View Full Version : Considering purchasing a Mainland Red Cedar Soprano

Brian W
07-13-2013, 07:00 PM
I started another thread recently about possibly purchasing a Sailor Brand soprano, however I am torn between custom ordering this uke and a Mainland Red Cedar Soprano. If anyone has presently, or in the past owned a Mainland Red Cedar soprano, I would appreciate their thoughts on this instrument; primarily in terms of tone, playability, and build quality. I currently own a Ohana Sk-35, but it has some buzzing issues on the E string that I have been unable to completely fix, and I have tried everything from a new saddle, fret leveling and re-dressing, to even restringing with hard tension strings.

Chris Tarman
07-13-2013, 07:11 PM
I have a Mainland Red Cedar Soprano PINEAPPLE.... it's a great sounding and nice playing uke. I got it direct from Mainland, and the set up is really nice. My only complaint, which also applies to my Mainland Mahogany Soprano, is that the fret ends are a bit rough on the higher frets. It's not a big deal, but it is noticeable. Actually, I had a local guitar maker smooth them up a bit for me on the pineapple, but not on the other one yet. Other than that, I couldn't be happier with it. I think the red cedar top and the rosewood back and sides look really striking together. I wouldn't mind having a regular "figure 8" red cedar soprano too, but I have enough ukes for the time being!

07-13-2013, 08:14 PM
I have a Mainland red cedar soprano and I love it! Very big voice, great intonation, and no significant fit and finish issues. I really like the somewhat more "open" sound of the cedar top, although it's a different tone than koa or mahogany, for those that are traditionalists. I think the red cedar line are the most interesting models that Mainland makes.

Kayak Jim
07-14-2013, 12:59 AM
I have the red cedar pineapple as well and it sounds very different than my Mainland mahogany. Very loud, even brash with the Aquilas. I like it for that traditional uke sound when strumming especially in a group but prefer the mahogany with fluoro strings for picking as the tone of the individual notes is sweeter. I suspect different strings on the cedar would make it a fine all round player.

07-14-2013, 02:55 AM
I've had 2. Loved them both but my tastes have changed in the type of music I want to play so they have moved on.

They are great sounding ukes with a sharp bright sound. I put Worth Brown Mediums on mine to tone them down a little and add a little fullness to the sound.

Beautiful instruments in every way.

07-14-2013, 09:33 AM
I haven't had the red cedar soprano but I do own about a half-dozen Mainland ukes; some purchased direct from Mainland Mike and some from the second-hand market (ebay and the marketplace here). All have been well worth the money and my Mainland mahogany soprano is neck-and-neck with my KoAloha longneck soprano for the title of "my best uke" (and that's after I had to make a new saddle to correct the intonation on the KoAloha - before that the mahogany soprano was hands-down my #1).

Now...that mahogany soprano is kind of special and probably a "pick of the litter" even though it was a second for a tiny cosmetic flaw. So, I wouldn't claim that every Mainland uke will compare favorably with Hawaiian-made ukes - but in their price bucket they're a very sound purchase.