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steelarts
03-11-2012, 11:04 AM
I'm off on a fishing trip to India early next year and am looking to take a uke with me to play around camp. Any ideas? I don't want to spend a fortune and am thinking Makala Dolphin or Flea. The Flea is about 6x more expensive than the Dolphin, but I don't mind paying if it's worth it as a travel uke.

grandpoobah
03-11-2012, 11:12 AM
The flea can take a beating, but the soundboard is pine and is pretty soft. I love my flea, but there is something to be said about a cheap dolphin that you can bring in the boat without worrying.

Another option would be to go plastic

efiscella
03-11-2012, 11:28 AM
I'm off on a fishing trip to India early next year and am looking to take a uke with me to play around camp. Any ideas? I don't want to spend a fortune and am thinking Makala Dolphin or Flea. The Flea is about 6x more expensive than the Dolphin, but I don't mind paying if it's worth it as a travel uke.

I like the kala thin line travel ukes. Can't go wrong for the price:quality. And it travels easily

VinnyQH
03-11-2012, 11:47 AM
Carbon fiber by karadoo! Never have to worry about anything, even a bullet!

trippntx
03-11-2012, 12:05 PM
Not sure how inexpensive or small you want to go but the Kala KA-S seems like it should do the trick. $65 or so and good sound for the money in this newb's opinion.

stmace
03-11-2012, 12:12 PM
Well, I don't have a carbon fiber uke (not that I don't want one), but I do sport a Fluke walking across campus, walking the dog, and longer travels. My criteria for a travel instrument included 1) exceptional durability, 2) tenor, and 3) relatively loud. Domestic manufacturing and color choices were welcomed extras. The Fluke has car camped from the beaches of the East coast to Utah.

Last week, I strummed across campus, and was fine until the first landing of a stairwell. I caught my toe, bumped my shin, and "splat" went my Fluke. It fell soundboard down, perfectly flat with no bouncing. The bruise faded, and the Fluke was without a mark. However, I just almost took my KoAloha on my trek across campus.

Lessons Learned
1. Do not strum while climbing stairs.
2. If you have a travel uke, use it.

kapahulu50
03-11-2012, 12:33 PM
The kala thin body travel ukes sound good and are nIce and thin, come with a soft gig bag that fits nice and snug. Easy to get in overhead bin on plane above carryon bags. Sturdy too. Lots of volume.

chindog
03-11-2012, 12:41 PM
I've gotta also vote for the Kala thinline. I don't have one now, but someone loaned me one that I played one for several months. It has an amazing volume for such a thin instrument. I've been thinking of getting one just because I liked everything about it. And it is a good travel uke.

kaizersoza
03-11-2012, 01:29 PM
my Kala travel uke should be with me tomorrow, really happy i bought it after reading some of the posts here tonight

mr moonlight
03-11-2012, 06:52 PM
I'd opt for a Blackbird Carbon Fiber uke. Not only would it be way more durable, you wouldn't have to worry about humidity, water, dirt, dust... really anything. You could play it in the water, bury it in the mud, cover it with fish guts, then wash it down with a hose and some dish soap. At the end of the day, you will still have a very nice sounding uke to play.

ricdoug
03-11-2012, 08:42 PM
I've beat the crap out of my Ovation/Applause acoustic/electric UAE20's over the years and they still sound and play sweet. With their lyracord backs and solid spruce tops they are both durable and sonically sweet. They take about a year and a half to break in, so many do not have the patience to do that. It's more than worth the wait. I also recommend solid body ukes like Stagg, Elleuke and Peanut. They are all rugged for road trips. Ric

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/ukulele324.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/35858Ukulele110.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele228.jpg

My granddaughter Starlyn guarding my black UAE20:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/HuntingtonBeachUke5.jpg

ricdoug
03-11-2012, 08:43 PM
On a trip to the Philippines in 2008. I played it on a boat off 100 Islands, Philippines while sea water was constantly splashing on it. It still plays perfect to this day:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele530.jpg

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele562.jpg

Earth Day at the Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, California. Above and behind me on the left and right are two Vox DA5 amps hanging from the frame by bungee cords. They each have a microphone and instrument cable plugged into them. If you look close enough, you’ll see a boom microphone stand on both the left and right:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/Ukulele582.JPG

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp3.JPG

ricdoug
03-11-2012, 08:43 PM
http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/RolandAmp6.JPG

Here’s an Airline solid body I performed on at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim in 2010:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/NAMM201005.JPG

This is a Stagg Tenor Strat played from it’s headphone jack through a $5 buck set of amplified computer speakers:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/StaggUkeAmp.JPG

Eleuke played through the same speakers:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/EleukeAmp.JPG

lancemanion
03-11-2012, 09:45 PM
Between me and my sons we have three Kala travel ukes, love them, very tough and portable. They have been with us to several countries and on long camping trips. I have played Fleas and like them too. I love that they are made in the US, I do have to say I didn't like the Flea with the plastic fret board. If you do get the Flea I would pay the extra for the wood fret board. Good luck.

micromue
03-11-2012, 11:36 PM
All ukes are -by definition- travel instruments:)

dnewton2
03-12-2012, 01:47 AM
All ukes are -by definition- travel instruments:)

Thank you.

