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Oven
04-02-2014, 03:49 AM
I have $94.67 on an Amazon.ca gift card that I plan to use towards my first ukulele, I've done a bit of research and narrowed it down between the

Kala KA-MK-C Makala Concert Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/Kala-KA-MK-C-Concert-Ukulele-Polishing/dp/B005ETZE6W/ref=sr_1_16?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396405564&sr=1-16)

and the

Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Schmidt-OU2-Concert-Polishing/dp/B005ETZ6DI/ref=pd_cp_MI_0)

both of them are the same price, I plan to use the left over money to get some Aquila strings (http://www.amazon.com/Aquila-USA-Concert-Ukulele-Strings/dp/B007K3EGXW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396406297&sr=8-1&keywords=ukulele+strings+concert). My question to you guys is, which one should I get or should I get something completely different? I'm looking for a concert ukulele.

They also have the Kala on it's own (http://www.amazon.com/Kala-KA-MK-C-Makala-Concert-Ukulele/dp/B00172YM9U/ref=sr_1_37?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396406180&sr=1-37) and it's $66 vs $80, should I get that instead and just use my phone as a tuner? Or is it worth it to get the bundle with the tuner+gig bag+cloth?

Thanks

Oven
04-02-2014, 03:52 AM
I have $94.67 on an Amazon.ca gift card that I plan to use towards my first ukulele, I've done a bit of research and narrowed it down between the

Kala KA-MK-C Makala Concert Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/Kala-KA-MK-C-Concert-Ukulele-Polishing/dp/B005ETZE6W/ref=sr_1_16?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396405564&sr=1-16)

and the

Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Schmidt-OU2-Concert-Polishing/dp/B005ETZ6DI/ref=pd_cp_MI_0)

both of them are the same price, I plan to use the left over money to get some Aquila strings (http://www.amazon.com/Aquila-USA-Concert-Ukulele-Strings/dp/B007K3EGXW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396406297&sr=8-1&keywords=ukulele+strings+concert). My question to you guys is, which one should I get or should I get something completely different? I'm looking for a concert ukulele.

They also have the Kala on it's own and it's $66 vs $80, should I get that instead and just use my phone as a tuner? Or is it worth it to get the bundle with the tuner+gig bag+cloth?

Thanks

Condor
04-02-2014, 04:47 AM
They are both entry level ukes although with a good set up, they will be ok. The concern is, that buying off Amazon you will not in all likelihood get any kind of set up at all, so you would need to set aside extra funds to have a luthier set the instrument up for you, or you might never enjoy playing it if the set up is awful. Both of those ukes are laminates but reasonable with a set up - you do need to factor in having a uke-savvy friend or a luthier take a look at the uke out the box though, as it will need a set up.

actadh
04-02-2014, 04:53 AM
It looks like they are both sold by Austin Guitar through Amazon. Maybe you can contact them to see if they can do a setup for you and still buy off their Amazon site.

CJay
04-02-2014, 05:00 AM
The Oscar Schmidt you listed was my first ukulele and I am very pleased with it. My wife purchased it for me from Amazon for my birthday and it is playable as it arrived but it could use a setup.

If you are are going to purchase from Amazon you might also look at this http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Performance-Laminated-Ukulele-Hawaii/dp/B00ES59RIY/ref=sr_1_7?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396450124&sr=1-7. I just received mine yesterday and am very impressed. The setup out of the box was superior to the OU2 making the Tom much easier to play as well as more accurate intonation according to my tuner. The build quality is very good and it has a nice mellow sound that I really enjoy plus it looks great.

There are a lot of people on the board with much more experience than me who will be giving you some great advice but I just wanted to share this option with you. Whatever you decide hope you have as much fun as I am learning to play.

kwall
04-02-2014, 07:08 AM
I'd go kala, just a nicer feel and brand imo. As for the tuner you will probably be ok without purchasing one. Have you thought of other strings? trying something different than aquila might be beneficial to your uke

Oven
04-02-2014, 09:36 AM
They are both entry level ukes although with a good set up, they will be ok. The concern is, that buying off Amazon you will not in all likelihood get any kind of set up at all, so you would need to set aside extra funds to have a luthier set the instrument up for you, or you might never enjoy playing it if the set up is awful. Both of those ukes are laminates but reasonable with a set up - you do need to factor in having a uke-savvy friend or a luthier take a look at the uke out the box though, as it will need a set up.
I definitely want it to sound as good as possible, I don't expect anything amazing for the price though. This might be a stupid question but is it possible for my to set it up on my own? I think it would be cool to learn how to do it and I'd like to play around with it to get it to how I like it. Worst case scenario I have a music store not too far, and I could try taking it there but I'm unsure how much experience they have with ukes, I know they do a lot of guitar stuff.


It looks like they are both sold by Austin Guitar through Amazon. Maybe you can contact them to see if they can do a setup for you and still buy off their Amazon site.
I know that the ones that say "Shipped by Amazon" can't do this because they are already in Amazon's warehouse. Maybe an option if I get one of the ones that isn't being shipped by amazon


If you are are going to purchase from Amazon you might also look at this http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Performance-Laminated-Ukulele-Hawaii/dp/B00ES59RIY/ref=sr_1_7?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396450124&sr=1-7. I just received mine yesterday and am very impressed. The setup out of the box was superior to the OU2 making the Tom much easier to play as well as more accurate intonation according to my tuner. The build quality is very good and it has a nice mellow sound that I really enjoy plus it looks great.
That looks like a good option and I would probably go with it but I don't think it's on the Canadian Amazon which sucks.


Have you thought of other strings? trying something different than aquila might be beneficial to your uke
I was under the impression that Aquilla strings were pretty much the best, is their a better option for my uke? I'm stilll pretty new to all this so I'm not sure.

Thanks for all the responses, nice to see that the community is so active.

ukemunga
04-02-2014, 11:26 AM
I have had and I have Kalas. I had an OU2. Though the OU2 was a nice uke for the price, I'd go Kala and buy a Snark clip on tuner separately. Just buy the least expensive Snark and you'll be fine. You're going to want a tuner.

And I think I'd add $10 and go with the Kala KA-C.

Condor
04-02-2014, 11:49 AM
Oven, setups are not something you want to do on your very first uke, I think, unless you are knowledgeable about uke luthiery! Even guitar shops have little knowledge of setting up ukes, quite often - you really do need someone who actually knows what they are doing. I am sure you can learn the technicalities yourself in time and with experience though - adjusting nuts and bridges etc - but good luthiers are specialists in this area.

As for strings - everyone has their own personal choice, but to be honest, Aquilas sound pretty decent on a Kala and you can always experiment later with different strings. Just get rid of cheapo black nylon rubbish and Aquilas will make a huge difference to them!

seeso
04-02-2014, 11:56 AM
My vote is for the Makala.

mikelz777
04-02-2014, 12:57 PM
I don't have experience or exposure to either but quality-wise, they're probably pretty much a toss up. I'd choose the Makala based on looks alone, I don't like the shape of the headstock or the logo/"aloha" on the Oscar Schmidt.

Based on my experience, I'd skip the Aquila strings and get either Oasis or Martin M600 strings.

Ukejenny
04-02-2014, 01:51 PM
I am not voting, as I don't have paying experience with both of them. A member of our local uke group has the concert Oscar Schmidt and it is really nice. Sounds very nice.

OldePhart
04-02-2014, 01:53 PM
I voted for the Oscar Schmidt. I haven't owned either but I do own an Oscar Schmidt Willie K laminated uke that came straight from the factory (via Amazon) very nicely set up. Don't know if they set all their ukes up that well but I do know that setups and sound quality from Makala are pretty spotty. Therefore, I'd have to figure a slightly better chance of getting a good Oscar Schmidt.

John

Kyle23
04-02-2014, 02:09 PM
It's all about what you want. I wouldn't really leave this up to a vote. Have you heard any sound samples of them both?

Oven
04-02-2014, 02:14 PM
Sorry for the double post, I posted this thread earlier but it never showed up, so I re-posted without the poll (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?94593-Buying-my-first-ukulele), this one just showed up now (a few hours later).

Thanks for the replies guys, seems like they are both around the same quality, going to be a tough choice. I'll do some more research on the strings the Aquilla strings seem to be the most popular. Haven't heard any samples, I'll see if I can find some on YouTube.

Oven
04-02-2014, 02:29 PM
I have had and I have Kalas. I had an OU2. Though the OU2 was a nice uke for the price, I'd go Kala and buy a Snark clip on tuner separately. Just buy the least expensive Snark and you'll be fine. You're going to want a tuner.

And I think I'd add $10 and go with the Kala KA-C.
Yeah I was thinking I would probably get a tuner anyway just because it's more accurate than a phone. I'd like to go with the Kala KA-C but it's $200 on the Canadian Amazon which is too high off budget.


Oven, setups are not something you want to do on your very first uke, I think, unless you are knowledgeable about uke luthiery! Even guitar shops have little knowledge of setting up ukes, quite often - you really do need someone who actually knows what they are doing. I am sure you can learn the technicalities yourself in time and with experience though - adjusting nuts and bridges etc - but good luthiers are specialists in this area.

As for strings - everyone has their own personal choice, but to be honest, Aquilas sound pretty decent on a Kala and you can always experiment later with different strings. Just get rid of cheapo black nylon rubbish and Aquilas will make a huge difference to them!
Yeah that's what I thought. Hopefully once I pick up the basics I'll have some more money that I can use towards testing different strings.

Torch
04-02-2014, 02:52 PM
I'm guessing that Condor is a luthier. I'm not sure what a luthier does but as somebody who just recently started playing the Uke, I'm not sure why buying something from Amazon isn't sufficient. There are TONS of options for tuning your uke. Personally, I have a piano at home and can easily tune from it. I also have an Android app that makes tuning the uke effortless.

Perhaps I just don't have an appreciation for what a luthier does but if it's just tuning a sub $100 uke, I'm not sure the value. Happy to learn differently.

cantsing
04-02-2014, 03:38 PM
Perhaps I just don't have an appreciation for what a luthier does but if it's just tuning a sub $100 uke, I'm not sure the value. Happy to learn differently.

Set up is not tuning. Here's some information (http://www.theukulelesite.com/ukulele-setup.html) from one seller describing their setup process.

kwall
04-02-2014, 06:26 PM
aquila's aren't bad but they come on the ukulele anyways so why buy another pair of the same item. Search on this forum there r tonnes of threads about strings. Ive only tried aquila so you are asking the wrong person :) :P.

kwall
04-02-2014, 06:37 PM
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?93141-It-s-like-UAS-only-worse-SCO&highlight=worth+clear an ok threadfor strings

Condor
04-02-2014, 09:58 PM
I'm guessing that Condor is a luthier. I'm not sure what a luthier does but as somebody who just recently started playing the Uke, I'm not sure why buying something from Amazon isn't sufficient. There are TONS of options for tuning your uke. Personally, I have a piano at home and can easily tune from it. I also have an Android app that makes tuning the uke effortless.

Perhaps I just don't have an appreciation for what a luthier does but if it's just tuning a sub $100 uke, I'm not sure the value. Happy to learn differently.

torch:

My goodness, you do make some amazing assumptions and guesses, don't you? Mostly incorrect!

i am not a luthier and have never pretended to be one! I am actually a Medical Doctor who happens to enjoy playing the ukulele and other musical instruments, so not sure where your "guess" that I am a luthier comes from, but it is so wrong it is actually laughable!

