2011 Mainland Mahogany Tenor Ukulele

I received this uke in trade and it's, basically, lightly-played with a bit of average use-wear. Mainland ukes appear to be made in Indonesia and then "setup" State-side. At $260+s/h new this instrument strikes me as a very good deal in the crowded import-uke market. It's solid-mahogany throughout, has wood "rope" purfling behind the binding, a "rope" soundhole, fan-bracing on the top, a light build, a fast neck, and a good, bright, sparkly, sweet "island-style" tone going on.

It came in with low-G Aquila strings that felt a bit tense for the thin neck -- and they were. It had a bit of relief with the Aquilas on, but when I swapped to a set of Martin M600 fluoro uke strings (lighter-gauge) in high-G, the neck snapped back on the dot and I was able to set it up fast-and-easy per my standard 1/16" at the 12th fret action for ukes. The tone also became much more enjoyable and "full" in the way that fluoro strings tend to beat Aquilas out if you do more than just choppy strumming.

I love the look of "rope" against that glossy-finished mahogany. The lower bout measures 9" across.

The board and bridge are rosewood and the nut and saddle are bone, too.

The bound headstock is a nice touch and the uke-style, lightweight sealed tuners look and work great. The buttons are, supposedly, ebony -- but the very even, shortgraining suggests decent-quality plastic that's textured, to me. The nut width is 1 3/8" and it has a 17 1/8" scale length.

You can load the strings "uke style" like I've done (knotted-up ends) or "classical guitar style" which I don't tend to appreciate, myself.

It's hard to complain about the build quality for its pricing -- this is a cleanly-built instrument.


Laura said…
I love how it was set up - it plays perfectly and has such a warm, rich tone. Thank you!