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Thread: First Ukulele: Mahalo U-30

  1. #1

    Default First Ukulele: Mahalo U-30

    I've been working on general ukulele theory for a while, but on a guitar. Today, I went and bought a Mahalo U-30, and I have some issues with it.
    1) It doesn't like to stay in tune for very long. Is there any way to prevent this?
    2) I tuned it using www.get-tuned.com, but when I play some basic chords (G, C, Em), they don't sound like they should. What am I doing wrong?

    Thanks for any feedback; hopefully one day I'll be able to play!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    New strings take a while to settle, just keep tuning for a week or so till they do.

    but first, tighten the screws on the tuners a bit. it'll help. big time.

    But an electronic clip on tuner.. seriously helps in tuning.


    as for the rest.. i dunno.. wait for the strings to settle first.

    JT
    http://tampabayukulele.com for TBUG info
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jtpokie for my videos
    and http://www.nightgig.com for my Drawing the Wrong Conclusions Podcast
    love,

    That Guy 1:94

  3. #3
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    In my experience, those Mahalos need a lot of work to get them playable. They're fine for fun, but I would never suggest one to anybody. Sometimes, their poor quality ends up putting people off the ukulele.

    A much better option is the Makala dolphin uke.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks guys! I'll definitely look into tightening some screws and maybe planning out future purchases a little better.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeso View Post
    In my experience, those Mahalos need a lot of work to get them playable. They're fine for fun, but I would never suggest one to anybody. Sometimes, their poor quality ends up putting people off the ukulele.

    A much better option is the Makala dolphin uke.
    My kids both have the makala dolphins.. nine uke for under 30 bucks..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgaMoznabVE

    a short video I did with the dolphin back when I was first learnin' to play...

    JT
    http://tampabayukulele.com for TBUG info
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jtpokie for my videos
    and http://www.nightgig.com for my Drawing the Wrong Conclusions Podcast
    love,

    That Guy 1:94

  6. #6

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    Would it be worth the time to buy some Aquila strings and just restring the Mahalo? Or should I look for the Makala Dolphin bridge?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    i bought that mahalo as well as my first uke

    the biggest problem is the definately the intonation. you can have each open string tuned with an electric tuner, but when you play notes across the fretboard it will always be sharper. this is because the stock action is usually way to high. hence getting aquila strings may improve the quality of the sound that the uke produces but it wont fix the horrible intonation problems. to fix that you have to lower the action (file down the nut etc). Imo your probably better off buying another uke with greater playability and intotation.

    but i did strum that mahalo for a month or so and learnt a few chords before moving on to something much better.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    depends on how much you want to spend right off...

    the strings would be about 1/3 of getting the makala... so it's up to you.
    http://tampabayukulele.com for TBUG info
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jtpokie for my videos
    and http://www.nightgig.com for my Drawing the Wrong Conclusions Podcast
    love,

    That Guy 1:94

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Davy's right on with his post. Aquila strings will help the sound, but not the intonation. If you want to fix the intonation, you'll have to get your hands a little dirty. It's worth it to do it, just to learn how to do it. Plus, it's fun. And you won't have to worry about messing up a pricey uke if you do it on the Mahalo.

    Here's the post I recycle for help with action adjustments:

    There's two ways to lower your action. You can sand the nut and/or the saddle down.

    When fretting a string at the 3rd fret, you should be able to slide a business card between the string and the top (crown) of the first fret with a little bit of friction.

    If there's no friction, then you should lower the action at the nut.

    Take the strings off and remove the nut.

    Get some 220 grit sandpaper, and nail it to a small, flat piece of wood or something. It needs to be flat, whatever it is.

    Run the bottom of the nut over the sandpaper a little at a time, checking your measurements frequently. You'll have to restring the uke a few times and check your measurements until you've got it just right.

    If you can't remove the nut, you can also file the slots in the nut a little at a time. Be careful if you choose this route. If the slots get too wide, you can have problems.

    Now restring your uke and check the action at the 12th fret. The space between the string and the crown of the 12th fret should be between 1/8 and 3/16 of an inch.

    If it's too high, you'll have to adjust the action at the saddle.

    To lower the action at the saddle, calculate the difference between your action at the 12th fret and 3/16 of an inch. Loosen your strings, take out your saddle, and mark this difference on it with a pencil, starting from the bottom of the saddle. Sand the bottom of your saddle down to that pencil mark.

    Hope that helps. Good luck.
    Last edited by seeso; 07-27-2009 at 01:43 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Nottingham England
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    Get a Makala! it's not worth trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear!

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