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View Full Version : WTB: under $200, loud tenor ukulele with good sustain



Couloirman
09-22-2011, 03:53 AM
I am looking for a relatively cheapo uke to take with me camping and other outdoor activities so I am not afraid of getting it dinged up and dirty. Local Rhode Islanders preferable so we dont have to ship but if the price is right and the uke is decent I dont mind getting one shipped. The two things I am looking for most in the uke are that it is loud and has good sustain for projection while outdoors. Cosmetic flaws are not a problem; Ill be adding plenty more to it anyway but wood grain patterns and figuring are always a plus as is solid wood and not laminate. I dont need a case for it but if it comes with one that is fine, I already am getting a mono gig bag for it.

Ukes I am especially eyeing include Mainland (especially a cutaway with slotted headstock), Kala, Lanikai, Cordoba, etc...

Thanks

PhilUSAFRet
09-22-2011, 01:25 PM
Sounds like a tenor Fluke would be more suitable. Loud, good sustain, nearly indestructable.

alecgrinage
09-22-2011, 02:36 PM
get a cordoba 20TM-CE.
Its a tenor with a cutaway and a pickup. Its made from African mahogany and it resonates REALLY nicely. Its nothing too fancey but it plays well. Retail is $200 and comes with a gigbag.

river_driver
09-22-2011, 02:43 PM
Hi Couloirman,
I have a Lanikai S-T (tenor, solid spruce top, lam mahogany back/sides). Bought it new maybe a year ago, but don't play it very much (I have a Kala tenor I absolutely love, so the Lanikai sits in its gigbag). Need to thin the herd of the ukes I don't play, especially since I've recently become convinced that I need a resonator uke, and I need to raise cash!

Cheers,
river_driver

edit to add:
Oops, I guess that's a bit of a faux pas, offering something up for sale right after I joined the forum. Didn't mean to be one of "those guys". But since I already put it out there, I guess there's no sense taking it down.

Is my face red, or what?

r_d

Couloirman
09-23-2011, 03:14 AM
Hmmm, so what exactly is a fluke? A uke made out of synthetics? So if it gets rained on its no big deal? That could be a great idea! Who makes the best fluke?

haolejohn
09-23-2011, 04:01 AM
Hmmm, so what exactly is a fluke? A uke made out of synthetics? So if it gets rained on its no big deal? That could be a great idea! Who makes the best fluke?

Fluke is made by fluke.

Robtjm
09-23-2011, 04:15 AM
A Fluke really does seem about the best idea for camping. I had a tenor once-- very loud, with good sustain. Plus, if you contact the store by phone, you might be able to get a second. Look here: http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/Scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=5

haolejohn
09-23-2011, 04:22 AM
I'm not a fluke fan because I think they are over priced. Contact mainland and see if they have any seconds. I.got my red cedar ss a beater uke that way.

PoiDog
09-23-2011, 04:58 AM
I'm not a fluke fan because I think they are over priced.

There's something about that statement that resonates with me just a little bit. When I first heard the descriptions of Flea & Fluke I reckoned they'd be in the $90 - $125 zone. After all, other synthetic ukes are on the lower end of the price range. So when I saw a near $200 cost, I sort of did a double-take.

Of course, this was based on some assumptions on my part which could very easily be wrong. After all, I have no idea what Fluke's cost for materials etc is.

Ultimately, of course, the market determines the price. If folks think $190 for a plastic uke is too much, they won't buy it, and the cost will come down. But evidently people feel the price is reasonable, so there it is.

And who am I to argue with that?

As for me, I tried a flea at a music shop and it sounded okay. Not great, but not bad. Just okay. But there is no way in hell I'm dropping nearly $200 (after taxes) on one of those.

So, I guess the Flea-Fluke is just not for me. Fair enough.

Mouthy1
09-23-2011, 05:34 AM
Fluke's are not toys. They are great ukes that have amazing sound. Yep, overpriced for the cost of materials but very nice to play and very consistent. I love my fluke. Has some low end sound actually which is pretty unique for this instrument.

A Mainland Cedar is LOUD and has great sustain. I have several Mainlands and they are all great but the Cedar is real loud and I love it!

haolejohn
09-23-2011, 06:21 AM
There's something about that statement that resonates with me just a little bit. When I first heard the descriptions of Flea & Fluke I reckoned they'd be in the $90 - $125 zone. After all, other synthetic ukes are on the lower end of the price range. So when I saw a near $200 cost, I sort of did a double-take.

