View Full Version : UAS is tough

09-20-2012, 12:14 PM
So, my ukes have been multiplying, and not proportianally to me learning to play (which is slow and painful).

When I started, I figured I'd pick up a Martin S1, Nazereth, PA is a stones throw from me, so I figured it'd be best to support a PA company. It has to be the nicest made Uke I've touched yet..it's just a Soprano...and for some reason, I don't like playing such a small instrument. In steps a Cordoba 20TM...I liked the look and the price of the Uke...not too cheap, not too expensive...and it was a tenor...which seems to fit me size wise. I started playing a little better. Something about the Cordoba just sounds so smooth and likeable. Next, I started eyeing up a Fender tenor...I figured it had to be good because it was made by Fender :/. It sounds different, that's for sure...but I still like the Cordoba better. The Fender just sounds too hollow. No problem, lesson learned. Next I got on an eBay kick...I wanted an old ukulele, but I didn't want to spend much. In steps an old uke with cracks labeled "Du Barry Hand Made". It's from the 20's or 30's. It had 3 cracks, a lifting bridge, was filthy and the nut flew off. My local repairman thought it was very Martin like, and another person thought Favilla made it (Tom Favilla said they never made ukes under any name but Favilla). So far he is still a mystery...but my repairman just told me it was ready to pick up and that she (or he) sounded nice. Next, I wanted a Japanese ukulele (see where this is going). SO, I bought an old Gakki Luna from the 50's or 60's. I put some Aquila's on it and actually had fun playing it. Prompted me to pick up my Martin again. That lasted a few days before I was back to the Cordoba tenor. Next, I wanted to try a concert..who knows, that may be the perfect size for me. I bought a Cordoba 15CM...as I love Cordoba of course. I didn't like this one though. It sounded way too pronounced...if I played it light, it sounded nice, but when I got on it...it was too noisey. Haven't picked him up much..a few times a week for a strum or two max. My mind started wandering further...hey, I want one I can plug in...that looks different from my others...enter the Kala KA-STE-C (Spruce top, cut away with all the amp stuff..). This is the one I take to my weekly lessons, since I can use the instructors amp. I do like the sound..it's has a much brighter sound than the Cordoba. Next, I started thinking about how there may just be something wrong with the Cordoba concert..so I decided to get another concert to compare...in steps the Kala KA-CEM....exotic mahogany laminate. It sounds like the concert...so basically, I must not like concerts. I'd like to say it ended there...but the local music store I go for lessons, had a Makala Dolphin on the wall...which was just to adorable not to get. I'm hoping it stops here...though, I do want an old Silvertone...just because. In the end..I like the fact that I can pull out any number of my ukes and strum a bit...put one back, get another, etc...Variety..Well, sorry about the wall of text...but I'm at work late and needed a mental break.

09-20-2012, 12:46 PM
i feel your pain! i think i am up to 12 ukes...though i mainly play my kamaka concert, i have a ohana pineapple and a no name tenor i keep at work to play with..
.my oldies i bought when i was in the throes of UAS just hang on the wall and chide me...but everyday i look at others for sale on ebay or here in the marketplace...
but it's been at least 4 months since my last purchase....holding off until xmas! ha!

09-20-2012, 12:51 PM
I went through major GAS the past few years. Now I just want stuff that works and sounds great. I'm real happy where I'm at: 30's Martin Style 1 Soprano C6 tuning, Kamaka Tenor High G, Pono MHTSH linear D6, and now a KoAloha Tenor on the way for my Low G (Thanks again MGM :) ).

I've got ukes that I'd like to get, I can think of 6 or so ukes right now that if I had the money I'd buy. But if I never bought another uke I'd be 100% satisfied :) I've found that the more instruments that I have the less I improve, I spend more time tweaking instruments, and finding one to play than playing :)

I've done the same thing with Guitars recently too. Down to 2 Electrics, 6 Acoustics, 1 Banjo, 1 Electric Amp and 1 pedal board. Never been happier and more satisfied in my playing

Not knocking anyone who has a ton of instruments, because I've been there. Just a different side of the UAS coin :)

09-20-2012, 01:43 PM
i have a koaloha tenor coming, too, p-freak, from HMS/MGM/Andrew. Weird.

