Happy Holidays Contest


To celebrate the holidays and the opening of the Ukulele Review website, I’ve decided to hold a little contest. All you have to do is to write a comment to this post, listing the ukuleles in your collection and which one is your current favorite and why. Then on Friday 12/28/07, I’ll pick one random winner from everyone that has posted to win the prize pack listed below…


The Ukulele A Visual History by Jim Beloff illustrated hardback book.


Intelli IMT-500 Digital Chromatic Tuner (see my review).


Analog hygrometer for your ukulele case. Measures humidity. Important tool to help prevent instrument damage due to dry climates.


Herco case humidifier.


All the prizes are brand new, never used and will all be sent to the winner in one package via USPS or UPS free of charge. Good luck to everyone and get posting! ๐Ÿ™‚

42 Responses to “Happy Holidays Contest”

  1. Happy Christmas One and All.

    I’ve appreciated your reviews and insights very much.

    I currently have…

    1 red Applause Soprano
    1 brown Applause Soprano electric
    1 Mahogany Ovation Tenor electric
    1 Blueberry Flea
    1 Lanikai Tenor electric
    1 Bushman Baritone electric
    1 Martin Backpacker Soprano
    1 Natural Fluke Tenor
    1 Kahala Baritone
    1 Gold Tone Banjolele
    1 Dixie Banjo Uke

    I think my favorite is still the red applause soprano, but I would gladly trade it for a Koaloha Pineapple Sundae.

    Thank you!

  2. I don’t really have a favorite, but the one I use most often is my delightful Koa Flea. Got really lucky with that uke. I’ve got a few others too, including a nice early Martin soprano

  3. Hello!
    Here’s a list of my ukuleles:
    Plywood/plastic fretboard 50’s Harmony soprano
    Mahogany 30’s Harmony soprano
    Mahogany 50’s Harmony soprano/concert
    B&J “Serenader” 20’s soprano
    Lanikai spruce-top concert
    Lanikai pineapple soprano
    Will Van Allen Banjo uke, 30’s, London
    “Unknown” banjo uke, curly maple, 20’s
    Rogue soprano
    First Act soprano
    Mahogany Sears “Silvertone” soprano, 70’s, Japan
    “Unknown” mahogany baritone
    Regal soprano, birchwood, 30’s
    Favilla mahogany soprano, 60’s
    Favilla mahogany “teardrop” 30’s
    Wow, I’ve really built-up a pile of instruments…
    Mainly these are run-of-the-mill ukes, but they all get
    played now & then. I’d have to say that my favorite
    is the Favilla soprano- a sweet instrument all around!
    (I’d sure like to try playing a Gibson and a Martin sometime…)
    I like the site, keep it going & best wishes!

  4. I’ve really enjoyed your blog so far. Here’s my list:

    Hilo soprano (my first)
    Oscar Schmidt OU-5 concert
    Tyler Mountain Banjo Ukulele

    I’ve only had the banjo ukulele for about two weeks, so it is currently my favorite.

  5. Third Wave “Tiki” Concert – Favorite due to intonation, comfortable neck, tone, fit and finish. (Built by Marc Schoenberger before he started Ukiyo ukeleles.)
    Restored Vita Uke
    Favilla soprano
    Jupiter Creek tenor solid body electric (steel strings)

  6. I’ve been playing the ukulele for about four months now and currently own three ukuleles.

    The first was a coloured Mahalo I picked off of EBay to see if I would like playing the ukulele, needless to say that I did ๐Ÿ™‚ , here’s a sound sample and intonation pic of it http://ukenoob.blogspot.com/2007/12/mahalo-u30-soprano-sound-and-intonation.html

    The second was an Ohana SK25 Soprano, a very nice Mahogany uke. I’ve not done a sound sample of this one yet.

    The 3rd ukulele I bought was a Clearwater Roundback Concert. This was cheaper than the Ohano but is my favourite to play, I find that the concert size just suits me the best. I’ve done a sound sample and intonation pic here http://ukenoob.blogspot.com/2007/11/clearwater-roundback-concert-sound-and.html

    Note I think that the Clearwater is only available in the ukulele but appears to be identicle to one that Ohana produce, in fact I think they’re from the same factory.

  7. I meant to say “I think that the Clearwater is only available in the UK”.

  8. I have a red Applause Soprano electric, and a friend gave me a Vinci VU2 Concert which I believe is the same as an Oscar Schmidt. Both are strung with Aquila Nygluts. The Applause has perfect intonation, and the Vinci isn’t bad with the Aquila strings. I use the Intelli IMT-500 Digital Chromatic Tuner which makes tuning easy.

    I’ve been playing the Vinci the most since it is easier to fret for me. I got the Applause first after seeing your post on Gadgeteer, and began with Roy Sakuma’s DVD. I’ve downloaded many tabs from the internet, and have loaded my Treo 650 up with Songbook, and chordpro songs I’ve found on the web.

    Merry Christmas!

  9. My husband and I both play, and we have acquired quite a few ukes in the year or so we’ve been playing.
    My favorite: Bushman Jenny Concert. His favorite: Bushman Jenny Tenor Cutaway. Why? They have perfect intonation, beautiful tone, nice action and they’re really pretty.
    Others: Rogue Soprano, Rogue Baritone, Red Applause Soprano, Black Applause Soprano, Bushman Jenny Baritone, Applause Tenor, ???-brand Concert Resonator, ???-brand inlaid 8-String Tenor, ???-brand inlaid Soprano

  10. I have a Samick Baritone Uke and a Hilo Soprano uke.

    The Hilo is pretty cheap as far as ukes go, but I put some D’addario strings on it sounsd and plays better than you would think.

    The Samick baritone is my favorite. Its a step or two up the quality ladder from the Hilo. I even use it for a little clawhammer now and then.

  11. – A Green Mahalo soprano with Aquila Nylgut strings. Even with the new strings and lowering the nut grooves, inotation is severely bad.
    – A concert Fluke with plastic fretboard. I recommend it highly to anyone starting out with $160 to spend. Still, as good as it is, I don’t really think it’s a ukulele! Maybe I’m being a purist.
    – A soprano KoAloha with mahogany neck and friction tuners. Really nice rustic-looking and jangly-sounding 12 fret instrument. Fun to play, hard to tune.
    – A tenor GString tuned gDBE. A nice change of pace, very guitar-sounding.
    – A concert Ko’olau 300, with Grover tuners and ebony fretboard. An exceptionally beautiful instrument, smooth tone, easy to play, easy to tune, My favorite, no contest.

  12. -KoAloha concert
    -Kepasa Josephine (long soprano)
    -Risa solid tenor
    -Risa solid soprano
    -Tiki Flea soprano
    -Quiles Tenor (spanish luthier)
    -Green Mahalo soprano
    -Samick concert
    -Le Domino (long soprano)
    -Old Regal refinished by Vicente Quiles (soprano)
    -Maybell banjouke soprano
    My favourite is my Kepasa “Dark Josephine”… perhaps the great sound, the feeling in my hands and, perhaps, because it’s the last uke arrived to my hands ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Ok, here goes. I liked forrge’s reply, playing 4 months and already has 3 ukes! I am a harp player (harmonica) and we harpers have a reputation for being gearheads, we’re not the only ones!
    I picked up an early Bushman Jenny concert from John Hall about 3-4 years ago, didn’t do much with it, play the harp by ear and this string instument thing was difficult for me. John told me to buy a stand and just pick it up whenever I was sitting around watching tv or whatever, a multi tasking thing. I started playing a little each day until it finally clicked. Still play only basic chords, at the top of the fret, but I was hooked. Started doing a little research by acquisition, now I am just short of an even dozen. Here they are:

    Bushman Jenny Concert
    vintage Kamaka koa soprano
    3 EleUkes, 2 tenors and a concert (Bugsgear silent ukes)
    Risa ukeCaster (semi-hollow body tenor, similar to a mandocaster)
    Rejoice custom koa tenor
    Cheap Kay soprano (for kids to bang on)
    No name weird triangle shaped Baritone
    No name custom built koa tenor
    Maui Music Koa 8-string tenor

    I have to say, after I bought the first koa, I decided nothing really sounded so good. I love the little Kamaka soprano, if I want to really sound out, the Rejoice tenor really resonates! I bought the EleUkes to practice without bothering anyone, great to travel with. The Risa is motivation to practice, it is strung with steel strings, tuned low G and will take time for me to figure out. The bottom 3 on the list I bought recently and haven’t received yet, I am excited about trying the 8 string! But, I must say, the Bushman Jenny concert is the uke still on the stand in my family room, I will pick it up most often, sounds terrific! Its’ also very easy to play, action is just right and it plays plenty loud! If anyone is interested, I may post a video comparing the different models, after I receive the latest from Fed-ex.

  14. In chronological order …

    Bushman baritone
    Bushman Echo
    Vineyard tenor-neck soprano
    Vineyard TK-100 tenor
    Lehua concert-neck soprano
    Mahalo soprano
    The Classic tenor (Empire music)
    Hamano soprano
    Hamano concert
    Hamano tenor
    Mahalo deluxe concert

    I could say a lot about each one, but not today. Right now I like the Hamano concert best — lovely voice and feel, and perfect intonation.

  15. 1) Kelii Superconcert

    2) Vintage Gretsch soprano

    3) Hilo soprano (a cheapie)

    My favorite is the Kelii Superconcert. It’s extra wide neck and tenor scale make it great for fingerstyle uke, which I’m really into. It has a sweet, woody tone.

    The Gretsch has that old-time bark.

  16. Wow, you guys have wonderful collections. I guess I need to get busy and buy some more! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Right now I just have 2 ukes:

    Pono Concert
    KoAloha Concert

    I do have a custom Boat Paddle uke on order though.

    I can’t decide which is my favorite between Pono and KoAloha yet…

    I’m interested in also trying a GString and Kamaka to see how they compare to the Pono and KoAloha in playability and sound.

  17. Here goes, in order of purchase:

    1) Makalo (soprano red)
    2) Flea (concert pineapple)
    3) Kala (soprano pineapple)
    4) Oscar Schmidt (concert Mickey Mouse limited edition)
    5) Fluke (tenor Camp)
    6) Risa Stick (concert)
    7) Kala Archtop (tenor black)

    I also have several ‘collector’s items,’ such as the uke made from a coconut shell, an official Hot Time Harv beater ($.99 — a bargain!), a plastic uke with hula girls (should inspiration hit me in the shower), a sweet little uke emblazoned with hula floozies (highly coveted by my pubescent nephews), and one made from a cookie tin that I won in a contest.

    Also, do you count banjoleles? I have an Amrawco (currently for sale on Flea Market Music’s marketplace), one whose label is so old I can’t read it, one that I bought for $32 on ebay (and I overpayed), and…drumroll please…a brand new (at least to me) Gold Tone (thanks, Hanukah Harry!).

    To whom it may concern — and it concerns me a lot — unless a leopard Fluke strays into my path, I have all the ukes and banjoleles that I need (and want!). I am out of the acquisition stage. I hope.

    As for my favorite…it always seems to be the one that’s farthest away from where I’m sitting. The archtop is getting a lot of action now because it was a holiday present, I play the Risa when my husband is trying to sleep or if I’m traveling, and for some reason my red Makala is like comfort food; whenever I’m blue it cheers me up immediately. The tone of my Flea is just heaven (legend has it that everyone who plays it buys one)…you know, I guess I’m like a good mother: I love them all equally.

  18. And just as a note, I started playing in June 2007. This collection is six months old — UAS to the extreme.

  19. My first ukulele was/is an Ovation soprano (red with pickup). I use it for backpacking and outdoor playing.

    My second, “main player” ukulele is a LoPrinzi custom soprano (mahogany back/sides, spruce top, detailed rosette/binding/purfling). I will never be good enough to be able to play this instrument to its full capability–but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying!

  20. 19?? (60’s) Silvertone Soprano w/plastic fingerboard.

    That’s it. needless to say, it’s my favorite, although I do have a Kala archtop on order from MGM, so talk to me next week.

  21. My list includes:
    Mahalo soprano (natural maple color)
    Natural Flea soprano
    Tangi soprano
    Martin S-O
    Martin early type 1 (basket case)
    Koaloha concert (to fancy to play)
    Harmano concert
    Lanikai CK concert
    Bushman Jenny tenor (love it but to big for me)
    And I just won a plastic Maccaferri Islander on ebay. Five of my ukes are strung left handed for me to play and three are strung right handed for guest to play.
    I play the Harmano concert, Martin S-O and the flea the most.
    I guess right now my favorite is the Harmano concert, It’s such a sweet uke to play and has a great sound.

