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Thread: Dirt Cheap New Ukulele For A Beginner Advice

  1. #1
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    Default Dirt Cheap New Ukulele For A Beginner Advice

    Which do you regard as the best value absolutely dirt cheap ukulele for a beginner, be it a soprano, concert, tenor or baritone? Let's make it one that is easily available worldwide without needing to be individually imported to wherever you are.
    Last edited by _Ukeless_; 09-10-2018 at 12:03 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I think the Makala Dolphin and/or Shark are good (if purchased set-up MIM, Uke Republic here in the States) and will run you about $50.

    Mim also has the Ohana SK-10 Sopranos that she sets up and I believe they run about $60.

    MIM Reverb Dolphins and Sharks:
    https://reverb.com/shop/mimsukes?query=dolphin
    https://reverb.com/shop/mimsukes?query=shark

    Mim Reverb Ohana SK10
    https://reverb.com/shop/mimsukes?query=ohana%20sk-10

    Uke Republic Dolphins and Sharks:
    http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product...n-soprano-mk-s
    http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product...kulele-w-setup
    Last edited by thaidye39; 09-10-2018 at 12:30 PM.

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    I’d probably point you towards the Enya models. They have some very nice laminate (non HPL) models in addition to the HPL X1 series.

    The value of the kit is pretty outstanding. I’m also interested to check out the Bondi brand as well as the Uma ukuleles that have been listed on some review sites.
    Playing ukulele since January 2016.

    Have you participated in the thread, "How the Ukulele Found You?" If not, please consider adding your story--they are just fun to read.

    http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/...lele-found-you

  5. #5
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    Enya, Donner, or Kmise.
    We've owned or played many of these.
    Enyas and Kmise didn't need any set up and the Donner did. But the Donner had a wider nut, which I really like.
    My last purchase, which was very recent, was a Kmise tenor from Amazon, less than $50 shipped, with case, tuner, strap, strap buttons
    and two sets of D'Addario String.
    Kmise my current budget fav.
    Last edited by maki66; 09-10-2018 at 03:00 PM.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

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    I always recommend starting out with a concert scale - & my suggestions are Kala or Ohana.

    But if you want cheap, you may not get very good sound quality, have rough frets, & lousy intonation.

    (Of the cheap ones, maybe a plastic one by Vorson/Brunswick or a Waterman.)
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by _Ukeless_ View Post
    Which do you regard as the best value absolutely dirt cheap ukulele for a beginner, be it a soprano, concert, tenor or baritone? Let's make it one that is easily available worldwide without needing to be individually imported to wherever you are.
    As with any item, something that’s the best value and dirt cheap normally doesn’t get you anything that’s worth having. The proverb ‘he who buys cheap buys twice’ is very true. However, if you avoid the bargain basement stuff, you don’t have to spend much at all to get something that will give you hours of pleasure. Buying second hand will reduce your costs too.

    You’ll need to set up any instrument you buy yourself - shops can’t do it for free and some tell you that the Ukes they supply are fine when they are not - sort out the saddle and (if not already fitted with at least Aquila’s) change the strings to something worthwhile trying. As for brand I’ve had a lot of success with Makala, I think that a well set up Makala Concert could last you for years. The MK-C isn’t expensive, sounds good with the right strings (like Martin M600’s) and is good value. If you want a Soprano then a well set up Dolphin is a joy to own.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 09-11-2018 at 12:27 AM.

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    Hi, Ukeless. "Absolutely dirt cheap" suggests the cheapest possible, bargain basement stuff. That is not the place to look if you want good value. Having said that, I must confess I have recently bought three "dirt cheap" sopranos from the AliExpress website. They were all very playable, satisfactory instruments. They came direct from China and cost me about 25 each. I broke one up to use the neck, tuners, strings for a Cigar box project I worked on. One (a Kmise) I gave away, and one I keep in the car. That one is branded "Burks", but the brands mean nothing. They all seem to have come from the same factory, and are all very similar.

    I know you excluded individually imported items, but you also said, "easily available worldwide". Nothing could be more easily available than buying online.

    John Colter.

  9. #9
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    You can indeed buy online for delivery anywhere in the world but in this instance buying a dirt cheap ukulele online and paying delivery expenses for a several thousand miles journey defeats the objective. I seek brands which are available worldwide such that going to a shop or buying online within any particular country that you may be (low delivery costs) is the objective.
    Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain Fan & Carlisle United Fan

    Countdown Of United Kingdom Time Remaining In The European Union

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  10. #10
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    I don't know what expenses might apply where you live, Ukeless, but in the UK my three cheapies came to me for about 25 each - including shipping and with no added charges. If it's cheap you are looking for, that would be my recommendation. If you are looking for branded ukuleles that you can buy from a retail outlet in the country where you live, you will pay a lot more for an equivalent instrument.

    John Colter.

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