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Ryan<3Ukes
11-23-2011, 05:06 PM
I thought there would be a thread that had the word underrated in the title but I searched and there were none sooo Hey i'm here! This probably the most important thing I'm going to ask all of you in terms of opinion. Which brand(s) of ukulele makers do you think are the most underrated? This important to me because in a lot of the things I do I tend to go for the "underrated". I really don't like going for the same things other people go for or already have. Is there anything wrong with going for something other people want? No. 80% of the time whatever's getting the attention deserves it. I'm not just talking about product, I'm talking about service as well. I'd say that KPK counts as one of those underrated brands. Solid Acacia ukuleles for under $240 ? I mean really, what beats that? If you can't think of anything just think about a really good brand that's not mentioned on the forums as much as other brands are. BTW, I'm poor that's why I'm asking this :) Sometimes underrated means "invisible good deals" as well.

haolejohn
11-23-2011, 05:16 PM
I thought there would be a thread that had the word underrated in the title but I searched and there were none sooo Hey i'm here! This probably the most important thing I'm going to ask all of you in terms of opinion. Which brand(s) of ukulele makers do you think are the most underrated? This important to me because in a lot of the things I do I tend to go for the "underrated". I really don't like going for the same things other people go for or already have. Is there anything wrong with going for something other people want? No. 80% of the time whatever's getting the attention deserves it. I'm not just talking about product, I'm talking about service as well. I'd say that KPK counts as one of those underrated brands. Solid Acacia ukuleles for under $240 ? I mean really, what beats that? If you can't think of anything just think about a really good brand that's not mentioned on the forums as much as other brands are. BTW, I'm poor that's why I'm asking this :) Sometimes underrated means "invisible good deals" as well.

KPK isn't underrated. very good rep now. Started out shaky but that was when they first came out.

I think the most underrated brand is Mele. www.meleukulele.com

Ryan<3Ukes
11-23-2011, 05:26 PM
KPK isn't underrated. very good rep now. Started out shaky but that was when they first came out.

I think the most underrated brand is Mele. www.meleukulele.com

Wow I have a lot to look into. Saw Mele in a couple signatures and I never bothered looking at their website.

haolejohn
11-23-2011, 05:45 PM
Wow I have a lot to look into. Saw Mele in a couple signatures and I never bothered looking at their website.

Not many people have them (I think this is b/c there aren't many online dealers that carry them) but very good players. I love mine. If you get one, tell them I sent ya. I hear they sweeten the deal.

Ryan<3Ukes
11-23-2011, 06:06 PM
Not many people have them (I think this is b/c there aren't many online dealers that carry them) but very good players. I love mine. If you get one, tell them I sent ya. I hear they sweeten the deal.

Unfortunately, I can't afford my UAS :(

haolejohn
11-23-2011, 06:08 PM
Unfortunately, I can't afford my UAS :(

trust me...I understand.

Ryan<3Ukes
11-23-2011, 06:16 PM
trust me...I understand.

I think it was a bad idea for me to post this thread now... im eyeing the double puka solid koa tenor now... Darn it!!

Plainsong
11-23-2011, 06:26 PM
I'm going to say that among the K brands, Koolau and Kanilea are both underrated. You tend to read Kamaka this and Koaloha that, and not so much the other two. I've seen a Koolau in the wild and it was something else. Also, some UUers didn't bond with their Kanilea, so sometimes as a result of that, you see people who never played one pass on misinformation (it's misinformation if you give an opinion on an uke you've never played).

I know that maybe it's not fair to throw out those names, because they're still very much the big time, but still. In terms of luthiers we should talk more about, gotta be MPUkuleles. I had a koa concert of his (non-custom), that's only crime against humanity was that the neck got too big for my stumpy fingers as you went up the frets. If I were getting a custom from him, we could sort that out. Awesome guy and great ukes, and luckily I got to visit it again earlier this month. :)

Gadzukes!
11-23-2011, 06:48 PM
Big Island. The craftsmanship is excellent, and they sound very good.

haolejohn
11-23-2011, 06:59 PM
I'm going to say that among the K brands, Koolau and Kanilea are both underrated. You tend to read Kamaka this and Koaloha that, and not so much the other two. I've seen a Koolau in the wild and it was something else. Also, some UUers didn't bond with their Kanilea, so sometimes as a result of that, you see people who never played one pass on misinformation (it's misinformation if you give an opinion on an uke you've never played).

