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View Full Version : How long would you wait?



Jim Hanks
07-08-2013, 11:52 AM
Let's say you had a perfectly good laminate, well set up, tenor, but wanted something "nicer". Let's further say you could save $100 per month toward this nicer tenor. How long would you be willing to wait before making a purchase?

JonThysell
07-08-2013, 11:59 AM
Sticking to the $100 per month saving (and not considering robbing a bank), I think there'd be two plateaus, one at 4-5 months, another at 10-12. $400-$500 can get you a decent solid-top tenor I think, but if you can endure past that might as well save for something real nice.

davidrboy
07-08-2013, 12:30 PM
I think I would convince myself to start saving for 12-14 months, and then I would end up buying a used Pono PC, someone's cast-off custom, or a K brand off the marketplace for half the price in about half that time.

NewKid
07-08-2013, 12:46 PM
Save $300 for a Mya-Moe deposit and then you'll have a 11-12 month wait (savings period) for a $1400 -$1500 awesome instrument.

BIGDB
07-08-2013, 12:57 PM
If there's a k brand you really like get it but if youre not a big fan of any of them id do what newkid said

PhilUSAFRet
07-08-2013, 01:09 PM
I've seen a number of great Pono's you'd only have to save 3 1/2 months for.

rem50
07-08-2013, 01:46 PM
After new kids comment, you should really rethink this. Save for the deposit then save while you wait for your build to start. I just got a Boat Paddle uke for around $800 built with the woods I wanted. You have a ton of options> Have fun

haolejohn
07-08-2013, 01:51 PM
I'm actually going the deposit route them save for the custom. It's not a mya-moe though (don't like them enough to purchase).

gyosh
07-08-2013, 02:06 PM
Let's say you had a perfectly good laminate, well set up, tenor, but wanted something "nicer". Let's further say you could save $100 per month toward this nicer tenor. How long would you be willing to wait before making a purchase?

I bought my CR as a present to myself for a benchmark birthday so I'll have to say 50 years:)

connor013
07-08-2013, 02:08 PM
Good advice.

I can't justify it, but I voted for the Pono route. They're obviously not as good as many others mentioned, but they're just so damn reliable.

One other consideration: buy used.

Good luck with it.

Roselynne
07-08-2013, 02:40 PM
Where would Keli'i fit in this scenario? (If it does, that is...)

Nickie
07-08-2013, 02:44 PM
Well, considering mine would be a concert (I don't like tenors, ha) it will take about a year for a really nice one, at that rate....fine with me, I've waited this long...

Jim Hanks
07-08-2013, 03:21 PM
I was hoping this would be a thought provoking thread!

I have thought of newkids idea, but would mean committing pretty early. Davidrboy has a good idea that doesn't involve early commitment as long as you're not extremely picky about what pops up. Rem50 has a good option as well and you can probably tell from my signature line which way I'm leaning. I agree with the comment about "so many options". And I haven't completely discounted the first option. Ok, maybe I have. :)

mm stan
07-08-2013, 03:44 PM
Save your money and buy in the marketplace a premimum uke..jump as soon as possible, when you see a great deal as it won't last long....LOL
I've learned well, that the uke you dream of will eventually come up for sale, if it is too expensive the first time pass, it will come along again....well maybe high end customs don't count..

dirtiestkidever
07-08-2013, 04:22 PM
It seems to me that the $500-$800 range is the sweet spot. Buying used, blems, or from small builders you can get some amazing ukes in this range. Since your question assumes that you currently have a laminate I would definitely opt for this price range. Now if you already have several in this range then saving up for a compass rose makes more sense.

Tigeralum2001
07-08-2013, 05:36 PM
You can "buy your way up" or you can just save and buy at the top. I think you come out ahead financially if you just save for that "grail uke" rather than buy a bunch of nice stuff. Of course, I recommend buying used, too. With uke prices on the rise, buying used is a really good deal. I've seen very good deals in the Marketplace lately.

Rick Turner
07-08-2013, 06:02 PM
I'm still waiting for my next Compass Rose, and it's been 1 1/2 years...

Oh, shit! I have to build it myself!

Yeah, I'm at least at that point. However long any of my customers are waiting, I can assure them that I wait longer for mine!

Next up: a 14 fret tenor in my "traditional" shape. Then a 14 fret micro jumbo tenor. Then a mini jumbo octave uke. Then a Bb tenor...

hawaii 50
07-08-2013, 06:02 PM
You can "buy your way up" or you can just save and buy at the top. I think you come out ahead financially if you just save for that "grail uke" rather than buy a bunch of nice stuff. Of course, I recommend buying used, too. With uke prices on the rise, buying used is a really good deal. I've seen very good deals in the Marketplace lately.




good advice CJ

I am always interested in your thoughts...on this subject
I think I know how you voted above...haha

Tigeralum2001
07-08-2013, 06:31 PM
good advice CJ

I am always interested in your thoughts...on this subject
I think I know how you voted above...haha
I cheated- I voted both K brand and premium...

