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View Full Version : Shima Ukulele - finally came! (+Sound sample video)



kissing
04-13-2018, 05:35 PM
So after a long wait (and having my package stuck in US customs for nearly a month) my new Shima Ukulele finally arrived to me.

I didn't know what to expect, as they are a brand new company setup by Jake and Bruce Shimabukuro. They claimed to deliver a "professional quality" ukulele at an affordable price...

Here is a quick sound sample video I recorded just now:
Completely raw audio, straight from microphone.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXoCvUWtwzc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXoCvUWtwzc


My overall opinion is that they certainly delivered on that promise.
The ukulele is quite loud, bright and clear despite being a laminate mahogany. The fit and finish is pretty decent. The website says "Satin" finish, but it is semi-glossy in my view.. kinda reminiscent of Kamaka's lacquer finish, but not as fancy.

The thing that stood out the most for me was the SETUP straight out of the box. We ukulele folks are so used to inexpensive ukuleles having a poor setup from the box. However, the Shima ukulele is immaculately setup. I don't have to do a thing!
The nut is perfectly filed, the bone saddle has already been precisely adjusted to give a comfortable action of 2mm at the 12th fret.
It's been a while since I've played an ukulele so well setup out of the box.


Unfortunately they are out of stock at the moment, but hopefully we'll see more in stock soon!
http://shimaukulele.com/


Absolutely no affiliation. Just a happy customer.
Bruce also kept in touch with me throughout the shipping process to keep me informed. He an absolute delight to deal with and offers great shipping options internationally with tracking.

Jarmo_S
04-13-2018, 06:26 PM
Thank you for posting. I think you could have put this in review subsection.

The way you play, I'm sure even the cheapest uke can sound fine with your talents.
The 2 mm at 12th fret might be a bit low for someones or with differing humidity it could go lower? It is so easy to sand down the bottom for lower action, but for higher a new saddle is needed.

Jim Hanks
04-14-2018, 03:27 AM
Very nice. I know you like low action. Did you have to ask for that specifically or it just came like that "by default"?

kissing
04-14-2018, 03:34 AM
Thank you for posting. I think you could have put this in review subsection.

The way you play, I'm sure even the cheapest uke can sound fine with your talents.
The 2 mm at 12th fret might be a bit low for someones or with differing humidity it could go lower? It is so easy to sand down the bottom for lower action, but for higher a new saddle is needed.

I posted here as it wasn't really a "review" per se, but just announcing that this ukulele turned out to be pretty good.
There was a topic beforehand where questions were raised in regards to what the quality level would be.

That being said, I am surprised 2mm is considered "too low". For my personal tastes, 2.0mm is just bearable.
I'd prefer it to be 1.5mm even. Anything over 2.0mm would prompt me to grab the sandpaper for a bit of setup.
But I suppose it's personal preference :)



Very nice. I know you like low action. Did you have to ask for that specifically or it just came like that "by default"?

The ukulele came just like this by default. I didn't add any special instructions - I just checked out of the website and paid with Paypal.
I was surprised at how nicely setup it was.

Jim Hanks
04-14-2018, 04:55 AM
The ukulele came just like this by default. I didn't add any special instructions - I just checked out of the website and paid with Paypal.
I was surprised at how nicely setup it was.

Huh, very interesting. (I don't need a long neck, don't need another long neck....)

How do you like the strings? Sound pretty good. Do you think you'll want to try flourocarbons soon or just as happy to stick with the nylons?

kissing
04-14-2018, 05:03 AM
Huh, very interesting. (I don't need a long neck, don't need another long neck....)

How do you like the strings? Sound pretty good. Do you think you'll want to try flourocarbons soon or just as happy to stick with the nylons?

As far as sizing goes, it's a soprano-body, concert neck (I think).

The strings are D'addario Pro-Arte clear nylons.
These happen to be strings I quite like anyway (for other ukes too), so I intend to keep them.
But the ukulele will probably sound great with any string, including fluorocarbons. Keep in mind, the ukulele itself is inherently bright-sounding.
Putting on bright-sounding strings may make it sound a bit brash.


I've dropped mine off at my local luthier to have a passive undersaddle pickup installed :)

fretie
08-04-2018, 11:06 AM
Hey Kissing, the uke sounds good and so does your playing!

I’m interested in snagging one of these when there’s more to be had....how did it go with shipping to Oz? I’m up in B.C. Canada and am wondering if the shipping will cause the price of this instrument to double for me.

Nickie
08-04-2018, 02:45 PM
Hey, congratulations!
You're very good. That uke sounds and looks like an expensive one, in your hands.

kissing
08-07-2018, 12:54 AM
Hey Kissing, the uke sounds good and so does your playing!

I’m interested in snagging one of these when there’s more to be had....how did it go with shipping to Oz? I’m up in B.C. Canada and am wondering if the shipping will cause the price of this instrument to double for me.

The shipping cost about $60 USD, with full tracking.
The shipping itself was fast (express I think?) but mine got stuck in customs for a while.
It was probably bad luck.

It came well packaged.

M3Ukulele
08-07-2018, 06:16 AM
Nice to hear it worked out. I wonder if they will do a Tenor, after all Jake is a tenor player. I would be tempted at a proportional price increase to look at a tenor.

fretie
08-12-2018, 04:31 AM
The shipping cost about $60 USD, with full tracking.
The shipping itself was fast (express I think?) but mine got stuck in customs for a while.
It was probably bad luck.

It came well packaged.

Thanks, Kissing.

One more question, how is the volume of this uke?

I generally play a soprano but am on the hunt for an interesting uke, not too expensive, that can put out more sound in a large meetup group.

Jerryc41
08-12-2018, 05:08 AM
I generally play a soprano but am on the hunt for an interesting uke, not too expensive, that can put out more sound in a large meetup group.

1. Banjo uke, like the $149 Gold Tone Little Gem
2. KoAloha