I know that maybe it's not fair to throw out those names, because they're still very much the big time, but still. In terms of luthiers we should talk more about, gotta be MPUkuleles. I had a koa concert of his (non-custom), that's only crime against humanity was that the neck got too big for my stumpy fingers as you went up the frets. If I were getting a custom from him, we could sort that out. Awesome guy and great ukes, and luckily I got to visit it again earlier this month. :)

I can agree with the ko'olau but not the kanilea. Kanilea is another of those most recommend uke companies here. I don't like them and I have played many of them. But their sound monster tenors rock. I'd buy me one of those in a heart beat. MP...I so want to try one of his ukes as well as a black bear.

haolejohn
11-23-2011, 07:00 PM
Big Island. The craftsmanship is excellent, and they sound very good.

But big islands are not underrated. Very good reputation and you see them recommended quite frequently.

Paul December
11-23-2011, 07:01 PM
Kala ... Their higher end stuff is really quite good

haolejohn
11-23-2011, 07:04 PM
Kala ... Their higher end stuff is really quite good

once again, not underrated.

Plainsong
11-23-2011, 07:11 PM
Are you like mod of the thread or something?

arpie
11-23-2011, 07:16 PM
I've recently played a Tanglewood Concert & Tenor & thought they were superb quality and sound/action, especially for the price! Over here, you can get the Concert for $150, including a hard case, which is terrific.

The action is really low, easy to play, the sustain is lovely & the intonation great. I am recommending them as 'first ukes' to my friends over here who want to get into playing & the inclusion of the case is a winning factor as well.

THey really 'chime' & are quite 'loud' for a regular uke & play really nicely, straight from the case! If you haven't tried one, give it a go!

Roebrta

Gadzukes!
11-23-2011, 07:32 PM
But big islands are not underrated. Very good reputation and you see them recommended quite frequently.

I rarely see them discussed compared to the other (K) brands.

we tigers
11-23-2011, 07:41 PM
I'm surprises by my cheap laminate Korala. Sounds good and to me better than a lot of the more expensive ukes.

Ryan<3Ukes
11-23-2011, 07:45 PM
I haven't seen Kamoa mentioned at all in the forum. I'm new so that's probably why though...

Gillian
11-23-2011, 08:09 PM
I think Nalu is underrated.

They are beautifully made of solid woods, use quality parts (Grover tuners, Tusq nut and saddle, MiSi pickups), gorgeous abalone inlay, distinctive design elements and they sound fantastic.

mr moonlight
11-23-2011, 09:32 PM
It's good to hear about all these other brands, a number of which I never really consider when buying a uke. A lot of it is, is that I live in a uke wasteland so it's difficult to try anything other than what guitar center has and they generally don't have much beyond the entry level Ukes.

Pippin
11-23-2011, 10:23 PM
aNueNue is not mentioned very often, but Johnson Lau has put together a really great quality product and they have some interesting models in their line-up.

Oscar Schmidt has a couple of really nice ukes in their "professional series" ukes. They are not as loud as other ukes due to heavier bracing, but I have a solid Hawaiian Koa OU280SWK (their top-of-the-line model) that has really beautiful grain and sounds sweet-- plays like a dream.

Doc_J
11-24-2011, 02:29 AM
Waverly Street Ukes by Dave Gjessing.

Amazing value. Not sure they are under-rated, but they are under-priced for how nice they are.

roxhum
11-24-2011, 04:06 AM
Sprucehouse, a small luthier in Oregon is rarely mentioned on the forum. I have his entry level model and it is a sweet little soprano and a dream to play.
However, I think you were looking for less expensive then are being mentioned here. Buying second hand off UU marketplace and Fleamarket place is a great place to get bargains. I have bought most of my ukes, the one's I have kept and the one's I have re-sold, that way and i have never had anything but positive experiences and nice ukuleles.

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 04:19 AM
I rarely see them discussed compared to the other (K) brands.

That is b/c they are an import. One of the best imports that are hand made.

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 04:23 AM
Are you like mod of the thread or something?

Maybe...I just know what underrated means. I am the underrated police.

mm stan
11-24-2011, 04:24 AM
KPK isn't underrated. very good rep now. Started out shaky but that was when they first came out.

I think the most underrated brand is Mele. www.meleukulele.com
Yes John, their high end ones are just awesome now....ask Bo he just got one....4 string tenor...

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 04:28 AM
I think Nalu is underrated.

