View Full Version : Loprinzi, Covered Bridge, Sailor...other?

05-03-2015, 03:31 PM
In know there are a lot of buying recommendation post out there so sorry to add to the mix but I haven't seen one comparing these three. Apologize if I missed it.
I have a Mainland Cedar tenor which I like but can't say I love, the sound is a little on the boxy side, for lack of a better description, and harsher than I had expected for a cedar top.
So I thought I look into upgrading. Specifically a tenor, or maybe a concert, that has some more warmth to it without being muddy. I'd prefer to get something made in the US and I have seen some favorable comments about Lopronzi, Covered Bridge and Sailor. Any pros and cons about any of these that could sway me one way or the other are very welcome. Anything else I should consider? Is it worth saving and jumping into the K brands from here? I'd like to keep things under $700-800, which I know limits my options.
I'm currently leaning slightly in the direction of Loprinzi because they are all solid, unlike Sailor, and there isn't a wait list, like Covered Bridge. But I am swayable. Thanks in advance.

05-03-2015, 03:33 PM
Consider a cedar top Pono. I have 2 with cedar and they are my favorites of my 9 ukes. Talk to Andrew and get his advice. He's never ever let me down.

Ukulele Eddie
05-03-2015, 03:45 PM
I've owned two of your three but not in the same size. I really like both Covered Bridge and LoPrinzi and consider both great values. The former has a very chunky neck and the latter the slimmest neck I've experienced. My Covered Bridge tenor (western red cedar/claro walnut) had a great tone that leaned more toward the guitar end of the spectrum and it had a lot of depth/character. The LoPrinzi I had was a longneck soprano (all koa) and was unquestionably one of the most beautiful ukes I've seen and had a sweet tone to boot. The LoPrinzi was finished more nicely but it was a different price point among the two models (retail $1,700 vs. $900).

There is a used LoPrinzi cherry tenor in the marketplace that might be a great option and one you could re-sell well as a safety point.

Hippie Dribble
05-03-2015, 03:48 PM
All superb instruments. Sailor Brand is an offshoot of LoPrinzi, in that it's made by the same folks under a different brand name. You can order a Sailor in all solid woods if that is your preference.

Covered Bridge are wonderful. Typically they build with a thicker neck profile and a 1.5" nut width (as compared to LoPrinzi who use 1.3/8"). However you can order a CB from Terry and Perry with a slimmer neck profile and narrower nut width to accommodate your preference.

Years back the CBs had some minor finish issues but these have been well and truly resolved and their finishes now are as good as anyone's.

All these ukes will give you a sweet tone and are very well balanced players, set up immaculately. I would be happy with any of these you've mentioned and I've had positive past experiences with all of them. If you explained to either Donna (at Loprinzi) or Terry /Perry (at CB) what your tonal preferences are I am confident they would deliver.

Forced to choose, I love the elegance and understated beauty of Covered Bridge ukuleles and every one I have played has had a richness and depth of tone way beyond the price point.

05-03-2015, 04:13 PM
I have a fondness for LoPrinzi myself but you really can't go wrong with your choices. Really it comes down to personal taste/preferences.

05-03-2015, 06:03 PM
Hey uke nick. Have you tried changing strings on your Mainland to get a tone you like. Could save you lots of money.

05-04-2015, 01:43 AM
I tried various strings and tuning experiments over the past few months. Fremont Blacklines definitely made an improvement over the stock aquilas, and now I'm trying out Worth browns…seem very similar to the Fremonts.
Some strong points for CB from Hippie Dribble. To add too it from the pics and videos I've seen the wood CB uses does seem stunning, generally at a price point well below when you start seeing it on Loprinzi.
Some strong points for Loprinzi and Sailor too. Thanks everyone for their thoughts.

05-04-2015, 01:59 AM
Hippie Dribble is right. He has vast experience, so take his advice to heart.
I personally think a Loprinzi might be a very good choice, but that, although a step up, neither the Covered Bridge or the Sailor would be a significant improvement over your current ukulele. I would suggest continuing to improve your tone production through technique. Perhaps try different strings, (I've found I can get a rather colorful sound from Savarez Corums). You can take a year or two to find the right instrument for you, and during that time develop the ability to get better sound out of your Mainland.

05-04-2015, 03:08 AM
Don't put that Sailor into the laminate category. It is not. The back and sides are solid wood with an extremely thin layer of veneer. I have heard Sailors that sound as good as, if not better than some Lo Prinzi's, even though they are made in the same place. Except for a Blackbird Clara, A Sailor soprano longneck with cedar top was the best sounding uke I heard at the Tampa Bay Getaway last year. Have you tried different strings on that Mainland?

05-04-2015, 02:46 PM
Thanks Phil and Steve. Yeah I tried some both Blacklines and Worth browns. A help, but still not what I'm looking for.

Phil - I'm intrigued by your comment on the Sailor. I've read on the forum that they sound very good because of the solid tops…but aren't the back and sides essentially laminate? Or is applying veneer some kind of different construction/process? Pardon my ignorance.