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connor013
08-30-2011, 04:04 AM
This is my first review, and I am by no means a musician -- I've been playing for a little over a year and brought no previous musical knowledge with me -- so I ask for your pardon in advance.

The Hamano H100 soprano is a solid mahogany body with a 12 fret rosewood fretboard, TUSQ (maybe bone?) nut and saddle and a rosewood bridge. It has Grover tuners with black buttons.

The body is a satin finish with simple (in my opinion elegant) thin black and white binding and a matching rosette. From minimal research (thanks Woodshed!) my understanding is the shape and finish are designed to mimic the pre-war Martins.

The finish is excellent for a mass produced instrument, with no blemishes or imperfections and no sloppy glue visible inside the sound hole. The frets have clean edges and they're true up the fretboard. One minor complaint would be the logo is simply a sticker inside the sound hole, but there is a serial number typed, so I suppose I could track its conception should I be so inclined. Also, the headstock logo is a silkscreen, which I assume will eventually wear off.

As I had hoped, the sound is woody and mellow. I restrung it with Worth browns, which only enhanced that, and I've actually tuned it way down to E A C# F# (I hope this isn't sacrilege). It has great volume, great sustain, and good individual note separation. (I find the notes to lose some of their ring above the seventh fret, but that could be my sloppy fingers.)

I should mention I went a bit uke-crazy in my first year, so these reflections are in comparison to:

Lanikai LU-21 concert
Bushman Mahogany soprano
Koa Pili Koko soprano (which incidentally I wish I kept)
Makai Mango soprano
Ohana PK25 Pineapple soprano
Kala KA-KS soprano
Kiwaya Paulele Bamboo soprano
Recording King Brass body resonator (OK, this one is louder)

Overall:

Construction: 9 out of 10
Fit and Finish: 8 out of 10 (for the logos)
Volume: 9 out of 10
Intonation: 8 out of 10
Balance: 9 out of 10

(I don't think I mentioned the balance above, but I should say this uke is a joy to hold -- my wife teases me that I just carry it around the house when I'm not practicing, which is perhaps true.)

In short, as someone who has not yet taken the plunge into hand-crafted ukuleles, this is my favorite instrument; the one I play most often, the one I show my (sometimes reluctant) friends and neighbors, the one I bring with me while bouncing from room to room at home.

I hope this review is useful.27564