They are beautifully made of solid woods, use quality parts (Grover tuners, Tusq nut and saddle, MiSi pickups), gorgeous abalone inlay, distinctive design elements and they sound fantastic.

They started out strong then kinda fell to wayside. I have heard nothing but good about them.

mm stan
11-24-2011, 04:30 AM
I'm going to say that among the K brands, Koolau and Kanilea are both underrated. You tend to read Kamaka this and Koaloha that, and not so much the other two. I've seen a Koolau in the wild and it was something else. Also, some UUers didn't bond with their Kanilea, so sometimes as a result of that, you see people who never played one pass on misinformation (it's misinformation if you give an opinion on an uke you've never played).

I know that maybe it's not fair to throw out those names, because they're still very much the big time, but still. In terms of luthiers we should talk more about, gotta be MPUkuleles. I had a koa concert of his (non-custom), that's only crime against humanity was that the neck got too big for my stumpy fingers as you went up the frets. If I were getting a custom from him, we could sort that out. Awesome guy and great ukes, and luckily I got to visit it again earlier this month. :)
What Kim you were in California...Yes Mp are great ukes..I got one...and he is an awesome guy ....

cletus
11-24-2011, 04:34 AM
I am the underrated police.

Aren't you on tour with Sting?:wallbash:

Dan Uke
11-24-2011, 04:34 AM
Maybe...I just know what underrated means. I am the underrated police.

Completely agree with Haolejohn!!!

Some of the brands mentioned are highly rated in their price range. Secondly, if there are other brands or used ukes, you would buy in that price range, then it becomes neutral or overrated!

guitarsnrotts
11-24-2011, 04:39 AM
One brand you hear little about is Lehua. Not sure they're underrated, maybe just scarce as there doesn't seem to be many online sources.

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 04:55 AM
Completely agree with Haolejohn!!!

Some of the brands mentioned are highly rated in their price range. Secondly, if there are other brands or used ukes, you would buy in that price range, then it becomes neutral or overrated!

ThankYou!! There are so many good brands out there and there are some that get no love.

Paul December
11-24-2011, 06:44 AM
once again, not underrated.

I have to disagree with you on that. I don't think some realize just how good they are.
For instance I constantly see posts about the Mainland cedar (a very good uke)...
...but I was able to play one side-by-side with the Kala limited edition cedar and the Kala was superior in every way for around the same money: louder, crisper, far better finished.

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 06:47 AM
I have to disagree with you on that. I don't think some realize just how good they are.
For instance I constantly see posts about the Mainland cedar (a very good uke)...
...but I was able to play one side-by-side with the Kala limited edition cedar and the Kala was superior in every way for around the same money: louder, crisper, far better finished.

Ok. go to any what kind of uke should I buy and tell me what you see recommend the most. Mainland and kal are the two most recommended ukes. I did research on this topic:)

In all seriousness Kalas are very good ukuleles. But they aren't underrated.

Paul December
11-24-2011, 06:52 AM
Ok. go to any what kind of uke should I buy and tell me what you see recommend the most. Mainland and kal are the two most recommended ukes. I did research on this topic:)

In all seriousness Kalas are very good ukuleles. But they aren't underrated.

I am trying to differentiate between the under $200 Kalas and the over $300 Kalas. Yes, the under $200 Kalas are recommended all the time, but with the exception of the Kala Acacia, I do not see many in the $300+ range recommended, making them underrated.
That's my view, and I'm sticking with it! :D

Ryan<3Ukes
11-24-2011, 06:57 AM
The series from Kala I haven't really seen or heard about is the Golden Acacia series. I have no clue what they sound like

Paul December
11-24-2011, 07:08 AM
30239
The series from Kala I haven't really seen or heard about is the Golden Acacia series. I have no clue what they sound like
I had to look that one up...
...It appears to be a stripped-down version of the Slotted Headstock Acacia: no slotted headstock, decal logo, no herring bone purfling, simple fret inlays. If it sounds the same and is cheaper it might be a good deal... otherwise I'd start looking for the original used.

808boy
11-24-2011, 07:50 AM
Nice Ukuleles from Edmund Bacani. The quality/price index is good for a solid wood uke. Don't know where to buy it besides the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet......Love my Mango and my Koa concerts......................BO................

fabioponta
11-24-2011, 08:09 AM
Wim Van der Leden banjoleles (from Holland). I have a tenor banjolele open back with a monster sound, hand crafted, and cost only U$150...

pdxuke
11-24-2011, 08:28 AM
+1 on Sprucehouse. Nice instruments.


Sprucehouse, a small luthier in Oregon is rarely mentioned on the forum. I have his entry level model and it is a sweet little soprano and a dream to play.
However, I think you were looking for less expensive then are being mentioned here. Buying second hand off UU marketplace and Fleamarket place is a great place to get bargains. I have bought most of my ukes, the one's I have kept and the one's I have re-sold, that way and i have never had anything but positive experiences and nice ukuleles.

garyg
11-24-2011, 08:31 AM
Not to branch off into a semantic argument but I think the crucial difference is not under-rated but under-valued. Many have pointed out that there are lots of $200 & $300 ukes that have good reps. so they're not under-rated but they may be under-valued if they play as well as a much more expensive uke. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Ohana's they make some great ukes that are highly undervalued. Black Bear ukes also are highly undervalued IMO. As far as vintage ukes go, I'd say that both Favilla and Gretsch ukes are under-valued and good ones play as well as vintage Martins and Gibsons. Just some thoughts. g2

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 08:55 AM
I am trying to differentiate between the under $200 Kalas and the over $300 Kalas. Yes, the under $200 Kalas are recommended all the time, but with the exception of the Kala Acacia, I do not see many in the $300+ range recommended, making them underrated.
That's my view, and I'm sticking with it! :D

but what if you were coated with teflon? lol. I agree to some extent that the higher line of kala is over looked but...

hmgberg
11-24-2011, 09:55 AM
Not to branch off into a semantic argument but I think the crucial difference is not under-rated but under-valued. Many have pointed out that there are lots of $200 & $300 ukes that have good reps. so they're not under-rated but they may be under-valued if they play as well as a much more expensive uke. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Ohana's they make some great ukes that are highly undervalued. Black Bear ukes also are highly undervalued IMO. As far as vintage ukes go, I'd say that both Favilla and Gretsch ukes are under-valued and good ones play as well as vintage Martins and Gibsons. Just some thoughts. g2

I have yet to play either a vintage Favilla or Gretsch, but I do have two Lyon & Healy sopranos that are really good. I think L & H collectors, and the uke-buying public in general for that matter, tend to love them for their design. The plain ones are excellent players.

Hippie Dribble
11-24-2011, 10:08 AM
Black Bear ukes also are highly undervalued IMO.
have to agree with Gary here, I think these are one of the best sounding ukes on the market at the price. Consistency is the hallmark of Heilman's work...never heard a dud and always wonderfully set up with crazy good volume and sustain. Both undervalued and under-rated in my view, as I hear little talk of them here on the forums.

haole
11-24-2011, 10:59 AM
Keli'i. They can hold their own against any other K-brand and for a lot less cash, as long as you don't mind trading a fancy inlaid logo for a decal.

dnewton2
11-24-2011, 11:00 AM
I really don't think there are many underrated ukes out there. For the most part most brands are what they are and their rep is out there. I would have to agree that Mele is probably the closeset to underrated out there. There are undervalued ukes out there but that is a whole other topic.

Plainsong
11-24-2011, 02:57 PM
Maybe...I just know what underrated means. I am the underrated police.

Congrats on taking the thread for yourself then, and proving my own point about Kanilea. Your mastery of the English dictionary is far superior to my own. Until this thread, I had no idea that I didn't know what underrated means. Thanks to the Internet, I can learn something new everyday.

Dan Uke
11-24-2011, 06:59 PM
Plainsong would know what overrated is as he's a fan of Clemson!!! At least I'm a fan of UCLA football!! LOL

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 07:07 PM
Congrats on taking the thread for yourself then, and proving my own point about Kanilea. Your mastery of the English dictionary is far superior to my own. Until this thread, I had no idea that I didn't know what underrated means. Thanks to the Internet, I can learn something new everyday.
thank you for giving me the thread for myself but I really don't want it. I would rather that people can come here and read all the wealth of knowledge that I posses on underrated 'ukuleles. I am much more comfortable with that situation.
Your point that Kanilea is underrated? I'm not sure how i did that. My mastery of the english dictionary is very superior. This is due the fact that i read it every night before i went to bed for two hours and I had to copy from it numerous times when I misbehaved in elementary school. I am glad i was able to help you understand what underrated means but I have no idea how since I never posted the definition of the word underrated. It is good that you learn something new everyday. If we didn't strive to learn something new everyday, we would become boring and outdated. As well as never grow in our knowledge and knowledge is after all power. At least that is what I was told once by someone that i think was smarter than me.

haolejohn
11-24-2011, 07:22 PM
Keli'i. They can hold their own against any other K-brand and for a lot less cash, as long as you don't mind trading a fancy inlaid logo for a decal.

