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View Full Version : Liking my Outdoor Ukulele - want another



MickeyD
01-10-2018, 12:49 PM
My wonderful wife bought me an Outdoor Tenor Ukulele for x-mas, and while I haven't done a NUD it, perhaps this will partially be that. My conclusion seems to be similar to many reviews I've seen floating around. I quite like the way it plays, it feels very sturdy, and I actually do dig the sound (though I know it's a different beast than my solid wood instruments). I have yet to put it through it's paces in the outdoor world, but know it will be coming with me on many trips in the years to come. It has been getting quite a bit of playing as I can just leave it out and grab it as I walk by (cases, Colorado, dry as bones..)

All of this to say that I am really tempted to grab a soprano version. For quick airplane trips with only a backpack, I'll throw in my Kala Longneck soprano and always kind of worry that I'll accidentally destroy it someday (it's already been beaten up quite a bit, but still plays well!).

Has anyone played both the soprano and tenor that could give their opinion of the soprano? Does the soprano play as well? Sound decent as well? I've read quite a few reviews and done some research on the site and see that people usually like them more than the Watermans, but I haven't come across a comparison of the Tenor to the Soprano...Thoughts?

jer
01-10-2018, 12:54 PM
I've played on both tenor and soprano models. I would say they are equal in terms of quality, playability, tone, etc. Of course they each have their own tone and feel due to being different sizes and scale lengths. I'm just saying I don't think one is better than the other; they're just different. I feel it's worth the price charged.

dinghy
01-10-2018, 02:26 PM
ahoy

have second version soprano
feels nice, easy to play
sound better than OK
is very sturdy

it spent the better part
of this summer living
in a car
without hurting it one bit

yours truly
mac

MickeyD
01-11-2018, 04:46 AM
jer, thanks for the breakdown - tenor is my preferred scale but on trips we usually pack ultra light. I guess I was just concerned that the playability may be different for some reason. And I wanted validation to buy another uke.

dinghy - I too was surprised by the sound quality of the tenor. And the action is just great on mine.

OK, that settles it, two endorsements and I'm in! :music:

TobyDog
01-11-2018, 07:03 AM
Just a few minutes ago ordered a green soprano. I wasn't going to let myself get another uke until April, but $95 is painless. This will be my car uke.
Ordered it with 2 strap buttons.

jer
01-11-2018, 09:22 AM
jer, thanks for the breakdown - tenor is my preferred scale but on trips we usually pack ultra light. I guess I was just concerned that the playability may be different for some reason. And I wanted validation to buy another uke.

dinghy - I too was surprised by the sound quality of the tenor. And the action is just great on mine.

OK, that settles it, two endorsements and I'm in! :music:
No problem. It's the same design on both, just different scales and body sizes.
It is certainly lighter and more portable than the tenor. If I go a while without playing a soprano I'm always surprised at how small it feels at first. Once I've had it for just a bit, it doesn't feel so small anymore though.
I disliked the original soprano they made, but decided to give the tenor a try after they came out with it. I really liked it a lot. I was also in your position of wondering about the soprano (the 2nd and current version of it). I was hoping it was as good as the tenor, and it did meet my expectations. Hopefully it will meet yours too.


Just a few minutes ago ordered a green soprano. I wasn't going to let myself get another uke until April, but for only $95 it feels free. This will be my car uke.
Ordered it with 2 strap buttons.
Awesome. It's very worthy of the price, in my opinion.

I had mine listed for sale on the marketplace here for about a day...but changed my mind. No uke is completely safe with me, so it might still go...depending on how into some other uke I get...but I do really like these a lot...

One other thing: I think the D'addario fluorocarbon strings that come on them is fine, but I prefer Worth CL. I know strings are very personal. Since you can't make adjustments on this uke, due to it being all molded, I just think some strings work better than others as far as intonation and tuning and such.

igorthebarbarian
01-11-2018, 09:25 AM
These are good values - psychologically it's under $100 for a good USA-made uke. Get it, you know you want it.
I have had the tenor and soprano versions and they're both very nice. I preferred the tenor but you can't go wrong.
If anyone has any string recommendations to make these louder though, let me know. My only minor gripe was that they're a little on the quiet side, presumably due to the plastic material. Aquilas would be my guess.

Crazy Canuck
01-11-2018, 05:23 PM
I also ordered a green soprano. Upgraded the tuners and got one strap button. Tracking says it arrives tomorrow, and I'm really excited :)

TobyDog
01-11-2018, 05:27 PM
I also ordered a green soprano. Upgraded the tuners and got one strap button. Tracking says it arrives tomorrow, and I'm really excited :)

How long from the time you ordered it?
I'm really excited too, I have no idea yet how long it'll be.

Heavy2600
01-12-2018, 01:27 AM
Awaiting a tenor. I see PeteyMike64 on youtube installed an Ebony saddle. He stacked two ebony saddles in front of the bridge to make the saddle slightly higher than the existing saddle, making it the primary saddle/string contact point. Anyone else try any mods? I plan on doing the same saddle mod with some bone to see if there is any change in volume/resonance.

Crazy Canuck
01-12-2018, 03:43 AM
How long from the time you ordered it?
I'm really excited too, I have no idea yet how long it'll be.

I placed the order on December 30th, and they shipped January 5th. It's been held up in Customs due to Christmas volume for a few days, but tracking shows it's on it's way :)

Ukecaster
01-12-2018, 05:54 AM
Hope it doesn't get held up by CITIES regulations, those unendangered plastic trees are really taking a beating lately. ;)

dgame
01-12-2018, 06:11 AM
These are good values - psychologically it's under $100 for a good USA-made uke. Get it, you know you want it.
I have had the tenor and soprano versions and they're both very nice. I preferred the tenor but you can't go wrong.
If anyone has any string recommendations to make these louder though, let me know. My only minor gripe was that they're a little on the quiet side, presumably due to the plastic material. Aquilas would be my guess.

I put Martin M620 strings on my Outdoor Ukulele Tenor and it seems louder. It could be because the Martins are thicker strings and I can strum harder. The stock strings are thinner and felt sharp to me so I did not strum as enthusiastically.

jer
01-12-2018, 10:01 AM
Awaiting a tenor. I see PeteyMike64 on youtube installed an Ebony saddle. He stacked two ebony saddles in front of the bridge to make the saddle slightly higher than the existing saddle, making it the primary saddle/string contact point. Anyone else try any mods? I plan on doing the same saddle mod with some bone to see if there is any change in volume/resonance.
Got a link? I looked a bit on youtube but didn't find it. It looks like a lot of his videos are with the old version sopranos.
If he actually put a new saddle forward (more towards the neck) of where the original is molded in, that's going to cause the intonation to be sharp...especially if it's also raising the action at the same time.

The bridge and saddle are molded into the instrument itself, so you don't get any better saddle to top contact and transfer of vibrations than that. Rigging up some sort of new saddle could add a bit of sustain, if it was heavy enough, but that'd be at the expense of volume. Anything you're adding to the top is going to be dampening some sound. Sure it could change tone too, but whether that was for better or worse would be personal preference.

The only mod I can think of that would actually not change something for the negative would be cosmetic...such as painting (assuming you didn't get too heavy with it). Everything else is molded in, so adjustments are just not really there without damaging something.

Uke Don
01-12-2018, 01:15 PM
I think it's actually PeteyMack64. Here's the video where he talks about it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAb0HnX8sWQ at about 6:20. Problem is that by shortening the scale you are going to mess with the intonation.

Choirguy
01-12-2018, 01:34 PM
Okay. I can clarify here...the ukulele Pete is playing in that video IS NOT the current model. It is the first version—and they MASSIVELY redesigned the ukulele. It is a different beast and the experience is different than the 1st Generation. I was very, very kindly gifted a 1st Generation and I love it because it is the 1st Generation. I do not have a 2nd Generation Soprano. I do have the tenor, which is the same, generally, as the 2nd Generation Soprano.

I don’t think you would need to modify any saddles with these instruments. Whatever other plastics may have wrong—Outdoor Ukulele has right.

jer
01-12-2018, 01:41 PM
Thanks for the link Don.

As Choirguy stated, there's a big difference between the original and the newer ones.

Assuming the saddle of the old one was designed and put in the right position (I think it was) moving it to another place is most definitely going to mess with the intonation. Maybe if you never play past the first few frets it'd be okay, but the farther you get towards the bridge the worse it will get.

Heavy2600
01-13-2018, 01:05 AM
If the production saddle is hollow and connected to the top via the bridge border, then it's worth trying. Shortening the distance of material the vibrations travel and having them traverse a solid material verses a hollow chamber. There must be some reason wood ukes do not have all wood one piece hollow bridge and saddle. The whole instrument at just a few years old is experimental. I find it hard to believe moving a saddle forward a few milimeters will ruin intonation. Does every ukulele have the same saddle distance? I like to tinker and this mod is not permanent. If the experiment fails, loosen strings and pull out the saddle. I will record some sound samples.

Choirguy
01-13-2018, 03:58 AM
I would assume that the saddle is removeable to allow for adjustment on a neck that can (will?) shift over time, and to allow for a dense material to transmit vibrations to the soundboard. Bone, Nubone, ebony, heavy plastic, and corian have been used to knowledge.

The original version of the Outdoor Ukulele seems to be made with a different material (reformulated?) than the current models—and that new material is plenty dense, and the neck will never warp in a habitable climate.

I am strongly considering getting these as our next ukulele for our school—as I am tired of 14% humidity in the winter months with buzzing (while dry) and constant fret end exposure. We don’t talk about if, but schools throughout the winter climate are a terribly rough place for our water-based bodies to live for 8-9 (or more) hours a day as a student or teacher— and much more for things made of organic materials that live there 24 hours a day.

jer
01-13-2018, 06:12 AM
There must be some reason wood ukes do not have all wood one piece hollow bridge and saddle.
Yes. For starters making a one piece hollowed out wood bridge/saddle combo would not be practical at all from a manufacturing standpoint. Furthermore, you couldn't adjust or replace and repair as easily.
Some makers, other than OU do use one piece bridge/saddle combos. They are not hollow though. German made Bruko does this. The Magic Fluke company also makes some of their instruments with a piece that is both a saddle and a bridge combined. None of these are adjustable really. I guess you could try to adjust, but if you mess it up there's no going back.


I find it hard to believe moving a saddle forward a few milimeters will ruin intonation. Does every ukulele have the same saddle distance? I like to tinker and this mod is not permanent. If the experiment fails, loosen strings and pull out the saddle. I will record some sound samples.
Moving a saddle will absolutely affect intonation. That's not just my opinion; it's fact.
No, of course every uke does not have the same distance to the saddle. It depends on the exact scale length of each instrument. The saddle distance from the nut works along with the fret spacing for that scale to make it play in tune. The fret spacing must match up to the scale length. When you move the saddle, the fret spacing that was once correct gets thrown off. This is assuming that any given manufacturer has built their instrument to the correct specs.

Of course there is no such thing as perfect intonation, especially on a uke tuned gCEA that is soprano scale. You can get pretty close though. I find most tend to be a bit sharp, when read by a tuner, when they're a little off on some notes. The C string on sopranos is the main culprit in my experience. That said, unless you have perfect pitch your ears won't notice it unless it's way off. I'm glad I don't have perfect pitch. My electronic tuner hears better than me. ha.

I appreciate your experimental thinking, but some things are as they are for good reasons and some things are facts that can't be changed. As I mentioned before, if you stay on the first few frets, you might not notice as much of an issue. The farther up the neck you play the more the intonation will be off though.

Uke Don
01-13-2018, 08:23 AM
I find it hard to believe moving a saddle forward a few milimeters will ruin intonation. Does every ukulele have the same saddle distance? I like to tinker and this mod is not permanent. If the experiment fails, loosen strings and pull out the saddle. I will record some sound samples.
If you would like to see how saddles can be compensated and the very small increments that affect intonation, take a look here. http://www.liutaiomottola.com/formulae/compensation.htm You can run compensation calculations for guitar, mandolin and uke.

bsfloyd
01-14-2018, 04:11 AM
Just a few minutes ago ordered a green soprano. I wasn't going to let myself get another uke until April, but $95 is painless. This will be my car uke.
Ordered it with 2 strap buttons.

