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philpot
11-18-2011, 04:10 PM
Alright.

So.

I have decided on something.


Between now and graduation, I'm going to be saving. Saving saving saving as much as I can set aside after insurance and necessities are taken care of. Then, as a graduation gift to myself, I'm going to get a really REALLY nice tenor.

The decision part comes in here... I don't know what to choose!!!

I've decided if I'm going to spend this much on an instrument, gosh darn it it is going to be PERFECT. No shortcuts, no compromises, it will be EXACTLY what I want.

So, that said, I'm figuring on setting my limit between $1,500 and $2,000 in my head. Obviously I don't have that much to work with right now or I'd already have one in my hands! And I'm fully aware that this may be an unrealistic goal. But the last time I set a goal like this, it worked out perfectly, much sooner than I hoped, and I got a lovely instrument because of it. So I figure planning now can't hurt, even if I DON'T get the money until after graduation!

So. I definitely want koa. I want a bit of a "fancier" look. A little bit of "bling" is pretty to me, but nothing over the top. In my perfect world, I would also like a slotted headstock, but that isn't a necessity really, more just a "oh that would be kinda nice" thing.

As far as sound, my Kamaka sounds perfect to me. If it was like that but... more? Louder? Fuller? Tenor-y? I would be completely happy. And I think any builder would suit that just fine really.

I found a picture online of a Loprinzi 4k tenor and WOW. That's nice. Pretty much exactly what I envision really, minus the slotted headstock bonus. But I don't want to just think about one really. I want other ideas as to what would be feasible within my price range.

So for those of you who have gone the extra mile and gotten that REALLY nice instrument, what did you choose and why? What set it apart? And what makers would you recommend I look into in my decision making process? Thanks!!

-Phil

haolejohn
11-18-2011, 04:52 PM
Alright.

So.

I have decided on something.


Between now and graduation, I'm going to be saving. Saving saving saving as much as I can set aside after insurance and necessities are taken care of. Then, as a graduation gift to myself, I'm going to get a really REALLY nice tenor.

The decision part comes in here... I don't know what to choose!!!

I've decided if I'm going to spend this much on an instrument, gosh darn it it is going to be PERFECT. No shortcuts, no compromises, it will be EXACTLY what I want.

So, that said, I'm figuring on setting my limit between $1,500 and $2,000 in my head. Obviously I don't have that much to work with right now or I'd already have one in my hands! And I'm fully aware that this may be an unrealistic goal. But the last time I set a goal like this, it worked out perfectly, much sooner than I hoped, and I got a lovely instrument because of it. So I figure planning now can't hurt, even if I DON'T get the money until after graduation!

So. I definitely want koa. I want a bit of a "fancier" look. A little bit of "bling" is pretty to me, but nothing over the top. In my perfect world, I would also like a slotted headstock, but that isn't a necessity really, more just a "oh that would be kinda nice" thing.

As far as sound, my Kamaka sounds perfect to me. If it was like that but... more? Louder? Fuller? Tenor-y? I would be completely happy. And I think any builder would suit that just fine really.

I found a picture online of a Loprinzi 4k tenor and WOW. That's nice. Pretty much exactly what I envision really, minus the slotted headstock bonus. But I don't want to just think about one really. I want other ideas as to what would be feasible within my price range.

So for those of you who have gone the extra mile and gotten that REALLY nice instrument, what did you choose and why? What set it apart? And what makers would you recommend I look into in my decision making process? Thanks!!

-Phil

what about a Chuck Moore NSB? Or a spec instrument from any of the luthiers?

Me personally...When I get my Dr. I am ordering a MB or something. I'm like you. I don't want anything too blingy but I want the perfect tenor for me.

TCK
11-18-2011, 04:53 PM
I am pretty much done on the uke buying thing, as my collection has surpassed the number of chords I know, but I played one that really got me fired up (and I have luckily managed to a play a lot of them). Currently saving my sheckels for something RIDICULOUS (at least in my estimation).
Let it be known that I sound just as good on a $30 Makala as I do on a 1946 Martin 3M...I wish I did not know this, but I do. I went to the Sonoma COunty Uke Festival however, and I played around with instruments I could never justify given my extreme lack of talent. I also wore a ridiculous cowboy shirt that day..biggest buttons you could imagine so every one I picked up I figured was getting a scratch...ugh, caution in CandyLand? Lame.
In any event, I met a really nice couple of folks there who happen to make Ukuleles. I have 20 Ukuleles and figure I don't need anymore, but these were really nice people and they asked me to play what they made, so I did because their ukes were stunning and beautiful, and I got a mate halfway around the world who really likes 'em. I was overly cautious and played so slowly and quietly, but that uke got into my head.
Radiused fretboard, beautiful wood, perfect finish and amazing hand voiced tone...every cell in my body regrets not playing that Ukulele until it was marred from my efforts and covered with the dust of my slowly degrading fingernails.
That Uke was a Mya Moe, and yeah- Gordon and Char are really nice people. They build fantastic ukes, and I am going to send them what to me is a LOT of money (I am a teacher, and talent-less as we discussed) to make me that uke. The one that is the most expensive thing I own (that I cannot drive) and makes me smile ear to ear every time it comes out of it's box...
Just my 2 cents

