View Full Version : Help with Uke purchase

02-28-2013, 04:07 PM
Ok, I need some suggestions here. I am looking to buy a mid grade Ukulele with a price range from $375 to $450 and want the most quality for my money. What I want is authentic sounding Hawaiian Ukulele with quality intonation and set up and I want Hawaiian Koa ( I think). I really like the Big Island concert Honu Traditional or the Big Island Traditional series but was wondering if any one had a better suggestions for that price range. A little help would be greatly appreciated.

02-28-2013, 04:24 PM
If you don't have a nearby uke shop at which you can handle and play a handful of great ukes, I'd recommend you check HMS' video review page: http://www.theukulelesite.com/video-review Fair warning, though: it's addicting!

For what it's worth, I'd try to get a sense of the feel of different builds as well (don't ask how -- UAS!). I love the sound of Kanile'a ukes, for example, but I don't like the neck shape. (Kamaka's necks, by contrast, feel more comfortable to me.)

I'd also recommend you haunt the UU Marketplace for a while. There are excellent deals, and in purchase or trade, I've received instruments that have been well cared for and accurately described. UU members treat their ukes right!

Good luck with the search, and welcome to UU.

02-28-2013, 04:41 PM
I have been looking at the UU market forum and I have to say unless I am performing live somewhere regularly I just can't justify the price of a Kamaka. Any way, I began my musical tutelage in classical guitar so I know what a quality fretted instrument is and am fully aware of the China and other Asian made instruments and buying USA just does not mean quality anymore, just being honest; the politics are completely another issue. I have a higher end Ohana Tenor that rivals any classical guitar in intonation I have ever played, and I bought it from a shop with over 50 Ukes and it was superior to the solid Koa Martin made in mexico priced much higher.

03-01-2013, 02:08 AM
See if you can get your hands on a Kellii ukulele.

They are authentic Hawaiian-made ukuleles, and they have Koa models too.
They tend to be more affordable than the other Hawaiian made ukes.

Here is a seller with a great reputation who ships ukes internationally:

03-01-2013, 02:24 AM
+1 on the Kelii. I just got one on Monday. You can get all-koa models, or ones with koa top/mahogany sides and back--which are less expensive. They are made in Hawaii, but part of the construction is now in China.

There's also Mele Ukuleles, and they aren't made in Hawaii. They used to be. Now it's the Phillippines?

mm stan
03-01-2013, 03:07 AM
You did not say what size you wanted..be patient and keep waiting..one will hopefully come by...Good Luck and Happy Strummings..
Keep an eye daily in Hawaii Craigslist man

03-01-2013, 03:59 AM
How much difference in quality and sound are the Kelii and the KPK / Koa Kalane's. It's fairly obvious that these are knock offs of the Kelli brand.

03-01-2013, 08:03 PM
Literally zillions of wonderful choices. When I caught UAS, I scoured the internet--and this site--for a couple weeks. Almost pulled the trigger and ordered sound unheard. Wised up and made a trip to The Ukulele Site and talked to MGM up in Haiewa. Kinda convenient to be on Oahu at the time. The only way to go. Go to a shop and play them. Stroke and fret the neck. Pluck and strum the strings and feel the soundbox vibrate. Try different string setups. I traded my first one a week later for a concert Pono with a couple wound strings, which hit the sweet spot with me (40+ years on guitar).
Long story short, I'm back home and continue to play the hell out of it...while my Taylor and Martin sit there, all lonely like...this uke thing is a blast.