Car uke: Outdoor, Enya, or (shudder) Waterman?

chris667

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Go on, it will be fine. Don't retune it if it has got really, really hot though. The strings may break.

This is true of any ukulele, btw.
 

John Colter

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You're right, Chris. I read, somewhere, that if a uke gets really hot, and the strings stretch, you can remove the strings, put them in a freezer overnight, regain room temp. and they will have returned to their previous condition. I tried it just once, and it seemed to work OK, but it's easier just to fit new strings.

Certainly IME, simply re-tuning stretched strings is a bad idea. They sound awful and are likely to break.

John Colter
 

chris667

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Right you are, Fluff.

It makes me wonder why there is so much made of the Outdoor Uke being suitable for all extremes of hot or cold.

That claim may or may not be true of the instrument, but if the strings aren't suitable for the same extremes of hot or cold then what is the advantage?
 

Jerryc41

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Of the three you mention, I'd go with the Enya - good price and good quality. It's also fairly small- thin - and light.

I wonder why your post has those odd characters. I’
 

Ziret

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You're right, Chris. I read, somewhere, that if a uke gets really hot, and the strings stretch, you can remove the strings, put them in a freezer overnight, regain room temp. and they will have returned to their previous condition. I tried it just once, and it seemed to work OK, but it's easier just to fit new strings.

Certainly IME, simply re-tuning stretched strings is a bad idea. They sound awful and are likely to break.

John Colter

If your freezer is big enough, you could just put the whole uke in and skip the restringing step.
 

chris667

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Any ideas for a beater uke I can play in Ukantor's freezer?
 

WebParrot (s2)

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Of the three you mention, I'd go with the Enya - good price and good quality. It's also fairly small- thin - and light.

You so realize that this post is nearly 2 years old... likely OP has made a decision by now... ;-)
 

jer

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Right you are, Fluff.

It makes me wonder why there is so much made of the Outdoor Uke being suitable for all extremes of hot or cold.

That claim may or may not be true of the instrument, but if the strings aren't suitable for the same extremes of hot or cold then what is the advantage?
I would say the advantage is it's a lot cheaper to replace strings than a damaged ukulele.
 

chris667

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I would say the advantage is it's a lot cheaper to replace strings than a damaged ukulele.

I don't consider an el cheapo uke like a Mahalo a particularly fragile instrument. I have never heard of one being damaged by being left in a car. So long as it plays in tune I wouldn't worry, myself. An antique is a different story.

Your money of course! If you want to buy an outdoor ukulele then it's all good. It is a fine instrument but I am puzzled by the claims of how robust they are. We've established that the strings may be affected before the uke is, so it's probably better to say no uke is suitable to be left in a car on a very hot day. The reliability of the instrument is a moot point if the strings won't tune.
 

EvanB

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I purchased the Enya for my daughter and she is pleased with the instrument. I have not actually seen the instrument but I was under the impression that the Enya is carbon fiber which should not be flaking off paint.
 

rainbow21

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I don't consider an el cheapo uke like a Mahalo a particularly fragile instrument. I have never heard of one being damaged by being left in a car. So long as it plays in tune I wouldn't worry, myself. An antique is a different story.

Your money of course! If you want to buy an outdoor ukulele then it's all good. It is a fine instrument but I am puzzled by the claims of how robust they are. We've established that the strings may be affected before the uke is, so it's probably better to say no uke is suitable to be left in a car on a very hot day. The reliability of the instrument is a moot point if the strings won't tune.

It is usually okay to leave a fishing pole in the trunk with fluorocarbon line as long as you are not trying to catch tuna fish.

I purchased the Enya for my daughter and she is pleased with the instrument. I have not actually seen the instrument but I was under the impression that the Enya is carbon fiber which should not be flaking off paint.

The Enya are actually plastic with some carbon fiber and the colors are painted on.
 

John Colter

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"It is usually okay to leave a fishing pole in the trunk with fluorocarbon line as long as you are not trying to catch tuna fish"

This is not a valid comparison because the line on a fishing pole is not under tension and therefore does not stretch as the heat softens it.

John Colter
 

rainbow21

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"It is usually okay to leave a fishing pole in the trunk with fluorocarbon line as long as you are not trying to catch tuna fish"

This is not a valid comparison because the line on a fishing pole is not under tension and therefore does not stretch as the heat softens it.

