Name YOUR top three ukes

Steedy

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First of all, I don’t intend for this thread to disparage or disrespect any ukulele brand or builder. There’s an amazing variety of ukes on the market, and each one is perfect for someone, somewhere, in some setting, so this isn’t about the best or the worst ukuleles, nor is it about the top three ukes on your wish list. Who’s to say which is the “best” uke, and each of us probably has a current favorite that varies from week to week, or even day to day. For those who own three or more ukes, this thread is about which of your ukes you would rank 1, 2, 3, using any criteria you like.

Here’s my top three:

#3. Pono RTD
, purchased from HMS - This a Tenor uke with top, back, and sides of solid Rosewood; one of only eight built. I love the big beefy neck, and I think it has a warm, clear tone. I just love playing it. It has a passive pickup installed, and I imagine if I were a performer, this is the uke I would want to play onstage.

#2. Kamaka HF-2L
, purchased from HMS - This a Longneck Concert uke, with top, back, and sides of solid Koa. What can I say, it’s a Kamaka. The build quality is amazing, and it has a bright, crystal clear sound, with excellent intonation. The only drawback is the Schaller sealed gear tuners. They seem a little sloppy and imprecise, compared to Grover geared tuners. I wish Kamaka would use Grover geared tuners instead of the Schallers.

And now, in the top spot (drum roll, please):

#1. Maestro Mango Concert
, purchased from dreamukes.com - This a Concert uke, with top, back, and sides of solid Mango, and it's currently bumped my Kamaka from the top spot. The build quality is very high, and it has Grover open geared tuners which are very smooth and precise. But mainly, I love its tone and the way it plays. With 12 frets to the body, it feels relaxed and has that dreamy, creamy island sound that I love. Intonation is spot on, and it has a sound port on the side that adds to its volume when I play it. I just love that mellow Mango sound.

For full disclosure, I also have a couple of Big Island Honu ukes, which are pretty awesome, and I have a half dozen Oscar Schmidt ukes, all of which look good, play nicely, and are a good value in their price range, plus I have a half dozen Makala Dolphins and one Mahalo Smiley Face uke, all of which are tons of fun, although some are better than others. But for now anyway, none of those ukes come close to my top three.

Edit: Almost forgot my Sailor Brand uke, purchased at the Uke Republic store in GA, USA, which is a sweet little Soprano that deserves an Honorable Mention.

So what are the top three ukes in your collection? :)
 
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haolejohn

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hmmmm. I will stick with currently owned ukuleles and not previously owned...

current:

3. Mainland Red Cedar concert-2nd I got from Mainland Mike. It was cracked and glued back. I got it for classroom and camping uses. Hard to beat this beater.

2. Mele Redwood top/koa back and sides tenor-I got it from Mele. Left it in GA so not to chance it getting damaged. Redwood is a very sweet sounding tonewood.

1. KoAloha concert. I was given this ukulele by Papa KoAloha himself. I gave it away once to someone else, but then we traded back. I gave the guy my sceptre for it and a little bit of cash.


All owned ukuleles:

3. KoAloha SuperConcert
2. KoAloha Sceptre
1. KoAloha concert
 

pdxuke

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I can only comment on the three I'm playing most frequently at present. Because it will change.

Martin 1940s Tenor
Martin Style 1 Soprano (50s)
Favilla Baritone, c57ish


It gets warmer, and I'll be gravitating towards that Kamaka pineapple...
 

coolkayaker1

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Pohaku All Koa Baritone dGBE

Martin 1940 1 Concert

Martin 2M 2012 Soprano
 

erivel

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My Pohaku, my other Pohaku, and my HF1...they are all my #1!
 

coolkayaker1

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Curly-Koa-Baritone-01.jpgCurly-Koa-Baritone-02.jpgCurly-Koa-Baritone-08.jpgCurly-Koa-Baritone-05.jpgCurly-Koa-Baritone-09.jpg

Thanks, Rich. Yes, Peter's gallery is worth a look. Mine is in the photos above. I played it tonight, in fact. It's a jewel, an absolute jewel. BUt it also plays so darn perfectly. It radiates sound. Ideal sound, truly. I adore it. I really do. Eric V. turned me onto these..and Jay and Ginny and Craig Robertson and a few others have them. Thanks, Eric, btw!!

Rich, what are your three favorites?
 
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pdxuke

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View attachment 49068View attachment 49069View attachment 49070View attachment 49071View attachment 49072

Thanks, Rich. Yes, Peter's gallery is worth a look. Mine is in the photos above. It's a jewel, an absolute jewel. BUt it also plays so darn perfectly. It radiates sound. Ideal sound, truly. I adore it. I really do. Eric V. turned me onto these..and Jay and Ginny and a few others have them. Thanks, Eric, btw!!

Rich, what are your three favorites?

Suh-weet! Custom?
 

coolkayaker1

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Suh-weet! Custom?

No, Peter just makes them as he has time, and if my buddy Eric doesn't run down to his shop and snatch them up in person before he can list them, he puts them for sale on his website, Thom. :eek: Aint that right, E?
 

Lexxy

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Custom Willie Wixom Cedar / Rosewood tenor ukulele.. I only have 1 uke :)
 

NewKid

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#3 Martin 2K Soprano
#2 Mya-Moe Mastergrade Koa Baritone
#1 Collings UT 2K

But it's probably really 1&2 tied for first and #3 is 2nd.
 

808boy

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Aloha,
#1- Wixom #124 B&D Special Custom Tenor
#2- Pono PKT-6E Koa 6-string Tenor
#3- Mele Double Puka, Slothead, Koa Tenor
Have a bunch of other ukes but these are pretty much my go to ukes.............
 

TheCraftedCow

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Only Three?
#1 A Shawn Hines Bloodworks spalted curly maple soprano or a Marc Schoenberger Ukiyo Smeck Vita soprano.

#2 #19698 (1923) Martin T-18 Adirondack spruce top mahogany Tiple or a 1929 Dobro claro walnut Dobro resonator single cone mandolin strung as dD Gg bB ee aquila tenor strings. Both in original cases

#3 A Giannini 10EL tenor body concert neck cavaco strung gCEA or an Oscar Schmidt OS 5EL concert koa or a 4 of 5 Lehua all mahogany concert ukuleles which were not cost effective to put into production.
 

erivel

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No, Peter just makes them as he has time, and if my buddy Eric doesn't run down to his shop and snatch them up in person before he can list them, he puts them for sale on his website, Thom. :eek: Aint that right, E?

I plead the fifth!
 

consitter

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That's easy. I only have three that are mine.

#1) KoAloha Custom Tenor. Solid koa body and neck. Milo bridge, fretboard, headplate, and bindings.

#2) KoAloha Pineapple Sunday. Solid koa body, sapele neck. Koa fretboard.

#3) KoAloha Soprano. Solid koa body, sapele neck. Koa fretboard.
 

Linho

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All my ukuleles are great, but since I only own 4 really good ones (mentioned in my signature), the choice is easy for me. :D

#3: Kanile'a Island Tat Tenor – great ukulele in all ways, don't have to write more, but quite easily exchangeable. :rolleyes:

#2: Hulabox Sopranino – great playability, nice tone, and a very high sentimental value (engagement). :eek:

#1: aNueNue Harp Ukulele – it's not a uke, it's not a harp, it's a harp uke. Hardly replaceable. Incomparable fun to play. ;)

Cheers,
Linho


(Btw, great thread! Love to read the other posts!)