Your better and wilfully retained mass manufactured Sopranos

Not trying to feed your UAS or anything, but I’ve heard great things about the SSLING model. Just saying … :)

Ok to pile on this UAS inducing thought the Kala SSLING is the ukelele I was going to list. I have owned it for probably 6 years, bought it used and it always impresses me when I play it. I'm not a soprano guy and I prefer low G but this reentrant little guy scratches that itch.
 
Okay, so it's not my better one, but I'll go with my Lanikai LU-11. Got it about 15 years ago. Will never leave me... With Martin 600's on, it rings like a purse of nickels. Always can be found somewhere around the house, wagging it's tail like a dog that wants to go on a walk. Even the intonation is very accurate...

Something I noticed: laminates back then were way thinner than nowadays. Especially in that price-range...

If it's a better one, that would be my Martin S-0, about the same vintage.
If it's an outsider, my Ovation UAE20. Underappreciated IMO.

But thinking of it, nobody mentions the Flea?
 
Okay, so it's not my better one, but I'll go with my Lanikai LU-11. Got it about 15 years ago. Will never leave me... With Martin 600's on, it rings like a purse of nickels. Always can be found somewhere around the house, wagging it's tail like a dog that wants to go on a walk. Even the intonation is very accurate...


But thinking of it, nobody mentions the Flea?

Great point! I think of my beloved Flea as belonging to its own category.
 
Not trying to feed your UAS or anything, but I’ve heard great things about the SSLING model. Just saying … :)
I too had the basic long neck Kala and it was fine, must have played it for a couple of years before moving onto a concert with wider spaced apart strings. That Kala is long since sold and whilst I really liked it at the time I prefer other things now; if I went back to long neck Sopranos again then I’d be looking towards that spruce top model - IIRC Mim has a video demonstration of it - or the Ohana that others have mentioned … and then there’s also a student Kiwaya that gets a lot of praise. I sense that a separate thread is needed on long neck sopranos 😂.

Back to the original post now. My thanks again to all that have supported my thread, lots of interesting posts. Are there any other better and wilfully retained mass manufactured Sopranos out there? What have you got? :)
 
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I've sold or traded away a few ukes for a variety of reasons. Of my remaining mass market ukes, there are two I would never sell: My KoAloha KSM-00, just because I think it is the epitome of what a traditional Hawaiian uke should sound like. The tone is just perfect to me. I also have a 2015 Kala KA-SMHT solid mahogany tenor. It was my first uke and a present from my wife; the reasons I keep it are sentimental. But since I am keeping it, I put Fremont Black strings on it, and lowered the action, which has made a good mass-market uke sound REALLY good.
 
Okay, so it's not my better one, but I'll go with my Lanikai LU-11. Got it about 15 years ago. Will never leave me... With Martin 600's on, it rings like a purse of nickels. Always can be found somewhere around the house, wagging it's tail like a dog that wants to go on a walk. Even the intonation is very accurate...

Something I noticed: laminates back then were way thinner than nowadays. Especially in that price-range...

If it's a better one, that would be my Martin S-0, about the same vintage.
If it's an outsider, my Ovation UAE20. Underappreciated IMO.

But thinking of it, nobody mentions the Flea?

Okay, so it's not my better one, but I'll go with my Lanikai LU-11. Got it about 15 years ago. Will never leave me... With Martin 600's on, it rings like a purse of nickels. Always can be found somewhere around the house, wagging it's tail like a dog that wants to go on a walk. Even the intonation is very accurate...

Something I noticed: laminates back then were way thinner than nowadays. Especially in that price-range...

If it's a better one, that would be my Martin S-0, about the same vintage.
If it's an outsider, my Ovation UAE20. Underappreciated IMO.

But thinking of it, nobody mentions the Flea?
My choice was my Lanikai-21 soprano!! You should have paid extra to get the binding! It’s “very nice”!

One of my favorite ukes! Like a 50s Martin for $100 or less
 
My choice was my Lanikai-21 soprano!! You should have paid extra to get the binding! It’s “very nice”!

One of my favorite ukes! Like a 50s Martin for $100 or less

The basic Kala figure 8 and pineapple Sopranos are virtually identical (to the LU-21 models) and are likely made in the same factory (the guy who started Kala used to work for Lanikai). I’ve got both the KA-S and KA-P and IMHO they’re great entry level instruments and even better with a good set-up plus bone nut and saddle and Aquila Supernylgut strings. At some point I’ll let my Kalas go, but they’ve been really great to have and whatever replaces them will have to be darn good. Are those Kala’s towards the higher quality and performance end of the spectrum of mass manufactured Sopranos? Better (ie. high end) mass manufactured Sopranos? I really like mine but if I’m objective …

No one had mentioned the Flea and I didn’t because the are expensive in the UK and I don’t much like the moulded fretboard, nobody has mentioned - again expensive in the UK - Mainland and nobody has mentioned Brukos which are expensive in the USA. I’ve had a couple of Brukos, they’re beautifully made but mine sounded too bright and percussive for my taste / the music that I prefer to play. YMMV.
 
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