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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Ukulele Advice

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Peegoo
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Enjoying

the downtime
Oct 10th, 2017 08:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a Kala concert-sized ukulele and it is very good for the money. Made of solid koa and mahogany, with a slot headstock. Plays and sounds amazing.

I also have one of

these, and it plays and sounds remarkably good. 50 bucks and bulletproof.

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Oct 10th, 2017 08:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks Peegoo.

I never would have considered the Waterman, if you hadn't mentioned it. It looks too much like a toy. If it REALLY sounds remarkably good, I will give it serious consideration. It also has the added benefit of not needing humidification - Minnesota winters can be harsh on wooden instruments.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 10th, 2017 09:25 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I recently picked up one the plastic Kala Waterman. It is a fun uke, It's action is a bit high compared to other ukes I have. I traded for a Flea Market Music "Flea" that is a very nice instrument, I just checked, they ain't cheap. I have played some less expensive ukes that were set up nicely and under $100.00.

A lot of people start with the Flea or the Fluke and as they get into higher end ukes they still play these FMM ukes. The tone and playability is good and consistent. These are laminated tops with plastic backs. Durable and sturdy.

reverend mikey
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You're old. Then vintage. Then good!
Oct 10th, 2017 10:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a Cordoba concert uke w/solid mahogany top, laminated b/s... I think it was around $145 around 3 years ago (with a very nice gig bag).

Bought my daughter a Luna tattoo concert uke that was around $75-85...no solid woods, but I think it sounds as good as my Cordoba.

Seachild
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Long Island, NY

These days I sit on corner stones
Oct 10th, 2017 11:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have a Kala tenor uke that I really love. It's the Kala SMHT model, and is solid mahogany. I paid ~$250 for it about 2 years ago.

I keep it in my office right next to my desk and play it just about every day. It plays great and sounds better!

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Oct 10th, 2017 11:43 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hushnel,

Thanks for the feedback. I think the Waterman will be my low-cost option. I listened to some youtube videos but, with my lousy earbuds, ALL ukuleles sound similar. I guess I'll have to stop by a music store and try some in person.

I looked at the Flea/Fluke ukuleles but they are too expensive. She also prefers the traditional shape, I think.

Reverend,

The ukulele I have been considering as my higher-end option is very much like your Cordoba. It's a Kala with a solid mahogany top. Elderly Instruments has it for $149.

Please keep the suggestions coming. It turns out there are more options out there than I imagined.

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Oct 10th, 2017 11:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Oops. The ukulele at Elderly is actually an Ohana, not a Kala. It's the CK-20 model. Solid mahogany top with laminated back and sides. It looks pretty good to me.

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Oct 15th, 2017 04:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

We took a run over to Groth Music yesterday because they have a nice selection of ukuleles. I had pretty much narrowed down the options to three Kala models and one Makala model. I was still leaning toward a model that had, at least, a solid top. However, I wanted to see if the all-lam ukes sounded nearly as good for a lot less money.

The guy who helped us at the store immediately steered us to the lower-end, all-lam models. He said that they were best for a beginner who hadn't proven they would stick with the instrument. I couldn't argue with that. The uke that sounded and looked the best turned out to be the Makala, which is Kala's budget brand. It was also the cheapest of the four ukes I intended to look at. Even with a padded gig bag and a clip-on tuner, we got out of the store for slightly over $110.

As I think about it today, I'm wondering if the salesman at Groth pushes the low-end ukes because he knows we'll be back for an upgrade soon enough. Looking at the ukulele forums, they talk about UAS the same way we talk about GAS.

What have I gotten myself into?

hushnel
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North Florida

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Oct 15th, 2017 10:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I think that's a good choice, I recal picking one up at a maw and pa music store in Live Oak and was impressed with the tone/price point. It wasn't until I saw the name that I remembered the instrument.

Ya need to start somewhere. Having played my whole life I was pretty certain that I would stick with the uke. My first was a trade I made for the Flea. I still have it and it's road worthy, It's my bike and camping uke, it has the wood/metal fret fingerboard.

I probably have ten or more ukes now, most of them where from ebay and in bad shape, less than $10 maybe $20, a couple of these turned out to be really nice, I did a lot of repairs on them and experimented with them before I built a couple for myself using gourds.

