Fliss that is on the Mandolin Cafe and AGF (I am mike scott on those forums)? You must be - I recognize your symbol. Welcome to the world of ukuleles. UAS is worse than either MAS or GAS. I have an Ohana PK 25 G. Fairly inexpensive and all solid wood. Outstanding sound and playability (I got mine used in mint condition). Enjoy

07-19-2011, 06:19 PM
There have been good recomendations here, but all over the place price wise. For under the $100 range, I like Kala pinaplles the best. in the $200-$300 range, it is hard to beat the Ohana mahogany or the Mainland mango pineapple. To get a K brand, you are in another world price wise, $600 and up. I am now a confirmed, card carrying pineapple guy! Looking for a Mainland mango soon. . .

07-19-2011, 08:18 PM
Thanks chaps, as mandrew says, some great recommendations and it's very helpful to me to start to get an understanding of what the different options are.

Mike - yes, I am the same Fliss. And yes, I am already getting affected by UAS!!

I'm fortunate to have some lovely guitars and mandolins, and I have a little budget available in my instrument fund, so although my 50 Ohana is a sweet little beginner instrument, I do find myself wanting a solid wood uke sooner rather than later. So it's a question of finding out what's out there, working out what kind of instrument will suit me, and then trying to work out what I want to do.

The good thing about coming to this from the GAS and MAS background, I already understand that whatever I buy next, there will always be something else that will also appeal to me, so I'm not putting too much pressure on the decision, I'm just going to have some fun and enjoy the journey :)

07-20-2011, 07:16 AM
The Flea and Fluke are technically pineapples too. They come in a variety of sizes, with a choice in neck length that is convenient. Most pineapples are soprano sized, but there are some makers that have long neck versions as well (KoAloha). Mele makes pineapples in three sizes.

Happy shopping.