Flight gut-850 or Sound Smith Spruce/Ovangkol SSG-3 Guitarlele

K-ukulele

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So this is hard. Trying to determine which is the better purchase.
Considerations:
Both are solid spruce tops. Flight is mahagony back and sides; Sound Smith is ovangkol.
Sound Smith comes with a Fishman pickup - how important is a pickup?
Flight $409 vs Sound Smith $365.



Flight is around $40 more expensive. But to me sounds like a deeper sounding instrument.
Maybe Flight is a more well known instrument? But I like the idea of supporting smaller shops.
Is there a sound difference between Ovangkol vs Mahogany?





Really having a challenging time discerning which would be the better purchase.
Any thoughts on this? Advice?

Had an awful experience trying to purchase a Flight Gut-350 sp/sap and hoping to not make mistakes again.
 
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Can I ask where you're located? I think you'd be better off first finding a trustworthy dealer than can provide some quality control and preferably do a decent setup. If you can find that, the exact model is of lesser importance
 
Can I ask where you're located? I think you'd be better off first finding a trustworthy dealer than can provide some quality control and preferably do a decent setup. If you can find that, the exact model is of lesser importance

^^this^^. A thousand times over. Reviews are utterly pointless, if you pick two ukes of the same model each will be different.

Forget the money. The cheaper uke you never play and bought unseen is always a bad deal.
 
Can I ask where you're located? I think you'd be better off first finding a trustworthy dealer than can provide some quality control and preferably do a decent setup. If you can find that, the exact model is of lesser importance

I think so too. However my model of expensive purchase now includes can I readily return this item? That’s for two reasons: firstly I ended up getting supplied with a poorly set up Uke that I should have returned but sorted out instead; and secondly I’d set my sights on a particular Uke but on playing it in a store discovered that it had low frets that didn’t suit me (sometimes you need to try a Uke in your hands).

For inexpensive Ukes, of which I’ve had many, consider whether you’d be OK with (tolerate) a significant or even total loss of the purchase price. If you’re not OK with that then don’t buy.

When someone has two good ukes in their sites and just wants to pick one then don’t be overly focussed on the best deal but rather on assured quality. The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
 
I think so too. However my model of expensive purchase now includes can I readily return this item? That’s for two reasons: firstly I ended up getting supplied with a poorly set up Uke that I should have returned but sorted out instead; and secondly I’d set my sights on a particular Uke but on playing it in a store discovered that it had low frets that didn’t suit me (sometimes you need to try a Uke in your hands).

For inexpensive Ukes, of which I’ve had many, consider whether you’d be OK with (tolerate) a significant or even total loss of the purchase price. If you’re not OK with that then don’t buy.

When someone has two good ukes in their sites and just wants to pick one then don’t be overly focussed on the best deal but rather on assured quality. The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.
Thank you for posting this. I'm fairly new as a Ukulele consumer. I purchased two Ukes online: one from AlohaCity and one from ProAudio (Reverb) both purchases were extremely positive/professional and I was very happy with them. This good fortune promoted an inaccurate pollyannish sense of Euphoric Ukulele purchasing reality. Terry Carter Music kindly lifted the veil and re-introduced me to the unfortunate truth: caveat emptor. They sent me a ukulele/Flight Gut350 that was labeled as brand new but was actually used and the setup was abominable--luthier here in Seattle told me best to try and send it back. So now a little reluctant to rushing out the gate with my wife's credit card - if you know what I mean. What's the idiom? Once bitten twice shy. "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" == good advice. Thank you.
 
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I agree with @chris667. I've bought ukuleles based upon respected reviewer and in retrospect those purchases turned out to have regrets. It's a live and learn. I like to buy if possible from stores with a return policy (although I very much try not to return). And in the end the difference in cost will diminish to nothing after you own the uke and play it. When reviewers say for the price it's a good uke, translate it to "it's not that great." And remember videos from stores- no matter how much we love the store- are essentially infomercials.

