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Mattyukaholic
10-31-2013, 10:32 AM
I keep thinking my UAS is cured forever and then I convince myself there's one kind of ukulele that I really REALLY need!

I've really come to realise I like two things best of all: traditional Martin sounding mahoganys and bright koa Hawaiian ukuleles, and the sizes soprano and concert.

Then I realised I don't have a mahogany concert ukulele at all.

I'd really like to know what you guys think are the best bang for buck MAHOGANY CONCERT ukuleles. I'm thinking up to $800 dollars. Nothing crazy expensive.

So what's good? If a uke is twice as expensive as another it should sound a lot better.

Here are some I've been thinking about: Ohana CK38, Pono MC, Martin vintage (if lucky), Islander MSC4, Mainland classic mahogany, Kelii mahogany, Kiwaya KTC1.

I'm really grateful and interested in opinions.

Thanks,
Matt

Hawkshaw
10-31-2013, 10:47 AM
I would give serious consideration to the Kiwaya. They're wonderful ukuleles. I have one and couldn't be more satisfied. Good luck with your search.

anthonyg
10-31-2013, 11:17 AM
If you want a "bang for buck" instrument then its hard to go past Mele Ukulele's.

http://www.meleukulele.com/shopexd.asp?id=306

I've recently picked up a Mele, solid Koa 8 string tenor and its a VERY nice instrument. I've been eyeing off a Mele solid mahogany tenor.

Anthony

PhilUSAFRet
10-31-2013, 11:39 AM
I bought my Pono MCD-E for a steal, including a Ko'olau hard case. Easily the biggest bang for the buck at the price I paid. New? Hmmmm, you are getting many fine recommendations. I do wish I had a Mele mahogany concert though. Also, don't overlook Sailor Brand ukes....amazing tone, higher-end Ohana's nothing to sneeze at either.

davidrboy
10-31-2013, 11:48 AM
I bought my Pono MCD-E for a steal, including a Ko'olau hard case. Easily the biggest bang for the buck at the price I paid. New? Hmmmm, you are getting many fine recommendations. I do wish I had a Mele mahogany concert though. Also, don't overlook Sailor Brand ukes....amazing tone, higher-end Ohana's nothing to sneeze at either.

I have to second this. I had a Pono MCD-E as well, and it was a hell of a uke for the money.

Mattyukaholic
10-31-2013, 11:56 AM
It's funny you should all say that. I've been leaning towards a Pono. Is there a big difference between the Deluxe edition and the normal Pono MC other than the gloss finish?

rickkes
10-31-2013, 12:08 PM
I gotta say that my Mainland mahogany concert is probably my most favored possession. Love it-I even got the goofy faux alligator case to go with it . . .

davidrboy
10-31-2013, 12:53 PM
It's funny you should all say that. I've been leaning towards a Pono. Is there a big difference between the Deluxe edition and the normal Pono MC other than the gloss finish?

Better tuners and ebony fingerboard and bridge on the deluxe. And the Pono gloss finish really looks fantastic.

I kindof wish I had that one back...

dirtiestkidever
10-31-2013, 01:14 PM
In my opinion the deluxe ones sound much better. Can't tell you why. But I have played a bunch and it seems consistent.

kenikas
10-31-2013, 06:47 PM
I haven't played a concert, but my tenor Pono MTD is one of my favorites. Definitely a great uke for the money.

ukeeku
11-01-2013, 01:27 AM
IMHO a David Gill is the best bang for your buck.
But I have been loving the Pono concerts I have been buying people lately.

fernandogardinali
11-01-2013, 01:45 AM
Kiwayas are awesome. I like the scale joining the body at the 12th fret and ending there. My Ukebrand concert is like this and I like it very much.

