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Thread: What's the difference?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    7

    Default What's the difference?

    So I'm looking at getting a ukulele. Never played a musical instrument, and think it will be fun. After researching which would be a good first uke for around $100 or so.
    Came down to the Kala Mahogany KA-S, similar priced Lanikai, or kohala. But looking at the backs of them, where you adjust the strings. They are designed rather different. Does that make any difference in them staying in tune?
    Also, strings keep popping up. Are these "AQUILA" strings a must, or are the ones that come on the uke fine?

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    The things on the back of the headstock (top) are called tuners. There are 2 kinds of tuners. Friction and geared. Friction are super sensitive when you turn them and geared tuners take more turning. I recommend geared tuners for a beginner. Check out luna brand ukuleles too. Theyre really great.
    Lunaguitars.com
    theyre in the acoustics section of the website.

    And as for the aquila strings theyre probably what most good beginneer ukes should have. If theyre white theyre usually aquilas.
    I rock my Luna. With some mistakes xP

    http://www.youtube.com/user/UkeGoesRawrGazzawr

    Tabbed out:
    Mach 4 - Kalei Gamiao
    Senor Viktor - Aldrine Guerrero
    Naruto Medley - Aldrine Guerrero
    Going Home - Bleach OST
    Yuki No Hana - Aldrine Guerrero

    Check them out on the forums if you want

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Hotlanta, GA
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    Default

    I've got the tenor version of the Kala KA-S (the KA-T) and it's a pretty good starter instrument for the price - although I haven't played a Luna, I've played similarly priced Lanikai instruments that I didn't like as well. This was in a music store, so they might not have been set up well or had decent strings on them.

    Whatever instrument you choose, I would go through a known and respected uke-specific dealer, like Uke Republic or Mim here on the Underground. You'll be sure to get the instrument set up as well as possible and they can recommend the best strings for you. Set up really makes a difference on the lower-end instruments....

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Makanda, IL USA
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    To make things as confusing as possible, i might add...I don't very much like the lunas i've played, lots of intonation problems, Kala is a very solid brand, but my favorite for the 100 dollar range is hands down the lanikai spruce tops... Spruce is a delightful wood for ukes, and tends to be loud and proud. BUT all this said...it comes down to personal preferences. The biggest thing to keep in mind, is that ukes in the $100 price range tend to very WILDLY from instrument to instrument, same make and model. They just don't take their time and you get what you pay for. So sometimes it works out perfectly, and you've got a uke worth lots more than $100, but often times it just didn't go together properly. I think 100 is a perfect price to start at, but playing the uke first OR buying from someone who "sets up" the uke, like Mim @ mimsukes.com can really make a difference. A good seller will check for things like tuning, and action (how high strings are above the frets) and any major screw ups. If you want to check well for yourself at a music store or the like. As to borrow a tuner, or have them help you. When you pluck one string at a time and put your fingers on the frets moving up the neck, you really shouldn't see too much variance...maybe 5 cents or so ( you'll see that on the tuner readout). I find this is one of the best indications you've got a well put together uke. If the strings are two high, or the bridge put in the wrong spot, you'll see variation in the tuning, which means even when the uke is completely in tune with the strings open, you'll be out of tune when you play a chord...something that can't really ever be fixed (easily). this intonation problem is pretty common in ukes less than $300 (and even some for more) and can be avoided by shopping around, or buying from a trusted seller. As far as the aquila strings....i personally feel you can't go wrong! i have 15 ukes and just about 15 sets of aquilas...they are loud, warm, and full...and have a reputation of making a inexpensive uke sound like a million bucks. Have fun with your new uke!
    Alex
    From smallest to largest. Kala Pocket Mahogany- Ohana SK-21- Kala Travel Uke- Hilo soprano (my first!)- Kamaka 1960's Soprano- Ovation Soprano- Bruko Concert- Mainland Mahogany Concert- Lanikai Banjolele Concert- Lanikai 08E- Mainland Mahogany Tenor- Savannah crappy (but loved) baritone

    http://www.youtube.com/user/BornAgainJeeper

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Dundee. Illinois
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    my opinion the kala I have a KA- s bought it for my grandsons use, if you have average adult sized hands In my opinion start with a concert (KA-c) version to learn on. The stretches arent to long and the fingers won't be to cramped and it will be more comfortable therefore more fun starting out, you have lots a time to decide on size after you can play a ditty or two. They come with aquillas
    Honu KT-CTS Ashbory Bass OU6LCE
    Pono MCD-E

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Vegas! Valley of Casinos :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornagainjeeper View Post
    To make things as confusing as possible, i might add...I don't very much like the lunas i've played, lots of intonation problems
    really? thats the first ive heard of intonation problems on lunas. and mine sounds pretty good, nothing too noticeably off at least.
    I rock my Luna. With some mistakes xP

    http://www.youtube.com/user/UkeGoesRawrGazzawr

    Tabbed out:
    Mach 4 - Kalei Gamiao
    Senor Viktor - Aldrine Guerrero
    Naruto Medley - Aldrine Guerrero
    Going Home - Bleach OST
    Yuki No Hana - Aldrine Guerrero

    Check them out on the forums if you want

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default

    I checked out Mim's selection on ebay. Doesn't appear she has the KA-S. Is that because it's a lower level uke? Anywhere else you guys recommend buying from?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NorCal 916
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    7,830

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedoJosh View Post
    I checked out Mim's selection on ebay. Doesn't appear she has the KA-S. Is that because it's a lower level uke? Anywhere else you guys recommend buying from?
    Give Mim a call to see what's available. You can also try Uke Republic.

    Nana ka maka; ho`olohe ka pepeiao;
    pa`a ka waha.

    Observe with the eyes; listen with the ears; shut the mouth.
    Thus one learns.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Hotlanta, GA
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    Default

    Uke Republic has the KA-S, looks like.... comes with a gig bag and tuner for just under $100...

    I bought two Dolphins for my kids from Mike/Uke Repbulic - great set up with Aquila strings included, fast shipping, well-packed....

    http://cargo.ukerepublic.com/product...-s-player-pack

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    7

    Default

    Ok, might have to raise my price and uke size now. Just called the store who's uke I was checking out the other day. Turns out it was a baritone size. I didn't play it, as I don't know jack about playing the music. But, I liked the feel of it a lot.
    I know the baritone isn't the traditional uke sound, and I'd like to keep to that. So would a concert be better? I don't have giant hands or anything, which kind of worries me about buying one that might be to big to play.
    Any thoughts on the size I should go with now, b/c I think the soprano might be too small for my liking.

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