View Full Version : how many ukes do you have?

08-26-2012, 08:04 PM
mostly in the title

how many ukes do you have and which is your favorite?

08-26-2012, 08:26 PM
One and a half.

Of course, the one is my favourite. It's a soprano by Pablo Kiernan, an Argentinian luthier. It is very well built, and sound very good, although not so good with the current strings I have on it (classic guitar strings... I can get ukulele strings now, who would guess I'd have to move to a country with a tenth of the population to find a music store that carried them, and about five different types). The only thing about it is that as I'm learning more, I'm noticing the intonation is not as perfect on the higher frets, but that might be my technique (if I fret too hard the note can be a bit sharp, am I right).

The half one is a very very cheap chinese ukulele I bought at a music shop just to have something to strum on while I waited the three months it took Pablo Kiernan to build the one. It was completely unplayable out of the box. I may now take some tools to it and turn it into at least a beater for when small kids or big drunks are around.

I'm thinking of expanding the family quite drastically, though. I'd like to have a concert and a tenor, so I'm evaluating a couple of different makers to buy from. And I may do some long trip through Latinamerica next year, so I'm quite tempted to get one of those plastic ukes that are on kickstarter now to just tie it to my backpack and not worry about getting it wet, dirty or anything.

08-26-2012, 08:51 PM
Counting the busted up project and the one under construction? Six. No! Seven. Oh wait, no, I have eight, Yeah. Eight.

08-26-2012, 08:54 PM
5 (see my sig), Dolphin number two is my favourite.

08-26-2012, 09:13 PM
I have now 6, waiting for number 7 in a few months.
Favorite is the last one, a Glyph tenor I waited for 3 years... and then the Pineapple made by Gérard (French amateur luthier, but great instrument) But I love all the collection, the Brüko n°6 is a sweet little friend and I recommand it to everyone starting with uke, the vintage supertone is a great player, and the banjos fun and fun ! Next on will be also a Brüko, but a custom one... I'll tell more when arrived home.

08-26-2012, 09:28 PM
I have several. Among them: Baritones: Mya-Moe myrtle, Kamaka, Pono mahogany; tenors: MM myrtle, two Kamaka HF-3s and one Kamaka 8-string, a Pono mahogany 6-string, a Willie Wixom off-the-rack koa, a Big Island Honu Traditional koa, a Kala solid acacia, a Kala thinline travel tenor, and a KoAloha. I also have a Kamaka concert and a rebuilt Kamaka soprano. The others don't get played much and I'm in the process of considering whether to sell them or donate them to music programs for kids.

mm stan
08-26-2012, 10:24 PM
Who knows...I have never been good in math.....LOL

08-26-2012, 10:27 PM
Three Sopranos,A Tenor and a Concert scale B/U.

08-26-2012, 10:45 PM
See my Signature line for details.

Favourite aesthetically is the Kala Tenor - but I've had a lot of fun lately with my little green dolphin.

08-26-2012, 11:04 PM
5 and I love them all equally

08-26-2012, 11:05 PM
About 17 - my Koaloha Soprano and Kanile'a tenor are those I would run into a burning building to save.

08-26-2012, 11:14 PM
Favourite being the one I'm playing at the time.

08-27-2012, 01:27 AM
16, and I own 8. the other 8 I have in for review.

08-27-2012, 01:30 AM
A lot. Someone would come and lock me up if the true number were revealed, and another one is arriving today (Brian Griffin Tenor # 28, henceforth known as "The McLaren"). After this one, I'm done (except for the Mya-Moes and Brad Donaldson in the works).

I like some more than others, but it's hard to pick a favorite, since some are good for one thing and some for another. The one I've been using this week while practicing (lesson tonight!) is my Pono all-rosewood tenor.


08-27-2012, 01:39 AM
Eight. And yes.

08-27-2012, 01:43 AM
Who knows...I have never been good in math.....LOL

Hahaha. Good one Stan.:)

08-27-2012, 03:01 AM
14, with one more on the way soon.

L to R. Moore Bettah Cutaway, Collings UT-1, Kamaka Liliu six string, Kamaka HF-3, William King Claro Walnut/Spruce long scale tenor, Moore Bettah slotted headstock, Moore Bettah "Phoenix", KoAloha Crown bridge tenor, KoAloha pikake concert, soprano flea (my son's), tenor Tiki flea, Custom painted tenor Fluke, Singing Treholipee.

