Snail S60C Concert Ukulele - REVIEW

12 Mar 2023

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele - REVIEW

Back this week with another Ukulele model that has had a number of requests from readers. This is the Snail S60C Concert.

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele

The S60 is a ukulele that's been around for a while now and has already garnered a lot of praise including ranking highly in one of the yearly Southern Ukulele Store roundups. My thanks this week though go to World of Ukes who helped me out of a spot in loaning me this one. I'd originally had an order due to arrive from a 'big box shipper' who let me down at the last minute... Anyway.. I've looked at a number of Snail ukuleles over the years and they've always fallen in the 'done reasonably well' to 'very good' categories. The 60 series is their top of the line and comes in scales of Concert through to Baritone, this being the former. 


Snail S60C Concert Ukulele body

This range are standard double bout shaped instruments made from all solid acacia. It's constructed from two pieces for each of the top, back and sides with extremely good book matching on the distinctive chocolate coloured stripes. It's certainly a beautiful looking wood in its own right, but you'll note a lot of decoration here which we will come on to later. A word for that wood though.. Cor!

The bridge is the usual 'batwing' style through body design used by Snail on a lot of instruments and is made from ebony. It's extremely tidy and evenly dark in colour. Sitting in that is a compensated top bone saddle. Spacing here is about 41mm.

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele bridge

But the thing that sets the S60 series apart from other Snail ukes is the decoration. Firstly we have padauk edge binding to the top, back and tail stripe with the top edged coming with a red and yellow purfling strip like I saw on the Snail S10. I think it looks great and is a nice departure from the usual black and white strips on so many instruments and think it matches the wood colour better. On the lower bout is a comfort edge in a wood colour that blends rather than stands out. Down the centre line of the back are some more padauk and maple inlays which I think look great too. Then the sound-hole. Naturally you may be thinking that 'Baz won't like that as he hates abalone'. That's not actually true, rather I am put off by instruments that put it everywhere like a 1970's country singer's bathroom. Here though I think it works really well. It's a shrinking concentric ring to link to the 'Snail' name made up of individual blocks of abalone with wooden edging. I love asymmetric things generally, but think this looks smashing and doesn't take over the top despite its size. No complaints from me here! The whole thing is then finished in a very well done gloss which I can't find fault with. I think this is a beautiful instrument!

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele decor

Inside is nice and tidy with notched linings, thin braces and little mess..

Snail S60C Ukulele inside

The neck is made of mahogany with an obvious heel joint, but less obvious headstock join. It's glossed and tapers to a chunkier profile than I normally like and a very average 36mm nut with (28mm G to A). That's a purely subjective gripe and to be fair it is very 'Pono-esque' in feel, but just not how I like them.

Topping that is an ebony fingerboard with some colour variation in places, though this is not something to moan about in these days of scarcity of natural resources and it's better to use it than throw it away. It's in nicely oiled condition though and is edge bound in more padauk hiding the 18 frets joined at the 14th. There are no sharp edges here at all. Pearl position dots are fitted at the 5th, 7th, 10th, double 12th and 15th and it comes with white side dots. It's all very tidy here even if the profile and width are not for me.

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele neck

Beyond the bone nut is another subjective gripe as I mentioned last week. I am NOT a fan of slot head on concerts as I think they dominate the instrument too much. To be fair to Snail though this is extremely tidy and faced in ebony. The Snail image logo is inlaid here which I prefer to their lettering logo which I've never been able to see the word 'Snail' in it! I've not knocked back the score because it's so tidy, but I'd prefer a regular headstock on a concert.

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele headstock

The tuners are (naturally) side mounted and rear facing open gears in chrome. They are unbranded but I very much like the heart shaped metalwork and the orange buttons. The mechanisms are decent and have a very direct action but are a little too loose for my tastes and easy to knock out of tune putting into the bag. Better that than being 'sticky' though I suppose.

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele tuners

Finishing things off depends entirely where you buy these. Bought blind from a big box shipper I think these come strung with Titaniums, but this arrived from WOU with his choice of aNueNue Clear water as Matt thinks the stock strings don't work well. He also thinks they cause it to have too high an action on account of their gauges, so he swapped them here and took the action down. You will also get a gig bag if bought from Matt (and SUS too to be fair) that you won't get at a big box shipper. So, once again, good reasons to use a specialist. And that matters all the more as the price is not serious at about £460. Is that expensive? Well, it's a large sum of money for sure, and it's pitching it at a bit more than a solid acacia Pono concert. Both are far eastern I guess, but I suppose I'd say that it's not 'super great' value, but it's still 'fair value'. It didn't stop me in my tracks, but it will have a lot of other stuff in competition at this price.

Overall though I adore most of the looks, bar the headstock, and the build and finish are excellent. The neck profile is not for me but they are minor points and mainly subjective only. It's not overly heavy and nice to hold at 635g and the headstock is not making it neck heavy as it balances fine. Setup is also spot on (thanks to Matt!).

Snail S60C Concert Ukulele back

First things first, the volume is... well... only passable for me.. It's not totally quiet but I've played many instruments with much more punch and bark than this. Volume is not the be all and end all of course and playing into a microphone means it wouldn't matter to you, but let's just say it's not a busking ukulele and call it 'laid back'. Sustain on the other hand is decent and the whole instrument feels resonant in the hands.

The tone is extremely pretty, chimey, rich and exactly what you would expect from acacia. A nice blend of bass, mids and trebles all coming together into a very pretty sound. The note clarity is also excellent with no muddiness to the sound. The lower volume punch meant that my experience with it played strummed was not as pleasing as it is picked. It's almost like there is more in there trying to get out and feels a bit stifled (not muffled, just a touch constrained). Maybe I am making more of that than I should because it's still very pretty and jangly played that way, just laid back as I say.

Fingerpicking is a delight though with crisp rich notes that seem to project better no matter where you play on the fingerboard. I really loved playing it in that style and think it really shows off just how classy the tone can be and certainly in line with the price point.

An interesting one this and, yes, it may have surprised you but I DO love the decoration. It's a wonderfully built and finished instrument, but do take my note of caution as to where to buy these seriously. It could have been quite a different review if the setup was poor! I would personally like a touch more punch, but saying that I spent quite a bit of time this week playing this picked as it's just so laid back and pretty. It's not a killer price of course, but I can see where the money has gone. 

More than happy to give this a recommendation, and thanks again Matt!


Model: Snail S60C
Scale: Concert
Body: All solid Acacia
Bridge: Ebony through bridge
Saddle: Bone, compensated
Spacing at saddle: 41mm
Finish: Gloss
Neck: Mahogany
Fingerboard: Ebony
Frets: 18, 14 to body
Nut: Bone
Nut width: 36mm, 28mm G to A
Tuners: Unbranded open gears
Strings: Depends on dealer
Extras: Depends on dealer
Country of origin: China
Weight: 635g
Price: Circa £460


Looks to die for
Excellent build and finish
Great sustain
Extremely classy rich and clear tone


Headstock and neck not for me (subjective!)
Would like a touch more punch to the sound


Looks - 9.5 out of 10
Fit and finish - 9 out of 10
Sound - 9 out of 10
Value for money - 8.5 out of 10









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