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Thread: Buying my first ukulele

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wisconsin, central USA
    Posts
    101

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    Lots of good advice here. My advice is for the Kala Solid Cedar Top with Acacia lam back and sides. I have this model in the baritone size and have played the Concert Size (which seems to be the size you're looking at in the other models). The Padauk binding gives it stunning appearance, and the sound is deep and nearly mellow when combined with Worth Clears ( which I swapped to ). The price at the Kala site is nice. But the HMS site has them for about $30 less. You'll spend about that on shipping, but won't pay sales tax (as you would with Kala). Plus, if your patient, you can get the full Ukulele Site setup up for free.... It's the same setup they do on the really really pricey ones!
    Check out both links...

    https://kalabrand.com/collections/so...cts/ka-acp-ctg

    https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-...-slothead.html
    Last edited by Web_Parrot; 12-30-2019 at 12:13 PM. Reason: added links
    ::: Romero Creations Replica Tenor ::: Fender Montecito Tenor Koa ::: Ohana Soprano SK-75 ::: Kanile'a Islander MAPG-4-C ::: Kanile'a K-2 Super Concert ::: Kala KA-SSTU-SMC-C ::: Ohana SK-50G ::: Enya Nova U Concert ::: Kala KA-ABP-CTG Bari :::

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    899

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    Quote Originally Posted by HONOMO View Post
    Thank you every one for each of your responses. I read every one and they were very helpful.

    Which one of these would you choose and why?

    Kala KA-FMC - Solid Spruce Top with Maple back/sides (I assume laminate). $150 here locally. I believe it retails for around $260. Comes with a hard case.

    Cordoba 15CM - All Mahogany. $79 here locally. I believe it retails for around $135. Does not come with a case.

    Enya MAD - All Mahogany. Purchase new for $130.

    These are all concert size.

    Here is a review of the Cordoba:
    https://www.gotaukulele.com/2019/08/...le-review.html

    When comparing to a spruce top, you should really listen to some samples on youtube and decide if you like spruce or mahogany better. They are quite different.

    From those three, I would gamble on the Enya. I like the look of mahogany. It is solid wood. But I never tried one.
    Ohana SK30M mahogany super-soprano, Cort UKEBWCOP Blackwood concert, Anuenue African Mahogany Tenor, Fluke Koa Tenor, Hora M1176 spruce Tenor

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    the wild west, Canada
    Posts
    568

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    Quote Originally Posted by HONOMO View Post
    Thank you every one for each of your responses. I read every one and they were very helpful.

    Which one of these would you choose and why?

    Kala KA-FMC - Solid Spruce Top with Maple back/sides (I assume laminate). $150 here locally. I believe it retails for around $260. Comes with a hard case.

    Cordoba 15CM - All Mahogany. $79 here locally. I believe it retails for around $135. Does not come with a case.

    Enya MAD - All Mahogany. Purchase new for $130.

    These are all concert size.
    I had a Cordoba 20CM which has a solid mahogany top. It was quite nice. I'd say that's a more fair comparison to the other two. Don't know about the other two specific models, but I'd be tempted to check out the Enya. They're nicely finished and a well liked brand. I had a different Enya model and was impressed with the quality for the price. The Enya website is quite emphatic about it being solid, so I'm inclined to think it is.
    Glenn

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    757

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    Quote Originally Posted by HONOMO View Post
    Thanks for the tip with Enya. I'm very intrigued by these ones. After researching a bit, it seems like an all solid Mahogany for $129.99 seems too good to be true. Especially when comparing with prices for solid wood ukes from Ohana, Kala, Luna, etc. What's the catch?
    I think the reason is that they cut out the middle man. When you buy from the enya-music.com site in the USA or their Amazon listings (I prefer the ones that are fulfilled by Amazon, the ones from China direct have a shipping fee) you're getting more of a factory direct approach. It's either pretty much straight from the factory or straight from the factory to the Enya office in Tx. With the others there is at least one other link in the chain that has to make money before it gets to the end user. That's my best guess...seems logical. You might even consider the Enya Nova U for well under your budget, which isn't wood but really sounds good and plays well too. That could be a nice introduction to ukes. Lets face it, if you get hooked you're likely going to get more than just one anyway.

    I've had my hands on two Cordoba 15CM instruments. The first I thought was an exceptional deal for the price. It played well, sounded fine, good build, etc. The 2nd one was not nearly as impressive. It had a bit of bridge lift and the wood veneer wasn't as nice looking. So maybe they're a bit hit and miss. That's probably true for most any budget instrument though, and even some more expensive ones. Just make sure you have a good return policy with whoever you do buy from.
    MIM, HMS, and Uke Republic are the most reputable, based on feedback here over the years. You're less likely to get a dud from them if you go the route of Kala, Ohana, etc.
    Last edited by jer; 12-30-2019 at 01:27 PM.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
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    5,298

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    Quote Originally Posted by UkingViking View Post
    Just to clarify: you mention Kala, Ohana and Luna in the same sentence. Luna does not have as good a reputation as Kala and Ohana. I once had a Luna uke, and I was not happy with it. Heard enough similar stories in this forum that I would probably get an Enya before I got a Luna.
    I have also heard negative comments about Luna - even from a uke dealer.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,339

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    Quote Originally Posted by Web_Parrot View Post
    Lots of good advice here. My advice is for the Kala Solid Cedar Top with Acacia lam back and sides. I have this model in the baritone size and have played the Concert Size (which seems to be the size you're looking at in the other models). The Padauk binding gives it stunning appearance, and the sound is deep and nearly mellow when combined with Worth Clears ( which I swapped to ). The price at the Kala site is nice. But the HMS site has them for about $30 less. You'll spend about that on shipping, but won't pay sales tax (as you would with Kala). Plus, if your patient, you can get the full Ukulele Site setup up for free.... It's the same setup they do on the really really pricey ones!
    Check out both links...

    https://kalabrand.com/collections/so...cts/ka-acp-ctg

    https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-...-slothead.html
    I'll second this recommendation. I bought the tenor model of this ukulele for my guitar playing nephew for Christmas. He loves it. Several people in my ukulele groups have this model and all of them like it a lot. Looks good, sounds good, and since I bought my nephew's uke from HMS, it was perfectly set up.
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006 (Living Waters)
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018 (Blackwater)
    Blackbird Clara - 2019 (Oasis Bright)
    Cocobolo concert - 2019 (Worth Brown)

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    5,298

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    Quote Originally Posted by Web_Parrot View Post
    Lots of good advice here. My advice is for the Kala Solid Cedar Top with Acacia lam back and sides. I have this model in the baritone size and have played the Concert Size (which seems to be the size you're looking at in the other models). The Padauk binding gives it stunning appearance, and the sound is deep and nearly mellow when combined with Worth Clears ( which I swapped to ). The price at the Kala site is nice. But the HMS site has them for about $30 less. You'll spend about that on shipping, but won't pay sales tax (as you would with Kala). Plus, if your patient, you can get the full Ukulele Site setup up for free.... It's the same setup they do on the really really pricey ones!
    Check out both links...

    https://kalabrand.com/collections/so...cts/ka-acp-ctg

    https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-...-slothead.html
    I agree. That Kala cedar is beautiful, and it sounds beautiful. I had that and a similar Pono, and I decided to sell one of them. I preferred the sound of the Kala, so I sold the Pono. I have 4, 6, and 8-string versions of that Kala. They're one of the best buys in the ukulele marketplace.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    687

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    I have also heard negative comments about Luna - even from a uke dealer.
    I have a Luna resonator, which I think sounds quite pleasing. My daughter has a Luna Lotus, and the bridge popped off after 4 months. Luckily they replaced with a new one.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Salem,Oregon
    Posts
    1,279

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    I have custom made ukuleles from some famous makers. There are some pretty high prices on several of them. Koa, maple,mahogany,Oregon myrtle, ebony, bamboo, and others. They are all phenomenal. I won't "show off" wiith the names of makers. Recently I have discovered a very inexpensive line of very pretty wood, and good tone and different sizes from soprano to baritone. The company also pays the shipping to you. The name is Glarry. They have nice tuners ( not as nice as the PEGHEDS for which I am a distributor) and Aquila strings. www.Glarry.com
    Last edited by TheCraftedCow; 01-01-2020 at 11:03 AM. Reason: address added

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,339

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    Here's another nice Kala in your price range for a concert. All solid wood. Cedar top and Pau Ferro back and sides. Sounds nice on the HMS sound sample.
    https://www.theukulelesite.com/shop-...ka-ascp-c.html
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006 (Living Waters)
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018 (Blackwater)
    Blackbird Clara - 2019 (Oasis Bright)
    Cocobolo concert - 2019 (Worth Brown)

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