The ukes I actually purchased new are the waterman, $35.00 new from a buddy of mine that owns Florida Bay Outfitters, a kayak, canoe shop, he let me have it for his cost. The Kepasa uke I had Kevin build for me to my specifications, it was just over $700.00, it's a soprano, spruce over Koa, ebony figerboard on a mahogany neck, ebony and curly maple binding, with Peghead Tuners. I did the inlay on the headstock overlay on this one, I did an inlay for Kevin too. It's an amazing uke.

The one that may have the best tone is an old 1917 Martin that I traded for, it needed it's bracing repaired, it is amazingly loud with a wonderful tone. It's in good shape, the woman I got it from had me do some work with her on some songs she was writing. It was her grandmothers uke, she bought it while attending a fair in California. I did some setup work on her guitars, and made her a custom tooled guitar strap with silver hardware, then added $140.00 fo the trade. It needed a new home, it was wrapped in a towel in the back seat of her car in the full June sun at the Last Chance Saloon in Florida City.

These ukes are in my profile.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 01:30 PM, Oct 15th, 2017)

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Oct 15th, 2017 05:23 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hushnel,

You have some beautiful ukes there. But, of course, they are in an entirely different league from the starter-uke we just bought. Incidentally, I perused the other pictures in your profile and saw that you have two vintage Singer sewing machines. My wife has a 1919 Singer that she inherited from her Mother. Hers has six drawers rather than four but otherwise looks very much like the ones you have pictured.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 15th, 2017 07:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They're great machines I use the treadle and handcranck machines mostly. When I do need a zig zag stitch I use an old Singer 401 from the late 50s early 60s.

It the machine has been sitting awhile it probably needs a good cleaning, If it seems really stiff it's the old dried out grease. It can be removed with kerosene.

External link

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Nov 5th, 2017 05:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I bought a solid-top Mahogany tenor Cordoba a few days ago. It was a Stupid Deal of the Day at Musician's Friend and I couldn't pass it up. It was half price. It's a nice Ukulele and now I can play along with my wife as she learns to play hers.

Chris Greene
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Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Nov 5th, 2017 09:46 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Sounds like winning!

SandBagger
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Texas

Enjoy Every Popsicle
Nov 5th, 2017 09:56 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Very timely.

I was just playing some Cordoba ukes yesterday at a 'mom&pop' shop right down the road from my crib.


One of them was even a cutaway with electronics and a built in tuner. It actually had a "comfort" edge where your arm touches the uke body... it was beveled instead of a sharp 90% edge.... if that makes sense....

but the Musicians Friend SDOTD is the way to go $$$$$

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 5th, 2017 11:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So you have a tenor and soprano? Sounds good, they do reproduce fairly quickly. Don’t leave them alone in the dark or you’ll wind up with a dozen “o)

SandBagger
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Texas

Enjoy Every Popsicle
Nov 5th, 2017 08:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

^ LOL

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Nov 6th, 2017 05:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hushnel,

Yes, I suppose if we're not careful, we could end up with a brand new, bouncing baby Sopranissimo.

We are having fun playing them but it's weird having to transpose on the fly for me. You know, seeing a G chord and playing a D shape. I'm getting used to it though.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 6th, 2017 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Think capo at the 5 th fret on a standard guitar, minus the E and A string.

orrk01
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USA / Saint Paul, MN

Nov 7th, 2017 04:33 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

HaHa. It's no easier for me transpose on the fly with a capo'd guitar than it is to play the ukulele. Like I say, I'm getting used to it.

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Nov 7th, 2017 09:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Capos are a pain, I’ve been sitting in with the song farmers circle. These old time music guys use a lot of capos. Like they know 5 maybe 7 chords and move the thing around so they can play the same cowboy chords in various keys.

I can transpose fairly fast, being primarily a bass player I’ve gotten used to figureing out the root, and some melodies based on chords guitar players are using at various positions. Not so much with guitar to uke though.

Getting to know the uke’s finger board a little better would help me out tremendously. That’s where the capo at the fifth fret comes in. The D made at the 7th fret of the guitar is a G, by way of the uke I can learn more about other position guitar chords and vice a versa “o)

Now the banjo, it freaks me out a bit. Off tunings are tougher than the mess the capo causes. “o) Somethimes I think I should of taken up the piano, with all the notes laid out in black and white and the intervals clearly obvious.

I should have studied music theory a bit more. I’ll listen to the guitar guys talk about this scale or progression the crazy suffixes added to chords and feel I know nothing. Then they start playing and I’m fine, I know music but not so much the language of it’s theories. 7 notes with 12 intervals an yet libraries are filled with books about it. Freaky how we like to make things so complicated “o)

I made this one using a gourd.

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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Ukulele Advice




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