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View Full Version : Finding a Soprano/Concert in Waikiki or Nearby..



EmperorK
09-05-2012, 11:13 AM
Hi guys. First post.

I'm going to Oahu and Maui (and for about an hour, Hawaii Island) in October.

I've played guitar for about 4 years, mainly extreme metal which can be quite demanding, and picked up a 50 (like 80 US$) Lanikai LU-11 about a month or 2 ago. So I'm competent, (by no means very good) at guitar and although a bit of a beginner at uke, I'm picking it up fairly quickly.

I'll be in Waikiki mainly, and although I have some trips and excursions all over the island, I might be a bit stretched for time outside of Waikiki.

I'll be on Maui for a a few days in Lahaina mainly. In both instances, I will have a rental car.

My budget is about 250-500 US $.

My current uke, the Lanikai LU-11 is ultra dinky sounding and incredibly bright. It's a very 'happy' instrument! I know it's cheap but it's actually not that bad. I know some of you may well say to just stick with what I've got if I'm happy with it. What I'm after is the same bright and loud sound but perhaps with a few extra frets, (this one only has 12), and longer lasting materials. It would be nice to get one made in Hawaii as well.

What I want to avoid is getting a uke that is high quality but has a 'sterner' tone, because then I start to move back into guitar sounding territory, and I already have a few of those. I have my uke for that great, happy, bright sound and it may well even be that the cheap materials that may well break apart in a year or 2 on my current uke is what is giving it that sound. I'm hoping I can find a uke that can replicate that but with a much greater build quality... I might even be as bold as to say a concert uke is too big and loses the super bright tone... but I'm not going to claim that for sure as I've only briefly played one. My ideal uke is a Hawaiian made, Soprano, 15-17 fret Ukulele.

So far, I've only really come across being advised to go to Puapua at the Sheritan Waikiki, one of the three factories (but I don't really know which, and I'm not sure I have time for a full factor tour) or a small place called Tangi's.

Firstly, thanks for reading my above long-winded essay (I just wanted to get my information across!) and secondly, what do you great geniuses suggest I do?

PedalFreak
09-05-2012, 11:22 AM
Head to Haleiwa and go to Hawaii Music Supply. Best place on the island to buy an ukulele. Also one of the coolest towns on Oahu.

All the shops in Waikiki are going to charge a premium for there ukes. If you have time take the Kamaka and KoAloha factory tours on Oahu.

But trust me on Hawaii Music Supply :)

Kimosabe
09-05-2012, 11:51 AM
If you can't make it up to Haliewa, by The Bus or car, Pua Pua on Kalakaua next to the old Sheraton Moana, the one with the pillars and porch, is a good shop.

Hawkshaw
09-05-2012, 12:38 PM
I couldn't agree more with PedalFreak. Hawaii Music Supply in Haleiwea, on the North Shore, is absolutely the best place on the island to get a ukulele. They have a great selection, their prices are fair, and they do a great set up. I know because I'm a very satisfied customer. Mabe MGM will be there too.

808boy
09-05-2012, 12:57 PM
HMS (The Ukulele Site) IS the best place with a knowledgeable and friendly staff. Puapua in Waikiki has excellent customer service but their prices mirrors their location.
Good luck and have fun in my hometown..............................BO.......... ....................

EmperorK
09-05-2012, 12:57 PM
Which has the better prices, and which has the better selection out of Hawaii Music Supply and Puapua?

(Or any others that anyone else thinks is worth suggesting?)

(Btw thanks for the replies so far!)

808boy
09-05-2012, 01:00 PM
HMS all the way.............................

mds725
09-05-2012, 01:59 PM
I'd agree that HMS is worth the trip to the North Shore. (Actually, Haleiwa in general is worth the trip to the North Shore.) If you need to stay around the Waikiki area, in addition to PuapPua, you ought to take a ride over to Dan's Guitars in Honolulu. http://www.dansguitars.com (http://www.dansguitars.com/) It's mostly a guitar shop, but when I was there in April 2011 it had two full walls of ukuleles and people working there who knew a lot about ukuleles. So definitely try to get to HMS, but PuapPua and Dan's Guitars are worth checking out too.

janeray1940
09-05-2012, 02:29 PM
If you can't make it to HMS, from Waikiki you can walk or take the bus up Kapahulu to Good Guys Music. In my experience they have the best prices of any of the near-Waikiki shops since they're out of the tourist area. Small selection, but nice people and worth a stop.

And stop in at Bailey's on the way and pick up a nice aloha shirt (and say hi to Suzie for me!). And then get something to eat at Ono Hawaiian Foods or Irifune...

Farmer Rob
09-05-2012, 05:49 PM
I was at both places last week - I ended buying at the Koaloha factory
But mike at HMS was the most helpful and informative for me and my guests

migal
09-05-2012, 10:09 PM
Another one to check out is Best Hawaiian Ukulele. Their shop is on the Kalanianaole Hwy at Waimanalo, the sign over the shop got my attention last year it reads "Hawaiian Nut and Ukuleles" and with a name like that I just had to call in.

Nandy and Evonne have a great selection of ukes at very reasonable prices compared to Waikiki. They also have a stall at the Aloha Stadium (Swap Meet) on Wed, Sat and Sun.

