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View Full Version : I have to upgrade my uke



clan~kerr
09-23-2012, 03:14 PM
I've got a few issues that I was hoping to bounce off you folks to get some feedback and advice on.

I've had this Luna Tattoo Concert for about 9mo. now. It's also how long I've been playing the ukulele. For the price paid, I think it was a good starter purchase to see if this was something I wanted to continue with. Needless to say, I can't put it down. When I 'go-a-pickin' with friends, I generally play the bass for 3/4's of the time, but I've managed to wiggle in a number of songs for the uke with my friends. They really dig 'Gypsy Ukulele' (my toned down version) a lot, and it has become a weekly standard. Too make a short story longer, a friend of ours has a bar and wants us to come out and play sometime. That brings me to my concerns with the Luna. Maybe my ear has improved or perhaps I am being too picky. But the intonation seems to be considerably off. When I tune up the open strings with my Snark tuner, the notes on the frets are all off. Just going from an open E to a F is sharp by 4 lines on the tuner. And the E on the C string to the open E is not even close to being the same. Even a G chord has a sourish tone to me. I am guessing there is really not much I can do about that? And would probably cost more to fix than it is worth. I have Martin fluorocarbon strings on it which seem to be indestructible and hold their tone pretty well. I know that a different brand won't make a difference in my tuning issue, but it probably can't hurt to try a couple different brands. Perhaps a specific brand that would give me more volume?

So I have convinced the better half that an upgrade is needed. Been doing a lot of research the past couple of weeks and I think I know what I would like to get. I have my eye on a Pono-AT Acacia Tenor. I've read nothing but good reviews on all their models and I like the way this one looks and sounds on HMS's website. Any other ukes out their that are in the same price range that I may have overlooked and aught to check out too? To me it just seems like you can't miss with a Pono. I've read great reviews on here about the way HMS sets up all the instruments they sell. I know it will add to the shipping costs, but it seems that going through them you're going to get quality.

I apologize for rambling on for so long but it's a big deal to me and I don't like the idea of playing for anyone without a decent instrument. So any thoughts on getting the most out of my 'cheapie' and things to look/request for on getting a new instrument would be greatly appreciated. You guys have given me so much instruction from your pages and links as it is and I am very thankful for your willingness to share your knowledge.

BraddaJ
09-23-2012, 04:53 PM
I went last weekend to hms and picked up a Pono atd, lucky enough to get it setup by MGM but he told he personally trains the guys who setup the ukes that are getting shipped off island. I was there for about an hour trying out about half the selection before I made my decision. My budget was up to 700 but I ended up only paying 500, so worth it!

Nickie
09-23-2012, 05:18 PM
A good friend of mine has had a Pono concert for almost a year. I love playing it, it's loud, has great sustain, and seems to have good intonation all the way up the fretboard. I think it came from Mike at Uke Republic, not sure. She didn't pay that much for it either.

vanflynn
09-23-2012, 05:20 PM
Have you played a tenor much? I would hate to have you spend that type of cash only to find out you don't really like the size.

Lideruke
09-23-2012, 05:21 PM
I called HMS a few weeks ago and talked to MGM. I was trying to decide between two Ponos and a Kelii. His response was quick: Hawaiian any day of the week. The Kelii Silver is an amazing uke!

BraddaJ
09-23-2012, 07:13 PM
I called HMS a few weeks ago and talked to MGM. I was trying to decide between two Ponos and a Kelii. His response was quick: Hawaiian any day of the week. The Kelii Silver is an amazing uke!

The kelii's they had at the shop sounded awesome, the only thing I don't like is that they're built thinner and I'm afraid It might crack easier if it was mishandled

clan~kerr
09-24-2012, 02:56 PM
Have you played a tenor much? I would hate to have you spend that type of cash only to find out you don't really like the size. I plan to go down to the local shop and tool around the different ones there. With my fat fingers and usually playing bass, I am assuming that I would appreciate the extra room of a tenor over the concert. Tried a soprano, and I just can't see that working out.

ogg
09-25-2012, 03:51 AM
If you are having so much fun and doing so well with a concert size uke, it must be a good fit.

clan~kerr
09-26-2012, 04:37 PM
If you are having so much fun and doing so well with a concert size uke, it must be a good fit.

You may be right. But I will know better after looking around. And like vanflynn mentioned, don't need to blow a bunch of cash and find out you're not happy with it. I guess I just spazzed out last week over the prospects of performing w/an inferior instrument. Just want something quality. Thanks!

vanflynn
09-26-2012, 05:12 PM
Its part of the Uke bug! Most of us have some UAS. It's just nice having a place like this as a sounding board.

Hope you find what meets you desires. Please keep us posted on the search.