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View Full Version : Some very cheap ukes aren't that bad, honestly!



DazW
05-18-2014, 07:58 AM
Just spent an hour playing my daughters 18 Mahalo U30G/PP soprano uke and I have to say it was great! I haven't modified or altered it in any way, I had a spare set of Aquila concert strings knocking around which I put on it and it sounds fine, even the intonation is good.
We got it for my little girl last year from a shop in York and for 18 it is a nice, enjoyable uke to play. I've read a lot about cheap ukuleles having a negative effect on beginners, even putting them off altogether. Whilst that probably is true about a lot of ukes,this Mahalo is fantastic and for the price you can't go wrong. Buy a set of Aquila's for around 6 and you're away. No need at all to splash out 50+ for your first uke. Cheers ;)

66863

Barbablanca
05-18-2014, 09:14 AM
If you can run to 30 quid, there is a wonderful addition to the cheap Ukes now available - the Korala Explore (http://omegamusic.co.uk/buy/korala-explore-concert-ukulels). It's an all plastic (apart from the machine heads) CONCERT scale (so better for pudgy hands like mine).

The Dolphin is a good uke in this category - but I own both and the Explore is the bee's knees!

Example of me playing mine here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toRomPIZkKw):

Yukon Cornelius
05-18-2014, 09:34 AM
Just spent an hour playing my daughters 18 Mahalo U30G/PP soprano uke and I have to say it was great! I haven't modified or altered it in any way, I had a spare set of Aquila concert strings knocking around which I put on it and it sounds fine, even the intonation is good.
We got it for my little girl last year from a shop in York and for 18 it is a nice, enjoyable uke to play. I've read a lot about cheap ukuleles having a negative effect on beginners, even putting them off altogether. Whilst that probably is true about a lot of ukes,this Mahalo is fantastic and for the price you can't go wrong. Buy a set of Aquila's for around 6 and you're away. No need at all to splash out 50+ for your first uke. Cheers ;)

66863
For every story like yours there are twice as many of the downfalls.
You got a gem. Count your blessings. What did it sound like before the string change?

DazW
05-18-2014, 10:11 AM
For every story like yours there are twice as many of the downfalls.
You got a gem. Count your blessings. What did it sound like before the string change?

Yes you could be right, theres a chance this one was a one off and we got lucky.
No idea what brand the original strings were, but the shop we got it from was a proper music shop selling guitars and ukes and they stocked Aquilas so Im sure they would have put the better strings on for us if wed asked. I had a quick play in the shop and it was fine, which is why I bought it for my daughter. If it wouldn't tune properly, had sharp fret edges or sounded terrible I wouldn't have bothered

ranger92308
05-18-2014, 10:33 AM
I bought a inexpensive one off of Amazon for like 30.00 dollars. For my nephew called Santa Rosa. I checked it out and it works good. Excellent Soprano for beginners. Also easy on fingers.

DazW
05-18-2014, 10:44 AM
I bought a inexpensive one off of Amazon for like 30.00 dollars. For my nephew called Santa Rosa. I checked it out and it works good. Excellent Soprano for beginners. Also easy on fingers.

I think as long as it tunes ok, intonation is ok and the action is fairly low then its perfectly fine to learn on. Better strings make a huge difference too and theres plenty of videos online showing you how to restring. I just think its a shame if there are people out there who would love a uke but cant afford much money, and have read horror stories about cheap ukes so they don't bother. 20 really can bring a lot of happiness :o

ukantor
05-18-2014, 11:05 AM
Cheap ukes of the same make can vary tremendously. I was once asked to assist at a training event where one of the sections involved fifteen people being taught to strum and sing a three chord tune. My job was to keep the fifteen brand new Mahalos in tune. All of them were OK, a few (maybe five) were better than the others, and one was a little gem. I would have taken that uke home with me, even though it was purple, but the deal was that the participants got to keep the ukes.

Subsequently, I bought my own Mahalo, when I had the opportunity to choose one from a batch of a dozen. That was at least six years ago, and it still sounds much better than you would expect. Cheap ukes can be a lot of fun.

DazW
05-18-2014, 11:15 AM
Cheap ukes of the same make can vary tremendously. I was once asked to assist at a training event where one of the sections involved fifteen people being taught to strum and sing a three chord tune. My job was to keep the fifteen brand new Mahalos in tune. All of them were OK, a few (maybe five) were better than the others, and one was a little gem. I would have taken that uke home with me, even though it was purple, but the deal was that the participants got to keep the ukes.

Subsequently, I bought my own Mahalo, when I had the opportunity to choose one from a batch of a dozen. That was at least six years ago, and it still sounds much better than you would expect. Cheap ukes can be a lot of fun.

That's really interesting, that theres such a dramatic difference between a batch of 15 of the same uke. Does make you wonder how many lemons there are out there. I wonder how much variation there is between more expensive ukes, in the 100-200 category for instance