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ukulelelalala
02-08-2012, 09:23 AM
I'd like to throw a uke in my car (i know, that's why I titled this "bang around uke") preferably out of the sun and in a case. I like the idea of practicing in my car while waiting for my daughter while she is in soccer practice, etc. It seems like I could get in a solid hour of practice in my car several days a week. The thing is, I want to practice on something that is the same scale (size) as what I am using. I am using a tenor. I'm not so concerned with great sound (but it should be in the ballpark). I'm more interested in fingering drills, exercises and song practice.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I have heard of plastic ukes. Are they durable? Should I just buy a banged up (but playable) wooden uke from ebay? Any ideas? Thanks in advance...

Joe

PoiDog
02-08-2012, 09:44 AM
I suppose the first question might be about budget.

If you're looking for low price (like sub $150), there are several to consider. Virtually any lam Kala, Lanikai, Eddy Finn, Riptide, Luna, etc would fit the bill, though I would strongly suggest you look at the Islander.

If you're considering below $100, then you may be restricted to Makala, Makai, and other bargain guys.

Of course, if you're open to $200 - $300, the doors open nice and wide. Of course, I don't know that many folks who would think that a $200 uke is a knockaround, but people swear by Flea/Fluke, which are plastic and about $200, so I may be wrong ...

csibona
02-08-2012, 09:53 AM
Fleas (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=6)and Flukes (http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/store/Scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=5)are good options for a durable but fine sounding ukulele. I am not affiliated with Flea Market Music, for what it is worth...
http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/

ukulelelalala
02-08-2012, 10:50 AM
I live in New York City and I guess I'm expecting that it might get damaged from being in the car in all types of weather (hot and cold) and maybe even the possibility that it could be stolen. With that in mind, I was thinking of maybe a slightly banged up and used (but functioning) one for $50... I could live with it getting damaged or lost/stolen... maybe i could browse ebay for something?

PoiDog
02-08-2012, 10:55 AM
I live in New York City and I guess I'm expecting that it might get damaged from being in the car in all types of weather (hot and cold) and maybe even the possibility that it could be stolen. With that in mind, I was thinking of maybe a slightly banged up and used (but functioning) one for $50... I could live with it getting damaged or lost/stolen... maybe i could browse ebay for something?

Getting a tenor for $50 may be a rough gamble. And I would expect that you probably won't find much quality or sound difference across whatever may be available at the price. Even raising your budget to about $75 or so would still limit your options.

Not that there aren't tenors out there at that price, but honestly, I would be very surprised if one wasn't much the same as another.

Best of luck!

Gwynedd
02-08-2012, 11:09 AM
I use my Makala (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/B00172UVG8/bge-20) to bang around. Just put Aquilas on it, fine for practice. When I got my "serious" uke in finally, I found that all the practice on the Makala had gone to good purpose.

efiscella
02-08-2012, 11:13 AM
I use my Kala travel. it is lighter, thinner, has its own gig bag that comes with it, and has a spruce top and Aquilla strings. It works for me. I still get good sound, projection and size - low price, and beats taking my Kamaka, Kanile's, and KoAloha out.

ukulelelalala
02-08-2012, 11:15 AM
I use my Makala (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/asin/B00172UVG8/bge-20) to bang around. Just put Aquilas on it, fine for practice. When I got my "serious" uke in finally, I found that all the practice on the Makala had gone to good purpose.

Thanks, not a bad price... here is something a bit more expensive but free shipping... but it also a soprano...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/KALA-KA-SEM-Exotic-Flamed-Mahogany-Soprano-Uke-Ukulele-/220950568242?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3371ae1d32

ukulelelalala
02-08-2012, 11:27 AM
This is supposed to be a new product - all solid koa for 74 bucks? they give it a list price of $329.... anybody heard of these?

http://www.musicfactorydirect.com/p-2209-badaax-solid-koa-soprano-ukulele.aspx

They also sell it on amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Badaax-Solid-Koa-Soprano-Ukulele/dp/B0048FVC1Y

Drew Bear
02-08-2012, 11:47 AM
I would be very surprised if that is solid Hawaiian Koa. More likely it is Acacia "Koa" and a laminate.

Aside from practicing on the same scale, you might also consider string spacing (width at nut). I find a significant difference in playing a uke with 1.5" nut width vs 1.375".

