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Thread: Which Ukulele is best to buy in 2020?

  1. #1

    Question Which Ukulele is best to buy in 2020?

    Hello all please recommend best ukulele i am actually thinking of buying a new Ukulele after this pandemic. Looking for recommendations. Keep in mind I am a beginner and please do not recommend the expensive ones.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Whidbey Island, WA
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    It would be helpful to know if you are interested in a particular size and what your budget is. Different people have different ideas about what "expensive" means.

    I often recommend Kala and Ohana to beginners. Try before you buy if possible. Buy from a reputable dealer who will set up the instrument for you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    1,848

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    Gary makes good points. You may want to contact some of the better online shops out there. Some good options are

    https://www.mimsukes.com

    https://www.ukerepublic.com

    https://www.theukulelesite.com

    A good site with reviews and thing to consider

    https://www.gotaukulele.com

  4. #4

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    I will definitely try one before buying and I think I must go with Ohana as one of my friends also suggested me the same.
    Thank you so much.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    There's no such thing as "best" it all comes done to what you can afford and what is comfortable for you. I made a mistake in the first year of buying an "inexpensive" uke. At the end of the year I took the advice of people here on UU to contact Mim, who after asking me a few pertinent questions, recommended a $380 Kala. Now having nine ukes, some custom, it's still my go to gig uke.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

    Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Warm View Post
    I will definitely try one before buying and I think I must go with Ohana as one of my friends also suggested me the same.
    Thank you so much.
    If you want an Ohana (and I think that is a great choice), give Mims Ukes a call, tell her your budget and preferred size (if you know it), and take her suggestion. Don't worry about not being able to try first. It will arrive playing and sounding good and you will be assured that any problems are with you and not the uke.
    Ukulele:
    Iriguchi Tenor "Weeble" - A, WoU Clarity
    Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE
    Cocobolo 16" SC#1-gCEA, SC SLMU
    Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    Imua iET-Bb, M600
    Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    Rogue bari
    Bonanza super tenor, cFAD SC LHU
    Kala KSLNG, Eb SC XLU
    Hanson 5-string tenor, dGCEA
    Bonanza SLN GCEA
    Bonanzalele concert
    Guitars:
    Jupiter #47, G, TI CF127
    Pelem, B reentrant
    Jupiter #71, A, UG1

    !Flukutronic!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    Hi Alex,

    Welcome to the Forum. It's sort of interesting that you ask that question--we used to see that question quite a bit (i.e. "I'm a beginner, what should I buy," but I feel like most of that sort of conversation has moved to the many Facebook groups that exist.

    That said, I'll answer with my "stock" answer, which is that we need to know more about what you're looking for.

    Right now, with COVID-19, it might be a while before you can try ukuleles and buy them, so you might end up buying sight-unseen right now.

    And as you're currently on one of the best "serious" ukulele forums/groups on the planet, I do have to warn you that you will get answers from people telling you to buy the very best ukulele you can buy. I don't agree with that advice, but you'll see it here--as many of the players here have higher budget ukuleles.

    My questions back to you would be:

    - What is your budget?
    - What scale.size do you want?
    - Do you have any preference when it comes to materials
    - What are you looking to do with the ukulele (e.g. play at home, busk, play at the pool)
    - What is your schedule? Some ukuleles have to be looked for or ordered in advance (this now pertains to ukuleles being shipped from China).

    Just some of my thoughts:

    - For a first ukulele, I wouldn't spend more than $75. Make sure you like the instrument before spending "real" money on one.
    - I generally suggest concert scale instruments to people--for a starter instrument, you can always keep it or pass it on, but then you'll know if you want to go smaller (soprano) or bigger (tenor or baritone)
    - I have a few instruments that I'm pretty comfortable recommending, that generally come set-up pretty well. That list includes the Flight TUSL-35 (or 25 or 50), the Enya KUC-20, the Enya Nova, the Aklot AKC-23, and the Ranch 23 models. Not everyone will agree with me and will tell you to order from a ukulele specialist vendor. I love the ukulele specialist vendors, but I really suggest them for your second ukulele which will likely be in the $125-$250 range (or more). For most players, the TUSL-35 makes a lot of sense because it is rugged and it can transition to a travel ukulele (which is what it is) after you have moved on to your next ukulele.
    - There are a TON of resources on the web (YouTube) that can get you going the right way. Down the road, there are a lot of internet-based lessons that can take you further, including Ukulele Underground (the sponsors of this site), Artistworks, the many James Hill resources, and others.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

  8. #8

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    Due to covid-19 I am not ready to buy one right now. I will definitely get back to you guys before making any purchase decision. I asked you guys because i want to have some knowledge so that I make an informed decision when buying.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    608

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Warm View Post
    Due to covid-19 I am not ready to buy one right now. I will definitely get back to you guys before making any purchase decision. I asked you guys because i want to have some knowledge so that I make an informed decision when buying.
    Surprisingly (or not?), a lot of people are starting out on ukulele right now due to being stuck at home, bored, and looking for something constructive to occupy their time. Mim, of Mim's Ukes, has a weekly order limit and instead of reaching that limit on Friday or Saturday, she's filling her order queue on Monday or Tuesday.
    Larry

    • ROMERO CREATIONS SOLID MAHOGANY "TINY TENOR"
    • COCOBOLO CEDAR/COCOBOLO CONCERT
    • ANUENUE UT200 MOON BIRD (ALPINE SPRUCE/ROSEWOOD) TENOR (LOW "G")
    • KOALOHA KCM-10 PIKAKE KOA CONCERT
    • PONO ATD-CR CEDAR/ACACIA TENOR
    • HARMONY MAHOGANY BARITONE (1950's)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    196

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snargle View Post
    Surprisingly (or not?), a lot of people are starting out on ukulele right now due to being stuck at home, bored, and looking for something constructive to occupy their time. Mim, of Mim's Ukes, has a weekly order limit and instead of reaching that limit on Friday or Saturday, she's filling her order queue on Monday or Tuesday.
    This is true. Ukulele sales are going crazy right now (Mim reached her limit on the same Friday she reopened!). You can use your time, Alex Warm, to research reviews, listen to Youtube comparisons, tutorials, and reviews, and just learn general info. I find the demos on the Ukulele Site, along with their podcasts, very informative and entertaining. Gotaukulele.com has wonderful reviews. So does the Southern Ukulele Store in the U.K. After you've learned a bit about what you might like in your price range, and listened to sound demos, you might feel ready to pull the trigger and make a purchase. The vendors that EDW has listed are all excellent and will send you a problem-free, well set-up uke. Then you can start learning while you're still home. Mim will be the quickest of the above dealers for you right now, and she has Ohana. Avoid Amazon. You won't save money, and the uke will not be properly set up.
    "So many ukes, so little money..."

    Kanile'a KSR-T premium koa tenor
    Rebel Double Cheese spruce/mahogany tenor, my BFF.
    Kala KA-ASFM-T-C flame maple tenor
    Pono MT-SP tenor
    Cocobolo concert #467
    Pono ASD acacia soprano deluxe
    Pono MGS mango soprano

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