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View Full Version : Hope to hear from Oscar Schmidt OU28T owners...



Griffis
01-30-2017, 03:12 PM
Well, I don't think of myself as much of a UAS sufferer. I've been down that road, with acoustic and electric guitars, basses, analog synthesizers (and scads of accoutrements.) I also used to collect tons of other things...books, films, vinyl, Halloween paraphernalia...

At any rate, my family and I have pared down extensively. It feels wonderful and we aren't going back to owning a bunch of stuff.

However, (there's always a catch, right?) we do plan to get a nylon string guitar for my wife to replace one that got destroyed.

I also asked here recently about the Martin OXK, but I already have two sopranos and am satisfied with them. No reason for another unless both of mine are lost, stolen, burst into flames, etc.

But, one thing I have always wanted is a taropatch. I've never even played one, or seen one in the wild. But what a lovely sound!

I have owned multiple 12 string acoustic and electric guitars, but I found the tension on the acoustic 12s was so great it was prone to cause neck twist, bridge lift, bellying of the soundboard, so I kept them tuned low or detuned them further when not in heavy use. Electric 12s, I just didn't play often, cool as they are. Plus, tuning those things, sheesh.

But I always thought an 8 string uke, with fewer strings, nylon strings, would have lower tension, fewer strings to tune, etc.

Too, I used to play mandolin, and my wife and I played a lot of guitar/mando duets. I miss that but can't really play mandolin any more due to hand problem.

For years, off and on, I have searched online for a taropatch and only came across expensive vintage ones or custom made instruments.

I assumed it would never happen. I even considered trying to make one out of a 4 string uke, but that's another thing that I'm never gonna do.

Well, silly moi, why did I never just look up "8 string ukulele" instead of "taropatch?"

It was that simple! I looked them up that way on Amazon and booyah! Quite a few options. I was really excited.

Particularly jazzed to learn Oscar Schmidt makes one. Laminate, and cheap. Right up my alley. An Oscar Schmidt OU2 and OU3 were among my first ukes and while not great, high end instruments, I enjoyed them and miss them. In fact, my current (low G) concert is a Mitchell which, headstock shape and logo aside, is the same uke as the OU3.

Why didn't anyone here tell me there were cheap taropatches?? You're supposed to be helping me!!! :)

So, I've read some reviews, watched a lot of YT vids, etc., and searched UU for threads about this instrument.

But now that you know my entire life story (sorry--just excited!) I would very much love to hear from anyone here who owns or has experience with the Oscar Schmidt OU28T please.

It may very well be my next (and likely final) uke purchase a couple months down the road if I can manage it financially. My wife's guitar has to come first so we can make music together again. But if I can pull off this poor man's taropatch at some point, perhaps it will double the sweetness of that music, at least on my end!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Booli
01-30-2017, 03:28 PM
After nearly a year of begging and pleading by folks here on UU, Ohana finally released a true Taropatch, i.e., 8-string CONCERT ukulele:

http://ukerepublic.bigcartel.com/product/ohana-ck-358-solid-mahogany-taropatch-concert-ukulele

Which unless you are looking at a vintage Martin which is like going to cost you dearly, this is the ONLY concert scale version of such an instrument on the market that is a factory-made uke. Of course customs are always available, but for just over $300, this is likely to satisfy many, and methinks a bit better overall sound and feel are likely to be had with this one over the OS OU28t, which was temped by as well when I saw it for only $75, but I cant stand the AOLHA so garishly printed on the headstock on the lower-end OS ukes.

Brother PhilUSAFRET seems to have an inside line on this Ohana one, and hopefull he will chime in here....

My interest in one of these Ohana Taropatch is that I'd put two sets of Aquila 31U fifths tuning CGDA strings and have it in unisons, as a sort of nylon string mandola...but the price is a bit steep for me right now....

One consideration is that the Ohana Taropatch concert uke is also likely to have lower string tension (than a tenor scale 8-string) from the shorter scale, making it easier to fret and play.

Hope this helps...

Griffis
01-30-2017, 03:50 PM
Booli, I appreciate the info! I do much prefer concert ukes over tenor scale, but that price differential is a deal breaker, I fear. I do like the Ohanas I've played (my best friend has one of their sopranos as well as a sopranino) and agree they are more finely made and more nuanced, fine-sounding, but $100-ish is probably the upper limit for something like this.

Any purchase of a more permanent item like this just isn't something we can enter into lightly.

We have zeroed in on an inexpensive 3/4 size classical guitar for my wife (ironically, and not by design, also an Oscar Schmidt, though a Yamaha is also in the running) and that must come first. But she is also jazzed about the idea of the 8 string.

I'm with you on the big Aloha on the headstock, but I can live with that...

river_driver
01-31-2017, 03:54 AM
I had an OU28T several years ago. It had the skinniest little frets of any uke I've ever owned. I found it required some extra effort to fret cleanly.

