Out with friends last night and I bumped in to my good friend Corinne F (my regular ukulele and guitar jamming partner in crime), who was excited to show off her new ukulele.
I had not heard of the brand before, and for a price of £69 I must admit to being skeptical over build quality. I am not suggesting that all ukes of that price are poor, and you will know I highly recommend beginner ukes for much less money. It's just that when you are spending that money, ukes often have imperfections in the finish, and very often need setting up to get the tuning and intonation right. I and a play of it, and WOW. Flawless finish and set up! But anyway, over to Corinne who has kindly written the review below to go on Got A Ukulele.
Review of Kauai KUC-70b concert ukulele.
Having decided to try for a reasonably cheap concert ukulele ( I have already got a very expensive banjolele which is only suitable for jamming if we’ve all got a loud resonating beast in our hands!) I did a bit of checking stuff out on the net. I found the Kauai, made in China, on various music shop websites, but couldn’t find any reviews for it. I finally found one by a seasoned guitarist of 40 yrs on an American website, and he rated it quite highly, so I ordered one. I’d tried out Barry’s Flea and Fluke in our jam sessions and loved their clarity, tone and sheer volume, so the idea of a plastic bowl-backed uke that looked like a mini Ovation guitar appealed very much. (I play a real Ovation guitar as well!)
The good thing about this one is that the soundboard is solid wood (cedar), the fretboard is rosewood, the nickel silver frets well set and finished. The rosewood saddle and the bridge are just at the right height- no tweaking needed, and the action perfect, no going out of tune on the higher frets! It looks good, too - the machine heads are small, neat and stylish with pearloid buttons, the neck is solid mahogany with a mahogany veneer face, and the whole thing finished in a matte satin varnish . As an added bonus, It came with a set of Aquila strings, not some junk nylon unbranded set that many ukes arrive with. They seemed a little too heavy at first, yet after playing them in for a while I now think they sound great. I had to let Barry have a go though, and stand back myself and listen from a distance to fully appreciate its resonance and well rounded tone for such a reasonably priced instrument. No electrics are fitted, but with a plastic back would be very easy to drop a pickup in.
I paid £69.99 from Bandwagon music in Perth, but Gamlin’s music in Cardiff was advertising them for £10 less ( out of stock!) Unfortunately when I spoke to Gamlin’s they said they would have no more in until after Christmas. I would thoroughly recommend this concert uke to relative beginners wanting to upgrade from their first uke or indeed to anyone wanting a quality instrument for under £100. A definite bargain!
Thanks Corinne - I'd highly recommend this uke to everyone - if you can find one in stock! I think that speaks volumes! In fact, if you are a lover of the Ovation styling, this should seriously be on your list If you are looking at the Applause model ukes which are much more expensive than this.
SCORES (note - this is not my uke or my review, but I have been around this uke long enough to get to know it and play it!)
Looks - 7
Fit and finish - 8.5
Sound - 8.5
Value for money 8.5
OVERALL - 8.1
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