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Thread: Seeking advice for which affordable ukulele to buy for brief trips

  1. #11
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    Nov 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgame View Post
    I have traveled on several domestic and international flights with my Soprano Outdoor Ukulele inside of a regular school backpack and it fits under the seat. In my experience the school backpack is considered a personal item so if the ukulele fits inside it is good to go. YMMV
    I'm glad to hear it can be done on some flights! Part of the appeal of the ukulele is of course the portability. If it were Southwest or some other more normal airline, I'd take the risk! Allegiant specifies maximum dimensions of 15″ x 16″ x 7″ for a personal item, and even without a case my uke (long-neck) is 23" long. I'd take the risk but the fee is raised to $50-$75 each way if they decide that my personal item is too large. There's always the chance the attendants won't pay attention, but it would suck if they decide to be particular.

  2. #12

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    Agreed. Technically, my setup is about 21.5” long. Diagonally it would just fit inside of a 15”x16” rectangle with the hypotenuse being 21.93”. I put it under the seat diagonally with the headstock pointing forward. There is often room under the seat where you can put the headstock over the little bar and get more room. I am not suggesting you try it with a 23 incher as I am not sure that would even fit into a standard backpack. This is just for conversation

  3. #13
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    Go on line to Glarry instruments. Look at the amazing prices and they play and sound as good as my very expensive ukuleles. They also pay the shipping to the destination. People in the 3 uke groups I attend are just amazed at how they look , play and sound. Oh----I sell another line that costs more. *** Having it shipped to your destination creates no travel challenges.***
    Last edited by TheCraftedCow; 11-12-2019 at 06:16 PM. Reason: an additional thought

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by poodle.soup View Post
    Allegiant specifies maximum dimensions of 15″ x 16″ x 7″ for a personal item.
    How do Allegiant measure bags before the flight? Do they just (try to) put it into a basket with those dimensions?

    Are you able to purchase a bag with those dimensions? If so then there’s a chance that a Soprano will fit inside and then that no questions will be asked. The top part of the headstock of many Sopranos can be cut away to just above the tuners and that will reduce the overall length, not a big resultant loss of value on a cheap instrument. Buying second hand reduces the costs too; Makala Dolphins are usually cheap enough ($30 off of eBay), make nice travel Ukes and are really tough. Learn to set it up (it’s not that hard to do) and off you go.

    I believe that some of the Enya instruments bolt together and if all else fails then there’s the lonely player Uke from Ashbury. Baz Maz did a review of the lonely player here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1-KSewtbGtM .
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 11-12-2019 at 12:16 PM.

  5. #15
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    Enya EUC-X1M has gotten a lot of favorable comments, is $50 including a nice gig bag and some other accessories, and the neck bolts on and off. Might be worth a look.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wukulele View Post
    A well respected shop I know sends back a full 1/3 of Kala ukes they receive... meaning 1/3 gets rejected in set-up.
    Wow -- that is a lot of rejects! What happens to all of those instruments that get sent back to the distributor?

  7. #17
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    Sep 2018
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    PNW
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    I have no idea... I hope they get refurbished by the manufacturer (who I'm thinking is also the distributor for them).

    It definitely made me never want to get a non-plastic uke of any brand, from a place that doesn't have a decent reputation for set-ups! I've bought (& been happy with) a few plastic Kalas + a Kiwi at a big discount from sellers on eBay that look like some sort of liquidators or buy in big lots of Amazon returns to resell...

    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    Wow -- that is a lot of rejects! What happens to all of those instruments that get sent back to the distributor?
    keeping an eye out for a very special pre-owned concert....

  8. #18
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    It ultimately comes down to the staff on one's flight & how strict they want to be. I flew from Hawaii to the mainland w/ a bag or 2 that was just barely over the weight limit (from wet stuff? extra sand? LOL directly coming from the beach or something like that).

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    How do Allegiant measure bags before the flight? Do they just (try to) put it into a basket with those dimensions?

    Are you able to purchase a bag with those dimensions? If so then there’s a chance that a Soprano will fit inside and then that no questions will be asked. The top part of the headstock of many Sopranos can be cut away to just above the tuners and that will reduce the overall length, not a big resultant loss of value on a cheap instrument. Buying second hand reduces the costs too; Makala Dolphins are usually cheap enough ($30 off of eBay), make nice travel Ukes and are really tough. Learn to set it up (it’s not that hard to do) and off you go.

    I believe that some of the Enya instruments bolt together and if all else fails then there’s the lonely player Uke from Ashbury. Baz Maz did a review of the lonely player here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1-KSewtbGtM .
    keeping an eye out for a very special pre-owned concert....

  9. #19
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    Jun 2019
    Location
    NC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wukulele View Post
    I have no idea... I hope they get refurbished by the manufacturer (who I'm thinking is also the distributor for them).

    It definitely made me never want to get a non-plastic uke of any brand, from a place that doesn't have a decent reputation for set-ups! I've bought (& been happy with) a few plastic Kalas + a Kiwi at a big discount from sellers on eBay that look like some sort of liquidators or buy in big lots of Amazon returns to resell...
    Having to re-build (or bonfire) 1/3rd of the instruments does not seem sustainable from the standpoint of a business model, but maybe the profit margin is so high that it works out in the long run.

  10. #20
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    NorCal
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    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    Having to re-build (or bonfire) 1/3rd of the instruments does not seem sustainable from the standpoint of a business model, but maybe the profit margin is so high that it works out in the long run.
    I expect that this "1/3" is one person's estimate at one store. The return rate overall from all the ukes they ship must be far lower.

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