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iog033
10-13-2012, 03:35 PM
Hello Everybody,

7 months ago I bought a Lanikai Lu-21 Soprano and I like it very much. It has a good setup, intonation, etc...

Lately I have been thinking of upgrading to a nicer instrument. I enjoy playing classical and baroque music and I consider myself an advanced beginner.

I don't see myself owning many ukuleles in the long run (I don't have the space or money to do that), plus I like the idea of just focusing on one instrument for practice purposes.

My price range is $200/$350 tops and I have my eyes on the following:

*Bruko #6
*Pono MSD
*(Maybe the new Koalana)

My question is this, should I upgrade now or should I continue using my lanikai for maybe a year or so and put the money into a really nice maybe custom made ukulele?

If I do it now what do you recommend? I favor the Bruko for the looks and the price tag but I don't know which one is the best instrument or if there are better choices out there in this price range. Could any of these models be enough of an upgrade for several years or is it best to wait?

Thanks in advance!

ukeeku
10-13-2012, 04:07 PM
First off, Welcome to UU!
Second, and I wish I came up with this, but coming here and asking if you should buy a better uke is like going to a bar and asking if you should have another drink!
That being said, my answer is buy now, why wait? Not sure where you live, but check out the market place here, or go to someone like Mim's ukes or Uke republic. Another Great uke would be Mainlands

Lalz
10-13-2012, 05:07 PM
Ok I'm going to be the one to say it: unless the range of playing that your uke affords is starting to limit you, you don't really have a good reason to upgrade after just a few months if you're satisfied with your current uke. Say you realise you need lower notes and therefore a low 4th string, then it totally makes sense to get another uke, or if you want one that sounds very different for the sake of variety or want to try alternate tunings. But otherwise, what is the rush? My advice would be to work on your playing for now and later when you know really well what type of uke you like, then upgrade to a better one. Especially if you don't plan to get loads of them. Ukes in the price range you're currently looking at don't have great resale value, so you don't want to start an endless spiral of upgrading, overgrowing, selling and upgrading again. Give yourself some time to figure out what your favourite size is, what wood sounds best in your ears, etc. Just my two cents :)

sbpark
10-13-2012, 05:14 PM
Should also consider an Ohana SK-38, or SK-35 if you need more frets.

missameeames
10-13-2012, 05:21 PM
Ok I'm going to be the one to say it: unless the range of playing that your uke affords is starting to limit you, you don't really have a good reason to upgrade after just a few months if you're satisfied with your current uke. Say you realise you need lower notes and therefore a low 4th string, then it totally makes sense to get another uke, or if you want one that sounds very different for the sake of variety or want to try alternate tunings. But otherwise, what is the rush? My advice would be to work on your playing for now and later when you know really well what type of uke you like, then upgrade to a better one. Especially if you don't plan to get loads of them. Ukes in the price range you're currently looking at don't have great resale value, so you don't want to start an endless spiral of upgrading, overgrowing, selling and upgrading again. Give yourself some time to figure out what your favourite size is, what wood sounds best in your ears, etc. Just my two cents :)

I agree. If you're happy with what you have now, no need for an upgrade yet. But since you say that you enjoy playing classical and baroque music, you may find yourself limited by having only 12 frets (which would eliminate the Brueko and KoAlana soprano). If that's the case, you should consider the Pono. I bought one of the factory refurbished MS models, and it's a joy to play. :D

connor013
10-13-2012, 05:43 PM
Bruko... BRUko... BRUKO... BRUKO!!!

Seriously, best single-shop-handmade-custom-if-you-want ukes being made today, hands down.

If I had found them earlier, my UAS would've gone into remission long ago.

iog033
10-13-2012, 06:31 PM
I agree. If you're happy with what you have now, no need for an upgrade yet. But since you say that you enjoy playing classical and baroque music, you may find yourself limited by having only 12 frets (which would eliminate the Brueko and KoAlana soprano). If that's the case, you should consider the Pono. I bought one of the factory refurbished MS models, and it's a joy to play. :D

Hello again,

Yes I have thought of the 12 fret limitation but for now most of the tabs I own, Wilfred; James Holding; Internet tabs; etc, don't go past the 12 fret. And I know it will take me a while to outgrow this material. But I can see why the pono would be a good choice if I decided to upgrade.

I Just want to be wise with my money and $200/$300 it's a lot of money for an uke and I want to be sure that if I upgrade It will be something I will still very much like in say 2 to 4 years.

The Lanikai is a good starter uke and like I said it doesn't have any of the usual problems so in that regard it's a solid starter uke but I can see the limitation and I know that it can't compete with real wood.

I'm leaning towards waiting at least another year but I'm still debating what to do. What I would not want is for me to spend $300 dollars just to find out in 7 months that I need something better.

Sorry for the rumbling and thanks to everybody for responding to my post!

fitncrafty
10-13-2012, 06:42 PM
Hello Everybody,

7 months ago I bought a Lanikai Lu-21 Soprano and I like it very much. It has a good setup, intonation, etc...

Lately I have been thinking of upgrading to a nicer instrument. I enjoy playing classical and baroque music and I consider myself an advanced beginner.

I don't see myself owning many ukuleles in the long run (I don't have the space or money to do that), plus I like the idea of just focusing on one instrument for practice purposes.

My price range is $200/$350 tops and I have my eyes on the following:

*Bruko #6
*Pono MSD
*(Maybe the new Koalana)

My question is this, should I upgrade now or should I continue using my lanikai for maybe a year or so and put the money into a really nice maybe custom made ukulele?

If I do it now what do you recommend? I favor the Bruko for the looks and the price tag but I don't know which one is the best instrument or if there are better choices out there in this price range. Could any of these models be enough of an upgrade for several years or is it best to wait?

Thanks in advance!

People seem to really like all three of these instruments. Something else to consider in your price range is the flea or fluke. Will give you great intonation and fun to play plus extremely durable. They are very coveted so resale is decent too.
Good luck with your decision, it's always fun to get a new ukulele...

iog033
10-13-2012, 06:45 PM
Bruko... BRUko... BRUKO... BRUKO!!!

Seriously, best single-shop-handmade-custom-if-you-want ukes being made today, hands down.

If I had found them earlier, my UAS would've gone into remission long ago.

Yes I have to admit that the Bruko #6 has a special place in my heart. It is beautiful! For how long have you had yours? Are you really that impress with it? Do you see yourself wanting something else in the next couple of years?

joekulele
10-13-2012, 10:01 PM
People seem to really like all three of these instruments. Something else to consider in your price range is the flea or fluke. Will give you great intonation and fun to play plus extremely durable. They are very coveted so resale is decent too.
Good luck with your decision, it's always fun to get a new ukulele...
:agree:
A Flea would fit your needs and price range nicely.
-joe

sukie
10-14-2012, 06:10 AM
I am not an ukulele expert. Is there a big enough tone difference between what the OP has now and what a 200 -300 dollar ukulele will be like? I am not a fan of lateral purchases. If the OP is happy now I would say to wait until you need a better ukulele.
Just askin'...

joeybug
10-14-2012, 06:20 AM
Ok I'm going to be the one to say it: unless the range of playing that your uke affords is starting to limit you, you don't really have a good reason to upgrade after just a few months if you're satisfied with your current uke. Say you realise you need lower notes and therefore a low 4th string, then it totally makes sense to get another uke, or if you want one that sounds very different for the sake of variety or want to try alternate tunings. But otherwise, what is the rush? My advice would be to work on your playing for now and later when you know really well what type of uke you like, then upgrade to a better one. Especially if you don't plan to get loads of them. Ukes in the price range you're currently looking at don't have great resale value, so you don't want to start an endless spiral of upgrading, overgrowing, selling and upgrading again. Give yourself some time to figure out what your favourite size is, what wood sounds best in your ears, etc. Just my two cents :)

:agree: with this. I have my own brand of UAS, but if you feel that you can manage on the one you have now (and don't have the space or money for a lot of Ukes) it may be best to keep going with what you have and save. I mean, yes, it's always nice to get a new Uke - a lot of here would agree with that hence why we *have* UAS, but if you're not able to afford to continually upgrade, then save and do one big upgrade with what will hopefully be your go-to Uke and then the one you have now can be a beater or something.

connor013
10-14-2012, 06:22 AM
Yes I have to admit that the Bruko #6 has a special place in my heart. It is beautiful! For how long have you had yours? Are you really that impress with it? Do you see yourself wanting something else in the next couple of years?

