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View Full Version : Best Uke for around 500 Dollars



Frankie2blue
10-13-2011, 05:13 AM
I am looking for a ukulele as a gift for someone and want to spend around 500. and would prefer a solid wood ukulele. I have only high end ukuleles myself so I have never explored this market much since buying my first Fluke years ago. It looks like Mainlands are out of stock, not sure about Lanikai and I have never played any of them anyway. Any suggestions for the best Mahogany solid wood uke in this price range? Thanks

dredey
10-13-2011, 05:18 AM
Pono....Solid Mahogany

Uke Republic
10-13-2011, 05:23 AM
Ponos are great! We have one Mainland slothead concert left that's solid mahogany.
Actually that one just sold as I was writing .

GKK
10-13-2011, 05:24 AM
Pono ukulele's made by Ko'olau are solid Mahogany and are very good quality.

You can get a Tenor for $469 and it comes with a very good quality Ko'olau hard shell case.

olgoat52
10-13-2011, 06:09 AM
You didn't say what size uke or if second hand is acceptable. I see KoAloha solid wood sopranos in the $360 range frequently. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Koaloha-soprano-koa-ukulele-case-/170710996513?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27bf2b1621

Chap
10-13-2011, 06:52 AM
He said mahogany, goat.

I would suggest the Anuenue Khaya.

berean_315
10-13-2011, 07:40 AM
I agree that Pono's are good ukes for the money.

Also have heard good things about the Kanile'a Islander Line of ukes.

fabioponta
10-13-2011, 07:48 AM
A Hamano H-100C would be a great classic concert model in a solid mahogany satin finish. Great sound with Aquilas. Price in ebay or ceciliasmusic is $294.95.

coolkayaker1
10-13-2011, 08:32 AM
Consider a KoAloha Soprano, solid koa, which run around $450 new.

Frankie2blue
10-13-2011, 10:10 AM
Thanks for the replies. I should have stated though that I was looking for a tenor, preferably in Hog. She has played my Collings UT3 ( and she can't have that!!!) and loves the feel of the neck and scale of the tenor as opposed to my concerts and she is just learning.I'll look up Pono, and one that comes with a decent case would be a plus. Anyway, thanks all for takinfg the time to give me the advice. Oh, And any advice who has these and has the best pricing along with actually having them in stock would also be appreciated.

olgoat52
10-13-2011, 10:13 AM
He said mahogany, goat.

I would suggest the Anuenue Khaya.

Missed the last line. Thanks

molokinirum
10-13-2011, 10:16 AM
Check out Mele Ukulele (http://www.meleukulele.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=2&cat=Mahogany+Ukuleles). The tenor with a case is around $500. But..call them up and speak directly and I am sure you will get something off.

coriandre
10-13-2011, 10:57 AM
I would try to reach Mike Pereira of www.mpukuleles.com He sells his style 1 tenors under 500$. He might have one close to ready and you would get a top notch handbuilt ukulele.

poppy
10-13-2011, 11:49 AM
http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/loprinzi-model-a-mahogany-tenor
Another pretty nice one right on dollar wise.\

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pono-Tenor-Ukulele-MHTSH-Solid-Mahogany-Gloss-Slotted-Headstock-w-Oahu-Case-/140616611642?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20bd67373a

acouple dollars more ,listen to the clip these folks do a nice job, hardshell case and set up with humidifier nice looking uke.

PoiDog
10-13-2011, 11:51 AM
He said mahogany, goat.

I would suggest the Anuenue Khaya.

Ditto that. I have their koa tenor and once it started to open up it was really incredible sounding. Gets better every day, and that's no lie. I have no reason to think their mahog wouldn't be equally as impressive.

PhilUSAFRet
10-13-2011, 03:05 PM
Another vote for Pono

Doc_J
10-13-2011, 03:54 PM
I would try to reach Mike Pereira of www.mpukuleles.com He sells his style 1 tenors under 500$. He might have one close to ready and you would get a top notch handbuilt ukulele.

Great suggestion. Mike's ukes are a bargain!

I would also consider a Black Bear Ukulele, if Duane has any available.

Sorry, but I have not had good luck with Pono's. I had 3 different Pono sopranos (koa, mango, monkey pod), all 3 had some issues with sound level, or finish, intonation, or set-up.

Scott S.
10-13-2011, 05:09 PM
How about a Lo Prinzi Model A solid mahogany tenor. Constructed by a distinguished luthier right here in the USA, and you can get one through Mike at Uke Republic for just a bit over $500. Noted for their great playability and classic mahogany tone. Mine should be ready for delivery almost any day now.

Frankie2blue
10-13-2011, 06:31 PM
Great suggestion. Mike's ukes are a bargin!

