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Thread: Soprano Ukulele in the $150-$250 price range

  1. #1

    Default Soprano Ukulele in the $150-$250 price range

    I'm a beginner ukulele player looking for a soprano ukulele in the $150-$250 price range.

    I see that musicguymic on eBay has a KoAlana by Koaloha Solid Koa Soprano with case for $244.95, but I haven't seen it anywhere else.

    Does anyone have any experience with this instrument?

    And given a choice between that and the Ohana Sopranos (SK-25, SK-35, SK-35G), the Flea, and the Hamano H-100, which would you choose?

    Thanks in advance for all your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Morgan Hill Ca
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    330

    Default Uke for sale

    I have a Pono pss spruce top soprano with case. I just bought but would sell for what I payed. 159.00 you pay shipping. It was a great price when I bought it. About a month ago. Still like new and cheapest Ive found them is 399.00.

    Im thinking about spending a little more and getting a Martin to try.
    Dan
    zenking12@yahoo.com
    Kala Maple & Spruce tenor
    1927 Gibson soprano
    Martin 000-RSGT
    Martin OOOX1AE
    fender American strat
    Gibson Les Paul

  3. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss_street View Post
    I'm a beginner ukulele player looking for a soprano ukulele in the $150-$250 price range.

    I see that musicguymic on eBay has a KoAlana by Koaloha Solid Koa Soprano with case for $244.95, but I haven't seen it anywhere else.

    Does anyone have any experience with this instrument?

    And given a choice between that and the Ohana Sopranos (SK-25, SK-35, SK-35G), the Flea, and the Hamano H-100, which would you choose?

    Thanks in advance for all your help.

    The Ohanas are solid instruments (literally and figuratively!) but I have heard the action on them can be a tad high sometimes...that's something you might want to consider as a beginner. Fleas are the easiest playing ukes I have tried....the action is low, so holding down chords is pretty easy. Plus, they probably have the best intonation of any ukulele in that $200-ish price range. I think they make great starter ukes.

    I have never played the Hamano, but I have heard very good things about it. It has a street price of about 275, so it's really in a slightly higher bracket than the Ohanas and Fleas.

    Another option you might consider is the Kiwaya KS-1. It is a Japanese-built soprano made of ultra-thin laminate mahogany. They are built very light, and have a punchy, clear tone. Cool vintage looks too.

    Happy hunting!

  4. #4

    Default fleas are great ukes

    fleas are great ukes to learn on, the action is great and they hold a tune forever.

    plus, you can get a blemished one from magic fluke directly for less than 150. i bought a concert neck flea natural with a small nick for about 155 shipped.

    great people, great ukes.
    "those satisfactions are permanent"
    --GTO, two lane blacktop

  5. #5
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    May 2009
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    5,905

    Default

    I went with the Flea, because I wanted the following:
    - very durable construction (camping, changes in humidity, being outside, etc.).
    - decent sound and volume
    - something made close to where I live (could contact the maker easily)
    - fairly affordable

    The Flea meets those requirements perfectly, and I really enjoy it. However, there are some things about it which I wish I could change.

    I didn't care for the stock friction tuning pegs. The couple of the metal washers on the outside of the headstock spun when the pegs were turned. I also found they didn't hold their position as well as I liked. For $12 I upgraded to the beefier Grover 4B pegs, and have been extremely pleased with them. I don't mind friction pegs. They work well once you get used to them.

    The headstock (where the tuning pegs are) is not angled. It is straight. Not a big deal but I've gotten used to headstocks being angled and like the feel of it.

    The very center of the back of the neck is flat for the length of the neck, and not rounded like most necks. There are times this makes forming chords a challenge for me because the neck does not always have support in the crook of my palm between the thumb and index finger.

    I love that the Flea is basically no maintenance. I like the sound. It's comfortable to hold against the body, and it travels extrememly well.

    Almost forgot...
    My Flea came with Hilo strings. I found that the intonation (the accuracy of the scale) going up the fretboard was off. The strings were always a tad sharp.

    I changed the strings to Worth Clear Mediums and the intonation has been spot on accurate. The sound is also much nicer with the Worths.
    Last edited by spots; 10-15-2009 at 01:45 PM.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    Default

    You can't go wrong with the Flea for all the reasons mentioned above. I love mine and above all, it sounds great! You also can't go wrong with MGM. Check out his ukes in your price range and then look on You Tube for sound examples. MGM even has sound bites on some of his listings. Good Luck and welcome to UU!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by existence View Post
    Another option you might consider is the Kiwaya KS-1. It is a Japanese-built soprano made of ultra-thin laminate mahogany. They are built very light, and have a punchy, clear tone. Cool vintage looks too.

    Happy hunting!
    Thanks for pointing out the Kiwaya. I completely missed it during my research. I like the look of it. It's definitely a contender.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Southwest Michigan (St. Joseph)
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    Default

    I'm gonna have to recommend Mainland. I own two (soprano and concert) and can't say enough good things about them. http://shop.mainlandukuleles.com/cat...1?categoryId=3.

    Here's a couple of videos:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovc4MsISep4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Frpd...e=channel_page

    And how about a gratuitous photo of my honeybee:

    -KP (aka KC8AFW)

    My YouTube Channel

    Lanikai LU-21 Soprano | Mainland Mahogany Concert | 1930s Favilla U-2 Soprano | 1950s No-name Soprano | Ohana SK-38 Soprano

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss_street View Post
    Thanks for pointing out the Kiwaya. I completely missed it during my research. I like the look of it. It's definitely a contender.
    Awesome, be sure to let us know what you decide to get. I just got one of these Kiwayas from MGM and it's pretty darn cool. I'd say if you like a bright, clear, snappy classic soprano sound, it's a great choice. Lots of volume too. If you prefer a slightly fatter sound, an Ohana or a Mainland might be better (they're built heavier than the Kiwayas.)

    If you value playability first, the Flea is definitely your best choice. The only thing you sacrifice with a Flea is the traditional ukulele looks, and to some extent, the traditional sound of an all-wood instrument. They have their own distinct voice, which I like a lot, but some will naturally disagree.

  10. #10

    Default

    The problem I have with the Mainland instruments is purely aesthetic. I really don't like rope binding. Just a personal preference.

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