Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's a Good Second Ukulele?

So you've been playing ukulele for awhile and are considering an upgrade, eh?  What uke should you upgrade to?  You're not a novice...but you're not an expert and you don't want to shell out $500.  What's a good second ukulele to continue your journey with that won't break the bank?  A lot ukes are being built these days to cater to people just like you, and while there are many options out there, I've picked out 5 of my favorite ukuleles in the $100-200 price range that would make a great second ukulele.  And hey, after you upgrade, you can always take that $40 beginner uke and stash it in your car to use as your travel/beater ukulele!

Ohana SK-20S Soprano Ukulele
A really tight little unit featuring a solid mahogany top (laminated sides and back) and a bone saddle and nut.
  It also comes with geared tuning machines for you folks that aren't fans of the friction tuners.  Generally speaking, you can grab one of these for around the $120 mark.  This one from Elderly Instruments is $109!

KPK soprano ukulele 
Never played one of these Koa Pili Koko ukes, but the concert cutaway is definitely on my want list.  All these ukes are solid acacia wood (from the same family as koa wood).  That, of course, makes these ukes super awesome!  Even more awesome is the price tag!  You can pick up this soprano for $155 w/ rosewood nut and saddle (add $10 for bone nut and saddle upgrade).  Check 'em out here at their website.

Kala KASC Spruce Top Concert Ukulele 
 Another must have uke for me!  This Kala is fitted with a solid sitka spruce top and mahogany back and sides.  I've always loved the acoustic properties of spruce and this one can be had for around the $150 mark.  Here's a link to one at Zzounds.com for $147 with free shipping.  I believe John Keats said it best - "A thing of beauty is a joy forever".

Kamoa E3-P
I LOVE THIS UKE!  I'm currently planning on this one for my next purchase.  Uke Republic currently has it for $168.99!!!  You HAVE to have a least one pineapple in your collection, so why not make it this little beauty?  Solid Spruce Top, solid Maple or Alder back and sides, and you can take your pick of Vintage Red, Honey Yellow (my personal favorite), or Dark Brown.  Plus, buying from Uke Republic means that you're going to have an awesome set up to go along with your awesome new ukulele.  

 Makai Solid Cedar/Willow Soprano
A nice soprano scale uke with a solid cedar top and willow back and sides.  Simply elegant!  And a really pretty inlay.  Uke Republic has this right now for $139.95.  Oh boy....I want this one too!

Hope this helps ya pick out that very special 2nd ukulele!  Did I miss your favorite uke in this price range?  Let me know what gets you goin' in the comments below!

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