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Thread: Need suggestions on a good mid-range low G uke

  1. #1

    Default Need suggestions on a good mid-range low G uke

    Hey guys!

    The UAS bug has bitten me again, and this time I'm looking for a good mid-range ($200-$350ish) uke dedicated to low G tuning. I'd like to stay all solid wood and in a tenor size, but if there's a must-buy laminate uke, then I'll consider it as well. Ones that I have in mind are:

    Kala SMHT
    Ohana TK35
    Tiny Tenor (laminate version)
    Mainland Tenor (whatever tone wood sounds good low G)

    Playability is the biggest factor here. I want something that just melts in your hands coz it's so easy to play (I like to play finger style). After that, tone and loudness. Looks aren't much of a concern for me at this point, just want it to play and sound good.

    Thanks in advance guys!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)


    With a good setup I think all those would sound good with low G. The tiny tenor is a solid spruce top so conventional wisdom says it should have a brighter tone than the mahoganies. The Mainland cedar has a rep for being on the brighter side as well.

    Here's a real world sample (not mine - just googled it) of the Ohana:

    your opinion of that tone should help guide your selection.
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    KPK pineapple SLN-GCEA
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG-C Lava
    Cordoba C1m 1/4, TI CF127, G
    Cordoba Mini M, SC F# EFS
    Jupiter #47, TI CF127, G

    Jim's Blog

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Near Lake Okeechobee, Florida


    Add the Kala ATP-CTG and possibly the tenor Fluke to your short list.
    Last edited by bacchettadavid; 05-04-2018 at 03:45 AM.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    Ohana mahoganies have lovely tone, as does Kala cedar tops - can't vouch for the others.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    New York, NY


    Have heard some good suggestions here. I'd add the following to your list:

    Ohana tk-38 (own one, which I bought from Mim, thinking of selling if you're interested)
    Cordoba 24T (I played it in a Guitar Center and tuned it down to see how it sounded, I'm thinking of buying it)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2017


    I'm going to be talking out of both sides of my mouth. I am guilty of the tone wood thing: I have a spruce top kamaka for high G and a custom Tin Guitar plane wood (similar to mahogany in density) ukulele for low G. However, I don't think you should focus on that. Tone wood is a nuance thing. I think you should get the best ukulele you can get for your budget, and then put the low G strings on it. I would suggest getting a solid wood ukulele, whether that is a mahogany ukulele or a mango ukulele from Mainland. The key is to get a good ukulele. Get a good foundation, regardless of what the actual woods are, and then the strings will be icing on the cake.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Blaine, Washington


    At the prices listed, I suggest buying used or a minor flawed second. You'll get a much better deal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    New York, NY


    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    Get a good foundation, regardless of what the actual woods are, and then the strings will be icing on the cake.
    I think a lot of us (probably the OP, and definitely me) are concerned that some are not built in a way that accomodates the low G as well as possible. As in, sometimes the low G booms and rattles the top, or is overly louder than the other strings.

    So I guess, based on that, I've made the presumption that overall quality is separate from being constructed for a low G. I am sincerely curious to hear if you think that's not the case - that overall quality is really the thing, rather than being built particularly for low G.
    Last edited by 13down; 05-04-2018 at 06:55 AM.
    uke blog


    videos (includes uke demos)

    current ukes

    Johnson UK-200 baritone, Kiwaya Famous FLS-1G, Cordoba 24T

    former ukes

    Martin 1T, Martin Oliver Ditson Dreadnought Soprano, Martin Baritone, Ohana SK-28, Ohana SK-25S, Favilla Baritone, Kala KA-FMBG, Luna Great Wave Concert, Mainland Red Cedar Baritone, Mainland Classic Mahogany Tenor, Oscar Schmidt OU53, Oscar Schmidt OU57, Kiwaya Famous KTS-5 soprano, Ohana TK-38 tenor

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Walla Walla, WA


    I'd suggest waiting for any all solid Tiny Tenor. It's really made much more nicely than the solid top one. Plus, you'll be done, and not looking for an all solid in a month or two, wondering what you may have missed.
    Tiny Tenor spruce/mahogany
    Kiwaya KTC-2 mahogany concert
    Flight Travel soprano

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    It's a dry heat


    Pono tenors are great in hogh or low G. Versatile, well-built, great sounding instruments.
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