Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Outdoor Carbon Uke-looking for owners with opinions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    318

    Default Outdoor Carbon Uke-looking for owners with opinions

    I have a tenor outdoor uke, which I love for any use that my #1 uke isn't suited for, like kayaking or travelling etc. I've taken it backpacking a few times and while it was ideal when I got to camp, I spent plenty of time wishing it was smaller and lighter.

    For the 2021 backpacking season, I'd like to pick up a soprano for this purpose, but I don't really know whether the carbon version is worth the extra $. Sure, more durable sounds good, but I've been rough with my tenor and it was fine. Extra toughness is not a priority. The 15% brighter sounds pretty good to me, but I'd like to know if anyone owns a carbon and non-carbon and can vouch for the brighter sound. Is it worth the money? It would be better for me if it were same toughness as the non-carbon, but lighter! C'mon Outdoor, how about a UL version?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    4

    Default

    It's only $25 more so if you think you'd want a brighter sound, I'd go for it.
    You might also want to consider that a soprano will be naturally much brighter than your tenor regardless of material.
    Kala KA-SGC concert (spruce)
    Yamaha Guitalele (spruce)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    515

    Default

    The idea that something can sound "15% brighter" is marketing nonsense. 15% brighter than what?

    I have an Argapa backpacker uke. It's great fun, if a little limited.

    If I wanted a proper uke, I'd take a Mahalo/Makala/whatever cheapie. It will be fine, but if you lose it (far more likely than breaking it on a camping trip), not the end of the world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    U.K.
    Posts
    1,300

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by chris667 View Post
    The idea that something can sound "15% brighter" is marketing nonsense. 15% brighter than what?

    If I wanted a proper uke, I'd take a Mahalo/Makala/whatever cheapie. It will be fine, but if you lose it (far more likely than breaking it on a camping trip), not the end of the world.


    VCS700S did a comparison, see: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=DbhxxrklbYQ . Meets the spec of owner with opinion. Plus his threads:
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...Review+outdoor
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...Review+outdoor


    It’s your money and you might have plenty to spend; if you’ve got plenty to spend and money to waste then why not just take a gamble and do it? Personally I wouldn’t spend the extra on Carbon and don’t see brighter as an advantage either, the extra strength is surely just more valueless ‘overkill’. Price-wise I believe that the basic OU Sopranos were once sold for a little under 100 dollars, but you decide how reasonable the current price is (starts at 125 IIRC) and what value they give you. I’m of the mind that a well set-up second hand cheap and robust laminate is a far more sensible purchase than an OU. I’m loving my secondhand, cheap and tough Mahalo U30; Dolphins can sound fine enough too and they have a reputation for (high) durability - both just need a bit of easy enough setting-up. If you’re worried about water or other damage then common general purpose protective bags - dry bags even - big enough to hold a Soprano are neither heavy or expensive ... ymmv.

    I don’t know about Uke weights and how important that is to you, but IIRC somewhere there is a list of Soprano weights and it might include some cheap laminates. (This might be a start: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...no-weight-list ) I understand that the Soprano OU’s weigh 420 grams, from: https://www.outdoorukulele.com/colle...oprano-brown-1 & https://www.outdoorukulele.com/colle...-carbon-nickel. Ditching geared tuners in favour of some cheap - but made to be functional - friction tuners will save you some grams. If I wanted a light Uke then at 420 grams the OU would be beaten by a big percentage of the traditional style solid and laminate wood instruments; the Tenor OU’s are 790 grams so any Soprano is a relatively large weigh saving.

    The lightest Uke option is not taking one, and the lightest Uke that is taken might well sound naff and so be a waste of money and effort. Pick carefully, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot on getting something that will do the job well enough.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 04-26-2021 at 12:22 AM. Reason: Additional detail added.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Seems to me the 15% claim would be vs. the original polycarbonate version. I think peteymack also did a YouTube comparison of the 2, not sure what size. Durability is the bigger selling point for outdoor ukes, so if you value/prioritize light weight over that, there may be better options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    2,825

    Default

    For $20, go for it, sounds like it's what you want...
    Just Play

    Sopranos: 1st uke, Lanikai soprano LU-11 - Aquilas | 30's Martin style 0 - Martins
    Concerts: Kanile'a K-2 CP - Living Water | Islander AC-4 - Living Water | Waverly Street banjolele - Worth Browns
    Tenor: Martin Iz - Living Water low G
    UBass: Kala FS2 (fretless) - Pahoehoe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Pickering, ON, Canada
    Posts
    6,165

    Default

    I don’t own either of those soprano Outdoor Ukes but I have played both back to back. Yes the carbon is brighter sounding, I thought I would like brighter sounding but I preferred the standard models tone. I do prefer a warmer tone over all and have sold off many “bright” sounding ukes so take that for what it is worth.

    The carbon just has chopped up carbon fiber in the mix, it’s not a real carbon fiber lay up. The weight listed on their website is 15 oz for both models so it’s the same weight as the standard
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 04-25-2021 at 02:33 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    672

    Default

    Well I personally think the use of carbon fibers in place of glass in these ukes is mostly hype. But if you really are backpacking, you might think about the effect of having a dark uke rather than a light colored one. If you keep the uke buried inside your pack it won't matter, but if you actually kept it tied on the outside (like the photos) I would think the black colored "carbon" uke might get awfully hot during the day compared with the clear model.
    Blackbird Farallon Ekoa Tenor
    Beltona Songster Resonator Tenor
    Klos Carbon Fiber Tenor
    Magic Fluke Tenor Firefly Banjolele

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Posts
    262

    Default

    Some actual weights, FYI:
    my non-carbon brown soprano outdoor ukulele - 427gm
    son's $35 laminate kmise (without the gig bag) - 393gm

    the kmise kmu laminates are great "beater" ukes imo

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Derbyshire, UK
    Posts
    515

    Default

    It strikes me that if you have a uke tied to the outside of a bag, the strings will catch on stuff anyway. Ukes are not practical like that.

    I have an Argapa traveller uke. That's quite good fun if you just want to play on your own. It's good fun and would fit in a backpack.

    I still reckon a laminate is as good as anything for that purpose.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •