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View Full Version : Outdoor Ukulele versus Dolphin



JedSmith
09-03-2013, 12:16 PM
Hello everyone. I'm an 'outdoor guy'. I bought a Dolphin as a 'truck uke' to take with me just about everywhere without worrying about it. It has Aquilas on it and was set up nicely by Mim; it sounds quite nice (for what it is).
When outdoors, sometimes I spend most of my time around camp - near my truck. Other times I go deep into the backcountry where there are no trails, high up into the mountains. I sleep under a small tarp or maybe in a bivy sack. Weather can change quickly - from downpours to snow to hot sun beating down on you.
For those of you that have owned/played the Dolphin and the Outdoor Uke, how do they compare ? I'd imagine (but don't know) that the Dolphin might sound better with its laminate wood top. How well do your Dolphins stand up to rough weather conditions ?
Any comments you might offer comparing your experience with these two ukes would be appreciated. I'm interested in durability in the outdoors, sound quality, ease of play, and weight. I am a beginner on the uke. Thanks !

Ukejenny
09-03-2013, 12:38 PM
Youtube has sound samples of the Outdoor Ukulele if you want to hear how it sounds. For extreme weather, I'd vote for the Outdoor Ukulele. But, you could try the Dolphin and if it doesn't hold up, get an OU.

haolejohn
09-03-2013, 01:39 PM
Hello everyone. I'm an 'outdoor guy'. I bought a Dolphin as a 'truck uke' to take with me just about everywhere without worrying about it. It has Aquilas on it and was set up nicely by Mim; it sounds quite nice (for what it is).
When outdoors, sometimes I spend most of my time around camp - near my truck. Other times I go deep into the backcountry where there are no trails, high up into the mountains. I sleep under a small tarp or maybe in a bivy sack. Weather can change quickly - from downpours to snow to hot sun beating down on you.
For those of you that have owned/played the Dolphin and the Outdoor Uke, how do they compare ? I'd imagine (but don't know) that the Dolphin might sound better with its laminate wood top. How well do your Dolphins stand up to rough weather conditions ?
Any comments you might offer comparing your experience with these two ukes would be appreciated. I'm interested in durability in the outdoors, sound quality, ease of play, and weight. I am a beginner on the uke. Thanks !

I own both. The dolphin is a cheaper version. I live in Alaska and had a dolphin shatter on me last year from the extreme cold. I bought an ODU for that specific reason. I took my ODU on a 50 mile backpacking trip this summer and it has also been on a missionary trip to Central America (I let Tsani borrow it for that trip). I've left my ODU in my car in GA during the summer for three weeks. It held up. I doubt a dolphin would have sustained the heat without the glue coming undone. I took my ODU swimming. It held up. I doubt the dolphin would have. I dropped the ODU down a nice little ravine while it was strapped to my pack (maybe 40 lbs) and it was fine.

The true test will be this Moose season and this winter. I plan on leaving the ODU outside in -30 F temps (It actually gets a lot colder than that, but I am only going to leave it out in -30 since it is rated to -40F). We shall see.

As far as sound, I personally think that neither uke is WOW! They both sound like plastic ukes. I personally prefer the sound of the ODU. One thing I do recommend is that you change the tuners on the ODU. THe stock tuners are almost impossible to tune.

I never used the dolphin as an outdoor uke btw. I bought a beat up cracked mainland red cedar for that purpose and that uke went every where with me until I gave it away. I just through it in a waterproof sack when the rain came.

Newportlocal
09-03-2013, 01:50 PM
I would take a flea ukulele with the standard plastic fretboard.

JedSmith
09-03-2013, 07:00 PM
Thank you everyone for your replies. I think I'll try out one of the outdoor ukes.

haolejohn - - - when you suggested switching out the stock tuners were you talking about the friction pegs ?
I was going to upgrade & order it with the Grovers.

