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Thread: Do you play your really expensive ukes?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Switzerland
    Posts
    59

    Default Do you play your really expensive ukes?

    Hey everyone,

    Just a random thought I had. I have been playing for over a year now and think I'm in for life, so I'm gonna start saving for that "one" hawaiian-made ukulele. Of course, they tend to come in $1000 or so and they look so pretty, so I'm just curious - Those of you that have these kinda instruments and also others, do you also play the expensive ones just as much as the others, or do they tend to stay in cases and come out on special occasions? When they're valuable I can understand maybe you would be nervous to damage them or something.

    There is no big deep question here, I'm just curious, as I'm pretty sure once I eventually save and get my hawaiian uke I'll be careful with it but I'll also play it as much as I can, that's the point after all!
    Current Ukes:
    - Kanile'a KSR-T Premium Tenor
    - MT Dorset Cedar of Lebanon/Sweet Chesnut Tenor (Low G) / FOR SALE
    - Enya EUT-MAD Solid Mahogany Tenor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    6,802

    Default

    My 'best' uke tends to get played as much as others, maybe more than most, but I do have a few to choose from....
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    178

    Default

    I have a Kamaka and a Kanile’a and I play them both (the Kamaka more because of the more comfortable neck shape) and, when I lived in Hawaii, wouldn’t hesitate to bring them to the beach to play while the kids got in the water.

    I understand some people get wrapped up in the cost, but I’ve got a theory that they’re more wrapped up in the resale value if you know what I mean. ;-)

    Not that there’s anything wrong with prospecting, but if I was trying to maintain a pristine collection, I would be nervous about playing them and that’s something I’m not interested in. I play all of my ukes and the only time I get nervous is when a kid wants to play one and I don’t have a strap attached to it for added security. Beyond that, I’ll play and play and play.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Posts
    100

    Default

    If you get a Ukulele for artwork collection, it's understandable not to play it.
    But if you get a Ukulele as an instrument, why not play it no matter it's expensive or not? Also playing is the best way to maintain an instrument.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
    Posts
    2,089

    Default

    Well to start with I wouldn't call a $1000 Hawaiian K brand ukulele a particularly expensive ukulele. I'd call them a mid priced professional instrument.
    Having said that, I take my Wise tenor ukulele which is a luthier built Australian custom instrument of similar cost out busking with me all the time. It's taken a few dings and scratches but when all is said and done I bought it to play it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    1,229

    Default

    I am never going to get a really expensive instrument (>$2500), since I would be hesitant to bring it anywhere and I would hold back playing it.
    I dont have any "regular high end ukes" yet ($1000-2500), also partly for the same reason, partly because I am hesitant to use the money.
    But I play my mid range instruments (around $500) without regard to them being more expensive than my cheapos.
    I only buy ukes to play them. I dont usually perform for other people, but if I should do it would probably be at a bonfire or a venue. I would want my playing to be optimized for that rare occasion, so I want my best ukes to be some I would dare to bring. I wouldnt want to practice at home on a super bling instrument, only to perform on a cheaper one.
    Playing:
    Anuenue AMM tenor - Magic Fluke Koa Tenor - Cocobolo concert - Kamaka Tiki concert - Cort concert - Ohana LN soprano.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers
    Posts
    516

    Default

    Bought the instruments I have to be played regardless of cost. Have a couple in the 1k range. They are part of my regular playing rotation.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    115

    Default

    Ukuleles are meant to be played, but I understand the question. If you are only going to have one nice ukulele, why not limit playing to increase life span? From what I have found, $1,000+ ukuleles are pretty sturdy and can handle regular playing. They actually hold up better than heavier built sub $1,000 instruments. As long as you are not reckless, I bet you can get 20 years of regular playing out of it. Just take care of it along the way!
    Soprano
    KoAloha Opio - Acacia

    Tenors
    aNueNue AMM3 - Mahogany (Low G)
    aNueNue UT3K Koa Bird - Koa
    aNueNue UT200 Moon Bird - Spruce/Rosewood (Low G)
    Jupiter Ukulele #64 - Cedar/Sycamore (Low G)
    Kanile'a K1-T Premium - Koa
    Kanile'a K1-T5 - Koa
    KoAloha KTM-25 #161 - Koa (Low G)

    Baritone+
    Kanile'a K1-B - Koa
    Pono UL4-30 - Spruce/Rosewood Steel String

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Port Hueneme, CA
    Posts
    2,742

    Default

    I have several “expensive “ ukuleles. My go to is my new KoAloha anniversary tenor.
    For a gig plugged in it is either my KoAloha super concert or Vento tenor. Outdoors and camping the Blackbird Farallon.
    Keep Strummin'

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,647

    Default

    I play my expensive ukes every day, but I have to say that I never take them on vacations, in cars, on camping trips. I've tried, but I'm just not wired that way. When I play my ukes, I play my ukes. It is an event. When I go to the beach, that's the event. So I don't take my ukes camping--not because I'm afraid of getting them dirty--but because it is a waste of my time; I would never take them out of their cases.

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