View Full Version : Mainland Mango Soprano with Pickup and Case

03-27-2014, 12:14 PM
I never thought I'd sell this baby but I've been playing almost exclusively tenors for the past few months, I have a Boat Paddle custom on the way, so I've decided to sell a few ukes. After a lot of soul searching I decided to keep only one soprano and you'll get my Mainland mahogany when you pry it from my cold dead fingers...so...

Some details:

1) I converted it to string-through-top. I was using some fairly heavy gage strings on it at the time and it just seemed the prudent thing to do. I think it gained a little volume when I did that...but I didn't do any scientific testing and it could be wishful thinking. In any case, it certainly didn't get any quieter!

2) The strings currently on it are a set of Ko'Olau Gold concert strings - except for the C which I accidentally over-stretched by tuning up a full octave when I changed strings (did I mention I've been playing mostly tenors lately?). After the 3rd string was overstretched it wouldn't maintain tuning and intonation was terrible. I had some Thomastik-Infeld CF27 chrome flat wound classical guitar strings I'd purchased to try a wound 3rd on some tenor ukes and I decided to try one of those. I kind of like it but your mileage may vary. I will include a fresh set of strings in case you don't.

3) The Gold strings on it are fairly mellow - if you want the uke to run you down and hang you out to dry put some Worth CH strings on it (it will take it - that's why I converted it to a string-through-top bridge).

4) The pickup is a JJB Electronics passive under soundboard transducer mounted just ahead of the bridge between the G and C strings. Response from this position seems to be pretty balanced.

5) I've owned and played the uke for about two years so there are probably a few fine marks somewhere, though I actually couldn't see any when I was looking it over. The one exception is an intentional mark, my initials written on the brace inside the sound hole (did I mention I thought I'd never sell this one?). There is also a file label with my mailing address stuck to the inside back inside the sound hole...it should be easy enough to remove with the strings off at the next change (or just scratch out my email and put yours).

6) As mentioned above I've converted it to string-through-top by drilling small holes down through the top and bridge plate right at the front of the bridge slots. It's a little trickier to string the first couple of times but once you get the hang of it it's not really more difficult than a tied or knotted bridge. This is a much better way of stringing a uke, especially if you want to run heavy gage strings. A string-through-top bridge puts the stress where it should be, on the bridge plate under the soundboard, instead of on the bridge where only a small patch of glue holds it to the top.

The case is a hard foam and canvas lightweight case. It's a strange little case - it's a bit oversize for a soprano but I don't think it would hold a concert (I could be wrong, I haven't tried putting a concert in it). In any case, it does a good job of protecting the uke.

Price for uke with case, $200 plus shipping and I'll ship only to the US (sorry, life is too short to mess with customs forms and stuff). The uke alone with no case or pickup currently sells for $219 at Mainland, when they are in stock, which doesn't seem to be often. Not interested in trades at all and the price is firm. If I don't get the $200 I'll just keep it.

Here's a pretty crappy sound sample (web cam and, did I mention that I've been playing tenors for a while now?). Pictures will follow in the next couple of posts.



03-27-2014, 12:17 PM


03-27-2014, 12:21 PM
More photos


This last one was taken back when I converted the bridge to string-through-top:

03-27-2014, 01:07 PM
Here's a better sound sample with a better microphone and the pickup (microphone in one channel, pickup in the other) - I did this back when I first installed the pickup.


This is with CH strings.


03-28-2014, 09:40 AM
OMG I love this uke in your videos John, have more than half a mind to grab it. Alas I have to re-convince myself sopranos are not my cup of coffee... Hope someone takes this one home soon! Good luck, and your pickup video is what helped me install one in my Flea, so thank you!

03-28-2014, 10:09 AM
What a super deal for somebody who wants a nice soprano with a pickup!

03-30-2014, 02:17 PM
...and your pickup video is what helped me install one in my Flea, so thank you!

Yay! Glad to be of some small service. I know the video wasn't as detailed as it could have been but I discovered that when I was doing the actual drilling and stuff the web cam wasn't running through significant parts of it when I thought it was so I had to kind of go "light" on the video.

@JamieWG...thanks. I have to be brutally honest and say it's probably not a super deal (as in a steal) but it is a really nice uke and I do think it's a fair deal. (I try to be "brutally" honest in other things...have to be so on myself as well or it all means nothing. :) )


03-30-2014, 06:17 PM
This is a great deal at $200.
I am officially broke though, having picked up a Waverly banjo uke from Dave which should be here soon.

03-31-2014, 02:16 AM
Hi there , if you decide Canada is not too much of a hassle to ship, I'll take it. The shipping would be USPS at J1X 5W8 for the fees.

04-07-2014, 11:21 AM
Puuushhh! :) Bring back memories, anybody?