View Full Version : Solid soprano better sound than non-solid concert?

04-18-2009, 03:25 AM
I have an oscar schmidt ou5 concert. Its not solid. Cost me US $140.

I want to know if i buy a solid soprano (> US $200), should i expect an upgrade on the sound department?

04-18-2009, 05:03 AM
Difficult to say. Many variables.

If all other things are equal (size, design, strings), then solid wood usually resonates better than ply, so more volume and projection.

Tone is subjective and harder to quantify. One man's bright is another man's thin and tinny. One man's warm and rich is another man's boomy and muddy.

I have a strong preference for solid wood, as do many, but some laminate ukes are great. As I say, all other factors equal, you could expect more from solid wood. Talking about a whole different size of uke - who knows?

04-18-2009, 06:48 AM
definitly the solid is better. i compared a mitchell concert uke (koa) to a mainland soprano. both had aquilas, and the mainland was soooooo much better:)

04-18-2009, 10:28 AM
Thanks guys.

Im gonna buy this Cordoba 25SK Soprano (http://folk-instruments.musiciansfriend.com/product/reviews?base_pid=512783&page=1&sc=date&so=desc)

04-18-2009, 12:46 PM
Just to throw this out there for you to take or leave as you see fit. The general consensus on Cordoba ukes are that they can be kind of hit or miss. Some are great. Some much less great. Same goes also with buying from Musician's Friend. More than likely you're going to be getting a ukulele exactly as the factory sent it to them for better or worse. Both together seem to me to be less than ideal in terms of buying an instrument.

What I might rather steer you towards doing is having a look at what you might get for the same money elsewhere.

If you're interested in keeping with the concert scale MGM has solid mahogany Ohanas (http://cgi.ebay.com/Ohana-CONCERT-solid-Mahogany-CK-35G-gloss-ukulele-w-cs_W0QQitemZ250407921844QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defa ultDomain_0?hash=item250407921844&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A16|39%3A1|240%3A1318) & Kalas with solid cedar tops (laminate koa sides, though) of Spalted Maple with solid spruce tops (http://cgi.ebay.com/KALA-KA-FMC-Flamed-SPALTED-Maple-Concert-Ukulele-3_W0QQitemZ330321976901QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_Defau ltDomain_0?hash=item330321976901&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2|65%3A16|39%3A1|240%3A1318) both of which would come nicely set up to play. I'd also suggest looking at Ukulele4u (http://stores.shop.ebay.com/ukulele4u) on ebay who also sells Kala and sets things up nicely.

There's also Mainland Ukes (http://www.mainlandukuleles.com/) which seem to be really good value for the money and a small company. People seem to be very happy with the instruments and service.

You might also look at Mele Ukulele (http://www.meleukulele.com/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=36&cat=SPECIAL+SALE+ITEMS!)directly. They've got a great deal on a solid mahogany concert from a discontinued series for their Hula line that I've found very tempting.

You might want to check Elderly Instruments (http://elderly.com/welcome.htm) as well.

My main point I guess, is that you are likely to get a better deal on a more likely better instrument with more personal customer service by people who are actually familiar with the ukulele at pretty much anyplace but a ginormous instrument retailer. that's my take anyway.

04-18-2009, 01:26 PM
What Buddhu & Lanark said.......

I have Solids and Lam's the size/sound difference is different with each....
The KoAloha Soprano doesn't sound like the Pono both are solid and the Kala's (lam's) don't sound like either of those....

I have played the Cordoba's at guitar center and thought they sounded kinda muted/muddy but that is just me or maybe the strings BUT for the price in that link you can get a better Ukulele...

04-18-2009, 02:36 PM
Better is a perspective in this case. Concerts do not sound technically better than Sopranos. The solid wood sop will give you a higher quality sound vs a laminate soprano, and the same for the laminate concert vs. a solid concert.

Know what I mean? It depends on the sound you're chasing. The soprano will give you that bright ukulele tone. The concert will give you a more mellow sound. Better all depends on what tone you're chasing. I'm quickly learning that I will end up with many of each with different combos of brands, strings, etc, to get every sound I could want! Muahaha....

04-18-2009, 03:34 PM
Agreed with Link. It is all a matter of preference. personally I would go with the solid wood, because I cant trust that at least it would sound a little bit higher quality than a laminate.

04-18-2009, 05:15 PM
get a mainland instead. ive played both and like the mainland better. (its also cheaper and comes with nylguts)

04-18-2009, 05:45 PM
Thanks guys.

Im gonna buy this Cordoba 25SK Soprano (http://folk-instruments.musiciansfriend.com/product/reviews?base_pid=512783&page=1&sc=date&so=desc)
Woah... if that's what you want, go for it. But you can do so much better for that price my friend. Plus, that's backordered. So if you get a Mainland ukulele, or check out MGM's selection of Kalas, then you'll have a better uke, faster. Plus MGM does a full setup so it plays smooth and every note is perfect. Plus for that price, you could probably get a better uke and a hard shell case.Check out his kala selection here:

http://stores.ebay.com/Musicguymics-Room_Brand-New-Ukuleles_Kala-Ukes_W0QQcolZ2QQdirZQ2d1QQfsubZ7330323QQftidZ2QQtZ km

04-18-2009, 07:07 PM
I have an oscar schmidt ou5 concert. Its not solid. Cost me US $140.

I want to know if i buy a solid soprano (> US $200), should i expect an upgrade on the sound department?

I also own an OU5, and it is a decent sounding ukulele, especially if you upgrade the strings to Aquilas.

However, I am with the majority here by agreeing that solid wood will sound better than a laminate. However, just because it is solid wood, doesn't mean it will instantly be better. There are a variety of other variables at play. My recommendation to you is to save up and get something a little better than Cordoba. You will be glad you did. The OU5 will get you by until then.

05-18-2009, 01:54 PM
Im pleased with the Cordoba Soprano.
It has much more sustain than the OU5 Laminated Concert.

Solid uke does make the difference.

05-18-2009, 02:09 PM
I have an oscar schmidt ou5 concert. Its not solid. Cost me US $140.

I want to know if i buy a solid soprano (> US $200), should i expect an upgrade on the sound department?

I have an OU5 its a nice uke but it is not very loud. I have a couple of solid wood sopranops that drown it out. I bought a sopranio for my wife and it is much louder than the ou5. I was very impressed with the Ohana Sopranino and would suggest you go to to MUsic Guy Mike and check out the other Ohana's nice price, great sound, and you get a free set up and upgraded strings. I've played a Tenor from MGM and it played like butter.