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View Full Version : Do you have a favorite soprano uke?



Ryan<3Ukes
04-10-2012, 04:32 PM
I have been itching to play soprano ukes recently because I've been watching a lot of youtube videos with martin ukuleles... And roy smeck. My favorite soprano so far has probably been this spruce top, vintage style Kamoa soprano with the style 3 look and a wound low g. It was really light and sounded pretty awesome. It's pretty cool that Kamoa has the diamond logo now because I think old style 3 martins had the same thing but you can correct me if I'm wrong.

hmgberg
04-10-2012, 04:43 PM
Some of the earliest Martin Style 3s had a "kite," or diamond as you say, celluloid inlay in the headstock. So do a lot of Lyon & Healys. The Martins, for a bit longer than they had the kite also had a parend at the bottom. The Kamoa ukuleles you are looking into are derived from the Martins.

Mim
04-10-2012, 05:38 PM
I am a big fan of the Kamoa diamond. Simple, vintage, and just slick.

As for my favorite soprano... I am a goofis, but I totally love playing my Ohana Blue SK-10. And I am a soprano girl (concert too, but I think I favor the soprano) and it is the only one I own other than some vintage harmonies and stuff. It has a good sound for such a cheap uke and I dont have to baby it, and it is blue, and it makes me happy, and Ken Middleton gave it to me, so it has good mojo!

Uke Whisperer
04-11-2012, 03:18 AM
OHANA SK-38 is my favorite "standard" Soprano. The KoAloha is my favorite "concert neck" Soprano, but would probably become my second favorite if OHANA had a "concert neck" version of the SK-38 (solid mahogany).

Added: I'm just drawn to the sound of solid mahogany over that of KOA for some reason.

roxhum
04-11-2012, 03:37 AM
I love all my sopranos but my very favorite for sound and playability is my kamaka

Manalishi
04-11-2012, 04:03 AM
I have played my Rob Collins Soprano every day since I got it!
I play my others from time to time, but always end up with the
Rob C one,because it's magnificent!

markallen
04-11-2012, 04:07 AM
I have an absolutely stunning Larravee 10K koa soprano which, at least to my modest ears, is the best sounding soprano I've ever heard. I don't play the soprano much as I prefer a tenor strung in low G, so the Larravee may have to find a new home since I'm having a Hornet built by Jake at Hive Ukuleles.

http://www.laguitarsales.com/pages/4376/Larrivee_10K_Ukulele.htm

Cheers,
Mark

bynapkinart
04-11-2012, 04:16 AM
I love my KPK I just got, but my favorite soprano I've owned was a KoAloha. Fantastic Koa tone, just too much money wrapped up in a size I can't use as well as a tenor.

The best I've ever played was a vintage Martin 5k...man if I had the money....

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
04-11-2012, 04:24 AM
I've played a few Kamaka standards and vintage Martins. These are the apples and oranges of "best soprano ukulele" for me. (Luckily, one of those Kamaka ukes lives at my house.)

Also on the short list of great sopranos (that I've played): a KoAloha pineapple, a vintage Kumalae, and a couple of Brad Donaldson's ukes.

webby
04-11-2012, 04:28 AM
My blue dolphin.

Toucan Mango
04-11-2012, 04:37 AM
I've played quite a few while shopping, I own four, my favorite is the Kamaka pineapple.

grandpoobah
04-11-2012, 05:11 AM
My fav is My Kamaka gold label pineapple. If you are patient, you can nab one for $300-$400 on eBay. Mine is pretty busted up looking but it plays like a dream. Brilliant tone.

SailingUke
04-11-2012, 05:18 AM
I have an absolutely stunning Larravee 10K koa soprano which, at least to my modest ears, is the best sounding soprano I've ever heard. I don't play the soprano much as I prefer a tenor strung in low G, so the Larravee may have to find a new home since I'm having a Hornet built by Jake at Hive Ukuleles.

http://www.laguitarsales.com/pages/4376/Larrivee_10K_Ukulele.htm

Cheers,
Mark

I could have written this comment. While I prefer tenors, my Larrivee is a great sounding/playing soprano.

Kimosabe
04-11-2012, 05:36 AM
I'm not really comfortable with sopranos but I am comfortable with my Ohana Vita which has a soprano neck. so, I'd say it's the nicest and easiest to play soprano I've run across. There's just more room to move. I keep it with high G for mostly picking and Renaissance and Baroque music.

