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Thread: Best sounding ukulele

  1. #11
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    I think it really depends on what you are looking for in the sound. I've got a few ukes that sound great to me but very different from one to another. I do think a good all-koa body uke probably has the most well rounded sound to my ears. In this case the best all-koa ukes I've personally played are a Glyph mezzo-soprano and an Koa Works tenor.

    Even though I've not really played a Moore Bettah (I've played a couple 4 years ago that were not setup, so kind of unplayable), I don't think you can go wrong with one because Chuck Moore has tons of experience with all-koa ukes and by all accounts, his ukes are outstanding.
    Visit the ukulele ghetto

    Too many ukes!: W. King ls-tenor; W. King ls-concert; Kamaka tenor; Koa Works tenor; KoAloha Pineapple Sunday; Dasilva Santo repro; Aaron Taylor tenor; Kiwaya KTS-7; Kanile'a custom SS; Kepasa Gypsy Rose; Bluegrass cigar box tenor; Collings UC-1; Bushman cedartone baritone; Glyph Mezzo Soprano "Mini-Jake"; Kala acacia pocket; Mya-Moe Concert Tradition; Epiphone Les Paul; Martin C1K

  2. #12
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    Totally subjective, of course.

    To me personally, the best I've ever played is my KoAloha Sceptre - followed VERY closely by a 1920's era vintage Martin soprano (couldn't guess at the model), a wonderful Compass Rose Rosewood 5-string at Sylvan Music in Santa Cruz, a National Concert Resonator, Gillian's 6-string Kamaka Tenor, David Roth's Mya-Moe Concert, and a Pineapple Sunday at Ukulele Source in San Jose.

    There's a custom made banjo uke that Ron Gordon owns (don't know the maker) that is absolutely superb, as well.

    Looking forward to playing something from Mike Devine, Check Moore, Brad Donaldson, and Pete Howlett one of these days...


    -Kurt
    Donaldson Kumalae-style soprano * Magic Fluke Timber Bass * Ohana CK450QEL * Ohana CK-65D * Ken Timms Soprano
    Moku MS-90S * Waterman * National Triolian Reso * Bugsgear Aqualele * Donaldson Concert
    Rosewood Vita Uke * Waverly Street #38 * Ko'Aloha Sceptre Tenor * Ohana Vita Uke
    Fluke FireFly * Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele * Republic Concert * Fluke Tenor M22
    Kala KA-KTG-CT * Cordoba 20TM * 1950s Harmony soprano *1920s Stella banjo uke

    Am I done?

    ...naw...

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  3. #13
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    Head to Gryphon Stringed Instruments and grab the Flamed Maple Compass Rose on the wall. You might walk out with a much lighter wallet. It was all I could do not to buy it when I was there last week. Might be the best sounding uke I've ever heard and that's comparing it to other Compass Rose ukes I've heard.

    -Gary
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    Compass Rose (Custom Tenor) Kamaka HF-3 Kamoa SM-P Kala KA-STg Tenor Pineapple (Rick Turner Build Class)

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  4. #14
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    I've not had the opportunity to actually play or hear in person all that many ukuleles. Even of those I've actually owned I'd have a hard time picking a "best." I suppose if I had to pick just one I'd say the KoAloha longneck soprano. But I also like the tone of my Mainland mango tenor and low G mahogany cutaway tenor though they are completely different from the KoAloha and from each other. The KoAloha concert that I sold after I got my longneck was also stunning.

    Why do we always insist that there has to be a "best" of everything?

    John
    I'm not entirely convinced that it is possible to polish a turd. However, if one were to accomplish that feat one would still have a turd, and one all the more noticeable for being shiny.

    Check out my ukulele-themed "stuff" at http://www.cafepress.com/fivebyfiveukulele - proceeds go to a good cause...UAS treatment!

  5. #15
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    Seriously, I don't think that there's ''the best'' sounding uke... I think there are a lot of nice builders out there that build some amazing ukes but to say that this one is a lot more better than another one is like not opening your mind and ears to appreciate all kind of colors that can bring different ukes...

    I think it's all about how you want and perceive the sound of what should an uke sound like.

    If you like the traditional sound like GX9901 said, best bet is probably an all koa uke.....and for that, guys and company such as MB, koaloha, kanilea, kamaka all do very nice ukes...

    But if you want something different then luthier like Luis Feu de Mesquita (LFDM uke) and Mike Peireira (MP ukulele) are building some that has not the ''traditional'' uke sound....but they do sound amazing though!!!

    So it's more about different color and sound presentation than best sounding...

    My favorites ukes are still the LFDM and MP ukes even if my Pahu Kani is just another amazing uke but more traditional all koa sounding...
    http://soundcloud.com/baouke/ : ukulele mixed with some electro-ambient lap steel music.....

    http://www.youtube.com/user/baouke : anything about ukulele, lap slide ukulele, dulcimer, shahi baaja or mountain dulcimer

  6. #16
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    A 30's Martin soprano is the best thing I've heard, but my exposure to different uke is very limited. The Martin was shockingly good sounding.
    Ha'ina 'ia mai ana ka puana - Two octaves and the truth!

    http://www.youtube.com/ukecantdothat

  7. #17
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    My two favorites of the ukuleles I own are a Kamaka tenor and a Mya-Moe myrtle tenor. I love playing them both, but for different reasons. The Kamaka has a more traditional percussive ukulele sound, and the Mya-Moe has a somewhat more twangy sound, but they both sound wonderful to me and I don't think I could pick one of them as being the "best." As others have said, you should try to play and listen to as many ukuleles as possible, and decide which is the best for your ears.

  8. #18
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    I like my Donaldson tenor. I like crisp precise notes and the uke does a fantastic job.

  9. #19
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    You guys are all wrong! It's clear from reading the posts on here that the best sounding ukulele is always the one you just bought.
    A hui hou!

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadzukes! View Post
    You guys are all wrong! It's clear from reading the posts on here that the best sounding ukulele is always the one you just bought.
    Actually, I think it's the next one I'm GOING to get!!
    9:23448

    Passionately Untalented

    Compass Rose (Custom Tenor) Kamaka HF-3 Kamoa SM-P Kala KA-STg Tenor Pineapple (Rick Turner Build Class)

    Gary Yoshida (added for Mim)

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