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Help finding inexpensive ukulele

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  • Help finding inexpensive ukulele

    I'm looking at buying a uke for bringing to places that I don't want to drag around a guitar. I don't want to buy a crappy one, but I also don't want to spend a ton. I'm looking at a few, and I wanted to know if anyone had recommendations. I don't want to spend any more than $300. Is one of these any better than the other?

    Hamano H-100

    Pono PCO

    Cordoba 24CK

    Martin 5K

    I always associated koa w/ ukuleles just because of them being from Hawaii, but it looks like a lot of the nice ones are mahogany. Is one preferred over the other besides just looking different?
    Good transactions

  • #2
    Oh yeah, is there any specific reason to get one size over another? I think I was looking at the concert size just because it was the middle sized one.
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    • #3
      yo Killa J

      i just got a tenor from MGM. the NGD report is a few threads down.

      i cant say much about a pono concert, but i can tell you this though - they are not toys. they are well-made musical instruments. my pono tenor plays and sounds divine to me


      ive got a cheap soprano (the smallest size) as well and I find them difficult to play, as i could imagine the difficulty in keeping the intonations true on such small instruments.

      koa vs. mahogany? i went for mahogany because i dont want to pay the premium for koa, and i cant gawk at my instruments when im playing.
      Mercury by day, Uranus by night.









      Originally Posted by Hamza Ashgari


      Saudi women... won't go to hell "because it's impossible to go there twice."

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      • #4
        yo Killa J

        i just got a tenor from MGM. the NGD report is a few threads down.

        i cant say much about a pono concert, but i can tell you this though - they are not toys. they are well-made musical instruments. my pono tenor plays and sounds divine to me


        ive got a cheap soprano (the smallest size) as well and I find them difficult to play, as i could imagine the difficulty in keeping the intonations true on such small instruments.

        koa vs. mahogany? i went for mahogany because i dont want to pay the premium for koa, and i cant gawk at my instruments when im playing.



        I saw your NGD thread... the one you got was a little higher than I wanted to pay. I wonder if the less expensive Pono is as nice as the one you have.
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        • #5
          Where's ChiyoDad when you need him?
          Originally Posted by kmacc45


          I appreciate your concern stringjunk, but I'm in a stress releive program now.
          Between my lawn service and fast driving, I think this issue is being address.









          Originally Posted by Bucksstudent


          **************** the lot of you.









          Originally Posted by jaxn slim


          Dude! I think your lung made me gay! WTF?

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          • #6
            If you're feeling particularly pro-active, you could build one of the stewart macdonald kits. All solid wood soprano instrument for 100 bucks. I'm working on one at the moment, and it's great fun.
            C70man: The world needs more guitar teachers and less politicians.

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            • #7
              If you're feeling particularly pro-active, you could build one of the stewart macdonald kits. All solid wood soprano instrument for 100 bucks. I'm working on one at the moment, and it's great fun.


              That looks really cool, but a little beyond my skills.
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              • #8
                Wow, you put a koa Martin in there - thats a pretty nice uke. But Martin made literally thousands of good quality ukes pre war and often a basic style 0 can be picked up pretty darn reasonably (I think my dad gave $10 for mine at a yard sale - I had to buy him lunch). At the bottom of this is some pretty good information about these

                http://www.provide.net/~cfh/martin.html

                Here is the little guy with a couple of friends

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                • #9
                  Personally, I prefer tenors as they're louder and good for fingerstyle. Most uke performers also prefer tenors.

                  Of the four you listed:


                  • Pono PCO = I know this one is very good.
                  • Hamano H-100 = I've heard good things about the Hamanos but have never played them.
                  • Cordoba 24CK = The quality control of the Cordobas is all over the place. I wouldn't buy this uke unless I actually got to play it first (or had a return policy that covered shipping ... unless you're willing to pay for that yourself). The "koa" that it's made of is not Hawaiian Koa either.
                  • Martin 5K = I haven't played this one either. Folks have told me that the current model (made south of the border), is not as good as the original Martin and they didn't feel it was worth the money.


                  IMHO, most folks can't tell the sound difference between Koa and Mahogany. They might say that they can, but I wouldn't wager that they'd succeed in a blind test. The build and quality of the uke is the biggest factor in the sound.
                  Best Regards,
                  - ChiyoDad

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                  • #10
                    Personally, I prefer tenors as they're louder and good for fingerstyle. Most uke performers also prefer tenors.


                    IMHO, most folks can't tell the sound difference between Koa and Mahogany. They might say that they can, but I wouldn't wager that they'd succeed in a blind test. The build and quality of the uke is the biggest factor in the sound.


                    im kinda glad i didnt have to pay the premium for koa. i didnt exactly try out a koa uke, but i got the sound that i want from an all mahogany instrument. im happy.
                    Mercury by day, Uranus by night.









                    Originally Posted by Hamza Ashgari


                    Saudi women... won't go to hell "because it's impossible to go there twice."

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                    • #11
                      The main reason that I'd buy koa would be for tradition. But for that, I'd want to buy an uke made of solid Hawaiian Koa, by a reputed Hawaiian builder, and manufactured on the islands. An uke made of Hawaiian Koa but manufactured in Guangzhou, China, wouldn't quite cut it.

                      Most likely it would be a Kamaka or KoAloha. There's a hefty price-premium to pay for that "tradition" however.
                      Best Regards,
                      - ChiyoDad

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                      • #12
                        You did not say what size of Uke your are looking for. There are four sizes
                        Soprano,Concert,Tenor, and Baritone. I found good values in solid-top Ukes
                        at Hobglobin music web site.Many of their products are imported from European makers.Their price is also attarctive when you compare what other
                        interntet sellers are asking for similar quality products.

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                        • #13
                          Somebody mentioned this as a steal on another board:
                          http://ukuleleworld2.com/product.php?productid=892&cat=2&page=1
                          http://www.elderly.com/new_instruments/items/SK25.htm
                          (goes under the headline "is this a Bushman Jenny at reduced price?")

                          Skip Koa. I have a koa one, and I love it. But you don't need koa. Go for solid mahogany. That's a real uke wood still. Some have spruce or cedar topped ones too etc, but those are not the traditional stuff.
                          In your price range, it's most probably Chinese made you are looking for. I really like the the German Brukos too, but I guess they are not well priced in the States.
                          Baritone is more expensive, and although it's tuned like a guitar, I don't really know anybody who really likes them. I'd personally go for soprano, but tenors are real popular too (I never had one yet).

                          EDIT: Actually, I sisn't check your price range. My Koaloha sells for less than $400, if that's still inexpensive to you. To me inexpensive in ukuleles is around $150 or even sub-$100.
                          two ukes (Fluke & Koaloha)
                          two tiny guitars (Martin, A&L)

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                          • #14
                            The Martin uke was a joke - $4200 is a little out of my price range. Are Martins really made in Mexico now, or just the ukes? Other than being louder, does getting a tenor change the tone? I guess I'm looking for the "standard" ukulele sound if that makes any difference. It would probably be used mostly just for strumming. I hardly play fingerstyle on my guitar, so I don't think I would with the ukulele.

                            I'm pretty much down to the Pono and the Hamano. Now I just gotta decide.
                            Good transactions

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                            • #15
                              Check out this thread:

                              http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1886635&highlight=ukulele

                              (I recommend the Hamanos...)
                              I don't want to sell my music. I'd like to give it away because where I got it, you didn't have to pay for it.
                              -Captain Beefheart (Don Van Vliet)

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