I think keli'i is very underrated as well. I like them very much. I also like the fact that they come in a satin finish as well as a koa top option.

bbycrts
11-24-2011, 07:30 PM
Congrats on taking the thread for yourself then, and proving my own point about Kanilea. Your mastery of the English dictionary is far superior to my own. Until this thread, I had no idea that I didn't know what underrated means. Thanks to the Internet, I can learn something new everyday.

Whoa. Overreact much?

I have a Koloa soprano...paid less than $100, it is solid mahogany, very nicely finished, and a lovely, warm sound. I've heard other nice reviews of Koloas, but I think they're unfairly underrated because they are inexpensive and Chinese...

Hippie Dribble
11-24-2011, 08:05 PM
I bought a little mahalo les paul copy soprano a couple of years back. One of the (very few) ukes I actually haven't sold he he... the setup is perfect, it's strung with aquilas and has such a sweet and rich sound...for a laminate...I'm still amazed at how lovely this one is whenever I pick it up, and excellent volume and terrific sustain...not sure $65 ukes are meant to sound this good, maybe I just got lucky but it's the best 'bang for your buck' uke I've ever bought

Plainsong
11-24-2011, 08:19 PM
Whoa. Overreact much?

I have a Koloa soprano...paid less than $100, it is solid mahogany, very nicely finished, and a lovely, warm sound. I've heard other nice reviews of Koloas, but I think they're unfairly underrated because they are inexpensive and Chinese...

He thread crapped all over the first two pages, making people feel unwelcome to voice their opinions, breaking Wheaton's First Rule of the Internet. So no, not overreaching. He says he knows what underrated means, which if you take that to its logical conclusion, means that _only_ he knows the meaning of words. It's past time someone stood up to him. It's not the first time I've ever read him acting like that. But because everyone is so nice, it lets others just sort of step all over that. He's on ignore so I'm not bothering with him anymore. Feel free to report me.

Plainsong
11-24-2011, 08:21 PM
I bought a little mahalo les paul copy soprano a couple of years back. One of the (very few) ukes I actually haven't sold he he... the setup is perfect, it's strung with aquilas and has such a sweet and rich sound...for a laminate...I'm still amazed at how lovely this one is whenever I pick it up, and excellent volume and terrific sustain...not sure $65 ukes are meant to sound this good, maybe I just got lucky but it's the best 'bang for your buck' uke I've ever bought

You never know do you? A brand gets a certain reputation, and then you get the one built by someone who knows what they're doing. It's like learning a secret no one else knows. :)

salukulady
11-24-2011, 08:36 PM
Big Island. The craftsmanship is excellent, and they sound very good.Bingo! I spent hours in BI's booth at NAMM last year. There wasn't one I didn't like.

Hippie Dribble
11-24-2011, 08:53 PM
You never know do you? A brand gets a certain reputation, and then you get the one built by someone who knows what they're doing. It's like learning a secret no one else knows. :)

for sure Kim, this one was totally unexpected...really, it sounds as good as my little Mya Moe..crazy, eh!!! Mmmm...I like those kind of secrets! :)

mm stan
11-24-2011, 09:50 PM
You never know do you? A brand gets a certain reputation, and then you get the one built by someone who knows what they're doing. It's like learning a secret no one else knows. :)
There are gems in every brand...if you are lucky or if you can pick them out of the bunch...you never know...like finding a needle in the haystack...the hunt goes on....

micromue
11-25-2011, 01:36 AM
I have thought about it, but I really donīt know an example for underrated ukes. I sure played a lot models/manufacturers that I consider to be overrated. Also there are a lot of manufactureres being undervalued. But a uke exceeding its mediocre reputation? No. A bad reputation in the uke scene is usually well earned. Actually I feel, that the ukulele community is quite precise, probably a bit too forgiving in rating manufacturers.

UkuleleHill
11-25-2011, 02:22 AM
He thread crapped all over the first two pages, making people feel unwelcome to voice their opinions, breaking Wheaton's First Rule of the Internet. So no, not overreaching. He says he knows what underrated means, which if you take that to its logical conclusion, means that _only_ he knows the meaning of words. It's past time someone stood up to him. It's not the first time I've ever read him acting like that. But because everyone is so nice, it lets others just sort of step all over that. He's on ignore so I'm not bothering with him anymore. Feel free to report me.