There was a recent thread about leaving a uke in the car. Many wrote that they would not leave any uke in a car 24/7. Even a Dolphin uses glue that can melt. Why not get a decent practice uke and bring it back inside your home or workplace when you're not running around? Think of it like a laptop.

ukulelelalala
02-08-2012, 03:43 PM
That's a good idea. I suppose I could try it. Still, I wouldn't want it to be either of the two ukes I currently have... As far as nut width is concerned, is that a simple change that can be made like lowering the action on an uke?

Also, I have read the information on the website concerning the koa uke. It says that the front, back and sides are solid koa. How can they say that if it is laminate? It's a new product and I knee-jerkedly (probably not a word) purchased one. So, I will write a short review on it when I get it, and let you know what I can discern about it from my limited knowledge of koa, etc. If it sounds decent, it may work as a car uke, just something I can use while killing time in the car... it's not a tenor, but at least i can practice some chords, etc...

joe

Couloirman
02-08-2012, 03:53 PM
Look no further than the Kanilea Islander (http://www.theukulelesite.com/islander-by-kanile-a-mt-4-mahogany-tenor-ukulele-250.html) from HMS. It is my car/camping uke and it is solid as nails and sounds 'almost' as good as my Collings.

Pondoro
02-08-2012, 04:09 PM
Lanikai LU-21.

Drew Bear
02-08-2012, 04:31 PM
As far as nut width is concerned, is that a simple change that can be made like lowering the action on an uke?
No. It's constrained by the width of the fret board. In any case, the Soprano is different in other ways from a Tenor, so you will need to adapt your playing when you change ukes. I'm a beginner and personally find it difficult to play the smaller scales, but many here comfortably switch between the various sizes.


Also, I have read the information on the website concerning the koa uke. It says that the front, back and sides are solid koa. How can they say that if it is laminate?
I'm a cynical old grump, so I'm assuming they are lying. I hope I'm wrong and you get a great deal. Let us know when you get the uke and inspect it.

ukulelelalala
02-08-2012, 04:47 PM
I am having second thoughts about having purchased it, but at least we will get a review out of it :)

Drew Bear
02-08-2012, 06:49 PM
You can return it if you ordered from Amazon. But for that price it could still be a pretty good deal even if it is a laminate. It would certainly serve as a bang around uke better than if it was truly solid koa.

austinlee
02-09-2012, 08:13 AM
Finally, somebody bought one of these Badaax SOLID KOA ukes. Can't wait to see if it's a scam or not!

ukulelelalala
02-09-2012, 01:20 PM
I'll let you know... It's already on its way with a tracking number... So far, they get an "A" for fast shipping....

PoiDog
02-09-2012, 01:53 PM
Feh. For $50 you should expect a $50 uke. If it's better then you've made a great purchase.

But solid koa? I think there's a better chance of me winning the presidential election.

musiccityuker
02-10-2012, 02:36 AM
I use a Samick uke for that same purpose. Inexpensive, very good sound for the money, and durable. Throw on some high quality strings and you're good to go.

chris667
02-10-2012, 03:07 AM
This is not based on any proof (it is the Internet, after all :p ), but my intuition tells me a laminate uke would do better in an environment where temperature changes rapidly.

It's a soprano sized uke, but the Vintage I bought my dad for GBP28 professionally set up with Aquila strings plays really nicely. You could buy it for far less on Amazon, but I spent the extra for one with the good strings and the nice setup.

Pukulele Pete
02-10-2012, 04:34 AM
I just ordered an Ohana sk20s on Ebay from MIM . I love the looks of the old Martin style 2 and I wanted something I dont have to worry about too much. Laminate sides and back with a solid top. I will change out the tuners from geared ( I really dont like the "ears" ) to friction.
The herd is growing.

rasputinsghost
02-10-2012, 05:48 AM
This is supposed to be a new product - all solid koa for 74 bucks? they give it a list price of $329.... anybody heard of these?

http://www.musicfactorydirect.com/p-2209-badaax-solid-koa-soprano-ukulele.aspx

They also sell it on amazon...

http://www.amazon.com/Badaax-Solid-Koa-Soprano-Ukulele/dp/B0048FVC1Y

Get a MK-T. Super fellow NYC uker, you should come to Uke Hut events!