Best soprano for $400?

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I know that this is a quite subjective question :), but please tell me your favorite soprano ukulele under $400 with these features:

  • Good volume
  • Sweet, jangly sound
  • Possibly wide nut
  • Possibly friction tuners

Thanks all!
 
Are you thinking about the typical widely available big names or are you considering the possibility of used, vintage or luthier made?
 
Are you thinking about the typical widely available big names or are you considering the possibility of used, vintage or luthier made?
I'm open to all the possibilities, thanks
 
You might be able to buy. Vintage style 0 Martin mahogany soprano. I don’t think it is possible to top that.
Thanks! But all vintage Martin I've seen was a lot over $400, expecially here in Europe :(
 
I know that this is a quite subjective question :), but please tell me your favorite soprano ukulele under $400 with these features:

  • Good volume
  • Sweet, jangly sound
  • Possibly wide nut
  • Possibly friction tuners

Thanks all!
If you would like a really good laminate so you don’t have to worry about humidity control, the Famous (Kiwaya) FS-5G Koa laminate; $200 from Japan via Amazon. It is great! It is less than half the cost of the same Kiwaya model (KS-5G) for the US market.

I bought one and I really like it. I am planning on replacing the tuning machines with Der Jung planetary tuners.

Here is a link to Baz’s review on the KS-5.



Edit: I just saw that you are in Europe. I don’t know whether is possible that you could get the same deal through Amazon Europe, but is worth a try.

It is the one on the left below in my Famous Koa Laminate Uke family picture:) I liked it so much I bought the concert version and the pineapple version.

IMG_1793.jpeg
 
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Thanks badhabits. Actually one of my options is the Kiwaya KS-5, do you know it?
KS-5 is great. Definitely a step up from the Kiwaya KSU series. If you want to go another step up, check out Kiwaya's "hybrid" series. I think this model costs around US$350 in Japan. I'm not sure what overseas retailers are selling it, though.
 
Here is a good deal for you. Reviews and clips of this instrument have been great

 
Here is a good deal for you. Reviews and clips of this instrument have been great

Wow that is a good deal on that Millar.
 
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I‘ve an Ohana SK35 and think it pretty good, the SK38 is a bit nicer again so I’d go for one of those and have nearly half left from the original $400.
 
Do Ohanas still have narrower than average nut width?
I’d say that my SK35 has a sub 35mm width nut (34mm plus) and that the narrow dimension (on the Ohana specification sheets) had put me off of buying one for a long time; eventually I bought a secondhand one off of eBay for a reasonable price. In practise I’ve found the string spacing to be sufficient for me; I haven’t got slim fingers and I took a calculated risk when I bought mine. YMMV.

Edit. Here’s a review of the SK-38 by our own Vic :https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/threads/review-ohana-sk-38-soprano-ukulele.130246/
As far as I know he chose to hang onto the SK-38 rather than pass it on, he normally passes on other reviewed Ukes.
Also see Vic’s comments towards the base of this page: https://forum.ukuleleunderground.co...y-a-vintage-martin.159363/page-2#post-2419797
 
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Thanks! But all vintage Martin I've seen was a lot over $400, expecially here in Europe :(
A bit over budget but still...
 
You might be able to buy. Vintage style 0 Martin mahogany soprano. I don’t think it is possible to top that.

The vintage Martins are fantastic, but they have narrow necks, not the wider ones the OP is hoping to find.

The Kiwaya models with the wide neck (38mm) can be found at the link below. I think there are Famous equivalents, but I don't know where to find them.


The link below is for a Mahalo Soprano with a 40mm nut width. It isn't much of a ukulele (costs about $50), but the wide nut is a wonderful experience if you like a wide nut width.

 
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