Winzz Concert Ukulele - REVIEW

13 Jun 2021

Winzz Concert Ukulele - REVIEW

Back this week with a check in to another 'Amazon Choice' Ukulele.. (or at least it was when I ordered it). This is the Winzz Concert Ukulele.

Winzz Concert Ukulele

You know the Amazon Choice models by now - those that are given a recommendation by 'the Zon', not because they are necessarily decent instrument, but rather Amazon expect to shift big numbers of them and plug them more. That's not to say that all Amazon Choice instruments will be terrible of course, but in my experience many more have been than have not. This one had that Choice tag until recently and is an unknown brand to me until now. The labelling suggests that Winzz are made by a brand called Aileen but I don't know that name either... Naturally perhaps, it's a Chinese made instrument and for that reason it is labelled as '23 Inches' being the overall length - a measurement that has NOTHING to do with the scale of the instrument and irritates me far more than is healthy....

Also, (naturally), it's a laminate body instrument though Winzz don't specify what the wood type is anywhere, so your guess is as good as mine. It's likely basswood or similar (so plywood then). This one is in the 'blue-green' finish, but it also comes in a red and a black - all of which share the same buffed out sunburst allowing the wood grain to show through. You may be surprised to read that I am actually quite taken with the look it has and has a real old time effect that reminds me of the Barnes and Mullins Bowley. But... that is just my view from a distance, it needs to be inspected more closely..  It's a regular double bout shape with a good deal of depth on the body of 7cm front to back meaning it will have a good beefy sound chamber.

Winzz Concert Ukulele body

The bridge is a tie bar style from what looks like reconstituted wood, likely something cheap that has been stained black. It's actually quite tidy in the finish to be fair. It's fitted with a straight topped plastic looking saddle.  Spacing here is 38mm.

Winzz Concert Ukulele bridge

Other than the burst colour the only other decor is a pretty tacky looking 'flames' silver screen print around the sound hole which lets it down I think. It must be said, the finishing on the body is extremely rough in places too with some bare patches, marks, dinks and plain ugliness. I get that it's a 'bare' finish, but that doesn't excuse dinks and marks. I also don't like the feel on the hands which is satin to the point of feeling rough like a chalk board. Not very tactile at all. Contrast my take with this gem of marketing speak from the product description on Amazon..

"...all hand polished by our expert craftsmen bring us a real exquisite work of art."

There is absolutely nothing 'polished' about his finish.

Winzz Concert Ukulele decor

Inside is pretty hideous with basic un-notched linings and braces which have absolutely no shaping whatsoever and are just bars of square topped wood. There is also a lot of glue seepage and some suspicious 'black stuff'. Ugh. The top is thick too.

Winzz Concert Ukulele inside

The neck wood is not specified, and painted in the same blue green colour. There are more finish flaws here including some really rough lumps in the heel. I can just about see through the finish to see it's made of three pieces with a joint in the heel and headstock. It tapers to a profile that is squashed a little flatter than I usually see on Chinese instruments (maybe they are 'getting it'), but is a disappointing nut width of 34mm and only about 26.5mm G to A. That's far too narrow for me.

Winzz Concert Ukulele neck

It's topped with a dark wood fingerboard that looks like composite wood. The finish to it is not too bad and it's not dry. It's fitted with 18 nickel silver frets with 14 to the body. The neck is edge bound in black so there are no sharp edges, but the condition of the frets themselves is rather shoddy with some of them looking corroded on the top. That must the the hand polishing by 'expert craftsmen'... You get outward facing position dots at the 5th, 7th, 10th, 12th and 15th, but very sadly you don't get any side dots. For a uke clearly aimed at beginners, that's a silly omission.

Beyond the plastic nut is an elongated semi crown shaped headstock which has something about it that I find pleasing to look at. The Winzz logo is a gold screen print. You will note though that the front washers for the tuners are too big for the diminutive headstock size and stand out.

Winzz Concert Ukulele headstock

Tuners are generic sealed gears in chrome with frankly enormous and ugly black plastic buttons. They have also not been put on straight either...  Ugh.. They are all different tensions too and a bit 'grindy'.

Winzz Concert Ukulele tuners

Completing the package are a set of Aquila strings and a padded branded gig bag that, on the face of it looks ok, but the zips are lousy. You also get an 'Enya-eque' goodie bag with a tuner, strap, cloth, spare strings and some fret note stickers. The inclusion of fret note stickers is not something I have seen before but is a brilliant idea to include with a beginner instrument. The strap is a sound hole hook type that I would NEVER use myself and the spare strings are not in an Aquila packet. Mimmo at Aquila once posted that they NEVER supply strings for sale that way.. so make of that what you will.. And that is yours for the stupidly low price of £40.99 or currently $59.99 in the USA.

