First Look: Woodi Plastic Soprano

katysax

UU VIP
UU VIP
Joined
Jun 8, 2012
Messages
1,451
Reaction score
1
With a willingness to take one for the team, I think I was the first to buy the Woodi Plastic Soprano that is for sale on Ebay currently for $25. Because I live only a few miles from the supplier, it arrived at my house today.

Video Clip of Sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viN8Y62oHBM


This is a first look and not a full review. Let me say right off the strings are complete garbage - some kind of nylon fishing line. It was incredibly hard to get the uke in tune and it still won't hold tune for long. I'm pretty sure its the bad strings and not the cheap geared tuners. Until I put some decent strings on it, it is hard to evaluate.

Appearance - This is not Plastic like an Outdoor Uke. This is plastic like a Makala Dolphin or Shark. In fact, the body has the look and feel and the same texture as the Shark. The appearance is quite clean; the body is a dull finish that feels kind of like synthetic wood. The freeboard is plastic.

Neck - The neck is a bit squarish. Not as square as the ODU. It's a bit thick but quite comfortable and no worse than many wooden ukes. The frets appear to be molded into the fret board with a small strip of brass colored something on top of them. The frets are a good, comfortable height and the edges are smooth. The strings seem a little too high above the fret board, but not enough to render it unplayable. However I don't see much room for adjustment.

Construction - It actually looks very ruggedly constructed. I think it would survive dipping in a swimming pool or being kept in a car trunk. It appears neater and more cleanly constructed than the ODU. Whether it really is that rugged is something that I will eventually test. I'm going to store it in the trunk of my car for a while once I change the strings.

Sound - The strings make it hard to judge the potential. I can at least get it to sing a bit. To me it seems about half way between a Makala Dolphin and the Outdoor Uke in sound quality. That is with the simply awful OEM strings.

Value - Is it worth $25-35? It's hard to say when a Makala - which so far I think is far superior as an instrument is only a few $$$ more. At least it's pretty cheap so it's OK as a novelty item.

Overall it seems to me like a Makala Shark with a plastic neck and really bad strings. It really doesn't look or feel like an Islander copy.

Would I recommend this uke? Eh. Maybe. If you want to play with a plastic uke - it's cheap enough.

EDITED: To add info about string change. I swapped out the strings that came with it for Aquila Nylgut. It's a big improvement. They still are not fully settled but it was much easier to tune and I think will stay in tune once the strings settle. The sound projection is better.

I tested the intonation. Intonation is excellent. Better than most of my wooden ukes. Also because the neck is solid you don't get the thud that you get with the ODU.

Tone is still not great. I'd still put it somewhere between the ODU (which to my ears is lacking in any musicality) and the Makala Dolphin (which I think is a decent sounding cheap uke and very good for the money). It's definitely playable.

Can you shave off the bridge - I don't think so. It seems like it is a hollow molded piece of plastic and you might end up shearing off the top and being left with a hole. Also there are no fret markers which I altered by using a Sharpie.
 
Last edited:
thanks . The Islander has a squarish neck too, but in my opinion sounds better than a Dolphin. strings are easy enough to replace. do you think the action can be lowered at the bridge by shaving a bit of plastic off?
 
Thank you katysax for a thorough review. Overall, I got the feeling that you are not crazy about it...but your edited notes seemed a little more promising. What do get for $25.00, right? Please keep us updated once your Aquilas have settled in.

BTW, please correct me if I am wrong, but both Makala Shark and dolphin soprano models have wooden tops...They are NOT all plastic.
 
Last edited:
I'll try to make a video of it tomorrow. I wanted to let the strings settle. The original string set was impossible to tune.

The Makala and Shark have wooden necks and bridges. The one's I've played lately have molded back sides and top. The texture of the Woodi is pretty much exactly like the Shark. However, the Shark has a much better bridge.

It's pretty much able to stay in tune now. It should be stable enough by tomorrow. The action is too high which makes it a little harder to play than it has to be. It can be played up and down the neck, and the intonation is very good. It can't be played that loudly. If the Woodi had a better bridge where the action could be lowered, it would be better.
 
With all the people here who have ordered, it won't be long before one of us tries to take a sander to that saddle.
:)

It might be me.
:D
 
Yeah it's sad that the bridge cannot be lowered like the Islander...but, "c'est la vie!" I guess that's what makes the all plastic uke special and unique in it's own way. I wonder if the Aquila's string gauge is too thick/heavy for plastic and will make the neck bend upwards?...or should a lighter gauge like Black HILO strings be used. It will be nice to see and hear a video of the Woodi. Thanks for all your time and dedication! Mario
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I'll try to make a video of it tomorrow. I wanted to let the strings settle. The original string set was impossible to tune.

The Makala and Shark have wooden necks and bridges. The one's I've played lately have molded back sides and top. The texture of the Woodi is pretty much exactly like the Shark. However, the Shark has a much better bridge.

It's pretty much able to stay in tune now. It should be stable enough by tomorrow. The action is too high which makes it a little harder to play than it has to be. It can be played up and down the neck, and the intonation is very good. It can't be played that loudly. If the Woodi had a better bridge where the action could be lowered, it would be better.
 
With all the people here who have ordered, it won't be long before one of us tries to take a sander to that saddle.
:)

It might be me.
:D

I guess it "might be" worth the try but as Katysax says..."he can see right through it that the bridge saddle is not even a full solid piece which would'nt leave you much room for sanding..." Personally, I can never undestand companies/people who design these things. Would'nt it be easier to do it right the first time?. I mean ANYBODY who's a musician out there knows these basics. I guess for them they would rather have a higher action than to have the strings buzzing on the frets...
 
I received mine yesterday, and I have to say, my results are pretty much identical to katysax's. Stock strings were unusable and could not be tuned to pitch. I switched in a set of Aquilas and problemn solved. Overall, a very attractive-looking instrument, and built like a tank. Tuners are respectable, and intonation is very good by cheap uke standards. Action is high and adjusting it is questionable. Tone is kind of dead sounding, sounds better strumming than fingerpicking. Fun for $25, but I wouldn't pay any more, and it appears they will retail for more.
 
just got mine. Has anybody kept the strings on? I just put Aquilla on another uke and they look and act like these. It took forever for the Aquila to settle in and they were really stretchy like these. I wonder how the bridge is attached? It wouldn't be hard to sand it from the other side. I agree with all the comments, nothing really to add. metal frets at least.

update:
it's really not a bad little uke, except for the high action that can't be lowered. I'm thinking of popping the bridge off and replacing it with a wood one with a rreal bone saddle. these can be had for $5 on ebay. I don't think the plastic one can be lowered enough from the back, the action on mine need to come down .25 in., and thatl would get into the string slot.
 
Last edited:
I purchased a Woodi and yes, the action is a tad high however it is very playable (a little harder on some barre chords). It has a nice sound that does not have that percussive type of sound when hitting the strings that the Outdoor Uke has. By the way I do like the Outdoor Uke. But my question to you guys regarding the Woodi is that the frets are painted on with a brass look paint and within a few days it has worn off in the most used places on the fretboard. Anyone else have that issue?
I would actually rather not have the frets painted on to begin with so for a plastic sub $50 uke it's not a dealbreaker by any means. It's fun to play and it does sound very musical to my ear.
Thanks, Steve
 
The Woodi looks to me like a Maccaferri copy. From what I can tell even the bracing is a copy. However, if this what the Maccaferri sounds like then it's hard for me to understand the following the Maccaferri has.
 
Can any one in this thread compare the Woodi with a Maccaferri or other 50s plastic ukulele?

I can, as I have both. if I get time I'll do a comparison, but suffice to say the Mac is a real instrument with a unique sound, the Woodie is a toy , but a nice toy. I would take a Mac to a jam, I would never take a Woodie.
 
I have one on test and will be writing up a review on Got A Ukulele soon. Actually, I really rather like it for what it is!
 
Dear Bazmaz,


You are quite right. Afterall, I believe that each and every "playable" ukulele, wether plastic of exotic wood have personalities of their own giving us players a very wide array of instruments to choose from. :) Each and everyone of them are so unique and make it fun to discover what they have to offer.
Can't wait to see your review...but please tell us where we can eventually find your "Got A Ukulele" review. On which forum subject? "Uke talk"...or will you be posting here on "Plastic Soprano Ukuleles". Thanks!

I will also be posting a Woodi review video on YouTube this weekend. (under Mario Fromadistance)
Cheers! :)

Mario


 
Last edited:
Mario - I will post the full review link on this board. Will be a week or two yet as have quite a lot of other stuff to get through.
 
Top Bottom