Frequently Asked Questions

about Mainland Ukes

Who are Mainland Ukes?

Mainland Ukes is a home-grown family business in Nashville, Indiana, owned and operated by Mike Hater and his wife, Tookta. They are 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 so special about the Mainland ukuleles?

All Mainland ukuleles are made with solid wood construction. This means that no laminates (high grade plywood) are used in the construction of the plates which make up the body of the ukulele. Thin plates of solid wood give the full, rich tone that is so desirable in a ukulele.

Mainland ukuleles have a lovely, classic look, a bright, resonant sound and an extremely attractive price. Aesthetically simple, with a cool vintage vibe.

 

Where are they made?

The ukulele bodies are made overseas to Mainland's specifications. The final assembly and setup of each ukulele is done by Mike Hater in his workshop in Indiana. Mike installs the machine heads, shapes the nut and saddle for the instrument, tweaks the frets as needed, adds the strings, and adjusts everything so that the ukulele plays beautifully. A good setup makes the difference between an instrument that just 'works' and an instrument that is a true joy to play.

 

Why should I buy a Mainland from Bytown Ukuleles?

If you are in the USA, call Mike or Tookta at Mainland Ukes in Indiana, and buy a ukulele directly from them. Here is a link to their website. Say hi to them on our behalf.

But if you are in Canada, Bytown Ukuleles can save you money. We order in bulk, which reduces the cost of shipping and handling from the USA. Ordering a Mainland ukulele from us will cost you less than if you order it from Indiana.

Example: You live in Ottawa or Winnipeg and order a Classic Mahogany Soprano ukulele
                           from Mainland Ukes   from Bytown Ukuleles

Ukulele                 $189.50 USD              $219.50 CDN ($189.50 + US exchange)
                                                             Price: Ottawa        Price: Winnipeg
Freight-in                  48.95
US exchange           35.76
Duty (6%)                 11.37
Handling fee               9.95
Shipping (if required)                                                                  37.47
GST                          11.92                          10.98                      10.98
TOTAL                 $307.46 CDN             $230.48 CDN         $267.95 CDN
Note: The preceding example does not include provincial RST.

And if you're in our part of the country, you can make an appointment to visit us and try out the ukuleles we have in stock. You'll be able to see and hear for yourself how great the Mainland ukuleles are.

When you buy a Mainland ukulele through Bytown Ukuleles, you will be supporting two small companies dedicated to making quality ukuleles, at an affordable price

 

After I order, where is my instrument shipped from?

Your ukulele is shipped from Ottawa, Ontario using Canada Post. You will have the option during checkout to select either Regular Parcel Post or Express Post. The rates shown include packaging and insurance. Or, if you'd like, you can pick up your ukulele in person from our location in Ottawa to save on shipping fees.

 

How long after I place my order for a Mainland ukulele should I expect to receive it?

It depends on whether we have the ukulele you've selected in stock here in Ottawa or whether the ukulele needs to be setup in Indiana first. The checkout screen on this website will indicate if it is ready to ship immediately from Ottawa. If so, we will carefully package and ship it within 2 business days of the order.

If the ukulele, with the options you select, is not in stock in Ottawa, we will arrange to have it set up to your specifications in Indiana, and you should receive your instrument in 3 to 5 weeks. We’ll do everything we can to ensure the order goes smoothly and quickly.

Sometimes, a particular ukulele may not be available. For example, you may find the Red Cedar Soprano, Tenor and Baritone available for purchase on our website but not the Red Cedar Concert. This means that Mainland Ukes has temporarily sold out of the Red Cedar Concert and is waiting for a new container shipment. We will try to show only instruments that are currently available on this site.

 

In the choices for machine heads, there is something called MOP buttons.  What is that?

MOP in this context stands for 'Mother Of Pearl'.  These buttons have a white pearlescent finish.

 

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 ukulele, typically about 25 inches. The larger sound chamber makes a slightly more resonant and 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. They are more resonant and louder than a smaller ukulele. The fret board is also larger and 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, DGBE, like a guitar. 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 through a large hall. They are often sopranos, but a banjo-uke can be any size. No serious ukulele collection is complete without one.

 

What is the return policy?

If you are not satisfied with your ukulele, return it to Bytown Ukuleles within 15 days for a full refund, including the initial shipping and handling. Contact us to let us know of your intention to return it and we'll give you return authorization at that time. Repackage the instrument in the same way in which it was received to ensure that it comes back safely. Return shipping and handling costs will be paid by the purchaser. We will however, refund the return shipping cost, if the return is a result of our error.

 

What if something goes wrong with my ukulele?  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 make every effort to respond promptly to your concerns.Your satisfaction is our top priority.

Please refer to the Warranty section of this website for further details.

 

about Bytown Ukuleles

Who is Bytown Ukuleles?

Bytown Ukuleles is a creative collaboration between two Ottawa-based artisans, Joel Jacques and Mark Rogers, who use traditional luthier techniques to design and create unique, custom instruments from a variety of local, exotic and found woods.

 

How do I order a custom instrument from Bytown Ukuleles?

We love building custom instruments. Send us an email and we’ll setup a meeting with you, or we can have design discussions electronically. 

You may feel a little intimidated about deciding to have a custom-built instrument designed for you without having any point of reference. We encourage you to have a look at our selection of Bytown Ukuleles that are 'Currently Available', as well as those that have been sold and are 'Out In the World'. 

If you find an instrument in our selection of Bytown Ukuleles that interests you, we can use that as a starting point for our design discussions. We can recreate that same instrument for you or modify it to suit your own particular tastes.

If you have your own custom design ideas, we’d love to build a unique instrument for you to your specifications. Together we can create a beautiful instrument that will suit your tastes, personality and needs.

Once you're happy with the design, the quote, and the estimated completion date that we've given you, we'll require a 50% deposit. The balance will be payable upon receipt of the instrument.

 

Do you do repairs and setup work?

Yes. Email us with a description of the problem you are having, preferably with pictures. We'll give you a rough estimate of costs and discuss the best way of getting your instrument to us for an assessment. We can only confirm the estimate once we've examined the instrument in person. Even photos do not convey certain important issues such as the neck angle and curvature of the fingerboard. We will give you a firm quote before doing any work.

If you are in the Ottawa area, you can contact us to arrange to drop-off your instrument. Or you can come by with your instrument to the Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG) jam and we can chat before the jam. 

 

Can you do some instrument hacking for me?

Absolutely. We'd love to turn your fiddle, mandolin, tenor banjo, cigar box or hand drum into a ukulele for you. Instrument hacking is taking an instrument of one type (new or old) or any other object, and turning it into a strange and whimsical instrument. We invite you to take a look at examples of our work under Bytown Ukuleles above.

 

Is Bytown Ukuleles and BUG (Bytown Ukulele Group) the same organization?

No. Bytown Ukuleles is a subsidiary of Bytown Instruments. Both Joel and Mark are very active in the Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG), located in Ottawa, and it's where we first met and hatched our plans to build ukuleles together. However, BUG cannot be held responsible for our ukulele-building shenanigans.