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Thread: First-time buyer

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    3

    Question First-time buyer

    Hi all!

    I'm interested in playing the ukulele and I want to get my first ukulele, but at a reasonable price and excellent quality.

    I know there are all sorts of types of ukuleles, could you advise whether an adult beginner should start with a soprano or a concert? What's their difference in sound?

    Going back to specific ukuleles, I'm searching for a ukulele from $110 to a maximum $300. What do you recommend that sounds great, stays in tune, etc.?

    So far I've thought of these:

    KoAlana Soprano
    by KoAloha Ukulele
    $175

    Mele Mahogany Concert
    by Mele Ukulele
    $299

    Cordoba 25 SK Soprano
    by Cordoba Guitars
    $199

    Cordoba 25 CK Concert
    by Cordoba Guitars
    $229


    What do you think of those ukuleles? Do you have another model that you'd recommend?'

    Thanks so much!
    Last edited by Walrus!; 02-18-2008 at 12:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    SAN DIEGO, CA
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    827

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Walrus! View Post
    Hi all!

    I'm interested in playing the ukulele and I want to get my first ukulele, but at a reasonable price and excellent quality.

    I know there are all sorts of types of ukuleles, could you advise whether an adult beginner should start with a soprano or a concert? What's their difference in sound?

    Going back to specific ukuleles, I'm searching for a ukulele from $110 to a maximum $300. What do you recommend that sounds great, stays in tune, etc.?

    So far I've thought of these:

    KoAlana Soprano
    by KoAloha Ukulele
    $175

    Mele Mahogany Concert
    by Mele Ukulele
    $299

    Cordoba 25 SK Soprano
    by Cordoba Guitars
    $199

    Cordoba 25 CK Concert
    by Cordoba Guitars
    $229


    What do you think of those ukuleles? Do you have another model that you'd recommend?'

    Thanks so much!
    Look in to Pono brand also...

    There is a poll about what type (size) of uke most of us play. They tend to be tenor first and concert second. Soprano is very small, but has that Hawaiian old school sound. Most pro performers use a tenor size. The bigger the uke, the deeper the sound typically.
    Last edited by UKESTAR; 02-18-2008 at 01:17 PM.
    Where are the other two strings?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    3

    Default

    I'm thinking of trying the Concert first

    Do you have experience with the brands I listed? and of Pono? what makes a better deal than the other? Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Twin Cities, MN
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    I have owned a KoAlana concert and tried Cordoba and Mele ukes. I would not recommand any of these unless you can try for yourself to make sure of the sound and workmanship. The KoAlana sounded and played great, but it had some bad workmanship, especially the frets. It also buzzed and I had to fill a couple of nut slots to fix that. I tried the Cordoba at a Guitar Center and was completely unimpressed. In fact I thought the Mitchell ukes at Guitar Center, which aren't that great either, were better than the cordoba. I tried a couple of Meles in Oahu and don't remember much about them. However, at another ukulele forum, I read that the probability of a Mele cracking is fairly high.

    For a concert in the $300 range, I'd recommend a Koa Pili Koko. I thought those were well built and sounded good when I tried them. I have not tried any Ohana ukes but their owners speak highly of them. A concert Flea or Fluke with rosewood fretboard is also a good bet if you like their unconventional shape.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    ontop da mainland
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    try see my odda post ... get one Pono solid mahogany concert size ... $300 free shipping!

    http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-...QQftidZ2QQtZkm

    you gotta at least give um one chance. dey sound awesome.

    shootz. have fun shopping!
    If can, can. If no can, no can.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2008
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    SAN DIEGO
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    I have had a bit of experience with a Cordoba concert and was unimpressed. I did not think it sounded quite right. For the price, I feel you could do much better. For a quality ukulele at an affordable price, I'd recommend an Ohana Ukulele. Mine sounds great, stays in tune and is constructed well.

    Whatever you decide to purchase, good luck and have fun.

    Ohana Ukuleles
    http://www.ohana-music.com/products.html

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ogden UT
    Posts
    2,705

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    When I was looking for my first Uke(last week, ha), I tried the Cordobas. Very unimpressed. If someone who hasn't even played a Uke before can tell that a certain Uke is bad, then you KNOW it's bad. Both Cordobas I tried had at least 1 jagged fret that would eat away at your fingers if you played for more then 5 minutes.

    I went with a Mitchell mu-70. Quality on mass-produced stuff is always hit and miss. I just happened to get a hit here. No buzz, super good fretwork, perfectly intoned. Plus, it looks better than most Ukuleles, not that any Uke looks bad at all. Stock strings should be replaced, but that's true for most stringed instruments. I wouldn't have to buy another Uke for a long time. But I've got a case of UAS, and I want a few more Ukes. Ha ha.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2008
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    Pono concert or tenor. Amazing quality for great price

  9. #9
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    Feb 2008
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    3

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    I haven't found any actual ukulele shops in my area, so I'm limited to instruments sold on-line . But I'll digest that and get back

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    San Juan Capistrano, CA
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    Your words: "my first ukulele" -- you said 'first', not 'only'. Wether or not you're aware of it yet, it is most likely the first of several (at least).

    Check this out:
    KALA BRAND KA-C (Concert)
    $135 delivered if you get it from musicguymic on ebay. You get a good hard case, upgraded strings, a chord book and a pitchpipe to get you all learned up and in tune.

    This is a great low-priced but built to last uke that sounds great and will even take a little bit of a beating.

    Your first uke will get you started learning what works for YOU. I suggest concert size simply because it's middle ground and from there you can be the judge of if it's too small, too large or just right.

    It will be your new best friend, you will have a special bond with it and probably never get rid of it even after your collection fills your living room.

    Don't spend too much time or money on this one because it will teach you what you do and don't want from an ukulele. I really dig the Pono ukes -- I think they're awesome for the money, but I would still start cheaper because you really don't know what is best suited to you yet and while we can guess all day, nobody can tell you for sure.

    Take the rest of your budget, add to it and invest in mutual funds because you'll need to money once the fever kicks in and you're up until 3am searching the web for that 5K Martin with the swirled grain in the headstock in 'just the right spot'.



    Stop reading. Right now. Go order your uke. (whispering; ' . . . join usssss ')

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