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Thread: My first "real" Ukulele

  1. #11
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    I've learned to (sort of) play Bianco Fiore, which dates back to the 1600's. Does that count?
    What could possibly go wrong?

  2. #12
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    You may want to check out kala KA-ACP-CTG (discontinued) and KA-ASCP-C (replacement). Both are solid cedar tops. The KA-ACP-CTG (and its tenor counterpart) have a large following here on UU. I've owned both ukes; and I think they are excellent values at the $250-$300 price point.

  3. #13

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    On the broader topic of what makes a 'real' ukulele, I think any well made uke from a reputable company would suffice as an instrument that can play all the pieces.

    I'd be able to play my repertoire on a $50 laminate uke just as well as on a $1000+ Hawaiian made one.

    Of course, the price generally reflects the cost of workmanship and materials that went into the uke, and there certainly will be a trend for the more expensive ukuleles to sound better. However, I think the rule of diminishing returns will apply. After a certain price point, the perceivable difference in quality will become less with increasing price.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    On the broader topic of what makes a 'real' ukulele, I think any well made uke from a reputable company would suffice as an instrument that can play all the pieces.

    I'd be able to play my repertoire on a $50 laminate uke just as well as on a $1000+ Hawaiian made one.

    Of course, the price generally reflects the cost of workmanship and materials that went into the uke, and there certainly will be a trend for the more expensive ukuleles to sound better. However, I think the rule of diminishing returns will apply. After a certain price point, the perceivable difference in quality will become less with increasing price.
    I've been saying this for years! A good musician can make any instrument sound good (or at least better than it is). Whereas, you could hand me the finest $7,000 custom ukulele and I would still sound like... me. This is why it's taken me so long to even consider spending more money on a better instrument.

    And I've seen some of those comparisons of ukes from different price points, and there's definitely a difference from <$100 to a few hundred, and further difference up to a couple thousand. Beyond that?

    Not to worry, the odds of me ever paying more than $1k for a ukulele are pretty slim!

    Thanks for all of the feedback in this thread, everyone! I've poked around some more this evening, and I'm leaning even more towards the redwood. It doesn't hurt that someone sent me a PM and offered to sell me a used CK-42. That could potentially make the decision a little easier.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  5. #15
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    I am intrigued by the concept of sinker redwood. I’ve watched tv shows regarding harvesting of sinker wood - which all seem to be in the lowlands. Florida, Louisiana- where there are many wide and slow moving rivers.

    Redwoods don’t grow anywhere near those sorts of rivers. The largest rivers close to Redwood country would be the Eel River and the Mad River? Which are white water in nature.

    I will need to research this.
    Last edited by Another Ukulele; 06-14-2021 at 05:28 AM.

  6. #16
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    Member ‘Kissing’ above has, I believe, hit the nail on the head; as good advice as anyone could wish for.

    In the original post: “Decided to send an email to Mim asking for opinions. Given her reputation, I wouldn't mind buying from her. (and she doesn't sell the Mainland) She came back with the Ohana CK-50G, which is also Cedar/Rosewood. Seems to be similar quality and slightly cheaper.”

    As I understand it the Ohana and the Mainland are so similar that they are thought to come from the same factory.
    I suggest that you keep things simple, don’t overcomplicate things with specialist sinker wood, and buy the Cedar topped Ohana. Mim has a good reputation, she’s earned it and her recommendation will steer you towards a winner.

  7. #17
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    He's a member here, but I'm not sure if he's still around. His other videos are worth watching if you haven't seen any. Looks like he hasn't posted anything new in a while. Great player.
    Last edited by jer; 06-14-2021 at 01:22 PM.

  8. #18
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    I've never had any doubts that a cheap uke can be playable. My only question has ever been "how much better is a pricier uke?" and "would I be able to leverage the difference in sound with my skill level?"

    That was a good comparison. The expensive uke SOUNDS a lot better. Sure, he can play the same tune on the cheap one, and it sounds "fun", but back-to-back... there's a very clear difference in volume and quality of sound.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Greenbag View Post
    As I understand it the Ohana and the Mainland are so similar that they are thought to come from the same factory.
    Mim's first email response to me after I'd mentioned the Mainland as a possible benchmark was "Ohana has a version of the Mainland". I thought she was just comparing the two, but... maybe the CK-50 is actually a clone of the Mainland and made in the same factory? Interesting.
    What could possibly go wrong?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LorenFL View Post
    Mim's first email response to me after I'd mentioned the Mainland as a possible benchmark was "Ohana has a version of the Mainland". I thought she was just comparing the two, but... maybe the CK-50 is actually a clone of the Mainland and made in the same factory? Interesting.
    Yes, many of the mass produced ukes are made in the same factories and they just change label and a few decorations. There is surprisingly little difference between ukes of different brands. At least Ohana makes the effort of having a bit of diversity by offering multi string and uniquely shaped ukes. Brands like Kala that just change size and a large variety of wood types and other decorations are boring, though at least they have U Bass as unique product.

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