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  • #1342 Reply

    I’ve been playing for about 4 months and I’m hooked. I have a Teton brand concert ukulele. Mahogany laminate. Decent starter that cost about $100. I take it whitewater rafting, kayaking, and camping. I figured a laminate was sturdy enough to be my travel/outdoor uke. It’s well protected in a case & dry bag.

    Now I want a step up ukulele for home use. I’m starting to play with small groups for fun, and I’d like a better uke to take to jams. I’m a female with medium to large sized hands. A beginner, but I’m hooked and I try to practice 30 minutes almost every night. I’m working on learning new chords, trying to come to terms with barre chords, and trying a little finger picking. I live in the western US, so hot & dry in the summer (house has AC), and cold & snowy in the winter (force air heating). I know a solid wood uke will need extra attention, but I take good care of my toys, so that’s ok. A solid wood top/laminate body would work fine, or all wood would be nice. Price range up to $400 give or take. Another concert size, or maybe a tenor this time. I have messed around with a few tenors and the size seems fine to me. One thing I know I don’t like is a uke with a gloss finish. I know those are supposed to be higher end, but every time I pick one up I have a visceral negative reaction. They feels “sticky” and “plastic” feeling. Maybe I could get used to a gloss finish? I’m not sure.

    Here are some contenders. Feedback would be appreciated, and let me know of others I should consider. The prices listed are for a tenor.

    Kala KA-ASOV – solid spruce & ovangkol – gloss – $365
    Kala KA-ASAC – solid acacia – satin – $380
    Kala KA-ATP – solid cedar top/acacia laminate body – gloss – $275
    Kala KA – ZTP – solid cedar top/ziricote laminate body – gloss – $275
    Kala KA-SRT/MA – Solid spruce & rosewood – satin – $420
    LoPrinzi Model A – solid mahogany -satin – the most expensive, made in the US – $550
    Ohana – TK70 – solid spruce top/laminate rosewood body – $209
    Cordoba – 24T – solid cedar top/spalted maple laminate sides – satin – $209

    #1428 Reply

    I would 100% recommend an uke made of koa wood, and this store, which can be pricey, but I think it’s quite worth it.

    #1471 Reply

    Wow, there’s an awful lot of Kala. My problem with them is there isn’t very good value for money. I tried a friend’s beginner Kala uke that cost £69 and wasn’t much better than my £20 tiger (ukulele, not mammal). I’ve had a look at the LoPrinzi Model A. I don’t really get the impression that they know what they’re doing and they’re not worth going above your price range for. So overall, I’d say get one of the last two. I have heard good things about Ohana and I have checked the Cordoba website and they definitely look like they know what they’re doing. These both look like good value ukuleles, and while I wouldn’t spend as much as you would on a tenor ukulele, it’s your choice. I hope this has helped. Good luck!

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