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View Full Version : Do all new Ukes need to be set up?



Noobulele
08-03-2011, 06:15 AM
I am thinking of buying a new Ukulele to replace my cheap Mahalo. I was wondering if all new Ukuleles need to be set up like HawaiiMusicSupply does with the instruments they ship out. Or can new Ukuleles be played straight out of the box? Thanks

awldun
08-03-2011, 06:26 AM
I just upgraded from my $20 Mahalo to a new Lanikai LU-21CE. It sounded and played well straight out of the box (at least to my newbie ears). But I was wondering the same thing so i took my new uke to a local shop. The shop owner looked it over, played it for a few minutes, passed it on to another guy, and handed it back to me saying that he didn't think it need any adjustments at all.

DAPuke
08-03-2011, 06:33 AM
Most inexpensive ones do, although my Makala tenor played great out of the box. I think the best quality ukes are likely set up before being sent out. Many of our members who sell ukes will set them up for you before boxing them up. Let us know what you're interested in and there may be more opinions offered.
Don

Manalishi
08-03-2011, 07:20 AM
It depends on what you want from your uke,and
how you expect or need it to feel under your fingers.
A low action (if thats your choice) may not be an
automatic thing by the manufacturer,etc!

itsme
08-03-2011, 07:33 AM
No, not all new ukes need a setup. But the fact is that cheaper, factory made/mass produced ukes can vary widely from instrument to instrument off the same assembly line. Some may be perfectly fine, others not so. It's a crap shoot.

Noobulele
08-03-2011, 08:12 AM
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll go to one of the music stores here in Toronto and ask them if they can set it up for me.

DAPuke, I'm not sure which Ukulele I want to buy yet. I was thinking of the standard Kala KA-S Soprano but I figure if I am going to invest in a better one, maybe I should spend a little bit more ($100-$200). I am still new so I don't know which are good.

SailingUke
08-03-2011, 08:47 AM
It all depends on how picky you are about how your ukulele plays.
For most of the factory ukes today I find many of them can benefit from at least a once over.
Action is set at the factory very neutral, I like them just a tad lower. One of the main things I notice is the strings.
Many times there is way too much excess string at the tuners. If the strings are overlapped the uke just won't stay tuned.
I usually remove a few excess wraps. Depending on the uke I may replace the factory strings with a fresh set as well.
I also like to check for sharp fret ends and harsh corners on the nut that catch fingers.
I sell ukuleles to students (mostly beginners) and like them to have a decent playing instrument from the start.

dhoenisch
08-03-2011, 09:20 AM
I would definitely suggest a good set up on a production instrument. I even did a set up on my Martin guitar when I got it new. And, when my brother got his Mahalo uke, I told him he can take it out of the box, but to let me get my hands on it before he started playing it so I could set it up for him. I think the only instruments that don't need a set up are maybe hand build luthier instruments, unless you aren't happy with the string height. I think it's personal preference most of the time.

Dan

DAPuke
08-03-2011, 09:23 AM
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll go to one of the music stores here in Toronto and ask them if they can set it up for me.

DAPuke, I'm not sure which Ukulele I want to buy yet. I was thinking of the standard Kala KA-S Soprano but I figure if I am going to invest in a better one, maybe I should spend a little bit more ($100-$200). I am still new so I don't know which are good.For $200.00 I think it would be a reasonable request to ask that the dealer check the setup. As has been noted here by others too, it may not need it but being a newb I think you will benefit from having a good sounding uke. Check out the uke reviews section for ideas on which ukes are the better inexpensive ones in your price range: http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?36-Ukulele-Reviews
Kala
Ohana
Lanikai, etc...
There a always good deals on uke in the Market place section too, sold by our UU members. I've seen several good deals shipped for under $200.00 just today. :)
Don

PhilUSAFRet
08-03-2011, 09:40 AM
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll go to one of the music stores here in Toronto and ask them if they can set it up for me.

DAPuke, I'm not sure which Ukulele I want to buy yet. I was thinking of the standard Kala KA-S Soprano but I figure if I am going to invest in a better one, maybe I should spend a little bit more ($100-$200). I am still new so I don't know which are good.

I'd suggest those new Islanders by Kanilea....the solid mahogany ukes are a "huge" value for the money.

Shastastan
08-06-2011, 04:29 PM
I bought one online and thought it played fine out of the box. However, I wanted a low G string so I took it to our local shop where I know the owner. They deal mainly in guitars and he is a pro player. He lowered the strings a bit for me and it plays noticeably better. I recently bought a 2nd uke from a source mentioned on this forum that does setups before sending their ukes out. I'm taking the 2nd uke to my local shop for additional setup. I consider the $ spent for setup to be well worth it. FWIW