DaSilva or MGM?

mani saguana

Active member
Sep 21, 2008
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San jose, CA
Before I ask my question I'm gonna introduce myself.
I probably should have done it in the introduction thread but since I'm posting this I'll just do it here.

My name is Armani and I live in San Jose, CA.
I bought my first ukulele in december of last year after watching Jake Shimabukuro's "While my guitar gently weeps" video on youtube.
So ya I have pretty much been playing since then.

Well, sort of
I kinda broke a string tuning it the first day I got it and never bought another one so I have been playing it with just 3 strings tuned G C D.
Ha so I guess I have to relearn all the songs I learned when I get my new ukulele. (I gave mine to my co-workers little boy so I am kinda uke-less right now)

That brings me to my question.
Since I gave away my shitty 20 dollar lanikai I need a new ukuele.
I was just gonna buy one from musicguymic on ebay because I've heard nothing but good things about him and I didnt wanna go to a guitar shop where they know nothing about ukuleles, but after watching the new videos of the 2008 bay area tour (which I'm disapointed I missed) I found out that Kala and Dasilva are both in the bay area.
So I was just wondering if you guys thought it would be worth it to take a trip up to Dasilva in Berkeley?
Well what I mean is do they have ukes in the $200 - $300 range?
Because after looking at the pricing on the DaSilva website it seems that everything is a little bit over my budget.
so ya
If anyone that has been there could help me out that would be great.
you cant go wrong with MGM
MGM is great! I have bought from him and am totally happy. But if DaSilva has ukes in your prices range I would try and check him out.(some other members may know more about this) That way you can hold, play, see the uke before you actually but it. If you are looking to get a different sized uke definatly try to play some of the different sizes before you but so you have an idea what you like.

My half a cent.
Wow, the economy is hitting everywhere.


heres my 2 cents:

if you have the money for a DaSilva uke, you should get it, but be prepared for a biiiig shiney penny to leave your wallet.

MGM is cheap and fast.

i personally would go to MGM just because i am always low on money.

hope this helps you out.
Armani, not to deter you from checking out Mike's shop, but I don't think you'll find an instrument the price range you mentioned. Check out his web site and you'll see what we mean. Besides, you'll have to order one and there's a turnaround time, I think 8 weeks, not really sure on this. With MGM, he has a variety of instruments in different price ranges. You can call or email him for more info. He's helped a number of the members here. BTW, he'll be at the Napa Valley Uke Fest this coming weekend.
If you can get a Mike Da Silva ukulele....get it...He makes very fine sounbding and playing ukuleles. I have a custom on order with him and jokingly he always tells me two weeks it will be ready That was over a year ago... His ukuleles however start at above the 800 mark. Always good to check out his shop I am visiting him this sunday after the Napa Valley festival......
Hopefully us guys goin be able to meet you down there on Saturday . . .
MGM - are you going to be back on the windward side at the end of OCT? i want to come by and check some Ukulele's out...
I've used MGM a couple of times now. If you choose to go with him I don't think you will regret it. Tell him your budget and what you want out of a uke i.e. you pick vs. strum, size, if you like the sound brighter, etc, and he will make a recommendation. He will also set up the action and put on what he feels are good strings. And you'll get a case and probably other stuff. He totally gets back to you with e-mails -- I bugged him so much the past couple of weeks and he always wrote back.

Good luck with your purchase. Let the waiting begin!
Ha thanks everyone.
I didn't think I was gonna get so many replies so fast.
but ya
it looks like MGM just got another customer.
I still wanna make a trip up to the DaSilva shop though to check out his ukes and maybe stop by a berkeley ukulele club meeting or something.
Hey Mani,

Definitely stop by Mike's shop even if you can't afford to buy one of his ukes. He'll show you around and let you play any ukes in his shop. He is a super cool guy, and his uke club is great fun too.

If you're in Berkeley, you might as well check out Peter Hurney of Pohaku. Very different personality and it shows in his designs and his workplace!!! He'll want you to play and comment on all the instruments he has around too.

Note that both Mike and Peter tend towards high string tension on their ukes, even when the action is low. They also string up their ukes in re-entrant tuning.

Peter Hurney also uses some unusual design elements on his ukes - like a "set-in' neck joint, like electric guitars have, and a canterlevered fretboard over the soundboard (ala Rick Turner's compass rose ukes). His bridge design is also unusual in how the bridge retains the strings. Peter has also sometimes used woods for visual asthetics or sentimental value rather than for their sonic qualities - he digs the ukulele as functional art thing.

Both Peter's and Mike's work are meticulous.

Mike will experiment with unusual woods and materials (such as carbon fiber tops, recycled douglas fir, etc.), but puts sonic qualities first. His ukes are also works of art, though. Try out his carbon top soprano if he still has it!!!!!!

I also appreciate Mike's respect for other uke-builder's work and ideas, including lower-end instruments. He also teaches apprentices on how to build their ukes using his shop equipment.

I guarantee you'll have an entertaining field trip in Berkeley!
Can you tell me where exactly in Berkely Peter is?
ha and maybe a good place to have lunch while I'm up there
Ha nevermind.
I just looked him up on the internet.
I'm definitely gonna make a stop there on my trip.
Are there any other ukulele places in the area?
yes i will be back i am going to napa just on friday and saturday staying in san francisco on sunday vegas on monday and back home tuesday
Hey MGM I dunno if you know already or not but the UU members in San Jose
are setting up a little show/jam downtown.
If your not busy you should stop by
I dont have any grudges against DaSilva, but MGM really does have the best stuff, at the greatest price, with the best customer service, anywhere. period. woot woot!
You do realize you're comparing a ukulele dealer with a ukulele builder right?
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