View Full Version : Need two new Dolphins-should I bother?

08-29-2011, 09:02 AM
Hail all ,and read on, this is important!!

This weekend our daughters stayed with us as the youngest (hereinafter referered to as the youngest) is about to disappear to London to complete her training as a Barrister. Funds being rather low all round we are unlikely to see her for a year.
Anyhoo, lambs,capons and pigeons were consumed, much wine was supped and then bugger me! I played a few tunes on my green Dolphin,somewhat inebriated ,the youngest got hold of the purple Dolphin, and by gum within an hour she had got to grips with it big style! Now a convert to the uke, she tucked the Purple uke under her shroud, and slipped into the shadows, I will never see it again!! The wife has now decided to join us in our rousing re-imaginings of King Crimson, and wants me to buy her a YELLOW Dolphin.

Here comes the problem... Do I buy two more of these here composite Dolphins of indifferent quality ( POOR compared to the all wood ones I reckon )OR can you suggest something better in the same price range? DO tell...

08-29-2011, 09:11 AM
A good Dolphin will beat a poor wood uke any day of the week and twice on Sundays. But the key to getting a good one is getting a set-up one and slapping some decent quality strings on it. Uke Republic (http://ukerepublic.com/) does that, and there are a few other places around that do it as well.

08-29-2011, 05:53 PM
Agreed. There is really no other uke I have ever found in that price point that beats a Dolphin. Buy two more. Or three--one for company.

08-29-2011, 06:54 PM
It would be difficult to get a better uke at that price! If you have been happy with the Dolphins, then certainly get some more. Who knows who you will convert next. Good work. The Dolphin Makalas are very cheerful instruments, and it is hard to get so much fun for so little money. Aquila strings are a worthwhile upgrade.


08-29-2011, 10:45 PM
Are there quality issues with the plastic-backed dolphins? The two I have played were absolutely fine after a setup.

As for the all-laminate ones I am totally a long-time fan. I have had loads of them and given quite a few away. They all needed a set-up to make them playable as proper instruments, but after that they were all great value.

What are the probs with the composite ones? (I've been a little out of circulation for a few months and may be behind with all the uke news!)

08-30-2011, 12:09 AM
I've got bot types of dolphin and personally think the volume and tone is better on the plastic backed ones!

08-30-2011, 12:32 AM
I've got bot types of dolphin and personally think the volume and tone is better on the plastic backed ones!

I agree with baz on this one. I have played both and think that the composite/plastic Dolphins are definitely superior in volume and tone.


08-30-2011, 01:12 AM
I bought my daughter's dolphin from uke republic.. He's sets them up with aquila's and it sings... You can't go wrong that way.. I think Mim sells (and sets up dolphins) but doesn't list them on her site.. Have fun with the new family band!

08-30-2011, 05:05 AM
I agree the plastic ones are fine. I have purchased a few dozen of them for kids programs.
I usually change the strings to Aquilas and check the saddle height and adjust if needed.
I also check the fret ends for any sharp edges so the kids don't get wounded.
For the price including a new set of Aquilas it is hard to beat the dolphin and kids love the bright colors.
I have a pearl white with Kala Red strings that I use to just carry where ever I may be going.

08-30-2011, 06:07 AM
bought a new red burst [amazon online]to replace the blue burst I gave my daughter, and was concerned about the complaints about quality control. after shaving down the saddle a bit ,it is fine, and imho plays as good as some at twice the price. if you buy from a big retailer and get a lemon, you can just send it back for another. no lose .

08-30-2011, 06:36 AM
It could be that a big element of the "fun" for you family are the dolphins themselves. You might wreck the whole deal by going with something more serious. Just a thought. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

08-30-2011, 07:52 AM
The plastic backed Dolphins are about the best
you can get for the price! And certainly better
(as I know!) than some costing twice as much!

08-30-2011, 02:50 PM
For what it's worth, I bought 4 plastic Dolphins last spring for a play at school, and bought from a local shop that sells out of the box. All played fine without any sort of set up from me. I changed two to Aquila strings, but left the other two GHS and although the changed out strings are a great improvement, the stock strings still played in tune.

09-02-2011, 09:13 AM
Hmmm... In conclusion then, In this price range it's Dolphins or nowt! Thanks for all the wise words chaps and particularly the pointer towards uke republic, I will certainly investigate that avenue.
Toodle pip.