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View Full Version : Alegre Soprano review; http://ukuleleserf.blogspot.com/



hubcapserf
10-03-2010, 06:46 PM
http://img5.glowfoto.com/images/2010/10/03-2112214704T.jpg (http://www.glowfoto.com/viewimage.php?img=03-211221L&y=2010&m=10&t=jpg&rand=4704&srv=img5)
by Hubcapserf

When I was in the Phillipines I went to the Alegre guitar shop on Mactan Island in Lapu Lapu. There was a very nice selection of instruments there ranging from inexpensive to high end professional grade instruments. They have everything from banduria's, which is like a twelve string mandolin, a lot of guitar's, and several different ukulele models. After talking with the local musicians in the shop, and playing a lot of different instruments, I ended up negotiating a deal on a soprano “Oviation” model ukulele with hard case.

Just like the “Oviation” (SP) name suggests, it is a modified Ovation, or Applause body style instrument.

My first impression of the Oviation was that the abalone binding and rosette are really nice, something usually found on high end ukuleles. I attribute this to the abundance and availability of abalone on the islands. It has a solid spruce top with an “o” hole (unlike the Applause decorative hole pattern,) and a hand carved solid Philippine mahogany back that is rounded like the plastic back on the Applause ukuleles. The headstock is also shaped like Applause. It has peg tuners. The neck is mahogany with ebony fingerboard and a plastic nut. The bridge is also mahogany with a bone saddle.

It has a gloss urethane finish that does not seem to have a negative effect on sound. The binding and rosette are nicely done; however, the headstock logo is a decal, and not inlaid. It does not have any issues with the fit on the body; however, with this particular ukulele there are issues with the neck. The fret wires hang over on the bottom and need to be filed and dressed. The peg tuners are low end with plastic knobs, and the nut and saddle are set up for thin strings.

I played the Alegre the entire Philippines trip and I found the action to be acceptable. The spruce top gave this uke a loud sound and brighter tone than a mahogany or koa top. The Alegre stays in tune well after tightening the gears a little.
The thin string set up enhances the soprano “feel”. The round back makes the uke a little hard to hold up against the body and it takes some getting used to.

I think this ukulele could use some upgrades. A set of Gotoh peg tuners would be nice, and a thicker bone nut and saddle too. It could be set up for thicker strings, but, that is a matter of preference. The frets need to be filed and dressed, badly. Altogether, the Alegre soprano is a cool ukulele, and after fretwork is done- fine for a student uke, or a beater.

I have more reviews on my blog at http://ukuleleserf.blogspot.com/