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Thread: Waterman Concert Review

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Waterman Concert Review

    I ordered the Waterman Concert after hearing about it over on Uke Talk. I have been a happy player of the soprano since its introduction, but always wished for a concert, my preferred scale. As in the case of the original Waterman, it shipped in a sturdy box imprinted with information about the uke. Inside was the lined, drawstring gigbag with the uke and a brief instructional manual with some chords, a song, etc.

    It has the same molded in frets, nut and saddle, none of which are adjustable, as the soprano. My soprano has a translucent body, and this concert has an opaque black body. The plastic seems less "hard" and reflective, and along with the body size produces a sweeter, warmer tone than the bright, snappy soprano. This was noticeable immediately. I fact, its tone was so startlingly different, that for a while I wondered if I'd like it. Of course the tone is not "woody," or complex, but its smoother and warmer than the soprano. I have decided I DO like it, but it was really something when I began playing it. I'm no expert on the properties of the plastics used, and what I said about the effect on tone is pure conjecture.

    The open-backed tuners hold the strings in tune just fine. Most complaints I've read about Waterman ukes of either size are about the characteristics of a plastic uke. Action and intonation are not adjustable, but are ok out of the box. I've strummed chords up to the seventh or eighth frets and I don't hear dissonance in any chords. Yes, the tone isn't that of a wooden uke, but it's percussive, snappy, and as needed, loud. Its unaffected by humidity or lack of it, and the modern plastics are supposed to hold up in hot (or cold) cars and storage. I don't have any experience with other plastic ukuleles, just the Watermans.

    A major complaint about the soprano when it came out was the fact that the silver paint on the frets and position markers quickly wore off. Indeed, it was literally after minutes of play that the paint wore off my soprano. Well, I have many hours of play on the concert, and so far, there's no wear on the paint; it looks like new. This issue has apparently been effectively addressed. Two colors were offered when I ordered mine from Amazon: Seafoam Green over black, and a flat "Chalkboard" black. I got the Seafoam Green, a little startling compared to the popular cream color seen on the sopranos, but clearly identifying it as a fun ax.

    This is a fun, tough little instrument. It plays well and sounds good. It can go anywhere. Consideration of it shouldn't be eliminated because its limitations as a plastic instrument. The Waterman series offers excellent value at their respective price points.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    I've yet to actually hear a sound sample of these concert ukes, but have been keeping an eye out for them.
    I had a Brunswick plastic concert, similar to a Korala I believe, but didn't like its sound, so gave it away.
    It would be nice if these actually did sound good.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by uke1950 View Post
    I've yet to actually hear a sound sample of these concert ukes, but have been keeping an eye out for them....
    Choirguy (Chris) put up an extensive review back in March 2017, which includes lots of photos, and a video comparison and sound samples: https://ukestuff.wordpress.com/2017/...erman-ukulele/
    Just the FAQs
    less is more

  4. #4
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    Cheers, Booli, I must have missed it before.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  5. #5
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    Is the intonation any better than it was on my soprano Waterman? That was a complaint shared by others too when we discussed the Kala Waterman here, a year or two ago. On mine, the notes started to be off in the 3rd fret already. It was anything but "excellent value" for me, sadly.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mivo View Post
    Is the intonation any better than it was on my soprano Waterman? That was a complaint shared by others too when we discussed the Kala Waterman here, a year or two ago. On mine, the notes started to be off in the 3rd fret already. It was anything but "excellent value" for me, sadly.
    I've got no hands-on with the concert Waterman, but every one of the 1st and 2nd gen soprano models I've played had the action greater than 3.5mm at the 12th fret, and intonation at the 2nd fret was +30 cents sharp, and due to the nature of the molded plastic bridge and saddle (one peice) there's not a way to fix it.

    IMHO, the soprano Waterman is the instrument you give a toddler to whack against the coffee table so you dont have to give them your Fluke, Flea or Outdoor Uke.
    Just the FAQs
    less is more

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    I had a concert Waterman for a very short time. Didn't care for it much. Gave it to a teenager as a birthday present. She has had fun with it.

  8. #8
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    An update to my review 10/9/17: I posted my review after a few hours of play and I commented that the silver paint on the frets and position markers had held up remarkably well compared to the soprano. Well, now after weeks of daily play, the paint remains as bright and complete as the day it arrived. This was an issue in a number of reviews when the soprano came out, including mine. It looks as if this issue has been solved.

    As for other questions and comments on the Waterman concert, I have good results with intonation to the seventh fret; action as noted, is not adjustable, and it what is, a little stiffer than I like but acceptable for a simple plastic ukulele. Other than that, it's guilty of being a plastic uke: extremely durable, playable, and with a non-complex tone. Judging it against laminate or solid wood ukes is pointless. Grab one and take it to the beach..

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