Looking forward to your thoughts and review!!

bsfloyd
01-16-2018, 02:51 AM
I'm seriously contemplating getting one of these OU's. My thinking is that at this price point it is either this polycarbonate or laminate woods. While I agree there are some very nice sounding laminate instruments, I don't know if that is the case at this price point. I did watch some reviews of baz's for the some inexpensive laminate instruments that he quite liked, but I'm thinking they are far and in between? Your thoughts on the OU vs. laminate?

Next would come setup. I'm thinking that the OU, being a molded instrument, should be quite consistence in terms of setup and fit and finish. Action should be good, intonation should be relatively close, and fit and finish... well, it's a solid molded piece. Laminate instruments at this price point most likely will need setup work done to them here and there, bridges might be slightly off angle, neck angles might be off, etc. It just seems like the OU would win in this matter, and would be tough as heck. Wouldn't have to worry if you accidentally sat on it (yeah... don't ask).

Next would be tone. I have played and own laminate instruments but I never played a plastic instrument. Now, I have played plastic flutes (pvc and delrin) and find they can be very nice in tone. Comparing a plastic ukulele to a laminate ukulele, I have no idea. And, I know this is a different comparison than flutes as the tone is generated in a different way. With stringed instruments, we rely on vibrations of the instruments top to generate a desirable tone. How well are the OU compared to Magic Fluke ukuleles? Again, not a fair comparison as the MF still uses a wood top, do they not?

Just looking for some more insight and user preferences. Thanks!

Heavy2600
01-16-2018, 03:06 AM
I think the general consensus is that the Outdoor Ukulele serves it's purpose. Having an ukulele you can leave in the car, take anywhere, and not worry about breaking or damaging due to fluctuation in humidity and temperature. It certainly sounds playable when I watch youtube videos. My goal is to have one for camping and leaving laying around a house with small children. I am tired of having to hang or place my ukuleles out of kids reach, and tired of supervising when they want to play.

As for my modification/saddle experiment; I still feel it is a harmless experiment, worth a try to overcome a plastic crappy sound. I am not an expert, and appreciate the articles on scale and intonation. Looking at guitars with varying angled saddles, and compensated saddles varying to some degree by maker, indicates to me there is a bit of play from instrument to instrument. While a saddle/bridge calculator sets a baseline for saddle placement and scale, I don't see a general rule/calculator being able to accommodate all designs, materials, and instrument builds. Saddle material is important in filtering tone. Different saddles permit/filter different tones to be transmitted to the soundboard. I know the Outdoor Ukulele was built for durability and not absolute best tone possible. Perhaps a change in saddle material will dramatically change the tone. I think there is always room to tinker, even with a plastic molded solid ukulele.

jer
01-16-2018, 07:05 AM
bsfloyd:
I know you already have some of my thoughts on these...but...

As for the OU compared to laminates part of your post goes:
It depends. Just in general terms, in my own personal experience, I find laminate instruments to sound warmer than the OU for sure...if that's your thing. There are some good deals in that price range with laminates IF you get them from a dealer who inspects and at least does a standard kind of setup on the instrument. That way you're assured you don't get one with structural problems, other build problems, etc. Elderly Instruments is my go to place, but people speak very highly of HMS, Mim's ukes and uke-fan too in those regards.
I don't know of any uke, in any price range, that is going to beat the OU as far as durability goes.
I'll stick to liking the OU instruments better than the Magic Fluke instrument...For me, I like the sound better as well as the feel and them being even more durable than the Flukes. I've tried multiple times and just can't get the sound of the Fluke or Flea instruments to work for me. It seems to break up and distort in a way that isn't great for me...there's just something in the sound that isn't pleasant to me. I'm sure many would disagree and go the other way...It's just personal preference. I don't think one is better than the other...just different. Of course the price of the OU is a lot less.
Oh and yes, Magic Fluke is a laminate wood top (a good thin one) unless you pay more for one of the solid tops.

bsfloyd
01-16-2018, 07:43 AM
Thanks for the replies and sharing experiences, Heavy2600 and jer!! Much appreciated.

Heavy2600
01-16-2018, 12:15 PM
Outdoor Tenor arrived. Sounds fantastic! I am so glad I bought one. Time to play!

jer
01-16-2018, 02:07 PM
Outdoor Tenor arrived. Sounds fantastic! I am so glad I bought one. Time to play!
Cool deal. I hope you keep enjoying it. :)

TobyDog
01-16-2018, 02:11 PM
I got an email from them today....my green soprano is on its way!

Crazy Canuck
01-16-2018, 04:41 PM
I picked mine up from the post office last night. I really like it! Love the green. I'm so enamoured with it, I brought it to work today, and showed everyone in the office. My coworker that plays was also impressed, and she almost didn't give it back to me.

besley
01-16-2018, 08:28 PM
Do you people just realize how dangerous these Outdoor Ukes can be? They're made from polycarbonate, which means there is going to be some unreacted bisphenol A (BHA) floating around. And since the FDA has revoked the authorization to use polycarbonate for baby bottles, it will clearly NOT be safe to store any liquids inside these ukes.

You've been warned! ; )

bsfloyd
01-17-2018, 02:44 AM
It's very good to hear players are really liking these!! I really have to jump on board...

Ukecaster
01-17-2018, 02:51 AM
Do you people just realize how dangerous these Outdoor Ukes can be? They're made from polycarbonate, which means there is going to be some unreacted bisphenol A (BHA) floating around. And since the FDA has revoked the authorization to use polycarbonate for baby bottles, it will clearly NOT be safe to store any liquids inside these ukes.

You've been warned! ; )

I'll stop drinking bourbon from mine...as soon as it runs out...maybe next week.:)

Heavy2600
01-17-2018, 04:11 AM
Do you people just realize how dangerous these Outdoor Ukes can be? They're made from polycarbonate, which means there is going to be some unreacted bisphenol A (BHA) floating around. And since the FDA has revoked the authorization to use polycarbonate for baby bottles, it will clearly NOT be safe to store any liquids inside these ukes.