haolejohn
11-18-2011, 05:00 PM
I am pretty much done on the uke buying thing, as my collection has surpassed the number of chords I know, but I played one that really got me fired up (and I have luckily managed to a play a lot of them). Currently saving my sheckels for something RIDICULOUS (at least in my estimation).
Let it be known that I sound just as good on a $30 Makala as I do on a 1946 Martin 3M...I wish I did not know this, but I do. I went to the Sonoma COunty Uke Festival however, and I played around with instruments I could never justify given my extreme lack of talent. I also wore a ridiculous cowboy shirt that day..biggest buttons you could imagine so every one I picked up I figured was getting a scratch...ugh, caution in CandyLand? Lame.
In any event, I met a really nice couple of folks there who happen to make Ukuleles. I have 20 Ukuleles and figure I don't need anymore, but these were really nice people and they asked me to play what they made, so I did because their ukes were stunning and beautiful, and I got a mate halfway around the world who really likes 'em. I was overly cautious and played so slowly and quietly, but that uke got into my head.
Radiused fretboard, beautiful wood, perfect finish and amazing hand voiced tone...every cell in my body regrets not playing that Ukulele until it was marred from my efforts and covered with the dust of my slowly degrading fingernails.
That Uke was a Mya Moe, and yeah- Gordon and Char are really nice people. They build fantastic ukes, and I am going to send them what to me is a LOT of money (I am a teacher, and talent-less as we discussed) to make me that uke. The one that is the most expensive thing I own (that I cannot drive) and makes me smile ear to ear every time it comes out of it's box...
Just my 2 cents

Nothing wrong with that. Heck sell some of your 20 ukes to help start the fund. I did that a few times. I'm a teacher as well and haven't seen a full paycheck in over 3 years. Darn furlough days but I will own a custom one day in future. It will cost more than my car but not my motorcycle:)

philpot
11-18-2011, 05:02 PM
what about a Chuck Moore NSB? Or a spec instrument from any of the luthiers?

Me personally...When I get my Dr. I am ordering a MB or something. I'm like you. I don't want anything too blingy but I want the perfect tenor for me.

I'm considering that. I was thinking about waiting until I could get on the list for a custom, but if I'm going to order a complete custom I have another list of things I want that would put me WAY over my budget, so I don't think I'm going to do that. The NSB's are nice, that's on my "to consider" list. I just don't know... I'm looking for something that really pops out at me, and hopefully between now and then I'll have the opportunity to play some more upper level tenors.

Hippie Dribble
11-18-2011, 05:06 PM
I'm with you Dave...I sound exactly the same on my blue mahalo as on my mya moe. :o But it's less about that as the feeling you get when you look at it and pick it up...just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy like and hey, we could be spending our money on various pursuits that are considerably less edifying than ukeing. So that said, I'm pretty much done too now with buying ukes for awhile...I have a couple of real sweeties and a couple of old vintage ones that sound every bit as good to my ears...happy days are here again

Phil, with that amount of available cash you have such an enormous range of options it's making my head spin...but, to put in another plug for the folks at MM, Gordon and Char could build you a beautiful tenor made from any one of about 30+ types of wood with a number of custom options (including your desired slotted headstock, pickups, bling, tuners, strings etc...) you just name em...they are great to talk with and always go the extra mile.

Also, check another thread by FPK about 'best luthiers' over the last few days...heaps of wonderful builders listed there who would work closely with you and advise you based on your sound/aesthetic preferences. It's awesome mate, very excited for you. :)

philpot
11-18-2011, 05:06 PM
I am pretty much done on the uke buying thing, as my collection has surpassed the number of chords I know, but I played one that really got me fired up (and I have luckily managed to a play a lot of them). Currently saving my sheckels for something RIDICULOUS (at least in my estimation).
Let it be known that I sound just as good on a $30 Makala as I do on a 1946 Martin 3M...I wish I did not know this, but I do. I went to the Sonoma COunty Uke Festival however, and I played around with instruments I could never justify given my extreme lack of talent. I also wore a ridiculous cowboy shirt that day..biggest buttons you could imagine so every one I picked up I figured was getting a scratch...ugh, caution in CandyLand? Lame.
In any event, I met a really nice couple of folks there who happen to make Ukuleles. I have 20 Ukuleles and figure I don't need anymore, but these were really nice people and they asked me to play what they made, so I did because their ukes were stunning and beautiful, and I got a mate halfway around the world who really likes 'em. I was overly cautious and played so slowly and quietly, but that uke got into my head.
Radiused fretboard, beautiful wood, perfect finish and amazing hand voiced tone...every cell in my body regrets not playing that Ukulele until it was marred from my efforts and covered with the dust of my slowly degrading fingernails.
That Uke was a Mya Moe, and yeah- Gordon and Char are really nice people. They build fantastic ukes, and I am going to send them what to me is a LOT of money (I am a teacher, and talent-less as we discussed) to make me that uke. The one that is the most expensive thing I own (that I cannot drive) and makes me smile ear to ear every time it comes out of it's box...
Just my 2 cents

Mya Moe is also on my list... hmmm... I'm liking the pricing as far as what I'm looking for. This is definitely a big consideration now :P

philpot
11-18-2011, 05:13 PM
Okay, now I think I'm leaning heavily towards Mya Moe in my head :P with the options I want, based on the pricing on their site, it comes out to a hearty $1,750. Well, I'm not totally decided yet but... that might just be my goal to shoot for :D

A question for those of you who have gotten them, how long is the wait?

Hippie Dribble
11-18-2011, 05:17 PM
Okay, now I think I'm leaning heavily towards Mya Moe in my head :P with the options I want, based on the pricing on their site, it comes out to a hearty $1,750. Well, I'm not totally decided yet but... that might just be my goal to shoot for :D

A question for those of you who have gotten them, how long is the wait?
next available start date for customs is May 28 Phil...
http://myamoeukuleles.com/orders.php
(build time is 4 weeks give or take...a $300 deposit reserves your spot)

philpot
11-18-2011, 05:21 PM
next available start date for customs is May 28 Phil...
http://myamoeukuleles.com/orders.php
(build time is 4 weeks give or take...a $300 deposit reserves your spot)

Hehe well, I'm not quite that far along yet ;) definitely not going to be getting in this build cycle. Or the next one probably. Or the next one... or... ;) but I'm liking what I'm seeing/hearing. I think this might just be it. Time to start saving :P

TCK
11-18-2011, 05:44 PM
Yeah- the build cycle seems like an eternity, but they do amazing things- I wish I could hand you one. Just as an aside- I am a scientist, and so the voicing is what really captivates me. The bling is the least of my concerns, but I saw a Mya with an open headstock and was entranced by the tuners- they use these German made tuners on the open headstock models that are about the finest pieces of machinery I have ever seen...I swear I looked at them for hours.

Haolejohn- bless up mate- I feel you. Ain't a great time to be a teacher for any of us- watching what I get for teaching forty kids a period not change for the last three years makes me sometimes feel like the last 17 were spent in vain, but I love the little buggers

haolejohn
11-18-2011, 05:47 PM
I'd recommend trying a MM out if possible. Great instruments but they just don't do it for me. Not sure why...But I do look at their myrtle woods combos and kinda get an itch. lol.

philpot
11-18-2011, 05:54 PM
I'd recommend trying a MM out if possible. Great instruments but they just don't do it for me. Not sure why...But I do look at their myrtle woods combos and kinda get an itch. lol.

I've got plenty of time, so I'll try really hard to find one to try. I'm not discounting anything yet :P especially since I've got nothing but time...

Another one of my considerations was a Black Bear. I've heard good things about his ukes, and I've emailed him once just to see if he did commissions and he said he sometimes picked them up.

haolejohn
11-18-2011, 06:16 PM
I've got plenty of time, so I'll try really hard to find one to try. I'm not discounting anything yet :P especially since I've got nothing but time...

Another one of my considerations was a Black Bear. I've heard good things about his ukes, and I've emailed him once just to see if he did commissions and he said he sometimes picked them up.

