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Thread: The rising cost of "hand"made ukes

  1. #41
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    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Counter View Post
    Of course. This is why luxury brands exist. But I'd like to think that handbags and ukuleles are different. That's my naiveity probably!
    YSL scribbled all over a hand bag to me seems the height of absurdity. But many disagree. I personally feel that the idea of "prestige" is counter to a happy life as one's self worth becomes tied to other's peceptions of them, and what they own, but if that is what some people need to get through the day, cool. I would, however, definitely spend more on coffee in a plave with a nice ambience. It makes my experience better. I love cozy coffee shops.

  2. #42
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    Exactly. Prestige drives a lot of prices. There is, however, some very affordable prestige. Our local luthier builds for very decent prices, but there is a ton of prestige in owning and playing her ukes.
    My favorite coffee shop doesn't have the best tasting coffee, or the cheapest. and, is not the closest
    The owners are very friendly they asked us to play there, and the atmosphere is incredibly cozy.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  3. #43
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    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    Exactly. Prestige drives a lot of prices. There is, however, some very affordable prestige.
    Talk about decent prices - check out Bonanza Ukuleles. You specify exactly what you want, and you get it built and delivered at a very reasonable price.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  4. #44
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    Portland OR
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnb128 View Post
    Itís obviously not common, but I went to a Luthier expo in North Carolina earlier this year, and they had all of the ukes from Luthiers for a Cause on display. Visitors were able to handle the ukes and test them out for a while when it wasnít too busy. I can tell you that there is definitely something different about those ukes. They just ooze elegance and perfection. I can honestly say that if I had the means, I wouldnít hesitate for a second to pay $4,000 for any of them, and I would challenge anyone to say they were overpriced while holding one of those works of art in their hands. (Technically they arenít for sale, but you get what I mean.) Not to hijack the thread, but if youíre not familiar with Luthiers for a Cause, look it up. Itís a really neat concept that I really buy into. Thankfully, these amazing Luthiers do as well.
    I am familiar with Luthiers for a Cause- that is amazing that you had a chance to try those instruments!
    "Everyone I know who is into the Ukulele is 'crackers' so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves" - George Harrison


    the ukes and year of acquisition:
    Pono RTSH-C-PC Cedar/Rosewood tenor 2016
    Koaloha KSM-02 Koa longneck soprano 2016
    Blackbird Farallon 2017
    2008 Kiwaya KTC-02 Mahogany concert 2018
    aNueNue Moonbird Spruce/Rosewood concert 2018

  5. #45
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    Apr 2016
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    Portland OR
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    P
    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    There's some great luthiers in Oregon so you shouldn't have to travel too far. Or wait for a local ukulele festival in the PacNW. Think there's one about to happen in Port Townsend a mere 5 hour drive from Portland.
    Yeah the Port Townsend one just happened and I was traveling for work. I do need to seek out the Oregon scene for uke builders. Recommendations anyone ?
    "Everyone I know who is into the Ukulele is 'crackers' so get yourself a few and enjoy yourselves" - George Harrison


    the ukes and year of acquisition:
    Pono RTSH-C-PC Cedar/Rosewood tenor 2016
    Koaloha KSM-02 Koa longneck soprano 2016
    Blackbird Farallon 2017
    2008 Kiwaya KTC-02 Mahogany concert 2018
    aNueNue Moonbird Spruce/Rosewood concert 2018

  6. #46
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    I was fortunate enough to travel to the Big Island and meet Chuck Moore at his home several years ago. At that time, his ukuleles sold for about $2000 for a "not-so-basic" model, no fancy inlay, etc. More than I am able to afford for a musical instrument, but worth every penny in my opinion as they are superb instruments. Now his prices, due to demand and continual improvements in his construction, have gone up considerably. Still worth it in my opinion. I will likely never be able to afford to purchase a new one, but it won't stop me from trying.

    Since then I have become involved with the Ukulele Guild of Hawaii, and had the chance to play many excellent, high-quality, and expensive ukuleles. I have played all the Luthiers for a Cause ukuleles. it is readily apparent that these instruments are in a totally different category than even Kamaka, Kanilea, KoAloha, etc.

    I was able to buy a Compass Rose ukulele, used, from The Ukulele Site and I am very happy with the purchase. It remains the most I have spent on any musical instrument, and totally worth it.

    If I had the cash lying around, I would have no problem paying high prices for a quality instrument, if I felt it were worth it to me.

    That's all that really matters. I'm not trying to have a flashy ukulele to impress others. I just want the best instrument I can afford to play, it's that simple. And what is MY best is not necessarily YOUR best, and that's fine. Variety is the spice of life!
    Last edited by Pueo; 09-17-2019 at 01:08 PM.
    1:5255
    My Quiver: S & J Craft Milo Tenor "Liliu" six string custom and Milo and Lychee concert by Emil Bader
    Pono PKT-1 Koa Tenor w/MiSi, Lanikai LU-21T - Autographed!, Hikare CU 528 Baritone
    R&L all koa mini concert, Mainland Gecko, Epiphone Les Paul Vintage, Kala Concert
    Compass Rose 5 string
    Nothin' left to do but : ) : ) : )

  7. #47
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    Jul 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    People who have never learned how to enjoy anything, everything has to have some financial or political value. They speed along the road of the materialist, never seeing the wonders along the way and ending up at a dead end. No wonder they are always angry and aggressive.
    Money is a necessary means of exchange, it is a way of equalling apples to oranges in a trade. If you don't have enough, its a barrier. The money is not the apples or the oranges, you enjoy eating your apples and oranges and keep the money for the next trade.
    There can be as much enjoyment in buying a $50 ukulele as there is in buying a £4000 ukulele. When you overcome your materialist tendencies, that will become obvious.
    I have never seen a $50 ukulele that was pleasant to my ears. I don't lust aftsr the uber expensive ones either, but it is pointless if the individual notes don't sound good. I am a fingerpicker, so this is important.

  8. #48
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    Feb 2016
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    Springfield, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by AQUATOPAZ View Post
    YSL scribbled all over a hand bag to me seems the height of absurdity. But many disagree. I personally feel that the idea of "prestige" is counter to a happy life as one's self worth becomes tied to other's peceptions of them, and what they own, but if that is what some people need to get through the day, cool. I would, however, definitely spend more on coffee in a plave with a nice ambience. It makes my experience better. I love cozy coffee shops.
    I'll second that thought regarding coffee shops, AQUA, and I'll even take it a step higher... I love to relax with a nice cup of Taster's Choice. Of course, I'm trying (lamely) to be funny, but I totally agree that an appreciation of the little things in life is a real blessing! (And I actually do like Taster's Choice.)
    Last edited by Bill Sheehan; 09-17-2019 at 02:46 PM.

  9. #49

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    In addition to Ukuleles I also enjoy Mandolins which are way more costly than Ukuleles, £4000 would not necessarily be an outrageous amount for a high end custom built instrument. The mandolin community seems to appreciate their builders more and perhaps that is reflected in the cost of the instruments.

    Recently Beau Hannam had an Instagram post indicating you could order build number 100. This seems to be an indication of the time it takes him to construct an instrument. He's one of the Luthiers for a Cause builders. His instruments are works of art that make sweet music. And like the other Luthiers for a Cause, he's been building for quite awhile.

    As an aside, my experience is the woods not cheap nor is living in the USA.
    K
    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors including Baritone body at a Tenor Scale - 4 String, 5 String and 8 String :-)

  10. #50
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    Jul 2017
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    Corvallis, Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by etudes View Post

    Yeah the Port Townsend one just happened and I was traveling for work. I do need to seek out the Oregon scene for uke builders. Recommendations anyone ?
    Pat Megowan, Corvallis
    https://patmegowan.com/
    KoAloha KCM-00 (koa concert)
    KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia concert)
    Thormahlen Yew-kulele (yew concert)
    Kala KA-SLNG (long neck soprano)
    Flight TUS35 (blue soprano)
    UKES LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME:
    *Ohana TK-35CG (mahogany tenor w/cutaway)
    *Snail SUC (solid top mahogany concert)

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