I never have nor will I ever understand what makes a thin uke any more a travel uke then any other ukulele. I have not ever traveled with a uke and wishes it were thinner to meet some size restriction. I am sure the kala and everyother thin uke is a fine instrument but it is not any easier to travel with.

Get a decent soprano and rock out.

Sporin
03-12-2012, 02:28 AM
following this discussion because I'm trying to figure out which uke to take to the beach for a week in May (Fort Myers).

I'm leery of taking either of my wood ukes because of the salt, sand, humidity, sweat, etc. I'm afraid they'll get damaged. The Dolphin seems the obvious choice but I feel like I won't be able to hear it well enough on a windy beach due to it's small size.

Brinth
03-12-2012, 03:05 AM
#2 I was a bit confused about you mentioning going plastic as an alternative to the Makala Dolphin.

The new Makala Dolphins are plastic, and can take a hell of a beating. I regularly bring mine to the skatepark in my skatepack, needless to say it's taken a quite a few hits and still works perfectly. I would recommend going plastic if you want something cheap and durable.

I guess I don't need to say you should replace the strings with Acquila Nylguts, and you've got an awesome little 'travel' uke :)

ckellogg
03-12-2012, 03:21 AM
I guess i would go cheap in case it was sat on or lifted, but that's my opinion. The Makala Dolphin in my car takes a hell of a beating and works like a charm. I had a plastic one from Toys R Su that did the job on a beach trip, small enough to fit in my carry on bag. If you're going electric - Peanut! Sooo portable. This is now my travel ukulele, and I fly quite a bit. Fun to play on the plane. Thank you all for the many terrific photos from your travels, I'm really enjoying these!

SailingUke
03-12-2012, 05:01 AM
My definition of a good travel uke is one that sounds and plays ok and is easily replaced.
The cost of an instrument is one factor, but sentimental value is some thing the can't be replaced.
I use Dolphins and my Fluke for those trips to the beach and camping where I don't want to expose one of my other ukuleles too.

steelarts
03-12-2012, 09:39 AM
Thanks for your replies guys. Wow, there's certainly food for thought among these suggestions. My "travel" uke criteria are simple a) it's got to be cheap enough not to matter if it gets stolen or damaged, b) durable enough to hopefully survive potential damage, and c) small enough to go in my suitcase. I'm realistic and realise I'm not going to get the best sounding uke but if the intonation is there and there's some volume it could be fun.

I'm seriously swaying towards the plastic Dolphin for the above reasons but on a portability level, has anyone played a Kala Pocket Uke and are they any good/value for money etc?

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-12-2012, 09:50 AM
This thread's still going?

The Dolphin is (a) under $50, (b) as durable as any other uke, and (c) easily packed in a suitcase. Call up a good uke shop, and ask for the best-sounding Dolphin they've got. Or, if possible, play a few and decide for yourself. Seriously, it's the best option.

I haven't played a Kala pocket uke, but scuttlebutt is they're too small for most people to play comfortably.

But since you're still on the fence here's a little more to think about: If (c) is really important, you could get an Ohana sopranino---a couple inches shorter than a soprano, and a very sweet sound. These cost about as much as three Dolphins, or half of a Kala pocket uke.

Seriously, though, Dolphin!!

lancemanion
03-12-2012, 10:03 AM
I am sure the kala and everyother thin uke is a fine instrument but it is not any easier to travel with.
My Kala fits in the pocket on the back of my roll aboard suitcase, nough said?


I haven't played a Kala pocket uke, but scuttlebutt is they're too small for most people to play comfortably
I say try one for yourself, I can only say that I love playing mine just as much as my Kanile'a.

One more thing to add to this thread before it dies, make sure you have your new uke set up by someone qualified to do it. Especially if you get a cheap uke. I had all three of my Kala travel ukes set up by Music Guy Mike. He told me the action is all over the place from the factory. This makes all the difference in the world. Good luck

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-12-2012, 10:04 AM
A friend of mine took a beater uke to Antarctica, serenaded the penguins and left it there for a new-found friend to enjoy.

You may want to consider bringing a beater (or at least an inexpensive uke) to leave behind to spread the 'Aloha' and
help 'infect' the rest of the world with the love of uke.

