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

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    6

    Question Seeking advice for which affordable ukulele to buy for brief trips

    Hi there!

    Iím a new ukulele player - just bought my first in August. I have been devouring this forum the last few days. Iím traveling for about a month via budget airplane to visit my parents in Florida, which means if I wanted to take my ukulele it would be an extra $50 of carry-on baggage fees.

    It occurred to me that it might make sense to just buy one for when I'm there - Iíd love to have one down there so I can jam out with my dad. I donít go very often so Iíd rather not spend too much on a ukulele that I will be leaving down there, but of course I also donít want something I wonít want to play because of the sound quality.

    Currently playing a soprano Leolani made of mango wood that I really love - wonderful projection and fairly warm tone. But I knew nothing about setup when I bought this model from a music shop. Would I better off with a Kamala Shark from Mimís Ukes, or ordering a Kala-KA-15S from Harvard House Music in California (both end up about $67 w/shipping)? Or taking my chances buying the Kala-KA-15S from Amazon (about ~$10 cheaper but I can see where the setup could be worth it)? Or is there a better option Iím overlooking?

    Thanks for your advice!

  2. #2
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    What airline? or is it that you'll already have a lot of carry-on, perhaps...
    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. So if considering a wood uke, one w/ a good set up is likely the better way to go.

    That said, if I were facing this dilemma around the prices you mentioned, I'd be really tempted to try a Flight Travel Series... perhaps one w/ a fun top...

    Bias disclaimer: I've had good luck w/ off the shelf 2nd hand plastic ukes from eBay.
    keeping an eye out for a very special pre-owned concert....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Of those choices, I would probably go with one that is set up. But, I agree the Flight TUS35 travel uke plays and sounds good and can usually be had for under 50. Those are a good choice. They are especially durable.

  4. #4
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    You’re new. Short lead time. Obviously want this to go right. Go with a forum recommended dealer who will help you pick and will do a good set up. Where you buy can make a real difference.

    What about having the uke shipped directly to your parents?

  5. #5
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    Nov 2019
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    Thank you all for the help! I really appreciate any advice.

    Airline is Allegiant - similar to RyanAir in Europe. Cheap for the flight itself but anything other than breathing is an additional cost. Unfortunately, even if my ukulele were my only carry-on, it wouldn't fit under the seat as this airline requires for a free personal item.

    Re: shipping directly to my parents, I thought about it but when we ship things to and from Florida (books, cookies, whatever) it generally isn't very cheap so I kind of assumed such an oddly sized package would add up in price, plus the worry of breakage if I fail to package it as nicely as a professional.

    I'm quite interested in the Flight TUS35, but wondering what your experience has been as to the feel of a plastic fretboard versus wood?

  6. #6
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    This is essentially the same model, so this review might give you some insight

    https://www.gotaukulele.com/2018/04/...no-review.html

  7. #7
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    Nov 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDW View Post
    This is essentially the same model, so this review might give you some insight

    https://www.gotaukulele.com/2018/04/...no-review.html
    Thank you, I was searching reviews and test videos, can't believe I didn't find this review! I always enjoy the insights from this blog.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by poodle.soup View Post
    Thank you all for the help! I really appreciate any advice.

    Airline is Allegiant - similar to RyanAir in Europe. Cheap for the flight itself but anything other than breathing is an additional cost. Unfortunately, even if my ukulele were my only carry-on, it wouldn't fit under the seat as this airline requires for a free personal item.

    Re: shipping directly to my parents, I thought about it but when we ship things to and from Florida (books, cookies, whatever) it generally isn't very cheap so I kind of assumed such an oddly sized package would add up in price, plus the worry of breakage if I fail to package it as nicely as a professional.

    I'm quite interested in the Flight TUS35, but wondering what your experience has been as to the feel of a plastic fretboard versus wood?
    I thought jeffelele meant to have the dealer send the new uke directly to your parents. Definitely less than $50 airline fee and some dealers have free shipping within the US ... sadly not to Canada
    Glenn

  9. #9
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    Nov 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennerd View Post
    I thought jeffelele meant to have the dealer send the new uke directly to your parents. Definitely less than $50 airline fee and some dealers have free shipping within the US ... sadly not to Canada
    Oh, perhaps! It was always my plan to ship it directly to my parents - essentially paying ~$50 (expecting probably a bit more) to have a second uke instead of giving $50 to the airline, so I thought they were offering an alternative solution to picking a new ukulele.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by poodle.soup View Post
    Thank you all for the help! I really appreciate any advice.

    Airline is Allegiant - similar to RyanAir in Europe. Cheap for the flight itself but anything other than breathing is an additional cost. Unfortunately, even if my ukulele were my only carry-on, it wouldn't fit under the seat as this airline requires for a free personal item.
    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

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