Outdoor Uke Brand Input

I know it seems crazy to put time and or money into a $20 ukulele but if you lower the action on your Nova-U Concert you will find that it will out perform the Outdoor uke.
^^^^^^^ Amen, my friend!
It should take well under half an hour to loosen the strings, remove the saddle & carefully sand enough material off its base to lower the action to 2-3mm.
Then, another quarter-hour to do the same (if necessary) at the nut.

Though I personally enjoy such tweaking and tinkering, life’s too short not to spend 45 minutes of one’s time to set up any instrument to punch above its weight class.

Though I also have tremendous respect for the patience, craftsmanship and expertise required to become a luthier, lowering action is not rocket science and, when you get it just right (as I’ve finally done with Yowling Tom), the audible, mechanical and tactile difference is immensely satisfying.
 
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^^^^^^^ Amen, my friend!
It should take well under half an hour to loosen the strings, remove the saddle & carefully sand enough material off its base to lower the action to 2-3mm.
Then, another quarter-hour to do the same (if necessary) at the nut.

Though I personally enjoy such tweaking and tinkering, life’s too short not to spend 45 minutes of one’s time to set up any instrument to punch above its weight class.

Though I also have tremendous respect for the patience, craftsmanship and expertise required to become a luthier, lowering action is not rocket science and, when you get it just right (as I’ve finally done with Yowling Tom), the audible, mechanical and tactile difference is immensely satisfying.
The nut on the Nova is molded into the body so you have to file the string slots to lower action there
 
Poor choice of words by me. What’s the process for sanding the saddle? Is there a specific paper grade to use?
Actually:)the poor choice of words was on my part. 120-grain or higher should work, though I just went for “fine”. Use a pencil to make a mark all the way around the base, then lay the paper on a flat surface & sand down by carefully moving the saddle, base- down, back and forth over the sandpaper until that line is no longer visible.
Unless action is crazy high (say 4mm or greater like Yowling Tom was), that may be all it takes.
Lowering action at the nut will be more tedious as you’ll need to buy a set of needle (jeweler’s) files (around US $7.99 at Horrible Freight).
 
TimWPB, I'm late to the conversation. For what it's worth: my blue tenor Outdoor Ukulele was my favorite daily uke for over four years. (I work as a chaplain, often playing for patients.) It sounded fine, loud enough, was durable and worry-free. I decided to retire it recently due to fret wear -- visible grooves, and just barely audible buzz when strumming. They've discontinued the blues ones, so I bought a brown Outdoor Ukulele tenor that sounded just the same, but I returned it because the color was unappealing to me. I would recommend the brand for a rugged, occasional use instrument. All the best with your Enya luthier work!
 
Never owned or played an Outdoor brand. I've read/watched mixed reviews. I'd suggest looking at Lava brand "carbon fiber" also. I do have one of those, but haven't opened the box yet. Suppose I can if you have any specific questions about it. If you can lower the action on the Enya by filing the nut slots/saddle it might make it easier on the grandkids fingers.
 
This may be a bit late, but I have an Outdoor Carbon Fiber Soprano and I am happy with it. The action is quite comfortable. While the intonation isn’t perfect in places, if you’re not picky it is acceptable (or at least to me) and I think the tone exceeds the Nova and by far the Waterman, which sounds pretty tubby.

I also compared the carbon fiber to a regular brown one and was surprised that I didn’t find it too bright or staccato as some have mentioned and I even noted from watching some comparison videos. I do like a bright but balanced uke though. The carbon just seemed to be livelier and compensate for that lunchbox sound other plastic ukes can have (this one does not).

I don’t know if this matters to you, but knowing it was made in the USA, meaning supporting a very small independent business, fair wages and treatment of workers, etc, more than outweighed the cost to me.

So I bought an Outdoor. I can leave it in a hot car or a leaky tent and not worry.

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