Are expensive "high end" ukuleles really worth it for a non-pro player?

Congratulations on making your choice. Apparently you gave it a lot of thought. Sounds like a good one. There are so many Ukes out there at so many price points and so many selections. But that's half the fun of picking put a Uke. You gave it good thought. Enjoy the new Uke. Hope it's in your hands soon and it gives you much pleasure. I wish I had your restraint - I have more Ukes already than I should. Don't regret any choices I have made but mine's a whole another story. You are giving it all good thought and controlled, I bet you will like that new Uke. Congratulations again. Good Job picking your Uke.

Thanks! Can't wait to get it and yes, I looked for hours and hours; the price limit made it both easier and more difficult to choose- lots to choose from but not a lot at the peak of the limit. I think the Koaloha opio is right there and "not too much, not too little but just right". Definitely a goldilocks ukulele!
You made an excellent choice that I bet you will be very pleased with! Like you, I'm pretty darn new to the whole uke world. My endeavors to learn it have come and gone for a number of years. I began the journey with a few different laminate kala's. None were terrible. But Then! My hubby took me to the beach a few hours away to a ukulele shop that had the nicer ukes! They had the normal affordable ones all the way up to the big K's! He told me to get whatever I wanted. After trying all the ones I had been pining over online and was dying to hear/try....I came home with a koaloha opio concert, and I absolutely adore it! It's my baby! I 100% agree with earlier posts that going from cheap - midrange is a huge improvement that you will both feel and hear. However, I couldn't hardly tell any difference between my opio and the koaloha koa concert beside it. And I had my hubby and the store owner play them both so I could actually hear how they sounded from people that can play! People say the koa wood will open up in time and maybe they might have a little bit more differences between it and the acacia down the road, but I didn't feel it was worth the extra $$. Perhaps one day we'll get one to test that out.

All that to say, good luck with your new koaloha! You made an excellent choice! May it bring you many years of comfort and joy!
Last edited:
Eggs - let us know how you like it when it arrives. Nice responses here that reinforce your choice and I bet make you feel real confident and comfortable in your pick. Bet you are excited about it and anxious for delivery day. Enjoy !
I have a couple of friends who have the KoAloha Opio Acacia Concerts and another who has the Spruce top version. After quite a few years of moving to and fro between Soprano and Concert I settled on the Soprano size. These days I don’t lust after much in the way of Ukes but I do lust after one of those Acacia Concerts and have done for some years. The expense would be hard to justify (I don’t need to spend that much for a Uke that plays better than me and there’s other uses for money too) but they aren’t too costly and, well, one day I might just weaken. There are many good instruments out there but that KoAloha is, I think, a star choice.
Others before me have stated this-- directly, or in as many words-- but for some of us the entire sensory experience informs our playing enjoyment, and the outcome. I am grateful for my 'expensive' ukuleles, and everything I learn about them (and myself, and what I'm drawn to) in the playing.

I'm so glad everyone here in this forum responded to this question and the related question I posted in the "buyer tips" thread. Honesty, forthrightness, experience and willingness to share opinions and recommendations helped me decide to purchase a Koaloha opio acacia concert ukulele. It's a beaut to look at and sound samples are very encouraging and right up my street.

What a great choice! I have a Rebel Acacia Concert, built by the same team that builds the Opios.

My Rebel Concert is a favorite (and pips the Anuenue AMM2, at least in my hands). You are in for a treat in build and presentation, however your own preferences clarify once you have your instrument in hand. (I hope you love your new Opio as much as I do my Rebel. :))

Have fun.
~ S.
Of course they are. Think car... or a gourmet meal.

I suspect a dry sense of humour here but the examples given illustrate the point very well. Most people happily feed themselves without gourmet meals and move themselves about without high value / high performance cars. Yes, a posh meal is nice and riding along in a Rolls Royce is (I suspect) luxury travel but nearly everyone can - and does - happily enough meet their needs with much less.
Last edited:
Hey @Eggs_n_Ham now that you are more experienced what’s your more informed/retrospective response to the question you asked years ago?
Hey @Eggs_n_Ham now that you are more experienced what’s your more informed/retrospective response to the question you asked years ago?
Eh, oh, um, well? I still play my cheap Aklot...I have a $2k all koa uke and ukes in between.

I'd love a Petros but I really can't afford one nor do my playing skills warrant one. I've found a financial sweet spot that suits me and that's generally below $2k. Really marvelous ukuleles live in that price range and with diligent savings can be had.

Currently my favorite uke to noodle with is a $100 dollar all laminate Caramel concert. My favorite uke is my cedar/rosewood Millar concert which ticks all the boxes for a really good uke at a great price point.
I'm a fan of custom ukes and I think the responses here aren't in concert with my motivations. Yes, a custom uke has perfect intonation and proper string-heighth, but that isn't really what moves me. After all, a custom uke isn't 10X better than an ohana although it costs 10X as much. Here's what motivates me. I want something unique and not off an assembly line. I want something that is made specifically for me and my signature set-up. I want to put my money where my mouth is and pay for an individual artist to create something by hand. So expensive uke buying is somewhat of a political stance or a lifestyle. That's just where I am coming from. Maybe I am aberrant but I just wanted to add the perspective.
I have played a few cheap ukes since I started back in 2011 and I don't feel like I would have appreciated the sound of my Pono had I bought it first. Now it is my prized and preferred uke when I sit down to play.
Agree; it takes experience to appreciate something good. Same for cars, stereos, surfboards, skis, firearms, musical instruments & other things.
Last edited:
For me, it's a process of gradually dialing in what I prefer by trying a bunch of different lower end options. If I ever finish dialing it in I'll spring for a uke so nice I'm afraid to play it. Probably end up giving it to one of my adult children. Then, order another "deal" ukulele and satisfy the little voice again. It's fun. It's wonderful to have options. Just ordered a Kala Bamboo baritone. Dang it. Now, to find a good set of black strings...
Top Bottom