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View Full Version : Seeking Unique ukes... any ideas?



Total Ukphoria
11-12-2011, 06:20 AM
Okay, I have gotten to the point where I really don't need yet ANOTHER uke unless it is somehow unique:o. I have several that are made well and sound nice- but I'm looking for that Unique factor.

Now I know "Unique" can mean a lot of things. I like ukes that are somehow different- quirkey- funny/cool looking- fun- unique sounding- or just plain ol' interestring.

Here Are the ukes I own already that I would consider unique...
Kala Kiwi (fun and colorful- sounds great too)
Recording King resonator (metal meets wood)
Several Plastic Ukes from the 50s (retro fun with amazing sound)
The Paradise Orange and white Kazuo Sekiguchi Plastic uke (the most cheesy fun plastic uke I own)
Ohana longneck tenor/soprano (the "giraffe"- looks funny- sounds great)
Banjo Uke (Goldtone- it's a banjo uke- what more do you want?)
Kala Tenor Travel uke (very thin!)

Here are a couple I've considered that I do not own...
Appause uke (different look and sound?)
flea/fluke (oh so freaky cool!)
Cigar box uke (perhaps making my own?)


Any other suggestions? (I prefer to keep things under, say, $400)

ItsMrPitchy
11-12-2011, 06:25 AM
How about a lego ukulele? Never heard one but they look really cool.

RyanMFT
11-12-2011, 06:25 AM
How about a Favilla Teardop? I have one and not only is it a great player but they are unique looking.

modern day ukuleleist
11-12-2011, 06:32 AM
I don't personally recommend Applause ukes.

If you want a really unique ukulele, just buy a cheap base model and find a professional artist to paint it.

guitharsis
11-12-2011, 06:52 AM
Vintage banjo uke ? www.bernunzio.com

KimosTherapy
11-12-2011, 06:56 AM
You didn't mention any price range, so I would recommend looking for a Keith Ogata custom uke. Keith is in Salt Lake, Hawaii (Oahu) and makes uniquely shaped ukes that have a wonderful tone. Here's a link to Shawn Yacavone's (Ukulele Friend) website and specifically a whole bunch of Keith Ogata's ukes that he had in his possession and sold. Shawn specializes in obtaining and selling custom ukes from many different luthiers. I don't know where Shawn gets his money from, but he has/had many, many very pricey ukes! He has a rare 1947 Martin "Employee" tenor uke that has a price tag of $16,500 among many other ukes that are priced well above $3000.


http://web.me.com/syacavone/Site/Keith_Ogata_Ukulele_%28%E3%82%AA%E3%82%AC%E3%82%BF %E3%83%BB%E3%82%A6%E3%82%AF%E3%83%AC%E3%83%AC%EF%B C%89.html

Also, here's a link of a video that Shawn made of one of the Keith Ogata ukes that he sold:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy3aUDmWyuI&feature=related

Fellow UU Member "deach" owns 2 Keith Ogata tenor ukes ... so, they must be pretty darn good! Get in touch with deach and ask for some links to some of his videos on youtube. I know for sure that he has at least one video in which he is playing one of his Keith Ogata ukes.

Toucan Mango
11-12-2011, 07:00 AM
There are quite a few out of the ordinary hand crafted ukes on etsy.

Kem
11-12-2011, 07:04 AM
You'll occasionally find gourd banjo ukes floating around in the marketplace. Some are way +$400, but I think I've also seen some for $200-$350. It's also sometimes possible to find ukes made from tin cans. There are oddly shaped ukes such as the Boat Paddle (however, that one's outside your price range). There's the Eleuke, and there are other electronic ukuleles. There's the Northern ukulele (http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/northern.htm) and its clone, the Triumph (Northerns tend to be pretty cheap, but they're not made any more, so you would have to find a used one). There are sopraninos, pocket ukes, and those teeny weeny little ukes made by Tudorp. There may be the occasional bamboo uke knocking around. There's the Kala Ubass (again, maybe just barely outside your price range, though I believe there are hard-to-find cheaper alternatives, such as the Beaver Creek acoustic travel bass). There are Mainland's cheaper ukes, which sport gecko decorations. There's lots and lots and lots of stuff out there; you just have to poke around a bit.

Kazz3lrath
11-12-2011, 07:27 AM
This uke is highly unique and I think we can all agree that it is the coolest instrument ever made.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/81246817/autobot-transformer-ukulele?ref=sr_gallery_36&ga_search_query=ukulele&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_category=music.instrument&ga_facet=

Shastastan
11-12-2011, 07:30 AM
If you're interested in Fleas and Flukes, I think you will be very pleased with either. Yes, their appearance is unique, but I've had a Flea for about a month and the sound is really full and resonant. I like the action better on it than on my Mainland tenor which I had a setup done on. I was really very pleasantly surprised at the quality and sound of the Flea.

ukebuilder
11-12-2011, 07:40 AM
I make cigar box Ukes and also cookie tin ukes, they are really different. Here are a few pis.
http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/finished-a-uke-and-a-few-misc?xg_source=activity

Lori
11-12-2011, 09:00 AM
I really like my 5 string Ohana TK-35-G-5 which gives you both high and low g strings paired. Sounds great! For other sound variations you might consider a 6 string or 8 string uke. Then, there is the new Ohana Tiple (10 string) Ukulele Player magazine (online) did a review of that.

I really like my concert neck Flea "Camp". I like dramatic wood grain and Kala has had several nice entries in that area (spalted maple, mango).

–Lori

Total Ukphoria
11-12-2011, 10:05 AM
I make cigar box Ukes and also cookie tin ukes, they are really different. Here are a few pis.
http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/finished-a-uke-and-a-few-misc?xg_source=activity
Very nice!

Total Ukphoria
11-12-2011, 10:06 AM
This uke is highly unique and I think we can all agree that it is the coolest instrument ever made.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/81246817/autobot-transformer-ukulele?ref=sr_gallery_36&ga_search_query=ukulele&ga_search_submit=&ga_search_type=handmade&ga_category=music.instrument&ga_facet=

Wow! I collect Transformers so... yea, i have to agree.

ukebuilder
11-12-2011, 10:22 AM
I love it, I have been into transformers sense I was young. Nice!

Doc_J
11-12-2011, 12:15 PM
I make cigar box Ukes and also cookie tin ukes, they are really different. Here are a few pis.
http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/finished-a-uke-and-a-few-misc?xg_source=activity
I love that Indian Head penny in the fretboard. Very cool and classy.

29896

mybote
11-12-2011, 01:36 PM
I've just started trading ukuleles to experience unique uke types. My friend mentioned she wanted a concert Flea. I had two. She owned a Concert Krab and a saprano Krab. So, in trade, I gave her the Flea and she gave me the Krabs.

DML
11-12-2011, 01:55 PM
I make cigar box Ukes and also cookie tin ukes, they are really different. Here are a few pis.
http://www.cigarboxnation.com/forum/topics/finished-a-uke-and-a-few-misc?xg_source=activity
Wow,,,these ukes define unique. Beautiful work!

MGM
11-13-2011, 08:34 AM
inexpensive and great sounding yet unique Ohana Vita uke

Total Ukphoria
11-13-2011, 09:45 AM
inexpensive and great sounding yet unique Ohana Vita uke
Yes- that is definately going on my list!

gaspar
11-13-2011, 10:25 AM
I have a roy smeck vita uke. The best soundig uke I ever had and pretty rare too.
I like to call it my "concertino". Is a concert size with soprano scale!

ukuhippo
11-13-2011, 10:02 PM
Bedpan-uke?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoppj7x_wpE&feature=related

Shastastan
11-14-2011, 08:14 AM
I think a Dreadnought Uke would be interesting, basically it is a full size dreadnought guitar with the low A and E strings removed and a capo permanently attached at the fifth fret.

How about a tenor size dreadnought uke?

PhilUSAFRet
11-14-2011, 09:53 AM
Boatpaddle ukes

Total Ukphoria
11-14-2011, 01:32 PM
Boatpaddle ukes
I like the paddle boats a lot but they are a bit pricey.

Bedpan-uke?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoppj...eature=related
lol!!! I'm sure there's a good pun here waiting to happen... :)

"I have a roy smeck vita uke. The best soundig uke I ever had and pretty rare too.
I like to call it my "concertino". Is a concert size with soprano scale! "
Me likey very much. How much do they run on average?