Also you have some experience with Kiwayas and you know they're awesome.

jwieties
11-01-2013, 04:54 AM
If upto $800 is your budget, then you should take a close look at David Newton and Covered Bridge. Two excellent builders that represent great value! I've had a fantastic experience and would recommend both of them. Couple hog examples for ya:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?83894-New-Concert-Scale-quot-Diaz-quot-ukulele-Cuban-Mahogany-amp-Ebony-by-David-Newton-Guitars

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?84225-FS-Covered-Bridge-Honduran-Mahogany-Tenor

Brian W
11-01-2013, 05:54 AM
Best bang for the buck, for me, would go to Mainland. Mike and his wife inspect and set-up every instrument, prior to shipping. I have played a Mainland and think, dollar for dollar, they are one of the best deals in the ukulele market. Give him a call and tell him exactly how you want your instrument set-up, and he will do it for you; now that is great service!

blowery
11-01-2013, 06:33 AM
I'd watch the marketplace here. I seem to remember a Collings UC1 going for that price range not too long ago. They pop up now and then.

Mattyukaholic
11-01-2013, 09:05 AM
I'm still a bit torn to be honest. What I really want is that old time Martin sound. I'm wondering about the Ohana CK38. I have seen loads of clips of the SK38 but none of the concert model.

Another question: is the sound between the slotted headstock mainland similar to that of the normal concert with rope binding?

I'm also wondering if the Ponos have that Martin bark?

I've been really lucky with all my other ukes but finding it hard to choose this one and I don't live near any dealers anymore.

Patrick Madsen
11-01-2013, 10:20 AM
Only way you're going to get an old Martin sound is with an old Martin or Favilla. No, Ponos don't have that old Martin bark nor that wonderful Martin neck. I own a few vintage Martins and nothing compares to the sound or feel/action of them. I have others that are great but have a completley different sound and feel than a old Martin.

The old Favillas have a smokey, bluesy sound to them, neck is a bit fatter. Martins have a slim, fast low actioned neck.

icuker
11-01-2013, 11:45 AM
I have a Favilla and agree with Patrick. Nice uke and they are very affordable, though I have not seen a concert.

ukemunga
11-01-2013, 12:05 PM
Hi Matt!

I had a Mainland Slothead Mahogany Concert. I really loved it. Nothing to compare it to, though. It was my first solid wood uke and I was a newb so it was mostly in the case with a humidifier because I was intimidated by caring for it properly. So I traded it. May have to get another someday.

But with a budget in your range I don't know. I'm sure if you wanted to try a less expensive uke you'd be pleased with the Mainland. And if not, it wouldn't be hard to sell without much loss.

Fred

hucklelele
11-01-2013, 01:45 PM
This is WAAY under your budget, but if anyone is here looking for a nice entry-level uke priced under the comparable competition, I'd probably go with this one:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sky-24-New-Beginners-Acoustic-Guitar-Ukulele-Sapele-Fully-Enclosed-Tuners-/171116469380?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27d7561c84#ht_4955wt_1018

I recently got another model from this vendor- not listed here now-
but this same size with "sapelle wood"
and it's unfinished and very resonant and very well made otherwise

this one looks good too- beats a Kohala here and slightly less than that even.
Die cast tuners-
decent quality nygut strings of some kind
mine has an arched back- hard to tell from this picture whether this is the same
8 1/2 lower, 6" upper bout , 11" body length
mine actually measures out at 23 3/4" including pointy tip of head stock
the one I got is real wood- not laminate- and this is advertised the same way
My Cordoba concert is on craigslist now- and I paid barely more than half normal retail of that one for this one

Mattyukaholic
11-04-2013, 09:44 AM
This might be my last ukulele for a long while. I'm thinking of going wild and spending more.

Can any Collings owners vouch for the quality of the UC1/2s?

Would it feel like a level above say the Pono MCD?

I'm really looking for that ukulele that 'feels' like quality in your hand. My Kanile'a has that. You know - smooth butter like neck, well dressed frets, clean lines etc.

Thanks for your help.

Matt

RichM
11-04-2013, 09:47 AM
This might be my last ukulele for a long while. I'm thinking of going wild and spending more.

Can any Collings owners vouch for the quality of the UC1/2s?

Would it feel like a level above say the Pono MCD?

I'm really looking for that ukulele that 'feels' like quality in your hand. My Kanile'a has that. You know - smooth butter like neck, well dressed frets, clean lines etc.