I've had my Bruko for six or seven months, and it's my go-everywhere uke.

It's not as nice a build as my Timms, nor does it have as rich a tone, but there are a couple of things that, to my mind, anyway, make it extraordinary:

It's economical, both literally and in terms of design. (Mine doesn't even have fret markers.)

It's tone is unlike any other.

Mine isn't a professional-grade instrument, but for the general hacking around I do, I couldn't ask for anything more.

iog033
10-14-2012, 07:18 AM
Thanks everybody, you've been very helpful!

I see people like the fluke/flea ukes. I don't know much about them so Ill have to do some research.

In the end though I have decided to wait, keep my $300 and continue saving for a year or so then I'll be able to buy something that can make me happy for many years. It will also give me enough time to know exactly what I want.

The Lanikai I think can keep my content till I save enough money. If it had bad intonation or other problems I guess I would have a reason to upgrade but as it is now it's a solid instrument with the only limitation of a laminated ukulele instead of a wood one.

Again thanks everybody for your input. I love this forum!

OldePhart
10-14-2012, 09:27 AM
In the end though I have decided to wait, keep my $300 and continue saving for a year or so then I'll be able to buy something that can make me happy for many years. It will also give me enough time to know exactly what I want.

You are very wise - this is exactly what I was going to recommend! :)

Seriously, until you run into an actual limitation in your current uke and reach the point where you don't feel you can progress as a player then it is quite wise to just keep piling the money up. Some day you'll either reach the point where your current uke is holding you back, or the point where you have become very good and just want to treat yourself to the best thing out there - and you'll have the money to do so without missing a mortgage payment on the house! :)

If you jump on a $300 uke now you might get lucky and find one that is your "end-all" uke - but it's far more likely that you'll just want something even nicer in a year or two. For example, I got very lucky on one soprano that is literally probably the last soprano I ever buy in that wood, and it was $200. But, it's exceptional even in it's line. My other ukes from the same company are in the category that "they are quite good but if that format was going to be my main format I'd need a better uke."

Having said all that - if you actually have the money to buy a really top-notch uke then do so as soon as you have figured out what size you are happiest with and so on. A really nice uke that plays like butter and sounds like heaven will make you a better player, faster.

John

iog033
10-14-2012, 10:48 AM
You are very wise - this is exactly what I was going to recommend! :)

Seriously, until you run into an actual limitation in your current uke and reach the point where you don't feel you can progress as a player then it is quite wise to just keep piling the money up. Some day you'll either reach the point where your current uke is holding you back, or the point where you have become very good and just want to treat yourself to the best thing out there - and you'll have the money to do so without missing a mortgage payment on the house! :)

If you jump on a $300 uke now you might get lucky and find one that is your "end-all" uke - but it's far more likely that you'll just want something even nicer in a year or two. For example, I got very lucky on one soprano that is literally probably the last soprano I ever buy in that wood, and it was $200. But, it's exceptional even in it's line. My other ukes from the same company are in the category that "they are quite good but if that format was going to be my main format I'd need a better uke."

Having said all that - if you actually have the money to buy a really top-notch uke then do so as soon as you have figured out what size you are happiest with and so on. A really nice uke that plays like butter and sounds like heaven will make you a better player, faster.

John

Hello John,

Thanks for the input. I see the logic of what you said.

I knew a $300 ukulele wasn't going to make me happy for the rest of my life I just wanted something that would be enough for at least 3 or 4 years. Like you said I would have to be lucky to find something in that price range that could meet the criteria. now i understand that if I buy something at this moment soon I would be wanting something better. That defeats my original goal!

Again thanks to everybody for helping me decide what to do.

*The bad news, no new ukulele for me now.
*The good news, $300 dollars in my piggy bank :)