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Thread: Mainland Ukes - are they really that good?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    21

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    My Mainland concert is a Solid Mahogany. I didn't know anything about uke brands when I bought it. I really love it. I swapped out the Aquila strings for some Living Waters. That threw off the intonation, but Donna LoPrinzi put in a slightly higher bridge saddle, and I am back in business! The Mainland really is a workhorse (and looks lovely as well). A very good choice in my opinion.

  2. #22

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    I've liked my solid Kalas and I like my Mainland.

    I have a Mainland soprano, and the neck is too thin for me, really, but overall it's so nice I do put up with it. Excellent tone for the money. I've seen larger Mainlands, tenor and concerts, with necks that suit me better. I'd consider a Mainland, but I do have a Kala concert and tenor that do well for me.

    It's a brand worth considering because of solid woods, nice rope trim and tuner options, and it's got a good build consistency to it. . . unlike some other brands out there.
    ----------------------------------
    Mainland mahogany soprano
    Kala KA-SC
    Kala La Salle tenor



    the Dominican Order: to praise, to bless, to preach

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country
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    970

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    A BIG thumbs up for Mainland Ukes! I first bought a Red Cedar/Rosewood Concert. It played so well, and was so pretty to look at that I bought a Long Neck Pineapple to go with it. I was so happy with that one too, that I went ahead and bought a matching Tenor and Soprano. Finally, in UAS desperation, I've just ordered the matching Baritone. So, I guess I really do like them .... a lot! I have Kalas and Ohanas, and a couple other brands of midrange Ukuleles. The Mainland Ukes look better and sound better and feel so comfortable in my hands. Seriously, if I had to let go of almost all my Ukuleles, I'd want to keep the Kamakas and the Mainland Ukes. Well, I do have a Collings UC3, which is a real gem, but then again, it cost 10 times what the Mainland Ukes cost.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    We love Mainland Ukes! My first Uke was a Mainland mahogany satin concert and it is a great little instrument. I really adore the vintage look and it plays beautifully. I have fancier ukes in my little collection now but I still pull my Mainland out regularly and it feels like visiting an old friend. My husband has a glossy Mainland cedar/rosewood tenor that is SO pretty. Definitely a company worth considering.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasGeorge View Post
    A BIG thumbs up for Mainland Ukes! I first bought a Red Cedar/Rosewood Concert. It played so well, and was so pretty to look at that I bought a Long Neck Pineapple to go with it. I was so happy with that one too, that I went ahead and bought a matching Tenor and Soprano. Finally, in UAS desperation, I've just ordered the matching Baritone. So, I guess I really do like them .... a lot! I have Kalas and Ohanas, and a couple other brands of midrange Ukuleles. The Mainland Ukes look better and sound better and feel so comfortable in my hands. Seriously, if I had to let go of almost all my Ukuleles, I'd want to keep the Kamakas and the Mainland Ukes. Well, I do have a Collings UC3, which is a real gem, but then again, it cost 10 times what the Mainland Ukes cost.
    Ever play a Kala solid cedar top concert? If yes, how does the cedar Mainland sound against it? I really like the size of the neck on the Mainland, but I don't really like the tone of the mahogany one I have. Sounds a little muddy to me. Anyway, I can't find a Mainland cedar in a store, so wanted to know what you though. I've thought about getting the Kala's neck shaved down, but...

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    970

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain-janeway View Post
    ....the mahogany one I have. Sounds a little muddy to me.
    "No," on the Kala Cedar top. My Kalas are all spruce tops. I think mahogany does sound a bit darker, which is probably the same as your "muddy." I have a few mahogany Ukes, and they are all like that. It actually sound better on some tunes, to my ear anyway. You might really brighten up the mahogany with different strings. If it were me trying that, I'd probably put a set of carbon fiber on and see what happens. My bet is that "muddy" quality would disappear.

    A P.S. about the Mainland Ukes. They have a distinctive 'voice.' It's not as rich or mellow or sonorous as my more expensive Koa instruments. But, I find their sound delightful. It's hard to use language to express tonal differences. But, I'd say whereas the Koas have more of a long O vowel sound, the Mainlands are more of a "U" or soft OO vowel sound. Now, I'm sure everyone is going to jump on me for that, with all kinds of different ideas. Oh well, such is life!
    Last edited by VegasGeorge; 09-06-2019 at 04:04 PM.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Nashville, TN USA
    Posts
    1,341

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    I had a couple of Mainland ukes and sold them both while trying to "thin the herd" as it were. Now I miss them, especially the Cedar/Rosewood Tenor. Gawd, that's a sweet uke! I'll probably order another one sometime. I think Mainland ukes are the best value around for solid-wood ukuleles, and also it must be said that the owners sure know how to throw a party!
    If music be the food of love, play on! -Bill Shakespeare

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    12

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    Definitely fun to play around with strings! I have worth Browns on mine now & want to try living waters. Fascinating how it changes the voice of the instrument.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Swansea South Wales UK
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    1,354

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    Quote Originally Posted by shalomjj View Post
    I am looking to buying a good concert uke and may try out a cedar top Mainland Uke. What are your opinions on this brand? Thanks!!
    I have owned 2 tenor size cedar mainlands, they are excellent, so good I bought one twice, I have owned my second one for 6 years and its still my favourite uke, my first got damaged when a friend fitted an undersaddle pick up and also someone damaged it whilst I was waiting to perform with my old band, but after all the damage it sustained it still played and sounded excellent, you wont be disappointed if you do buy one JMO
    SOPRANO Kala Solid Mahogany SMHS, KoAloha Pikkake,

    CONCERT Kala Flamed Maple FMC, Honu Solid Hawaiian Mango,

    TENOR Kala Jazz Top, Mainland Red Cedar, Pete Howlett Cherry Marmite, Mahon Custom Cedar Top Solid Wood Electro Acoustic

    BARITONE Lani LB-55CEQ Solid Spruce Top


    Facebook page:- https://www.facebook.com/#!/richard.gent2

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