How do cheap ukes compare in sound? | GOT A UKULELE - Learn Ukulele, beginners tips and reviews

28 Apr 2010

How do cheap ukes compare in sound?

The obvious question - can cheap be cheerful?  Answer - not always - see my video test, which I think makes it quite clear that some cheapies (ie the Mahalo) are rotten, but some are great (such as the Makala)

If you dont want to shell out big bucks - fun can be had for a low outlay - just choose wisely!

13 comments :

  1. Very good video. I started on a Mahalo purely because of the price point, got hooked, and the rest is history. I'm also playing on instruments around the £150 mark, but decided to plump for a Mahalo LP-style uke for £35 after a few recommendations. Not played it much, to be fair, but I'm warming to it, even though I really want to hate it.

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  2. I hear good things bout the LP model. I am probably sounding harsh on my Mahalo, but it really is a heap of junk.

    The finish is shocking - fret markers for example are kind of punched into the fingerboard and are just blobs of white goo...

    I think they have improved of late, but I would want to pick up a Mahalo if I was buying again. I worry at the cost of some of the bigger scale models too, or those sold as part of a bundle with a case (the case being the only bit worth keeping!!)

    The Makala though seem to be ukes that MOST of the time come to the shops in good order. Mine certainly was.

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  3. I'd agree that the Makala is an excellent starter uke. Having said that, I've come across a few Mahalo ukes that have surprisingly good tone; something I've heard a few people say that one in 5 is a good one!
    In the £150 range, the Kala solid mahogany is a blinder, but not great for practice as it's pretty loud!

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  4. Thanks for posting this video! It was really helpful and I think I'm going to get a dolphin just to bring with me to school!

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  5. GREAT review! It's really great to hear the differences between the various 'economy' ukuleles. I ordered a Makala Dolphin from MGM on eBay, and I can't wait for it to show up! A local music store carried a few Mahalos that were horribly chipped - I didn't see the point in purchasing one. Now hearing the sound comparison, I'm glad I didn't!

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  6. John, glad to hear it. To be slightly fair to mahalo, have read some praise. Thing is though, I've read masses more complaints. Makala seems to be opposite - masses of praise occasional complaint. Same price, no contest in my book.

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  7. i wish i had bought your e-book and found this blog page before i bought my mahalo telecaster uke, i have'nt received it yet but already i am disappointed that i purchased it after reading your comments, loving the book though its a mine of information and i have ordered some aquila strings hopefully improve the sound a bit

    richard

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  8. Richard - dont be too worried - I read some good things about the Telecaster Mahalos - its just the very cheap entry one that people should avoid in y opinion

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  9. phew! thanx for the prompt reply Barry, was panicking a bit there, can't wait to get started
    richard

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  10. hi again Barry, sorry to be a pain but what are your views on the lazy range of ukes?

    thanx in advance

    richard

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  11. Richard - I will look into them, but, sorry, not come across that brand. That in itself may not bode too well!

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  12. ok thanx Barry, only my m8 is going to give me his because he is buying a flea, all it needs are new strings, just wondered if you have heard of them, i saw one review about the lazy brand and the guy seemed to have some fun with his, thanx for the reply anyways
    richard

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  13. Hi. I just bought a new Mahalo Tenor for 40 euros, and it sounds sweet and well balanced. It seems that thay vary a lot.

    Steve

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