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View Full Version : Purchasing a new uke...Need Input!



Benjammin
09-08-2008, 01:58 AM
Hello everyone,
I've played the guitar since I was about ten. I've always been a fan of music on the more mellow side, so naturally, I am a huge fan of the ukulele sound. I've been wanting a uke for quite some time, and, in less than two weeks I am looking to treat myself to one for my 21st birthday.

Basically I'm just wanting some input from some experienced uke players. I've kind of made a list of what I'm looking for in a uke:

-Under $200
-I'm really digging the look of Koa
-I'm 6'4" and nervous about the soprano's small size. I think I'd like a concert.

Well that's pretty much it. Let me know if you think you have the best ukulele for me! Also, if you know a great place to BUY the thing, please include!

dnewton2
09-08-2008, 02:25 AM
Hello everyone,
I've played the guitar since I was about ten. I've always been a fan of music on the more mellow side, so naturally, I am a huge fan of the ukulele sound. I've been wanting a uke for quite some time, and, in less than two weeks I am looking to treat myself to one for my 21st birthday.

Basically I'm just wanting some input from some experienced uke players. I've kind of made a list of what I'm looking for in a uke:

-Under $200
-I'm really digging the look of Koa
-I'm 6'4" and nervous about the soprano's small size. I think I'd like a concert.

Well that's pretty much it. Let me know if you think you have the best ukulele for me! Also, if you know a great place to BUY the thing, please include!

Wow, so many options. My opinion would be to go with a concert for your first uke. I did and I seem to like that size the best. But if you can go to a shop and try them out first. As for a uke I am guessing some of the same rules apply as they do for guitar. Look for a solid top for better sound. I dig the look of koa too, but koa is not cheap. You might find a laminate koa uke for that price but almost definatly not a solid koa uke for $200. check out musicguymic's store on ebay. Also search through some other threads in the fourms, there is a ton of good info in here.

UkeNinja
09-08-2008, 02:26 AM
Kala concert, Koa Pili Koko concert? The KPK looks really koa-ish and it's solid wood. Nothing eccentric like a Flea concert or a Fluke? Good sound and sturdy as well.

Check the review section of ukuleleunderground.com and the search function (you may want to include what research you have done already, so we don't tell you stuff you already know) of this forum.

Go try and play a few ukes some place nearby and see if your soprano-angst is real. It shouldn't have to be, but get what you feel comfortable with. Check online sellers (again, a quick search here will find you several good names) to compare them. But for a first-timer, going to look would be your best bet. With your guitar skillz you can probably play a practice tune to get a feel of the different models.

SinisterDom
09-08-2008, 04:15 AM
Plenty of big people can play soprano. I hate when people think they can't.

Gaby
09-08-2008, 04:33 AM
If you are spending $200, I think you are probably better off buying an all-solid mahogany concert (such as Ohana CK25 or CK35), or solid top uke such as a Kala concert with solid spruce top and ply back and sides rather than an all- ply koa - they are often hit and miss in that price bracket (don't get me wrong, there are a few makers who do wonderful ply koa ukes, but they are often more expensive).

Benjammin
09-08-2008, 10:47 AM
It seems the more I research ukes, the more I keep coming back to the Kala brand. I did check out musicguymic's ebay store, and he's got some nice koa ukes for about 220. I was also checking out the kala mahogany, as it's a little bit cheaper.

I've been to most of the music shops in my area, and I know that they don't carry ukuleles. I wouldn't really be able to test anything out. I'm trying to get a feel for the different sounds of the different sizes. I think the concert would be a safe first uke, since I've read that it is favorited mucho.

As far as the types of wood, can you really hear a major difference between koa and mahogany?

Benjammin
09-08-2008, 10:55 AM
Plenty of big people can play soprano. I hate when people think they can't.
I'm sure that I could play a soprano. I just don't want one as my first ukulele. I feel like I'd be a little more comfortable with something closer to what I'm used to, and I almost feel that ukes larger than a concert take away from the charm and definitely the sound. Is that fair to say? Anywho....I think getting a soprano with my XL hands is a legit concern dood!