I would also suggest somehow altering the appearance of the uke
so that when it randomly appears on YouTube you'll be able to recognize it
and take great satisfaction in its use somewhere
in the world!

keep uke'in',

steelarts
03-12-2012, 09:20 PM
What a great idea Uncle Rod. I watched a You Tube video on where we're going to the other night and one of the comments was about how poor the local population is. Apparently they have nothing, no extras in their lives so I might just do as you suggest and leave the uke behind, maybe to the local school and hope that they get as much pleasure as we do from the ukulele. Hey, you're turning me into a ukulele evangelist!

mr moonlight
03-12-2012, 10:55 PM
following this discussion because I'm trying to figure out which uke to take to the beach for a week in May (Fort Myers).

I'm leery of taking either of my wood ukes because of the salt, sand, humidity, sweat, etc. I'm afraid they'll get damaged. The Dolphin seems the obvious choice but I feel like I won't be able to hear it well enough on a windy beach due to it's small size.

Shouldn't worry too much. Just make sure you acclimate it slowly to the humidity. My Pono was exposed to the humidity, salt and sweat on a pretty regular basis when I lived in Miami and when I spent a week in Antigua it spent most of the time on the boat or on a beach. There's still some sand in it, but never had an issue. Just make sure you wipe down the metal parts after wards so they don't rust up if they happen to get too much salty water on them. Think about it this way, Uke's are from Hawaii.

Elainede
04-01-2012, 05:56 PM
I like Rod's idea, a lot......but I will say that it's my trusty flea that I take travelin' I can stuff it into my suitcase or carry-on and it's taken a beatin' and kept on tickin." (I actually stuffed three of them into my son's carry-on when were flying down to the Cerritos festival a couple of years ago. (He's a light packer....) And there's plenty of room in the gig bag to stuff your clothes, and other stuff along with the uke....if you need to. They're very light weight and I found that once I replaced the strings with fluorocarbon, that sucker stayed in tune forever. And you can decorate them to your heart's desire with decals, stickers, whatever......I love mine, and though I have a KoAloha that I play at home, my flea is my best friend on the road.....I think they're amazing.

Elaine
www.kani-ka-pila.com

grandpoobah
04-01-2012, 06:27 PM
The novelty of the pocket uke is neat, but it's super tiny. It's too small to do anything but basic chords on. I'd really go with the dolphin or a kala travel soprano. Personally I do a flea in a hard case. It fits fine under the seat on planes so no worries there

Couloirman
04-01-2012, 06:32 PM
The best travel uke is the nicest one you can afford to replace. They are all small enough IMO. Ill be travelling all summer with either my captain backpacker uke, a Pono, or an Islander.

BeardedGent
04-01-2012, 06:36 PM
This is an awesome idea! Yeah, I'd go with a beater. If you've got the cash, you could go for a Blackbird but that's a big investment. The idea of leaving behind a beater for a perfect stranger to fall in love with the uke is fantastic. I'm so doing that on my next vacation.


A friend of mine took a beater uke to Antarctica, serenaded the penguins and left it there for a new-found friend to enjoy.

You may want to consider bringing a beater (or at least an inexpensive uke) to leave behind to spread the 'Aloha' and
help 'infect' the rest of the world with the love of uke.

I would also suggest somehow altering the appearance of the uke
so that when it randomly appears on YouTube you'll be able to recognize it
and take great satisfaction in its use somewhere
in the world!

keep uke'in',

Lori
04-01-2012, 07:38 PM
Here’s an Airline solid body I performed on at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim in 2010:

http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/NAMM201005.JPG



Hey Ricdoug
What did you think of the Airline electric?
–Lori

Ukuleledad
04-01-2012, 09:34 PM
How about these for Beach Ukes?35815

Couloirman
04-02-2012, 07:31 AM
This is an awesome idea! Yeah, I'd go with a beater. If you've got the cash, you could go for a Blackbird but that's a big investment. The idea of leaving behind a beater for a perfect stranger to fall in love with the uke is fantastic. I'm so doing that on my next vacation.

Yeah its a cool idea for sure-- great way to spread the love. Ive already given away two of my Islanders. HMS must think I am nuts since I have bought 4 of the same Islander model from them in the past year haha.

mm stan
04-02-2012, 08:46 AM
This uke is great for travel or playing at nights....or cruises...It has a punchy enough sound for its size....I was amazed of it...and it has great intonation.....you just cant go wrong...
http://www.captainukuleles.co.nz/backpacker.html
when it first came out...it was a bargin...130... and 150 for a pickup a great deal
I assume it has gone up though:)

ricdoug
04-02-2012, 04:56 PM
Hey Ricdoug
What did you think of the Airline electric?
–Lori

