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keod
01-22-2018, 07:04 AM
New Uke: Loprinzi Concert- purchased direct from Augustino LoPrinzi Guitars & Ukuleles (http://www.augustinoloprinzi.com/)
Cedar top/rosewood back and sides
Finish – satin varnish
Fretboard and bridge–I believe both are rosewood, standard width (1-3/8 inch, signature Loprinzi slim depth neck profile), markers at 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, side and top (pearl)
Neck –reinforced with walnut/maple/walnut laminated strip
Tuners – upgraded to UPT with gold posts
Strings – Loprinzi (fluorocarbon?)
Rosette – white/black/white

I hesitate in writing a NUD – first because the quality and expertise of recently posted NUDs far exceeds my capability, but also because RafterGirl recently posted an excellent review of a more adorned version of this uke and I am not sure I have anything of value to add. But I do know how I love to see NUDs posts and pictures, always pictures – so hopefully something I will say will resonate with someone.

This joins a trio of outstanding solid wood ukes purchased from fellow UU members: a Loprinzi long neck mahogany soprano, a Koaloha Opio sapele concert and a big body Kinnard bear claw spruce/honduran rosewood soprano. Each is loved for its own voice and characteristics but the sound of cedar has always drawn me – typically not quite as mellow as mahogany but neither as bright as spruce. I rationalized that it would be different enough from my other ukes to justify its purchase and that having a second uke from the same builder, with different specs, would be an interesting experience - UAS at its best LOL.

Fit and Finish:
Very well constructed, neatly fit and finished in a satin varnish, smooth and subtle. A little renaissance/conservators wax made the wood pop a little more. Inlays look great to my eyes. I passed on optional bindings/purflings/pick-up as I prefer things that are somewhat understated. Edges are very nicely roundly finished and I love the contrast between the top and side wood-grains.

Playability:
It is difficult to describe the “feel” of this uke other than to say it is “perfect” for me. The neck is very comfortable, easy to quickly move up and down and to reach the fourth string and barre chords with small hands. I really like radius fingerboards but, with the Loprinzi neck profile, I find this (flat) one just as easy to play. The body is smaller in width and depth than other concerts I have, and actually smaller in depth than my Loprinzi soprano- so I would have to describe it best as a smallish body concert. It is light weight and well balanced- but I still installed strap buttons LOL.

Tone:
Also difficult to describe in words – but for me, it is great with stock strings which look and feel like clear fluorocarbons. It is a little brighter, less mellow (or deep/dark) than my mahogany uke and less bright than my spruce top one. And all of this is exactly what I wanted- no disappointment. Notes ring very clear and are distinct. I think it is very resonate with good sustain and volume. I have played other concerts and tenors that I found to be “boomy” and not to my liking and with many ukes I have found that certain notes/strings sound a bit “thuddy” to my ears. I understand that is due to tuning, size, natural frequency of the tonewood etc but I have not experienced any of this with this uke. Intonation all the way up the neck is great. Harmonics at the 12th fret sound beautiful and chimey. I will experiment with strings and tuning no doubt, but certainly not because anything is lacking as it came direct from Loprinzi. I expect it will sound just as fantastic with a low g.

Customer Service:
Outstanding! Dealing with Loprinzi was absolutely wonderful. Donna was very accommodating, lead times are extremely reasonable. It was packed well and included a nice quality hard case.

Overall:
10 out of 10 for value. This, to me, is a great concert uke at a very reasonable cost. I believe it holds its own against many other known brands at a fraction of the cost. I know many here have said “it’s not the instrument, it’s the player”, and, yes, the stellar players do make even a cheap uke sound wonderful. But I think a comfortable, hand made quality instrument certainly helps the novice– maybe because it just sounds better, is more forgiving of mistakes or maybe just as an incentive to playing/practicing more.

So, now I have 4 life-long, and dearly loved, ukes that give me the variation in size, tones, and playability that I like. It has taken me a long time (and more than a few laminate ukes that had to be re-homed) to get to this stage but the journey was totally worth it. I think that, for many, Loprinzi deserves a second look. Highly recommended.
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Ukulele Eddie
01-22-2018, 07:18 AM
Excellent and helpful review, Casey. Congrats on an excellent addition to your fine stable!

keod
01-22-2018, 07:38 AM
Excellent and helpful review, Casey. Congrats on an excellent addition to your fine stable!

Thanks Eddie- much appreciated (for the comment of course but also for your guidance and my precious Kinnard which continues to delight me everyday).

I think I'm done now..........famous last words ROTFL.

RafterGirl
01-22-2018, 09:03 AM
Congrats! I sure do love mine, and all of your observations hold true for me as well. My buying experience with Donna was also very good. She quoted me a build time of approximately 6-8 weeks, and had I not added on the pick-up at the end (during Christmas) it would have been 8 weeks. As it was the added pick-up pushed it to about 9.5 weeks. Mine has become my weekly player in my church band. The sound of it with the MiSi pick-up and the church sound system is really great.

