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Thread: Biggest uke "gamble"?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    I don't know how well this story fits, but in 2017 I was surfing eBay as I do most every night and saw an auction for an Ovation tenor cutaway sunburst that looked just like my first new guitar I bought in 1975. It had a buy-it-now price of $400 and the bidding was at $200. I decided to put in a max bid of $295. As the three days went by, my bid was always on top, right until the last 10 seconds when a $350 came in and got it. I was so disappointed, saying to myself that I should have just bought it for the $400.

    About a week later I was reading the new posts here in UU and saw a Marketplace post for a used Godin Multiuke sunburst. I clicked it and saw that the seller just brought down the price to $400 in excellent condition. I did a quick lookup of the Multiuke and with all the positive feedback, immediately contacted the seller and bought it. I'm so glad I didn't get the Ovation, the Godin is so much better. I did change the low G strings to re-entrant.




    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 5 acoustic bass ukes, 11 solid body bass ukes, 8 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 33)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video
    Last edited by kohanmike; 02-03-2019 at 08:42 AM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
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    371

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    Three of my ukes (Farallon, Magic Fluke Firefly Tenor, Bentona Resonator) have been so highly regarded in various reviews that I didn't consider their purchases to be any type of gamble. But the Klos was pretty much an unknown. Their carbon fiber travel guitar is spoken of well though, so I decided to risk being an early "subscriber". And even with the setup work I had to do I am still very pleased with the result. (But that will probably change if the darn bridge ever pops off!)
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    USA
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    1,995

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    Quote Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
    .......It was GREAT finger picked but strummed it bugged me, was sterile and almost brash sounding.....
    Yes, that's a gamble every time one gets an instrument sight unseen. I've noticed that too, getting a uke that sounds great fingerpicked, but not as good strummed. If you're mainly a strummer, that's a problem, and the ukes sits until you finally send it off.

    I haven't done it yet, but making the first leap from mid range ukes to a $1,000.00+ K-brand would be a big gamble for me. Especially when trying to save a few bucks by buying used.
    John

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    on a sunny FL beach
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    I really wanted to try the Pono large baritone uke/small tenor guitar in the steel string version and was never gonna find it locally. One came up for sale used on the mandolin cafe and I snatched it up. I’ve had Ponos before from hms and was confident on the build quality but didn’t know if Id like the tone of this model. The gamble factor made me glad I was able to get it used, as I wouldn’t take such a hit if I didn’t like it (I do). I held off selling my Pono pro bari until after it arrived, just in case.

    A few years back I took a gamble on an old Harmony tenor guitar online. It was a stinker. I was able to resell it locally on CL. Nowadays, I am very unlikely to purchase without playing first.

  5. #15

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    My first proper Ukulele was a gamble. I had a very cheap soprano I had just begun on and after trying some concerts and tenors in the local shops decided I did not like tenors and I was definitely going to buy an Ohana laminate concert. Then the solid top tenor from the same brand appeared on our local internet auction site at the equivalent of us$150. On impulse I bought sight unseen online from a music dealer whose retail store has gone out of business and only does a small amount of internet trade.

    When I first got it I had buyer's remorse and even posted on facebook to our local ukulele group offering a swap for a similair or cheaper concert. I love that tenor now, to the point my wife has threatened to throw it out the window on numerous occasions. Now I am looking at going up in size instead of down!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
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    238

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    Most of my ukuleles have probably been gambles - all those I haven't been able to try in person and even some I have because I've found that I don't really know how much I like it or if it and I gel until I've given it a proper play.
    None have been disappointments but several have been rehomed because the fit wasn't right...
    ~ "Music washes away the dust of everyday life" ~


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    SE Connecticut, USA
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    Almost all of the ukuleles I have purchased were bought online so, in that respect, they've pretty much all been gambles. For example, of those listed in my signature line, the Cordoba 24T was the only uke I inspected before purchasing.

    But, the online purchases were almost all bought second-hand and at reasonable prices as I knew I might want to sell them off after trying them.

    The biggest ukulele gamble I've taken so far was committing to a buy it now a few days back on a second hand Kiwaya KS1 from an Ebay seller with no prior sales... We'll see. But even there, worst case is I'm out $150 until Ebay and/ or credit card company resolves the issue.

    I've bought literally dozens of instruments online in the past 15 years. I see no reason to stop now. Some transactions make me money, most don't... but even when I lose a few dollars, I consider it tuition spent on learning about these wonderful things.
    Last edited by Swamp Yankee; 02-03-2019 at 03:44 AM.
    Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Mainland Mahogany Classic; Mainland Red Cedar; Ohana SK-28; Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Musicguymic's "Kolohe" concert; Cordoba 24T; Cordoba 30T; Kanilea Islander MST-4; Cordoba 24B

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    SE Connecticut, USA
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by RafterGirl View Post
    I tried a bunch of Ukes in the two years Iíve been playing. Only a couple were duds, but some I just didnít bond with. That was mainly a neck shape/size issue.
    This^
    Neck profile is such an important consideration, in my opinion, that it's surprising to me that so few makers and sellers offer any description, and even many otherwise meticulous reviews offer nothing more than subjective comments.
    Bruko No. 6; Kiwaya KS-1; Kiwaya KTS-4; Mainland Mahogany Classic; Mainland Red Cedar; Ohana SK-28; Cahaya CY-0112; Kiwaya KTC-1; Musicguymic's "Kolohe" concert; Cordoba 24T; Cordoba 30T; Kanilea Islander MST-4; Cordoba 24B

  9. #19

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    My biggest instrument gamble was buying one of the first Farallon instruments that Blackbird ever made. I had a couple of (small) issues with it. But Joe and others at Blackbird were great about helping to resolve those. Now, that instrument is one of my favorites, in part because it's worry-free and sits on my desk at arm's reach.

    My biggest (most nerve wracking) ukulele gamble, though, was posting my first video here on UU of myself playing and singing. Seems like no one here noticed it. That was okay, though. My son and I did that together, and we've kept at it and had lots of fun in the process.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ames, Iowa/San Juan, Puerto Rico
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    I spent almost a month researching and looking for a "nice" uke to replace my ukulele that got broken. I finally decided what I wanted, located a reputable dealer, and ordered it. The dealer called me up the next day and said that they could not find the ukulele that I ordered in their warehouse and apologized. The next day after that they called back and offered me a ukulele that was several steps up from the one I had originally ordered and twice the price. They offered to sell it to me at the same price as my original order. I had not even considered that particular ukulele, but in the course of two or three minutes looking at it on the internet while talking to the sales person I bought it. I usually don't buy things without thinking for months about it. The uke showed up and I love it.
    Last edited by Rllink; 02-03-2019 at 04:12 AM.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

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