HPL ukuleles…..experiences?

M3Ukulele

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Looking at Martin HPL concert but really want a tenor. I have played an Enya tenor in all HPL and it was sweet sounding but quiet in volume. I liked the neck bolt joint For travel considerations. Also, checking out Bonanaz HPL but also very interested/more interested their HPL (back and sides) with solid wood top or Hybrid ukulele! These seem to be much like the X series Martin guitars. I have played the Martin X series hybrid guitars. They Sound OK. They were very Solid but heavy. Anyone have experience with the hybrid ukes from Bonanza. All comments and experiences welcome.
 

ploverwing

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Looking at Martin HPL concert but really want a tenor. I have played an Enya tenor in all HPL and it was sweet sounding but quiet in volume. I liked the neck bolt joint For travel considerations. Also, checking out Bonanaz HPL but also very interested/more interested their HPL (back and sides) with solid wood top or Hybrid ukulele! These seem to be much like the X series Martin guitars. I have played the Martin X series hybrid guitars. They Sound OK. They were very Solid but heavy. Anyone have experience with the hybrid ukes from Bonanza. All comments and experiences welcome.
No personal experience, just did a quick look to see if there was a review on gotaukulele. Just in case you've not seen:


And an older thread (again, you've probably seen - I'm linking more for future reference or other people's interest).
 

bacchettadavid

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Construction-wise, Bonanza does not have much in common with Martin. You would do well to have a conversation with the Mais about how the Bonanza ukes are constructed.

I've played two Bonanza ukes (one fully HPL, the other fully wood), and both were nice instruments. The HPL was a bit body heavy, but not offensively so, and I say that as someone who is used to unusually lightweight builds. The HPL instrument reminded me a bit of a Martin OXK (not a bad thing! very warm with a bit of bark & bite) but with improved note separation and a more arts & crafts feel.

I think you'll be pleased with a Bonanza hybrid *or* fully HPL, especially if you enjoy the customization aspects. Note that Pete can modify nut width, laser etch designs, etc.
 

EDW

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The Martin 0X is nice. It is a bit heavier than a wooden uke, but only a few ounces, not enough to make it a problem. They do sound quite good with decent projection. They have a bit more mid range of the tone with less highs in the sound. Overall, they are very good instruments and are very well made.

I have not played the Bonanza instruments, but have heard good things. Ukester Brown has a nice video of one

 

man0a

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I have a Martin 0XK soprano. It weighs less than 1 pound, which is lighter weight than most laminate ukuleles. To me, volume and tone are great for this price (retail price was $300, but I got it on sale for closer to $200). I also own Kiwaya pressurized laminate (KS-series which are not really the same as HPL) ukuleles that are very lightweight and have a nice bright sound and also cost around $200. I have tried one of the Enya HPL sopranos and found that one to be disappointingly heavy and quiet and missing a lot of the higher frequency range, but the price was less than $50, so you get what you pay for.
 

M3Ukulele

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All good comments. Thank you everyone. I live in a populated area in east coast of Canada and have not found many ukuleles to try before I buy. I like the durability aspect of HPL, like my Fluke with its moulded bodo. I think I’d like HPL/Solid wood top combo. Interested in hearing from owners who have that as daily player. I’ve sure it Martin had a fill HPL tenor I’d just order one on line.

I did see a video of Bonanza hybrid with fire steel body and so,I’d walnut top. It looked good and sounded pretty good from video.

I also, have a thread going wondering about Bonanzas Ranchland player. A complately different beast but may be a good travel/ practise ukulele.
 

Jim Hanks

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I have a cherry top/HPL back super tenor. More info:

I still have it strung cFAD and it has a very quiet, mellow sound that way. A bit higher tuning would probably bring out a more "true" sound
 

besley

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I guess I don't quite understand the thinking behind getting an HPL back and sides, but a solid wood top. The top is what will crack if you let it dry out, so what is the point then of the HPL back and sides? Also the HPL material is quite brittle, and I was surprised at how easily the side of my Enya HPL uke was smashed in by a fairly light impact.

One of my ukes is a Bonanza Flatlander HPL super concert (concert body, tenor neck) and I quite like it for taking to jams and festivals, since it can stand by itself on the floor, and is inexpensive enough that I don't worry about leaving it on my seat if the leave the room for awhile. The tone is just fine, but the volume is on the quiet side.
 

M3Ukulele

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Beasley, good comments. First, I’m exploring the “alternate”materials to build a ukulele and wonder how good a sound can be had. I have three all solid tenors, two solid top/laminate sides and a Fluke with hoop pine top. What amazes me is the great sounds I get out of a poly carbonate body and hoop pine top! Yes, it’s not as nice as my all so,I’d ukuleles. But pretty good a currently with humidity swings and a dry winter, I’ve been reaching for my Fluke. It sits in the corner on its own. I can pick up any time……..you get it.

My other two solid top ukes, a tiny tenor and a cheap five string sound pretty good……….so wonder what all HPL vrs all laminate vrs HPL and solid. A case could be made to use laminate and hoop pine….if anyone could find a source of the hoop pine! LOL

I have read the comments about HPL shattering. Read the articles on how HARD and how bad repair look. I don’t thrown my ukes around and if one shattered by accident so be I.

I did notice you have a Farallon, a KLOS, and full HPL from Bonanaza so appreciate Your comments. I was interested in the shape of the Flatlander but from videos it look huge. How do you find that shape?

I also noticed that all HPL Enya tenor Ukulele was quiet. So I wonder if a solid top would project more.

thanks for comments!
 

besley

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Beasley, good comments. First, I’m exploring the “alternate”materials to build a ukulele and wonder how good a sound can be had. I have three all solid tenors, two solid top/laminate sides and a Fluke with hoop pine top. What amazes me is the great sounds I get out of a poly carbonate body and hoop pine top! Yes, it’s not as nice as my all so,I’d ukuleles. But pretty good a currently with humidity swings and a dry winter, I’ve been reaching for my Fluke. It sits in the corner on its own. I can pick up any time……..you get it.

My other two solid top ukes, a tiny tenor and a cheap five string sound pretty good……….so wonder what all HPL vrs all laminate vrs HPL and solid. A case could be made to use laminate and hoop pine….if anyone could find a source of the hoop pine! LOL

I have read the comments about HPL shattering. Read the articles on how HARD and how bad repair look. I don’t thrown my ukes around and if one shattered by accident so be I.

I did notice you have a Farallon, a KLOS, and full HPL from Bonanaza so appreciate Your comments. I was interested in the shape of the Flatlander but from videos it look huge. How do you find that shape?

I also noticed that all HPL Enya tenor Ukulele was quiet. So I wonder if a solid top would project more.

thanks for comments!
Well I'm sure the solid top would project much better, but again at what cost to durability? As for the Flatlander, yes it does look huge, which is why I asked for a concert body with a tenor neck. The result is a much more reasonable size, but again fairly quiet. The full sized tenor body is probably louder, but it does look outsized, while the concert size looks just like a tenor.
 

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M3Ukulele

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Ok, I get it…..concert body with tenor neck looks proportionally correct. Much nicer than the oversized version.
thanks for pic. I agree that so,I’d top would take more care…….