Take it off the thread, both of you. If you want to keep it on topic, both of you will drop it here, otherwise its going nowhere good.

Faricelli
11-25-2011, 02:24 AM
I think Andy is underrated. :D

UkuleleHill
11-25-2011, 02:27 AM
I think Andy is underrated. :D

Probably... ;)

strumsilly
11-25-2011, 02:48 AM
Probably... ;)
My name is Andy! I may be underrated.

Uke Whisperer
11-25-2011, 03:24 AM
By owning just two, but playing many, I agree that at least some Ohanas are under-valued. I also think some of them are under-rated. Example would be the SK-38. I believe it has a good of a sound as some costing twice as much and also should have a higher rating than it already has. :2cents:


Not to branch off into a semantic argument but I think the crucial difference is not under-rated but under-valued. Many have pointed out that there are lots of $200 & $300 ukes that have good reps. so they're not under-rated but they may be under-valued if they play as well as a much more expensive uke. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Ohana's they make some great ukes that are highly undervalued.

hoosierhiver
11-25-2011, 03:34 AM
Waverly Street Ukes by Dave Gjessing.

Amazing value. Not sure they are under-rated, but they are under-priced for how nice they are.

I second this one, if you want a USA made uke that won't break the bank give DaveG a try, he's a great guy too.

Dan Uke
11-25-2011, 05:53 AM
People simmer down and ask the question, "W.W.T.D.?" What would Tebow do? Just kidding, if you want to exemply what this website is for, "W.W.S.D.?" What would Stan do?

haolejohn
11-25-2011, 06:24 AM
all I can say is wow. Someone asks what is underrated and I share my opinion. I didn't know I was a bully. I will leave now and go suck my thumb. sorry i crapped on the thread and made folks fill unwelcome.

haolejohn
11-25-2011, 06:45 AM
I love this thread...underrated is a very special topic in ukes. I am sorry that i feel that Big Island, Kanilea, and kala ukuleles are not underrated. They are very well respected ukulele makers here on UU and they are recommended numerous times in any what kind of uke should I buy thread.

What is underrated? what is undervalued? why don't we visit the OP's request??? What brands aren't mentioned on the forums as much??
Everyone is entitled to their opinion on what is underrated and what isn't. Sorry if i offended anyone. sorry if I crapped on the thread...sorry if I made anyone not feel like they could comment...b/c apparently this has happened numerous times before without me knowing. I never want to offend people even if it happens at times. I will go now and try not to offend in the future because to offend is to offend.

slackkey007
11-25-2011, 08:32 AM
How about Zac Steimle of Oceana ukes? http://www.oceanaukuleles.com/

haolejohn
11-25-2011, 10:11 AM
How about Zac Steimle of Oceana ukes? http://www.oceanaukuleles.com/

that is a pretty nice ukulele. Aren't they made out of seattle or oregon?

Plainsong
11-25-2011, 10:48 AM
By owning just two, but playing many, I agree that at least some Ohanas are under-valued. I also think some of them are under-rated. Example would be the SK-38. I believe it has a good of a sound as some costing twice as much and also should have a higher rating than it already has. :2cents:

I had some carefully managed expectations when I got my sk-38. It turned out to be so good that I sold a much more expensive uke because of it. Price is sometimes an indication of quality, but not always. Maybe this little Ohana is both undervalued and underrated.

Then again, posts like these will raise that hype factor through the roof for people waiting on theirs. In that sense, it's not underrated. Then you strum it and realize just how well it competes and you still end up thinking that even with all this hype, it's still underrated.

The moral of the story, it's a very very good uke.

Pippin
11-25-2011, 11:09 AM
I second this one, if you want a USA made uke that won't break the bank give DaveG a try, he's a great guy too.

Dave is a personal friend. I'd have to say that he is one of the nicest and most humble builders, too.

Ryan<3Ukes
11-25-2011, 11:11 AM
I had some carefully managed expectations when I got my sk-38. It turned out to be so good that I sold a much more expensive uke because of it. Price is sometimes an indication of quality, but not always. Maybe this little Ohana is both undervalued and underrated.

Then again, posts like these will raise that hype factor through the roof for people waiting on theirs. In that sense, it's not underrated. Then you strum it and realize just how well it competes and you still end up thinking that even with all this hype, it's still underrated.

