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UAS (ukulele acquisition syndrome)

By August 29, 2014Ukulele

I have been told that this is an actual thing: Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome (or UAS).  Apparently I have been infected with it over the last few months.   I started this whole journey last year when on a whim at 5am (I woke up super early for whatever reason) I bought a ukulele on Google Shopping Express.   That one was a Mitchell MU70 concert at a (I thought) reasonably priced $99.

 

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It arrived.  I tinkered with it a bit, but it sounded like dinky, tinny shit.  Basically, it sounded like what one thinks a ukulele should sound like.  I wasn’t terribly impressed with it.  The build quality was fine.  The stock strings were garbage.  And, again, sound was BAD.

Moving along.  For Christmas my mom bought a Komoa Tenor as my gift.  She had recently taken up ukulele and after a trip to Kauai she was in love with these little tenors.  The Komoa is a great little uke.  The sound is loud and crisp.  The build quality is nice.  It is a pretty little instrument.

af1ea7117b62438e9e2deacc1d503b67Komoa Tenor

I would say that for a beginner uke I would definitely recommend this guy.  I recently had a Mi-si pickup installed so I could do some recordings.  Shout out to Bruddah Edgar over at Aloha Warehouse for installing that quickly.

Next up.  I started to obsess over a koa wood ukulele.  I spent hours pouring over different options and reading forums, but my teacher really insisted that I should go and try out a bunch of options at Aloha Warehouse to see what I really wanted as opposed to doing my regular purchase online.  I’m really glad that I took that advice (or really regret it because I spent so much money) because I found my true love.


Kanile’a Super Tenor Premium Gloss from Hawaii Music Supply on Vimeo.

The Kanilea Super Tenor.    Mmmn.  I’m telling you that she sings to me.  I tried a bunch of other options, but the sound of this one kept pulling me back in.  I had to have her.  The super tenor is interesting in the ukulele world.  It is a baritone body on a tenor neck which gives it a bit more resonance and sustain.  Some people think that it is ugly because the body is off proportion with what resembles a giant ass.  It has been referred to as the Nicki Minaj of the uke world.  I think it is beautiful.  The wood so silky.  Definitely a keeper for all ages.  I replaced the string with some flurocarbon Worth’s which I absolutely love.

I acquired my next uke because I was travelling to Europe for some business and was worried that I would slip up on my practice so I started looking for something slightly more portable to take with me.  Yes, I know, a uke is pretty portable to begin with, but I didn’t feel like lugging a hardcase with me and since I have trouble walking distances I thought it would be best to keep my load as light as possible.  This is how I came across the Kala concert travel uke.

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I love this little uke.  It is so incredibly thin and lightweight that it slides right into my bag.  It is really cute with a spruce top.  And the sound is surprisingly full and loud for such a tiny instrument.  After playing the tenors it is always fun to play the concert because of the thinner neck.  It makes bar chords so much easier that I feel pro.

Last up (for now) is the Les Paul epiphone concert.

41Imdh56rBLThis one is pretty much a toy that looks good.  Some people are big fans.  I bought it because I wanted an electric uke and I thought it was cute.  I changed out the strings for some Aquila’s because the stock ones were complete garbage.  I also had to file the bridge a bit to get the low G to even fit.  I still don’t like the sound of this one and since I got the pickup installed in the Komoa I don’t use this for recording either.  But it looks really good hanging on the living room wall and was reasonably priced at $99 from Amazon so why not.

That about covers it for now.  I ended up giving the Mitchell away to my nephew because I simply couldn’t stand the sound.  That has left me with four ukes in the house.  I think I’m good for now although I have been eyeing a banjolele!

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