You've been warned! ; )

Does that mean they don't ship to the state of California? Or do with required warning label? "This Ukulele is known to cause cancer by the State of CA".

joshsimpson79
01-17-2018, 05:33 AM
Does that mean they don't ship to the state of California? Or do with required warning label? "This Ukulele is known to cause cancer by the State of CA".

I have a birthday coming up. Chances are, I'll get some birthday cash. I really want something for beach vacations and outdoors in general. The question is soprano or tenor. I usually prefer concert and only have that size.

TobyDog
01-18-2018, 11:38 AM
My green soprano showed up today;). It sat outside in the cold New England afternoon for awhile, and when I got home I didn't wait for it to warm up, I tuned it and gave it a whirl. I've never played a soprano before, so that feels a little odd, but I can't believe it sounds as good as it does for $95. I'm very happy with it at this point.

bsfloyd
01-18-2018, 01:12 PM
My green soprano showed up today;). It sat outside in the cold New England afternoon for awhile, and when I got home I didn't wait for it to warm up, I tuned it and gave it a whirl. I've never played a soprano before, so that feels a little odd, but I can't believe it sounds as good as it does for $95. I'm very happy with it at this point.

Very nice to hear! Enjoy that little emerald gem :)

joshsimpson79
01-20-2018, 04:43 AM
So who here backpacks with theirs? I would plan to a lot, and that's why I'm torn on soprano or tenor. I'm usually a concert guy. I saw on model 2 that they moved the tuners down a bit, giving the hands a bit more room. I just haven't decided yet.

Croaky Keith
01-20-2018, 08:51 AM
How do you feel on your concert scales?
Loads of room for your fingers - get a soprano.
A bit tight - likely better off with a tenor, but......it is bigger to transport. :)

joshsimpson79
01-20-2018, 04:55 PM
I wouldn't say I have loads of room, since I started first on guitar, but I think I will be okay once I get used to it. I'm only five foot eight, so I'm not a huge guy with huge hands. I'll probably try the soprano first. It's not a huge amount of money, and knowing me, if I like it I'll get the tenor later on anyway, haha.

Has anybody bought the backpack from the site, out does anyone care to say what they use when backpacking? I have a camera backpack that holds two tripods, so I'm thinking one spot can hold a uke if needed.

Choirguy
01-20-2018, 08:48 PM
Do you people just realize how dangerous these Outdoor Ukes can be? They're made from polycarbonate, which means there is going to be some unreacted bisphenol A (BHA) floating around. And since the FDA has revoked the authorization to use polycarbonate for baby bottles, it will clearly NOT be safe to store any liquids inside these ukes.

You've been warned! ; )

You have to pry the purple one out of Tom’s hands at the next Twin Cities Ukulele Club jam session. Have someone take pictures!

joshsimpson79
01-24-2018, 05:16 AM
I took the plunge and ordered a green soprano with two strap buttons and upgraded tuners. I only have two ukes, a kamaka concert and kala concert. I also have one and four year old boys. When I felt my one year old was going to swing a toy at the kamaka last night, I was ready. Plus, they both like to help Dad "strum" from time to time.

bsfloyd
01-24-2018, 06:26 AM
I took the plunge and ordered a green soprano with two strap buttons and upgraded tuners. I only have two ukes, a kamaka concert and kala concert. I also have one and four year old boys. When I felt my one year old was going to swing a toy at the kamaka last night, I was ready. Plus, they both like to help Dad "strum" from time to time.

Congrats, joshsimpson79!! You'll have to let us know how you like it, and how you fare from the concert scale to soprano scale once you've had a bit of time with it.

The green seems to be a popular choice. I kinda like the clear - reminds me of a "ghost" ukulele :)

Wombat3
01-24-2018, 07:46 AM
I think the translucent/clearish/whitish one is the best. Because you can get one of those cheapo strings of tiny battery-powered blinking Christmas lights, shove them inside the soundhole and have the most far out and cosmic ukulele there ever was. Mine is a beer-bottle-brown one. I love it, and it is more playable than a lot of ordinary ukes, but I have my eye on the whitish one. The beer keeps dripping out of the string holes.

Heavy2600
01-24-2018, 09:02 AM
Tenor fret spacing is too big for my 7 year old's hands, so I guess it's mine now. I will be ordering him a soprano. I will do some tuner comparison pics, one of regular tuners one with upgraded tuners.

bsfloyd
01-24-2018, 11:27 AM
Tenor fret spacing is too big for my 7 year old's hands, so I guess it's mine now. I will be ordering him a soprano. I will do some tuner comparison pics, one of regular tuners one with upgraded tuners.

Looking forward to the comparison. Always room for another ukulele in the household :)

joshsimpson79
01-24-2018, 12:32 PM
Tenor fret spacing is too big for my 7 year old's hands, so I guess it's mine now. I will be ordering him a soprano. I will do some tuner comparison pics, one of regular tuners one with upgraded tuners.


That was my thinking with my boys. If either of them have an interest, we'll have a soprano ready.

Heavy2600
01-25-2018, 04:09 AM
Looking forward to the comparison. Always room for another ukulele in the household :)

I ordered the soprano. Production time is listed as 10 business days. I will post comparison pics once received.

joshsimpson79
02-02-2018, 07:15 PM
I ordered the soprano. Production time is listed as 10 business days. I will post comparison pics once received.

Mine shipped today, so thats 10 days exactly from when i ordered it.

Choirguy
02-02-2018, 07:41 PM
I’m not trying to promote, but I made a video comparing the three models of Outdoor Ukulele the other day. I don’t want to embed the video here, but here is a link if you are interested. There is an odd cut on the video. Long story made short, My microphone wasn’t mounted in a traditional way, and I hit it with the tenor Outdoor Ukulele and it brought the whole set-up down (it was on our kitchen table).

The main thing I wanted to address was the “square neck” thing that people keep bringing up, even though it has now been a few years since Outdoor Ukulele changed their design. The internet memory (mainly from YouTube) really seems to keep that criticism going strong.

https://youtu.be/4apH7CpirIY

Also: both sopranos were gifts from members of this forum, and I am incredibly grateful for those instruments. The black model works surprisingly well, and the bottle brown is now the around-the-house ukulele as I don’t need to worry about my five and nine year old boys doing what boys do to ukuleles that are left on couches, next to couches, and on tables.

