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Searching for uke makers

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Mudlark 07 Jul 04 - 02:08 AM
Mark Cohen 07 Jul 04 - 04:57 AM
Mudlark 07 Jul 04 - 11:20 AM
Leadfingers 07 Jul 04 - 11:35 AM
Dave Swan 07 Jul 04 - 11:38 AM
Dave Swan 07 Jul 04 - 11:42 AM
BTMP 07 Jul 04 - 12:17 PM
Once Famous 07 Jul 04 - 12:23 PM
dwditty 07 Jul 04 - 01:51 PM
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Subject: Searching for uke makers
From: Mudlark
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 02:08 AM

A friend just got back from Hawaii and was lucky enough to see Tedward and Ledward Tanaka (something like that) and was blown away by the ukelele playing and wants to learn. We have a couple of good local string shops but they are long on guitars, banjos and the like, but short of ukes. Does anybody know of a good, reliable source on the web? I've found some real beauties out there, but I think he wants to start out relatively simply and cheaply, say $100-150.    Any help much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 04:57 AM

Check out the Lanikai ukuleles on this site. They're not bad, and the price is right. The page is from Bounty Music, which has stores on Maui and Kaua'i, so I haven't seen them. But they carry excellent brands. I've been sorely tempted to buy a good ukulele, and I was just in a shop where I was even more tempted, but I have to watch both my money and my time these days, so it will have to wait.

One other suggestion for your friend is to take a look at the Flea. Yes, it's plastic and it's made in Connecticut, not in Hawaii...BUT...it sounds and plays quite nicely, probably better than a similarly-priced wood model. And it comes in some cute colors, including a pineapple pattern that is a pun on the traditional Kamaka "pineapple" uke.

When your friend wants to move up, Kamaka is one of the oldest and most respected ukulele companies in Hawaii. I was also very impressed with the quality of Koaloha, at a price well below Kamakas. But there are a slew of independent luthiers in the islands who turn out outstanding instruments. And Martin's new S-O series is supposed to be pretty good.

And I will hasten to pedantically point out that the correct spelling is "ukulele" and the correct pronunciation is "oo-koo-lay-lay." OK, OK, call it a "you-ka-laily" like everybody else does, but at least spell it right, all right? And, yes, people in Hawaii do call it a "uke."   And I can only play a half dozen chords, so what do I know?

Aloha,
Mark

PS, the split infinitive was deliberate.


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: Mudlark
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 11:20 AM

Mark...Thanks so much for the info, and my humble apologies for misspelling...I'm an editor, for heaven's sake, I should know better. Friend lives here in California, but used to live in the Islands, and while visiting last month did a little looking there...and was showed the Connecticut wonder. Apparently he had the same opinion of it that you do. Plastic, schmastic...if it sounds good, it IS good. Have you checked out the website for this Oakland, CA luthier? Gorgeous ukuleles...but pretty pricey, tho in line with the work:   mike@ukemaker.com


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: Leadfingers
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 11:35 AM

The Ovation people do a cut price (compared to Ovation) label - Applause and they have Ukes in their range , one of which I have . It is plastic bowl backed but wood fronted , and works very well . The USA price ought to be well within your price limits , possibly even with the built in pick up etc .


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: Dave Swan
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 11:38 AM

Have your friend sniff around at Flea Market Music, the website for which Mark has provided a link at Flea (see also the Fluke at the same site). In the Marketplace there are often good deals to be had. I found one of my favorite ukes there.

I intend to check out the luthier in Oakland, he lives a couple of miles from me and reviews of his work have been good. For more great high end stuff see Tony Graziano, Ken Potts, and Dave Means, all of whose work can be found through Google.

Cheers,

D


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: Dave Swan
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 11:42 AM

Sorry, the uke luthier in Oakland is Mike Da Silva. Look for Da Silva Ukulele COmpany on Google.
D


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: BTMP
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 12:17 PM

I recently bought the Lanikai Koa-series baritone uke, and I would recommend it highly. It not only plays beautifully, but looks just as good as it plays.


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: Once Famous
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 12:23 PM

Elderly Instruments has plenty on-line and probably more in their printed catalog. A fine company to do business with.

http://www.elderly.com/highlights/ukulele.html

http://www.elderly.com/highlights/ukulele.html


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Subject: RE: Searching for uke makers
From: dwditty
Date: 07 Jul 04 - 01:51 PM

The home page for the Fluke/Flea is HERE

Jim Beloff has used his engineering experience to make a uke that plays and sounds great. He also has lots of songbooks, videos, etc. The site lists Fluke buyers by state...could be that your friend may know one of the 234 Californians who have purchased one so he could check it out first hand.....and no, I do not work for the Connecticut Economic Development Commission....

dw


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