868 posts
  • Has referred 50+ members
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured in an Envato Bundle
+7 more
PhilLarson says

Hey friends, drummer/pianist here looking to purchase a Uke. Needless to say, I could use your help!

Due to some birthday cash and a few Guitar Center gift cards from Christmas, I have between $300-$400 to play with.

It’s obvious the Ukulele has become quite a popular instrument around here. I could use your advice in knowing what to look for! Have you bought one recently after doing some research? Share some of your findings! Would you suggest one with a quarter-inch input? Any particular brand/model that stands out above the rest? What other suggestions do you have?

Thank you so much!

Phil

Stuck_in_the_Basement
Stuck_in_the_Basement Recent Posts Threads Started
468 posts
  • Member of the Envato Team
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
  • Has sold $10,000+ on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured on Envato Market
+9 more
Stuck_in_the_Basement Envato team says

After doing quite some research, I went with the Kala KA-15S which sells at around $50.
From the information I had gathered, it is a really good bang for the buck.
It does sound nicely by itself and is easy to capture. Usually not a lot of EQ tweaking needed.
I would refrain from buying an electro-acoustic one if your intend is mainly to record it for your AJ productions. I would rather save my money for a decent studio mic which can be found in your price range. Personally I use the RODE NT1-A, an excellent and very affordable mic. It always sounds much better this way.
This said, if you plan on doing gigs with your ukulele, an electro-acoustic one might be convenient then.
Hope this helps!

600 posts
  • Has referred 1000+ members
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured in an Envato Bundle
+4 more
Sophonic says

Kala is the way to go at that price range, they look and play beautiful. I started with a fender and its been good to me but Kala is next up.

Don’t worry about electronics. I like the concert size compared to tenor, baritone, & soprano.

17 posts
  • Has sold $10,000+ on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured in an Envato Bundle
  • Has collected 1+ items on Envato Market
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
+2 more
MikeReganNoise says

My advice-would be to take that money and put it towards a solid mandolin. Ukulele is EVERYWHERE, it’s not worth the bucks when you can invest in a mando with a slightly different flavor and it’s not all over the place either (meaning not everyone is using them on tracks)

Good luck man!

600 posts
  • Has referred 1000+ members
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured in an Envato Bundle
+4 more
Sophonic says

My advice-would be to take that money and put it towards a solid mandolin. Ukulele is EVERYWHERE, it’s not worth the bucks when you can invest in a mando with a slightly different flavor and it’s not all over the place either (meaning not everyone is using them on tracks) Good luck man!

Just picked up a Kentucky mandolin, great little instrument.

959 posts Go Acoustic!
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
  • Had an item featured on Envato Market
+5 more
jhunger says

I agree that Kala makes some very good ukuleles at very affordable prices. I have a Kala solid acacia concert which is what you’ll hear on most of my tracks, as well as a Lanikai tenor that’s on some of my earlier stuff. To be honest, for a first uke check out Lanikai as well – the one I have isn’t solid wood but sounds nice and they’re really affordable. Although I got the Kala for less than $300.

Phil, have you thought about what size you want? A soprano might be too small, so I’d consider a concert or a tenor, but you might want to play them and see.

The best results to my ear are using a bright SDC – I normally use an AKG C451b (uke is almost the only thing I like that mic on).

Also, get Aquila strings :)

As far as a mandolin goes, I agree, but a playable mandolin IMO begins at $500 and goes waaaay up from there. Also the learning curve is going to be much higher for someone who is not used to strings, and immediately you get a more serious folky vibe whereas ukulele is a more informal, anyone can do it vibe.

959 posts Go Acoustic!
  • Has sold $125,000+ on Envato Market
  • Elite Author: Sold more than $75,000 on Envato Market
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
  • Had an item featured on Envato Market
+5 more
jhunger says

A quick follow up with a blast from the past forum thread which might be helpful:

http://audiojungle.net/forums/thread/ukuleles-no-clapping/44915

Also I forgot to mention – unless you’re going to be playing it live, I would skip the pickup and record into a mic. Even an inexpensive mic will sound better than most pickups.

329 posts
  • Has sold $5,000+ on Envato Market
  • Made it to the Authors' Hall of Fame
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
  • Has been part of the Envato Community for over 2 years
+1 more
MValentino says

I have an old Eko Ukulele, made in Italy in the 70’s, but I’ve seen they’ve reissued it, they cost around 50$. Can’t tell about the new ones, but mine has a beautiful sound.

Mandolin: I’ve a Fender semi acoustic, but I record it with mics, you can get a nice full sound out of it. It cost around $400 when I bought it about 10 years ago, can’t tell now.

868 posts
  • Has referred 50+ members
  • Has sold $40,000+ on Envato Market
  • Has collected 10+ items on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured in an Envato Bundle
+7 more
PhilLarson says

Thanks everyone! Keep the info coming.

Stuck_in_the_Basement – I actually own a RODE NT1-A … so no investment needed there.

Once I have the time, I’ll look further into your suggestions and let you know what I decide to do.

Also, I’m seeing that I should not go for the pickup – there is no way I’ll be performing any type of stringed instrument live any time soon! :)

Stuck_in_the_Basement
Stuck_in_the_Basement Recent Posts Threads Started
468 posts
  • Member of the Envato Team
  • Sells items exclusively on Envato Market
  • Has sold $10,000+ on Envato Market
  • Had an item featured on Envato Market
+9 more
Stuck_in_the_Basement Envato team says

If you combine all the suggestions, I guess the Kala KA-C Concert would be a good bet for you, unless you change your heart and go with the mandolin.
I would refrain from buying a super expensive ukulele from the get go, and again, these Kala ukes sound extremely well for the price, and come from a trusted manufacturer amongst ukulele lovers.
And yes, you need to get Aquila strings! I haven’t tried them yet, I am still using the strings that shipped with the uke, but I have read that everywhere!!!
Have fun!

by
by
by
by
by
by