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Old 08-18-2017, 01:17 AM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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Default Not so much a beginner 'ukulele

I've never learned 'ukulele but would like to now. I've played music as a hobby and professionally over the past 40 years. I have several custom built instruments, and a few old beginner instruments kicking around. I found I outgrew those "beginner level" instruments pretty quick and I don't need another camper/beater instrument. So I don't want a beginner instrument. I also don't need to go with top of the line.

Also, I tend to gravitate to the lower voiced instruments - octave mandolin and mandocello vs mandolin for example. So what is the tenor 'ukulele equivalent of say an Eastman, Morris or Silverangel mandolin? (Not looking for a baritone, yet). I do not care at all about inlays or carving, strictly playability and tone. What do the 'uke players that know think? Thanks!
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Old 08-18-2017, 03:35 AM
Victoria Victoria is offline
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I don't know anything about the mandolin brands you mentioned, but I'd suggest you have a look at Pono. They're the factory arm of Ko'olau, which is a very highly regarded custom shop in Hawaii. They're handmade in a small factory in Java which is closely monitored by Ko'olau - all solid woods, fantastic build quality, really excellent instruments.

If you want to spend less, Kala and Ohana are pretty decent brands that offer a wide range of models at a variety of price points.

And if you prefer lower voiced instruments you might want to try linear tuning rather than reentrant, but then you probably already know that
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:28 AM
CASD57 CASD57 is offline
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Baritone alot of the fingering is the same as your guitar but there enough difference that make it interesting
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Old 08-18-2017, 11:51 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Bought one of these for my wife last month - the obligatory pictures:

https://www.elderly.com/instruments/...or-ukulele.htm

- and a demo video:



I was extremely impressed by the brighter, more modern (and IMO more versatile) tone of this spruce/maple uke; coming to the instrument as primarily guitar players we tend to take a guitar-oriented approach, for better or worse, and the broader dynamic range coupled with the longer scale length allows for not only the fingerstyle that's sweeping the uke world, but also non-traditional techniques (in uke terms) such as flatpicking and electric-style string-bending lead work. In addition, like any good maple-bodied guitar this puppy has loads of natural projection, not necessarily in terms of overwhelming volume (although that's also there in spades) but the "cutting power" associated with a fine archtop guitar - the ability to project sound well out in front of the player and be clearly heard in a dense instrumental mix - and set up in low-G tuning I doubt there's anything it couldn't handle...

In terms of construction QC, somebody at Ohana has clearly done his homework: exceptionally lightweight (significantly less than similar Kala and Lanikai tenors, not to mention the low-end stuff) - which translates to lightning-quick response - tight clean construction/finish both inside and out, no dead spots anywhere on the neck (not exactly commonplace in a sub-$400 uke), first-class fretwork, ready-to-play right out of the box, and let's face it, you don't see maple ukes every day (FWIW saw a video of an $850 LoPrinzi all-maple tenor and the Ohana compared very favorably - a bit more brightness and "ring" from the LoPrinzi's maple top, but whether or not that's a good thing is a matter of personal taste). I'm guessing there's a good reason Ohana is somewhat of a "semi-boutique," limited-distribution marque among factory-made instruments; if that's how they maintain such a high standard of tonal/structural quality, I say more power to them...
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