Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 19 of 19

Thread: "Avoid The Gap" -- ????

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Launceston Tasmania Australia
    Posts
    21

    Default

    Entry Level? Gaps? JH has a point, but so long as you're happy playing it and enjoy its sound, does it matter? The most important gap is the time period between playing it, cause our own perception of our happiness fills any price gap.

    I have two friends who moved 'up' to a Fender from their $20 Mahalo and are thrilled. But then, they also enjoyed their Mahalo and one still plays her "smiley'. Me, I don't like the Fender's sound, (for me that's the gap), and so wouldn't buy it whatever its price.

    But the notion of it pleasing your ear seems most important because if it sounds crap we stop playing it.

    Out of interest, my first uke ($240) has become my travel uke. It has a sweet sound and I can afford its loss or damage, and so, like the 'smiley' Mahalo, it hasn't gone to waste.

    And Kkimura is correct, there are always ones purchased afterwards, and they actually fill gaps, gaps in the wall space, gaps in my collection, but made gaps in my bank account!
    Kamaka Concert delux, Kanile'a KSE Premium Tenor, KoAloha concert neck soprano, DaSilva Concert, Cole Clark Ukulady Concert, Epiphone Les Paul electric, Greg Bennett concert, and my pride and joy, a Scott Wise Super Tenor

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    6,802

    Default

    .....we all know that there is no "last ukulele".
    Ha, ha - there was in my case - KoAloha tenor necked concert solid acacia - I'm just attracted to 'long neck' ukes - (most of mine have smaller than normal bodies for their scale lengths).
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    NC Mountains
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KaminTheWeaver View Post
    Factory produced vs. hand produced vs. handmade custom: You can find really nice instruments from any of these sources, but the general question is how much human involvement goes into the creation of an individual interment. Some are factory produced with virtually no individual QC (Non-elite Kala), others are factory produced with some QC (Pono, for example), others are hand produced but follow a certain model (like the 3 K brands), and the most expensive are made my individuals who choose every piece specifically and put it all together while ensuring quality and sound throughout (Beansprout, Koolau, Moore Bettah, to name a few).
    The bolded group above is what I interpret as JH's "gap" ukes, and knowing what I know about custom furniture I would actually think that the bolded group of ukes are likely to be pretty darn good -- maybe in some cases even better than the next group up, and thus not to be avoided.

    A local craftsman took me on a tour of his shop and was very proud of his new CNC machinery. He said it allowed him to to produce items with more consistency and precision at a lower price point (or, uh, higher profit) than his previous model of all handmade. Maybe this is analogous to building ukes ...... but ukes aren't coffee tables, so maybe not.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
    Posts
    1,590

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    The bolded group above is what I interpret as JH's "gap" ukes, and knowing what I know about custom furniture I would actually think that the bolded group of ukes are likely to be pretty darn good -- maybe in some cases even better than the next group up, and thus not to be avoided.

    A local craftsman took me on a tour of his shop and was very proud of his new CNC machinery. He said it allowed him to to produce items with more consistency and precision at a lower price point (or, uh, higher profit) than his previous model of all handmade. Maybe this is analogous to building ukes ...... but ukes aren't coffee tables, so maybe not.
    All three big K brands have CNC carved necks and I think KoAloha may have just recently accomplished to do that in house. Use of CNC is not necessarily cheaper than labour as you need skilled programmer and technician to operate the machine where one in the US may earn as much as 100 assemblers of ukes in China. But the benefit is definitely improved consistency of necks and other parts where this can be used.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    775

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tm3 View Post
    The bolded group above is what I interpret as JH's "gap" ukes, and knowing what I know about custom furniture I would actually think that the bolded group of ukes are likely to be pretty darn good -- maybe in some cases even better than the next group up, and thus not to be avoided.

    A local craftsman took me on a tour of his shop and was very proud of his new CNC machinery. He said it allowed him to to produce items with more consistency and precision at a lower price point (or, uh, higher profit) than his previous model of all handmade. Maybe this is analogous to building ukes ...... but ukes aren't coffee tables, so maybe not.

