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Thread: Quick pick up and go Ukulele

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2016

    Default Quick pick up and go Ukulele

    Hello everyone. I was wondering if you could provide me with some feedback. I am trying to find a uke that I can grab really quick and take it places like to the park, front seat of my car (while I wait for my kids at school), to the beach, or work (on break). I am thinking that I want either a concert size, soprano long neck, or pineapple in either size. I am also looking to spend no more than $300.00. I own two tenors (my preferred size), a Pono MTD, Lanikai solid mahogany w/ spruce top, and a Kamaka concert. The tenors aren't as portable as I want because I have hard cases for them. I definitely baby my Kamaka and don't take it places outdoors. I want a uke that I can put in a soft case and not worry too much about it. Of course I wouldn't be banging it around or leaving it in the car. Here are some ukes that I have been thinking about:

    Mainland Classic Mahogany Long neck Pineapple (does this fit in a tenor case? how much bigger is it than a standard concert?)

    Ohana PKC-25GS Pineapple Concert (head stock is funky but nice)

    Ohana CK-70WG Solid Spruce Top/Willow Concert Ukulele

    Shimaukulele (since this uke is laminate is it worth getting? How would it sound compared to all the others being solid wood?)

    Please let me know if you owned or played these ukes, if they sound good, and which would fit the description of what I want the most? I am also open to suggestions. Honestly the pineapple is very interesting to me so if anyone could suggest one that's better than the two I listed and that is within my price range, please do. Thanks in advance and Aloha!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.


    As your preferred scale is tenor, take a look at an Ohana.
    The CK35L, tenor scale, concert body, or the SK30L, tenor scale, soprano body, solid mahogany, both are small & portable with a good sound.
    (Mine fit into a concert gig bag.)

    For long neck soprano, Ohana SK30M solid mahogany, or one of the Kalas.
    (Mine fit into a soprano gig bag.)
    Last edited by Croaky Keith; 11-08-2018 at 11:42 PM.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Close to Boston, Massachusetts


    Outdoor Ukulele

    I have a green tenor that has lived in my car for several years. It stays in an unpadded soft bag behind my seat.
    "Life is short. Opera is long."


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Pickering, ON, Canada


    I have done something similar to what you are proposing, a take along uke...... but not one you will leave in a car and neglect. You have good quality great sounding ukes in your collection so buy something you will enjoy the sound of. I used an Ono custom built long neck concert as my "car uke", friends were aghast. But it went into the car with me in a high quality gig bag and I brought it back into the house at night, never had an issue.

    Keith's recommendation of the Ohana CK 35L is a good one. I like a long neck concert for ease of transport and the tenor neck length. A friend has the Mainland longneck pineapple, another good choice. This will be an unpoplar statement but forget the plastic ukes. You are not leaving this out 24/7 , they don't sound close to the tone you get from a solid wood instrument. I own 4 non-wood ukes so I am well versed in what they sound like.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 11-09-2018 at 03:54 AM.
    Ukuleles.............yes please !!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Raleigh, NC


    I own the Ohana CK-50 WG (cedar/willow) and it's among my favorites. I take it to jams all the time.

    There's a Shima for sale on the marketplace. I borrowed one at a jam and was pretty impressed with the build quality and feel. If I hadn't just bought a Famous/Kiwaya (also from the Marketplace), the Shima had intrigued me.!
    Martin C1K Famous by Kiwaya FS-1 <yippee!!> Ohana CK-50WG concert (solid cedar top) Ohana SK-35G solid mahogany soprano <yay!!> Firefly maple concert banjolele <yee-haw!> Flea koa soprano Lanikai LU22CFM laminate flame maple concert Islander MAT-4 spalted maple tenor Makala MK-CE concert Woodrow "Steelers" soprano <eyeroll>

    Raleigh Uke Jam:

    My YouTube page

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    L.A. California


    We have an Outdoor carbon fiber tenor as our car ukulele. No issues with damage through the long hot cali summer.
    That said, its on the quite side. I'm not crazy for the tone, as Dave said.
    I MUCH prefer to play the cheap all laminates.
    Kmise is my current fave. But I also have enjoyed Enyas, Donners, Kalas, and Kakas.

    Our solid wood ukuleles don't leave the house.
    Playing my Magic Fluke and grinning like a fool!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    st. paul, MN


    There are two solid spruce top/laminate back/sides lines by Kala and Lanikai that I believe give great value for the money:

    The Kala solid spruce line is gloss finish and appointed nicely. The long neck sop is only $150. You can find free shipping but I'll link the HMS ad with all the dets plus Kalei's video:

    The Lanikai SPS line is a really nice satin finish. While to my ears other Lanikai ukes don't always measure up soundwise, the SPS-soprano I own knocks it out of the park. This line seems like is a sleeper given upgraded appointments of Grover tuners, binding, clean build, thick embroidered gig bag.

    Guitar Center currently has a 15% sale (assuming the SPST is essentially the same uke as the SPS - but check that this is a concert and not a soprano, title is wrong).

    [link forbidden, search Lanikai SPST-C]

    Island Koa Instruments, prototype soprano, Peter Howlett #153
    Weymann soprano, 20's or 30's?
    Martin O, 1960's
    Kiwaya KTS-7
    Lanikai SPS-S spruce top
    Kanile'a K1 Concert
    Kamaka 1969 Tiki Concert
    Kala Elite 1MHG Concert
    Larrivee UT40MHO spruce/hog Tenor
    Guild Bari

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