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-08-2013, 06:46 PM
Zero months. (I've already saved up my uke bucks. I'm just waiting for the right classic Martin to make its way into my hands.)

hawaii 50
07-08-2013, 06:57 PM
I cheated- I voted both K brand and premium...


Haha...good one..I know the truth bruddah....

Bill Mc
07-08-2013, 07:37 PM
Money spent is not the measure of a great sounding ukulele. And if you think a $1000.00 plus ukulele is any better than a Brüko or a Pono - well that is your opinion. Shop with your ears.

cantsing
07-09-2013, 04:57 AM
I recently made this decision, kind of. Been playing my Mainland concert for almost 2 years and have several reasons for wanting to upgrade. For me, the answer wasn't tied to how long I was willing to wait to accumulate the $$, it was more a matter of upgrading to the ukulele that I believe will best address all my needs and wants. After hashing it over for months, I finally made a deposit towards a Mya-Moe Tradition.

bobO G
07-09-2013, 05:04 AM
I'm thinking at least a year , by then my playing will good enough and my ears will be able to notice the difference to be able to justify buying an expensive Uke .

vanflynn
07-09-2013, 05:16 AM
If I were you I would take a roadtrip to see Mim up in Floyd VA (SE of Roanoke) http://mimsukes.com/
You can play Breadloves, Compass Rose, Pono and bunches more. That way you can make a better decision on what is best for you.

Good Luck and keep us posted

PTOEguy
07-09-2013, 05:21 AM
I voted for 4-5 months on the Pono - because that's what I did. I'm now working on the six month plan for the Godin/Pono solid body.

Skitzic
07-09-2013, 05:39 AM
I think the more productive thing would be to figure out what ukulele you want.

A K brand isn't right for everyone. I spent forever saving and agonizing over a K brand...then finally bought one. The be-all-end-all...what was supposed to be the uke that ended the UAS! I hate it. I hated the way it played, the way it felt when I held it, the sound...I flat out hated it.

Figure out what sound you want, then figure out what uke will give it to you. I figured out the sound, and found a used Mainland that gave it to me.

You have to play a lot of ukes to figure out what sound you are chasing, so you'll probably end up spending some, and losing some money before you figure it out. But I say play all the wood combination and sizes before you start shooting for the high dollar stuff.

wayfarer75
07-09-2013, 09:33 AM
I think the more productive thing would be to figure out what ukulele you want.

A K brand isn't right for everyone. I spent forever saving and agonizing over a K brand...then finally bought one. The be-all-end-all...what was supposed to be the uke that ended the UAS! I hate it. I hated the way it played, the way it felt when I held it, the sound...I flat out hated it.

Figure out what sound you want, then figure out what uke will give it to you. I figured out the sound, and found a used Mainland that gave it to me.

You have to play a lot of ukes to figure out what sound you are chasing, so you'll probably end up spending some, and losing some money before you figure it out. But I say play all the wood combination and sizes before you start shooting for the high dollar stuff.

I agree. I want to buy a K brand, but I have a specific model/sound in mind--a Kamaka pineapple. If I just went and bought the next K offered in the UU marketplace, I'm not likely to get what I really want.

I've been playing the uke for 2 1/2 years. I have two ukuleles. I have the money to buy a less expensive instrument, but I personally don't want something less expensive. But I also don't have the desire to save up so long to get a custom that would cost me thousands of dollars. So I'm enjoying the two ukes I have and I will wait and save my money to get what I really want.

Hippie Dribble
07-09-2013, 10:15 AM
Money spent is not the measure of a great sounding ukulele. And if you think a $1000.00 plus ukulele is any better than a Brüko or a Pono - well that is your opinion. Shop with your ears.

I think the more productive thing would be to figure out what ukulele you want.
A K brand isn't right for everyone. I spent forever saving and agonizing over a K brand...then finally bought one. The be-all-end-all...what was supposed to be the uke that ended the UAS! I hate it. I hated the way it played, the way it felt when I held it, the sound...I flat out hated it.

Figure out what sound you want, then figure out what uke will give it to you. I figured out the sound, and found a used Mainland that gave it to me.

You have to play a lot of ukes to figure out what sound you are chasing, so you'll probably end up spending some, and losing some money before you figure it out. But I say play all the wood combination and sizes before you start shooting for the high dollar stuff.
Yes, I agree with Bill and Tammy. I spent a fortune on expensive ukes over the past 6+ years and ended up selling pretty much all of em. I finally have settled on 3 I really love which were never on mine or anyone's radar. You really need to shop with your ears, try as many different brands and tonewoods as you can, see what kind of sound and feel you are after. In the end, the best uke for you maybe only a month or two away...

