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Thread: Favorite Cheap uke roll call

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    on a sunny FL beach
    Posts
    1,400

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    A decently setup cheap uke is a wonderful thing. My first uke was a Lanikai LU-21B, a laminate plain Jane baritone. It still gets played today by my son. My current cheapie is a hobbyist made cedar/hog bari. Not cosmetically perfect but sounds and plays well and it’s a sentimental fav. What I like about them is that they get taken along and played in all kinds of circumstances. They get shared without worry. They are always ready to make music, when their “betters” are at home sheltered in their cases. Three cheers for a good cheap uke!
    Last edited by bunnyf; 03-24-2020 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunnyf View Post
    They are always ready to make music, when their “betters” are at home sheltered in their cases. Three cheers for a good cheap uke!
    Well said!
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2A | KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia) | KoAloha Opio KCO-10S (spruce top)
    UkeSA Pineapple Sunday concert (acacia) | Pop's Pineapple Sunday (koa)

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Near Lake Okeechobee, Florida
    Posts
    453

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    A Diamond Head DU-200T owned by one of my first students. I don't know whether that uke was an outlier.
    "Who hears music, feels his solitude Peopled at once -- for how count heart-beats plain / Unless a company, with hearts which beat, / Come close to the musician, seen or no?" - Robert Browning, "Balaustion's Adventure"

  4. #34

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    I reently bought one of the weird little Caramel CB500 all-rosewood "factory defect" baritone ukes. It cost me under sixty bucks, and while it's not as loud as some of my high-dollar ukes, it plays, sounds, and looks just fine. And it has a pickup! I've had mixed results with Caramel ( like the lack of side dot markers), but I can find nothing detrimental to say about this one. It's fun to play!

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    1,008

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    I have a Concert made by Alvarez that's pretty darn nice!
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    2,252

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    perhaps this reply is unfair but my first uke, bought by my grandmother from Long's Drugs, HNL,
    was a no name, orange-colored, soprano (or just slightly larger - mezzo?) from Japan. I believe
    my grandmother paid about $7 for it.
    it is my favorite, albeit no longer with me, because it was the foundation of all... get that(?), ALL
    of my ukulele knowledge and skills.
    I don't know how many hours I spent with it trying to figure out how to play it and how to work
    out chords to the songs I enjoyed hearing on the radio at that time (1959-60), when my 6th grade
    teacher first taught me and my classmates how to play, at Ali'iolani Elementary.
    Mahalo, Ms Wong!
    I learned to play off song sheets, how to figure out chords to early Rock'n Roll songs from the radio, how to transpose
    to keys in my vocal range, etc.
    i'm sure it must have had 'issues' like high action, intonation problems, poor sound quality, etc. but it
    was my only uke and, again, the foundation for all my subsequent ukulele efforts and education!

    That said, I do enjoy playing an Enya HPL soprano a fellow UUer sold me after he had shaved down the
    neck and added a personal sound hole. Thank you, Friend!
    it now resides in HNL so I can only play it when I'm there. It is full of little rubber duckies I share with
    toddlers and young children, with their parent's permission, of course
    I keep it in a Martin Soprano gig bag which keeps it very slim and compact.

    At home in Seattle, I like playing my green Outdoor Ukulele, but it was a bit more than $100, so it may
    not qualify with the parameters above.

    keep uke'in',
    Last edited by Uncle Rod Higuchi; 03-26-2020 at 06:06 AM.
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@seattleschools.org )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
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    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0o6id06c06...20TAB.pdf?dl=0

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    1,285

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    What a great story, and memory.

    I sold you that Enya. I had fun modifying it and am so happy to hear you still like it! At the time I kind of thought you were just being nice about how much you liked it. I'm also not a guy. Not that it matters. I'm stuck at home here in Washington State, meeting up with uke friends tomorrow for socially-distanced playing at the park. Good thoughts to my fellow Washingtonians.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rod Higuchi View Post
    perhaps this reply is unfair but my first uke, bought by my grandmother from Long's Drugs, HNL,
    was a no name, orange-colored, soprano (or just slightly larger - mezzo?) from Japan. I believe
    my grandmother paid about $7 for it.
    it is my favorite, albeit no longer with me, because it was the foundation of all... get that(?), ALL
    of my ukulele knowledge and skills.
    I don't know how many hours I spent with it trying to figure out how to play it and how to work
    out chords to the songs I enjoyed hearing on the radio at that time (1959-60), when my 6th grade
    teacher first taught me and my classmates how to play, at Ali'iolani Elementary.
    Mahalo, Ms Wong!
    I learned to play off song sheets, how to figure out chords to early Rock'n Roll songs from the radio, how to transpose
    to keys in my vocal range, etc.
    i'm sure it must have had 'issues' like high action, intonation problems, poor sound quality, etc. but it
    was my only uke and, again, the foundation for all my subsequent ukulele efforts and education!

    That said, I do enjoy playing an Enya HPL soprano a fellow UUer sold me after he had shaved down the
    neck and added a personal sound hole. Thank you, Friend!
    it now resides in HNL so I can only play it when I'm there. It is full of little rubber duckies I share with
    toddlers and young children, with their parent's permission, of course
    I keep it in a Martin Soprano gig bag which keeps it very slim and compact.

    At home in Seattle, I like playing my green Outdoor Ukulele, but it was a bit more than $100, so it may
    not qualify with the parameters above.

    keep uke'in',

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    102

    Default

    This uke shows up in the 1954 Wards catalog selling for $4.95. Airline brand, I think it's birch. My wife bought it for me at a 2nd hand store a few years ago (not in 1954) listed for $4.95 but she went on senior day so she paid $2.48. The shark tooth tuners and plastic fret board make me guess it was made by Harmony. Tone is a little harsh but the intonation is good enough for my playing.
    WIN_20200326_15_16_51_Pro.jpg
    Last edited by MutinousDoug; 03-26-2020 at 11:50 AM.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Redmond, WA
    Posts
    475

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    Dang. Uncle Rod and MutinousDoug really upped the game on this thread. Both stories are fantastic!

  10. #40
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    trondheim, norway
    Posts
    1,648

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    I have several cheapos. These four are my favourites:

    Rogue baritone
    Savannah baritone
    Rogue soprano
    Mahalo MK1TBR soprano

    I really, really love these ukes.

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