Maybe you should find out what luthiers do before making ridiculous assumptions and comments - they certainly do NOT "just tune ukes", they design, make and repair stringed instruments and set them up for optimal play. Quite a difference to "just tuning a uke"!

Amazon is NOT the best place to buy a uke as most of the ukes from them are factory made, shipped without any professional set up, and its your good luck if you get one playable from the box. Many cheaper ukes, if not most, are not.

A Snark tuner as mentioned by a poster above, is inexpensive and a lot more accurate than a phone app. A piano is handy to use for tuning but a bit unwieldy to carry around with your uke!

Some Kalas come with Aquila's from the factory, but am not sure if their lower end ukes do - in any event a spare set of strings on hand is always a good thing. If they do put Aquilas on a particular uke, the advert will generally say so very clearly.

Kyle23
04-02-2014, 10:24 PM
Yeah a set up and tuning isn't even close to the same thing. I'm not gunna comment on anything else said in this thread except for PLEASE make sure you get a setup instrument. I can tell you from experience, that a set up is absolutely HUGE if you are just starting out. Even if you're not just starting, it's a huge deal, but even bigger if you are new. My first uke came from a warehouse, not set up. I mean it wasn't impossible to play, but compared to my new set up uke, it's amazing to see the difference. Companies who mass produce ukes can't possibly make sure all of their instruments are perfect. You can't really blame them, they mass produce and leave it up to the consumer or dealer to make sure they're the best they can be playability wise. I can tell you that 9/10 you are not going to get a well set up uke from amazon unless it's from a dealer who sets them up after receiving them.

You can attempt to do it yourself, but first I'd look at a lot of videos and research it. It can't be THAT hard to do and if you mess up, you can always buy a new nut or bridge. I'd be careful with messing with the frets though. I don't know how hard those are to replace.

Again, just remember that a set up is huge. I wasn't even aware of how important until I already bought my first uke. The people on here are always looking out for your best interest so don't be afraid to ask. You don't want your ukulele to buzz while you play it. I've had string buzz and it sounds awful, you don't want that. You don't want to make sure you're pushing down hard enough to be able to fret your strings. It should be as easy as possible. Get those strings nice and low, make sure there's no buzzing and you're all good from there. Once you get that set up done, they only thing you need to worry about is playing and that's what it's all about.

Another thing... Strings do make a huge difference and you shouldn't settle. I know Aquilas are very cost friendly, but in my opinion, they usually aren't the best choice. And hey, some people prefer them, and that's fine, but experiment a little and find the best set for your particular instrument.

BTW, if you can, keep active on this site. You'll learn a hell of a lot. I came in with no knowledge of the instrument and I've learned so much over the past year.

seeso
04-03-2014, 04:25 AM
Sorry for the double post, I posted this thread earlier but it never showed up, so I re-posted without the poll (http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?94593-Buying-my-first-ukulele), this one just showed up now (a few hours later).

Thanks for the replies guys, seems like they are both around the same quality, going to be a tough choice. I'll do some more research on the strings the Aquilla strings seem to be the most popular. Haven't heard any samples, I'll see if I can find some on YouTube.

Sorry for the delay in approving your first thread. I have merged both threads.

PhilUSAFRet
04-03-2014, 11:15 AM
I'd recommend this Cordoba 15CM. It has a a reputation for being an incredible sounding concert uke for this price point and for an all laminate instrument. : http://www.amazon.ca/Cordoba-15CM-Ukulele-Concert/dp/B0041OT5MU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1396559626&sr=8-3&keywords=concert+ukulele

It has been praised by Andrew at HMS as sounding incredible for a uke in this price range. I played one at a uke festival in Tampa in November and agree. IMHO, it is a much better buy than the Makala or the Oscar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjqOmEeKR7I

igorthebarbarian
04-03-2014, 05:16 PM
...PLEASE make sure you get a setup instrument. I can tell you from experience, that a set up is absolutely HUGE if you are just starting out. Even if you're not just starting, it's a huge deal, but even bigger if you are new. My first uke came from a warehouse, not set up. I mean it wasn't impossible to play, but compared to my new set up uke, it's amazing to see the difference. Companies who mass produce ukes can't possibly make sure all of their instruments are perfect. You can't really blame them, they mass produce and leave it up to the consumer or dealer to make sure they're the best they can be playability wise. I can tell you that 9/10 you are not going to get a well set up uke from amazon unless it's from a dealer who sets them up after receiving them....


