Larger Sopranos

bsfloyd

Active member
Joined
Nov 24, 2017
Messages
998
Points
43
Hello Everyone! And by larger soprano I am referring to body size, not scale length. Yes, a wonderful assortment of concert scale long neck sopranos, but I am interested more in a soprano scaled concert-ish body size. I understand this is more rare, but what sopranos are currently out with larger bodies? I know my Pono soprano has a noticeable larger body than my Martin sopranos, and I appreciate that very much. My Ohana SK-28 has a noticeably, yet slightly smaller body than my Martin sopranos - but it’s the larger bodied sopranos I’m interested in knowing about. I understand that it may not quite reach concert body size, but please let me know what you all have found to be on the larger soprano spectrum. Thanks!
 

Ed1

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
561
Points
43
Romero Creations is the first one that comes to mind. It sounds more like a concert than some other concerts I've owned in the past.

If you're a little adventurous, you can pm David Hanson (Tukanu here). I asked him to make me a concert scale with a tenor body and it is definitely one of my keepers. The man can build just about anything that interests him.
 

Cadia

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2020
Messages
1,282
Points
113
Yup, the Romero Creations S series. I have the S-K, which is a larger bodied koa. The sound and volume are great and more akin to a concert, while the scale remains a soprano. I really like mine a lot. I had actually wanted the S-M mahogany bodied, but after months of waiting and looking a really pretty koa one came up on HMS and I jumped on it. Baz did a review on the S-M, and I got the impression that though he liked the uke very much, it didn't sound like a typical soprano so he didn't quite know what to make of it.
Baz's review -

You'll find sound samples in here -
 

Dohle

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2019
Messages
1,571
Points
113
Romero Creations is the first one that comes to mind. It sounds more like a concert than some other concerts I've owned in the past.
Romero Creations would've been my first mention as well. They have the soprano with a significantly larger/wider body and also the XS soprano with the boat paddle shape. To be fair, I'd say any kind of boat paddle or pineapple shaped body will generally result in a deeper tone so you can look for those. Lots of different brands that do that sort of thing these days.

The aNueNue Bird series sopranos also have a slightly wider body at least for the lower bout which, at least in my opinion, results in a very deep and lovely tone.
 

Ukecaster

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
4,692
Points
113
As far as standard sopranos (not large body designs like Romero, or long neck super soprano designs) the Kiwaya and Famous sopranos have overall larger body specs. Comparing vintage Martin sopranos to Kiwaya/Famous sopranos I've owned, I've seen the following body specs:

Body length: both about the same (Martin at 23.8cm, Kiwaya at 24cm)

Width of top bout: Kiwaya 5.7% wider (13.3cm)
Depth of top bout: Kiwaya 11.7% deeper (5.7cm)

Width of bottom bout: Kiwaya 5% wider (16.8cm)
Depth of bottom bout: Kiwaya 6.8% deeper (6.2cm)

Of the 20 or so sopranos I've measured over the years, the Kiwaya/Famous ukes usually have bigger body specs, especially the depth, which is always deeper. I think the deeper body makes the most difference, adding depth to the sound of the Kiwaya/Famous ukes. Not that they are better than vintage Martins, just that they seem to have a bigger/deeper sound, with more volume, than many similarly priced sopranos.
 
Last edited:

John Colter

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jan 28, 2009
Messages
3,185
Points
113
Some Ohana sopranos have an appreciably larger than standard body. I have an Ohana SK300G, all solid Koa, which is one of my all time favourite ukes. It is quite expensive new, but I got mine second hand and in need of repair. The body is big enough that it won't fit into some soprano cases, but it fits snugly into a concert sized case..

I also have an SK50MG - laminate mahogany back and sides, solid cedar front - with the same dimensions. There are several types of SK50, all made from different combinations of wood. I recommend them thoroughly, if you are looking for a soprano with a fuller figure.
 

kerneltime

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Messages
1,997
Points
113
Larger than what? It is very easy to build larger than Martin’s sopranos. What sound are you chasing? Vintage, very plucky, Hawaiian, very resonant, and modern? With Sopranos the vintage Martin and Kamaka are the 2 most famous sound profiles. Anything else starts sounding like a modern instrument and closer to concerts. Check out this soprano, it does not have a larger body but the sound is something else.
 

merlin666

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
2,786
Points
113
@Ukecaster this is good answer as Martin and Kiwaya have similar shape. I wonder if Martin also changed their dimensions over time. Info like this on Hawaiian shaped ukes might also be useful.
 