I would also consider a Black Bear Ukulele, if Duane has any available.

Sorry, but I have not had good luck with Pono's. I had 3 different Pono sopranos (koa, mango, monkey pod), all 3 had some issues with sound level, or finish, intonation, or set-up.

I agree his stuff looks really nice but I really want to keep it at 500 tops. Lowest I find on his site appears to be 750 on up. On the other hand after searching I have still not found a Pono in stock yet.

coriandre
10-13-2011, 06:35 PM
There are no style 1 on the for sale page of MP ukuleles at the moment but, you should contact him, he may have one being built and they sell for 475$.

mds725
10-13-2011, 08:50 PM
You could call Hawaii Music Supply (http://www.theukulelesite.com/)and ask them if they can get you this Pono MTD solid mahogany tenor (http://www.theukulelesite.com/shopbyprice/400-699/pono-mtd)for $469. HSM works very closely with Ko'olau (the Ko'olau factory is just down the street from HSM), which makes Pono ukuleles, and HSM might be able to find you one. And they come with Oahu hard cases, which are virtually identical to the famous Ko'olau hard cases.

For what it's worth, I have a Pono solid mahogany baritone that I love. It plays really comfortably and sounds great.

bbycrts
10-13-2011, 09:11 PM
Big Island mahoganies are stunning...

coriandre
10-14-2011, 04:37 AM
How about this ?

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?54434-Pono-mt-e-solid-solid-mahogany-tenor

haolejohn
10-14-2011, 05:02 AM
Pono ukulele's made by Ko'olau are solid Mahogany and are very good quality.

You can get a Tenor for $469 and it comes with a very good quality Ko'olau hard shell case.

If I am not mistaken the cases cost extra now. I may be wrong but I don't think so.


Ponos are GREAT!! Go with UkeRepublic or mim is that is your plan. Honus/Big Islands are pretty decent as well, but...

In this price range I recommend Mele. www.meleukuleles.com You might even be able to get a koa top/mahog fopr around that price range. I think Mele's mahogany ukes are the best import mahog ukes.

GKK
10-14-2011, 05:32 AM
If I am not mistaken the cases cost extra now. I may be wrong but I don't think so.

Hawaii Music Supply includes the Ko'olau hard shell case for the Pono MTD model. theukulelesite.com/shopbyprice/400-699/pono-mtd

Also, Hawaii Music Supply now has the Satin finish Pono MT in stock but, you'll have to add the case which is still well under $500. http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukulelemarket/pono-mt-mahogany-tenor-ukulele-satin

haolejohn
10-14-2011, 11:52 AM
Hawaii Music Supply includes the Ko'olau hard shell case for the Pono MTD model. theukulelesite.com/shopbyprice/400-699/pono-mtd

Also, Hawaii Music Supply now has the Satin finish Pono MT in stock but, you'll have to add the case which is still well under $500. http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukulelemarket/pono-mt-mahogany-tenor-ukulele-satin

That is good. I wonder if the HMS/Koolau connection is why they are still giving the hard case for free. Those are nice cases.

oldtimestrings
10-14-2011, 12:26 PM
That is good. I wonder if the HMS/Koolau connection is why they are still giving the hard case for free. Those are nice cases.
I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that HMS is owned by Andrew Kitakis, son of the Ko'olau founder John Kitakis. Rather, it's the new pricing scheme. As I understand it, the list prices on the Mahogany satin and Mahogany deluxe series have come down considerably, but no longer include the case as they used to do with all Ponos. Now, the only Ponos (from the new batch) that include a case are the Pro-Classic series instruments. The MTD that you see listed with the case is probably one of the older batch, which were priced with case included. These are all very good deals no matter how you slice it.

Pondoro
10-14-2011, 09:34 PM
My Pono Concert with hard case cost a bit less than $500 but a tenor, at today's prices, is probably closer to five bills. I love my Pono, I am not a fan of glossy finishes and have satin finishes on all my other ukes, but the gloss finish on my Pono is superb. The sound is very nice as well, there are louder ukes but this one is loud enough for me. It has a pickup and if I wanted to play with a band I would need to amplify any uke.

blue_knight_usa
10-14-2011, 10:24 PM
I have an MHT Deluxe, solid Mahogany Tenor, I just put a MiSi pickup in it and it's fantastic. For the $500.00 range you just can't go wrong and your getting a very good quality instrument, and the case is excellent as well with the red stitching. For a brand new very nice uke that is of high quality (they are the only ones with a truss rod in the neck (or were)) which I actually had to adjust mine at one point so I was glad it was there. Definitely built extremely well and a great finish, great tuners.