I bought a beautiful Kanile'a tenor from Nandy at the swap meet this year at least a couple of hundred dollars cheaper than any others of similar quality I could find in Wakiki.

Mike

Ellis Lowery
09-13-2012, 04:57 AM
HMS...by far! Aaron helped me find the perfect uke. My Ko aloha came from HMS and that has been the best customer service and fair prices I encountered while in Waikiki.

consitter
09-13-2012, 07:20 AM
Head to Haleiwa and go to Hawaii Music Supply. Best place on the island to buy an ukulele. Also one of the coolest towns on Oahu.

All the shops in Waikiki are going to charge a premium for there ukes. If you have time take the Kamaka and KoAloha factory tours on Oahu.

But trust me on Hawaii Music Supply :)

KoAloha usually has several in stock. They have b-stock which you can get much cheaper.

gyosh
09-13-2012, 07:20 AM
I'll toss The Ukebox out there since no one has mentioned it yet. It's in the Pacific Beach Hotel and is owned by Bruce Shimabukuro.

HMS and Giovanni's is definitely worth a trip to the North Shore though.

Hawkshaw
09-13-2012, 07:42 AM
I would definitely go to Hawaiian Music Supply in Haleiwa. It's a great store with lots of ukuleles. Their prices are fair and the do a very good setup. Couldn't recommend them more. Good luck with your search.

Trinimon
09-13-2012, 08:20 AM
I would definitely go to Hawaiian Music Supply in Haleiwa. It's a great store with lots of ukuleles. Their prices are fair and the do a very good setup. Couldn't recommend them more. Good luck with your search.

I remember when I walked into HMS for the first time. I was in awe. Never seen so many ukes in one store before and I just hear someone behind me casually say, "Yeah, we have a few ukes." Turned around and it was Aaron grinning away. Andrew, Aaron, MGM and crew are awesome guys to deal with and go out of their way even if it is for $8 set of strings or $1000 uke.

PedalFreak
09-13-2012, 08:29 AM
And stop in at Bailey's on the way and pick up a nice aloha shirt (and say hi to Suzie for me!). And then get something to eat at Ono Hawaiian Foods or Irifune...

If you're gonna stop by Bailey's, gotta stop by the Rainbow Drive In, that is if it's not incredibly busy...on second thought they are always busy, may not have time for that :)

kauaijim
09-13-2012, 07:47 PM
Koaloha factory is five miles from Waikiki. Factory second Pono's in Waihiawa. Either would get you a very nice ukulele. If you are going all the way to HMS it pays to stop by the Koolau factory to look at the Pono's. I looked at some Monday and the faults are pretty small. That said, I love my factory second Koaloha tenor.

The visit to the "factories" is worth it just so you can see how small the Koaloha and Koolau operations truly are (as are the Kamaka and Kanilea factories). The smell of koa sawdust is sweet.

Briangriffinukuleles
09-14-2012, 04:49 AM
If you don't find a uke on Oahu when you get to Maui go to Bounty Music, a huge selection, and Mele Ukulele just up the street. Lots of great ukes at all prices.
Brian

Bob-in-Alberta
09-14-2012, 07:19 AM
My wife and I are returning to Oahu in November and I've got my mind set on a Koaloha. We were there last year and I came home with a Mainland based on the price and the fact that I'd couldn't play and didn't know if I would keep it up long enough to warrant going Hawaiian. My question is: Is there really that much of a price difference between the Waikiki strip prices and what you would pay at HMS or at the factory? I want to get a new uke right after we get there and try and maybe arrange for some lessons and I'm wondering if the time spent going somewhere and possible transportation costs are worth it. I went to the Uke Box last year and they gave me 10% off the list price with no hassle and it didn't take up much of one of my oh so few days in paradise.

consitter
09-17-2012, 12:19 AM
My wife and I are returning to Oahu in November and I've got my mind set on a Koaloha. We were there last year and I came home with a Mainland based on the price and the fact that I'd couldn't play and didn't know if I would keep it up long enough to warrant going Hawaiian. My question is: Is there really that much of a price difference between the Waikiki strip prices and what you would pay at HMS or at the factory? I want to get a new uke right after we get there and try and maybe arrange for some lessons and I'm wondering if the time spent going somewhere and possible transportation costs are worth it. I went to the Uke Box last year and they gave me 10% off the list price with no hassle and it didn't take up much of one of my oh so few days in paradise.

If you want a KoAloha, it is definitely worth a trip to the factory. They sell factory seconds at a much reduced price. You can't even tell what the blem is on most. And the folks there are the nicest you'll ever meet. Especially worth the trip if you have time for a factory tour.

mds725
09-17-2012, 06:01 AM
If you want a KoAloha, it is definitely worth a trip to the factory. They sell factory seconds at a much reduced price. You can't even tell what the blem is on most. And the folks there are the nicest you'll ever meet. Especially worth the trip if you have time for a factory tour.

What consitter said. When I was there for the factory tour in April 2011, they didn't have any blemished tenors, but the people there were wonderful and the blemished ukes they were selling (including a concert I almost bought) looked spectacular, sounded great, and were real bargains.