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steelarts
03-08-2012, 12:22 PM
I saw an article in Acoustic magazine, a while back, about Collings ukuleles. After doing a web search I can't seem to find any dealers in the UK. Does anyone know if there are any dealerships for Collings ukes over here or in Europe? They sound like great bits of kit I now have a shortlist of 3 Kanilea, Koaloha or Collings, but I don't really want to spend out importing something costing as much as a Collings without being able to try it first.

etf
03-08-2012, 11:13 PM
Hi Steelarts,

I posted a thread on here the other day under thread name "If you had the choice". It was about getting a K brand or other top end Ukulele. Someone pointed me in the direction of Collings. I looked at their website and under dealers there were around 20 or so dealers in the UK. However, I went to everyone of the sites posted and not one had a Collings on their site. I have emailed Collings to ask them if the list is out of date or if they have stopped dealing in the UK. I will let you know if I get any feedback from them.

ETF :cool:

ukuleledaveey
03-08-2012, 11:53 PM
there is or there was some one selling them as i saw the price in ponds for there ukes and was flabbergasted at how much they were, about fifteen hundred quid at least but i cannot remember which shop it was, i want to get a vintage martin eventually good luck on your quest :)

etf
03-09-2012, 01:57 AM
I know its so annoying here in the UK. Its so hard to find any good supply of good quality Ukuleles and when you do find them they are twice the cost as other countries. But here in the UK the same goes for most things now. Its hard when you look at the great prices they have at Hawaii Music Supply. Even with P&P from Hawaii there are great savings over the same Ukuleles bought here. But then the Customs add the VAT and import tax, then the couriers add a handling charge and the list goes on till they bleed you as much as possible for trying to buy elsewhere and save money. In the end your back where you started. But the availability of high end Ukuleles in any shops within range is a problem. Southern Ukuleles have a great range but is over a 100 miles away from me so getting hands on testing is out of the question. So its all down to sound clips and great advice from fellow players on here.

ETF :cool:

steelarts
03-09-2012, 04:13 AM
Thanks ETF I know exactly what you mean. I recently looked at a Kanilea tattoo tenor uke on eBay. The vendor is offering it at $1250 + $70 s&h which is around 827. Now duty is calculated on not only the instrument but the shipping too. To add insult to injury Her Majesty's Customs and Excise (thieving gits) calculate the VAT after duty has been added! That's not cricket in my opinion! The upshot is a uke originally costing 790 (quite reasonable for this instrument retail) now becomes a few pennies short of 1036 (that's $1627) landed!!! That's too much to part with blind. The pound is gradually strengthening against the dollar if it gets anywhere near the almost 2 -1 of a few years ago then it'd be worth it but at the moment I'd rather buy from a British supplier but quality instruments through music shops appear as rare as hens teeth in the UK with the exception of Southern Ukulele Store. Are they web only dealers or is there a real shop where the ukes can be played first?

Ukuleledaveey, yes the Collings is pricey but so are their guitars so it's not a surprise. Somewhere in my mind I seem to remember in the article that the basic pauper model was around 900 mark, the flashier one was half as much again. But I can't remember how long ago the magazine was published. The thing is I don't mind paying for quality but I hate 'rip off Britain' where we pay pounds instead of dollars, e.g. the Americans pay $1500 for something and we pay 1500 ($2353!!!).

etf
03-09-2012, 08:43 PM
Hi Steelarts,

Southern Ukulele Store is based at Southbourne, Bournemouth. After reading about them on the site it appears that you can go there and try out all the Ukuleles. I am a newbie and a couple of weeks ago I bought my first Ukulele from them. I bought a Kala KA_ASACC concert. They gave me great advice and I am sure if you could get to the shop they would be happy to sort you out. They have a good choice but sadly many high end models are not in stock. Also they are limited on high end brands. They do have some KoAhloa and a few Pete Howlett but you wont see any Koolau or Kamaka etc. I had an email yesterday from Collings. They said that all their Ukuleles in UK go to Guitar XS and they allocate them out to different dealers. Other than that they do not know where they end up. Seems like a small selection end up in UK then maybe some dealers end up with one each to sell. So good luck finding those hens teeth.

ETF :cool:

Pete Howlett
03-25-2012, 11:14 AM
Why buy American when you can get British - I have never understood this. I've played practically every brand of American guitar and would still buy a Dave King over any of that stuff. Similarly with ukulele - I first started building for the Hawaiian market it 1994 because my distributor on the Big Island couldn't get the quality he was looking for locally. Go to SUS and try the British built instrumets there and compare them with the often over-rated foreign equivalents... you will be pleasantly surprised and also will be supporting our builders who need all the help they can get!

ukuleledaveey
03-25-2012, 11:24 AM
Hi pete your ukes look lovely , hope to make it to southern uke store one day, they stock your ukes dont they,hope to get to try one, i found another luthier i n the newcastle region who had made some ukes form 100 year old mahogany form the sister ship of the titanic, looks very tempting.

Hippie Dribble
03-25-2012, 11:27 AM
Why buy American when you can get British? Because there are some absolutely amazing builders in the States. It's not a personal insult, it's just a mere fact. Collings build wonderful, wonderful instruments and people will continue to covet them from all around the globe. Besides we all know one is not enough!!! He could buy a Collings and a Howlett.

Steelarts, I feel your pain re the shipping and customs taxes. Living where I do I automatically have to add on $100 to the retail consideration. And then, if the uke is 1000 or more, customs delight in hitting you as hard as they can with a duty which can end up being nearly 50% of the cost of the instrument itself. I could support a local builder...we have a fab guitar and uke maker here in Tassie but I neither care for his designs or his prices which are $4000 baseline. Hmmm...been thinking of moving to America. :p...

In anycase, all the best with your hunt for a Collings. Having owned two I can honestly say they are superbly built ukuleles, tonally sweet, perfectly balanced,loud, warm and resonant and killer looks to boot. Cheers mate! b:)