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Thread: Makala dolphin or MK-P??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Makala dolphin or MK-P??

    Hi guys.Im new here.Just wanted to ask for some reviews and advice on which uke i should buy.This will be my first time.I choosing between the makala dolphin or the makal MK-P pineapple shaped one.(both have good reviews.)Which one is better for me as a beginner?Thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    PHX, AZ


    Hi - welcome to the forums! I would buy from a vendor who will set it up. I'm partial to the Pineapple shapes myself. I believe you can get a similar Ohana one from MIM / MIM's Ukes on Ebay. She'll be right in you price range.
    "If a lot of people play the ukulele, the world would be a better place to live."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    I personally don't like the pineapple shape, however I did buy one of the Makala pineapples when I started out, & it has a lovely sound, possibly even better than KA-S, which is dearer.

    If you like the shape, I'd suggest getting the MK-P.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4


    Also, remember that the dolphin is plastic. That has advantages and disadvantages. You can spill things on it and you can get it in fun colors, but it doesn't look like a "serious" instrument. I'm personally not a fan of the plastic ukes because I really like wood. So, I'd pick between the MK-P and the MK-S. But the suggestion of looking at Mim's is a good idea. Here's what she says about an inexpensive Ohana:

    My personal go-to uke is my SK-10. It is a blue one just like this one and was given to me as a gift and though I have access to hundreds of ukes, the SK-10 is the one I grab most often! I love it! The laminate makes for a very stable uke, so I can take it anywhere and I am not worried about variation in temperature or humidity effecting my uke. The construction, however, is so light that though it is a laminate uke, it is very resonant and has a nice full tone with good projection. It also has REALLY nice frets for a 'starter uke'. Then for fun, this uke comes in fun colors! So when people ask about what uke they should get to learn on, I always say they cant go wrong with an SK-10. The sound and intonation is spot on and helps the beginner uker to feel successful! And the yellow is the happiest of colors! Full of sunshine!

    I sell these for a little more than other dealers, BUT... it is because I will set it up with Aquila strings. It gives this uke a nice punchy sound and a lot more volume. They also stretch less than the GHS string and therefore make this uke a lot more fun to play! I also take a lot of time to set up your uke to make sure your action is good and your frets are even and your uke is buzz free. I work just as much time on low-price ukes as I do high-price ukes. Every uke gets my personal attention.

    Ohana offers unique and well-made ukuleles. It is a favorite brand in the ukulele community and is very well-respected! They have high quality standards. You are going to love your Ohana ukulele! If you have any questions, let me know!

    Mass produced ukuleles come with "factory settings". There is no time to set the uke up for the individual buyer. Often they err on the side of high-action (strings are high over the fretboard) . I take personal time with each uke I sell. All ukes get a nut and saddle adjustment. They are also checked for fret buzzes, intonation problems, and other issues that can be resolved in the set-up process. The action is lowered to an ideal and comfortable level. You can feel the difference between a non-set up uke and a uke that has been through the "Mim Set Up Process". I have repeat customers world-wide because I have worked hard to have the reputation that a uke from Mim is going to be "right". The set-up process can cost a lot through your local luthier and often they do not know the specifics that go into a good uke set-up. I only sell ukuleles, so my set-ups are custom tailored to your uke, the brand of uke you purchase, and the uke size. If you need a uke set-up Low G, or Lefty, let me know. I can do that for you... no charge! I set up the uke for YOU the buyer and ukulele player!

    She sells lots of Ohana's, and it is a business, but she's working to make even an inexpensive uke a great experience. So, if you're torn between a few options, and thinking of buying from her, shoot her a message.

    Enjoy your new uke!
    ... or maybe I'm wrong

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017


    I've had both a Dolphin and a Makala SN, both were gifted on to deserving folk and both played well when I'd finished with them. I can't say that there was much to pick between them sound wise. I have a Kala Pineapple and like it, it sounds a bit better than the Dolphin and the Kala's sound a bit better than the Makala's so I guess your prospective purchases will be pretty much a tie on sound so it's down to appearance. Appearance wise the SN and MP beat the MD in terms of looking like a serious instrument and blending in with other players, which ever one you choose will sound a heap better with Martin 600 strings on it - my Dolphin was so so before the string change from Aquila but afterwards it sang out better, my SN had Martins fitted too. YMMV.

    If you can afford a little more then do what I should have done, buy a Kala KA-15S. They're great, nicer made and will see you through for a couple of years at least.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 09-13-2017 at 01:34 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Somewhere out there


    I have a Shark (like the dolphin but not glossy and different colors). It was my second. I love the fun colors! The uke is a fun instrument. It can be serious, too, but I wouldn't let image decide for you. Which one are you most likely going to want to play? Which one are you drawn to? Get that one!

    You can always upgrade to something different later.
    Jan >^..^<
    (AKA Chopped Liver)

    You say 'Crazy Cat Lady' like it's a bad thing!

    "Hold everything with open hands." PereBourik

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Orange county.


    The shark is more dangerous.
    All for sale; pm me:

    Brand new Loprinzi Honduran mahogany soprano w new hardshell case. $350 -> 325

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2017


    I think that Bil and Chopped Liver hit the nail on the head. Buy what draws you to it and will inspire you to pick it up and play it now, and later, and again, and so on, and something that you like so much that you don't want to put it down. It doesn't need to be expensive to be loved by you.

    Get something that has had the string height at the nut and saddle sorted out. That's sooooo important to enjoyment and easy progress - beware that some shops say that they have done or will do that work but just pass it across to you in the state that it left the factory.

    Buying an Ohana PK-10S (Pineapple Soprano) off of Mimm is likely a good way forward for you:

    Edit. And buying a Kala KA-P (Pineapple Soprano) off of her an even better way IMHO:
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 09-14-2017 at 11:18 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    over yonder


    You can ALSO get Makala Dolphins, Sharks, and the MK-S and MK-P (as many others) from Mike at Uke Republic.

    They ALSO do a full setup with all of their ukes for free.

    Mike is great to deal with, and I've never had any issues with an instrument I bought from them.

    See here:
    This FAQ link will help you learn about:
    - Magic Fluke Company ukes
    - Pickups, Preamps and Impedance Mismatch
    - Home Recording and Mics
    - String Upgrades
    - iPad Microphones
    - Wolfelele Uke Kit
    - How to string a Baritone uke as a piccolo bass
    - Strings I used for GDAE and CGDA fifths tunings

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    MARTIN-sville Indiana


    Quote Originally Posted by RickOlson View Post
    Also, remember that the dolphin is plastic. That has advantages and disadvantages. You can spill things on it and you can get it in fun colors, but it doesn't look like a "serious" instrument. I'm personally not a fan of the plastic ukes because I really like wood.
    Only the back and sides of the dolphin/shark are plastic. The top, where you get nearly all the sound from, is wood. I got a shark for my daughter a few years ago and it is a really nice little uke. Lots of fun to play. Especially if you consider the ~$50 price tag.

    I too like the look, and sound, of pineapple ukes. I don't think you could go wrong with either purchase as long as you buy it from someone who will do a proper set up. As others have said, this is very important on the lesser priced ukes and will make playing them much more fun/comfortable.
    Main players:

    Soprano: Kiwaya KS-1 | Van Pelt sinker redwood/claro walnut

    Concert: Collings UC2 | Collings UC2K | Talsma Style 3 | 16" Ono | Ono Pineapple

    Tenor: Collings UT3SMB

    Baritone: LoPrinzi

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