Thanks again !

kaizersoza
09-03-2013, 08:40 PM
considering the cost of an outdoor uke I would stick with the dolphin, I own an ABS uke albeit a different make to the OU, sound wise it is on a par with the dolphin but the dolphin has more sustain because of the ply soundboard, my ABS is a concert size and is a bit louder than the dolphin, mine only cost 25 in the UK, when strumming it has a percussive quality that you won't get on wooden ukes even laminates, to put it into perspective ABS isn't very resonant so don't expect it to be it is what it is, a uke you can play in the bath or in a canoe without worrying about water ingress

coolkayaker1
09-04-2013, 04:21 AM
I would take a flea ukulele with the standard plastic fretboard.

Absolutely.

PereBourik
09-04-2013, 04:49 AM
I would take a flea ukulele with the standard plastic fretboard.

My choice too.

haolejohn
09-04-2013, 06:33 AM
Thank you everyone for your replies. I think I'll try out one of the outdoor ukes.

haolejohn - - - when you suggested switching out the stock tuners were you talking about the friction pegs ?
I was going to upgrade & order it with the Grovers.

Thanks again !

Yes. I got mine just as they were offering the grover ones for no additional cost. I decided to just let mine ship with the original tuners. Most times I can't get them to tune at all. They are very hard to turn. I can get it sharp or flat. So what I do (or try to do) is tune all the strings to the same sharpness or flatness:)

I haven't played the uke since this summer. I need to get it out of it's box. BTW, I also mailed it to Alaska from GA with no padding. Just put it in a box and mailed it. It showed up fine and dandy.

JedSmith
09-04-2013, 06:21 PM
A relative has a 60 year old Kamaka pineapple with friction peg tuners. Theyre just about impossible to keep in tune and tough to adjust. I just ordered an extra set of the Grovers with the Outdoor Uke. I've got various products that I've used on outdoor gear to prevent rusting and I'll try that on the Grovers.

Bill1
09-05-2013, 01:14 AM
I own a flea and a OU and a dolphin. At the moment I am actually on a car based camping trip and I have brought along two ukuleles. One is a very nice blackwood custom which I use around the camp site, and the other is the OU which I take out walking and bicycle riding in the national park. The custom lives in its hardcase in the car, and the OU does not need a case, it just ties on or straps on. It does need protection from impacts, but not much else. I have strung it with Worth's browns.

Pukulele Pete
09-05-2013, 02:40 AM
Check out what I think is the ultimate outdoor uke and a great all around uke . Martin OXK , I got one and it's a great uke . It is made of formica like material, like a countertop. Because it is a Martin the width at the nut is a little wider than alot of ukes and makes it much easier to play. It has side markers and fretmarkers , just a great ukulele.

JedSmith
09-07-2013, 04:17 AM
I own a flea and a OU and a dolphin. At the moment I am actually on a car based camping trip and I have brought along two ukuleles. One is a very nice blackwood custom which I use around the camp site, and the other is the OU which I take out walking and bicycle riding in the national park. The custom lives in its hardcase in the car, and the OU does not need a case, it just ties on or straps on. It does need protection from impacts, but not much else. I have strung it with Worth's browns.

Did you go to the Worth browns right away ? Or was this after trying some other strings ? Ive got some Aquila Nylguts and Martin M600 fluorocarbons that I was thinking of trying on it after hearing how it is with the factory supplied strings. Thanks

JedSmith
09-07-2013, 04:29 AM
Check out what I think is the ultimate outdoor uke and a great all around uke . Martin OXK , I got one and it's a great uke . It is made of formica like material, like a countertop. Because it is a Martin the width at the nut is a little wider than alot of ukes and makes it much easier to play. It has side markers and fretmarkers , just a great ukulele.

Ive heard of the Martin OXK and didnt realize it is made out of formica. I'll have to check it out. But one of my requirements for an outdoor uke is that it not look very expensive or cost more than about $100, in case its damaged or stolen. I like the 'kids toy' look for this kinda uke. Thanks