I want to try a black bear out. Also want to look at bradford D's ukes again. Have you thought about boat paddle? There are so many ukes to look into.

coriandre
11-18-2011, 07:14 PM
I have 2 MP ukulele and couldnt be happier with them. Mike Pereira makes great ukuleles. I am also on Bradfords wait list for 2012. Black bear and Mya Moe are also great in my opinion. You couldnt go wrong with any of those.

mm stan
11-18-2011, 07:30 PM
Yup...MP ukes...Mike is the man....mine sings..and half the price of a MM ....that is a top of his line...that is before..haven't checked his prices lately....

Dan Uke
11-18-2011, 07:30 PM
dont wait too long as the price of ukes will naturally go up!

TCK
11-18-2011, 07:33 PM
Bradford is also a great guy- I have one of his ukes (he built it for under $10) and I love it- I have four more going on the work bench for my kids at school as he sent the plans along too

dsummers
11-19-2011, 01:52 AM
Check out Dave Talsma stringed instruments. He built me a vita style redwood top Cuban mahogany back and side with some bling I wanted and it is superb from looks to sound. If your in the looking stage, you owe to yourself
to at least check out his web site! He does amazing work!

EDW
11-19-2011, 02:24 AM
I agree- http://www.davetalsma.com/ is a great choice. Also http://www.pohakuukulele.com/

Both would be on my short list

Kem
11-19-2011, 02:36 AM
Did you ever read Ukeeku's no-strings-attached review of this $1,700 Boat Paddle (http://ukeeku.com/2011/08/06/boat-paddle-custom-m-no-strings-attached-review/)? It's really enough to make anyone go, "WANT."

philpot
11-25-2011, 07:20 AM
Yup...MP ukes...Mike is the man....mine sings..and half the price of a MM ....that is a top of his line...that is before..haven't checked his prices lately....

I think MP has landed at the top of my list at this point :P Going by the pictures on his site, his AK model is exactly what I want. I'm going to attempt to start trying to sell art pieces to save up for this quickly so as to avoid the inevitable price rises. Oh boy, saving up again here I come!

olgoat52
11-25-2011, 07:35 AM
I have recently heard a couple of Talsma ukes and they are a tremendous bang for the buck. The "Gerald Ross" model is a beauty. RyRod here on UU has a tenor that I have played and it was amazing.

If you can get your price point up, the Moore Bettah is unbelievable and it will be "what you want". It may not be exactly what you "Think you want" but after working with Chuck and him keeping you in line and on track, what comes out is beyond expectations.

Love Haole Johns comment about "more than my car, but not my motorcycle" A man after my own heart. Ukes and Harleys.. That's what I'm sayin..

JT_Ukes
11-25-2011, 07:36 AM
I am pretty much done on the uke buying thing, as my collection has surpassed the number of chords I know, but I played one that really got me fired up (and I have luckily managed to a play a lot of them). Currently saving my sheckels for something RIDICULOUS (at least in my estimation).
Let it be known that I sound just as good on a $30 Makala as I do on a 1946 Martin 3M...I wish I did not know this, but I do. I went to the Sonoma COunty Uke Festival however, and I played around with instruments I could never justify given my extreme lack of talent. I also wore a ridiculous cowboy shirt that day..biggest buttons you could imagine so every one I picked up I figured was getting a scratch...ugh, caution in CandyLand? Lame.
In any event, I met a really nice couple of folks there who happen to make Ukuleles. I have 20 Ukuleles and figure I don't need anymore, but these were really nice people and they asked me to play what they made, so I did because their ukes were stunning and beautiful, and I got a mate halfway around the world who really likes 'em. I was overly cautious and played so slowly and quietly, but that uke got into my head.
Radiused fretboard, beautiful wood, perfect finish and amazing hand voiced tone...every cell in my body regrets not playing that Ukulele until it was marred from my efforts and covered with the dust of my slowly degrading fingernails.
That Uke was a Mya Moe, and yeah- Gordon and Char are really nice people. They build fantastic ukes, and I am going to send them what to me is a LOT of money (I am a teacher, and talent-less as we discussed) to make me that uke. The one that is the most expensive thing I own (that I cannot drive) and makes me smile ear to ear every time it comes out of it's box...
Just my 2 cents


I was gonna say Mya-moe too.. but he already did.. so I'll just say, yeah, what he said.

fantasic build, radiused fretboard, great people. can't loose.

slackkey007
11-25-2011, 08:05 AM
How about Zac Steimle of Oceana Ukulele? http://www.oceanaukuleles.com/
His instruments are hand made using only hand tools from start to finish for a great price point.