Who started tiny and skinny ukes? And when?

badhabits

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Since I have one of each, I'm wondering who started (and who popularized, if different) the tiny (sopranino and smaller) and thin body ukuleles? I know Ohana is currently the big name for tiny (production) ukes and Kala seems to have the deepest line for skinny ones. How far back do their roots go? Any other insights? Thanks!
 

UkerDanno

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When I first got into ukuleles, 2012, the leader of our group was pushing the Kala travel series, a lot of people in our club have one, I wasn't impressed with the sound myself...seems thin. :biglaugh:
 

badhabits

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For the spruce top, I agree. I felt it was overly bright and quickly sold mine. Plus, a solid top doesn't make the most sense for my purposes (road trip uke).
 

kissing

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For the spruce top, I agree. I felt it was overly bright and quickly sold mine. Plus, a solid top doesn't make the most sense for my purposes (road trip uke).

I've an interesting take on solid top vs laminate for travel/road trip ukes.

For one, I don't think there is a big difference between resistance to heat and humidity changes between solid wood and laminate ukuleles.
For either type, I think you will experience warping of the fretboard and neck from such exposure before any issues to the top and sides.

As long as your ukulele has a wooden neck and fretboard, they're not particularly resistant to harsh travel conditions.
Probably better to stick with plastic or carbon fiber ukes for any condition you would be reluctant to expose solid wood ukes to.
 

badhabits

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Not so much heat/humidity, but durability...think "beater" uke. I've had outdoor and watermen, and didn't feel I needed the extreme water resistance (and didn't like the sound)...but we're well ot now.
 

Rllink

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I will admit that I've been attracted by the thin line travel ukes, but then I do some soul searching and ask myself what exactly I would gain from one and I come up with nothing. But I look at them all the time. As far as the tiny sub sopranos, same thing, except I'm not drawn to them. I just don't see an attraction. They seem to me like a novelty.

I don't have a clue when they showed up on the ukulele scene, but I used to see those tiny ukuleles for sale in the souvenir shops back in the eighties in Mexico and I remember going in a particular shop and the guy there was playing the heck out of one. So I guess they weren't just wall hangers, they were playable. Although, I never actually knew anyone who bought one and learned to play it.
 

bbkobabe

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That Kala SSTU travel is about as thin as it gets and still be called hollow! But I see the point: The solid top is about as thin as a potato chip, and I have read here on UU that someone had theirs split right down the glue line just below the bridge. I've traveled quite a lot with mine... beach, mountains... Top of the Mt. Lassen Cinder Cone... and so far no issues. Plus, the included case is quite good! All for under $200? I guess I'll just buy another one if I ever break this one!

That said, the sound is quite thin sounding... Louder than anything but thin and bright...

And at 16 ounces, it's my lightest uke! Just put the backpack like case on your back and go... but watch out for low doorways if you are tall... That could leave a bruise!