Stagehand
02-03-2018, 02:30 AM
Very nicely done and a good comparison.
I had one of the original sopranos and now have a green tenor.
They are night & day.
The soprano was "ok" to play but the tenor is great.
Thank you for posting!

bsfloyd
02-03-2018, 03:28 AM
Great video, Choirguy! Thanks for doing this. I think I prefer the milky white Moonshine color a bit better than the newer more see through Moonshine. However, I think it best to have all colors:) I also wish black was still available.

bsfloyd
02-03-2018, 03:37 AM
Curious... Does anyone use a capo with their OU? I know the neck profile is not as squared off as it used to be, but it still has a bit of a shoulder on it. I like to use a capo from time to time on the larger scales.

Choirguy
02-03-2018, 06:14 PM
Great video, Choirguy! Thanks for doing this. I think I prefer the milky white Moonshine color a bit better than the newer more see through Moonshine. However, I think it best to have all colors:) I also wish black was still available.

You won’t believe this...they JUST (54 minutes ago) announced a carbon fiber polycarbonate version—Black—for around $200. They say it is 50% stronger and 15% brighter (I’m not sure strong or bright have been issues).

106452

Choirguy
02-03-2018, 06:24 PM
Curious... Does anyone use a capo with their OU? I know the neck profile is not as squared off as it used to be, but it still has a bit of a shoulder on it. I like to use a capo from time to time on the larger scales.

I have to admit that when I first read this comment, I thought, “Why wouldn’t it work?” Then I thought...well, I’ll try.

I have four capos available. Two are plastic that came with inexpensive ukuleles (Enya and Aklot) and two are metal. All are made for ukuleles, but the plastics for a soprano scale. All four capos worked on the “new” soprano, and the metal ones worked on the tenor. The small plastic capos didn’t hold down all four strings. They wouldn’t on any of my tenors.

besley
02-03-2018, 08:25 PM
You won’t believe this...they JUST (54 minutes ago) announced a carbon fiber polycarbonate version—Black—for around $200. They say it is 50% stronger and 15% brighter (I’m not sure strong or bright have been issues).

106452

Well if I weren't impatiently waiting for a carbon fiber uke from KLOS I would probably jump right on this. Decisions, decisions.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0819/5701/products/carbon-tenor-nickel-one_1024x1024.jpg?v=1517713747

bsfloyd
02-04-2018, 02:50 AM
Thanks for confirming this, Choirguy. It's good to know information.

Ooh, carbon fiber / poly! I wonder if it is a tad lighter as well. This could be a promising move for them.

TobyDog
02-04-2018, 05:23 AM
You won’t believe this...they JUST (54 minutes ago) announced a carbon fiber polycarbonate version—Black—for around $200. They say it is 50% stronger and 15% brighter (I’m not sure strong or bright have been issues).

106452

I hope they don't switch to only offering the higher priced model(s). A large part of their appeal (at least for me) is that they're inexpensive. If they were to start being in the same price category as Magic Fluke, I'd stick with the MF.

Ziret
02-04-2018, 07:11 AM
What's that mean, carbon fiber polycarbonate? Why is it better, and how does its use affect sound? Not because I want to buy one, just curious.

igorthebarbarian
02-04-2018, 07:25 AM
I saw this on their Facebook too. I liked the original new one and want to get the moonshine Tenor white, but they were always a little quiet. Tough decisions- argh

Choirguy
02-04-2018, 07:49 AM
I saw this on their Facebook too. I liked the original new one and want to get the moonshine Tenor white, but they were always a little quiet. Tough decisions- argh

Loud enough on its own...but my moonshine does get lost at a jam. I learned that the hard way, and now my KoAlohas go with me to jams. As does my Baton Rouge 8 string.

Croaky Keith
02-04-2018, 08:32 AM
What's that mean, carbon fiber polycarbonate? Why is it better, and how does its use affect sound?

I would imagine by laying in carbon fibres it will give it more strength in a thinner layer, therefore making it more resonant, & lighter.

besley
02-04-2018, 09:24 AM
Loud enough on its own...but my moonshine does get lost at a jam. I learned that the hard way, and now my KoAlohas go with me to jams. As does my Baton Rouge 8 string.

I've sat next to Choirguy at a jam while he was playing his Baton Rouge 8, and that is one loud uke!

Choirguy
02-04-2018, 10:47 AM
Not as loud as the singer! :)

BrightSound
02-07-2018, 11:13 AM
I hope to get an Outdoor soprano green someday--but I can't get Outdoor to respond to my emails or phone messages, or to answer their phone. Is there a trick to getting access to them to order? (I want to send them a check, which is why I can't place my order online. It may be that they respond to online orders faster?)

Choirguy
02-07-2018, 01:22 PM
I don’t know why they wouldn’t get back to you, unless your e-mail is caught in a spam filter. Do you have a secondary e-mail address that you can send from?

igorthebarbarian
02-07-2018, 04:19 PM
I hope to get an Outdoor soprano green someday--but I can't get Outdoor to respond to my emails or phone messages, or to answer their phone. Is there a trick to getting access to them to order? (I want to send them a check, which is why I can't place my order online. It may be that they respond to online orders faster?)

They are very responsive on their Facebook page FYI

joshsimpson79
02-08-2018, 06:07 PM
Loud enough on its own...but my moonshine does get lost at a jam. I learned that the hard way, and now my KoAlohas go with me to jams. As does my Baton Rouge 8 string.

I got my green soprano yesterday and I'm pretty happy with it. It is a bit soft, but I like that I don't have to worry about it. I can keep it in the car, strap it on a camping backpack, and let my two small boys learn on it if they want. I already want a brown one, hehe.

I've bought two ukes since Christmas. I have to stop for a bit or sell and get rid of some other stuff to justify it.

joshsimpson79
02-28-2018, 06:22 AM
I’m not trying to promote, but I made a video comparing the three models of Outdoor Ukulele the other day. I don’t want to embed the video here, but here is a link if you are interested. There is an odd cut on the video. Long story made short, My microphone wasn’t mounted in a traditional way, and I hit it with the tenor Outdoor Ukulele and it brought the whole set-up down (it was on our kitchen table).