Your ukulele family looks outstanding. Love the pictures. Isn't it fun to have choices!

PS - I'm so glad that Jon decided to keep that Maple Loprinzi soprano that he had listed in the Marketplace. I was sorely tempted to break my "only 4 ukes" rule.:stop:

keod
01-22-2018, 09:22 AM
Congrats! I sure do love mine, and all of your observations hold true for me as well. My buying experience with Donna was also very good. She quoted me a build time of approximately 6-8 weeks, and had I not added on the pick-up at the end (during Christmas) it would have been 8 weeks. As it was the added pick-up pushed it to about 9.5 weeks. Mine has become my weekly player in my church band. The sound of it with the MiSi pick-up and the church sound system is really great.

Your ukulele family looks outstanding. Love the pictures. Isn't it fun to have choices!

PS - I'm so glad that Jon decided to keep that Maple Loprinzi soprano that he had listed in the Marketplace. I was sorely tempted to break my "only 4 ukes" rule.:stop:

Yes, I count myself very lucky to have such choices. You were instrumental in my decision to get a second Loprinzi so...big thanks (and a shout-out to DownUpDave for my first). I so appreciated your pics, I figured others may like more “comparison” photos.

i saw that Maple Loprinzi too and had to force myself to look away LOL. Three would be tempting the gods of excess :rotfl:

keod
01-22-2018, 09:26 AM
Congratulations Casey, what a little beauty & what a fine collection, please enjoy :D
Thanks Campbell - I am indeed very blessed to have a collection that offers such variety. My playing does not live up to their quality but, damn, I am having fun.

SoloRule
01-22-2018, 09:45 AM
Thank you for the detail review. It's great falling in love with your instrument because that's mean you want to play more and by doing so you will get better and better then perhaps one day you can add the voice to the instrument as well.
It's a fun journey that is full of surprises as we excel..
Congratulation ! Great pictures and details.

Nickie
01-22-2018, 04:25 PM
Congrats, and thanks for the pics and wonderful description. I'd call that a complete ohana!
Donna certainly does build a fine instrument, and I can't wait till I can afford one of those beauties. There are lots of 'em around here (Clearwater).

DownUpDave
01-22-2018, 04:38 PM
Well done Casey, looks wonderful. Very good NUD and review you hit all the important points. It looks like the super soprano has a litter mate that it wil be proud to call family. I really love the look of cedar on top of rosewood, classy.

keod
01-23-2018, 01:29 AM
Congrats, and thanks for the pics and wonderful description. I'd call that a complete ohana!
Donna certainly does build a fine instrument, and I can't wait till I can afford one of those beauties. There are lots of 'em around here (Clearwater).

Thanks Nickie - as you already know, if you do get a chance to get one of Donna's ukes, you won't be disappointed. I'm glad I don't live nearer to her - it would be very dangerous to my pocket book ;).


Well done Casey, looks wonderful. Very good NUD and review you hit all the important points. It looks like the super soprano has a litter mate that it wil be proud to call family. I really love the look of cedar on top of rosewood, classy.

Thanks Dave. Yes the super soprano has a new sibling - different enough that there will be no rivalry LOL. I really do love the cedar on rosewood look too. I first chose the black post UPTs (although the friction tuner that Donna uses are great too) but I guess she decided the gold post ones went better and once I saw them, I knew it was the right choice to complement the cedar.

Not sure I deserve such good fortune, but I am sure enjoying it. It will make the rest of our long cold winter much more tolerable LOL.

mountain goat
01-23-2018, 02:15 AM
Congratulations, Casey. Donna crafts lovely instruments.
This one, such a beauty. And man, that is a gorgeous collection.
Hope they all bring you much joy for many years ahead.

Osprey
01-23-2018, 04:12 AM
Congratulations on your new LoPrinzi Concert. I am thinking that if I wanted to upgrade from my Kala Baritones, LoPrinzi would be one I would consider strongly. That Cedar Top looks great, very clean looking.

keod
01-23-2018, 04:50 AM
Congratulations, Casey. Donna crafts lovely instruments.
This one, such a beauty. And man, that is a gorgeous collection.
Hope they all bring you much joy for many years ahead.

Thank you kindly sir. I’m pretty impressed myself with how it turned out. The cedar is very tightly grained and Donna did an amazing job bookmatching the rosewood. I had a really hard time finding the join at the tail to put in a strap button - wonderful problem to have LOL. I am truly lucky and it is making my retirement years very happy indeed ;)


Congratulations on your new LoPrinzi Concert. I am thinking that if I wanted to upgrade from my Kala Baritones, LoPrinzi would be one I would consider strongly. That Cedar Top looks great, very clean looking.

Thank you! If you do decide to go Loprinzi, you will find Donna absolutely great to deal with. I couldn’t have asked for nicer woods. I had already decided to just let the luthier go with whatever they thought would be good. As it happened she had already started one so I just went with whatever she had planned.