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Thread: Searching for my 2nd Ukulele

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    2

    Default Searching for my 2nd Ukulele

    Hi everyone,

    I purchased my first ukulele 12 o 13 years ago in Belgium (I live in Europe), a Tennessee MAUI that costed me €80 back in the day. I'm not very talented and didn't practice much for some years but I've got the uke bug again and I'm making some tiny progress.

    I'm traveling to Omaha and Hawaii in a couple of weeks, and I was thinking of getting a new uke delivered to my office in Omaha. I though about getting a travel ukulele to play for a bit the couple of weeks that I will be over there, but I also want something that I will keep using afterwards, so the Kala Waterman is out of the question. I thought about getting the Makala Mako, but I'm not sure how it compares to the one I have at home, as it's cheaper than what I've paid, but not sure how much mine would be nowadays since they don't make them anymore.

    I also thought about getting one in Hawaii but I've read that authentic Hawaiian ukes go for more than $500 and that's a out of my budget right now.

    Any advice would be appreciated

    Thanks,

    Elena

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    6,293

    Default

    So, a spruce topped soprano - if this size suits you, stick with it, (but maybe consider a concert).

    If you'd like a mellower sound, a solid/solid top mahogany uke. Acacia would be a bit brighter than mahogany.

    I would steer you towards a Kala or Ohana, solid top or full solid, but you'll get lots of recommendations from the others on here too.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    164

    Default

    Aw, you get to go to the birthplace of the ukulele, I'm so jelly.

    It would be helpful to know your budget and/or specs for the uke you're looking for. If the Hawaiian made ukes are beyond your budget many of the Hawaiian K brands have cheaper budget brands that are still excellent quality for their price. Islander (by Kanile'a), Pono (by Ko'olau) and KoAlana (by KoAloha) are all decent brands and much cheaper than the Hawaiian made ukes. Even the KoAloha Opio range is usually less than the $500 you mentioned. They're made of acacia wood instead of Koa but are supposedly almost as nice-sounding. I personally endorse KoAloha massively. Their ukes are stunningly beautiful and have a distinct sound to them imo.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    5,522

    Default

    I'm receiving an Enya Nova U today - $86 delivered. I see the $10 coupon is no longer available, but for $88, it's a good deal.

    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!
    https://www.catskillukulelegroup.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    488

    Default

    Why not bring your current uke to Hawaii and Omaha (unless it has great sentimental value). Then you could and should visit The Ukulele Site store (check their website) and see if there is one in your price range that you love. Go early in your Oahu stay and they could set it up for you to take back with you. My sentiment is to purchase the best ukulele that you can afford. Price difference is not great, but sound and feel will be worth every penny.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    808

    Default

    I was on Oahu in November and visited many stores and played many ukes, looking for a budget travel and beach uke. I got lucky at the Goodguys store, where I scored a long-neck soprano for $85 including gig bag. This uke sounds and plays fantastic and is comparable to my KoAloha concert that cost me more than ten times as much. They still had four left in the store, go check it out they might still have some of them available.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,888

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    Mainland Ukes are made in the Continental US and are a pretty good bang for the buck. You could one waiting for you in Omaha.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you don’t begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    —Lou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    104

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenn2018 View Post
    Mainland Ukes are made in the Continental US and are a pretty good bang for the buck. You could one waiting for you in Omaha.
    GotAUkulele says Mainland Ukuleles are made in China and only final finishing is done in the USA. https://www.gotaukulele.com/2017/05/...no-review.html

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    104

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dohle View Post
    Aw, you get to go to the birthplace of the ukulele, I'm so jelly.

    It would be helpful to know your budget and/or specs for the uke you're looking for. If the Hawaiian made ukes are beyond your budget many of the Hawaiian K brands have cheaper budget brands that are still excellent quality for their price. Islander (by Kanile'a), Pono (by Ko'olau) and KoAlana (by KoAloha) are all decent brands and much cheaper than the Hawaiian made ukes. Even the KoAloha Opio range is usually less than the $500 you mentioned. They're made of acacia wood instead of Koa but are supposedly almost as nice-sounding. I personally endorse KoAloha massively. Their ukes are stunningly beautiful and have a distinct sound to them imo.
    Does Koalana still exist? I haven't seen one in years. The cheapest Opio is around $450 new, though the Koaloha factory store in Honolulu does sell factory seconds for about 1/3 off list price.

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