What’s your ukulele “hot take”?

merlin666

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In brief: My bicycle front tire went into an unexpected rut and my bike became a Buckeroo Bronco throwing me over the handlebars. I landed on cement and broke both elbows, and broke both sides of my jaw. My chin and right knee got minor damage. Couldn’t move on the ground and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I had 5 hour surgery and have been staying there the last two weeks. My jaw is wired shut and I drink only liquids thru a syringe tube. There is a severe risk of me choking so I’m in my hospital bed for another week until they take the wires out and I can go home. My cast will come off later.

Yeah, no uke, piano, or pool parties for the rest of the summer. No nice rosé wine or whisky. I should be better after physio by Halloween. Rough break but I’m having fun about the crazy stuff that happens in hospitals! hehe. Petey
Oh I am so sorry to hear and wish you a speedy recovery. I just walked through the door from a vigorous bike ride as I am just getting my seasonal bike legs back. Good lesson to keep riding carefully.
 

clear

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I think if I have the ukes I like, then it's all good. It doesn't matter what other people's uke collections contain.
 

bacchettadavid

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My “hot takes”:

The best keys for ‘ukulele in C tuning are E-flat and A-flat.

UAS is a disease. The holy grail is but a beacon that seeks to ensnare moths to its flame.

Every ‘ukulele player should begin their serious study of the instrument on a decent soprano.
 

Voran

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In brief: My bicycle front tire went into an unexpected rut and my bike became a Buckeroo Bronco throwing me over the handlebars. I landed on cement and broke both elbows, and broke both sides of my jaw. My chin and right knee got minor damage. Couldn’t move on the ground and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I had 5 hour surgery and have been staying there the last two weeks. My jaw is wired shut and I drink only liquids thru a syringe tube. There is a severe risk of me choking so I’m in my hospital bed for another week until they take the wires out and I can go home. My cast will come off later.

Yeah, no uke, piano, or pool parties for the rest of the summer. No nice rosé wine or whisky. I should be better after physio by Halloween. Rough break but I’m having fun about the crazy stuff that happens in hospitals! hehe. Petey
Oh Jesus Christ. I'm sorry, man.
 

Voran

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My hot take, ish: I see nothing wrong with UAS. I have 2 alternate tunings and 2 more I want to play with.

Wouldn't even call D4 Bb3 C4 F4 alternative, it's my main one I use for most music.
 

Ziret

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I don’t like High G so I’m going to need one Uke 😎 The problem I have is not that I wouldn’t buy an expensive Uke but where I live there is no option to try them.

If I could walk into a shop and sample a bunch of Ukes and find my soul mate I’d hand over the cash in a second.. it’s just a difficult ask to throw a $1000+ on something you may potentially not get on with..
This is where used ukuleles come in.
 

ripock

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I admire and respect Iz a lot, but “Somewhere over the rainbow” is too saccharine and kinda cheesy for my tastes.
that's where the fun begins for me. The ukulele repertoire has more cheese than Wales and Wisconsin combined. The challenge is squeezing something with a little more gravitas from an instrument that is so inexorably connected with chirpiness.
 

kaimuki

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Get well soon Petey !
I broke 3 ribs when I hit an unseen speed bump on my descent from Tantalus Lookout and flipped over the handlebars .
It only hurt when I breathed .
Made a full recovery in a little over a month if I recall correctly .
 
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Dohle

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I think the law of diminishing returns comes into effect at that point. Paying $400 instead of $200 might very well get you double the quality but the difference between the $1500 and $3000 models are probably 10-20% or so “better.” That would be my guess.

I haven’t payed ukuleles that nice but with guitars I’m not usually blown away that the custom $10,000 martins sound and play soooo much better than a standard D-28. They just look flashier and have nicer appointments.
I definitely agree. When you get beyond a grand the increase in quality is often very minimal or possibly even non-existent. There are exceptions of course - within and between certain brands and builders - but it's a very good general rule in my opinion. You can even find some incredibly good ukes way under a grand that will rival the quality of the more popular brands whose basic models start at a grand or above. I can certainly attest to that myself. Some of the lesser-known Asian brands particularly offer quite ridiculous value for money these days. The only reason I now pay those big bucks for a uke is if I want some specific custom model from a brand or builder.

New hot take:
The difference in tone between spruce and cedar is much smaller than people usually think. 😲

And lastly, massive well wishes to Petey! That bicycle accident sounded dramatic. Hope you get better soon!
 

kaimuki

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I definitely agree. When you get beyond a grand the increase in quality is often very minimal or possibly even non-existent. There are exceptions of course - within and between certain brands and builders - but it's a very good general rule in my opinion. You can even find some incredibly good ukes way under a grand that will rival the quality of the more popular brands whose basic models start at a grand or above. I can certainly attest to that myself. Some of the lesser-known Asian brands particularly offer quite ridiculous value for money these days. The only reason I now pay those big bucks for a uke is if I want some specific custom model from a brand or builder.

New hot take:
The difference in tone between spruce and cedar is much smaller than people usually think. 😲

And lastly, massive well wishes to Petey! That bicycle accident sounded dramatic. Hope you get better soon!
Which of the lesser-known Asian brands ?
And putting value aside which brands or models under 1K do you like ?
 

eternal tinkerer

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I definitely agree. When you get beyond a grand the increase in quality is often very minimal or possibly even non-existent. There are exceptions of course - within and between certain brands and builders - but it's a very good general rule in my opinion. You can even find some incredibly good ukes way under a grand that will rival the quality of the more popular brands whose basic models start at a grand or above. I can certainly attest to that myself. Some of the lesser-known Asian brands particularly offer quite ridiculous value for money these days. The only reason I now pay those big bucks for a uke is if I want some specific custom model from a brand or builder.

New hot take:
The difference in tone between spruce and cedar is much smaller than people usually think. 😲

And lastly, massive well wishes to Petey! That bicycle accident sounded dramatic. Hope you get better soon!
Regarding spruce vs cedar, my thought is that it depends... on the size and design of the instrument. For a while, I lived with the assumption that I liked a cedar top better because I favor "warmer" tones. Sure, cedar doesn't disappoint to my ears, but... my favorite tone wood combination to date (tied with koa) is a spruce top and rosewood back/sides. Sometimes I think the decision varies based on body size. Though like many other factors, other times I think the preference just comes down to the particular model and individual instrument.
 

Dohle

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Regarding spruce vs cedar, my thought is that it depends... on the size and design of the instrument. For a while, I lived with the assumption that I liked a cedar top better because I favor "warmer" tones. Sure, cedar doesn't disappoint to my ears, but... my favorite tone wood combination to date (tied with koa) is a spruce top and rosewood back/sides. Sometimes I think the decision varies based on body size. Though like many other factors, other times I think the preference just comes down to the particular model and individual instrument.
Absolutely. There's been quite a lot of discussion regarding the fact that the build itself will affect tone more than the actual type of wood. My comment was more a generalization, hence the hot take. 😁
 

Dohle

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Which of the lesser-known Asian brands ?
And putting value aside which brands or models under 1K do you like ?
Millar and L. Luthier come to mind first. I think those two offer such nice quality ukes, sometimes for literally half the price or less compared to the competition (for example K brands or some of the more established Asian brands). Another one would be Uma. Fantastic ukes for the same price or less than some of the more ubiquitous Chinese-made brands. Quite ridiculous value really. Maybe five years ago I would've put aNueNue on that list as well but they're definitely one of those more established brands now. Still, they have those excellent mid-range ukes everyone keeps raving about, like the AMM2 and AMM3.