uke142464
09-08-2008, 11:00 AM
"F L U K E" - deach, trust me:D
and dont worry about a bigger size taking away from it, jake plays a tenor and so does aldrine. they have the fullest sound, and theyre not THAT much bigger, its still a uke

deach
09-08-2008, 11:16 AM
"F L U K E" - deach, trust me:D


http://bizzoony.files.wordpress.com/2006/12/what-choo-talkin-bout-willis.jpg

haole
09-08-2008, 11:28 AM
The Koa Pili Koko concert is a pretty good deal. Looks like koa (close enough!), all solid wood, and sounds better than most koa laminates. They're a little over US$200, but a good place to start.

http://cgi.ebay.com/KOA-PILI-KOKO-SOLID-ACACIA-CONCERT-Ukulele-W-CS_W0QQitemZ230287820248QQihZ013QQcategoryZ16224QQ cmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

freedive135
09-08-2008, 11:41 AM
To me with the Kala brand the Mahogany has a fuller/deeper sound than the Koa's, also it's not just the wood but the finish too.
I have played the Pono Soprano Mahogany in the satin finish and the varnish/poly? finish and find the satin to sound better, the non satin sounded duller.
I think of my Kala Mahogany Low g Tenor as my bass uke.

My 1.5 cents

Benjammin
09-08-2008, 02:02 PM
The Koa Pili Koko concert is a pretty good deal. Looks like koa (close enough!), all solid wood, and sounds better than most koa laminates. They're a little over US$200, but a good place to start.

http://cgi.ebay.com/KOA-PILI-KOKO-SOLID-ACACIA-CONCERT-Ukulele-W-CS_W0QQitemZ230287820248QQihZ013QQcategoryZ16224QQ cmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262

I don't like the look of that really at all. Why not just get actual koa for cheaper? Is this a better deal?

http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KOA-CONCERT-UKULELE-W-CS-TUNER-BOOK-KA-KC_W0QQitemZ330267822473QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item33 0267822473&_trkparms=72%3A1163%7C39%3A1%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C 240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14

haole
09-08-2008, 02:12 PM
It depends on which sound you prefer. Inexpensive koa ukes are almost always laminates, and solid wood is usually considered better. If I were you, I'd rather go for solid mahogany all around than laminated koa, but it all comes down to your choice! Play a few if you can. :3

Howlin Hobbit
09-09-2008, 04:18 PM
....I think getting a soprano with my XL hands is a legit concern dood!

Ah, but it's more of a vile canard (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/canard) than a legit concern, spread by those who either don't know or have decided that the uke's reputation as "easiest to learn" equals "takes no practice whatsoever."

Sure, there's a learning curve to get the knack. But hand size has nothing to do with it.

Really, whatever size you want is fine, as long as you're having fun (and hopefully making good music). But the "my hands are too big for a soprano" excuse is just that.

Benjammin
09-15-2008, 09:33 PM
Alright everyone, thanks a lot for all the help. I think I have made a decision: I like the Kala KA-KC-CT, which is a Concert with a solid cedar top and koa body with a satin finish for about $240 plus shipping from MGM. What does everbody think?

UkeNinja
09-15-2008, 11:49 PM
I think everybody thinks you will get a nicely set up ukulele for a decent price. I also think that many will think that you should get the thing and play. You won't go dead wrong, and even if you find out after a few months that other ukes sound differently, that will be the best education you can get and you get a free uke with your tuition fee. Go for it, man!

Benjammin
09-16-2008, 03:21 AM
Haha, I wasn't really expecting anyone to be like, Nooo don't buy that one!

I guess I just wanted some closure for this thread. I bought the ukulele this morning, and am anxiously awaiting its arrival.

I suppose I will make a video review of it, seeing as how I couldn't find any online. Now I'm about to rock out with my uke out.

Live to Love and Love to Live,

BenJammin

Kanaka916
09-16-2008, 05:36 AM
Nothing wrong with the Kala at all. Fact is, all the recommendations are ones members are familiar with. When you get it, do post some pics . . .

jsigone
09-17-2008, 07:18 AM
that was one of the ukes I was looking at, post pics and vid of it when you receive it. I'm sure it sounds awesome:nana:

TheDonEffect
09-17-2008, 08:53 AM
Awesome man, I just bought a tenor koa pili koko from him. Looks liek we were in the same boat, under 200 bucks but eventually sprung a lil more to get what we wanted.
From the research that I did, the one you got looks good but it lacks the seamless design of solid koa ukes, but the sound should be just fine. Ah, now we're both playing the waiting game.