I might ask opinions from UU members and listen to YouTube videos. But my experience is that the instrument may sound nothing like the video and the feel in my hands is unique to me.

Good luck with your search.
 
Here is the follow up on all of this. I purchased the Flight Gut 850 Guitarlele from Aloha City Uke https://alohacityukes.com/ and I am very happy with it. I'm just a novice but to me it sounds fantastic; the action is great - I can sort of bar some notes and no buzz; and it looks fantastic. I'm very happy with this purchase and I believe that Matt at Aloha City was more than fair with me. I would be most happy to purchase another Ukulele from them, if I could convince my wife of the necessity of the purchase.
 
I agree with @chris667. I've bought ukuleles based upon respected reviewer and in retrospect those purchases turned out to have regrets. It's a live and learn. I like to buy if possible from stores with a return policy (although I very much try not to return). And in the end the difference in cost will diminish to nothing after you own the uke and play it. When reviewers say for the price it's a good uke, translate it to "it's not that great." And remember videos from stores- no matter how much we love the store- are essentially infomercials.

I might ask opinions from UU members and listen to YouTube videos. But my experience is that the instrument may sound nothing like the video and the feel in my hands is unique to me.

Good luck with your search.
No this is not your experience but may reflect expectations. The reality is that ukuleles don't have sound, only players can make them sound. So what you hear in videos is the player making the uke sound, and professional sales players like Corey and Kalei can make any uke sound great. You can not expect that when you receive a uke that you ordered online it will sound close to what you heard in a video when someone else played another uke of the same brand. Even if it's a demo of the exact uke that you purchase you can't expect that your own playing will sound like the recording. Most useful in the demos are things like when individual strings are plucked open and basic simple chords are strummed so you can get an idea if it's balanced of if some strings are suppressed or emphasized and other items that can show that its a fully functional uke.
 
Here is the follow up on all of this. I purchased the Flight Gut 850 Guitarlele from Aloha City Uke https://alohacityukes.com/ and I am very happy with it. I'm just a novice but to me it sounds fantastic; the action is great - I can sort of bar some notes and no buzz; and it looks fantastic. I'm very happy with this purchase and I believe that Matt at Aloha City was more than fair with me. I would be most happy to purchase another Ukulele from them, if I could convince my wife of the necessity of the purchase.
Congrats, glad you are happy with your choice. May I ask why you picked the more expensive uke and not the cheaper one that also had a PU? Based on the videos I would not have picked either, but the Sound Smith looks so cheesy with the decoration overload that I would have stayed away from it just for that reason.
 
Congrats, glad you are happy with your choice. May I ask why you picked the more expensive uke and not the cheaper one that also had a PU? Based on the videos I would not have picked either, but the Sound Smith looks so cheesy with the decoration overload that I would have stayed away from it just for that reason.
About a month ago I tried to purchase a Flight Gut 350 on line off of Reverb and it was a bit of a disaster: instrument did not match the description and a Luthier here in Seattle told me it wasn't worth the $$ for fixing. Thankfully Reverb honored the return. But once bitten twice shy. I'd previously purchased an Enya MAD-Eut tenor from Aloha City Uke and I was very happy with that purchase and the quality of the instrument that they sent me, so I decided to forego the experience of going with an unknown agent: Sound Smith and stick to what I knew worked at least once. I was considering/dithering over the Sound Smith instrument due to the lower price and the PU as you noted--I also like the thought of supporting smaller mom and pop type store. But after talking with people more knowledgable than myself arrived at the conclusion that the $40 wasn't all that much--compared to the frustration of a return and shipping it back or worse being stuck with a subpar luxury item-- and I don't really need a pickup for the bulk of the playing that I do. It all worked out to my favor because I'm very happy with the instrument/Flight Gut 850 Guitarlele that I received from Aloha City Uke. I'm new to this hobby and purchasing something so expensive--at least for me-- without actually seeing it first in my hands - feels a bit out of my comfort zone. But all is well that ends well.
 
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