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View Full Version : Advice needed - Ohana 35 or 38



whistleman123
10-05-2015, 01:10 PM
I'm still just at the begining of my ukulele journey, but it's time to buy a better/different uke.

I've narrowed it down to either ab Ohana model 35 or a model 38.

The main difference I see is that the fret board on the 38 stops at the body while fret board on the 35 is extended farther with more frets.

My question is - as I progress will I need the facility that the longer fret will afford me? I'm just not good enough yet to know!

I will be mainly playing jazz in C tuning with low G.

I have to admit the "retro Martin look" of the 38 appeals to me!

Mivo
10-05-2015, 01:43 PM
The 38 is a vintage re-issue, and I suspect it has the nicer wood. But 12 frets, well ... I had to make that decision when I wanted a small KoAloha, and their standard sopranos only have 12 frets. I don't need those presently, but since I'd like to eventually play more complex (fingerpicking) pieces, I figured that if I drop the money, I want something that won't limit me down the road. In the end, I bought the longneck soprano because it has more frets. I don't know if I'll need them down the road (I hope so!), or if by then I'm still into the smaller sizes, but I wanted that worry out of the way.

The 35 is also cheaper, and I actually prefer its look. It has extra frets, though I don't know how usable they are. On my other soprano (which has 17 frets, or 18), the frets after the 12th are very "plunky" and not really very useful. On the longneck soprano, even the 17th fret sounds decent enough. I think it's more about sustain than playability.

Anyway, personally, I'd get the 35. :)

hendulele
10-05-2015, 02:25 PM
I haven't played a 38 (which does look extremely cool), but my 35 is one of my best players and one my favorites to pick up and strum a few bars. I have the glossy finish with friction tuners and I really love it. I don't play that much up the neck, so this may be little help to you. The sustain is outstanding, even so.

stevepetergal
10-06-2015, 02:29 AM
Do you want the upgrade in looks or performance?

whistleman123
10-06-2015, 09:54 AM
Do you want the upgrade in looks or performance?

I defonitely lean toward performance. But, are the extra frets usable without a cutaway? Are they necessary for comping chords or chord solos?

KoaDependent
10-06-2015, 10:44 AM
Since jazz, particularly with a low-G, is what you're after, have you given any consideration to going up in scale to a concert or tenor? If you search around, you'll find the overwhelming consensus is that low G isn't as satisfying on a soprano as it is on a longer-scale instrument. Plus, concerts/tenors are more playable in the higher frets, and have a more pronounced sustain. Ohana makes the 38 in a concert and tenor size as well.

The SK-38's a barky, plinky, loud little cannon of a uke. Make sure you put some nice soft strings on it if you're gonna be jazzin' it up.

stevepetergal
10-07-2015, 03:51 AM
I defonitely lean toward performance. But, are the extra frets usable without a cutaway? Are they necessary for comping chords or chord solos?

The upper frets are definitely usable without a cutaway. It's my opinion that a cutaway isn't really useful until you're playing up there either all the time or playing fast. Even then, it's not needed. I think it's a luxury, and surely one you won't appreciate for some time. Without a cutaway, it's almost impossible to play a B chord at 16 15 14 14, but with the cutaway it's still very hard.

we tigers
10-07-2015, 05:50 AM
I've played both (sopranos) and preferred the 38. It sounded warmer and was louder. The difference in nut and saddle apparently makes a big difference. I play pretty complex arrangements and seldom need to go beyond the 12th fret. Not really an issue for me.