The action and intonation were great, Lori. They had it plugged into a class A 5 watt tube amp, so the attack was instant and it sounded like a high pitched electric guitar (guitars are their speciality). I'd have to play one through an acoustic amp to give an honest assessment. Ric

itsme
04-02-2012, 05:07 PM
This uke is great for travel or playing at nights....or cruises...It has a punchy enough sound for its size....I was amazed of it...and it has great intonation.....you just cant go wrong...
http://www.captainukuleles.co.nz/backpacker.html
when it first came out...it was a bargin...130... and 150 for a pickup a great deal
I assume it has gone up though:)
Looks like you need some sort of wrench to tune the strings? :confused:

pakhan
04-02-2012, 05:27 PM
The carbon fiber stuff is definitely bullet proof but can be costly and attracts maybe unwanted attention esp. in that posh weave aesthetic. Flea is pretty good too, but you may wish to consider one of those all plastic jobs.

Fishing in India sounds great- Mahseer? Goonch?

Terence

steelarts
04-04-2012, 10:49 PM
First of all guys, thanks for the myriad of suggestions, wow, certainly food for thought there. Although a carbon fibre uke would be great they cost far more than I'm willing to spend. A Dolphin would be ideal I suppose if I was going to leave it behind (still an idea). The Ovation sounds like the type of thing I'm after but in every sound sample I've heard, to my ears, the Flea seems superior acoustically. I used to have an Ovation guitar and whilst great plugged in it just didn't work for me when played unamplified. So the Flea is on my shortlist as with all the fishing tackle I'll be taking carrying an amp is out.

This one sounds very interesting:


This uke is great for travel or playing at nights....or cruises...It has a punchy enough sound for its size....I was amazed of it...and it has great intonation.....you just cant go wrong...
http://www.captainukuleles.co.nz/backpacker.html
when it first came out...it was a bargin...130... and 150 for a pickup a great deal
I assume it has gone up though:)

But I'm not sure about the shape. It kind of reminds me of a Martin Backpacker guitar and they sound dreadful despite the "Martin" label; the size of the sound board has a lot to do with this. How does it sound compared to a "normal" uke? Are there any sound samples and does it need a wrench to tune it (they look like autoharp pegs)? Apart from these observations (if I could hear what it sounds like) this is within budget and could be shortlisted as I have time to order one from NZ.

The other uke I like the sound of, and that seems like it fits the bill, is the Ohana Sopranino; does anyone have any experience of one of these? They look like they'll take up the minimum of bag space whilst still being playable and, from what I've seen on You Tube, sound great for the size. It's slightly cheaper than the Flea but being wood might not be as durable. Any opinions???

And yes, Terence, it's the mighty Mahseer we're after!!!!:drool::D:drool:

Pondoro
04-06-2012, 12:18 AM
I have heard the Ohana Sopranino, it sounds great. I did not play it though, just heard it.

connor013
04-06-2012, 01:31 AM
Steelarts,

I have both an Ohana sopranino and a Bruko travel uke (the slim one). My two cents:

The Ohana sounds great and full, and as you would imagine a solid mahogany uke (albeit a higher pitch). You can play with different tunings (mine's tuned to D), which is fun, too. That said, I treat it like a solid-bodied uke. I'm not sure how well it would withstand travel. Plus -- I'm guessing this has to do with the scale -- it can be a bit of a bear to tune; it is very sensitive. I've also heard there can be intonation issues up the fretboard, although mine seems fine.

The Bruko is solid maple and has that distinct Bruko sound -- again, my guess is it's a result of the one-piece carved bridge and saddle. It's brighter than the Ohana, and a heck of a lot sturdier. It's still light, mind you, but it feels strong. There's fewer pieces in total, which to my mind means fewer opportunities for mishaps, and it's stained black, which allows for, well, less careful handling. I got mine used, so it had a couple of nicks on it. I added my first nick last night , and it just felt character-building. I would not have had the same reaction with the Ohana.

I also had/have a dolphin. I lent it to a student (a responsible one) and within twelve hours the neck was snapped from the body. They're great little instruments, especially for the price, but durable is not the first adjective that comes to mind. (Then again, if you don't sit on it then this point is moot.)

An earlier post, I think it was DNewton's, makes a valid point: You're not saving all that much space with a travel/short scale uke, so any durable soprano would work. Have you checked out the new plastic ukes through Kiwaya?

http://takumiukulele.com/noveltyukuleles.html

Cheers.

uke4life
04-06-2012, 02:25 AM
I got a Kala Thinline from Mim and it's a perfect travel size uke for me. Looks greats, good price point, sounds awesome for a thin body and phenomenal customer service from Mim.

myrnaukelele
04-06-2012, 06:36 AM
I just took my Makala dolphin to France. It was light to carry and fun to have and if it got lost or broken (which it did not) it would be easy to replace.