Thanks for your help.

Matt

As a (former) Collings owner, I would have to say yes. Collings produces some of the cleanest, most elegant builds I've seen today. And I actually think their mahogany ukes are the best ones they make, even though they are not the priciest.

soupking
11-04-2013, 10:04 AM
As a (former) Collings owner, I would have to say yes. Collings produces some of the cleanest, most elegant builds I've seen today. And I actually think their mahogany ukes are the best ones they make, even though they are not the priciest.

Once again I agree with Rich. I really considered offering up my UC-1 to you since I have a UC-2 as well. Unfortunately I just can't do it. I love it. I actually prefer it to the UC-2, but I think it's just because the 1 is older and totally broken in. Collings are the best; that's pretty much what I've come to learn after literally spending tens of thousands of dollars. Haha. Seriously :eek:

pdxuke
11-04-2013, 10:14 AM
Well, here's another opinion :-)

I've played several Collings and i'm not a fan. That's what makes horse racing.

Forget finding a martin vintage concert for $800. I've never seen one that cheap. But if this is going to be your last uke (for at least a while) I'd stretch the $800 to $1100 and consider the new Martin concert. (the style 2: Petey reviews it here-- http://youtu.be/XHfPNWBsaP0)
Here's one from elderly: http://elderly.com/new_instruments/names/martin-2-concert-uke-mahogany-style-2-ukulele-and--2CONUKE.htm

The Kiwaya is also a wonderful uke, an homage to Martin if ever there was one. But only a Martin is a Martin, and if that's the sound you like, wait and get that!

I have vintage Martin sopranos and a modern style 2M. The modern is superbly built, and very close in sound to my vintage Martins. It's not 60 year old mahogany, but it's darned good.

Good luck!

hmgberg
11-04-2013, 11:37 AM
Hi Matty:

I have two Martin concerts that I got relatively cheaply because they need a lot of work. They sound good, but I much prefer a Martin soprano...well, I believe vintage Martin sopranos are the best ever made. I have played a number of Collings ukuleles and all of them were excellent; some of them were fantastic. I've also played a few Kiwaya concerts and prefer the Collings. I first played Collings ukuleles several years ago when they came with Aquila strings. I played a some more recently with the fluorocarbons that now are standard on them. To me, they sound much better with fluorocarbon strings. Why haven't I acquired a Collings, myself? :confused: I should.

good_uke_boy
11-04-2013, 11:44 AM
This might be my last ukulele for a long while. I'm thinking of going wild and spending more.

Can any Collings owners vouch for the quality of the UC1/2s?

Would it feel like a level above say the Pono MCD?

I'm really looking for that ukulele that 'feels' like quality in your hand. My Kanile'a has that. You know - smooth butter like neck, well dressed frets, clean lines etc.

Thanks for your help.

Matt

FWIW, I can vouch for Collings' quality in terms of neck, frets, lines, etc. I find it hard to believe that my Collings UC2, shown in the link below, was built by humans.
http://artisanguitars.com/collings-uc2-concert-ukulele/

Incredibly light and easy to play, too.

hmgberg
11-04-2013, 12:55 PM
FWIW, I can vouch for Collings' quality in terms of neck, frets, lines, etc. I find it hard to believe that my Collings UC2, shown in the link below, was built by humans.
http://artisanguitars.com/collings-uc2-concert-ukulele/

Incredibly light and easy to play, too.


That's a hallmark of Collings ukes. They are immaculately built.

mm stan
11-04-2013, 01:05 PM
Brad Donaldson ukes...what is your budget..it seems all over? martin vintage concert....I got mine from a friend for 750...he is a real friend..weee
My oscar OU2 concert at 55.00 dollars

hibiscus
11-04-2013, 01:39 PM
I loved my Ohana CK-38~ wish you could try one. Can't speak for any of the others.

Mattyukaholic
11-05-2013, 04:19 AM
Thanks everyone. I'm pretty much decided on a Collings. My vintage Martins sopranos sound great and I think it'd be nice to try something different (but still mahogany) in concert.