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View Full Version : Best uke buy for around $200?



skip
04-26-2014, 09:24 PM
I see a lot of nice looking ukes coming out of Asia,but havent a clue if they play or sound any good.
I'm looking to buy a uke,either soprano or concert,as a present for a niece,who is already a good player.
Can anyone recommend a brand or model for around $200(or lower!)
Thanks,Skip

tangimango
04-26-2014, 10:28 PM
Kala SLNG ($100) best soprano long neck for your money
Kala- CG ($150) really nice concert for the money

both great for entry level with good intonation and sound and looks.

wildfire070
04-27-2014, 12:26 AM
Take a look at Koa Pili Koko from pilikoko.com as well. Jason was great to work with when I got a soprano from him.

billten
04-27-2014, 01:15 AM
Fluke or flea. Never a lemon and you can resell it for the same price when you want to move up.

DownUpDave
04-27-2014, 01:16 AM
Google best ukes under $200.00 and you will probably see Hawaii Music Supply comparison test. They are a great store to deal with as they do a professional set up on the instrument no matter how much or how little its costs. I see you are in Australia so shipping will not be too bad.

They carry, Islander, Cordoba, Kala and other brands that will be very good for under $200.00

ichadwick
04-27-2014, 01:51 AM
Take a look at what Mainland has to offer.... red cedar...

cantsing
04-27-2014, 03:00 AM
What a generous gift! You say your niece is already a good player and it sounds like she is currently playing an inexpensive uke. Is there any way to find out (maybe through another family member) if she has been looking at nicer ukes and might already have a specific brand/model/size in mind that she is saving up for?

kissing
04-27-2014, 03:34 AM
Gretsch ukulele are PHENOMENAL value! Grab one asap!
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/gretsch.html

Icelander53
04-27-2014, 04:30 AM
Gretsch ukulele are PHENOMENAL value! Grab one asap!
http://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-by/brand/gretsch.html

2nd that! I love mine.

kwall
04-27-2014, 07:58 AM
from being a member on the forum people LOVE that gretsch and LOVE the magic fluke co (kind of unique and made in the states). I just got a firefly (their banjolele) and it is AWESOME. either of those choices are great ones. What were u looking at ?

vanflynn
04-27-2014, 08:40 AM
I'll always throw the Ohana 20 series in the hunt
http://store01.prostores.com/servlet/mimsukuleles/the-924/MIM-cln--Ohana-Concert-CK-dsh-20S/Detail

OldePhart
04-27-2014, 09:42 AM
In that price range don't consider brand-name so much as who you buy from. Sellers like HMS, Mim, Uke Republic, Mainland etc. will put in the care and time to 1) cull any truly dreadful ukes and 2) set them up for good intonation and playability.

I've talked to two different people who import and sell Asian ukes (both were talking about brands that have reputations as being good instruments). One estimated he culled 50% as not being salvageable and the other said the figure was closer to 70%. If you buy one of these ukes from Amazon.com or MusiciansFriend or what have you then you will be the one doing the culling.

I'm not saying you can't get a good deal from Amazon...and I occasionally buy from Amazon myself. However, I have the tools and knowledge to set up my own instruments and the experience to recognize when something should simply be returned. And even so I really prefer to buy from one of the retailers mentioned above!

John

kwall
04-27-2014, 11:18 AM
agreed, its best to go reputable dealer they can make or break the ukulele quality


In that price range don't consider brand-name so much as who you buy from. Sellers like HMS, Mim, Uke Republic, Mainland etc. will put in the care and time to 1) cull any truly dreadful ukes and 2) set them up for good intonation and playability.

I've talked to two different people who import and sell Asian ukes (both were talking about brands that have reputations as being good instruments). One estimated he culled 50% as not being salvageable and the other said the figure was closer to 70%. If you buy one of these ukes from Amazon.com or MusiciansFriend or what have you then you will be the one doing the culling.

I'm not saying you can't get a good deal from Amazon...and I occasionally buy from Amazon myself. However, I have the tools and knowledge to set up my own instruments and the experience to recognize when something should simply be returned. And even so I really prefer to buy from one of the retailers mentioned above!

John

skip
04-27-2014, 01:18 PM
Good point, I have noticed this with the new crop of "vintage" style guitars coming out of China under various names.
The quality control is fairly erratic,and it takes a good dealer to sort the wheat from the chaff
In that price range don't consider brand-name so much as who you buy from. Sellers like HMS, Mim, Uke Republic, Mainland etc. will put in the care and time to 1) cull any truly dreadful ukes and 2) set them up for good intonation and playability.

I've talked to two different people who import and sell Asian ukes (both were talking about brands that have reputations as being good instruments). One estimated he culled 50% as not being salvageable and the other said the figure was closer to 70%. If you buy one of these ukes from Amazon.com or MusiciansFriend or what have you then you will be the one doing the culling.

I'm not saying you can't get a good deal from Amazon...and I occasionally buy from Amazon myself. However, I have the tools and knowledge to set up my own instruments and the experience to recognize when something should simply be returned. And even so I really prefer to buy from one of the retailers mentioned above!

John

coolkayaker1
04-27-2014, 02:30 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hwGqey0e6Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBmEHVcZvB8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra-pDw5nRI4

Ask and you shall receive. Three videos, mandatory viewing. Thanks, Andrew and Corey.

Enjoy ear and eye shopping, skip. Fun, ain't it!

greyghost
04-27-2014, 03:01 PM
I second the Kala SLNG (I bought mine from HMS)-I hardly play my other (pricier) ukes, as it's just so nice sounding and fun to play. Amazing bargain for the money!

bobinde
04-28-2014, 11:30 AM
Take a look at Koa Pili Koko from pilikoko.com as well. Jason was great to work with when I got a soprano from him.

I agree. I looked at a lot of ukes, mostly Kalas and Lanakais (That's what's in the stores around here) and I bought a Acacia Pineapple from Jason. And the beginning of April, I got an Acacia Tenor from him. Both are outstanding instruments.

bobinde