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View Full Version : Uke Recommendation for $400 to $500 Range



CelticJam
02-14-2009, 11:48 AM
Hello,

I am a total neophyte. A guy in a music store in Boulder showed me a few chords and how a uke works and the bug bit me. I've played guitar for awhile and mandolin for about 3 years.

I am looking for my first uke. My guess is the obvious answer is to play a bunch of them and get the one that sings to me but... I would like to also take into account the sage advice of experienced players.

Are there any builders that seem to rise above the rest in the $400 to $500 range?

Thanks,
Kevin

NatalieS
02-14-2009, 12:09 PM
What size uke are you looking for, and what type of sound are you going for? For $400-500, you could easily get a nice solid mahogany or koa soprano or concert, or a spruce top if you're looking for a different sound. If you don't know where to start, I would suggest listening to some youtube videos or checking out seller "MusicGuyMic" on ebay. We know him as MGM on the forum. He sells ukes for every price range, and often has videos attached to his items for sale, so you can listen to a sound demo of the instrument. If you contact him with your specifications for what you want, he'll often be able to pick out some good choices. He has many a happy customer on this forum.

Oh, and as for builders, I can't say enough about my Lanikai koa instrument (which was actually made by the Kanile'a company.) If you're looking for an instrument that's Hawaiian all the way, Kanile'a is FANTASTIC.

bbycrts
02-14-2009, 12:16 PM
Pono. I am a Pono flogger. Started the Pono People social group here on UU. Pono isn't making much in the way of Koa any more (but you can probably still find some new ones), but I have a solid mahogany soprano and 8-string tenor and love them love them love them.

Built on Java in Indonesia, set up by Ko'olau in Hawai'i. They are great.

Lanark
02-14-2009, 12:39 PM
Size is going to be the big factor in terms of what you have to choose from as has been pointed out already. Also what you expect in terms of appointments and bindings and such. But you're definitely looking at a price range for a good quality solid wood instrument.

You're in shooting range of a host of really nice sopranos if that's the route you want to go. Besides Kanile'a, you could have a Koaloha (I've got concerts of both), I've been growing fonder and fonder of my Kelii soprano since I figured out which strings I like on it. You could even be looking a vintage Kamakas on Ebay.

CelticJam
02-14-2009, 12:56 PM
Thanks for the responses so far. I think I am probably going to zero in on a soprano. Like I said, I am a total neophyte. I will probably play almost 100% for myself, family and friends. What would be considered an all 'rounder for this kind of playing...sorry, probably another can of worms.

I'm not a big one for fancy stuff, pretty much just focused on tone and quality of feel.

Thanks,
Kevin

FadaBullet
02-14-2009, 01:40 PM
You could also get a nice vintage Martin Style 0 for $400-$500. Maybe even a Style 1 like this one on Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/Martin-Style-1-ukulele-soprano-uke-No-Reserve_W0QQitemZ150326270125)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v228/fuzztone65/Ukulele/100_3666-1.jpg

ukedennis
02-14-2009, 01:51 PM
Thanks for the responses so far. I think I am probably going to zero in on a soprano. Like I said, I am a total neophyte. I will probably play almost 100% for myself, family and friends. What would be considered an all 'rounder for this kind of playing...sorry, probably another can of worms.

I'm not a big one for fancy stuff, pretty much just focused on tone and quality of feel.

Thanks,
Kevin

you may check our stuff D&D uke,they sounds really good and also fancy looking and above all these,they are all on 20% off now! you'll find us on ebay:shaka:
Mahalo my friend

cpatch
02-14-2009, 02:25 PM
This one's a concert, but a great deal at $500:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330306920047

experimentjon
02-14-2009, 03:10 PM
If you act quickly, there are some really good ones here on the Uke Marketplace.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9786

I'd reccomend the Pono Koa 6-string Tenor with Pickup or the Kala solid Cedar Top Tenor with laminite koa sides/back....that is if you're not stuck on the soprano size.

Otherwise, there's also a Kamaka soprano there for a good price. Just act fast.

dnewton2
02-14-2009, 04:39 PM
I hear great things about Koaloha. If you are looking for a soprano here is one at MGM's store (http://cgi.ebay.com/KoAloha-Standard-SOPRANO-KOA-UKULELE-KSM-00_W0QQitemZ330307720037QQihZ014QQcategoryZ16224QQ cmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp1742.m153.l1262) that is right in your price range. I have never played one but I am sure there are several people here that can tell you about them.