John Colter

Valid comparison: You can't tune a uke... and you can't tuna fish.
 

Arcy

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It makes me wonder why there is so much made of the Outdoor Uke being suitable for all extremes of hot or cold.
If you mean Outdoor making much of it, then this is marketing. If you mean people in this thread making much of it, it's a straw-man argument. It's been brought up by the trolls to argue against. Nobody has claimed that the Outdoor ukes are uniquely resilient. The arguments in this thread in favour of Outdoor are based on liking the sound and playing experience.

We've established that the strings may be affected before the uke is, so it's probably better to say no uke is suitable to be left in a car on a very hot day
Don't take the trolls too seriously. Some of the claims on this thread are questionable - or at least over generalized. If you leave it in direct sun or uninsulated in a sealed car all day it may need some recovery time, but that's easy to minimize and a far cry from useless. I've never run into a situation where my car-homed Outdoor uke was unplayable. Its heat tolerances are much higher than mine are.

Mine lives under a screen in the back seat, out of direct sun, so it doesn't get hot to touch. In high summer it needs tuning when I pick it up, but by the time I'm somewhere I'm willing to play, the strings are in fine shape to tune safely. I'm sure this isn't the case for people who lives in a scorching hell-holes and can't get out of the car without being eaten by a giant lizard, but in better parts of the world it's possible to park in a shady spot by the lake, drop your top, tune your uke, and play a bit. Even in summer.

A laminate or HPL uke may serve as well as a car uke, but the Outdoor is not horribly expensive (at least in the US - from the hand-wringing over price it must be several times more expensive in AU and the UK), it plays well, and it sounds good. There's comfort in not having to worry about damaging it (less necessary for the car, but I'm much more casual about grabbing the Outdoor on my bike than a fancier or more fragile uke), and it's one of the few instruments in its class available in tenor size (the Fluke is more expensive, and the Enya Nova Pro isn't quite out yet). I like that it's made by a small US shop not a Chinese mega-factory.

If I were buying again I may not pick the Outdoor -- there are several options that weren't available when I got it, and my playing preferences have changed -- but it's certainly a viable option and the Outdoor isn't one of the cheap ukes that I regret having bought.
 

Graham Greenbag

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I’m surprised to see mention of Trolls on this thread, has that term really been used appropriately?

As for the OU well opinions vary and that’s the whole point of forums: they’re places of discussion. At the price point that OU’s are I’d suggest that there are more cost effective options available that play as well - or better - and are adequately robust. That’s not to trash the OU, they have a justified popularity, but rather to simply take a broader perspective. Environmentally I’d suggest that wooden instruments were a more recyclable and sustainable option. Sharks and Dolphins (plastic back and sides but otherwise mostly wood) are pretty robust and there are many tough second hand wood Ukes out there just waiting for a bit of restorative care and use. Without resorting to all plastic Ukes the vast bulk of players do and have for decades got by just fine with their outdoor playing (‘cause wood works well enough).

YMMV is true of many things, I accept the concept and encourage others to too.
 
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chris667

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Don't take the trolls too seriously. Some of the claims on this thread are questionable - or at least over generalized. If you leave it in direct sun or uninsulated in a sealed car all day it may need some recovery time, but that's easy to minimize and a far cry from useless. I've never run into a situation where my car-homed Outdoor uke was unplayable. Its heat tolerances are much higher than mine are.

In this thread, all I've done is make a few points that you may or may not agree with.

  1. In my direct experience, strings fail before ukuleles do at a given temperature.
  2. Outdoor ukes are 4-5x the cost of cheap ukes. A well set-up cheap uke is not an impediment to playing.
  3. I've never heard of a cheap laminate uke being irrepairably damaged by being left in a hot car. The only uke I have ever known to fail due to heat was an old Harmony I bought which was obviously held together with hide glue.

I'm not an arbiter of what people spend their money on. I never claimed to be.

Why the name calling, Arcy? Would you call me that if I was sat in front of you? I doubt it somehow.
 
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John Colter

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The OP, Hendulele, must be amused/bored by all this. He bought an Enya about eighteen months ago and stated that the thread had served its purpose.

All's well that ends well, as my Granny used to say.

John Colter
 

GF1

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It may be old, but this is a useful thread - thanks to all who contributed. Has anything changed since? Are there any new options worth considering?