Hippie Dribble
11-14-2011, 01:36 PM
Duane Heilman of Black Bear Guitars and Ukuleles builds ukes that are as much works of art as they are amazing sounding instruments.

Not for under 400!!! But worth a look at his showcase gallery. Here's the link...

http://www.blackbearukuleles.net/listing.html?categoryid=1&offset=1

hmgberg
11-14-2011, 01:40 PM
I have a roy smeck vita uke. The best soundig uke I ever had and pretty rare too.
I like to call it my "concertino". Is a concert size with soprano scale!

I have one, too. It does sound wonderful...and wonderfully different. I like the appellation, concertino; it's body is bigger than a soprano, but not as big as a concert; and the scale length at 14" is a little longer than a soprano, but not as long as a concert.

@gaspar...how do you like the Roy Smeck "Concert" uke in your picture?

kenikas
11-14-2011, 02:07 PM
inexpensive and great sounding yet unique Ohana Vita uke
Another vote for the Ohana Vita, I love mine. I'd really like a chance to compare it to the Smeck Vita, but my Ohana has a great sound and is fun to play without the possible problems with a vintage.

Total Ukphoria
11-15-2011, 02:43 PM
Duane Heilman of Black Bear Guitars and Ukuleles builds ukes that are as much works of art as they are amazing sounding instruments.

Not for under 400!!! But worth a look at his showcase gallery. Here's the link...

http://www.blackbearukuleles.net/listing.html?categoryid=1&offset=1
I actually own a Blackbear already-It's my High-end uke. Wonderful sound and a beatifully simple look- perhaps I should have included this on my original list.

Uke Republic
11-15-2011, 03:09 PM
Sailor concert Kawazinga.

Hippie Dribble
11-15-2011, 04:23 PM
got a pic Mike???
Sailor concert Kawazinga.

Uke Republic
11-15-2011, 07:22 PM
got a pic Mike???
Indeed:) https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sailor-Brand-Ukulele-Co/178196065538663
Theres a few unique ones on this.

Plainsong
11-16-2011, 03:04 AM
Talsma ukuleles and Blackbird Guitars' carbon fiber ukes come to mind. People who don't have the Blackbird ukes talk a lot of smack about their looks, but the ones who have them seem to swear by them.

zac987
11-16-2011, 03:11 AM
I've just started trading ukuleles to experience unique uke types. My friend mentioned she wanted a concert Flea. I had two. She owned a Concert Krab and a saprano Krab. So, in trade, I gave her the Flea and she gave me the Krabs.
You might want to reword that last sentence.....

Pippin
11-16-2011, 05:23 AM
Ohana's CKP-70 Vita uke reproduction.

http://www.ohana-music.com/conc/ckp70/master.html

Plainsong
11-16-2011, 12:37 PM
Also the Kala ukadelic series, and the Kala "Mighty Uke" that you can get from The Mighty Uke movie's website. Then there are the Flukes and Fleas and Eleukes and Risa uke sticks or uke'ellie.. the list just goes on and on. :D

Uke Republic
11-16-2011, 02:00 PM
aNueNue Harp uke with design by Pete Howlett , thats well over the budget but wow it's COOL. Mainlands soon to be released Osage ukuleles, Ohana SK-38 and 38A, Ohana's redwood and Port Orford topped Myrtle ukes.
Mainlands soon to come in stock long neck pineapple.
Come to think of it, there are loads of unique ukuleles in that price range :)

Total Ukphoria
11-16-2011, 02:09 PM
Also the Kala ukadelic series, and the Kala "Mighty Uke" that you can get from The Mighty Uke movie's website. Then there are the Flukes and Fleas and Eleukes and Risa uke sticks or uke'ellie.. the list just goes on and on. :D

Thanks for all the ideas so far folks! I do have a ukadelic by the way- that should have been on the list. :)

Plainsong
11-17-2011, 01:41 AM
And then there are the various banjo ukes, and Mainland plastics, the Sailor 20's with the two-tone headstock. We're in danger of listing all the ukes. :D