(Incidentally, I also used to have the steel string equivalent of that 3/4 Oscar guitar you're looking at. I liked it a lot.)

greenie44
01-31-2017, 07:54 AM
Funny you should ask - I have a story here.

I started on uke with a 6 string (Lanikai), and that led me to wanting an even more chime-y sound with an 8 string. I ended up buying a Pono mahogony (laminate) 8 string.

I liked it, but found that it got limited playing time, since only some songs I liked to play required that sound.

At a Kanikapila in Oahu, I played one of these Oscar Schmidts and liked it quite a bit. I saw it advertised at that famous instrument vendor Best Buy for less than $100 (!), so I ordered one.

When I got it, I compared it with the Pono. The Pono was a better player, but for the strummy stuff that I used an 8 string for, the difference was not significant. And the sound, to my ears, was comparable.

So I sold the Pono. Still have the Oscar. No knock on Pono at all, but for my purposes, I preferred the extra cash offered by the downgrade.

Griffis
02-01-2017, 04:30 AM
Hump Day bump.

Surely there's more!

Booli
02-01-2017, 07:17 AM
Hump Day bump.

Surely there's more!

I dont mean to put a damper on things, but since I joined UU, most folks have had a luke-warm or 'meh' opinion of Oscar Schmidt ukes.

I dont know if these opinions are justified or not (as I've not had the pleasure to play an OS uke yet), but when I see one that I might like and do a search, I find very little info other than Amazon reviews, which I am convinced are part of a conspiracy, but I'll save the tinfoil hat club speeches for another time. :)

TL,DR is that seeking more info on the OU28T might be like getting blood from a stone due to apathy or lack of exposure. I am happy to be proven wrong. :music:

Griffis
02-01-2017, 08:10 AM
^^^ Booli, as usual, you ain't wrong. I've played a host of recent-ish OS guitars, autoharps, etc. Early on in my uking, I owned concert scale OS ukes...the OU2 and OU3.

They'll not be mistaken for fine, high-quality instruments. What they are, IMO, are consistently decent, mass-produced pieces. They are too overbuilt to be terribly sonorous...built like tanks, in fact. But I enjoyed mine. As I say, my current concert is a Mitchell, identical to the OU3 by Oscar Schmidt, aside from the headstock shape and logo (and no giant "Aloha!")

So yeah, not expecting much, but hopefully a good playing, cheap inroad to an 8 string. You may have a point re: Amazon reviews, though I have left many reviews there myself.

Time will tell if one of these fits the bill. If possible, I hope to acquire one by this Summer.

Booli
02-01-2017, 08:25 AM
Please pardon the topic drift - but I keep drooling over those OS 'spalted' mango laminate top models with the abalone binding and rosette, fully knowing that it's likely going to be lipstick on a pig, but I do like the looks of it. But if it sounds like a dog, I'll never play it and I certainly don't need any more wall-hangers.

For some reason the OU2P, concert pineapple, with a 12th-fret body join keeps grabbing my attention too. Very plain-jane and that eyesore ALOHA, but seems to me that this one could maybe sound great due to the increased surface area from the pineapple shape, as well as the bridge being placed right in the middle of the widest part of the top on account of having the scale length dictate it's lower position from the 12th-fret join to the body. The best price for the OU2P that I saw was like $67, so low risk if it's a disappointment and if it's a nice player, then easy to replace if lost/damaged/stolen. Ticks many boxes, but I gotta shed some others first.

The Mitchell concerts also seem to have a 12th-fret join, and lower bridge placement, but the shape of the Mitchell 'open book' headstock crown bugs me.

I know, petty things, but I gotta have some standards, ya know? :)

bonesigh
02-01-2017, 12:51 PM
I may have just gotten lucky with my OU250Bell but I LOVE her. She is always on the loose running around the house somewhere. No box for her. She even goes to events (shhh, don't tell anyone)...naked! Consistent sound fine intonation. Good friend of mine (:

97499

Griffis
02-01-2017, 01:41 PM
bonesigh-- WOW! I've never seen that model before. Gorgeous. Heck, now I may end up suffering from Oscar Schmdt Acquisition Syndrome...

Yeah, the OS ukes I had were easy playing and always spot on, intonation-wise. On the OU3 I had, I did have to file the nut slots a teeeensy bit because it went off a bit on the first fret only, due to string angle. That's the only complaint I had about either of them really, although I thought the OU3 could have been louder. But for what they were, and the price, I really liked them.

The other day I came across a used Oscar Schmidt steel 6-string dreadnaught acoustic guitar with a beautiful spalted top for $70!

It was a very nice player; I'm just not in the market for a steel string guitar.

Anyway, LOVE that bell uke! I like that even over pineapples!

Zambezi Zelda
02-02-2017, 12:47 PM
Booli...
Your pondering about the OU2P are right on the money.
It's rich, mellow, full sound makes it one of my best players. And yes, at $67 it's a steal!