Waterman vs. Woodi? Which would YOU buy and why


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Sep 1, 2016
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I know the plastic uke convo has been much discussed and I did read through many threads before writing this. But I still cannot for the life of me decide between a Waterman and a Woodi. Im buying one so that I can practice at work, keep it in my bag etc. Im not expecting it to sound like my wood ukes but would still like to get the best for my money. Ive watched a ton of youtube vids, read reviews, forums etc. Ive heard about intonation problems with the Waterman and too high of an action on the Woodi. I keep going back and forth every couple of minutes on which I want and have been unable to hit the "order" button on amazon.

Has anyone played both/owns both that could give me a little more info on which they prefer and why? I am a petite female so too high action is a bit of a concern on the Woodi but Ive heard it mentioned on the Waterman as well.

Thanks in advance,

I dunno, I don't think I'd go for either. I think I'd rather get a uke like a Makala Dolphin/Shark. Or got with a nicer laminate. I have a Kala KA-S that's all laminate, and can have the setup changed. I like it a lot. Not so great tone for fingerpicking, better for strumming. But hey, it's cheap.
I bought a Kala Waterman a few months ago and it was a disappointing experience. The intonation was terrible and it sounded like a plastic bucket. We recently had a thread about this and the intonation issues even in the first few frets already are wide spread. There are favorable reviews on some sites, but it's my belief that the models sent to reviewers were handpicked.

It only cost 40-ish euros, and I just wanted to have it so I could noddle some while I work, so I didn't have high expectations, but I didn't expect it to be so bad. I would avoid it.

Have you considered the Outdoor ukuleles? They seem to be of better quality as far as plastic ukes go.
My Kala Waterman is now suffering from a collapsing soundboard. I will post a photo later. Waterman are awful.
The silver paint is coming off the frets and it sounds weak and has poor intonation. The tuners suck too.
As you see, I have nothing nice to say about the Kala Waterman.
I had a Waterman, and I don't recommend them. I gave it away, and I've felt like I have driven another person from playing the ukulele by doing so. Don't know about a Woodi. I've never even heard of them. I do have a regular old cheap Makala concert. It is a pretty good uke. I've done everything with it, except paddle a canoe with it, or sat with the surf breaking over me and playing it, and it is none the worse for wear. Just saying.
It is what it is.

I have a Waterman and it is EXACTLY what I expect of it. I leave it in the car. I throw it in backpacks. My son has filled it with sand and then washed it with a hose to get all the sand out. It works for what I intended it for.
I dunno, I don't think I'd go for either. I think I'd rather get a uke like a Makala Dolphin/Shark.

I second the Dolphin/Shark. I bought my daughter has one and it is great! If you do go this route, I would order from a seller who performs a set-up vs. Amazon. You indicate that high action would hinder you. This is very common on the lower end ukuleles. Mike from Uke Republic set up the one I got for my daughter (and another I got for my sister-in-law) and they are spot on! Very easy to play!

If you are dead set on an all plastic uke I would go with the Outdoor Ukulele. I have played all three and only own the Outdoor Ukulele. The action on the plastic ukes is set and cannot be changed. That said, the OUs action is very good.
Personal opinion, but I would advise you to get a cheap laminate uke as a knockabout, they can take a lot of punishment. :)

Makala - Kala - Ohana - any of these will see you right as long as you buy from somewhere like Mim's, HMS, etc.

Edit: S.U.S. or Omega if in the U.K.
I would go with an Outdoor Ukulele. The soprano is $95 shipped within the USA I think. Considering the instrument could last a lifetime with minimal care, it doesn't seem that high of an investment. I haven't played the new version soprano yet, but the tenor is everything I was hoping it'd be. I'd assume the soprano meets that same standard.
My knockabout ukuleles are the Outdoor Ukulele (well made, great sound for a composite ukulele, & lives in my car), Zither Heaven (company out of business, unfortunately, but some still around. It is my office uke), and First Act Discovery (sounds decent enough with Martin strings for a $20 investment). All travel well.
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I bought a Waterman, so I could play it on a raft at a ukulele gathering. Since then, it mostly lives in my car. I can pull it out to play whenever I find some time to play away from home; I don't have to worry about the extreme temps it might encounter in a vehicle. It's also the uke I offer to little kids to distract them from my better instruments. For what it is, it's not bad. I've had a lot of fun with mine. It does sound plinky. Then again, it's made of plastic.

ETA: The tuners on my Waterman work fine.
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Another vote for Outdoor Ukulele
I have both and I would buy neither. Yuck. Intonation and sound are horrible.
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Thanks for all of the quick responses. I had asked my bf for a plastic uke for my birthday so I didn't have to worry about it in the car, at work etc.. After doing more research and reading the responses here....Im ordering an Outdoor Ukulele. Added bonus....support a small uke company in my own state. Can't wait....fun birthday gift.
I have a Woodi and it looks very nice, but it's close to unplayable. I also have a Waterman, and it's just fine for what it is. Hardly a tone monster, it plays in tune and is reliable, which is all I wanted from it.
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