Mahalo and K Wave Telecasters, Bass Ukes on eBay

I caused a bit of a run on the Mahalo Les Paul copies when I mentioned them last week. eBay are now all sold out. You can listen to krabbers on his here. Obviously, I couldn’t resist. Mine arrived this morning and I’m very happy with it. It has some of the failings you’d expect from a cheap uke (the intonation is off further up the neck and the paint job is a bit shoddy in places) but the action is great and it plays very easily. I’ll have to get some Aquila strings on it and give it a real test.

Andy pointed out that Mahalo are also making Telecaster copies. I’m not so keen on them. Without the scratchplate on them, they look quite misshapen. But I am tempted by the Kiwaya K Wave Telecasters, and there’s this one currently for sale at £99. It’s a butterscotch (my favourite colour of telecaster) which, according to the Kiwaya website, is now discontinued.

UPDATE: Ambient Doughnut has put up a video demo of the Mahalo Telecaster:

Heather found this very nicely decorated Dresden Dolls themed uke.

MGM has a Bass ukulele up for sale at the moment – it’s the size of a baritone ukulele but, apparently, it’s in the range of a double bass. You can find out more and listen to it here.

I wish Weissenborn had made more ukes. There’s a nice early one here, but what the hell was that guy thinking with that description?

View Comments


  1. Andrey August 15th, 2008 9:34 pm

    payday is on the 28th of august. after that ill be ordering myself a wine-red k-wave, to replace this 30 pound Stagg.

    i cant wait!

  2. Chris August 15th, 2008 11:05 pm

    I was checking out those Bass ukes the other day out of curiosity. They all say something like that ebay ad:

    “Due to the acoustic nature of this instrument and low bass frequencies a amplifier must be used with this ukulele.”

    Does that just mean it’s so quiet it needs to be amplified? Overall it seems strange to even call something like that a ukulele. I don’t know much (anything) about instrument classification but what makes a “bass ukulele” a ukulele at all? Is it the physical specifications of the instrument?

  3. Cardboardfrog August 16th, 2008 1:38 am

    it looks like its tuned EADG too, which would make it technically a bass and not a ukulele and surely then a member of the viola family.
    Mind you its possible that the scale would classify it as a ukulele,
    a cute idea but i mean REALLY, do you need one?

  4. Howlin' Hobbit August 16th, 2008 5:27 pm

    If it kicks out a good bass sound its benefit is its small and lightweight size.

    Actual electric basses are heavy. They also take up more room in the vehicle when you’re trying to cram a whole band and their gear into one car.

  5. Woodshed August 16th, 2008 7:15 pm

    Andrey: Have fun with it.

    Chris, cbf and Hobbit: I think the description ‘bass ukulele’ is fair enough. Even if it’s not technically right, you know what to expect from it.

    I think Hobbit is right about the advantages. I also think it would be good for uke groups. You need a bass sound in a uke group, but having a huge bass in their spoils the concept a little.

  6. Cardboardfrog August 17th, 2008 2:05 pm

    surely an ashbory bass would suffice? they’re small scale and bassy.
    is it just me whos noticed how many uke players start off playing bass?

  7. Woodshed August 17th, 2008 6:40 pm

    The Ashbory bass doesn’t look like a uke though.

  8. Ukisociety January 30th, 2009 3:17 am

    I just bought the Mahalo tele. Had a chance to play both it and a Les Paul style Mahalo and the tele sounded much more resonant. It was the same way when I bought my K-Wave Kiwaya tele. Sounded better that the LP version. I wonder why…. But also the butterscotch tele I bought sounded better than the brown tele – both by Kiwaya. strange… I haven’t compared the Mahalo tele to the K-Wave, but for 50 bucks, the Mahalo is the winner. It sounds great!

  9. Woodshed January 30th, 2009 9:50 pm

    Thanks for that, Alan. Really interesting that Teles are more resonant than LPs in both cases.

  10. Tuscadero February 14th, 2009 11:34 pm

    I picked up a tele mahalo today. If it’s true that 1 of 5 mahalos sound great then I think I lucked out. This one sounds pretty sweet. I agree it looks a little weird without a strikeplate, but the guitar store I shop at had some cheapo deapo stick-on strikeplates for only $6. I trimmed it to size and shape and stuck it on and it really balances out the design. Granted, I wouldn’t do that with an expensive uke, but this is a novelty, so the cheesy solution doesn’t bother me much. I’m off to your rock riff tab section to pick up some hot licks for my cool uke!

  11. Woodshed February 16th, 2009 6:00 pm

    Tuscadero: Congrats on the new uke. If you’ve got any photos of the new look uke, I’d love to see them.

  12. Ambient Doughnut May 16th, 2011 9:51 am

    I bought one of those Mahalo Telecasters at the weekend as a present for my brother. I was against it but the guy in the shop rated it so thought I might give it a go. Frankly I was amazed! Its not the fullest sounding uke in the world but its a pleasant sound nonetheless. The setup is absolutely spot on and the intonation perfect. It’s so nice to play that I’m having serious qualms about actually handing it over. Really surprised, TBH I though all Mahalos were crap!

  13. Woodshed May 18th, 2011 9:58 am

    Ambient: Thanks. The Mahalo LPs are excellent for the price. Glad to hear the same is true of the Teles.

  14. Ambient Doughnut May 19th, 2011 1:47 pm

    I posted up a little sound demo if anyone’s interested. Excuse scrappy playing!

  15. Woodshed May 21st, 2011 8:00 am

    Ambient: Thanks! That does sound really good. I’ve added it to the post.

Got something to say?