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View Full Version : Cheapest solid wood ukuleles?



ChrisRCovington
12-19-2011, 10:43 AM
Hello all,

I was just thinking about all of the many options there are for ukuleles these days both laminates and solids. It seems that in some ways some of the old Chicago ukuleles represent a rather good deal if you want to get a solid wood ukulele (often birch). They aren't the greatest ukuleles as a whole but with a good set up they can sound pretty decent and there is the rare gem find that sounds very good. You can often find them for less than $100. With that being said though what are some of the cheapest priced solid ukuleles around today? The Islander solid soprano seems pretty cheap at $220 from Hawaii Music Supply. Mainland has solid sopranos for about $190. Can you get a new solid wood ukulele for less than $190? I'm not really in the market or anything (I just got a Martin S1 and I am very happy with it) just sort of wondering if you can get one for less.

Thanks for reading,

Drew Bear
12-19-2011, 10:57 AM
KPK has a following here. There were reports of cracking issues early on, but it seems those have mostly been resolved. The seller (Jason?) seems to have built a good reputation for service.

http://pilikoko.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1&zenid=3524d556f5c652b55c729bc1a1027232

In the lower price ranges, however, I wonder if the solid wood factor is nearly as important as build quality and setup.

ukegirl
12-19-2011, 04:21 PM
I think that Makai has a solid Mango for just a little cash...bit over 1 bill....

bbycrts
12-19-2011, 08:34 PM
Koloa ukes are all-solid mahogany. I paid just under $90 for my soprano, though they seem to go for more than that now. Still inexpensive, and except for the crummy tuners (which I replaced for cheap), mine is beautiful, well-made, and sounds just great.

guitarsnrotts
12-20-2011, 03:34 AM
Recently bought a KPK concert and am quite happy with it. www.pilikoko.com

ChrisRCovington
12-20-2011, 08:27 AM
Hey guys,

Thanks for pointing out some of those ukuleles. I'm glad to see you can get something in solid wood without paying an arm and a leg. I own or have played some very good laminates such as AnueNue and Luna (I'd love to try out a Kiwaya) and while I've been impressed with them they just don't seem to have the same complexity of sound a solid wood has (even old Regals and Harmonys).

Best regards,

OldePhart
12-20-2011, 11:26 AM
I think in shopping for any uke expensive enough to be of solid wood the last thing I am going to do is look for the cheapest alternative! If I drop $30 on an LU-11 and it turns out to be a total lemon that even a setup can't save it's no big deal. If I find a solid wood soprano for, say, $150 I'm going to be kicking myself if it doesn't sound at least as good as a $190 Mainland, for example.

Kind of reminds me of the old saw about astronauts going into space on a contraption built by the lowest bidder...

That said, if you've got the chance to actually get hands on the ukes before dropping a bill, and you find a great one for cheap - WOOO-HOOO - win!