How much is too much for a Uke

Tactical Uke

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...Asking for my wife...lol
I mean really. Unless it's for status purposes like an expensive car, yet it gets you from point A to B, why would someone spend 1000's on a uke. Asking for me. I'm not talking the about 20 to 300 hundred bean range. I get that. More like 300 up. Does a insanely expensive uke just because it is made in Hawaii or by a renown luthier sound that much better than something more affordable made elsewhere?
 
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Generally you're going to get what you pay for. Eventually the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Many people love inexpensive ukes. It's great as long as it has the tone you want. My cheapest uke cost $520...so did my most expensive uke.
 
Generally you're going to get what you pay for. Eventually the law of diminishing returns kicks in. Many people love inexpensive ukes. It's great as long as it has the tone you want. My cheapest uke cost $520...so did my most expensive uke.
Good answer. Heck, I might even consider 500 beans , but a 1000 or more. ??? I love the Uke , but have paid less for other quality even vintage instruments. It's like this movement has taken on a life of it's own. lol
 
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There is a huge difference between mass produced and small company produced ukes where each instrument is fine - tuned. This has a price and while the sub 1k ukes can certainly be very nice and functional you can't expect them to be great.
I totally get ya. But there are still less known smaller company instrument makers (in the east and west) as well as private skilled luthiers worldwide that fall way below the 1000 dollar plus market. For instance , been eyeing one from this site...even Baz digs them. https://noahukuleles.com/about-us/
 
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Currently the sweet spot may be from $1000 to $2000. This will include most of the best production ukuleles from Hawaii and brands like aNueNue. Above that and you know what you are paying for (and it will be worth it if that is what you want) and below that you accept that the difference from the 1k ones is a good compromise.

I willingly spend more (and have on a few occasions) and do not regret it at all since I play everyday, enjoy them every single time I pluck or strum, and even when I see them without playing and sometimes when I just think about them. That is in contrast to the one time when I let one go and regretted it for over a year.

(Be aware that you may have to change your forum signature)
 
I once played a luthier made ukulele. It was a little north of 3K. It was by far the best ukulele I have ever played. I almost bought it. I think it was worth every penny. While I could have bought the uke, I didn't think it was a wise buy for me at the time. The ukes I have purchase have been in the $350 to $1500 range. They are all a little different so it's hard to do a straight forward comparison. I will say the $1000+resonator that came with a hard case is markedly better than the $350+ resonator that came with a soft case. Both primarily made with maple. I toss in the note about the case as I do think that is part of the cost of the package one buys. I tend to agree there seems to be a sweet spot between $1K &$2K.
Ukuleles of good or higher quality are not so expensive as compared to other instruments of similar quality.
 
Currently the sweet spot may be from $1000 to $2000. This will include most of the best production ukuleles from Hawaii and brands like aNueNue. Above that and you know what you are paying for (and it will be worth it if that is what you want) and below that you accept that the difference from the 1k ones is a good compromise.

I willingly spend more (and have on a few occasions) and do not regret it at all since I play everyday, enjoy them every single time I pluck or strum, and even when I see them without playing and sometimes when I just think about them. That is in contrast to the one time when I let one go and regretted it for over a year.

(Be aware that you may have to change your forum signature)
Pretty fair comment from an American with a higher income bracket and not far from Hawaii. But say you are from Hungary like me or somewhere else in Europe who doesn't have access to such luxuries? Would it be that much more of a benefit sonically to pay that much more for a similar sounding instrument that plays and sounds as well as a more expensive model? Maybe resale value? My only problem here is we don't have such in shops to play before you pay. I am pretty sure if I bought a Martin, aNueNue, or even a top end Flight, i would probably be overly satisfied via direct factory as my needs are meager. Then i see things like this and wonder if this isn't just as good sonically. Which is really what I am after. Baz approved and all. https://noahukuleles.com/about-us/
 
I play my cheaper yet good quality laminates for hours a day with great satisfaction. Maybe I am already dead. lol
I have some really, really high-end ukes. The one I play more than all the others was GBP35. It's fallen apart and been glued back together twice!

Sounds better than some ukes I've played that cost ten times as much!
 
Currently the sweet spot may be from $1000 to $2000. This will include most of the best production ukuleles from Hawaii and brands like aNueNue. Above that and you know what you are paying for (and it will be worth it if that is what you want) and below that you accept that the difference from the 1k ones is a good compromise.

I willingly spend more (and have on a few occasions) and do not regret it at all since I play everyday, enjoy them every single time I pluck or strum, and even when I see them without playing and sometimes when I just think about them. That is in contrast to the one time when I let one go and regretted it for over a year.

(Be aware that you may have to change your forum signature)
"(Be aware that you may have to change your forum signature)" Not had a problem yet. Do YOU have a problem with it? Sadly in these backward thinking / woke politically correct days of divide and conquer , it's a tough biz I know. lol Thanks for the heads up...or down depending on one's point of reference.
 
But say you are from Hungary like me or somewhere else in Europe who doesn't have access to such luxuries?
It's worth travelling and meeting as many ukulele players as you can. Avoid the resellers and the hype - a review can't say what an instrument is like, because even two examples of the same model can be totally different. Trust your ears, rather than the price tag.
 
I have some really, really high-end ukes. The one I play more than all the others was GBP35. It's fallen apart and been glued back together twice!

Sounds better than some ukes I've played that cost ten times as much!

Great answer. I only own cheaper yet decent quality laminates but am looking to upgrade to a solid wood upgrade come this Xmas, which is my reason for asking. 500 squid is my limit I reckon. I could save up more and go 1000 next year but not sure it would be worth it honestly. Derbyshire...lovely landscape around them parts...in parts.
 
It's worth travelling and meeting as many ukulele players as you can. Avoid the resellers and the hype - a review can't say what an instrument is like, because even two examples of the same model can be totally different. Trust your ears, rather than the price tag.
Ya ..that is my problem. I am quite isolated in terms of shops AND Ukulele players here in Hungary. Not a lot of macho metal bands do the uke..lol
 
Simply put, the answer depends on your personal economics.

My most expensive ukulele is worth $1500 (didn’t pay anywhere near that) and if I had a $10,000 Petros, I would not be ashamed to own it.

There is a fundamental shift in tone and playability around the $600-$800 level these days (think KoAloha Opio, Kanile’a Oha, Pono, Rebel, AnueNue) so if a player was to buy one good instrument to start on and had the budget, I would send them that way.

If not, there are many great instruments under $200.

If you could only have one, I’d point the buyer towards an indestructible (basically) Blackbird or KLŌS, which are in the $1200 to $1600 range.

But there’s nothing wrong with playing a $65 Flight Travel Ukulele, either.

So many options…I’m back to the fact that it is about your budget, your passion, and your desire for a particular sound or playing experience.
 
My best uke was made by https://marleyguitar.com/ and cost $600 in 2022, its a tenor with a extra wide radius fret board, it was made 100% to my specifications (you pick the tone woods, style, etc.). Not a bad deal for a USA made instrument. It has received multiple complements from professional Players . My other ukes are a Mexico made Martin and an Asian Kala. Both are nice but don't compare to the USA made uke.
 
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