^^^ This. What Kyle said. I had the same experience too and my first came with painfully high action. BUT I didn't know any better and just played through it. Then I got a Flea which was so much easier to play and much more comfortable. Set-up is crucial when you're just starting out. And yes, it kind of sucks that Amazon will probably be some mass-produced drop-shipped product. Honestly you'd be better off going to MIM and having her set-up something cheap. Then spend your amazon gift card on a case/ the Snark tuner/ extra strings, etc.
http://stores.ebay.com/Mims-Ukes

pixiepurls
04-04-2014, 03:14 AM
A "setup" ukulele means someone who works at an instrument shop and has experience, has checked it to make sure its not going to sound crappy, due to the fretboard and nut hight (the top slots where the strings lay). The frets can screw up the sound if they are un-even, the nut slots at the top can make the strings sound bad even in tune. It's not something I personally can see is wrong, it doesn't LOOK wrong. It often won't even sound wrong until you play the same chord on a proper setup ukulele and then its like "OMG that sounds awful how could I not know!".

I tuned with my phone in the begging it was totally fine. Nothing wrong with going cheap, those snarks can be expensive and I've had some of them break on me. 30 days into playing ukulele I bought 2 more snarks though. Quicker then finding my phone now these days. Use your phone, its a great start.

My Makala Dolphin is NOT setup, i got it from amazon. Its fine. I am sure it would be WAY better setup I've just not gotten around to taking it in. If you buy an ukulele that is not "setup" then make your way eventually to your local guitar shop and see if someone there can do it for you.

I am a tool snob. Anytime I learn something I want the BEST tools. So I have two setup solid wood ukulele's. The Makala Dolphin is for my 4yo but I've played it and its fine. I don't play on it very long though, I always wind up back on my set-up instruments. Moral of the story NO YOU DO NOT HAVE TO, but as those above have said it is better in the long run to have a properly set up instrument.

Most people here are hardcore ukulele enthusiasts, they know what they are talking about and can be trusted. I am just about 40 days into my own ukulele adventure so I'm part newb myself.

Kyle23
04-04-2014, 06:06 AM
A set up is more making the playability as best as possible rather than making it sound good. Filing the frets if they're too sharp, making the strings easier to fret, and getting rid of buzzing. If you have a crap sounding uke, a set up isn't going to really change that. I mean I guess if you consider string buzz as "sounding crappy", a set up can help that.

kwall
04-04-2014, 07:32 AM
^ yet again listen to kyle, he's right

Rllink
04-08-2014, 06:53 AM
I just wrote a review of my new Makala MK-C in the Reviews forum. I am like so many people who just get an itch to play a ukulele, and like a lot of people, I have no musical experience at all. This is a whole new learning experience. But I did find out a lot of things just buying a uke. People will tell you to go out and strum a bunch of ukuleles to see what fits you. Reality for me, and I imagine a lot of people like me, is that there isn't a store with a ukulele within fifty miles of where you live, and if you do find one the sales people don't know anything about them. The one ukulele that I found in a store was in a guitar store. Ukuleles are not guitars, and just because someone works in a guitar store, that doesn't make them a ukulele expert. Which brings me to setup. I heard a lot about setup and I got real stuck on it. In the one store where I did find a real live ukulele to hold, I asked about setup and the sales person had to call the home store and ask them. They said that they didn't do setup on ukuleles. Then I called five of the online Kala dealers from their site, specifically asking about setup, because so many people were saying that it was important. One said that they do a 55 point inspection of all their guitars and ukuleles before they sent them out. I don't know exactly what that means. One said that they would charge me $35 for setup. I passed. The other three told me that they didn't think that it was necessary. So those are just a couple of the reality checks I found in my search. I'm not going to argue with the people who advocate setup, I'm just relaying what I experienced. I certainly would have gotten one if I could have, but I wasn't going to pay $35 to set up a $65 uke.

