View Full Version : Oscar S OU-4 for $25!

01-31-2016, 04:55 PM
I surfing Craigslist fora cheap laptop, but there were none that got me excited, then I checked out the Ukulele listings. There I found a Oscar Smits OU-4 tenor for $25!

The pictures looked good, the 'back was scratched' thread said, but who looks at the back, my mind replied. I called and the guy was only about four miles from me.

When I got there I found that the 'scratch' was a delamination of the book match and the edge on the back was also delaminated about four or five inches and there was a chip in the back veneer. However for a spruce topped tenor new MSRP of ~$200 it looked like a pretty easy fix.. Now it was dusty and had a few scuffs and the strings were crap, but, Hey $25.

I brought it home and glued up the edge delam and clamped it with a load spreader and two clamps. After a couple of hours it looks like the glue is setting up so I tuned it up and it doesn't sound too bad. Tomorrow I'll deal with the book match, it may be a little harder to clamp that but, Hey $25.

I have a set of PHD low G's for a tenor I took off my Caramel so after I fix the back I'll clean up the dust and deal with the scuffs and put them on and see if they liven it up.

It has MOP rosette and around the banding. The spruce is a little darker than new spruce. Sort of vintage creamy. It came with an OS canvas bag too.

Anyone else found a fixer upper?

02-01-2016, 05:51 AM
Cool find (: My friend bought me a broken up uke (looks like a martin but don't think it is) for .99 cents! A friend of mine doodles with wood and such and patched it back together and it's not half bad. I was just going to use it for parts.

02-01-2016, 06:08 AM
my first uke was a KKeiki I bought in a pawn shop for $35. one of the bottom seams was coming unglued. took it to school and glued it up and clamped it with some masking tape and never had another issue with it. cute/light made in Japan Kamaka. shouldn't have sold it. wai,t I never play soprano, guess that's why I did.

02-01-2016, 06:13 AM
Well the edge delam I reglued held up pretty well and I had a set of D'Addario custom extruded that wasn't doing anything and put them on after cleaning the uke and oiling the fret board. It looks a lot better now.

Sounds better too with the D'A's. The intonation isn't bad, but the wound G string drones a bit unless fretted. I didn't notice that when I had the strings on my Rubin Zebra wood travel. That may be due to the spruce top. It's not very loud and seems a bit heavy compared to my Caramel tenor which is a lot louder than the OS. Considering the 'street price' of a new OU-4 is ~$120 and the Caramel CT-100 is only $65 and comes with a Tuner/amp/eq I'd say the OU-4 is worth the $25.;)

02-01-2016, 07:10 AM
I've been tempted several times by Craig's List finds but never acted on any of them yet.
One thing I noticed, when searching CL for ukes it's a good idea to enter searches for ukulele and ukelele.
I tend to find an equal amount of listings by both spellings.

02-01-2016, 01:51 PM
One thing I noticed, when searching CL for ukes it's a good idea to enter searches for ukulele and ukelele.
I tend to find an equal amount of listings by both spellings.

That is great advice. i have found the same thing.

02-01-2016, 02:47 PM
I was trying to figure out how to get glue under the delam, as the split was just that, a split in the veneer. I used a razor blade to lift one side and squeezed glue into the opening then used a piece of plastic I cut from a package my usb cable came in to slide it and the glue under the sides of the veneer. I hope that worked. It's been in the clamps now for about an hour so I'll go down unclamp it and clean up any squeeze out, and then reclamp it until the glue sets up. That method worked out on the first side. I don't know how I'm going camoflage the chip in the veneer. I may just put some wood putty in it and paint it with acrylics.

02-01-2016, 04:17 PM
Don't overlook Aquila strings for that baby. I have an OU5 I almost got rid of until I put them on. Still not too loud, but a full, rich sound with decent resonance. Projection adequate.

02-01-2016, 05:34 PM
I've got a couple of sets of Aquilas I took off my tenors all High g's. I thought I'd fix this OU-4 up and give it to my neighbor who is just starting and hasn't decided to actually purchase a Uke yet, though his wife gave him some money to buy one for Xmas. He's been playing a loaner from my other neighbor and I thought he'd like to have his own.

02-02-2016, 11:07 AM
The G string droning was a problem, but my neighbor Gary has a split set of Worth clears with a low G and I put that on to replace the wound G from the D'A's. The G still drones a bit but not as bad. Gary also had some wood dough so I think I'll try to fix the chip with that and pain the chip with acrylics. I figure the acrylic will seal the wood dough and then a coat of poly-wipe will give it back the gloss.

"I get by with a little Help from my friends" need the chords for that. He He!

02-02-2016, 06:27 PM
Don't overlook Aquila strings for that baby. I have an OU5 I almost got rid of until I put them on. Still not too loud, but a full, rich sound with decent resonance. Projection adequate.

When I was first looking to buy a Ukulele I restrung my guitar with the just the first four strings and put a capo on the fifth fret, down loaded some Uke chords and played around before deciding to spend the money. I was looking at the OU-5 seriously but bought my Rubin Rt-102 instead. I figured $65 was a lot better than the ~$159+ than the OU5 would cost me. I'm really glad,now I bought the Rubin, it is better than all the OS's I've had my hands on. OS's are a lot heavier and less balanced than the Rubin.

After playing this OU-4 I think I was luck I was so cheap!

02-03-2016, 04:36 PM
So, post a photo already!!!!


02-04-2016, 07:57 AM
I didn't take any before pix but should have I guess?
Here is the OU-4 face. It looks pretty stock except for a small dent in the lower boute near the edge.
http://i1028.photobucket.com/albums/y345/JackLuis/OU-4%20Face_zps0l8xqezq.jpg (http://s1028.photobucket.com/user/JackLuis/media/OU-4%20Face_zps0l8xqezq.jpg.html)

Here is the back you can see the repaired crack in the veneer and where the chip was on the side.

http://i1028.photobucket.com/albums/y345/JackLuis/OU-4%20Back_zpsdosqvgkg.jpg (http://s1028.photobucket.com/user/JackLuis/media/OU-4%20Back_zpsdosqvgkg.jpg.html)

And of course the head stock with the "Aloha

http://i1028.photobucket.com/albums/y345/JackLuis/OU-4%20Headstock_zpsx468efqe.jpg (http://s1028.photobucket.com/user/JackLuis/media/OU-4%20Headstock_zpsx468efqe.jpg.html)

My neighbor Paul said he'd touch up the color on the wood filler and repair the gloss where the steel wool scuffed it a bit. He's a painter so I expect he'll do a better job than me. Not too bad for the >$30 in it for filler and initial price. It sounds pretty good , if a little low in volume. Has good sustain andd intonation.

02-04-2016, 08:31 AM
JackLuis, that's a beauty! It would have been worth $25 just to have a pretty uke to hang on the wall. Congrats!

02-04-2016, 08:37 AM
WTG Jack! You rescued a decent uke (which is very pretty BTW) from otherwise some kind of horrible demise! Congrats!

02-04-2016, 10:53 AM
Congrats on a great find and save.

Heck, the tuners are probably worth $25!


02-04-2016, 02:37 PM
I probably saved it from a landfill. The kid I bought it from seems happy to get anything for it. He had a mahogany Uke, almost tourist grade, in good shape very cheap too but I was just looking for one.
The set up on the OU-4 is pretty sweet, 1 mm at the first and 3 mm at the 12th, and it has a compensated saddle, the C and E string interface at the saddle is about 2 mm longer than the G and A strings. I'm not sure that it makes much difference?