    While CNC machines can make exacting shapes (which is used to make good necks and everybody seems to use), much of the manufacturing still relies on the craftsman, things like testing each wood, bracing, fret dressing, etc.. For example, I remember seeing videos of Kamaka testing the sounds of each Kao top before selection (I know Martin and Taylor also do this with their higher end guitars.) Also, many of the "gap" manufacturers don't offer Kao wood; so if you want to go with traditional wood, you can't find it there.

    I think the "gap" manufacturers, instead of touting their CNC machines, they should starting using and showing off their PLEK machines. I think this can give them a real advantage over the K-brands (the K-brands make fewer ukes so they wouldn't go the PLEK route, but the "gap" manufacturers can go there). The PLEK can give a playability consistency that the K-brands can't match.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    775

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
    All three big K brands have CNC carved necks and I think KoAloha may have just recently accomplished to do that in house. Use of CNC is not necessarily cheaper than labour as you need skilled programmer and technician to operate the machine where one in the US may earn as much as 100 assemblers of ukes in China. But the benefit is definitely improved consistency of necks and other parts where this can be used.
    The neck is not just about having the same shape but also how it is finished. Once you've experienced a good neck (I'd describe as silken feeling), your eyes will be opened forever. It's kind of like once you've played on a well setup uke, you'll know forever the feel. Also rounded fret ends, good tuners, etc. These attention-to-detail items make the playing experience much better.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Posts
    527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rainbow21 View Post
    But the $400 to $800 is a price range containing many wonderful and valued ukuleles. Pono, Martin, Kiwaya, Opio, aNueNue, Rebel, KoAloha, Timms, and many others that players are very happy to have purchased. Other than costing more, there is usually no downside for a beginner to own one as well and there is likely incremental improvement in many areas, including finish, quality of components (like tuning pegs), bracing design, and overall construction. This is often the endpoint price range for those not wanting to spend $1k or more.
    This. ^^ There are some really, really good ukes out there now in the $500-800 price range, which I'm assuming is still considered the gap range. I love my ukes in this price range as much, and perhaps more, than my over $2000 Kanile'a. It's about loving the sound, the feel, the playability of the instrument. And that love can be found for under $1000. A uke you love you will play.

    I do agree with JH to a certain extent. Instead of looking for "a great uke under $100, $150" (insert cheap price here), why not spend a little more and get something that will sound really good and you won't outgrow it in 2 months? I do think it's cheaper in the long run to buy the best instrument you can afford. If $100 is all you can possibly spend to move up, maybe just wait a while. But this is just my opinion. My ear for instruments has always been better than my playing, lol.
    Last edited by Cadia; 06-16-2021 at 01:31 PM.
    "So many ukes, so little money..."

    Kanile'a KSR-T premium koa tenor
    KoAloha KTM-00 tenor
    Rebel Double Cheese spruce/mahogany tenor, my BFF.
    aNueNue AMM3 mahogany tenor
    Romero Creations Tiny Tenor spalted mango
    Romero Creations SK koa soprano
    Pono ATC-PC acacia cutaway tenor
    Kala KA-ASFM-T-C flame maple tenor
    Pono MT-SP tenor
    Cocobolo 5 string tenor #28
    Cocobolo concert #467
    Pono ASD acacia soprano deluxe
    Pono MGS mango soprano
    Brad Donaldson cedar/rosewood custom tenor


  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    NC Mountains
    Posts
    186

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clear View Post
    The PLEK can give a playability consistency that the K-brands can't match.
    I looked up the PLEK machine and it is very interesting. I used the term "CNC" perhaps incorrectly; I was imagining that there is a machine that allows uke production with repeatable precision, similar to what the local cabinet maker does with his CNC.

    It seems like such a machine may enable every bridge, saddle, nut, etc. to be made exactly alike to such fine tolerances that no final hand fitting would be required -- and in fact the final results would be superior to what could be done by hand.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    1,646

    Default

    I think we're missing the point a bit. We're all getting triggered by certain phrases and getting on own soap boxes, which is fine and entertaining, but all James Hill said was don't go from crappy to kinda crappy; go from crappy to good.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •