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  #1  
Old 06-17-2021, 05:21 PM
BDobrina BDobrina is offline
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Default Advice for buying first uke

I am looking to purchase my first uke and would like to pay under $400 US dollars. I have been playing guitar for years and picked up a uke at a BBQ last weekend and had a blast-keep in mind this was a toy.

I am leaning towards a tenor 4-string that is all hog and preferably solid wood. I have no need for a pickup and am not looking for a cutaway. I have very limited experience with different brands and will take any advice I can get. If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate the feedback.

Barry
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2021, 06:47 PM
vcs700s vcs700s is offline
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I would suggest calling Mim. Tell her what you are looking for and what your budget is. She will set you up and do a great set up on your new uke.

I have purchased many Ukes from her. They always sound and play great.

https://mimsukes.com/
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2021, 07:00 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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The intermediate-to-advanced players in out senior center's uke group mostly play Kala and Ohana tenors in the $400 range (my wife has one of the latter) - IME you might want to start there...
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Old 06-18-2021, 07:49 AM
jricc jricc is offline
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Hi I agree with vcs700s and Steve.
1. Call Mim at Mims ukes, Ive bought 2 ukes from her and setup is spot on.
2. Yes, Kala and Ohana make nice ukes, I personally prefer Ohana, bought 2 of them, a spruce top and an all mahogany, both from Mims.
Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:53 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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If you are comfortable with used and old instruments then you should consider a vintage pre war mahogany Martin in that price range. Those are by far the best sounding ukes I have played, and I have played many and own some high end ones. Of course it will take considerable effort to become knowledgeable about them and finding one in great condition. But they are out there...
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Old 06-23-2021, 07:17 AM
Swamp Yankee Swamp Yankee is offline
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Given your price range, my favorite tenor that can be purchased for less than $500 has got to be the Cordoba 30T. Retail on Reverb comes in at just under $400.
Solid mahogany throughout, Spanish heel construction, 12 frets to the neck joint, they sound really sweet snd are light and responsive.
I particularly like the neck carve on them, a very comfortable flattened C shape with a nice wide nut width sets it apart from the usual PacRim “broom stick” neck carves.
Another possibility is the Kanilea “Islander” MST4. Again, just under $400, solid mahogany throughout. Nice neck carve, decent playability. The build quality is a bit iffy sometimes but they sound sweet and play nicely. The pin bridge is a bit wonky… but it works well enough.

My choice of those two is definitely the Cordoba… but either is decent, and I’ve owned both, and sold both off to raise $$ for my higher-end Kiwaya koa tenor.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:03 PM
Rukulele Rukulele is offline
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Pono MT would be my recommendation. I have the acacia version and it is awesome.

Also check out the ukulele site if you’re buying online. Best online uke store there is IMO. Even if you don’t buy from them they have a ton of great video demos for every model they carry. And they have cool podcast type videos on YouTube. Their YouTube channel is called Hawaii music supply. Their website is theukulelesite.com.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:14 PM
Caddy Caddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcs700s View Post
I would suggest calling Mim. Tell her what you are looking for and what your budget is. She will set you up and do a great set up on your new uke.

I have purchased many Ukes from her. They always sound and play great.

https://mimsukes.com/
This is sound advice.
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Old 06-23-2021, 01:15 PM
Rukulele Rukulele is offline
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Also checkout mainland ukuleles. I haven’t tried one myself but I hear great things about them and almost bought one.

You might want to check out gotaukulele reviews on YouTube or his website. He has reviewed hundreds of ukes from high end luthier instruments to cheap Amazon junk and everything in between. Including all the brands mentioned in this thread.
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  #10  
Old 06-24-2021, 03:26 AM
icuker icuker is offline
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Cordoba and Pono would both be good choices, and be a lifetime uke (though that is silly, no one buys just one.....).
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  #11  
Old 06-24-2021, 02:09 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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My Pono is all the uke I'll need. A tenor is a good size, but that Hawaiian strum is the bomb on a soprano, but a one trick pony.
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2021, 10:42 AM
sabatini sabatini is offline
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Don't buy your first uke!

It will lead to your second uke, your third uke, your fourth uke, your fifth uke, etc.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2021, 04:31 PM
FranK_S FranK_S is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabatini View Post
Don't buy your first uke!

It will lead to your second uke, your third uke, your fourth uke, your fifth uke, etc.
Good one.
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  #14  
Old 06-26-2021, 04:49 PM
Caddy Caddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcs700s View Post
I would suggest calling Mim. Tell her what you are looking for and what your budget is. She will set you up and do a great set up on your new uke.

I have purchased many Ukes from her. They always sound and play great.

https://mimsukes.com/
Plus one of that. She is well respected on the uke forum and the first recommended. It will come setup great from her.
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  #15  
Old 07-11-2021, 08:46 PM
palolowarrior palolowarrior is offline
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Kala, Pono, Islander are great starts.
Concert or tenor.

If you can find one in koa it would be a more traditional start. Mahogany is not as “bright” tonally. Even an acacia will trump it…in my opinion.

Aloha
Alan
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