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SpaceForRent
03-22-2019, 04:58 AM
I know many people on this site scoff at cheap online ukes, but I was pleasantly surprised by what UPS delivered yesterday. I got a "Zimo" laminate sapele tenor that looks and sounds good for the price. It was a bundle kit that included a gig bag, tuner, etc.

Some things that were better than I expected:

The gig bag is actually of decent quality - good fabric and construction, adequate padding, quality zippers, backpack straps.
It came with a set of Aquila Nylgut strings (as well as the pre-installed mystery strings). I wasn't expecting a 2nd set.
The binding on the body and fretboard is well done and doesn't look cheap, as I had feared when placing the order.
It has an arched back, which I didn't realize when ordering.
It has a compensated saddle that apparently isn't just a gimmick. If I don't apply too much pressure, I can get all four notes within 10 cents at the 12th fret according to my Snark.


I'm not going to bother putting on the Nylguts right now because I have a set of Worth Browns on the way that I want to put on it instead. This instrument already sounds pretty good with the no-name strings. It's bright and clear with good sustain and projection. It provides good dynamic volume - I can play both quieter and louder than my soprano.

The action is a bit high (as expected), but I've seen much worse. Since the intonation is so good, I'm considering converting it to low-G when I'm ready to advance from strumming to picking melodies.

Bottom line, if you're in the market for a laminate tenor, need a gig bag too, and only have about $60 to spend, you could do a whole lot worse. I wouldn't necessarily want to go head-to-head against any of the ukes displayed in other members' signatures, but dollar-for-dollar this is a great instrument. Better than Kmise and others in this bracket. Also, the vendor's customer support is quite good. I had to interact with them for a problem with the DIY concert kit I bought a while back. They stand behind their products and reply to all emails promptly.

Here's a link (https://drive.google.com/file/d/15L-X6KC9A-zf61GidOZuE1E9DXLilIxT/view?usp=sharing) to a short sound file. Blame the player, not the instrument, for any fret buzz or other issues - I'm still just a beginner. Recorded with my phone, so the quality isn't great.

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Nickie
03-22-2019, 04:42 PM
Well, congratulations! What they hey, if it works for you...
and you got more than you expected...
great sound byte, nothing wrong with your strumming!
Did you take pics for us to see?

Ziret
03-22-2019, 08:04 PM
There may be a few scoffers, but I think most of us *love* to hear about decent bargain ukes, and if they begin with the letter Z, big bonus points.

SpaceForRent
03-23-2019, 12:43 AM
All the Zimo Ukes I can see are DIY build kits.
Low cost ukes can be a good way to go. The best deals are usually direct from China on AliExpress.

Zimo is very quickly expanding their range, at least on the US Amazon. DIY kits, spare parts, completed ukes, and uke bundles like this one.

SpaceForRent
03-23-2019, 12:45 AM
Did you take pics for us to see?

I was trying to but having trouble, got distracted, then forgot to figure it out before posting. I think I know now what I was doing wrong and will add soon.

Swamp Yankee
03-23-2019, 12:53 AM
Congratulations!

SpaceForRent
03-23-2019, 01:15 AM
Here are some more photos.

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M3Ukulele
03-23-2019, 06:26 PM
Good for you. Nice looking and sounding Uke from your clip. You get a lot for your money. I was thinking of getting a use like this to practise set up. This would be a bonus cause it sound pretty good. Do I just type Zimo ukes in Amazon?

SpaceForRent
03-24-2019, 02:12 AM
Good for you. Nice looking and sounding Uke from your clip. You get a lot for your money. I was thinking of getting a use like this to practise set up. This would be a bonus cause it sound pretty good. Do I just type Zimo ukes in Amazon?

It's a bit hard to find this one because the item title and description are all over the map - using wrong size descriptors. If you put in "Ukulele kit" then filter by brand "Zimo", it should come up alongside their DIY kits.

Or... you could click this link (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MHXVV1B/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_awdo_t1_Ql3LCb4J9ZY42).

Jerryc41
03-24-2019, 03:18 AM
Congratulations! High price and excellent sound don't always go together, and vice versa.

Kenn2018
03-24-2019, 09:38 AM
I know many people on this site scoff at cheap online ukes, but I was pleasantly surprised by what UPS delivered yesterday. I got a "Zimo" laminate sapele tenor that looks and sounds good for the price. It was a bundle kit that included a gig bag, tuner, etc.

Bottom line, if you're in the market for a laminate tenor, need a gig bag too, and only have about $60 to spend, you could do a whole lot worse. I wouldn't necessarily want to go head-to-head against any of the ukes displayed in other members' signatures, but dollar-for-dollar this is a great instrument. Better than Kmise and others in this bracket. Also, the vendor's customer support is quite good. I had to interact with them for a problem with the DIY concert kit I bought a while back. They stand behind their products and reply to all emails promptly.

Here's a link (https://drive.google.com/file/d/15L-X6KC9A-zf61GidOZuE1E9DXLilIxT/view?usp=sharing) to a short sound file. Blame the player, not the instrument, for any fret buzz or other issues - I'm still just a beginner. Recorded with my phone, so the quality isn't great.

116353116354116355116356116357

Sounds pretty good. It's not that people on this site scoff at cheap ukes, it's more that we are wary of them. But we all started somewhere. I looks as though you lucked out and received a nice quality instrument with pretty good extras. Congratulations! That's great. And it's good for everyone to know what is available that plays well and sounds nice.

There are players on this site that can get amazing and beautiful sounds from an inexpensive instrument. And then there are people like me who get pretty mediocre sounds from some very expensive ukuleles.

I still have the Fender Nohea laminate tenor I bought from Amazon. (I don't recommend it.) I think it sounds pretty good. And you will have a good time learning and playing it.

Enjoy and have fun.

SpaceForRent
03-24-2019, 03:52 PM
FWIW, my new strings arrived early and I have a set of Worth Browns settling in now. They completely changed the character of the instrument. I think it sounds even better now. Looks great with those dark strings, too. I’m planning to tie up a brown (with teal accent) paracord strap to match once I find some free time.