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View Full Version : Oscar Schmidt Solid Koa Concert Ukulele opinion?



guitarsnrotts
03-06-2013, 06:39 AM
Always interested in opinions on solid koa ukes for under $400. Is it Hawaiian Koa or acacia?

hibiscus
03-06-2013, 12:55 PM
Sorry I can't help you. . .Someone who knows will probably drop by.

NoKaOi
03-06-2013, 01:40 PM
Hey, Guitars-

I played a few Oscar Schmidt's in Avi Ronen's old 'Lahaina Guitars' shop (he just moved) on Maui a few months back. I specifically was interested in the "Willie K. signature" that Avi & Uncle Willie helped design, but was actually engineered by Maui Uke luthier extraordinaire, Ken Potts - http://kpukuleles.com/home.html -

I also played some of Ken's ukes at his Lahaina shop, and wish i could afford them, but alas - I've relegated not to hock the Lamborghini for any stringed instrument purchases! ;)

In all honesty, the quality control on the Willie K's seemed superior to the other solid Schmidt's I played -- they're both very nice instruments, with Willie K. sig having high & low bass (5-string), but I honestly think there are better options at this price point. I really love my Kala ALL solid Mahogany with fishman electronics for the $$ (got a SCREAMIN' closeout deal on last year model!), and considered the same solid Oscar you asked about prior to playing a few of them.

Again, nice instruments....and certainly superior overseas manufacturing quality than what goes into Washburn's guitars for sure, I just don't think the value & quality control is there for the dollars. Here's link to the Willie K sig model:
http://www.oscarschmidt.com/info/news/williek-sig-model.asp

Alo)(a,
Sean (aka NKO)

Edit - so difficult to gauge whether or not Acacia/Koa is actually sourced in Hawaii, as there are SOO many varieties & even companies with previously excellent reputations (e.g. - Gibson w/ Madagascar ebony et al..) making illegal moves for the sake of profit.. I've played Acacia that sounds BETTER than certain sourced Hawaiian Koa, so not certain that is bankable, viable criteria....though I think the odds say that Hawaiian sourced tonewood definitely has a better history & lineage than unknown sourced materials.

Cornfield
03-06-2013, 01:52 PM
I've got one. It is very pretty. It is solidly built with good tuners. The case is also good quality. With Aquila it sounds fine. I think my Kamakas are nicer but at the price point its a lot of ukulele.

Raygf
03-06-2013, 02:22 PM
According to the Oscar Schmidt site the ou280swk (http://www.oscarschmidt.com/products/ukes/ou280swk.asp) is solid Hawaiian koa top, back and sides.

Cornfield
03-06-2013, 02:33 PM
That's the model I have..I think the koa is thicker than my Kamaka ukes.

Cornfield
03-07-2013, 03:09 AM
I was going to do a short video of mine so that you can see and hear a OU280SWK. I remembered that Ukulele Mike has done several videos with one.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLay8gAueBg

NoKaOi
03-07-2013, 04:10 AM
I believe he's playing an OU-7T (Spalted Mango,) in the video, although I'm pretty sure I've seen him playing the 280SWK in one of his YouTubes..


I was going to do a short video of mine so that you can see and hear a OU280SWK. I remembered that Ukulele Mike has done several videos with one.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLay8gAueBg

Cornfield
03-07-2013, 04:41 AM
I believe he's playing an OU-7T (Spalted Mango,) in the video, although I'm pretty sure I've seen him playing the 280SWK in one of his YouTubes..

You might be correct but on his description of the video, in you tube comments, he says it is the 280swk

stevepetergal
03-07-2013, 04:19 PM
I think Oscar schmidt ukuleles are very good instruments. Much more serious than their prices might suggest.

NoKaOi
03-07-2013, 04:26 PM
Mike corrects the mistake at end of video (he usually indicates which model used in video -- he's endorsed by Ocsar Schmidt, so always playing one their ukes..) where the correct model is indicated. Sometimes it's difficult to tell what's being played in those darn videos! :)


You might be correct but on his description of the video, in you tube comments, he says it is the 280swk

poppy
03-07-2013, 09:56 PM
search the OU280 on UU you will find some rave reviews also google it and you will find some it seems to shine to those who own it.

TheCraftedCow
03-08-2013, 08:39 PM
I have an OU 5 Electric. It looks nice and sounds the same whether amped or acoustic. If I did not have a Giannini 10EL, the OU 5 would be a keeper rather than one I would to see rehomed. A lot has to do with the strings which are on it, also.

NoKaOi
03-08-2013, 09:11 PM
Excellent point on differing strings! I've found certain instruments are best paired with a particular variety of string, although I've yet to find the particular correlating factor when it comes to the Uke -- guitars are a different story, and one which I have far more experience with. My 1st crappy laminated Lanikai digressed to a large with the addition of the pricey Worth's -- Aquila's were that boy's sweet spot! However the Worth's make my Custom Koa's Honduran Rosewood fretboard sing like Pavarotti! I've just re-strung the Kala with D'addario Titaniums & not certain on the verdict quite yet, although I AM quite sure they're more fitting than the previous Aquila's.

One thing that's a for sure: trial & error is a definite certainty when it comes to maximizing an instruments potential!



I have an OU 5 Electric. It looks nice and sounds the same whether amped or acoustic. If I did not have a Giannini 10EL, the OU 5 would be a keeper rather than one I would to see rehomed. A lot has to do with the strings which are on it, also.