Kimosabe
04-11-2012, 05:37 AM
I'm not really comfortable with sopranos but I am comfortable with my Ohana Vita which has a soprano neck. So, I'd say it's the nicest and easiest to play soprano I've run across. There's just more room to move. I keep it with high G for mostly picking and Renaissance and Baroque music.

Olarte
04-11-2012, 05:43 AM
I like mine a lot as well. by the way I just changed the tuners on it to friction tuners the ones that come with a fluke. and I like it even better... more traditional looking. I like friction tuners better for sopranos in general. took all of 15 min to change.


I'm not really comfortable with sopranos but I am comfortable with my Ohana Vita which has a soprano neck. So, I'd say it's the nicest and easiest to play soprano I've run across. There's just more room to move. I keep it with high G for mostly picking and Renaissance and Baroque music.

GX9901
04-11-2012, 05:53 AM
I don't play sopranos too often and own two right now. Both are pretty good, but I probably like the Kiwaya KTS-7 a little more overall. The DaSilva Santos reproduction might be the coolest looking uke I own though.
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-vixpiuhPRG0/S6WcTymlyBI/AAAAAAAABFI/X8Ndfa1yJ_w/s512/DSC_7877.JPG

ChrisRCovington
04-11-2012, 07:38 AM
My current favorite soprano I own is my Martin S1. It does everything I expect of an ukulele and I love the sound and how it feels. My #2 is my Applause. They both have very different sounds one being spruce top and the other solid mahogany so they both get played a lot. I also really like my Bad Aax solid mahogany for a beater. As for instruments I've played but don't own I think my favorite has been an old Martin 0 style I saw in a store once. It was one of those instruments that made me sound better when I played it. Loved it. It was out of my price range and sold in just a few days :(

mm stan
04-11-2012, 08:45 AM
Some of the earliest Martin Style 3s had a "kite," or diamond as you say, celluloid inlay in the headstock. So do a lot of Lyon & Healys. The Martins, for a bit longer than they had the kite also had a parend at the bottom. The Kamoa ukuleles you are looking into are derived from the Martins.

I played the Kamoa prototype of the martin style 3 when they were trying different strings, it had a deep rich sound......haven't tried yet that production model yet though...

RyanMFT
04-11-2012, 09:01 AM
Hands down my best sounding and playing soprano is my mahogany Favilla Teardrop. They are hard to find.....but I highly recommend them!

I have a Gibson that is just a sound monster.....bright, loud, good low end too....just a great soprano ukulele.

I love my Kamaka ukuleles, but the two I have don't stack up to Martin, Favilla, and Gibson IMHO.

connor013
04-11-2012, 09:35 AM
I know what you mean, Ryan. I love my Black Bear(s), but there's something about old mahogany. The Favilla U2 I'm finishing up (cheers CraftedCow!) has that something.

My Hamano (shameless plug, I know: Whttp://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?63305-FS-Hamano-H100-Soprano) sounds really close to the Favilla, it just doesn't have the character yet.

fabioponta
04-11-2012, 09:48 AM
My Kiwaya KTS-4 sounds amazing. Remember me something from the 40'

barefootgypsy
04-11-2012, 10:02 AM
Haven't got a soprano. Want one.

Ryan<3Ukes
04-11-2012, 12:36 PM
I played the Kamoa prototype of the martin style 3 when they were trying different strings, it had a deep rich sound......haven't tried yet that production model yet though...

They come with the aquila bionylons now :/ Although the soprano I played still sounded pretty awesome.

Hippie Dribble
04-11-2012, 12:39 PM
I've been able to play a fair few sopranos and my favourite sounding one is still a little mango soprano by Mya Moe. Such a smooth sound it's incredible. I've never played a Martin though and would love to try out one of those sometime.

Raygf
04-11-2012, 12:52 PM
I love my KoAloha long neck soprano. I just played a brand new Glyph Myrtle Mezzo Soprano that makes me want one, but Dave is not taking orders. Some day, maybe.

Pondoro
04-11-2012, 02:52 PM
I have 4. I do not have any really expensive ukes. My favorite is my Ohana SK-35. I bought it before they introduced the SK-38, and I'd love an SK-38 but I don't think they are different enough to justify having both.

