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chuck in ny
07-29-2014, 04:40 AM
figuring to bleed for a good quality mahogany instrument is there anything else to look at in the price range?

Doc_J
07-29-2014, 05:32 AM
figuring to bleed for a good quality mahogany instrument is there anything else to look at in the price range?

In mahogany ukes at that price range, I would consider a Kiwaya or a vintage Martin (if you can play it first). Many choices in custom ukes : Kinnard, Earnest Instruments, Kepasa, Boat Paddle, Talsma, MP, ....

Are you looking at concerts or tenors?

Patrick Madsen
07-29-2014, 05:42 AM
Also Jason Wolverton, Griffin Ukuleles

coolkayaker1
07-29-2014, 05:46 AM
KIwaya tenors are great, but are uncommon and, if new, are about $1500. A vintage Martin sounds lovely.

Hodge has good ideas, as usual.

greenie44
07-29-2014, 05:48 AM
I have a Collings tenor, which I love and I thought had completely cured my UAS. But I played a Kinnard the other day, and it got me thinking . . . .

brimmer
07-29-2014, 07:06 AM
I really like my Collings koa tenor. It has a bold and forward sound. I also played a Kiwaya mahog tenor, which I covet. There is a fellow named Herman Van Decateur on youtube whose vids beautifully demonstrate the clarity and separation you get from Kiwaya mahogony. Elderly currently has a couple Kiwaya koa tenors. i agree about vintage Martin tenors - play before you buy, but they can be great instruments. i haven't played the other brands mentioned. Seems like you are concentrating on non-hawaiian options. Plenty of island choices, but a different sound.

Correction, Herman's name is spelled Van Decauter!

Icelander53
07-29-2014, 07:21 AM
This is at a much lower price point but you might check out the Pono Mahogany with radiused fretboard. It runs around $900. I've been eyeballing it for my next attack of UAS. I'm pretty happy with how well the ponos play. That's half the battle for me. And of course Ponos sound great IMO. Maybe not as good as the Collings because I haven't held one of those. But I wouldn't discount a Pono just because it's not as expensive. Good luck on your quest. Mahogany is a great tonewood.

tbeltrans
07-29-2014, 07:37 AM
Seems like you are concentrating on non-hawaiian options. Plenty of island choices, but a different sound

This is an interesting observation, and one that I have wondered about. Yesterday, I stopped at the local shop that has in stock several Martins (including a tenor from the 1940s) and Collings. This is the shop I got my ukuleles at. I strummed several of their ukuleles and also noticed that (at least the ukuleles I tried) had a different sound than those I have played that were built in Hawaii. The Collings was koa and the Martins were most likely mahogany. I should think that different woods will yield different sound, but I can't account for the differences between the Collings and, say, my Kamaka or Ko'olau. I don't know if there really is a "Hawaiian sound" (i.e. ukuleles built in Hawaii having a similar set of sonic properties that differentiate them from those built elsewhere) or if my very small sample just makes it seem that way. In any case, I much prefer the sounds I get from my two Hawaiian ukuleles, probably because that is now what I am used to hearing, rather than that one is clearly superior to the other. However, all the ukuleles I strummed sounded quite good and it is purely a matter of personal preference at these price points.

At the end of all that, I realize I have said nothing definitive and raised more questions about this than answers, simply because it is a very small sample size and I really have not been around ukuleles all that long. Also, I would rather remain aware of multiple perspectives than grab onto one and ignore other possibilities even if it means remaining uncertain on a particular subject. :)

Tony

brimmer
07-29-2014, 07:59 AM
Tony, maybe I should have said Hawaiian vibe. Perhaps there's too much diversity between island makers to say there is a hawaiian sound. Ko'olaus topped with spruce sound very different from Koalohas (nothing sounds like a Koaloha - what a distinctive voice!). We're lucky we have so many choices. That said, there is a certain feel to having a Hawaiian uke in your hands. If I were shopping for a tenor, I'd try a Ko'olau. My next uke will be from the islands...

chuck in ny
07-29-2014, 12:34 PM
This is at a much lower price point but you might check out the Pono Mahogany with radiused fretboard. It runs around $900. I've been eyeballing it for my next attack of UAS. I'm pretty happy with how well the ponos play. That's half the battle for me. And of course Ponos sound great IMO. Maybe not as good as the Collings because I haven't held one of those. But I wouldn't discount a Pono just because it's not as expensive. Good luck on your quest. Mahogany is a great tonewood.

icelander

for that matter the rosewood pono tenors are in the sound ballpark. good suggestion. insofar as price goes you might as well put the money in one big pile than get a number of almost as good ukes, so if you can afford one thing you can afford the other. a long way of saying i try to not let price intimidate me.

Eyeguy
07-29-2014, 02:15 PM
Get one of these - simply the best.


http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b42/iguy/DSC_0019_zpsf9e092a1.jpg (http://s16.photobucket.com/user/iguy/media/DSC_0019_zpsf9e092a1.jpg.html)

KBUke
07-29-2014, 02:37 PM
Rick Turner Compass Rose Ukulele is a good choice. They have good action and sound good. And price is in your ballpark. Check out Gryphon String Instruments. They offer a selection of Compass Rose Uke with sound files.
http://gryphonstrings.com/instpix/43663/index.php

tbeltrans
07-29-2014, 04:22 PM
Tony, maybe I should have said Hawaiian vibe. Perhaps there's too much diversity between island makers to say there is a hawaiian sound. Ko'olaus topped with spruce sound very different from Koalohas (nothing sounds like a Koaloha - what a distinctive voice!). We're lucky we have so many choices. That said, there is a certain feel to having a Hawaiian uke in your hands. If I were shopping for a tenor, I'd try a Ko'olau. My next uke will be from the islands...

I think what you said was just fine - it just reminded me of something I have been curious about for some time. I know that in the guitar world, each maker, regardless of materials used, does seem to have his or her own sound, however subtle that might be. I don't know if that is true of ukulele makers, and whether there is an overriding tradition of building in Hawaii that might affect how builders within that tradition build. I have very little exposure to the wide variety of ukuleles and therefore would not be able to make such a statement as true or false myself. It isn't an important issue, just a curiosity.

Tony