  22. Martin Style 0, Martin Style 2, Laughlin Style 3K replica, Ukiyo Vita, UkeBrand, Dominator, Kanile’a. Dominator gets the most consistent play. All standards. What other size is there? For the past few years, I’ve seen many ukes come and go, but I’ve found that consolidating into a few special instruments really makes playing enjoyable.

  23. Nifty site. Started UAS with a Bushman Englemann Spruce Concert, then a Lanikai 6 string koa Tenor, a Kamaka 6 string Tenor, a Kamaka 4 string Tenor, a Big Island Honu Soprano, and the last one bought in Oahu last October, a Koaloha Concert. The Koaloha Concert is my current favorite as it just plain sings….must be the thin koa construction with the unibrace. It seems 1/2 the weight of the Bushman Concert and really projects and resonates. I changed the original strings to Aquilas in low G. If I never buy another uke again, I’d be perfectly happy with my Koaloha Concert.

  24. Hi,

    ooh, i love competitions!
    i have a blue mahalo, a nice stagg soprano, just got a ashbury reso this is great apart from the cheap tuners on it. i’ve also got a slingerland banjo uke and a dallas A banjo uke too.

    as for my favourite? well the mahalo is very easy to play and sounds surprisingly good, the stagg is also nice. i’d say the reso at the mo’ its a concert, so there is a bit more room on the frets.
    the banjoleles are just great for thrashing!
    keep on strummin

  25. I only have two ukuleles. ๐Ÿ™

    I have a concert Lanikai and a Tenor. I like the tenor better because it plugs in and is louder.

  26. -Lanikai LU-21 – first ukulele
    -Unknown very old banjo uke
    -another unkown very old banjo uke
    -very old Vega banjo uke
    -plastic toy Davey Crockett uke (old) – He’s my wife’s great, great something or other Grandfather
    -Old plastic Macafferi ukulele
    -Oscar Schmidt concert w/pickup
    -Lanikai Koa Tenor
    -2 of my own handmade ukuleles – look better on the wall than they sound
    -Tyler Mountain banjo uke – sweet!
    -and the one I play most often, if not all the time is a handmade beautiful concert koa ukulele that I bought on Maui, made on Maui by someone unkown as it has no markings other than a nice abalone inlay on the peghead. I play that one because it sounds much better than any uke I’ve ever played. It has great tone and volume and is a pleasure to hold in my hands!

  27. Hiya — and happy New Year to all!
    1. Les Rietfors koa concert
    2. No name odd shaped (like the Sceptre) koa concert
    3. Pohaku mahogany concert with Betty Boop artwork
    4. Pohaku cedar top concert
    5. Pohaku koa tenor
    6. Royal Aloha mahogany soprano
    7. Black Bear koa soprano
    8. Earnest Tululele
    9. Kepasa koa Hollywood style
    10. Kepasa “personality disorder” Hollywood style
    11. Maccafari Islander
    12. Another Maccafari Islander
    13. Mauna Loa plastic uke
    14 and 15 – a couple of cheepies.

    My favorite? I’d have to pick the Kepasa Hollywood style, spruce top, combination maple and mahogany back and sides, which Kevin calls the “personality disorder” style. Wonderful in every way, and yes, my most recent!

    Kindest regards,

  28. And the winner is SnakeOiler!

    Thanks to everyone that entered the contest ๐Ÿ™‚ I had fun seeing the lists of your collections. It makes me realize that I need to get busy ! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. Happy Holidays Julie!

    The ‘Ukuleles:
    ’05 KoAloha concert (KCM-00)
    ’05 KoAloha tenor (KTM-00, for sale)
    ’06 KoAlana soprano, the travel go anywhere uke
    ’06 KoAloha long neck soprano (KSM-02)
    ’07 William King A5 from stock soprano #008
    ’07 William King A5 custom soprano #009
    on order:
    ‘0? Dave Means Glyph custom extended scale (14frets to body) concert

    Tough choice. Each of my ‘ukuleles have a distinct voice. The KTM-00 I have a hard time playing due a thumb & wrist injury. All the ukes that I play except the KoAlana are real nice sounding and easy playing instruments. The KoAlana is not bad. For the price point it is a nice instrument. Just not up to the KoAloha or Kings.

