Wil Buying an Expensive Uke Make Me Abandon What I Already Have?

Wiggy

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The recent sale of a Rebel soprano had me on the cliff. To put it simply, it was excruciating. I could have but didn't for fear of ruining all the happiness I enjoy with my "lesser" instruments. None are worshipped brands but they all have good intonation, play easily, and sound good to me. Each has a personality and purpose.

Any that didn't, or couldn't be made to, are gone.
 

Cadia

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Well, I wouldn't have passed up on that Rebel soprano. Rebels have easy playability, and can easily become your go-to uke. That being said, it would probably have fit in your collection as another personality, to choose when you want that sound. It's not a uke to worship, just to play and enjoy. As an aside, Mim likes these better than many of the other sopranos she sells.
 

EDW

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The recent sale of a Rebel soprano had me on the cliff. To put it simply, it was excruciating. I could have but didn't for fear of ruining all the happiness I enjoy with my "lesser" instruments. None are worshipped brands but they all have good intonation, play easily, and sound good to me. Each has a personality and purpose.

Any that didn't, or couldn't be made to, are gone.
I think that your last part, discussing "purpose" is key. If those instruments continue to have a purpose, you will likely use them. If they are edged out by others or are redundant with others you own, they may get left behind.
 

rhiggie

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The recent sale of a Rebel soprano had me on the cliff. To put it simply, it was excruciating. I could have but didn't for fear of ruining all the happiness I enjoy with my "lesser" instruments. None are worshipped brands but they all have good intonation, play easily, and sound good to me. Each has a personality and purpose.

Any that didn't, or couldn't be made to, are gone.
The answer to that is a definite maybe! If you get one "next level" uke, it might replace one that you have been using in that "space" but not all of them. The problem starts when that jump in quality is so noticeable that you start toying with the idea of getting a 2nd higher end uke to replace another of your current players. Then you start down the slippery slope that is not only steep but also long and expensive. There's always one more "next level"! But hey, like I tell my wife, it's still cheaper than playing golf regularly (at least until you get that 1st Moore Bettah)!
 

kerneltime

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The recent sale of a Rebel soprano had me on the cliff. To put it simply, it was excruciating. I could have but didn't for fear of ruining all the happiness I enjoy with my "lesser" instruments. None are worshipped brands but they all have good intonation, play easily, and sound good to me. Each has a personality and purpose.

Any that didn't, or couldn't be made to, are gone.
Yes, if you buy a better uke that you like more you will find that you don’t play your old ukes as often, and then it will make sense to part with them. That said after a price point ukes are not necessarily better for more money, they are different and maybe more rare or ornate. So you might find the difference between a good Rebel uke vs. something more expensive to be minimal. I like food analogies so here goes… when one steps up from junk food to a freshly prepared meal by a decent chef or cooking at home there is a huge improvement. When one goes to a good Chinese restaurant or cooks hood Italian food, the difference is more of variation than being better per se… after a point, folks with UAS are not pursuing better but pursuing variation and what they prefer.
 
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efiscella

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The answer to that is a definite maybe! If you get one "next level" uke, it might replace one that you have been using in that "space" but not all of them. The problem starts when that jump in quality is so noticeable that you start toying with the idea of getting a 2nd higher end uke to replace another of your current players. Then you start down the slippery slope that is not only steep but also long and expensive. There's always one more "next level"! But hey, like I tell my wife, it's still cheaper than playing golf regularly (at least until you get that 1st Moore Bettah)!
I think "Maybe" is a great answer. I had a number of soprano K-brand ukes but I play my Ukesa Wow, vintage Martin, and Kiwaya laminate, so I sold the Kamaka, and Kanile'a, and held on to the KoAloha for historical reasons since it was built in the second year of KoAloha, but I don't play it. So, yes, a quality inexpensive uke that plays great will always be a "go to" uke. On the other hand, I owned a wonderful custom early Kanile'a super tenor that I stupidly sold. I really kicked myself for selling it. I remember when I started in ukes, I loved the Islander from Kanile'a so I picked up an Islander super tenor. To be honest, I don't enjoy playing the Islander super tenor now, so I rarely do, opting instead for my KoAlohas, Kamaka, Kanile'a, and Martin. The Islander is a good inexpensive uke but nothing like the K-brand tenors that I am lucky to own. I suppose it depends on what you are looking for. For me, it is always tone, sustain, and ease of play.
 
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Tin Ear

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The recent sale of a Rebel soprano had me on the cliff. To put it simply, it was excruciating. I could have but didn't for fear of ruining all the happiness I enjoy with my "lesser" instruments. None are worshipped brands but they all have good intonation, play easily, and sound good to me. Each has a personality and purpose.

Any that didn't, or couldn't be made to, are gone.
That was a heck of deal - I tried Soprano a couple times and it's not for me - but even I was tempted on that one.

Don't be afraid of having an affair with a higher class instrument if the opportunity is there. You can have a trophy instrument and still keep your uke home happy. Your current instruments will stick around and not divorce you. But you can part amicably if you find some just don't do it for you later on. Uke's are an open ended journey, not a never ending marriage, unless you want it to be.
 

John Colter

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"fear of ruining all the happiness I enjoy with my 'lesser' instruments"

For what it's worth, I own several very desirable sopranos, including a 1960's Martin, 1928 Gibson, two Timms, a KoAloha, and sundry other one-offs. If all I could play were cheap ukes, I would be no less happy to play them. Having some coveted instruments is a bonus. I still love my cheapies.
 

merlin666

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I only had a Chinese built tenor low G for several years. Then I bought some Hawaiian and luthier built ukes but none of them tenor low G. It did not get replaced but supplemented by the better ukes. But I am seriously considering getting a better low G tenor as well. It is fun to have a diversity of ukes.
 

rainbow21

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If it happens, there is very little downside. Your current ukuleles serve as a baseline. If a new one becomes more enjoyable to play, then there is no reason to lament that. Rather it means you are enjoying it more every time you play it. You (probably) won’t hurt the old one’s feelings and can keep it or sell it for someone else to enjoy or recover costs.

My time is more limiting than my finances so I look to maximize my experience partly by acquiring the ukuleles that I desire.
 

Jim in Oregon

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It wasn't a problem for me. I just received a gorgeous KoAloha KTM-00 a couple of weeks ago, but I continue to play three other ukes. I still play my Martin T1K, my only high G, my Breedlove myrtlewood, the first uke I really fell in love with, and my Enya Nova, my only acoustic-electric.

A couple of $250ish Kalas, however, have lost out and are on the way out, not because of the K-brand but because their intonation never was up to snuff. So in my case, getting the nice new one just got me moving in the inevitable direction of thinning the herd.

Jim
 

rustydusty

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Players "upgrade" all the time! I would have no problem playing the one I enjoy the most and your "starter" ukes could gifted to friends or even donated so someone else could be enjoying it...
 

KohanMike

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For about 8 years I accumulated bass ukes from 21" to 24" scale, got up to 31 until about a month ago. I rotated between most of them because my group would meet on Zoom twice a week, and every other Wednesday we'd meet in person in the back yard of a member. I was quite happy with them, but a few were being used less than the others because with nerve damage in my neck, I found that the ones over 21" were becoming more uncomfortable to play, and they needed more specialized strings, so for those reasons, I decided to keep eight 21" and piezo (for which flat wound strings are readily available). So I would say, buy what you want and just make an effort to rotate through the others.

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
4 tenor thinline cutaway ukes, 3 thinline acoustic bass ukes, 5 solid body bass ukes
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member Cali Rose & The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 

clear

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Price alone doesn't make a better uke. Once you find the uke that speaks to you, you'll abandon the rest. <-- I used to not believe that until I experienced it myself. I can be perfectly happy with just 1 uke.

So, instead of asking about "will buying an _EXPENSIVE_ uke...", reword it to "will buying a PERFECT uke...". My answer is "yes".
 

Wiggy

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I appreciate all the feedback here. Opportunities for "part-time larger-scale musical endeavors" have completely evaporated over the last 2-3 years. Things have changed. They are not coming back, plus I'm getting too old for this... stuff :)

My playing is for personal enjoyment and learning, and the goal is perhaps to entertain family and friends. But that's not a mandatory outcome and that's all OK with me.

Surplus instruments are routinely donated. Occasionally they actually have some value and go on CL for local sale.
 
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UkingViking

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If you should end up abandoning an ukulele, it would be because you are happier with the new one. So it should not be something to worry about in my book.
Ukes are different. It might have you abandon the uke that is the most similar, but most of your ukes will still have their niche.
 

Kenn2018

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I've gone down this trail with my tenors.
What I started with was a Fender Nohea Laminate
To an Ohana TK-50G.
Then a series of Ponos MGT; ATD; RTC(S) and others. [Only the RTC(S) remains.]
Kanile'a K-1T
Ko'Aloha KTM-00
Kamaka HF-3
MP Cali Black Walnut; MP All-Myrtle; MP 8-String Myrtle; MP Spruce/Mahogany
Martin 1T IZ
Mya-Moe Koa
Collins UT2 Mahogany
Kinnard Series 2 Spruce Rosewood
Takumi TT-1K
Hoffman ML Cedar/Koa
And, well, several other fine tenors.

What do I reach for the most:
Martin T1K Koa High-g
Ono Spruce/Rosewood Low-G
LoPrinzi F Mahogany High-g
Rebel Spalted Mango Low-G

They are my comfort ukes. Easy to play. Nice sound. Fun.
The upscale ukes I seem to reserve for more serious practice and playing. Or I just want to hear their voices.

So no, the expensive ukes don't mean I abandon my other other ones. They augment them.
I play all of my tenors from time to time. But, if I find that I don't play one any more, or I seem to avoid one, I do send it on.

But, now I am getting ready to move. I am agonizing over which of my "friends" I have to send to new homes. (No I don't anthropomorphize them. They just feel like friends.) We'll see what shakes out.
 
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bbkobabe

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I don't have any high priced instruments... But I do have a mid-priced one that happens to have really good intonation... and I keep going back to it.

I'm with Jim in Oregon... once you play one with really good intonation, nothing else sounds quite the same afterwards...