The moral of the story, it's a very very good uke.

Do you know anything about the ohana tk-300g tenor? I also ruined the 69 posts this thread had. (I'm a dirty boy)

WhenDogsSing
11-25-2011, 11:25 AM
Waverly Street Ukes by Dave Gjessing.

Amazing value. Not sure they are under-rated, but they are under-priced for how nice they are.

I'll second that. Dave's ukuleles are very nice instruments that are underpriced for the value received. He uses all solid woods from locally grown timbers in all of his instruments. I have 2 of his ukuleles and would never sell either of them.

ckellogg
11-25-2011, 12:29 PM
Well. I'm a newbie, been playing since April. This thread rocks. I am ready for a real ukulele, and am giving DaveG a try. Turns out he lives in my old (and probably future) stomping ground. And, I have learned about some other brands I'd not heard of before. It's good to get edu-mah-cated. BTW UUCosmos is superb for the online flame wars, for those that so wish to get involved. They're quite entertaining, there's no holds barred there. It's amazing how nice ukulele players end up being to each other, in the end.

Back to Thanksgiving #2.

peewee
11-25-2011, 12:48 PM
Keli'i. They can hold their own against any other K-brand and for a lot less cash, as long as you don't mind trading a fancy inlaid logo for a decal.

+1 on this, I'm mourning the 2001 Kelii concert I bought on craigslist for a friend and had to hand over yesterday. It lacked nothing in terms of tone, playability, volume, and looks. Except for that decal and no marker at the 12th fret..

Ryan<3Ukes
11-25-2011, 12:51 PM
+1 on this, I'm mourning the 2001 Kelii concert I bought on craigslist for a friend and had to hand over yesterday. It lacked nothing in terms of tone, playability, volume, and looks. Except for that decal and no marker at the 12th fret..

Yea those are probably the only 2 things that I don't enjoy about my KPK tenor.

Plainsong
11-26-2011, 04:31 AM
Do you know anything about the ohana tk-300g tenor? I also ruined the 69 posts this thread had. (I'm a dirty boy)

I've not ever played that uke, but I'm sure someone here must have. The only Ohanas I've played are the roundback concert, which was excellent, and the sk38. I've got the sk38, and would love to justify getting the roundback, darn my UAS!


I don't think you've ruined anything. It's an interesting idea for a topic, IMHO. :)

Ryan<3Ukes
11-26-2011, 07:58 AM
I've not ever played that uke, but I'm sure someone here must have. The only Ohanas I've played are the roundback concert, which was excellent, and the sk38. I've got the sk38, and would love to justify getting the roundback, darn my UAS!


I don't think you've ruined anything. It's an interesting idea for a topic, IMHO. :)

Yeah, I got a lot of info off this thread. There are so many ukes people have never tried before. I'm pretty sure no one has ever heard of ulurus before because when I search the forum I get back like 4 of my threads out of 6...

Harold O.
11-26-2011, 07:10 PM
I don't know if they are still around, but I have a Vineyard concert that cost me about $60 new, three years ago. It's a laminate now strung with Aquila's. It mostly lives in the open in my wood shop and endures very dry to and really hot to fairly cold conditions. It stays in tune, projects very well, and attracts dust like you wouldn't believe. But being in the open, it's also the one (of seven) ukes that I pick up the most. It gets banged around, carried around, and is the one I take when I know I'll be standing in line (or sitting in traffic) for long periods of time.

Vineyards are made in China, I think at the same factory that makes Ohana (I have a TK35G as well).

drbekken
11-27-2011, 01:31 AM
I have said it before, but RICHWOOD is a brand that should be better known. Inexpensive and good. I have a soprano and a tenor, and they sound great. They came with horrid-looking geared tuners that I swapped with Grovers. The manufacturer also makes pretty good acoustic guitars.

joeybug
11-27-2011, 01:37 AM
There are two brands I have that should be better known - Tanglewood, which make great Ukes, I have one and love it! and Clearwater, which also make great Ukes! There is some info on both of them around the web, but they're not that well known, they're both great Uke makers.

In the custom field, I'd say Daryll of Cursley Ukuleles is underrated, very good builder, very good prices, I haven't played one yet (am saving for the deposit) but from what I've seen and heard on YT and other places, he makes some fine Ukuleles!

spookefoote
11-27-2011, 03:13 AM
Makala.........