Of course, this was based on some assumptions on my part which could very easily be wrong. After all, I have no idea what Fluke's cost for materials etc is.

Ultimately, of course, the market determines the price. If folks think $190 for a plastic uke is too much, they won't buy it, and the cost will come down. But evidently people feel the price is reasonable, so there it is.

And who am I to argue with that?

As for me, I tried a flea at a music shop and it sounded okay. Not great, but not bad. Just okay. But there is no way in hell I'm dropping nearly $200 (after taxes) on one of those.

So, I guess the Flea-Fluke is just not for me. Fair enough.
I am with ya. If I could.find one for $100 I'd get one. I have not heard one that just wowed me yet. i often why the market is there.for them? thet feel weied.to me with their necks the way they are.

Mouthy1
09-23-2011, 06:35 AM
Agreed on the necks part. Too flat! Strings help a ton. I can't love the Flea but the Fluke, I love.

de24
09-23-2011, 07:51 PM
Just picked up a Mainland Cedar tenor and could not be more pleased. Nice, loud and bright tone with fantastic sustain. Even my girlfriend said, "That sounds much better than your other uke!"

That might also mean that I'm getting better at this...?

Couloirman
09-24-2011, 06:58 AM
The mainland cedar is very very high on my list but I simply can't find one in stock anywhere. I would basically buy any mainland uke right now that isnt mango (already have a big island mango and want some different woods)

de24
09-25-2011, 07:48 PM
Yes I had to look around a bit for mine too and found Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz. They also installed a MiSi pickup for $100 extra. I'm very pleased with it. Call them. I bet they still have some in stock.

csibona
09-26-2011, 03:14 AM
I love my Fluke and consider it a value. I don't think you can look at the cost of the materials and determine a sales price. Try using the cost of materials for high-end ukeleles and tell me how it compares to the sales price. How much do the materials cost for a Mya-Moe, Collings, Moore Bettah and tell me what the sale price "should" be.

Nixon
09-26-2011, 03:42 AM
I think that plastic back ovations sound just as good maybe better than the flukes at a fraction of the price. They also have a properly carved neck and wood amd metal fetboards, not the weird routed necks and plastic fretboards that flukes and fleas have.

Ovation: 118 http://www.nevadamusic.co.uk/guitar/banjos-and-ukes/ovation-applause-ua20-5-ukulele-black-satin?utm_source=google&utm_medium=GoogleShopping&utm_campaign=googlebase
Flea: 170 (with a rosewood fingerboard) http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=273

FiL
09-27-2011, 03:45 AM
One thing about the Flukes that both make them more expensive AND make them more attractive to us yanks is that they are made in America. How many other ukes in that price range are? I know there are fine ukes made in many countries, but there is some pride for me in having an instrument made in my home country. It's not my main instrument, but I keep it in my office and play it often during my lunch breaks.

- FiL

Couloirman
10-05-2011, 08:50 AM
OK, Im debating now between a Pono MT and the Islander by Kanile'a MT-4 as a complete beater of a uke. Has anyone played both and would care to comment on sound? If anyone is looking to upgrade and so has one of either of these for sale under retail I would take either off your hands.



Yes I had to look around a bit for mine too and found Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz. They also installed a MiSi pickup for $100 extra. I'm very pleased with it. Call them. I bet they still have some in stock.

Thanks for the tip, mine is in the mail right now! Cant wait to get my hands on it.

v30
10-05-2011, 09:56 AM
A Kala travel tenor would be a good choice....lots of volume and sustain.

localmana
10-05-2011, 12:18 PM
If you can, check out the Islander by Kanilea. Great sounds for the price.

SailingUke
10-05-2011, 01:11 PM
Buy something used, I bought a tenor fluke for $100, it makes a great camping/sailing uke.
I also have a solid mahogany Kala (SMT), that looks like a Martin and sounds great for the $125 I paid.

itsme
10-05-2011, 01:53 PM
A Kala travel tenor would be a good choice....lots of volume and sustain.
I was blown away by how loud mine is. :)

For camping and knocking about outdoors, a Fluke/Flea is a bit more durable, though.