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Thread: How is Ohana for overall quality?

  1. #21

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    We have various Ohana at different price points. FWIW, the ukulele that was under $100 USD was not of the same quality of the much more expensive ones. The quality was good for the given price points on the all solid wood ones. However, IMHO these were not of the same caliber as our Koaloha 1200-1400 ukuleles. YMMV
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    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors including Baritone body at a Tenor Scale - 4 String, 5 String and 8 String :-)
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  2. #22
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    I got a solid mahogany top from Elderly Instruments at one point. It was around $120. There were some cosmetic things like stray glue drops inside and some things outside. That said, it sounded and played great.
    I got another one from MIM, a solid spruce top soprano B-stock (SK22 I think) that wasn't perfect cosmetically either, I mean it was a B-stock..but really nothing stood out that bothered me. It also sounded and played great. MIM's setup was a bit more thorough I'd say.
    I don't have either now, but that isn't because there were problems with either. I just don't keep many instruments at once. I'd consider them again in the future, and prefer MIM as the dealer.
    Last edited by jer; 01-18-2020 at 07:59 AM.

  3. #23
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    Jul 2013
    Location
    Grand Rapids, MI
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    At the low end IME itís even more important to buy from someone reputable like Mim or Elderly. They wonít sell you a bad instrument, period.

    Whereas one time I went intentionally to pick up a cheap beater quick at a Big Box, I had to go through EVERY uke they had before I had one that intonated remotely correctly. ďGreat sir, would you like us to get one new in a box?Ē

    Um . . . NO . . .
    Concert: Lanikai LU-21C (Southcoast MU)
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    Baritone "Rennaissance Guitar": Kala KA-SBG (C-Linear with Worth BL-LGs currently.)
    Tenor: Kala ATP-CTG (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Tenor "Low G': Kala KA-FMTG (Southcoast LML-NW
    Tenor: Kala SRT-CTG-E (Southcoast LMU-NW
    Baritone "Nui": Pono NS-10 (Worth B-B)

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    CH
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    Even from just looking at some of the pictures that Mim and other sellers post, I can often see several issues like the ones that are described by the OP. On one of the higher end models, there were quite obvious flaws in the purfling on every single one I found pictures of. While this is just cosmetic and doesn't necessarily correlate to sound, it makes me question their quality control and strive for perfection that I'd expect from any company at any price point (within reason of what is to be expected at each price point. I'd rather have a plain uke with no obvious flaws than one that is blinged out untidily with Abalone or rope binding or whatever).

    As to the assumption that Ohana and Mainland might both come from the very same factory: Are Mainland ukes really built in China as well?? I somehow thought they were made in Vietnam, but I can't find any clear information about their origin anywhere...
    Last edited by Rakelele; 01-18-2020 at 07:00 AM.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  5. #25
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    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    They must have some quality control, as indicated by the large number of B stock available at Mim's. I wonder if some of the poor quality reports are actually of B-stock items that were bought at hugely reduced prices.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    They must have some quality control, as indicated by the large number of B stock available at Mim's. I wonder if some of the poor quality reports are actually of B-stock items that were bought at hugely reduced prices.
    Are they marked "B stock" by the factory or by Mim? Is there a stamp to mark them "B stock" on the label inside to make it clear to any future owner that it is not their A game?

  7. #27
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    Feb 2012
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    MN metro area
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    Are they marked "B stock" by the factory or by Mim? Is there a stamp to mark them "B stock" on the label inside to make it clear to any future owner that it is not their A game?
    My Ohana long neck soprano was a B-stock from Mim. It's not stamped or indicated as such in any way on the sound hole label so I'm guessing the designation came from Mim herself. When I contacted her about the uke I eventually bought she said that the body was covered in light scratches like the finish wasn't totally buffed out and that's why she marked down the price and called it a B-stock. When I received it I had a very hard time finding the scratches. I literally had to hold it up to natural light at the perfect angle just to see them. I really had to look hard to see them so they're not at all visible when you look at it normally.
    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a uke which is basically the same thing.

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  8. #28
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    USA
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    Obviously, there are cases like above where it was noted MIM herself marked something B-stock.
    That said, usually on the B-stock instruments she sells it is clearly stated in the text that she bought them as B-stock from Ohana.

    Honestly, the B-stock I had from MIM was every bit as good as the normal stock one I got elsewhere as far as cosmetics go....which is to say they both had issues, but nothing that really bothered me. I'm more interested in structure, playability, and sound. Sound-wise I can't say one was better than the other either...just different... To be clear, I like an uke that has an overall look that is appealing to me, but I'm not worries as much about blemishes that are cosmetic only.

    So I'd have to agree that if someone is looking for something that is really, really good cosmetically you need to be extra careful with this brand. My experience is with models less than $130...so my expectations weren't as high for cosmetics to begin with. If I was paying $500 for one I'd expect better there...
    Last edited by jer; 01-18-2020 at 08:16 AM.

  9. #29
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    Jul 2008
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    I don’t believe you can go wrong with an Ohana. Take a close look at the 70 series, laminate bodies and solid top. The TK-70, tenor is around $225.
    Keep Strummin'

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
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    I have an Ohana TK-50GS B-stock Solid Cedar/Rosewood tenor. It was my second ukulele. I knew very little about ukes when I bought it. I thought it sounded the best of all the tenors in the shop. And was miles ahead of my first uke a Fender Nohea laminate. Most of what little knowledge I had at the time, came from Barry's web site. I knew there was a difference between laminate and solid. And that I needed to get a setup.

    The music store owner sold it to me as a new "first" quality instrument, not as a B stock. I had no idea that was a thing. I just thought the "B" on the label was a model number. I have come to find that the "S" in the model number stands for "Second"*. It sounds nice, chimey. Has very good sustain. Good projection. It has a very heavy poly high gloss finish. Which hides a number of minor cosmetic flaws. D shaped neck is very comfortable. Some of the best fret ends I've ever played, that are nicely rounded and set beck from the fingerboard edge. The nut is 1-7/16" with string space 1-1/8". I put Living Waters Low-G strings on it and it booms. The body is 2-7/16" to 2-5/8", and the edges are rounded so it's also comfortable on the arm. All in all, it's a good uke that is enjoyable to play.

    TK-50GS Front.jpg TK-50GS Back.jpg TK-50GS Label.jpg


    *I had decided to sell the uke to a UU Member on this site and was taking pictures of it to send to him, when I really began to notice the flaws. That's when I realized what the "S" and the "B" meant on the label. Boy, was I mortified when I told him.
    Last edited by Kenn2018; 01-18-2020 at 11:30 AM.
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