Does it sound smaller , would you call it an Alto , ie. Beansprout ?I came very close to buying that exact uke. Nothing specific to share, but meles are nice and have a smaller than typical concert body.
There is also Heritage, made by the mele luthier (can't recall his name), just as nice or nicer imo...no blingy binding. There are a couple of concerts at uke lab right now, as of 2 days ago.
I'm guessing their Custom Series ( starting at $2600 ) are made on Maui and the rest of the Mele's ( $300 and up ) are Philippines .What I do not like about Mele is that the company is very vague about where the instruments are made. I know that some models are made in the Philippines and some are made on Maui, but the website did not say which models are made where. For the price, the instruments do look good and sound good.
Don't really recall, plus they set em all up low gDoes it sound smaller , would you call it an Alto , ie. Beansprout ?
I saw those Heritage on Uke Lab's web site , which inspired me to check out Mele which I never considered before .
Those are custom , the Mele I'm looking at are production and a lot less money .
Odd that they don't have a high G on display .Don't really recall, plus they set em all up low g
Their website list nut size as 1 7/16" on concert , (36.5mm) , which is one of the reasons I'm looking at the brand .I used to have a Mele mahogany concert, a very generous gift from an old friend, but eventually—and quite regretfully—I eventually sold it as I found it difficult to play. Overall fit and finish was decent, with numerous small faults which only served to make it look handmade and well used, and the tone was delightful, smooth and full of character. The headstock sticker was hideous, but also a self-correcting problem as it rapidly began to flake and come away.
More serious was the reason I struggled to play it: the nut was rather narrow and the A string was right at the edge of the fretboard, making it a pain to play anything without it missing the fretboard entirely. I’d consider another Mele but I’d certainly want to take a good look at it before buying.
|SOPRANO (STANDARD)||21||6 3/8||2 3/8||13 3/4||1 7/16||1 5/8||12|
|“JUMBO” SOPRANO||21||7||2 1/2||13 9/16||1 7/16||1 5/8||12|
|CONCERT||23||7 1/2||2 5/8||14 3/4||1 7/16||1 9/16||15|
|TENOR||26 1/2||8 7/8||2 3/4||17||1 7/16||1 5/8||17 or 19|
|“JUMBO” (extended) TENOR||28 1/2||9 3/8||2 7/8||19||1 7/16||1 11/16||9|
|“SLIMLINE” TENOR||26 1/2||8 7/8||1 5/8||17||1 7/16||1 5/8||19|
|BARITONE||29 5/8||10||3 1/8||20 1/8||1 7/16||1 15/16||19|
|GUITARLELE||29 5/8||10||3 1/8||20 1/8||1 7/8||2||19|
|TRAVEL GUITAR||32 1/2||11/14||3 1/2||21 1/2||1 15/16||2||19|
I contacted Mele , and they replied :I had opportunity to play a few in uke stores on Kauai and really liked them. It was quite a few years ago when they still had the original Hilo strings with low G which I loved. I think I only tried tenors and came close to buying one. When I looked at their website it seems they now have a budget brand Hula that is made overseas to compete with Opio and Islander, and the Mele branded ones seem to be made in Maui. But they don't really state that explicitly.
They also have another budget brand , Maui Ukulele Co.I had opportunity to play a few in uke stores on Kauai and really liked them. It was quite a few years ago when they still had the original Hilo strings with low G which I loved. I think I only tried tenors and came close to buying one. When I looked at their website it seems they now have a budget brand Hula that is made overseas to compete with Opio and Islander, and the Mele branded ones seem to be made in Maui. But they don't really state that explicitly.
So seems to be similar to Pono as it's unclear how much work is done in Maui. Though it's been a few years I liked Mele that I tried in stores a lot more than Ponos. How is the price difference for similar specs? In the end the choice likely comes down to personal preference anyway.I contacted Mele , and they replied :
"Our Mele ukulele line of ukuleles are either partially or entirely made on Maui.
Our regular Meles are all solid wood, entirely handmade instruments. In order to offer this line for mostly under $1000, we developed a proprietary production process where initial assembly is performed at our workshop in the Philippines. Final production, set-up work performed here on Maui.
We also have our limited edition Mele custom series line - all solid wood, curly koa, mango and or spruce which are made entirely on Maui. Prices start at $3500."
I have an all-solid mahogany Maui Ukulele Co uke, bought at the Wailuku store. Haven't seen it on the website in a couple of years. Other that some small details (decal rosette, different binding, etc.) it is exactly the same as the Ohana CK-35s. It is low g and sounds good, as commented on by others.They also have another budget brand , Maui Ukulele Co.
This solid top Koa Concert looks good .
And while Koa only comes from Hawaii , I'd prefer a brand to state Hawaiian Koa .
Is yours strung Low G ?I recently bought an all Koa Tenor Mele while visiting in Maui. Yes, its my understanding that they have their other brands that are entry level, all over-seas, their Mele brand, which is mainly mid priced and partially made in the Philippines, partially in Maui, and their high end line made all in Maui by their owner, Mike Rock. But I will agree the info on their website concerning the where the Mele brand is made is vague and inconstant.
But I LOVE LOVE my all Koa Tenor for what its worth. Measuring the body dimensions, I do find the soundbox to be on the small side for a Tenor. Most all the other company's either have a larger lower bout, and/or a deeper body width. Most of the time both even if just slightly. Its not the loudest, but its loud enough. More importantly, I do find and appreciate the sound is really really balanced. The lows and mids fill it in just right and compliment the highs, without taking over and getting boomy. I haven't gotten around to trying out different strings yet. I would not hesitate to buy another one. Besides sounding great, my instrument is absolutely beautiful - a little more decoration than the typical completely plain koa, but not garish either- lovely tasteful rope(ish) style wooden binding and a simple rosette.
no its low G. The specs match what their chart says its supposed to be, so Its a creative design choice. not a complaint, just an observation. I have a differnet louder uke, with a bigger box and I find the Mele to be much sweeter sounding and better balanced.Is yours strung Low G ?
That's their default , and may be why the sound box is on the smaller side .
Low or high , they both sound good in the videos , but I think their ukuleles sound better Low G .