Which mid price would you go for?

OxfordUke

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Hi all

Well after researching and researching I am finally about to make the leap to a nice mid range ukulele costing between £200 and £250 british pounds! Not a lot to spend and I know many of you on here are into more serious stuff but you got to start somewhere. I have narrowed it down to... in no particular order...

Ohana CK-35
Ohana CK-50G
Kala KA-SMHC
Kala KA-SCAC-C
Kala KA-ACP-CTG


I would be really interested in hear anyone's advice, comments, warnings or just product preferences (even if it's just the make and model number) as I can't see the difference in many of them....

Cheers
 

scarver

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I would go for one of the Ohana models. Mim at Mim's Ukes sells both. See what she thinks of mahogany vs cedar/rosewood.
 

badhabits

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I have the CK-35 and had a SMHC. Both are nice with good sound (perhaps a bit better on the kala, at least initially). The kala is a bit heavier and has a slightly thicker neck. No experience w those other models. What are your preferences and what are you currently playing?
 

chris667

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All ordinary, middle priced ukuleles.

Out of ten of any given model, one will be better than average, and two worse.

You need to play them all and see what you like.

At that price I would see what's available secondhand.
 

UkingViking

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You should decide on cedar vs. mahogany, as they sound different.

I like the looks and warmth of the mahogany, which is more traditional for ukuleles, but there is a reason why most guitars are made with softwood tops. The clarity might make for a more versatile instrument in the cedar solution. I dont have any ukes with softwood tops myself.

Notice that both mahogany ukes are all solid, while the two kala cedar models are only solid top. Probably still decent.

Ohana and Kala have about the same reputation. Personally I never had a Kala, except a Makala, and only played another Ohana model. But I have good experience with what I tried.

I would go for the Ohana mahogany, but it would be the looks making the difference for me. I like the shape of the lower bout on Ohanas over Kalas.
 

Kenn2018

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I know this doesn't exactly transfer to the concert size:
I owned an Ohana TK-50G (tenor) that I liked a lot. It was well made. Easy to play after I had a setup done. The factory string height was way too high. The cedar warmed the rosewood for a very nice sound. Plenty of volume. I had fluorocarbon strings on it. Which gave it a chimey tone. Sounded great re-entrant or linear. Really shined strummed. Pretty good fingerstyle. I sold it to a friend—who is still my friend. He continues to play it two years on.
 

Pirate Jim

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In your shoes I'd get one of the World of Ukes own brand ukes - there's a couple in the Special Offers section on the website last time I checked. They'll give you much more bang for your buck and more consistent quality than the ones you've listed - I've had one when Matt worked at Omega and it was excellent. Also you get to support a local UK business, which is always nice.


Hmm, I might pick up the tenor one myself now I think about it - damn, temptation!
 

OxfordUke

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I have the CK-35 and had a SMHC. Both are nice with good sound (perhaps a bit better on the kala, at least initially). The kala is a bit heavier and has a slightly thicker neck. No experience w those other models. What are your preferences and what are you currently playing?
At the moment I am leaning towards the Ohana's purely on looks and solid body superstition! However the I will have to travel miles to try one out and can get hold of the Kalas more easily. At the moment I have soprano something (I'll give you a clue -it's purple!). Thanks for the comments.
 

OxfordUke

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All ordinary, middle priced ukuleles.

Out of ten of any given model, one will be better than average, and two worse.

You need to play them all and see what you like.

At that price I would see what's available secondhand.
Thanks chris667. I have tried to find second hand but not had much luck. Unless you know of any??
 

kozmoboxman

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In your shoes I'd get one of the World of Ukes own brand ukes - there's a couple in the Special Offers section on the website last time I checked. They'll give you much more bang for your buck and more consistent quality than the ones you've listed - I've had one when Matt worked at Omega and it was excellent. Also you get to support a local UK business, which is always nice.


+1 on the WoU customs. I have an Eden Tenor, and I've never seen anything at the price point that ticked the boxes so well.
 

rainbow21

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I recommend figuring out a way to try one and see if you like it or not. It would be great if you can try at least one Kala and one Ohana to see if you have a preference (whatever criteria you choose to use). Then buy one that you like without worrying whether a different one might be better or not. If in the UK, I would make an effort to visit the Southern Uke Store and World of Ukes.
 

VegasGeorge

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I love the Ohanas. They generally have the sweet sonority I crave in a Ukulele. That being said, I must add that my playing style is more folk, finger picking than strumming. If you're into the heavy, fast strumming, the harder, punchier, brighter sound of a Kala would be better for you. That's just one (experienced) man's opinion. Ohanas and Kalas are both well built, nicely finished, and musically sound instruments.
 

wherahiko

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Two decisions: Ohana or Kala, and Cedar or Mahogany.

These ukes will all be relatively similar.

I personally like Ohana as a brand, but Kala sure has a lot of fans too. Quality is about the same.

I'd choose cedar if I wanted more sustain for fingerpicking, or mahogany if I wanted to focus on strumming. Mahogany is a bit more traditional; cedar is a 'newer' choice. (But remember that the machete (forerunner of the 'ukulele) was made in Madeira with a spruce top before the Hawai'ians decided to make 'em out of koa!)

Other than these considerations, the ukes will be relatively similar. If you're able to play them in person, choose the one you connect with emotionally.

Think also about buying from a specialist uke store who does a good setup.
 

OxfordUke

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I love the Ohanas. They generally have the sweet sonority I crave in a Ukulele. That being said, I must add that my playing style is more folk, finger picking than strumming. If you're into the heavy, fast strumming, the harder, punchier, brighter sound of a Kala would be better for you. That's just one (experienced) man's opinion. Ohanas and Kalas are both well built, nicely finished, and musically sound instruments.
Thanks for your input...very useful. I think Ohana's are winning at the mo!
 

OxfordUke

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Two decisions: Ohana or Kala, and Cedar or Mahogany.

These ukes will all be relatively similar.

I personally like Ohana as a brand, but Kala sure has a lot of fans too. Quality is about the same.

I'd choose cedar if I wanted more sustain for fingerpicking, or mahogany if I wanted to focus on strumming. Mahogany is a bit more traditional; cedar is a 'newer' choice. (But remember that the machete (forerunner of the 'ukulele) was made in Madeira with a spruce top before the Hawai'ians decided to make 'em out of koa!)

Other than these considerations, the ukes will be relatively similar. If you're able to play them in person, choose the one you connect with emotionally.

Think also about buying from a specialist uke store who does a good setup.
Great, thanks for the advice!
 

kaimuki

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A shop that sells both told me Ohana is the better concert and Kala the better tenor .
I thought the Ohana concert sounded better . (ck-35 vs ka-smhc)
But I liked the neck on the Kala more .
 

OxfordUke

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Two decisions: Ohana or Kala, and Cedar or Mahogany.

These ukes will all be relatively similar.

I personally like Ohana as a brand, but Kala sure has a lot of fans too. Quality is about the same.

I'd choose cedar if I wanted more sustain for fingerpicking, or mahogany if I wanted to focus on strumming. Mahogany is a bit more traditional; cedar is a 'newer' choice. (But remember that the machete (forerunner of the 'ukulele) was made in Madeira with a spruce top before the Hawai'ians decided to make 'em out of koa!)

Other than these considerations, the ukes will be relatively similar. If you're able to play them in person, choose the one you connect with emotionally.

Think also about buying from a specialist uke store who does a good setup.

I recommend figuring out a way to try one and see if you like it or not. It would be great if you can try at least one Kala and one Ohana to see if you have a preference (whatever criteria you choose to use). Then buy one that you like without worrying whether a different one might be better or not. If in the UK, I would make an effort to visit the Southern Uke Store and World of Ukes.
Hi and thanks for your reply. I will try to do that.