Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 53

Thread: Soprano options

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    203

    Default Soprano options

    I have a really nice concert that I love (KoAloha) and a really nice concert being built (Loprinzi). I have an Islander tenor that I've been on the fence about since I got it. Not in love with the tenor size. I have two interested parties who'd like to buy it. I'd like to try a soprano, and see if that would be a good addition to my ukulele family. I also have a Bonanza concert that I take on rafting & kayaking trips. The concert size works well on rafting trips. It fits "ok" inside my sea kayak, but it's a little tight for room. I'm starting to venture more towards the kayak trips lately. So my thought is either a soprano or long neck soprano in the future. I've messed around with a couple sopranos and they are ok, but a little tight on room for my short chubby fingers. Definitely like the spacing better than the tenor.

    My requirement would be either a soprano with a 1.5 inch nut, or a long neck soprano. Satin finish only. Prefer a laminate since it will be a camping & water travel uke. Under $200 would be great.

    So far I've seen Islander sopranos with a 1.5 nut and 14 frets to the body/19 frets total. The spalted maple looks interesting. I haven't found a laminate long neck yet. Mim has a nice looking long neck Ohana for a good price but it's all solid. I know about the Flea, but that's a little steeper in price. I know I could always get another Bonanza, but want to look at all options.

    Thanks for any ideas. Links to particular models appreciated.
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 10-12-2017 at 11:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    1,604

    Default

    The nut on the Martin OXK is 1 13/32'' There is a bamboo print version, too.

    https://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/ukulele/0xk-uke/

    My OXK was around $200 new - might want to look at Black Friday sales next month, which is when I bought mine.

    You can paddle with an Outdoor Ukulele soprano. I do not know the nut size, however. I am quite fond of my tenor and take it on a boat all the time.
    https://www.outdoorukulele.com/colle...-soprano-green
    - Laura

    Sopranino - Vintage 1930's Camp Uke (Birch)
    Soprano - Koaloha Opio (Sapele), Martin OXK (HPL), Brueko No. 2 (Maple), Kala ASOV -S (Spruce/Ovangkol), Vintage 40's Silvertone (Mahogany), Vintage 50's Harmony (Birch), Zither Heaven (1 Black Walnut & 1 Cherry), First Act Discovery (Plastic)
    Concert - Luna (Spruce top)
    Tenor - Outdoor Ukulele (Composite Polycarbonate), Mainland (Mahogany)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    293

    Default

    I prefer to play Soprano and in part that is because of their compactness, however I am a returner to the size as I too had finger trouble. All the ‘experts’ say persevere and it will be ok, well it wasn’t for me and I turned to the larger concert size or rather a long neck Soprano and that gave me needed finger room from a compact Uke. Then I discovered the Islanders and bought a Concert Laminate with a wide nut. Suddenly everything was easier and I then organised to respace the strings on an ordinary Soprano, which works just great for me - a special nut was needed and you might not feel able to do the work required to fit it and adjust the string height, etc.

    If you prefer to stick with Concerts some are slightly shorter overall when they have 12 rather than 14 frets to the neck. Oscar Schmidt (spelling?) do some but I’m not sure who else still does. The Islander Sopranos have the same scale length but the bridge is moved to produce 12 and 14 fret to neck versions, if they were available in the UK and for sensible money then I’d have looked at buying a 12 fet to neck version for myself - a 12 fet should be just perfect for what you want and fit a standard soft case. I suspect that the new Lanikais are also wide necked but you’d need to check that out for yourself, they do a Pineapple Soprano and I love my old LU 21P with wide spaced strings.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 10-12-2017 at 01:45 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    203

    Default

    I noticed a Leolani long neck soprano on Uke Republic today, as well as an Islander acacia soprano. Both are laminate, both have a 1.5 nut, and both are under $200. A soprano or long neck soprano would give me a 2-3 inch shorter uke that would pack easier in my sea kayak. The concert is still my size of choice for everyday playing. The soprano or LN soprano will be for outdoor travel use, plus add a different size and sound to my uke line-up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    742

    Default

    I would not go in a kayak or canoe with a uke unless it was a waterproof model, like an Outdoor. Too risky. Even stored below, there always water getting in, unless you keep it in a dry bag. But, you may be a much better kayaker than me!
    Ask NOT what your country can do for Uke...ask what Uke can do for your country.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    203