Winzz Concert Ukulele extras

So quite a mixed bag really. I like the general look of the sunburst but closer inspection shows that the finish is messy in many areas. I like the bound neck, but not the corroded rough fret crowns and narrow nut width. The tuners look hideous, but the price is very attractive for a first timer. Setup needs work at both the nut and saddle too, and that's one of the travails of ordering instruments on Amazon - nobody checks them before sale. It's all adjustable of course and I can't see any fatal flaws that can't be adjusted on setup, but still.. It's gonna need it..

To hold it's not too heavy at 520g and balances ok too. As I say though, I don't much care for the 'feel' of the finish which is kind of grippy rather than smooth and silky. The nut width and string spacing are far too narrow for my hands too.

The volume is actually surprising though and whilst not off the chart, it has much more punch than I would have expected with a thick top and the use of 'two by fours' for bracing. Certainly passable. Sustain is more medium level, but I have come across much worse for more money so certainly another tick, albeit a partial one The setup though is pretty poor and self evident in first position notes on the video below. 

Winzz Concert Ukulele back

Tone wise it's what you would expect from a cheap laminate ukulele (setup intonation issues aside). There is not a lot of character here and the sound is boxy and a touch echoey. Still, it works as a uke and is easy to get a jangly rhythm out of it with the strumming hand. It's hardly offensive, or at least it wouldn't be when it plays in tune with itself. Fingerpicking is also worth a mention too as, despite the intonation again, it's got quite a ring to it and not much volume fall off up the neck (not that 99% of beginners will likely go there). I'm trying to be as fair as I can here and point out the positive elements it has. But overall I find the tone rather uninspiring and dull. Still.. the volume is ok!

But of course for a beginner with an ear not in tune with what ukuleles can sound like, they probably won't mind that. I would be very worried about variability on finishing and setup though in buying from Amazon. You might get a better one, but of course you might get one even worse. The volume is decent enough, and the sustain not too bad meaning it works as a uke on a basic level and you won't get lost playing with others. I really dislike the feel of the instrument though, the lack of side dots are an irritation, and the setup needs work. 

A very mixed bag leading me to advise that you can easily do better elsewhere for the same money. It might have been an 'Amazon Choice', but it ain't a 'Got A Ukulele Choice'.




UKULELE SPECS ROUNDUP

Model: Winzz Concert
Body: Unspecified wood laminate
Bridge: Unspecified tie bar
Saddle: Plastic
Spacing at saddle: 38mm
Finish: Matte sunburst
Neck: Unspecified
Fingerboard: Unspecified
Frets: 18, 14 to the body
Nut: Plastic
Nut width: 34mm, 26.5mm G to A
Tuners: Generic sealed gears
Weight: 520g
Country of origin: China
Extras: Gig bag, strap, spare strings, tuner, fret stickers, cloth
Price: £40.99

UKULELE PROS

Sunburst looks nice (from a distance)
Volume is good
Reasonable sustain
Fret marker stickers are a good idea for beginners (but so would side dots!)

UKULELE CONS

Very mixed finishing in all areas
Almost rough matte coating
No side dots
Awful tuner buttons
Wonky, cheap tuners
Messy, basic interior
Not much character to the tone
Poor setup


UKULELE SCORES

Looks - 7 out of 10
Fit and finish - 6 out of 10
Sound - 7 out of 10
Value for money - 7.5 out of 10

OVERALL UKULELE SCORE - 6.9 out of 10

UKULELE VIDEO REVIEW








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3 comments :

  1. You were missed, glad you're feeling better! Very fair, objective and comprehensive review. Thank you.

    This Winzz concert is probably more than okay for beginners and early schools if set up properly, as a stage prop, as a "beater" kept in the boot for use at picnics, outings, camping, etc. or as a wall decoration in a flat. Perhaps the ukulele's narrow neck was specifically intended mainly for young hands.

    Considering the gig bag and assorted goodies that it comes with, the construction, components and finish of the ukulele logically have to be worth that much less. That's one reason why I shy away from buying goody-laden "outfits" over just the instrument, with or without a case, even though many people prefer to buy a complete musical instrument package.

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  2. Will you be reviewing the Amazon basics branded ukulele?

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  3. Thanks for this. I've been catching up with lots of your past reviews as I'm looking for a soprano. I have a Tenor Outdoor Uke and thought a soprano would be nice to try as well. Anyway, I'm learning a lot from your reviews, and I really appreciate what you're doing. And so I just bought you 3 coffees. Enjoy them! :-) From: Kathy Voth, Tucson, AZ, USA

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