09-20-2012, 01:47 PM
i have a koaloha tenor coming, too, p-freak, from HMS/MGM/Andrew. Weird.

I don't think I'm that far away from you. I'm up in Rockford.

When did you get your Tenor? Have you gotten it yet? I just paid for mine yesterday, can't get here soon enough :)

09-20-2012, 03:03 PM
since we are going off on tangents, does teh website price include tax or is that additional?

cheers and sorry to the original poster

oh well while i'm at it, i'm now down to 1 uke, but i've got a decent chunk saved up for a hawaiian trip in november. the waiting sucks frankly, and now i'm thinking do i get 1 good one of 2 not so good, but still better than i've had in the past? but it is nice to say i've only got 1 uke at the moment though.



09-20-2012, 03:08 PM
now i'm thinking do i get 1 good one of 2 not so good, but still better than i've had in the past?

Cliff...hands down I'd say get 1 nice uke :)

01-31-2014, 06:22 AM
Just an update...a continuation of UAS. I've made a lot of changes in the last year to my ukulele stable. I still haven't found anyone who has ever heard of my DuBarry Uke. My Martin S1 sounds terrible. I've changed the strings to Aquila's and back to Martin strings. There may have been a flaw from the factory, as it just sounds like a bad instrument. Not a dig on Martin here, as they have excellent instruments. The warranty expired, so I'm stuck with it. This one was made in Mexico...not sure if that matters. I did end up finding an old Silvertone with wood pegs. I'm happy to have it, just not happy to play it. Wow, people played these things??? I put Aquilas on it...but it didn't help. So he sits...right next to my Gakki Luna. Both of which seem more like props than properly sounding instruments. I gave the dolphin to my friends daughter. She seemed very enamored with the instrument when I went over to visit. I also gave my Kala KA-CEM to my firend. Both of which they never starting playing, but I expected it. Perhaps they can find a good home for them...rather than just being pulled out of the closet in 30 years with cracks. I also gave away my Cordoba 15CM, and a Lanikai LU-11 (which I bought to replace the dolphin as a travel uke) to a friend at work. It's up in the air as to whether he will stick with it. So much for the losses, lets move on to acquisitions. I bought a Makai LK-50W. By far, it's not the best sounding Soprano, but it is very pretty. The back is made from Willow (laminate). I also find the action too low for my liking. I'm going to keep him, just because he looks nice. I bought a Kala KA-PU-SSFM..which I thought would be the ultimate travel uke. Cute, yes, playable, barely. It just doesn't sound right to me. For such a small thing, they used the same thickness wood as the larger ukulle..so it's a bit dull...he sits next to the Sivertone collecting dust. I picked up a Martin T1K. I really like this instrument. Sounds great, feels great, looks great...just great. But I never play him...you'll find out why below. I next picked up a Mainland Mahogany Tenor..I heard so much about them, that I had to get one. He ended up head to head with the Martin T1K as my favorites. There is something about him that I really like...but like the Martin, he now sits. The next acquisition changed the game for me. The sounds coming out of that instrument have left all my others collecting dust. I picked up a KoAlana concert. After playing her, I just couldn't bear to play another. They did a great job when making these. Since she was so awesome and that they were making a limited run, I bought the KoAlana Soprano too...another game changer. None of my other instruments can compete with these two (to my ears and preference). I played with these two instruments for quite some time before I figured out what I was really missing...I didn't have a tenor to go with these two wonderful instruments. So I took the obvious step and bought a KoAloha KTM-00. I don't forsee me getting any more ukulele's.

01-31-2014, 06:49 AM
Wow, sounds like you've come full circle in your quest. I'm glad you found your "forever" ukes... that is, until a new strain of the UAS virus hits you.