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Thread: 2nd ukulele advice needed! =D

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Default 2nd ukulele advice needed! =D

    After drunkenly ordering my first ukulele (15 maholo one off ebay) after a night out, i ended up playing it and now have a few songs under my belt and some spare cash in my pocket.

    Im abit baffled by the range of ukes out there, im not sure which is gonna be the best for what i want to do and the songs i want to play.

    i like rock, punk, metal and ska music, but also like the crowd pleasing classics, so i learnt stuff like Somewhere over the rainbow, island in the sun, I kissed a girl (and i liked it), swing life away, save tonight, etc etc. so would i be better off with a baritone or tenor uke or stick to the trusty soprano?

    also, my 15 uke is abit on the quiet side, nylon strings and all that. so is there any major volume benifit in getting a better quality acoustic or shall i go for electro-acou?

    thanks for the advice

  2. #2
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    May 2009
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    Albuquerque ,New Mexico
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    172

    Default Hola From AbQ New Mexico


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Er...Tampa!
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    Default

    Hey there. Are you looking to play gigs/open mics with your new uke? If so, maybe one with a pickup is the way to go. If it's mostly one for playing around the house or acoustic jamming with friends, I'd say skip it, because getting a purely acoustic instrument will stretch your dollar (or euro) further.

    As far as the rest....do you like your soprano? If you are happy with the fretboard size, might as well stick with it. Getting a concert or tenor (esp. tenor) gets you a fuller, more well-rounded sound, but you'll lose some of that charming punchiness of a soprano. You did mention wanting more volume, so maybe a larger size is the way to go. My personal favorite is the concert size, but that's just me. Tenor is the most popular these days, FWIW.

    How much do you have to spend?

  4. #4
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    Nov 2009
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    Default

    i was looking at around 50-100 ($80-$160), nothing too expensive as its only my second uke, and im i only use it to jam around the house/embarress myself at partys with it.

    cheers for the info

  5. #5
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    Sep 2009
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    UK
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    Default

    wow! you got bitten! - I too started with a 15 mahalo, and quickly upgraded, (though if I am honest, I have my Mahalo in one of our bathrooms and it's used as a (ahem) distraction when sitting at the great white telephone.....)

    In answer to one of your questions, if you spend more do you get better sound? - YES! - solid top, or even better, all solid Ukes have much MUCH better sustain and tone than your Mahalo will give you. Some of the very high end ones will blow you away. Same as acoustic guitars really. Better strings will also impove things no end. My original Mahalo came with what I can only describe as being one step up from rubber bands - get some Aquilas or Worths on it.

    That said, your price point is similar to mine for my second Uke, and seems a sensible step up ( you will regret it though, you are on a slippery slope!!)

    For me, my second Uke was a Flea from the Fluke Company (soprano) - it is sturdy (hell, you could play cricket with it), and has tons of volume and a nice bright tone - this served me well for a year, and I still love it. You may find one for a shade over 100 in its stock format (I think mine was 120) A Great great Uke - brillantly made in the US, keeps in tune and is a real talking point too.

    If you cant shift on price - look at Kala and Ohana - but try to go for solid top ( you should get one at that price) - Southern Ukulele Store on ebay are great on price and have a whole range.

    A 100 uke will be a huge step up from what you have, but you may still get niggles on intonation, buzzes, action etc (maybe). You wont get this with the Flea at all (as the fretboard is molded plastic - perfect dimensions - sounds odd, but works a treat), but on some at 100 made of wood, they are likely to be chinese and can suffer from quality control ( I stress "can" - some are wonderful instruments))

    Next step up from there is into all solid territory, for which you are looking at 150 plus. I just had my all solid Mainland delivered which is a real beauty, but is 170. You could go to several hundred on this route.

    (For my two penneth, I'd ignore comment regarding electro Uke - a nice plus I suppose, but if you factor it into your budget, you will get less Uke for the money. I have played acoustic guitar for 20 years, and have electros and non-electros - I have gigged with my non-electro, and have recorded it - if you want to do it, you do it - you use a Mic!!)

    Finally, as for scale length - I started on a Sop Mahalo, my Flea is also a Sop. In moving on again to my Mainland, I went for a Concert - slightly bigger body, but more importantly, more frets- essential if you want to pick right up the neck. I have heard that concert scale is now becoming the most popular choice - to be honest though, I am not feeling "uplifted" by having a new one in Concert mode compared to my last 12 months with a soprano.... I dont agree that my concert sounds less "punchy" - seems to me to be the same as my Sop but with a longer neck!

    Baritones and tenors are bigger again, and a different kettle of fish I cant comment on. In my view, Sops are fine, but I suppose Concerts are a little more flexible.


    My summary - For 100 - I'd think about stretching to standard Soprano Flea, or look for a solid top Ohana or Kala.

    All of that said - would totally support the earlier post regarding a Mainline - I have just had one delivered - was 160 - chinese parts, all solid top back and sides, assembled with love and care in Nashville by Mike who is on this forum. Stunning to look at, lovely warm sound - about as good as it gets as I can see at this price point (considered by many to blow away Ukes costing twice as much - if you can search for the extra 60, you should be delighted)

    Hope that helps...

    P
    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

    www.gotaukulele.com - uke reviews, songs, tips & tricks for beginners!

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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Kamaka HF-1, Koaloha KTM-00, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano

  6. #6
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    Nov 2009
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    Cheers for the info guys, definatly helping me decide.

    And i love the idea of playing on the throne. Genius.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    Best cheap Uke I have is the Ohana Long Neck Soprano and I couldn't be more pleased. It is great. Make for a super easy transition from a crummy toy to a real uke for not much money and solid wood. I got it from Atomicbich on Ebay and they were SUPER. Best service I have ever had!!! Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2009
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    Budapest..that's in Hungary
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    Default

    The Lanikai LT range is good if you are looking to get something more playable in your price bracket. but if you have a bit more get a mainland...bang for your buck they cant be beaten having stuff delivered from the states can be costly so look at musicislife.com, they have loads of ukes and are UK based.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    Hampshire UK
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    I just got a Mainland Concert Gloss and it is everything, Paul above said it would be and more, a real beauty. Well worth looking at
    all the best and good luck

  10. #10
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    Sep 2009
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    Er...Tampa!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dralisk View Post
    i was looking at around 50-100 ($80-$160), nothing too expensive as its only my second uke, and im i only use it to jam around the house/embarress myself at partys with it.

    cheers for the info
    In that range, I agree with whoever said Flea. It's at the upper end of your bracket (no frills models go for 169 new) but I don't think they can be beat in that range.

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