Camera shy: Polk-A-lay-lee, tenor flea(at work)
On the way: Custom Boat Paddle


08-27-2012, 03:24 AM
3 at home, 3 on loan, and one back at the factory.

08-27-2012, 03:42 AM
14 After I send my Cordoba tenor to my grand daughter. After my pre-war Martin O, it would have to be my Mele all solid koa tenor, then my Pono mahogany concert, then ??? My new Bruce Wei is climbing up the list though. Sounding better as those new Aquila strings settle in. I'm still going to have it "fine tuned" by my luthier.

08-27-2012, 03:52 AM
5 and a half. I dont really count the Tangi display uke but I will give it a half. Moore Bettah concert is my fav.

08-27-2012, 04:43 AM
I have 7. The favorite is probably the Kanile'a Island Inlay or the KoAloha tenor. But just the other day I was rediscovering my love for my Kauai built Kamoa, so next week that might be my answer. What can I say? I am really fickle.

5 and a half. I dont really count the Tangi display uke but I will give it a half.
Hmm, I have one of those Tangi minis too. I was going to sell it but my cat knocked it off the shelf and now it has a ding in it. So then I guess I have 7.5 ukes.

08-27-2012, 04:49 AM
I have 2 ukes, but I am shopping around for a potential custom. My Pono At is the fav.

08-27-2012, 05:03 AM
I have two. The favourite is most often the one closest to hand.

08-27-2012, 05:36 AM
I have 7, listed in my signature. Hands down the kamaka is my favorite. I bought the red cedar Mainland as a placeholder while I waited for my Donaldson but it is becoming my #2 favorite and I don't think I can part with it. Anyone interested in buying a lonely baritone?

08-27-2012, 05:52 AM
Eight, my favourite at the moment is Hope - Soprano Tanglewood TU 1CE...mine are all Sopranos and apart from my first, Astrid, who is an unknown brand I play them all, at different times obviously!

08-27-2012, 07:45 AM
only one so far - a soprano pineapple from makala.

08-27-2012, 08:29 AM
Currently have only one baritone: a 1960s Martin, but have a Pete Howlett and Mya Moe on order. I have two tenors: Pono mahogany and a Pohaku koa.

Since the Pohaku arrived a couple of months ago it has become my favorite; I just can't put it down. It has definitely opened up and really sings. (I've become a believer in the question of whether ukes open up or not)

08-27-2012, 08:49 AM
Yuansheng Soprano (My first ukulele, $10 at a swap meet w/ case in 1996)
Kamaka HF-1 Soprano (white label, 1997)
Kamaka HF-3 Tenor (white label, 1998)
Pono PT Tenor (Mahogany Deluxe, gloss, 2007)
G-String Tenor (UH Centennial Model, '06/'07)
Martin 2 Tenor (2012)
Ibanez Spalted Mango Concert

BOLDED my favorite because of sheer play-ability and sound clarity, but the rest are great instruments or else I wouldn't own them. I may sell my Pono and Ibanez in the near future.

08-27-2012, 08:56 AM
I have nine ukuleles, listed in my signature.
I love all of them, but I definitely have four, ok five -wait - six favorites.
Pono Koa tenor for best all around sound and playability, followed very closely by the R&L Koa mini concert. I would seriously cry if something happened to either one of those, I feel they are irreplaceable.
My new Kamoa sounds great, with great sustain, and I play it often. It also looks amazing!
My custom six-string has a very unique look and sound, and was made just for me. My other Bader ukulele, milo and lychee wood, I don't play as much as the others but it is sort of becoming the ukulele I grab to take with me everywhere.
My biggest surprise favorite? My Epiphone Les Paul Vintage. Looks great, plays great, I play it all the time, it's built like a tank, and it was only $99! Plus, here in the land of Kamakas, K-brands, and crazy customs, I seem to get a lot of comments on it, go figure.

08-27-2012, 09:03 AM
As of today, I have 6 that I count as my own, but will be back down to 5 after I repair my Oscar Schmidt OU2 and give my Mahalo away.

As for others, I have 4 others that I can think of that are also being repaired and will be given away.


08-27-2012, 09:51 AM
I own 3, and my wife has 1, so we've got 4 in our house.

08-27-2012, 09:57 AM
Four (see signature). The DaSilva is definitely the favorite, but that doesn't mean the others don't get played. They do!

08-27-2012, 10:06 AM
I own 27 ukes. My Le Domino soprano is my favorite but I play my old Martins more.

08-27-2012, 11:54 AM
Five. Mainland red cedar soprano, busted bruceweiart acacia soprano, Ohana cedar top concert, Koaloha concert, and Kanile'a K3 concert which arrived just today! I ordered a Keli'i silver soprano from HMS over the weekend, so that will make 6.
The Koaloha is my favorite to play but the Kanile'a is the purdiest.

08-27-2012, 12:24 PM
My husband and I have nine (at our house) in two sizes (concert and tenor) and four tunings (C, G, Bb, D).

We have:
three solid wood (they are not pleased about relocating to the desert),
three solid body (the Risa concert stick is my constant companion),
one CBU (a sentimental charmer),
and two lam/composite "beaters" (our most-played ukes).
All but the CBU have pick-ups.

08-27-2012, 12:26 PM
More than I need and less than I want...

08-27-2012, 12:57 PM
Stopped counting. Definitely more than ten, probably less than fifteen.

Lately, I've been playing four ukes regularly (a Kamaka standard, an Islander plastic uke tuned up a step, a Kiwaya KS-0P, and a Kala baritone). I've lent a couple ukes to friends who are interested in learning to play, and there are still a few ukes in the uke library available for loan.

I'm happy to report that of the last five ukes I purchased, three were given away as gifts or contest prizes. I'd like to bump that number up to (at least) four of the next five.

08-27-2012, 01:05 PM
More than I need and less than I want...
Spoken like a true ukuholic. :p

I have 7 (plus a Guitalele, if that counts). I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite, but my Mainland red cedar tenor is probably the highest-end uke I have.

08-28-2012, 03:18 AM
Exactly the right phrase!

More than I need and less than I want...

08-28-2012, 03:27 AM
More than I need and less than I want...

Well said, I want more but am really happy with what I have already. I play every ukulele every day and my favorite changes daily.

08-28-2012, 03:47 AM
I have two: a Mainland red cedar soprano and a baritone I found in my garage. When my finances improve and my spouse's guard is down, I'd like to upgrade my baritone and swap my soprano for a Black Bear concert.

08-28-2012, 04:44 AM
I have enough to know that I really only need 1 :)

08-28-2012, 05:30 AM
45---favorite? The one I am playing. Each of them have a story of how they came to reside at our residence. Some of them may be rehomed at any time. Some of them are returned from having been rehomed. It was not that the instrument was not as represented, it was seller's remorse.. I didn't realise my attachment until it was no longer here. I bought them back.

08-28-2012, 06:06 AM
I have had up to 7 at one point but now am happy with one.
I found out I can only play one at a time.
Go figure?
As Ansel Adams was quoted as saying

"if you have more then one lens, then you always have the wrong one on the camera".

Point is if you don't have a choice you make due with what you have.

08-28-2012, 06:16 AM
Eleven actual honest-to-goodness ukuleles: Ohana sopranino, Boat Paddle M-style spruce/walnut soprano, Blue Frog maple soprano, Ohana SK-38, Classic laminate mahogany soprano, Eleuke Peanut, (pre-)Covered Bridge myrtle pineapple concert, Classic laminate mahogany concert, Lanikai spalted mango tenor, Mainland mahogany tenor with pickup, Harmony mahogany baritone. Also: Jeff Menzies gourd banjo ukulele, Yamaha guitalele, Gold Tone tenor guitar (which counts as an honorary uke, sort of, though I tune it in fifths). My favourite uke is the Boat Paddle, but I love 'em all (though the Classics are not in the same league as the others, and my Classic soprano has terrible intonation).

08-28-2012, 06:32 AM
I have the four listed below and play the Kamaka concert the most by far. Would love a Black Bear or Mya Moe concert someday.....

08-28-2012, 06:40 AM
Lanikai Tenor - My first, given to me by my sister
Mele Koa Tenor - My first purchase made at their shop on Maui with Peter filling my head that I could actually play it eventually
Flea Soprano - Purchased primarily for something for the grandkids to pick up. Love how easily it plays
Lanikai Soprano - Another one purchased for the grandkids. Sounded horrible until I got it set up.
Donaldson Soprano - Small, even for a soprano but it has a big heart and a big sound. My wife's current favorite.
Kohala Concert - Relatively inexpensive and rugged laminate to leave in the condo in Hawaii - one year of renting the condo and it's still there and undamaged (knock on wood)
Koaloha Concert - Found this on Craigslist in perfect condition at a good price. My favorite all around uke. I feel so fortunate to own this wonderful ukulele.
The Chinese Flea Wannabee - Yep, for the grandkids, but even at $40, this was a bad purchase. Although our 2YO granddaughter picked it up on vacation and wouldn't give it up for a week so maybe the parot design will hook one of the kids.
Pono Mahagony Baritone - Recent purchase and what I've been playing non-stop for the last three weeks. Love the sound but still getting used to the chord shapes.