I would include all of those brands I mentioned that I like under a grand. Aside from those, I'm a big fan of Kiwaya and everything they above or below $1000. Cocobolo make fantastic ukes as well but it's fairly hard to get a hold of one because of the lottery system. Of the Chinese-made brands, I prefer Flight and Snail to the more ubiquitous ones that have been dominating the market for years.
 

DuckyI

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My “hot takes”:

The best keys for ‘ukulele in C tuning are E-flat and A-flat.

UAS is a disease. The holy grail is but a beacon that seeks to ensnare moths to its flame.

Every ‘ukulele player should begin their serious study of the instrument on a decent soprano.
These are spot on!

My hot take is that ukulele players should think of themselves as musicians rather than aficionados. Jam with other instruments, learn notation and how to communicate with other instrumentalists, study the instrument like you would any other.
 

kaimuki

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Millar and L. Luthier come to mind first. I think those two offer such nice quality ukes, sometimes for literally half the price or less compared to the competition (for example K brands or some of the more established Asian brands). Another one would be Uma. Fantastic ukes for the same price or less than some of the more ubiquitous Chinese-made brands. Quite ridiculous value really. Maybe five years ago I would've put aNueNue on that list as well but they're definitely one of those more established brands now. Still, they have those excellent mid-range ukes everyone keeps raving about, like the AMM2 and AMM3.

I would include all of those brands I mentioned that I like under a grand. Aside from those, I'm a big fan of Kiwaya and everything they above or below $1000. Cocobolo make fantastic ukes as well but it's fairly hard to get a hold of one because of the lottery system. Of the Chinese-made brands, I prefer Flight and Snail to the more ubiquitous ones that have been dominating the market for years.
I was just looking at the Uma UK-30SC EVO Solid Koa online .
It's listed on their website as Solid Acacia Koa , which is Hawaiian Koa .
SUS lists it as just Solid Acacia .
Anyway , it's listed at SUS for Ex-Vat 250 British Pounds .

Millar , Uma ,and AnueNue , all Taiwanese brands , though some models made in mainland China I think .

5679fb_63efb499c80146dab20e601abad34ee9~mv2.png
 

Dohle

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I was just looking at the Uma UK-30SC EVO Solid Koa online .
It's listed on their website as Solid Acacia Koa , which is Hawaiian Koa .
SUS lists it as just Solid Acacia .
Anyway , it's listed at SUS for Ex-Vat 250 British Pounds .

Millar , Uma ,and AnueNue , all Taiwanese brands , though some models made in mainland China I think .

5679fb_63efb499c80146dab20e601abad34ee9~mv2.png
Hmm... shame to see Uma do this. Lots of other Asian brands do the same. I always wonder if it's some kind of translation issue but it's a tad upsetting nonetheless. The uke is definitely acacia, not koa. Still a cracking uke.

And yes, a lot of the Taiwanese ukes are manufactured in China, if not all, but the production quality is still so much better than the average you see from China. And Millar do make their custom models at least in their Taiwanese workshop. Not sure about the production models.
 

kaimuki

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Hmm... shame to see Uma do this. Lots of other Asian brands do the same. I always wonder if it's some kind of translation issue but it's a tad upsetting nonetheless. The uke is definitely acacia, not koa. Still a cracking uke.

And yes, a lot of the Taiwanese ukes are manufactured in China, if not all, but the production quality is still so much better than the average you see from China. And Millar do make their custom models at least in their Taiwanese workshop. Not sure about the production models.
I don't think it's a translation issue .
If the Acacia is from Taiwan it's called Formosa Acacia or Taiwan Acacia or Formosa Koa .
 

kaimuki

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I don't think it's a translation issue .
If the Acacia is from Taiwan it's called Formosa Acacia or Taiwan Acacia or Formosa Koa .
By the way , I'm not a Hawaiian Koa snob .
If a maker is using Hawaiian Koa , doesn't matter to me if it isn't one of the 4K's , or even made in Hawaii .
You can get great sushi outside of Japan , and a great Hawaiian Koa ukulele that's not made in Hawaii .