Pukulele Pete
11-27-2011, 04:31 AM
The first uke I bought is an old souvenir uke from Hawaii . I'm not sure if it was made there but it says " Hawaiian Ukulele " across the front like a Duke Kahona whats his name uke.
It's made from koa laminate , not sure about the top whether it is solid or lam but it is a great uke , I still play it more than the rest of the herd. I payed 30 bucks on Ebay years ago for it , it probably cost 10 bucks new. So what I'm trying to say is some of the older souvenir ukes are underrated and can be a great buy.

oceana
02-23-2012, 10:28 AM
I'm so underrated that I almost did not get mentioned here!
Ha! I'm under the underground!
Check us our if you dare!

Lalz
02-23-2012, 10:53 AM
I bought a little mahalo les paul copy soprano a couple of years back. One of the (very few) ukes I actually haven't sold he he... the setup is perfect, it's strung with aquilas and has such a sweet and rich sound...for a laminate...I'm still amazed at how lovely this one is whenever I pick it up, and excellent volume and terrific sustain...not sure $65 ukes are meant to sound this good, maybe I just got lucky but it's the best 'bang for your buck' uke I've ever bought

+1 on Mahalo! Cheaply manufactured, but they say about one out of five of them sounds deliciously good, and I happen to be the lucky owner of one of these. I almost gave it away to a friend last week under a moment of temporary insanity, but then realised I just couldn't part from it, even though I have another soprano that is of much better quality. Still have to tell my friend... :-S

Laminates in general are underrated, they're sturdy, easy to travel with, affordable, and ukes don't necessarily need to be solid wood to sound good.

Freeda
02-23-2012, 11:10 AM
Laminates in general are underrated, they're sturdy, easy to travel with, affordable, and ukes don't necessarily need to be solid wood to sound good.

Happy to hear that! I have a tendency to get a little spendy so maybe some positive feedback on laminates will help moderate that. :)

Ryan<3Ukes
02-23-2012, 07:24 PM
Well since this thread was bumped up here, I might as well ask people if their opinions have changed. I'll add Kamoa to my list.

TheCraftedCow
02-23-2012, 07:53 PM
www.lehuaukuleles.com is just such a line of ukes. The prices are still the same as 2009. The ukes were designed by Bob Gleason of Pegasus Guitars and Ukuleles. His favorite is one of the original laminated ones when they were made in Mexico. They are now Acacia Blackwood (melanoxylon) and made in Portugal. Word to the wise: Anyone who advertises their ukuleles as being Portugese koa is not being truthful. Acacia koa grows in Hawaii. Acacia Melanoxylon does not grow in Portugal. It grows in southeastern Asia as an invasive species. It is only Australian blackwood if it grows in Australia. If it grows in Burma or Ceylon...you get the idea. It is an invasive species, so it's not rare or endangered, but it has good tonal charecteristics.

I am the Oregon seller of Lehua. Recently they have been doing through the body stringing to make the good tone and volume even better. Which of the line is my favorite? The one I have in my hand. I really like the soprano, the Long Neck Soprano and the tenor. To pick one would be the LNS either rentrant,linear or cuatro tuning conventionally or a couple different tunings for slack key

Leolani is better known in Asia and Hawaii. They made players and tourist grade. The players are a pleasant surprise for a laminated uke.

Uke Whisperer
02-23-2012, 11:50 PM
I agree that at least some Ohanas are under-valued. I also think some of them are under-rated. Example would be the SK-38. I believe it has a good of a sound as some costing twice as much and also should have a higher rating than it already has.

I still feel the same way.

connor013
02-24-2012, 02:44 AM
What about Hamano!

My soprano is (so far) the only uke to survive the inevitable post-UAS purges. Great tone, great set-up, great price. Aside from the silkscreen logo, I couldn't want anything more from a mahogany instrument.

Maybe it's as one of you mentioned: you just don't see that many of them...

Plainsong
02-24-2012, 03:09 AM
I still feel the same way.

Yup, my sk-38 is jaw droppingly good. It's all the soprano you need. I know these factories are secretive, but wouldn't it be nice if they could see how much we love these ukes.

coolkayaker1
02-24-2012, 04:12 AM
My Ibanez quilted maple concert is superbly constructed, and the tone from it, although not with the volume of the Donaldson or KoAloha, is lovely. Just lovely. It's such a gorgeous instrument, flawless build.
http://www.guitarcenter.com/Ibanez-UEW10QM-EW-Concert-Ukulele---Quilted-Maple-106086374-i1475510.gc

It's underrated.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acyITo1kt9c