The main thing I wanted to address was the “square neck” thing that people keep bringing up, even though it has now been a few years since Outdoor Ukulele changed their design. The internet memory (mainly from YouTube) really seems to keep that criticism going strong.

https://youtu.be/4apH7CpirIY

Also: both sopranos were gifts from members of this forum, and I am incredibly grateful for those instruments. The black model works surprisingly well, and the bottle brown is now the around-the-house ukulele as I don’t need to worry about my five and nine year old boys doing what boys do to ukuleles that are left on couches, next to couches, and on tables.

Thanks for the video. Good job. I got my green soprano a couple of weeks ago. I'm a concert guy, but it wasn't as cramped on my hands as I feared it would be. I almost ordered a tenor, but I'm taking this one in the car and camping, so compactness is key. I also ordered a backpack case from amazon. In the few weeks I've had it, I've had two church kids, two nieces and nephew and my two boys play it, toss it around and my 17 month old has even stood on it.
No scratches and still sounds good. It's nice having a truly care-free uke.

Boomershakalaka
02-28-2018, 09:33 AM
What's a NUD?

oregonuke
02-28-2018, 09:44 AM
I've had my Carbon Tenor black for a little over a week. First impressions...
It doesn't appear to be significantly thinner or lighter than the Rawhide Tenor that I have. I don't have any good way to weigh it so that's just an impression from holding both of them together.
It definitely can't be called "pretty." There is no translucence to the material, which is one thing I like about the Outdoor Ukes in regards to their appearance. It's BLACK! Not pretty but appealing in an odd sort of way.
It does have a slightly "brighter" tone than my Rawhide. Strings may be contributing the difference as I have Living Water strings on my Rawhide. The sound is very pleasant especially with fingerpicking or chord-melody style playing.

My "other" ukulele is a Blackbird carbon fiber tenor. Obviously, this OU can't compete with my Blackbird for sound but I really like these Outdoor Ukes. The OU's sound great, are easy for me to play, and I will readily travel with them where I might not want to risk the Blackbird. Overall, I think the Outdoor Ukulele is an excellent choice for a good quality knock-around uke that sounds nice and frees you from worries about weather and humidity. By the way, I own two of them because my wife, who is learning to play, prefers the Rawhide OU and pretty much monopolizes it!
Also, in my two interactions with the Outdoor Ukulele Company I experienced excellent customer service, before, during, and after the sale.

My impressions...you're mileage may vary!

Croaky Keith
02-28-2018, 09:46 AM
What's a NUD?

New Uke Day. ;)

joshsimpson79
03-26-2018, 07:00 AM
They've got BLUE!

Cannot buy. Don't want the wrath of the wife. I still want a brown tenor, next... or moonshine. ;)
I'm vacationing in California for a week and a half this summer. Gotta have my worry free beach uke, or when I'm in the mountains, right?

https://www.outdoorukulele.com/collections/ukuleles

joshsimpson79
04-01-2018, 06:33 PM
So what strings do you folks like on these? If possible, I'd like to get something a bit louder for my soprano, though I know there's only so much you can do with an unmodifiable uke.

Jerryc41
04-02-2018, 07:18 AM
What's the appeal of the $100 Outdoor vs the $50 Waterman?

joshsimpson79
04-02-2018, 07:35 AM
IMO, just about everything. I like the build and the sound quality better. Not that the sound is outstanding, but it's good. It's a heavier, sturdier instrument. I didn't care for the first generation model of outdoor, but with 2, they fixed the things I didn't care for.

Choirguy
04-02-2018, 07:52 AM
What's the appeal of the $100 Outdoor vs the $50 Waterman?

1) Design. The Outdoor Ukulele (current models) were supposedly based off of the measurements from a well respected ukulele builder. As a result intonation and set-up are very, very good.

2) Sound. Waterman, Bugsgear, and Woodli ukuleles, made of ABS, have a plastic sound. Some Waterman are okay—others have been atrocious with intonation and action. The Outdoor doesn’t sound as if it is made of wood, but it does sound different than the ABS ukuleles.

3) Durability. The Outdoor can withstand 240°F to -40°F. Waterman and Bugsgear have a very attainable point (in the sun in a hot car) where they can melt.

Jerryc41
04-02-2018, 08:13 AM
Thanks, Choirguy and Josh.

EDW
04-02-2018, 08:34 AM
So what strings do you folks like on these? If possible, I'd like to get something a bit louder for my soprano, though I know there's only so much you can do with an unmodifiable uke.

Looking forward to hearing feedback from people with the carbon soprano. It is supposed to be somewhat brighter and I am wondering if that translates to volume and projection.

maki66
04-02-2018, 10:35 AM
My buddys second ukulele was a waterman, and it was terrible.
He now has a OU, and the difference is huge.
I'm going to order a carbon black tenor for a dedicated car instrument.
The Kala Waterman is the only Kala ukulele I've ever dispised, normally I'm a huge fan.
YMMV

Ctmpwrdcamry
04-02-2018, 06:20 PM
Has anyone switched out the gear tuners to friction pegs? I don't mind the look of the gears just wonder if the friction would do be less prone to snag on stuff while hiking and the like. Just a thought I had.

I saw chiorguys's video and liked the look of the pegs.
Ordered a green one for my brother in law as a late Christmas gift/thanks for getting me started with ukulele. The sound is quieter than any uke I own so I ordered a blue one last week for myself that will be here tomorrow.

Ukecaster
04-03-2018, 03:47 AM
Has anyone switched out the gear tuners to friction pegs? I don't mind the look of the gears just wonder if the friction would do be less prone to snag on stuff while hiking and the like. Just a thought I had.

I saw chiorguys's video and liked the look of the pegs.
Ordered a green one for my brother in law as a late Christmas gift/thanks for getting me started with ukulele. The sound is quieter than any uke I own so I ordered a blue one last week for myself that will be here tomorrow.

Not sure if you can, since the headstock, like the neck, is apparently hollow, making changes like that more problematic.

joneo
04-03-2018, 09:41 AM
Has anyone played both the soprano and tenor that could give their opinion of the soprano? Does the soprano play as well? Sound decent as well? I've read quite a few reviews and done some research on the site and see that people usually like them more than the Watermans, but I haven't come across a comparison of the Tenor to the Soprano...Thoughts?

The main gripe I have about my Outdoor Ukulele soprano (2nd generation) is the fact that when playing certain chords the headstock digs into my fretting hand a bit. Kinda hurts, but not enough to make me not want to buy the tenor too...

joshsimpson79
04-03-2018, 10:17 AM
The main gripe I have about my Outdoor Ukulele soprano (2nd generation) is the fact that when playing certain chords the headstock digs into my fretting hand a bit. Kinda hurts, but not enough to make me not want to buy the tenor too...

I think it plays nicely and sounds nice too. It's just a little bit soft. If you're by yourself or singing along, it's fine. If you were in a group, you might need a pickup or something, and for me, getting a pickup installed would defeat the purpose of the outdoors. I do want a tenor, though. I might take them both to California this summer, as I'll be both on the beach and in mountains. My mother in law has started playing some, so I need two, right??? ;)

Ukecaster
04-03-2018, 10:52 AM
....If you're by yourself or singing along, it's fine. If you were in a group, you might need a pickup or something, and for me, getting a pickup installed would defeat the purpose of the outdoors....

I had an Outdoor tenor with a pickup, and found that it picked up every little noise, swoosh or bump, much more so than a wooden uke. YMMV.

Ctmpwrdcamry
04-09-2018, 06:13 AM
Not sure if you can, since the headstock, like the neck, is apparently hollow, making changes like that more problematic.

Thanks. After playing with it a bit its not bad. I wouldnt mind the extra space on head stock, primarily while I am learning the B cord, but its not bad.

lifereinspired
04-09-2018, 09:23 AM
What's the appeal of the $100 Outdoor vs the $50 Waterman?


IMO, just about everything. I like the build and the sound quality better. Not that the sound is outstanding, but it's good. It's a heavier, sturdier instrument. I didn't care for the first generation model of outdoor, but with 2, they fixed the things I didn't care for.


1) Design. The Outdoor Ukulele (current models) were supposedly based off of the measurements from a well respected ukulele builder. As a result intonation and set-up are very, very good.

2) Sound. Waterman, Bugsgear, and Woodli ukuleles, made of ABS, have a plastic sound. Some Waterman are okay—others have been atrocious with intonation and action. The Outdoor doesn’t sound as if it is made of wood, but it does sound different than the ABS ukuleles.

3) Durability. The Outdoor can withstand 240°F to -40°F. Waterman and Bugsgear have a very attainable point (in the sun in a hot car) where they can melt.

@Jerryc41, in short, everything. ;)

I have played both now for a a fair bit (meaning, longer than going into a shop for a couple of minutes). The Kala Waterman I had was ATROCIOUS! I mean awful. The tone was terrible but it was the action that made it virtually unplayable for me. It was so high that (I'm not kidding or exaggerating), when you'd fret the strings they would no longer be in line in front of the sound hole and it was nearly impossible to strum every string consistently. You could clearly see this if you looked down across the strings in front of the soundhole. It drove me mad and really, really frustrated me. I was worried that it was my playing but would tell myself it wasn't. It was also terrible in that, the notes were so "off" (likely because of the action?) that I couldn't tell if certain chords were correct or not. I even tested it with a tuner. For instance, once I got the strings in tune for that playing session, I could play the open "C" string then play the "A" string fretted to "C". It should be an easy octave apart. But it was so "off" that the tuner read it almost going past C#. Also, it wouldn't stay in tune. I'm not just meaning during the string stretching phase, as expected, but in the nearly month that I had the chance to try it, I couldn't keep it in tune for as much as a day, sometimes less. Also, I tried things like playing "D" (2220) as a partial barre chord, rather than 3 fingers together and it was completely impossible. But I didn't realize why till I received my Outdoor Ukulele.

In contrast, the OU is fantastic. The action is so low, it's mind blowing. By far, it's the easiest uke to play of any I've tried (and while I'm no expert and still very much a newbie, I have taken the advice of these forums and gone to my local music shops to play as many ukes as I can, which has been quite a few). It takes less pressure on the strings to get the perfect ring and the strings are perfectly in line in front of the soundhole when fretting. So, the issues I was having with the Kala, completely disappeared on the OU and suddenly, the songs I had been struggling with due to missing strings while strumming, I could play without difficulty. The notes down the fretboard are perfectly in tune so unlike the Kala where it was very sharp, the OU is dead on (again, checked with a tuner). As others have mentioned, while the OU doesn't sound exactly like wood, it doesn't sound like plastic either. I think it's because of the way it's made. The polycarbonate they use has either glass (standard) or carbon fiber strands inside the poly to give additional rigidity. But, what this also does is effectively, give it a "grain", similar to wood. So, I think it has more resonance for that reason. It is definitely stronger, more durable, and much better built than the Waterman. You can feel it.

I actually have one of the carbon sopranos (from what they told me, it was the first one ordered, kinda fun!). I do feel I can hear the difference in the "brightness". In fact, if I were to have been asked, I would have said it's more than 15% brighter than the original. It's just slightly lighter weight than the glass filled (with two strap buttons, it is exactly 15oz). I'm working on a more comprehensive review to share.

When comparing things, I try to objectively look at the items and ask, "is the $100 item 2x better than the $50 item?" Often, it might not be. In the case of the OU vs Waterman, I would say it's much more than 2x better. Playing the Waterman, I absolutely understood why people say not to get too cheap of a uke to start with. If I had to stick with the Waterman, I would likely have quit. It was just SO frustrating to play. I was surprised because I thought it would be great from some of the reviews I had seen. In fact, I wondered how much difference I'd see vs the OU but they are worlds apart. Hope that helps!

lifereinspired
04-09-2018, 09:29 AM
@Ctmpwrdcamry, have you contacted OU to ask? They can be a little bit difficult to catch via phone but I've talked to them a few times and they are incredibly nice and very knowledgeable. I'm just wondering if you mentioned it to them, if they could answer that more accurately. I know they initially used friction tuners but they didn't stay in tune (hence the switch to geared) but a different type of friction might well work. I had kind of wondered if that wouldn't be a benefit to that style (not catching on things as much). Right now, I'm really happy with the precision ground tuners that it has but I'd be interested to hear what you find. Please share on the forums if you find out more. :)

lifereinspired
04-09-2018, 09:32 AM
That's interesting. I haven't had that issue at all on my OU Soprano. I wonder if there's a difference with the new tuners or if it's just hand shape or something else?

lifereinspired
04-09-2018, 09:42 AM
@joshsimpson79, I have a few different strings arriving tomorrow to try on my OU Carbon Soprano. They were supposed to arrive today but I'm not freaking out about having to wait one more day for them! Or maybe I am...

Since the OUs aren't supposed to be used with wound strings, I purchased the Aquila Red Soprano High-G Set, with the Aquila Low-G unwound single string. This setup only set me back around $7 total right now as Strings and Beyond is doing a special right now with free shipping, no minimum order. However, I wanted to try a couple more options. So, since the strings that came on the uke are fluorocarbon, I also added a single string Low-G Worth Clear, and a set of D'Addario Low-G Tenor fluoro strings, which I read that OU has used on sopranos before. This gives me a few different options to try for different sounds in both Low-G and High-G, plus I can compare the stock D'Addario Fluorocarbon Pro-Arte Soprano specific with the same in a Tenor Low-G. I've read that one can use Tenor on Soprano and some folks apparently do this simply because in some string lines (like Worth, I believe), you can get 3 soprano string changes out of one packet. I'm interested to see how similar or different they are. It would be interesting to worry less about the "size" the strings are made for and would open up additional options. I also hope to try Living Waters, PhD, Fremont, etc, at some point, as well. I think the Aquila Red is going to increase the projection and volume, at least that's what I've heard they do for the OU.

By the way, I have no affiliation whatsoever with Strings and Beyond but they were nice and my first transaction was smooth. The free shipping w/ no minimum definitely improved the deal. Just wanting to pass that along.

maki66
04-09-2018, 01:11 PM
Semi thread jack warning!!!!!

What strings do people like on there OU tenors?
I've got a carbon black tenor coming soon.
Thanks!

Uke Don
04-09-2018, 01:49 PM
Worth Browns on my Moonshine, so I can see them :).

Ctmpwrdcamry
04-09-2018, 05:22 PM
@Ctmpwrdcamry, have you contacted OU to ask? They can be a little bit difficult to catch via phone but I've talked to them a few times and they are incredibly nice and very knowledgeable. I'm just wondering if you mentioned it to them, if they could answer that more accurately. I know they initially used friction tuners but they didn't stay in tune (hence the switch to geared) but a different type of friction might well work. I had kind of wondered if that wouldn't be a benefit to that style (not catching on things as much). Right now, I'm really happy with the precision ground tuners that it has but I'd be interested to hear what you find. Please share on the forums if you find out more. :)

I have not been able to catch them on the phone, but they said the only issue would be the holes left for the gear tubers mount. I also saw on Facebook that they said the gears were easier to clean because they are open, rather than stacked washers. Maybe some day I’ll switch and see, but right now it’s just fun to play.

Braddtastic
04-10-2018, 10:24 AM
There is another problem I'm becoming aware of that is pretty unique to Outdoor Ukuleles... How the heck to you ever settle on a COLOR?!?

maki66
04-10-2018, 11:19 AM
There is another problem I'm becoming aware of that is pretty unique to Outdoor Ukuleles... How the heck to you ever settle on a COLOR?!?

Always bet on Black?

Braddtastic
04-10-2018, 12:22 PM
Always bet on Black?

The black is bad to the bone, but I really like the way the others glow when the sunshine hits them! I'm intrigued by the blue, but really wish it had a black fretboard.

maki66
04-10-2018, 04:08 PM
The black is bad to the bone, but I really like the way the others glow when the sunshine hits them! I'm intrigued by the blue, but really wish it had a black fretboard.

Paint it, paint it, paint it black?

Braddtastic
04-11-2018, 05:47 AM
Paint it, paint it, paint it black?

Love the way you think! LOL

maki66
04-16-2018, 02:27 PM
We got ours!

108215

The ukulele is about what everyone says, nice, not too loud and perfectly set up.
The side fret board was a pleasant surprise. Its wider than my Magic Fluke concert, though the string spacing is less.
Still it the only normal ukulele that we have that I can stack a D chord (2220). Probably the combination of tenor width and
1.5" nut.
I like it, now we wished we bought that barely used soprano that was up for grabs last week.
Its going to be and absolutely perfect car ukulele.

joshsimpson79
04-17-2018, 11:51 AM
We got ours!

108215

The ukulele is about what everyone says, nice, not too loud and perfectly set up.
The side fret board was a pleasant surprise. Its wider than my Magic Fluke concert, though the string spacing is less.
Still it the only normal ukulele that we have that I can stack a D chord (2220). Probably the combination of tenor width and
1.5" nut.
I like it, now we wished we bought that barely used soprano that was up for grabs last week.
Its going to be and absolutely perfect car ukulele.

That looks pretty slick. Getting roof put on house soon. Must...resist...temptation...

LPeacock
04-19-2018, 05:10 AM
Has anyone tried one of these yet? I am wondering about the sound vs. their "regular" tenors. Outdoor Ukulele has sound bites of their new carbon model but there is no comparison to their standard model. The carbon model sounds nicer, more mellow, to me than what I have heard from sound bites and videos of the regular model, and just a 50 dollar price difference. But I don't have a direct comparison to listen to. Also, does anyone have an opinion as to upgrading the tuner pegs? I don't understand the difference between their standard precision tuners and their precision tuning upgrade.
Thanks.

LPeacock
04-19-2018, 05:22 AM
How do you like it?

LPeacock
04-19-2018, 05:39 AM
Ah, you're the person I need to ask since you have both a "regular" OU tenor uke and one of their carbon tenor ukes. Do you prefer one over the other as to sound?

Mr. Sweetie
04-23-2018, 07:30 PM
Well, I just ordered another one... :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: this one with the pickups. I really enjoy the OU Soprano's.