OldePhart
07-09-2013, 01:03 PM
I agree with the idea of shopping with your ears...but I think shopping with your fingers is important to. I've played some ukes that sounded lovely but just didn't feel right. I've played others that felt great but didn't have much of a "voice." The real trick is finding one that has both - and when you do it doesn't matter a flip what logo is on the headstock or how much or how little hard-earned cash you had to part with.

One of my best ukes is a $170 second from Mainland - and I had to carve a compensated bone saddle for my $700 KoAloha before playing it brought me anywhere near the pleasure that the Mainland did (now that I have it intonated properly up the neck I can't put it down, though).

Sound and playability are all that really matter in my musical world. If I found a $10 toy uke that sounded and played well...I'd be quite happy with it. That said...you do usually get better consistency of both in the more expensive ukes.

John

Jim Hanks
07-09-2013, 03:20 PM
Awesome discussion. I would love a trip to Mim or NC Uke Academy in Wilmington but I don't know when that will be possible. I pretty much have to do my uke shopping via YouTube and UU. I agree with the "sound and playability" comment. I'm closing in on the sound I want. Playability will be a bit tougher to ascertain long distance. Hopefully I will get a chance for a "big uke trip" before purchase time - or just roll the dice on that part.

GinnyT11
07-09-2013, 04:17 PM
If you are within two hours of a good uke shop (N.C. Ukulele Academy) with a knowledgeable owner (Kent Knorr), it really behooves you to visit it and try a dozen or more ukes.

You can't know the feel of a uke or its action until it's in your hands, and compared to people in the middle of a ukulele desert, you have riches to explore relatively close at hand. Just discovering what ukes you don't want is valuable. Buying off the internet, or buying what other people say is wonderful, will never compare to an in-person try-out.

Jon Moody
07-10-2013, 04:06 AM
I'm not a "save for the deposit and then keep saving" person as I like to just have the money in-hand (seen far too many things just "happen" that evaporate that monthly savings).

I voted for the 9-12 months because that will give you a TON of options, and also allow you some time to do as much field research as possible. At that point, if you find a $4-500 uke that just sings to you, you can get it and have some cash left over...for another uke? And if you want a custom, you can pay the deposit and know that you already have the money already in-hand for it.

Jim Hanks
07-10-2013, 06:56 AM
Thanks Jonathon. That is the way I'm leaning

oldjazznut
07-10-2013, 07:31 AM
I voted six months. Of all the ukes I've handled and researched, Ponos are as high as I'll ever need to go. For me, any higher starts the point of diminishing returns, where the percent improvement is less than the percent of extra cash spent. For example, I'll pay 20% more for something that is 20% better, but not 50% more for something 20% better.

Skitzic
07-10-2013, 08:25 AM
Awesome discussion. I would love a trip to Mim or NC Uke Academy in Wilmington but I don't know when that will be possible. I pretty much have to do my uke shopping via YouTube and UU. I agree with the "sound and playability" comment. I'm closing in on the sound I want. Playability will be a bit tougher to ascertain long distance. Hopefully I will get a chance for a "big uke trip" before purchase time - or just roll the dice on that part.

Another thing I learned a long the way...don't trust youtube sound samples. I mean, they can give you an idea...but in the end you're relying on their sound set up, and your speakers. Even if the sound was perfectly captured and replayed over your speakers...unless you're buying that particular uke, it's still up in the air if your uke will sound like that one.

Good luck!

vanflynn
07-10-2013, 09:49 AM
If you are going to buy a uke sight unseen you also need to ask yourself how much are you willing to possibly lose if you don't like it. Some sellers have a 48 hour return policy (you'll be out the shipping) but after that you are looking at a ~75% resale value or less.

(or go with used )

Roselynne
07-10-2013, 10:27 AM
I bought a Kala KA-MT Tenor, after being told it was solid. Turned out it wasn't. I held on to it, but went ahead and ordered a Keli'i Gold Tenor a few days later. Kept both, played them side-by-side for about a week. Ended up returning the Kala, though it was a fine uke.

Sometimes I regret the return. The Kala could've been converted to low-G. But since I'm mostly into re-entrant tuning, I haven't run back to retrieve it, or to find another one.

Don't know where Keli'i would fit on your poll list, but I guess I'm on the madder end of the "Stop the Madness!" spectrum.

Jim Hanks
07-10-2013, 01:30 PM
Lots of great advice. Interesting to see the poll results. I wasn't expecting as many 2+years responses. I kinda did expect the large number of K-brand votes, but honestly, I'm not all that enamored of the "koa sound" - I know that's probably sacrilege to many here :p - not that it's bad, just that I like the sound of other alternatives like cedar or redwood better. I'm definitely leaning towards the Godin/Pono/Small Builder columns.