Friday, October 5, 2007

Rating my ukes

Being a uke addict means acquiring a lot of ukuleles. Some people refer to this as UAS (Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome). I definitely have UAS and in the relatively short time I've played the ukulele, I've already bought 15 ukes, 10 of which I still have. Part of my excuse is that there aren't many ukes in Minnesota for me to try, so if I want to try a new uke, I pretty much have to buy it. Anyway, I thought it'd be fun to rank the ukes currently in my possession. I'll rank them in order of preference:

1. KoAloha Pineapple Sunday: My most expensive uke by far. It looks and sounds great. I'd say it sounds like a cross between a mandolin & harp, with a distinctively loud high pitched sound. Easiest playing uke I have. Sound come out of it so effortlessly it almost plays itself.

2. Kanile'a super-soprano: It has the best looking wood (wide curly Koa) of any uke I own. I really love its looks. It has a nice and deep sound for a small uke. Great for Jake Shimabukuro songs.

3. G-String Honu tatoo soprano: Great soprano tone. Very resonant. The entire uke vibrates as you strum it.

4. Big Island Ukulele Honu super deluxe concert: The best workmanship of any uke I own. Wide string spacing for easy finger picking. Looks great with distinctive Honu theme.

5. Pono Cedar top tenor: Good looking uke with big sound. Sounds guitar-like to me. I installed a Dean Markley under-saddle pickup in it and it works great.

6. '20's-'30's Martin style 1: Very loud and nice tone. Not as complex of a tone as the G-String but has more bark. Extremely light ukulele. I don't play it much because it only has 12 frets.

7. KoAlana concert: It sounds great. The sound really pops out of this uke. I would have liked it more if it had better workmanship. Pretty rough fretwork overall. Many knockoff-like touches. Still, the sound is hard to beat for the money.

8. Risa uke solid: I got it as a practice uke for occasions where I can't make a lot of sound. I hardly play it. Kind of strange to play due to lack of headstock. Too much sustain on some strings when plugged in. I might sell it and get a Bugsgear down the road.

9. Applause soprano (multi-hole): Lots of great features for the money, including compansated saddle. Sounds decent. I don't really like it due to the "V" shaped neck. Feels like my thumb needs to be centered on it or it would slide off.

10. Maccaferri Islander: Well, it's a nice novelty uke. Doesn't really sound that great and only has 12 frets, so I rarely play it. I strung it with some KoAloha blue strings and it looks pretty cool.

I'm adding at least one custom ukulele into the collection next year. Since I already have too many ukes, it means some of the above ukes have to go. It probably make sense to work from the bottom up. Anyway, I hope this has been slightly interesting for anyone who has read it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for showing me some of your collection...Im planning to buy my first ever ukulele! if you are planning to sell one...pls let me know at
thanks for your time

Anonymous said...

Hi if you ever want to sell your plastic ukulele one day, i will buy it from you!
thank you.
you can reach me @

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