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View Full Version : All the lovely ukes got packed up and sent away, so......



SamWise
10-04-2008, 08:44 AM
I went out and bought a purple Mahalo. The strings haven't settled down enough yet for me to know how bad the intonation is, but oddly, it has a compensated saddle, and geared tuners. It'll tide me over til I can afford to spend money on something nicer, and then it can live in my car. Expect me back for advice on intonation once the strings settle.

Waterguy
10-04-2008, 10:31 AM
I've got a yellow version of the same Uke. I bought it because around here that is all they sell and it did indeed tide me over until I got a Kala from MGM. It pretty much just sits now but I have no problem letting my kids do pretty much as they wish with it.

I found this blog very helpful when I was messing with it every day.
http://ukenoob.blogspot.com/2007/12/mahalo-u30-improving-intonation.html

The Aquilla strings did make it sound like a different and better instrument, but I recently played the same chord progression back to back on both the Mahalo and the Kala and one of my kids said the Mahalo sounds like a toy. I don't regret the purchase though because there is something to be said about having a playable knock arround uke.

SamWise
10-05-2008, 12:58 AM
Yeah, the trouble I'm having with the intonation is that the newer Mahalos have a split saddle. I'm only having problems with the E string, but given that each string has a differently positioned saddle, I'm struggling to see how to sort it out. I certainly plan new strings, but not til I'm sure I've got the intonation as good as it can be.

I also plan a couple of half-decent ukes in the future. Next MIGHT be a Mahalo tenor, but what I really want is a Moana maple soprano, and a decent tenor with a good pickup. We'll see.....

jhob
10-05-2008, 11:55 AM
Yeah, the trouble I'm having with the intonation is that the newer Mahalos have a split saddle. I'm only having problems with the E string, but given that each string has a differently positioned saddle, I'm struggling to see how to sort it out. I certainly plan new strings, but not til I'm sure I've got the intonation as good as it can be.

I also plan a couple of half-decent ukes in the future. Next MIGHT be a Mahalo tenor, but what I really want is a Moana maple soprano, and a decent tenor with a good pickup. We'll see.....

Get a needle file from your local DIY store and deepen the nut slots, or remove the nut and sand a bit off the bottom. Pop the saddle out too and sand the bottom of this down to low the action there. I did this to my cheapo mahalo and it really sorted the intonation out no end. It's a nicely playable instrument now.

The aquila strings will really transform the uke too, I think for the really cheap ukes aquilas are the string of choice. When you get more expensive ukes aquilas' life giving properties aren't quite so essential.

I also have a mahalo tenor (U320T), it's not a a particularly great instrument, although I do think that mine was particularly badly made - I had to file a fret down and the finishing leaves a lot to be desired. Still, for the money, it's not a bad uke. If I had my time again I think would have spent a little more and got a makala tenor.