Mele travel guitar?

Abbollonia

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Hi guys!
I was at a shop and saw a used Mele mahogany travel guitar for sale. I hadn't heard of the builder but after doing research they sound pretty good. I'm looking for something small, a good transition from uke to guitar and this looked like it might fit the bill. It looks like new they go for $800 and this one was *very* used, pretty beat up, and they were asking $550. So wondering what you think of the instrument, any thoughts on the asking price, or other recommendations for small travel or parlor guitars.

Thanks!
 

robinboyd

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From memory, I think there were two builders called "Mele." One went out of business years ago, and the other operates out of Maui. You might want to make sure you know which one you are getting.
 

badhabits

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Maui mele ukes are good, smaller bodied and usually low g. Wasn't aware that they made guitars, so it could very well be the "other" mele. Got pics?
 

chris667

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Seems like rather a lot to me.
If you want to do the transition from uke to guitar, why not just get a proper guitar? If that's the sound you're looking for, you can pick up a pretty decent guitar for less.
 

Pirate Jim

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I'd expect to pay 65 - 70% of retail price for a very good condition used uke or guitar. They're asking that for a very beat up instrument - I wouldn't bother personally. Can you make them an offer? Unless having played that particular one you're totally smitten by it, then the cost is worth it to you.

If it's just to try out, I can thoroughly recommend the Islander GL6 and the Cordoba Mini (original version) at this size for much cheaper. I have ukes and full size guitars but my Islander gets more playing time than either on a typical week. These mini guitars have their place!
 

achutch3

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If you are wanting something smaller to transition over to guitar, I would suggest the Baby Taylor Acoustic Guitar. These guitars are highly rated by guitar players and a common instrument used to transition from ukulele to guitar. And half the price you a looking at for the Mele.
 

kypfer

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If you're serious about transitioning from a ukulele to a guitar, get a guitar … if necessary fit a capo to effectively "shorten" the neck until you get totally used to it.
Travel guitars, as good as they may be, in all their sizes and guises, are only ever a compromise, a full size instrument will always be superior.
 

Neil_O

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I second the Baby Taylor brand new for $450 over an unknown.
Or even better, a used one! I see one for $250 plus shipping @ GC. Then you can buy some nice tuning machines to put on it.
 

Rakelele

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Huh, the Baby Taylor is a steel string guitar, right? Much slimmer at the nut as well. Very different from the nylon string guilele type, both in sound and playability.
I'd second that there are much better or "safer" options for a guilele in this price range, e.g. Islander, Cordoba Mini or Pono.
 
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Abbollonia

Abbollonia

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Seems like rather a lot to me.
If you want to do the transition from uke to guitar, why not just get a proper guitar? If that's the sound you're looking for, you can pick up a pretty decent guitar for less.
I want something small. I tried a baby taylor and that is on my maybe list.
 
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Abbollonia

Abbollonia

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I'd expect to pay 65 - 70% of retail price for a very good condition used uke or guitar. They're asking that for a very beat up instrument - I wouldn't bother personally. Can you make them an offer? Unless having played that particular one you're totally smitten by it, then the cost is worth it to you.

If it's just to try out, I can thoroughly recommend the Islander GL6 and the Cordoba Mini (original version) at this size for much cheaper. I have ukes and full size guitars but my Islander gets more playing time than either on a typical week. These mini guitars have their place!
I thought the asking price was really high. I'm sure I could make an offer but to be honest it would be so far from asking I don't want insult them. I'd probably pay $200 for it. It looked pretty rough.

Is the Islander tuned to standard E tuning or does it use A?
 
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Abbollonia

Abbollonia

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Huh, the Baby Taylor is a steel string guitar, right? Much slimmer at the nut as well. Very different from the nylon string guilele type, both in sound and playability.
I'd second that there are much better or "safer" options for a guilele in this price range, e.g. Islander, Cordoba Mini or Pono.
This one was appealing to me because it generally uses E tuning like a standard guitar vs A tuning of most guitarleles
 
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Abbollonia

Abbollonia

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I second the Baby Taylor brand new for $450 over an unknown.
Or even better, a used one! I see one for $250 plus shipping @ GC. Then you can buy some nice tuning machines to put on it.

I second the Baby Taylor brand new for $450 over an unknown.
Or even better, a used one! I see one for $250 plus shipping @ GC. Then you can buy some nice tuning machines to put on it.
I tried a baby taylor at the same store and am definitely considering it. I'll probably check out reverb for a used one!
 
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Abbollonia

Abbollonia

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Check out this thread which was started to discuss small bodied guitars and other similar instruments.
Thank you!!!
 

Pirate Jim

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I thought the asking price was really high. I'm sure I could make an offer but to be honest it would be so far from asking I don't want insult them. I'd probably pay $200 for it. It looked pretty rough.

Is the Islander tuned to standard E tuning or does it use A?
A as standard but you can string them anything between A and E to be fair. A lot of folks on these boards like their 20" scale guitaleles in G, I like A. If I need E I have the full size guitars to be fair.
 

Neil_O

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I tried a baby taylor at the same store and am definitely considering it. I'll probably check out reverb for a used one!
I do like the big sound of the dreadnaughts I have, but I only got such a big guitar because it's sort of the norm, so easy to find used, or in the case of yesterday, someone gave me one.

If I went to go buy a guitar today, I would look at an Ovation, because of the curved back, and parlor size guitars. The bigger dreadnaught body hurts my tennis shoulder. The Baby Taylor may not be able to keep up with the volume of a big guitar, so nice for solo play, but may not be good with a group play.
 

bsfloyd

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I’d like to suggest the Seagull Grand. It is a parlor sized guitar, but with a full (24.84”) scale length. I have had this guitar in several variants for a long time now and love it. Seagull pops them in and out of their product line often, but if they currently are not offering it, they can be found on the used market pretty easily.

 

bsfloyd

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Oh yeah…. I’ve always preferred the Little Martin over the Baby Taylor, but that’s just me :)