View Full Version : New to the site and to the uke.

10-19-2012, 03:54 PM
Hello everyone,

I have recently decided I want to learn how to play an instrument and decided on the ukulele. I will be getting my first uke for my birthday/Christmas present from my wife. I have settled on a brand/series which is the high tide acoustic/electric by Luna, and am looking for feedback on buying options. I went to a local music store and just played a few chords I learned on youtube to try and figure out which size would suit me best. I know the soprano felt way too small, and I was more comfortable with the concert and tenor models.Since I have no experience, I am still not sure which I liked better for the long run, but they both felt good to me. I am on somewhat of a budget so I guess my question boils down to this

HMS which I have seen recommended by many on this site has the concert model for about 240 + 16 shipping. I like the fact that they do a full setup, especially since I expect to use this uke for quite a while. http://www.theukulelesite.com/luna-concert-koa-electric-high-tide-concert-package.html

Amazon has the same model for 182 + free shipping which is a considerable discount. However it would be straight out of the box, and not sure where i could get it set up and checked locally or how much that would cost. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SSUR4G/ref=s9_simh_gw_p267_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0K88275HYYZZGDKR6A2F&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846

The tenor model on Amazon is 319 with a digital tuner and hard case with free shipping, same issues apply. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0089GJEBI/ref=s9_simh_gw_p267_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0K88275HYYZZGDKR6A2F&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846

I have seen that previously HMS had the Concert size on sale for close to the Amazon price, so would it be recommended to just hold on and hope for another sale in the future? Should I just pull the trigger on the Amazon model and hope for the best in terms of quality control from the factory.

Also when looking in terms of someday possibly wanting to transition to guitar as well, would a tenor model be a better?

I know this was a long post and all help is appreciated. I am 100 percent committed to this particular series based on the fact that it has the electric option. I already have a amp that was given to me by my father in law, and aesthetically it really appeals to me. After weeks and weeks of looking at different models I always come back to this one.

Thanks in advance,

10-20-2012, 05:16 AM
I highly recommend buying from HMS since the Set Up makes such a huge difference in the sound and ease of playing.

The cost difference is well worth it.

Also, I prefer the Tenor but, you could start out with a Concert size and after you get familiar with the uke, you can add a Tenor.

10-20-2012, 06:39 AM
Never underestimate the value of a professional set-up! To buy a uke in this price range fresh out of the box is asking for frustration. A set-up will eliminate problems that will make your new uke less than ideal to play, and as a new player, you don't need stumbling blocks.

I also HIGHLY recommend that you buy a clip-on electronic tuner, regardless of which uke you buy. They make tuning easy and accurate, and will help your efforts sound better. They are inexpensive, and well worth the money. If your new uke does not come with one included in a package deal, by all means order one. If you intend to be out and about with your new uke, a decent case is also a sound investment. Many dealers offer packages that include the tuner and case with the uke purchase.

Size is a subjective thing. It's partly a matter of your hand size, partly a matter of preferred tone, and entirely a matter of personal preference. I started with a concert, and it is still my preferred size. In my opinion (I'm sure others will differ), a uke starts to sound less traditionally uke-y as the size increases. A tenor sounds much more guitar-like to my ear than a soprano, for example. Although I have a soprano, and like the sound, I find it to be too cramped for my large hands and fingers. I've seen men with huge hands play sopranos well, but I don't seem to be able to.

HMS has a great reputation, although I have never dealt with them. Keep in mind that there are other reputable uke dealers online that also sell quality products with full set-ups. I would suggest that you at least consider looking at some others before you buy. I highly recommend Mim's Ukes. Mim is a UU member, and a wonderful uke seller to deal with. She has done the set-ups on three of my five ukes, and all are a joy to play.

Good luck with whatever you decide, and welcome to the world of ukulele....

10-20-2012, 07:32 AM
I play tenor or super concert as I prefer the tenor neck but that's just me. I wouldn't recommend buying from amazon for a ukulele. Odds are pretty good that it is going to need a setup when you get it. You can take it to a local guitar shop for setup which would probably cost at least $40 to $50 for a good setup. Keep in mind most guitar shops don't have much experience in setting up ukes. I believe the guitar and uke are 2 completely different animals when it comes to setting them up. Just because they know how to setup a guitar doesn't mean they will know how to setup a uke. I have used Mim and she puts a lot of care in her setups but i havent used HMS but have heard wonderful things about them. In my mind it would most defintely be worth the extra to get it from one of these dealers or other uke dealers out there that know what they are doing. You will be satisfied with that decision and not be kicking yourself for not getting one that has been set up for you.

10-21-2012, 03:03 AM
I'm a "noob." My initial purchase was from an on-line retailer. The uke was not "set up," and came fresh out of the box. I had some major issues with it and returned it. My next (and current uke for a long time I hope) was from HMS. Even though I paid less than $100, HMS did a very thorough set up and the difference from the first uke is "night and day." I'd recommend HMS, or one of the other reputable sellers recommended by this site.

Good luck with your uke.

10-21-2012, 06:42 AM
Also when looking in terms of someday possibly wanting to transition to guitar as well, would a tenor model be a better?

It kind of depends on what you think your "big plan" will be. If you are thinking about a guitar, because you like the lower tones, then a tenor is going to be more toward that sound. If you got a tenor in low G tuning, you might be very happy with that result. If you are thinking of having a uke and a guitar for contrast (they sound great together) then you might go for a concert size in re-entrant/ standard tuning.

As far as an easy transition to guitar playing, a low G/ liner tuning will offer the easiest transfer of knowledge. Low G tuning is usually more successful on a tenor.


10-22-2012, 02:50 PM
Thanks for all the great replies. Based on all the recommendations, I think I will be buying through HMS... I did look into MIMS but they don't carry Luna. I saw around fathers day HMS had a sale that put this model around the same price as amazon. Maybe I will try and wait out another sale... Although I am so anxious to start learning, the wait will be very frustrating.

10-22-2012, 04:21 PM
You ought to like that Luna. I've the less expensive Luna Tattoo Electric, and it's my most played Uke.

10-25-2012, 12:30 PM
I cannot stress enough the importance of a good set up. You may not be able to get the Luna from a dealer that does that, I'm not sure, but take a look at Mim's Ukes. She one of the best at set up. I'll bet you won't like any uke that isn't set up right.
Good luck!

11-04-2012, 04:33 PM
I ended up getting the Luna High Tide Concert. Bought it here http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?71961-FS-Luna-High-Tide-Series-Koa-Concert-Acoustic-Electric&highlight=

Since it was set up by HMS when the seller bought it, should be a great starter for me.