I think this adds up to NINE!! No way, how did that happen? Out of all these, following the path so many follow of looking for the magic ukulele w/o spending a fortune (however big that might be), I can say that the Koaloha Concert and Pono Baritone are my favorites. The Koaloha for it's amazing sound, ease of playing and how beautiful it is. The Pono for it's full, warm sound. Followed by the Donaldson for it's big heart and small size. I think I will be thinning the heard one of these days of both tenors, the Lanikai Soprano and possibly the Flea wannabee. That should be enough...

08-28-2012, 06:47 AM
As Ansel Adams was quoted as saying

"if you have more then one lens, then you always have the wrong one on the camera".

Point is if you don't have a choice you make due with what you have.

Love this quote. Very glad you shared.

08-28-2012, 08:30 AM
5 - (see my signature) but the 5th one arrives tomorrow, with luck! - The ones I've got, I love 'em all for different reasons.

08-28-2012, 08:38 AM
I think the last count was about 80 but a few were sold to finance a custom build.

This article features some nice pics of the collection...


08-28-2012, 10:11 AM
I have 4. I'm about to sell one and buy another, so that will leave me with . . . wait a minute . . .

The incumbent 4: Mahalo, concert a/e Flea, Fluke SB Electric (concert), Islander MT.

Looking for a home: Fluke SB (because it's a concert)

Taking its place: Pono MTD (once I order it)

OK, I think I got it: 4

08-28-2012, 10:15 AM
Is it bad that I'm not really sure anymore?

Let's see...

Instruments I play regularly: 3
In the shop: 1
On order: 1-3 depending on how you look at it
Classified as "toys" and therefore don't count: 4
On loan to someone: 1

So... 3. :D

08-28-2012, 10:20 AM
Is it bad that I'm not really sure anymore?

Let's see...

Instruments I play regularly: 3
In the shop: 1
On order: 1-3 depending on how you look at it
Classified as "toys" and therefore don't count: 4
On loan to someone: 1

So... 3. :D

Clever accounting. I wonder what your taxes look like!

08-28-2012, 10:23 AM
Clever accounting. I wonder what your taxes look like!

Is it any wonder I'm not allowed to handle the family finances? ;)

08-28-2012, 11:30 AM
OldeP has a way with words. He expresses my thoughts exactly.

08-28-2012, 02:55 PM
I used to have about two dozen in the stable at the peak of the collection. Now, my best guess is that I have...eight? But really only three or four that I play regularly...which actually is no longer that "regular" any more, sadly. But quality over quantity really rings true in ukuleles. When I downsize again, I'm probably just going to stick with a custom tenor and a few backups that have sentimental value.

08-28-2012, 03:14 PM
#14 of the little boogers!!!

08-28-2012, 11:50 PM
I think the last count was about 80 but a few were sold to finance a custom build.

This article features some nice pics of the collection...

http://www.columbusunderground.com/local-music-spotlight-the-ukulele-cowboy-societyAmazing - really! Thanks for sharing..... I love your style!

08-29-2012, 02:16 AM
This thread makes me feel so much better about myself.
So I've been playing for a little longer than a year, and I have in chronological order:
1) Ohana SK22Z, my first, and this girl has spirit
2) Kala, solid acacia tenor, the pretty one with the slotted headstock
3) A pink soprano Flea, with the plastic fretboard. Don't love it actually, and this one gets played the least. Might end up selling.
4) A concert Amina, I sort of impulse buy from Ukulele Puapua, when I was in Hawaii. She's a cute one, with a strange cutaway, that looks like somene took a bite out of her.
5) Is coming. A soprano Risa stick ukulele. Excited and nervous.

So far numbers 1 and 2 are my faves. But so, I'm finally getting my MFA in May, and the plan is to get myself a really good graduation present. Thinking about a Mya Moe, but exploring my options.

frets alot
08-29-2012, 02:26 AM
I'm in the minority...I only have 2! But, I'm really enjoying both of them. I take the one to music festivals, because it is louder and easier to carry, because I usually have other instruments in tow. I don't have many ukes, but I have enough other instruments to keep me busy. I think I'm done, though, buying instruments. Now, I'll just work on perfecting what I have.