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View Full Version : My 1st Solid Wood Uke for under $400. Any Suggestions?



Leodhas
08-05-2011, 03:06 AM
Hello all, I have a number of ukes but they are all laminate ones. The best uke I own is a kala KA-T. I also have a Oscar Schmidt Concert which is fantastic for the money (I have never spent more than 100 ($160/70) on a uke but now I want to get my first solid wood.

I'm basically looking to spend no more than $400. Any suggestions ?

It has to be a concert or tenor.

(this purchase my go out the window if the world goes into financial melt down again)


(noticed how i used dollars as a respective tip of the hat to all the Americans out there)

cb56
08-05-2011, 03:08 AM
http://www.mainlandukuleles.com/
I bought the red cedar tenor but they are all good.

PoiDog
08-05-2011, 04:19 AM
Off hand I'd say $400 could get you quite a bit. Ukerepublic has several solid wood ukes for $400 or less, including a Big Island solid koa concert for just over $400. Along with Mainland you could consider Islander or Pono (the Kanile'a and Ko'oloau sencond levels, respectively). And, if you're open to pre-owned, there are even more options. Heck, I lucked out and found a beautiful solid koa aNueNue tenor for about $250, and I'm impressed by it every day!

garyg
08-05-2011, 04:40 AM
I don't know how much concerts cost but I bought a wonderful solid *koa* soprano uke from Duane at Black Bear Ukes for under $400. If you had to pay slightly more than that amount for a Black Bear Koa it would definitely be worth it. Duane is a great builder and the construction of the ukes, including fan bracing, are only to be found on much more expensive ukes. Oh, and I am no relation and have no commercial interest in the firm. Black Bear is at www.blackbearukuleles.net/index.html .

iDavid
08-05-2011, 04:42 AM
I don't know how much concerts cost but I bought a wonderful solid *koa* soprano uke from Duane at Black Bear Ukes for under $400. If you had to pay slightly more than that amount for a Black Bear Koa it would definitely be worth it. Duane is a great builder and the construction of the ukes, including fan bracing, are only to be found on much more expensive ukes. Oh, and I am no relation and have no commercial interest in the firm. Black Bear is at www.blackbearukuleles.net/index.html .

I bought a soprano from him and it is an amazing uke. It has a very full sound with a surprising amount of low-end for a soprano and the wood is beautiful.

Leodhas
08-05-2011, 06:08 AM
I don't know how much concerts cost but I bought a wonderful solid *koa* soprano uke from Duane at Black Bear Ukes for under $400. If you had to pay slightly more than that amount for a Black Bear Koa it would definitely be worth it. Duane is a great builder and the construction of the ukes, including fan bracing, are only to be found on much more expensive ukes. Oh, and I am no relation and have no commercial interest in the firm. Black Bear is at www.blackbearukuleles.net/index.html .


Has to be a concert as i have big navvy hands and need at least that size for pure comfort. Looks like they don't do anthing above a soprano.

TCK
08-05-2011, 06:37 AM
I have played a Mainland and was well impressed with it. Set up was perfect right out of the box and it was very nice to look at. Seems a great price for what you get

crowsby
08-05-2011, 06:56 AM
You might want to check out Sailor brand ukulele too. They're right in your price range and offer luthier-built instruments in the US. UkeRepublic has them at $369. I have nothing bad to say about my Mainland, except that the intonation gets a little wonky over the 7th fret. I've got a mahogany, but the red cedar would also be a good choice.

garyg
08-05-2011, 07:29 AM
Has to be a concert as i have big navvy hands and need at least that size for pure comfort. Looks like they don't do anthing above a soprano.

Duane is a custom builder so I would contact him and see if he'll build you a concert sized uke and how much it will cost. cheers, g2

sbpark
08-05-2011, 08:05 AM
I have an Ohana CK-35 concert uke, all solid mahogany, very nice fit and finish, intonation is dead on, played really well out of the box and didnt even really need a set up, and now that i have Worth browns on it (replaced the stock Aquilas it came with), it sounds wonderful. They cost $220 new, and in my opinion are well worth it for the money. My other uke is a Koaloha concert, and although they both sound VERY different (the Koaloha is very bright and sweet, while the Ohana is a bit more subdued and nellow, which is what you'd expect from mahogany) and the Koaloha cost a lot more, i still consider the Ohana a keeper. I like the Ohana so much eventually I am going to pick up an Ohana CK-38.

hungry4adobo
08-05-2011, 08:35 AM
How about Kala Solid Acacia Tenor or Concert both are under 400
:D

102263
08-05-2011, 10:54 AM
I just bought my first solid wood uke, a Pono tenor, for just a tad over $400 (it came with a hard case) that I'd deffinately recommend. It has a very mellow tone. Good luck in your search.

haolejohn
08-05-2011, 11:16 AM
I would recommend a Mele solid mahog tenor, mainland red cedar tenor, and then the Honu/Big Island Mahog and pono ones that are right there in the price range.

haolejohn
08-05-2011, 11:16 AM
How about Kala Solid Acacia Tenor or Concert both are under 400
:D

These are nice as well.

haolejohn
08-05-2011, 11:18 AM
You might want to check out Sailor brand ukulele too. They're right in your price range and offer luthier-built instruments in the US. UkeRepublic has them at $369. I have nothing bad to say about my Mainland, except that the intonation gets a little wonky over the 7th fret. I've got a mahogany, but the red cedar would also be a good choice.

How did I forget the Sailor Brand uke? I love them and one day, I will have one.

guitarsnrotts
08-05-2011, 11:44 AM
I too would recommend Mainland. If you go to their site www.mainlandukuleles.com they currently list the solid mahogany, cedar/rosewood and solid mango models as all being in stock. I have one of their cedar/rosewood pineapples and love it. Great tone, well built and perfect intonation. I'm seriously considering one of their mangos. Either a concert or a pineapple.

Mraz
08-05-2011, 11:53 AM
I really like my Pono, which was around $350 and is solid mahogany. all the suggestions here are great though. with that budget, you've got LOTS of choices :)

Leodhas
08-05-2011, 12:54 PM
Isn't there someone on UU that has something to do with mainland? I need to ask about shipping to Scotland.

TCK
08-05-2011, 02:01 PM
Isn't there someone on UU that has something to do with mainland? I need to ask about shipping to Scotland.hoosierhiver (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/member.php?231-hoosierhiver) owns the company

Mason671
08-09-2011, 04:11 AM
How about Kala Solid Acacia Tenor or Concert both are under 400
:D
Aloha leodhas!
If haven't already picked up a solid wood ukuele yet, I would suggest a Kala KA ASAC-T Solid Acacia Tenor here (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/marketplace/default.asp). They are difficult to locate and when you do find one, you best purchase it straight away!

Mason671

Pippin
08-09-2011, 09:14 AM
Mainland and Ohana both have a big assortment of solid-wood ukes well below that price-range.

JamieFromOntario
08-09-2011, 09:20 AM
If you don't mind something a little different...:

http://www.bluegrassukes.com/products/Concert-Cigar-Box-Ukulele-with-Ebony-Fretboard-and-Rosette.html

I've owned one of the other suggested ukes, the Kala Acacia, and my Bluegrassuke just blows it outta the water.