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Ukulele hunting 2.0

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Greetings, guys.
Long time reader and stalker, finally decided to join the party (maybe it's not the best time, since some random indian autobots decided to create hundreds of themes). 

Yet still. Is there anyone who can give me some advice on tenor ukulele? The last topic I found was created, well, a long time ago and I suppose there's not so much ukulele addicts. Still, I came here to learn - I was thinking about getting a tenor or a concert uke to my collection. So if you have tried both, I would like to hear you and any suggestions for something around 500$. Acoustic-electric is not required, but it'd be nice. 

I'm primarily a guitarist, but when it comes to uke it's... well, a bit tricky. There are too many brands to consider, and I'm not sure that I want to disappear down that rabbit hole.

I'd also would like to know: can I plug an ukulele into my guitar amps? 

Thanks in advance. 

upd: thanks for recommendations, came to our local shop and bought acoustic-electric Lanikai (QMNACET, here are some specs). Love it! Great sound and great playability, and extra thanks daddymack for the info about the amp - rented an acoustic one, and it was a pure win. Guess it was kinda impulsive to suggest connecting uke to an electric guitar amp, though lesson learned.

Edited by jean_m
added updates finally

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There is no reason you can’t run a uke into your amp - as long as it is an acoustic-electric uke with pickups in it.

As far as brands and models, I hardly know where to start - there are literally dozens of uke booths at NAMM each year.

Is the $500 budget per instrument, or does it need to cover both the concert and the tenor? 


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I would not plug an acoustic/electric ukelele into an electric guitar amp...then again, I dislike feedback, ymmv... ;) but into an acoustic amp? Sure.

Much like anything else, opinions are just that, and unless you want a cookie cutter solution, then go for it.

I own several ukes, but I'll be frank, I would not spend $500 on one...hell, a large portion of my gigging guitar collection cost less than that. My most expensive uke is the Epiphone Les Paul model, which is my only a/e ukelele.

That said, in that price range, I would be inclined to get a Martin T1K...they sound and play fantastic...but, no a/e. 

Next would be a Lanikai...why? Because that is what they do, and they make great sounding [and looking] ukeleles. They offer a myriad of wood options, finishes, 5-string tenors, 8 string tenors...

Kala also makes some very nice ukes as well. I do know some one who has a Kala a/e [not sure the model], and I know she paid close to $500 for hers.

I have had the privilege to play some outrageous custom made ukeleles in Hawaii, many in the $3-5000 range, but honestly, most of that is about bling, not tone or playability, tuning stability, etc.

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