View Full Version : Can anyone offer an opinion about Samick ukes/baritones?

03-25-2013, 02:31 AM
I'm tempted by a pretty "SAMICK - Baritone ukulele.Spruce top.Rosewood back & sides.Flamed maple, abalone".

A little googling tells me Samick is a korean guitar firm who hired a US name to design their uke line and, I believe, manufactures in Indonesia. = Cut price (the baritone is about $250). So, you get what you pay for...?

Does anyone have an opinion about Samick ukes and/or own this baritone?

03-25-2013, 07:13 AM
They're also sold under Greg Bennett and (I think) Mitchell. Really unremarkable and built heavy, in my experience. There are better baritones in that price range.

03-25-2013, 07:16 AM
It depends what level you're at. I started on a bright yellow Mahalo, which was awful. After a year of twanging out a few tunes, my parents bought/took pity and got me a Samick maple concert. I've still got it, it sits right next to me at my desk.

It's a decent uke, doesn't project well, but then it never leaves the house so that's not a problem. If you've a few hundred burning a hole then of course go for something solid, but if you've just started out and want a decent uke without spending a fortune, this is a sound investment for the 45 my parents paid a few years ago.

The Big Kahuna
03-25-2013, 07:37 AM
Have a word with Andrew from HMS. See if he ever spoke to Makala about my idea for a Baritone version of the Dolphin, called The Whale.

Hell, I'd buy one! How many advance orders from UU members do you think it'd take before they made one ?

03-25-2013, 07:44 AM
I've not owned a Samick uke, but I'm familiar with the company and have owned Samick guitars.

Samick is basically a Korean company that at least as far back as the seventies made many of the inexpensive brands for "American" guitars (Fender Squier, Gibson Epiphone, etc.) right in Korea. I believe they also manufactured many of the acoustic guitars for Yamaha and Takamine, though I might be mistaken. I don't think they started selling under their own name (at least, not over here) until the late 80's or early 90's. In the "old days" when production was in Korea it was actually pretty decent. They made a real push to up the quality even further when they initially started marketing over here under their own name. They partnered with an American designer for some of their line (the "Gregg Bennet" guitars) and the early ones were actually good deals. Electronics tended to be pretty cheap, and hardware as well, but the basic fit, finish, and fretwork was often the equal of the American and Mexican made "name brand" (i.e. Fender, Gibson, etc.) instruments. (Sadly, this is almost more the result of the QA at those manufacturers going into the toilet than it is a reflection of how great the Korean made instruments were.)

I've got one of those Gregg Bennett SG knockoffs set up for slide and it's got very nice tone and is quite attractive.

Like everything, it seems, greed raised it's ugly head and the bottom line began driving the company pretty much to the exclusion of everything else, I'm guessing around the late 90s or maybe the early 2k's. They moved most of their production to China and Indonesia and the instruments (guitars, at least) are nowhere near what they once were.

I know from friends that Samick pianos were also once considered quite decent instruments, but I've no idea if they've tanked or that still holds true.


03-25-2013, 10:16 AM
Wow! I post before sleep and find good sensible full-of-info replies before breakfast. :-) Ta muchly for the good advice.