Spud1$
04-08-2014, 07:16 AM
I just wrote a review of my new Makala MK-C in the Reviews forum. I am like so many people who just get an itch to play a ukulele, and like a lot of people, I have no musical experience at all. This is a whole new learning experience. But I did find out a lot of things just buying a uke. People will tell you to go out and strum a bunch of ukuleles to see what fits you. Reality for me, and I imagine a lot of people like me, is that there isn't a store with a ukulele within fifty miles of where you live, and if you do find one the sales people don't know anything about them. The one ukulele that I found in a store was in a guitar store. Ukuleles are not guitars, and just because someone works in a guitar store, that doesn't make them a ukulele expert. Which brings me to setup. I heard a lot about setup and I got real stuck on it. In the one store where I did find a real live ukulele to hold, I asked about setup and the sales person had to call the home store and ask them. They said that they didn't do setup on ukuleles. Then I called a five of the online Kala dealers from their site, specifically asking about setup, because so many people were saying that it was important. One said that they do a 55 point inspection of all their guitars and ukuleles before they sent them out. I don't know exactly what that means. One said that they would charge me $35 for setup. I passed. The other three told me that they didn't think that it was necessary. So those are just a couple of the reality checks I found in my search. I'm not going to argue with the people who advocate setup, I'm just relaying what I experienced. I certainly would have gotten one if I could have, but I wasn't going to pay $35 to set up a $65 uke.
I have bought a uke from HMS, a Kala tenor and I have bought a uke from Uke republic , a makala dolphin. Both came set up. At my local (65 miles one way ) music store, they carry both these Ukes NOT set up. There is a huge difference in the same instrument. The prices were very similar one was $5 more one was $4.95 less. All it cost extra was the shipping. If you really want to play the uke order one set up, pay the shipping and anticipate your new arrival. You won't be sorry. I am so thankful I read this forum and followed their advice about a set up, HUGE difference. P.S. I know you already have yours but I also know these are the threads perspective shoppers hunt up.

dickadcock
04-08-2014, 10:18 AM
I just wrote a review of my new Makala MK-C in the Reviews forum. I am like so many people who just get an itch to play a ukulele, and like a lot of people, I have no musical experience at all. This is a whole new learning experience. But I did find out a lot of things just buying a uke. People will tell you to go out and strum a bunch of ukuleles to see what fits you. Reality for me, and I imagine a lot of people like me, is that there isn't a store with a ukulele within fifty miles of where you live, and if you do find one the sales people don't know anything about them. The one ukulele that I found in a store was in a guitar store. Ukuleles are not guitars, and just because someone works in a guitar store, that doesn't make them a ukulele expert. Which brings me to setup. I heard a lot about setup and I got real stuck on it. In the one store where I did find a real live ukulele to hold, I asked about setup and the sales person had to call the home store and ask them. They said that they didn't do setup on ukuleles. Then I called five of the online Kala dealers from their site, specifically asking about setup, because so many people were saying that it was important. One said that they do a 55 point inspection of all their guitars and ukuleles before they sent them out. I don't know exactly what that means. One said that they would charge me $35 for setup. I passed. The other three told me that they didn't think that it was necessary. So those are just a couple of the reality checks I found in my search. I'm not going to argue with the people who advocate setup, I'm just relaying what I experienced. I certainly would have gotten one if I could have, but I wasn't going to pay $35 to set up a $65 uke.

Rollie, I saw your Makala review & thought you did a great job, especially useful for those just beginning. Much of the advice given by many of us here is beyond what is needed to get started. Good advice, but an overload, perhaps. I'd recommend that real newbies read your review & do the research the way you did.
I have 3 Kalas, 2 from Austin Bazaar. Some say vendors don't set up Kalas because they are ready to go out of the box. If you get a good sample, it will be playable, with a 3mm string height at fret 12. (Kala standard) One can get a bad sample of anything, so that is the main problem with mail order. (hassle of returns, etc). The 3rd Kala, by the way, was ordered via Amazon & was substituted for a cheaper Makala, which I had ordered because I had never played a tenor, nor played a uke in 50 years. That was a year ago. I the first Makala I had ever seen in person--except the Dolphin -- was last month, but only in 1 local store. (I got one sent from Uke Republic to my grandson in California because I knew it would be checked.)
I said ready-to-go, which means playable, tuneable, etc. Eventually, you will tweak the intonation, but not until it bothers you. By then, you can probably do it yourself. The Fluke and RipTide didn't need adjusting, but one came from the factory showroom, the other from a local music retailer, who is also a luthier. I have found the independent local retailers can be very flexible in working deals, since they have to compete with the internet. ...probably not the time & place to discuss it.
But yes, shopping is frustrating, so we buy the same recommended things over and over, except for those in huge cities. I wonder what a Kamaka, Kanilea, Pono, etc. looks, feels & sounds like.
UU is a help, at least.

~ Dick

stevepetergal
04-08-2014, 10:37 AM
Good luck. I have owned both. My Oscar Schmidt was very nice. The Makala was unplayable. Go figure.

Rllink
04-08-2014, 11:44 AM
Thank you Dick. I do not intend to tell anyone what they should or should not look for in a ukulele. I am simply telling what my experience was as a first time ukulele buyer. I think that the advise here from the experts is great and I'm glad that I landed here. My Makala seems to play well. I have nothing to compare it to though, so what do I know? Anyway, in the mean time, I've learned three new chords today and started picking some notes. My wife says it is sounding good, so that is all that really counts.

tex-mex-uke
04-08-2014, 08:13 PM
I have $94.67 on an Amazon.ca gift card that I plan to use towards my first ukulele, I've done a bit of research and narrowed it down between the

Kala KA-MK-C Makala Concert Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/Kala-KA-MK-C-Concert-Ukulele-Polishing/dp/B005ETZE6W/ref=sr_1_16?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396405564&sr=1-16)

and the

Oscar Schmidt OU2 Concert Ukulele (http://www.amazon.com/Oscar-Schmidt-OU2-Concert-Polishing/dp/B005ETZ6DI/ref=pd_cp_MI_0)

both of them are the same price, I plan to use the left over money to get some Aquila strings (http://www.amazon.com/Aquila-USA-Concert-Ukulele-Strings/dp/B007K3EGXW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396406297&sr=8-1&keywords=ukulele+strings+concert). My question to you guys is, which one should I get or should I get something completely different? I'm looking for a concert ukulele.

They also have the Kala on it's own (http://www.amazon.com/Kala-KA-MK-C-Makala-Concert-Ukulele/dp/B00172YM9U/ref=sr_1_37?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1396406180&sr=1-37) and it's $66 vs $80, should I get that instead and just use my phone as a tuner? Or is it worth it to get the bundle with the tuner+gig bag+cloth?

