Frequently Asked Questions about Mainland Ukes
Who are Mainland Ukes?
Mainland Ukes is a home grown family business based in Nashville Indiana, dedicated to providing quality performance ukuleles at a great price. "Our small company started because we love the ukulele and always enjoy meeting others who feel the same way."
What's special about the Mainland Ukes?
All Mainland ukes are made with solid wood construction. This means that there are no laminates (high grade plywood) used in the construction of the plates which make up the uke body. This means that all the wood used to make the body of the uke, in particular the plates of the top, back and sides grew together in the tree. Thin plates of solid wood most often give the full and rich tone that is so desirable in a wood body ukulele.
Also, these ukes look cool and feel great. Aesthetically simple yet pleasing with a cool vintage vibe. Just enough personality to keep it interesting and all the features needed to make them sound and feel great.
Where are they made?
The uke bodies are made to Mainland's specifications overseas. They all then have their 'final assembly' or 'final setup' done by Mike in Indiana. This means that the machine heads are installed; the nut and saddle are shaped for the instrument; the frets tweaked as needed; finally, it is strung and adjusted so that everything works 'just so'. A good setup makes the difference between an instrument that just 'works' and and instrument that is a true joy to play.
Why should I buy a Mainland from Bytown Ukuleles?
If you are anywhere in the USA, call Mike or Tookta at Mainland Ukes in Indiana and buy a uke directly from them. Here is a link to their website. Say hi to them on our behalf.
If you are in Canada on the other hand, we can make your life a little bit easier. Bytown Ukuleles brings instruments across the border in batches so that the various border fees such as brokerage can be amortized across a number of instruments rather than a single one. We then sell it to you in Canadian dollars. The price we sell to you is the same, after currency conversion, as you would pay from the Mainland website. We do add a shipping charge, but that is only from Ottawa to it's final Canadian destination, in your home. Where applicable, we will charge the canadian taxes. The main thing is this: there won't be any nasty little surprises due to brokerage fees and other surprise charges.
Finally, when you buy a Mainland Ukulele through us, you will be supporting not one, but two small companies dedicated to making more 'Good' ukuleles available out there for our great uke playing community.
After I order, where would my instrument be shipping from?
How long after I place my order for a Mainland Uke should I expect to receive it?
It depends whether the instrument available to ship right away from Ottawa or whether it needs to be setup in Indiana first. The checkout screen on this site will indicate whether it is ready to ship now. In that case, we will carefully package and ship it within 2 business days of the order.
Due to the choice of specific options regarding machine heads and finishes, often the instrument will need to be tailored to your specifications in Indiana. In that case, you should see your instrument in 3 to 5 weeks. We'll do everything we can to make the order go as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Certain instruments are simply not available at certain times. For example, you may find a Red Cedar Soprano, Concert and Baritone available for purchase on our site but not the Red Cedar Tenor. This means that Mainland has sold out of the Red Cedar Tenor and are awaiting a new container shipment. We will endeavor to only show instruments on this site which are currently available either from here in Ottawa or within 3 to 5 weeks from Indiana.
What is the return policy?
If you are not satisfied with your ukulele, return it to Bytown Ukuleles within 15 days for a refund. Please send it back packaged in the same way in which it was received to insure that it comes back safely.
How do I care for my instrument?
What if something goes wrong with my uke? Is there a warranty?
Yes. Here it is from the Mainland website:
"Since Mainland ukuleles are all solid wood, it is possible that small crack could develop in the wood grain if they are not cared for properly. As long as you take good care of your ukulele and consider the heat and humidity with caring for your instrument, Mainland will of course cover you if any flaw would become apparent within a year's time.
Ukuleles purchased from dealers must be returned through that dealer.
Warranty is valid only to the original purchaser.
Any modification to the ukulele will void the warranty.
Our warranty does not cover damage due to negligence, accident or improper storage, including exposure to extremes in temperature, humidity and lack of humidity and other environmental extremes."
Both Bytown Ukuleles and Mainland Ukes will will make every effort to be available for you and will reply to your concerns promptly. Your satisfaction is our top priority.
What size ukulele is right for you?
If your father or grandfather played ukulele, he probably played a soprano.
The soprano is the original or classic ukulele and the smallest, usually about 21 inches long.
The pineapple ukulele is typically an oval version of the classic soprano that was invented and made popular in Hawaii.
Concert ukuleles are possibly the most popular ukulele today, accounting for about 40% of ukuleles sold. Many people like the slightly larger size of the concert uke, typically about 25 inches. The larger sound chamber also makes for a somewhat louder ukulele while still being conveniently small and portable.
The tenor ukulele is favored by many of the better known ukulele performers, at least for big gigs. As you can guess they have a stronger resonance than a smaller uke. The fret board is also more comfortable for people with bigger hands.
The baritone ukulele is the largest in the family and is the only ukulele that is tuned differently, being tuned similar to a guitar DGBE, for that reason a lot of guitar players get hooked on these very quickly.
The banjolele or banjo-uke originally became popular during the days of Vaudeville before amplification. The distinct tone of these little marvels could carry thru a large hall. They are often sopranos, but a banjo-uke can be any size. No serious ukulele collection is complete without one.