View Full Version : Not sure what to look for

09-05-2017, 03:51 AM
I've decided it's time to upgrade from my lowly aiersi ovation style soprano. The intonation is pretty bad above the 4th fret. I thought I knew what I wanted, but after a lot of reading, now I'm not sure.

I'm playing mostly jazz, so comping changes behind vocals or instrumentalists. Occasionally some easy chord soloing. I never realized what a "punchy" soprano sound was before. After I watched a few vids on the Noah Mahogany Soprano I was considering I don't think that is the sound I want.

If I want a Soprano with a more mellow sound that would compliment swing and jazz standards what should I look at?

I want to stick with a soprano. Budget would be $500 or less.

09-05-2017, 04:02 AM
Most sopranos have that punchy, percussive sound. That's what I like about them. Mellow means more air movement means bigger body means concert. Stick a low g on and you have a big range for strum and finger-picking jazz and ragtime. Most sopranos do not like low g.

09-05-2017, 04:05 AM
If you want a mellow soprano, I'd say maybe consider a longneck soprano in koa or mahogany. Something like this perhaps?

If you're interested in a low g soprano, the Romero Creations XS Soprano sounds really good for fingerpicking.
There's an all mahogany one that costs a little bit less but is out of stock from HMS. And I believe there might be some laminate models too.

mountain goat
09-05-2017, 04:09 AM
sounds like a job for Black Bear.

Croaky Keith
09-05-2017, 04:38 AM
Off the shelf, I'd suggest looking at Ohana solid mahogany, & fit flourocarbon strings. I have them fitted with Living Water strings & love their sound. :)

Standard soprano would likely be an SK28 or SK35 - I have their long necks, both tenor (SK30L) & concert (SK30M) scale soprano bodies, (I also have a CK35L which is a tenor scale on a concert sized body).

09-05-2017, 05:02 AM
Go to HMS and listen to all the video recording of sopranos. It seems you have a specific sound in mind and when you hear it you will know it. Mim and Uke Republic also have good sound samples on their Youtube channel. Buy the one that gives you the sound you are after. You mentioned mellow, usually mahogany is a good place to start so are cedar topped ukes.

Pukulele Pete
09-05-2017, 05:27 AM
For me , the nut width has to be right for me. I really have to squish my fingers on some sopranos , makes them a little harder to play.
Most important consideration for me when picking out a soprano. I'd look for a Martin, you wont be disapointed.

09-05-2017, 12:42 PM
Probably something with a mahogany top. Also I'd think nylon strings would work best since that style is usually all about warmth.

You could get a Martin S1 for about $400...that includes the Martin gigbag...I'd ditch that (someone like Elderly will sometimes credit you for the bag if you don't take it. doesn't hurt to ask) and get a hardshell case for $100 or less and you're right on budget...Those can be had at a lot of places. You might also swing a LoPrinzi mahogany soprano for around that price too. Those would be my top two choices.

Other than that, there are a lot of good, Chinese made ukes that should fit the bill and come in at and under your budget.

I think there are probably a lot of laminate ukes that would get a good jazz sound too...at least the type of sound I'm thinking of...I'm not a jazz player or fan really, but I'm familiar with the sound, at least from more of a guitar perspective...It seems like you'd want a similar thing with uke.

If you like the sound of your current uke, I'm wondering if any adjustments could be made to get the intonation in order...It'd need to be looked at by a good tech...If it's just not a well made instrument and has frets not spaced right or bridge located in the wrong place or something, then that's out of the question I realize.

09-05-2017, 01:03 PM
There's a new listing on the marketplace on fleamarketmusic for a Pohaku cedar/mahogany soprano. Pohaku ukes have a wider nut width for a bit more space when fretting

09-05-2017, 01:27 PM
There's a new listing on the marketplace on fleamarketmusic for a Pohaku cedar/mahogany soprano. Pohaku ukes have a wider nut width for a bit more space when fretting

Oh my god, I love Pohaku ukes... Must restrain myself...