I also have a cheap Lanikai that has a laminated top. It doesn't sound nearly as good, but it is good enough to be my travel uke. I have a soprano scale banjo uke and I've been messing with it but I cannot get it to sound just right, so it frustrates me a bit. But even if it did sound perfect I think I'd like my Ohana better. And I have a home-made cedar topped cigar box. It sounds sweet but I like the sound of the Ohana better, and the Ohana's neck has a nicer shape. The Ohana keeps sounding nicer and nicer.

dsummers
04-11-2012, 02:54 PM
I have 4 sopranos. Mainland pineapple, Kamaka pineapple, Island standard, and Dasilva #34. My opinion, none comes even close to the Dasilva.

dsummers
04-11-2012, 02:59 PM
P.S., I forgot to mention I also have a Glyph and still doesn't come close to the Dasilva #34. IMO.

myrnaukelele
04-11-2012, 03:30 PM
I'm having a difficult time deciding. In the early 80s it was my first love, an old Silvertone. Then for many years it was my Martin (I traded my Silvertone for it and it became my one and only). Then I got a Favilla and fell in love all over again. I recently acquired an old 1930's Gibson and I am having a hard time putting it down. They are all beauties. But I am fickle and yearn for a vintage Kamaka.

rpfrogner
04-11-2012, 03:40 PM
I have been itching to play soprano ukes recently because I've been watching a lot of youtube videos with martin ukuleles... And roy smeck. My favorite soprano so far has probably been this spruce top, vintage style Kamoa soprano with the style 3 look and a wound low g. It was really light and sounded pretty awesome. It's pretty cool that Kamoa has the diamond logo now because I think old style 3 martins had the same thing but you can correct me if I'm wrong.
I have a Kamoa koa SV soprano with all the appointments of a style 3 that looks great, but I am going to change out the strings. I haven't had it long enough to call it a favorite.
My most favorite soprano would definitely be a very old Martin 3K.......and any other vintage Martin soprano ukulele :). Second would be my Mainland Mango soprano. 3rd would be a 1930's Kamaka Pineapple. All are great instruments!

Doc_J
04-12-2012, 03:23 AM
Yes, I have favorite soprano, and here it is.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=32798&d=1327601371
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=32794&d=1327600716
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=32795&d=1327600748

Although this one is a close second.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=28943&d=1318707904

Chris Tarman
04-12-2012, 12:38 PM
Any of my three vintage Martins could qualify. The Style 2 was my first, so it holds a special place. The Style 1 was more "mint" when I got it, so pretty much all of the wear on it now came from me. Plus, I love tortoise shell. I had dreamed of owning a Style 3 since I started playing, and it sounds so sweet. I just need to get the action lowered a bit, and it will be perfect.
Lately, I've really been digging my Gibson Uke 3, because of its "cool-factor" and rarity. It sounds great, but quite different from the Martins. My Kiwaya KTS-7 is also an all-around great instrument. Thank goodness I don't have to pick just one!

Skrik
04-12-2012, 10:46 PM
Yes, I have a favourite soprano -- my Brüko #6 -- and it will reasonably soon be displaced by the custom ukulele I am paying the deposit for today.

robbocx
04-13-2012, 11:52 AM
Well the soprano is my first choice to pick up each time and there is nothing that sounds better than a Gretsch.

I have two, one very pretty it looks like it came from the factory this one usually stays at home and another that has had the 'skin played out of it' over the years and it sounds wonderful.

strumsilly
04-13-2012, 01:04 PM
no................................................ .....

thehappyukulele
04-14-2012, 04:48 AM
3633936340363413634236343

My favorite soprano is "Renata" that I just recently completed. She has a semi-hollow body and has an almost banjolele kind of sound.

mandrew
04-14-2012, 04:54 PM
I don't have a soprano anymore, but if I got another, I would want a Kamaka pineapple!!!

connor013
04-14-2012, 05:21 PM
I knew this thread looked familiar... I posted, shamelessly plugged a uke I'm trying to sell, and then never answered the question.

Black Bear koa soprano. Although it came to me used (with some mojo, Roxanne!) it's like it was made for my hands. Beea-u-ti-full!

kapahulu50
04-14-2012, 08:01 PM
KoAloha pineapple soprano!