Ukecaster

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
4,692
Points
113
@Ukecaster this is good answer as Martin and Kiwaya have similar shape. I wonder if Martin also changed their dimensions over time. Info like this on Hawaiian shaped ukes might also be useful.
I've also measured some newer Martins like the S1 and OX, and their bodies are pretty close in size to the vintage models, but still not as large as Kiwaya. All the Martins, new & old, have slightly wider nuts, with generous string spacing at the nut of 29-30mm.
 

richntacoma

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
692
Points
93
My Kala Elite Dogwood is on the larger side, and has a big voice. While I have not measured, the KoAloha sopranos "feel" bigger, and also has a very large sound with good projection
 
Last edited:

actadh

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
2,061
Points
48
My Kala bamboo soprano is much bigger than my Kala ASOV soprano.
 

man0a

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2019
Messages
981
Points
93
Has anyone tried the Kiwaya KPS soprano ukuleles? I have not tried one in person, but in YouTube videos, they look larger than the more common Kiwaya KTS and KS models. GotAUkulele recently gave the concert-scale KPC version of this series a good review.
 

merlin666

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
2,786
Points
113
Hello Everyone! And by larger soprano I am referring to body size, not scale length. Yes, a wonderful assortment of concert scale long neck sopranos, but I am interested more in a soprano scaled concert-ish body size. I understand this is more rare, but what sopranos are currently out with larger bodies? I know my Pono soprano has a noticeable larger body than my Martin sopranos, and I appreciate that very much. My Ohana SK-28 has a noticeably, yet slightly smaller body than my Martin sopranos - but it’s the larger bodied sopranos I’m interested in knowing about. I understand that it may not quite reach concert body size, but please let me know what you all have found to be on the larger soprano spectrum. Thanks!
Technically the terms soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone refer to scale length only as body dimensions are not as straightforward to quantify or even measure as it is an irregular three dimensional object that should be quantified in liters or cubic centimeters. Few manufacturers actually state their body sizes at all. What would be helpful to quantify this would be average depth, surface areas (or diameters) of upper and lower bouts, as well as total volume. Maybe a new project for volunteers to compile a table of these dimensions and then assign ranges to the various scales. So when people talk about body size they should also specify which of the four dimensions length, depth, width of upper or lower bouts they actually refer to if they don't know the total volume of the instrument.
 

ukulelekarcsi

Active member
Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
506
Points
28
Technically the terms soprano, concert, tenor, or baritone refer to scale length only as body dimensions are not as straightforward to quantify or even measure as it is an irregular three dimensional object that should be quantified in liters or cubic centimeters. Few manufacturers actually state their body sizes at all. What would be helpful to quantify this would be average depth, surface areas (or diameters) of upper and lower bouts, as well as total volume. Maybe a new project for volunteers to compile a table of these dimensions and then assign ranges to the various scales. So when people talk about body size they should also specify which of the four dimensions length, depth, width of upper or lower bouts they actually refer to if they don't know the total volume of the instrument.
Not really. The length of the vibrating string, along with its initial tension, are more of a factor in the sound production, than the size of the resonance chamber. The largest soundbox I've seen on a soprano, is the Dominique Chevalier ukaferri - it's almost as wide as a tenor uke.
 

merlin666

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
2,786
Points
113
Not really. The length of the vibrating string, along with its initial tension, are more of a factor in the sound production, than the size of the resonance chamber. The largest soundbox I've seen on a soprano, is the Dominique Chevalier ukaferri - it's almost as wide as a tenor uke.
I am not sure what you are disagreeing with. The length of vibrating string is known as scale (i.e distance between the nut and fret 12 times 2). Those lengths are used to define the sizes, and not the volume of the body.
 

Ziret

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
2,163
Points
113
I've also measured some newer Martins like the S1 and OX, and their bodies are pretty close in size to the vintage models, but still not as large as Kiwaya. All the Martins, new & old, have slightly wider nuts, with generous string spacing at the nut of 29-30mm.
Have you measured the KTS line? If not, I can add to your data.
 

DuckyI

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
301
Points
63
As far as standard sopranos (not large body designs like Romero, or long neck super soprano designs) the Kiwaya and Famous sopranos have overall larger body specs. Comparing vintage Martin sopranos to Kiwaya/Famous sopranos I've owned, I've seen the following body specs:

Body length: both about the same (Martin at 23.8cm, Kiwaya at 24cm)

Width of top bout: Kiwaya 5.7% wider (13.3cm)
Depth of top bout: Kiwaya 11.7% deeper (5.7cm)

Width of bottom bout: Kiwaya 5% wider (16.8cm)
Depth of bottom bout: Kiwaya 6.8% deeper (6.2cm)

Of the 20 or so sopranos I've measured over the years, the Kiwaya/Famous ukes usually have bigger body specs, especially the depth, which is always deeper. I think the deeper body makes the most difference, adding depth to the sound of the Kiwaya/Famous ukes. Not that they are better than vintage Martins, just that they seem to have a bigger/deeper sound, with more volume, than many similarly priced sopranos.
I would be interested to know what series these figures are based on. KS series (eco), KSU series (made in China), KPS (strummer series), or KTS (vintage)? I know KS have a slightly larger Hawaiian profile, I always assumed KTS follows the classic Martin profile, and I know the KPS is more modern, large profile.
 

Ukecaster

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 7, 2009
Messages
4,692
Points
113
I would be interested to know what series these figures are based on. KS series (eco), KSU series (made in China), KPS (strummer series), or KTS (vintage)? I know KS have a slightly larger Hawaiian profile, I always assumed KTS follows the classic Martin profile, and I know the KPS is more modern, large profile.
My measurements were based on Eco Series laminate instruments, the Famous FS-1, FS-5, FS-0 and Kiwaya KS-1. Of course, the depth of the thinline FS-0 is much shallower at 3.4mm and 4mm, but FS-0 length and width are the same as the others.