Thanks

================================

live in Austin, have purchased a Kala MK-S and an Oscar Schmidt OU5 tenor in person at the Austin Bazaar store. both played ok for the price. as a newbe tough to difficult to make decision about the 1st uke no matter how you slice it. Austin Bazaar prices are excellent. the package deal with the polyfoam case (skip the cheap gig bag option) and the tuner (not a snark, but works fine) is a good value. Austin Bazaar "guitar" guys were friendly, but very uninterested in the ukulele and in making sure the instrument they picked out of the back was in the best shape. the setup guy's shop is on the floor, a few feet from the register, was even less interested in my uke purchase despite me asking uke setup questions.

with all that being said, would save your Amazon gift card burning a hole in your pocket to use on something else and stick to one of the uke dealers mentioned on the board over and over and over. their prices are very competitive and they do not let a crappy uke end up in your hands even with the entry level products. I was overwhelmed by the personal attention to detail with a recent lower priced uke purchase (Pono MT) from HMS, so they have my highest recommendation. Get the Kala from HMS, you will not regret.

molokinirum
04-10-2014, 07:15 AM
I have that Makala Concert....great uke for the money!! Still gets lots of play time!

chuck35550
04-10-2014, 07:39 AM
Please go to your local music shop and test drive their stock of ukes. You might prefer the way a concert size feels in your hands or maybe a tenor. Ask them to tune it for you and strum it to check the sound, is it too bright and plinky or too quiet and woody? Ask them if they have a package (uke, case, tuner and set up) and notice the fret board. If the frets stick out on the side and rough up your hand and the strings are too high up and rattle or buzz when played; it will need to be filed down and the bridge adjusted (set up). Most shops are going to stock Luna brand and most ukes are strung with Aquila. I preferred the Aquilla strings starting out cause I had tender fingers and they were easy for me to play. I currently have Living Waters strings and love them on my Mainland tenor Uke. I bought my sister a Luna concert and it plays very well and was super cheap but you need to test drive your uke and let it pick you.

Steve

FrankB
04-10-2014, 08:02 AM
I'd recommend this Cordoba 15CM. It has a a reputation for being an incredible sounding concert uke for this price point and for an all laminate instrument. : http://www.amazon.ca/Cordoba-15CM-Ukulele-Concert/dp/B0041OT5MU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1396559626&sr=8-3&keywords=concert+ukulele

It has been praised by Andrew at HMS as sounding incredible for a uke in this price range. I played one at a uke festival in Tampa in November and agree. IMHO, it is a much better buy than the Makala or the Oscar.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjqOmEeKR7I

I bought a Cordoba 15CM for my niece last month, and she can't put it down. It is the best uke I've played for the price, and then some. The local guitar center can't keep them in stock and they are a red hot seller. The set up was pretty close when I bought it, and the strings only had to be lowered a tiny bit at the nut. 6577165772
65773
The fretwork was perfect on that particular uke, and the nut has a nice slot cut into the neck. I've seen too many inexpensive ukes and guitars with a nut that's just glued to the end of the fretboard, or in a shallow and poorly fitted slot. The 15CM has a rich, full sound for a concert ukulele....at any price. My wife's Martin concert uke was only a bit better sounding, with just a bit more volume. The Martin could be pushed harder, but that's not important at this stage.

15CM Fretwork: 65774
ALL of the fret ends were dressed exactly the same, and that's sort of rare at this price. They're also nicely rounded/crowned, and there was zero buzzing. It's a bargain and then some.

Rllink
04-10-2014, 08:10 AM
Please go to your local music shop and test drive their stock of ukes. You might prefer the way a concert size feels in your hands or maybe a tenor. Ask them to tune it for you and strum it to check the sound, is it too bright and plinky or too quiet and woody? Ask them if they have a package (uke, case, tuner and set up) and notice the fret board. If the frets stick out on the side and rough up your hand and the strings are too high up and rattle or buzz when played; it will need to be filed down and the bridge adjusted (set up). Most shops are going to stock Luna brand and most ukes are strung with Aquila. I preferred the Aquilla strings starting out cause I had tender fingers and they were easy for me to play. I currently have Living Waters strings and love them on my Mainland tenor Uke. I bought my sister a Luna concert and it plays very well and was super cheap but you need to test drive your uke and let it pick you.

SteveThat's assuming that there is a music store with in a hundred miles that has a stock of ukes to test drive.