View Full Version : Mahalo Les Paul First Impressions

09-17-2011, 02:08 PM
Just an FYI for anyone interested in this uke.

I was more than a bit disappointed with it at first. Sounded very "plinky" and muted. Not much roundness or mellowness to the sound. Very one dimensional and blah. Not that I know what I'm really talking about. But compared to my Kala it didn't impress.

BUT - now that the strings have stretched out and, I would think, have considerably more tension the sound has become much more vibrant and resonant. Doesn't have the volume and projection of the Kala but it has a more mellow sound. Probably, I guess, from the longer scale.

I think the strings may really be Aquilas. I think they sound good. But if they are, I don't know why Mahalo doesn't make that known.

An interesting note about the scale. I wrongly assumed it had a concert neck because of the longer scale and number of frets. Wrong. The neck size and distance between frets matches the Kala exactly. Except the neck extends further into the body to make room for the additional (mostly unusable despite the cutaway) frets.

I do really enjoy playing it. My right ring finger rests perfectly in the cup of the cutout and I find the neck very easy to play. It is thinner than the Kala.

The genuine artificial, soft leather-like, velour-lined gig bag is actually quite nice.

Maybe just because of the newness and the fancy, probably overdone, gloss finish, I find myself reaching for this one much more than the other 2. Except to keep comparing the sound of them with the Mahalo.

This is a fun uke. I bet the model with the pickup would be a great time with retro-style mini amp.

Hey, for $53 delivered from Amazon, what've you got to lose? Other than $53.

09-18-2011, 01:57 AM
In my view, they're not real Aquilas.

Put some new Aquilas on it. Concert Aquilas go really well on this uke.
Once it stretches out, it will sound twice as good as it does now.

09-18-2011, 02:19 AM
I am still just kinda miffed that everyone EXCEPT Epiphone takes the trouble of doing them with trap markers..

09-18-2011, 06:23 AM
I share your pain Tudorp!

I was at the store the other day with some Mahalo Les Pauls. And I was thinking "Jeez these trap makers look sexy".

It's a bit of a disgrace really. If Mahalo can afford to do it on their cheap uke...... surely............Epiphone??

09-18-2011, 10:02 AM
What bugs me, is those are traditionally a "Les Paul" thing, and very identifiable with Gibson, the freaking company that owns the name "Les Paul" whom Epiphone is also a part of. But, they don't use the markers to save cost I assume on their $100 LP uke that bears the Les Paul name brand, but other makers that do not or can not use the Les Paul name does use the trap markers on their low dollar copies. Just don't make sense to me. What irritates me is the prototype Epi Les Paul did have the trap markers when the showed it off at the trade shows before it was released. But, by the time they actually released it, they omited the traps.. Was a disapointent to me.

That said, I am not a fan of them really, but I own several real Les Paul guitars, both Gibson, and Epiphone. But ironically, none of my real Les Pauls have the traps. Not sure why I always seem to pick them with stadard dot markers, I just have. But I was looking forward to at least one of my Les Pauls to actually have them. But, again.. Still don't.. lol.

09-22-2011, 06:30 AM
i have a mahalo LP for almost 2 years now, and well, the intonation isn't great, despite the compensated bridge ....
the provided stringe are clear, but they are definitely not aquilas, thay are quite cheap ...

and by the way i must say, the epiphone LP should have been something like what RISA made.. it's pretty disapointing to see that epiphone considers ukuleles have to be as cheap as Mahalo, i really thougt epiphone would have made something fancier... i like the brighter cherry sunburst look and the cute little pickguard, but it's too close to the mahalo otherwise...

(oh, and by the way, my 2 years old mahalo LP sound test is there: http://youtu.be/8r5U856kNXc ;) )

09-22-2011, 06:35 AM
I agree. I like the Epi LP uke, but, at the same time feel that Epi had an opertunity to break barriors epscially being able to legally use the Les Paul name. I don't judge them for that, maybe they were testing the waters, but that may have been counter productive. What they should have done, is spent the effort in R&D, build a decent mid range priced uke, spent the money and effort to do more than just make it the same shape as a real les paul. Then, came out with a lower cost version of that later. I would have paid $300 or so bucks for a better version of their LP uke. Maybe not as many would have, but, it would have laid a foundation to bring out more ukes, including the lower cost one.. Just sayin.. I like the Epi, but, still think they went about it the wrong way..

09-22-2011, 06:48 AM
i'd even go further by saying that they are almost insulting all of us by showing us that their ukes don't have to be as good as their guitars ...

they didn't even bother being consistent as a whole brand, and seem to believe in the "ukulele=toy" philosophy ...

this a trap in wich Martin or Applause didn't fell for example

09-22-2011, 07:31 AM
agreed. and I don't want it to fade the fact that I don't regret buying the Epi uke, I like it, especially if you take the time to make it better like I have done. It is a good uke, but I just think epi could have made even a better effort even if it cost a little bit more. For a $99 uke, it is a good choice, and a fun uke especially of you take the time to fix some of epis shortcomings with it. I'd buy it again. I just agree with you that Epi is a pretty decent factory built guitar, and that I think they missed an opertunity to really do something special with the uke, but didn't. I'm still an epi fan, just disapointed that they didn't take their re-entry into the uke business a bit more seriously. If they do a revamp, and improved version, I still might be a buyer, but they would have to show me personally that they are taking it more seriously. Like some of the other clone LP ukes, for the money if you just wanted the "look" you could go with the others. I just don't think $50 is worth just getting to have the "Les Paul" sig on the headstock. I just think they should have made a better effort. It is what it is, and I have one to put in my real Les Paul collection. And pretty much, that is what it is. For playing, I will play my own steel string Les Paul uke, that is actually as much of a "Les Paul" as Epi's guitars.. ;)

Pukulele Pete
12-05-2011, 01:15 AM
I just got a Mahalo Les Paul . I got the black one and boy is it beautiful.
Don't look too close but from a short distance it looks GREAT.
It's all black with off white binding , man does it look good. I was wanting an Epiphone LP but I love the bound fretboard and fretmarkers of the Mahalo. Color was a factor too , I wanted all black with white binding and I'm really pleased I got the Mahalo instead of the Epiphone. ,I also wanted soprano and the Epi is concert size. As far as the sound it sounds OK , I've got some Aquila's on the way so I think that will improve the sound.
I have an active undersaddle pickup on its way to me, I'm really looking forward to installing it. I'm really impressed with how great this uke looks.
For the price this uke is so good looking even if you didnt play it it would look great hanging on a wall . This uke is really stoking my UAS , my dream uke would be a Black Martin Style 2 clone, I may have to have someone build me one. Please don't tell my wife.

12-05-2011, 03:06 AM
Yeah, the Mahalo Les Paul is a loveable uke if you don't mind its imperfections here and there.

But that's what love is right?

12-05-2011, 03:10 AM
Bought one of these for my son for his birthday, it is what it is, and he loves it, so it was well worth the price.