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ukecaster View Post
    I would not go in a kayak or canoe with a uke unless it was a waterproof model, like an Outdoor. Too risky. Even stored below, there always water getting in, unless you keep it in a dry bag. But, you may be a much better kayaker than me!
    I keep it in a dry bag at all times. My Bonanza has survived three multi-day kayak trips and one eight day rafting trip without incident this summer. I had a Kala Waterman and didn't care for it. I have strummed an Outdoor tenor briefly, and while it's better than the Waterman, It wasn't exactly my cup of tea. Thus the search for a decent sounding laminate soprano with a wide nut, or a laminate long neck soprano. I work in a children's hospital with a good music therapy department & a well stocked music room. They have several soprano ukes of the Mahalo/Dolphin variety that I have played over the past couple weeks, but none are the wide variety.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    293

    Default

    If you’re dead set on a wide neck Soprano (which is a good choice IMHO) then your options are limited.

    The Islander MS-4 can be heard here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kn-CGDfWJtw . I’d be glad to play that well and sound that good.

    They have become difficult to find but are listed here: https://www.pennylaneemporium.com/pr...prano-ukulele/ , http://www.islanderukulele.com/Custom/ShopCategory?id=4 , https://cosmomusic.ca/ukulele-sopran...-mahogany.html , https://www.riffcityguitaroutlet.com...-ukulele-satin. They seem like a good buy to me and when they were available in the U.K. they sold for very much more than that.

    I have a laminate Kala long neck Soprano (Concert length scale) that’s quite nice - used to love it and it could be a good second choice for you - but find my Soprano Pineapples with their wider spaced strings easier to play, YMMV.

    Edit. The Kala has a gloss finish which isn’t your preferred choice; for your intended use some minor scratches (to the gloss) are likely, but in the bigger picture of things is that really that important to become a deal breaker? For size I’ve tried my KA-SLNG in my Soprano gig bag and it does fit, but only just.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 10-13-2017 at 01:10 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
    Posts
    4,187

    Default

    The Kala KA-SLNG would suit your purposes, it was my go to uke when I was new here, spent around about 6 months mainly using this one, when concert scale was my size starting out, best with fluorocarbon strings, (Living Water low G in my case). Still love it, even though I have both concerts & other long necks.
    Fits, just, an ordinary soprano gig bag, (Stagg or S.U.S.). They also do a spruce top & a laminate Koa long neck.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.
    Formerly known as uke1950.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    2,343

    Default

    The Famous FS-5 (by Kiwaya, and in the west sold as Kiwaya FS-5) has a wider nut, is laminated and sounds better and louder than far more expensive solid wood sopranos, and it's not too far out of your price range if you shop around. I imported one from Japan and it's probably my favorite soprano. Great playability, great neck. It came up set up perfectly from the factory, too, with spot-on intonation up the neck. Mine came with geared tuners (FS-5G). Barry reviewed it here: http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/12/k...le-review.html

    I feel that this uke (there is a concert version of it also) is one of the most underrated, underappreciated choices, probably because laminate has such a poor reputation. I think if I could only have one soprano, it would be this one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    203

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mivo View Post
    The Famous FS-5 (by Kiwaya, and in the west sold as Kiwaya FS-5) has a wider nut, is laminated and sounds better and louder than far more expensive solid wood sopranos, and it's not too far out of your price range if you shop around. I imported one from Japan and it's probably my favorite soprano. Great playability, great neck. It came up set up perfectly from the factory, too, with spot-on intonation up the neck. Mine came with geared tuners (FS-5G). Barry reviewed it here: http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/12/k...le-review.html

    I feel that this uke (there is a concert version of it also) is one of the most underrated, underappreciated choices, probably because laminate has such a poor reputation. I think if I could only have one soprano, it would be this one.
    These look nice, but I can't tell from the pictures on Amazon whether they are gloss finish. Yes, gloss is a deal breaker for me. It's not about appearance. I dislike the feel of a gloss neck.

    I could get an Islander soprano from Uke Republic (acacia model) or any of the soprano models from Penny Lane (who say they do a set-up). Uke Republic also has a Leolani laminate long neck soprano that looks nice, with a wide neck and an open pore semi-gloss finish. It's a bit lacking in fret markers, but that's not a deal breaker.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •