Author Topic: YouTube: $20 ukelele vs. $1000 ukelele  (Read 1795 times)

tempesttenor

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YouTube: $20 ukelele vs. $1000 ukelele
« on: September 10, 2015, 04:13:11 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=127&v=0nf4BiossT8

Guy compares a $20 ukelele with a $1000 ukelele. You can certainly hear a difference between the two instruments, but is it a $980 difference? I personally don't think so.

sol

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Re: YouTube: $20 ukelele vs. $1000 ukelele
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2015, 04:43:26 PM »
Ooh, FINALLY a topic I can contribute to with some authority, for a change!

I own many ukuleles.  I have played hundreds more.

In my experience, there is a huge jump in quality between a $25 uke and a $50 uke.  50 to 250 are mostly about the same, then there's another notable step up at about $400.

Anything above $500 and you're paying for provenance, or marketing gimmicks.  There are hundreds of working luthiers charging over $500 for ukes, claiming artisan hand crafted wizardry and art, but in truth every uke on the planet is hand made.  There are no ukulele-making robots.

The jump from 25 to 50 dollars is the difference between plastic and real wood, though there are some fantastic plastic ukes out there with just wooden soundboards.  Beyond $50 you're upgrading from spruce and mahogany to koa and rosewood, but acoustically it makes no discernable difference because shape and thickness and bracing are more important to tone than the type of wood you use.

Bad ukes have poorly set bridges and tuners that slip, and they will buzz even with good technique or the intonation will bend as you move up the fretboard because the spacing is wrong.  These are problems even a $25 uke should not have.

My kids play $25 ukes.  My cheapest is a $50 maho/rose electric soprano, and I love my full koa tenor with the abalone insets as it is a thing of beauty.  But I play my plastic Magic Fluke the most frequently, because it is awesomely loud and durable enough to live in my living room with three kids and two dogs.  And because it stands up by itself.
sol will be totally offline for most of June 2018.  You cannot reach me.  You will not hear from me.  I am not dead, just away from civilization.

SpacemanSpiff

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Re: YouTube: $20 ukelele vs. $1000 ukelele
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2015, 08:48:53 AM »
Ooh, FINALLY a topic I can contribute to with some authority, for a change!

I own many ukuleles.  I have played hundreds more.

In my experience, there is a huge jump in quality between a $25 uke and a $50 uke.  50 to 250 are mostly about the same, then there's another notable step up at about $400.

Anything above $500 and you're paying for provenance, or marketing gimmicks.  There are hundreds of working luthiers charging over $500 for ukes, claiming artisan hand crafted wizardry and art, but in truth every uke on the planet is hand made.  There are no ukulele-making robots.

The jump from 25 to 50 dollars is the difference between plastic and real wood, though there are some fantastic plastic ukes out there with just wooden soundboards.  Beyond $50 you're upgrading from spruce and mahogany to koa and rosewood, but acoustically it makes no discernable difference because shape and thickness and bracing are more important to tone than the type of wood you use.

Bad ukes have poorly set bridges and tuners that slip, and they will buzz even with good technique or the intonation will bend as you move up the fretboard because the spacing is wrong.  These are problems even a $25 uke should not have.

My kids play $25 ukes.  My cheapest is a $50 maho/rose electric soprano, and I love my full koa tenor with the abalone insets as it is a thing of beauty.  But I play my plastic Magic Fluke the most frequently, because it is awesomely loud and durable enough to live in my living room with three kids and two dogs.  And because it stands up by itself.

Man, I thoroughly enjoy reading comments where the writer has a passion for the topic to the extent that you can feel the excitement they have in talking about it and sharing their enthusiasm with others.

MissStache

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Re: YouTube: $20 ukelele vs. $1000 ukelele
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2015, 09:00:51 AM »
I love Ukuleles and find them totally charming and whimsical!

Ooh, FINALLY a topic I can contribute to with some authority, for a change!

I own many ukuleles.  I have played hundreds more.



How did you get into this, Sol?  What made you pick a uke over something more common like a guitar?

sol

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Re: YouTube: $20 ukelele vs. $1000 ukelele
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2015, 09:13:00 AM »
I love Ukuleles and find them totally charming and whimsical!
How did you get into this, Sol?  What made you pick a uke over something more common like a guitar?

How in the hell do you plany an instrument with six strings when you only have five fingers?  It's clearly impossible.  I'm convinced all guitar players are actually faking it.
sol will be totally offline for most of June 2018.  You cannot reach me.  You will not hear from me.  I am not dead, just away from civilization.

teadirt

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Re: YouTube: $20 ukelele vs. $1000 ukelele
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2015, 12:57:05 PM »
I love Ukuleles and find them totally charming and whimsical!
How did you get into this, Sol?  What made you pick a uke over something more common like a guitar?

How in the hell do you plany an instrument with six strings when you only have five fingers?  It's clearly impossible.  I'm convinced all guitar players are actually faking it.

I've heard that all 12-string guitar players are actually wizards.
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