Spending a gift certificate

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I won a gift certificate at work, for EUR 75,- to be spent online, on one of those sites that sells everything you can think of. I was going to spend it on books, but my best friend told me to "spend it on something I wouldn't otherwise buy" ...

After some thought, I settled on getting a uke. I have a soprano and a concert uke, so I considered getting a tenor, however there is LESS chance of me buying a "decent" soprano uke - my current one is a Mahalo with pineapple drawings.

So I am now considering one of these models (keep in mind my options are limited to what the website offers) - priced high to low

Flight Soprano WUS-3 - MADE IN JAPAN
This one is the most expensive option (comes with a gig bag but then they all do)

Korala UKS-310-CE elektro-acoustic soprano with Fishman pickup
Not sure I have need of a pickup...

Alvarez AU90SCE Artist Soprano Acacia Semi Acoustic
Again, not sure I have need of a pickup...

Flight: DUS450 Soprano Ukulele Mango (With Bag)

Flight: MUS-2 Vintage All Solid Soprano Ukulele

Alvarez AU90S Artist Soprano massive Acia/Koa

Islander MS-4

And finally some more Flight DUS or DUC versions. For most of these ukes I cannot find a lot of information.

Flight gets good reviews, but I wonder if anyone here has any experience with the specified models, and would like to share.

Again, it's an online retailer, but a reputable music store sells these ukes as third-party seller, so I am not worried much about setup etc.

Any feedback is welcome!

 

clear

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I won a gift certificate at work, for EUR 75,- to be spent online, on one of those sites that sells everything you can think of. I was going to spend it on books, but my best friend told me to "spend it on something I wouldn't otherwise buy" ...

I've always believed that advice works best only for random prizes/drawings. In this case, you're given a gift certificate, so you why wouldn't you buy something that you'd normally spend money on? Just wait for the right uke to come along; don't just buy any old uke that fits this budget.
 
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Thanks for the replies so far! To make my initial post clear, the idea is not to buy something I would normally not want (to buy). The idea is to buy something I do want, but would be less inclined to spend money on.

A tenor uke is something I am very much inclined to spend money on, but I will want to try it out in store. Whilst I do want to upgrade my soprano uke, it's not something I would necessarily do anytime soon. Heck, I hadn't played my soprano in over 4 years, until last night.

Those who voted Islander, can you please elaborate? I hardly know the brand at all so input is very welcome!
 

badhabits

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Those who voted Islander, can you please elaborate? I hardly know the brand at all so input is very welcome!
I'm not a fan of flight or alvarez, but that's just me, lots of people like flight. Islander has some roots, a child brand of Kanilea, but not made in Hawaii and quality is prob not much different that kala etc.
 
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man0a

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Islanders have a wider neck than Kala, etc, which a lot of Americans prefer. I would get one of the solid wood Islanders, like their MSS-4 model.
 

merlin666

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Thanks for the replies so far! To make my initial post clear, the idea is not to buy something I would normally not want (to buy). The idea is to buy something I do want, but would be less inclined to spend money on.

A tenor uke is something I am very much inclined to spend money on, but I will want to try it out in store. Whilst I do want to upgrade my soprano uke, it's not something I would necessarily do anytime soon. Heck, I hadn't played my soprano in over 4 years, until last night.

Those who voted Islander, can you please elaborate? I hardly know the brand at all so input is very welcome!
If upgrading the soprano is not priority then why did you list sopranos as options to chose from? Many of these may also have a tenor equivalent, but these are all budget ukes so the differences will be negligible and just reflect personal priorities. If you want to stretch your budget furthest then more important than brand is to pick and eliminate features that are not useful. Best value for the money will be a plain simple uke ideally with a solid top. Avoid stuff like cutaway, slot head, decorations and inlay, pick ups, and included accessories like tuners as these are all things that drive price up and are not needed on a budget uke but may reduce quality and value.
 

Kenn2018

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You can always add a little from your credit card if a small bump will kick it to something you really like...

I don't play sopranos, so I can't say anything meaningful about which one to get.
 

WebParrot (s2)

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You asked about Islander (your post #6) .... Here's a link to the Kanile'a website section that lists all of the Islander models and some specs.
I've had two of their tenors and enjoyed each. (I've moved on to concert scales). They enjoy the same design features that I favored, 1-wider nut (38mm) with wider string spacing (near 30mm), and 2- a 'flatter' neck profile, pretty much the same spec as their Hawaiian-made upper end models. These are made in Asia as a Kanile'a spec uke.

 
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If upgrading the soprano is not priority then why did you list sopranos as options to chose from? Many of these may also have a tenor equivalent, but these are all budget ukes so the differences will be negligible and just reflect personal priorities. If you want to stretch your budget furthest then more important than brand is to pick and eliminate features that are not useful. Best value for the money will be a plain simple uke ideally with a solid top. Avoid stuff like cutaway, slot head, decorations and inlay, pick ups, and included accessories like tuners as these are all things that drive price up and are not needed on a budget uke but may reduce quality and value.

Well the idea here is:

- I have a gift certificate for an Amazon-like online store;
- the store has a limited amount of ukes for sale;
- I don't want to get a budget tenor, but wouldn't mind a soprano that is (somewhat) better than my current Mahalo soprano

I would love to have my pick, but like I said: online store, limited options. They don't really have any higher-end ukes and if they did, I wouldn't buy it from them. I will buy one in-store when I finally do :)

Having said that, the wider neck on the Islander is intriguing, and I think it would be a nice way to spend the money. I was contemplating a Flight Victoria concert but in fairness, I don't need a pickup in my uke (right now) and I would have to put up too much money. Also, the uke teacher I took a few lessons from had one of those, and a guy from my uke group has another Flight uke. Neither ukes' sound really impressed me much, but I have yet to try one out for myself so I will hold off judgement on the Flight brand until I have hands-on experience.