    If the house was on fire the two ukes I would grab are the KCM-00 and one of the Kings. King #009 is slightly richer due to the slightly deeper resonance and longer sustain, but #008 is IMHO the Strad of my uke collection. So probably #008. If I was a one armed uke player it would be a tough choice. The KCM-00 like the #008 has a real balanced sound, clean tone and is LOUD. . Both are only 12 frets to the body. Both are beautiful instruments. Do I have to choose? I guess to be compliant with the “rules of the contest” the choice would be the King #008 on even days or the KoAloha on the odd days of the month. Reverse situation on odd number months. Reversed again if it’s an odd numbered year. Reversed again if it’s an odd numbered century.

    Opps too late for the contest ๐Ÿ™

  30. Koa:
    Sorry that you missed the contest, but thank you for your list. The William King ukes look very interesting to me… I just checked his site. It doesn’t appear that he’s offering the soprano size these days…

  31. Congrats, Snake Oiler!

  32. I missed the contest, but I will go ahead and play anyway.

    My favorite uke is the one I haven’t received yet (should arrive by Saturday). It will be my first!

    It is a Kala KA-T Mahogany Tenor.

    Decided about a week ago to give the uke a try. Based the decision in part due to the fact that the SO expressed and interest in taking uke lessons on our trip in a week or so to the Big Island.

    Apparently, I already have advanced stages of UAS as I ordered us both one (only she got a Plum Mahalo Soprano as she is more interested in the color at this point).

    I am hoping my recent case of UAS is more controllable than a previous case of GAS that I suffered from! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Solana: I had never really had the urge to visit Hawaii until now ๐Ÿ™‚ Now I really want to make the trip! It probably will not be this year, but maybe next year for sure.

    Enjoy your new ukes!

  34. Julie: I was like you. Never really wanted or intended to go. But with the SO winning a trip (yes, she won it for us!) and then getting caught up with UAS, I am EXCITED!

    The only scary part is that I have already mapped out a couple of uke luthiers to visit and am afraid that I am putting myself in a position to add to my UAS. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Solana: I’m so jealous of you!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Please email me about your trip when you get back ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. You like me, you really, really like me :p

    Or maybe it was a sympathy win, as I was the one with the least Ukes.

    My Kala Archtop Tenor showed up the same time that I found out I won, yesterday was the best Ukulele day ever. Thanks again Julie!

  37. I didn’t know that Kala made archtops… So, what do you think of it?

  38. I got my prize pack today. Pretty cool, thanks Julie.

    I like my archtop just fine. I don’t have much to compare it to, it’s definitely different than my old Sop. You can hear it here:

  39. Wow I can’t believe the collection that some of you have! I only have 2 ukuleles right now:

    I have a soprano Hilo and a Kala KTEC. I actually started out with a johnson mahogony soprano then traded it for the hilo ukulele. but I reeeeealy want to get more ukuleles ๐Ÿ˜€

  40. I missed the contest, but I have four ukuleles (only two at the time of the contest, however). In chronological order of acquirement:

    1. A concert ukulele with, aside from the word “Hawaii” emblazoned on the body, no markings as to who made it. This was my official “starter” ukulele for Christmas, 2005.
    2. An old, beat-up, not-in-playable condition concert ukulele my mother played in high school. Also picked up at Christmas, 2005.
    3. A recent purchase, the Lanikai LU-21CEBK concert ukulele with Shadow electric pickup and a nice polished black finish. Purchased January, 2008.
    4. A Johnson baritone ukulele I’ll get to strumming on once I get it back from my sister. Picked up on Craigslist for a sweet $30 in January, 2008.

  41. Nate: which uke is your favorite? ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Hey, Julie. The no-name “Hawaiian” was the first uke I ever played, taking me through those first few chords leading up to my first few shows. Lately, I’ve been playing my Lanikai because it’s just so darn pretty.

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