LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele - REVIEW

30 Jun 2024

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele - REVIEW

Some ukulele brands take an age to get their first feature on Got A Ukulele. This is one of those. This is a LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano ukulele.

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele

LoPrinzi ukuleles are part of the Augustino Loprinzi Guitars and Ukuleles business, first set up by luthier Augustino after some years of dabbling with instruments and founding the guitar business in the early 1970s with his brother. They first started out in New Jersey USA and later moved the production to Florida. After a hiatus following selling up the brand, Augie took the trademark back and whilst he has since retired, the building is now undertaken by his youngest daughter Donna who has been hand building guitars and ukes for over 30 years. Not only is this a first appearance for LoPrinzi on this site, it's my first review of a ukulele made by a female luthier. She's built a real name for herself in turning out some very highly respected instruments that are also great value for USA made models. 


LoPrinzi ukes are offered in a range of woods and options which you can custom order, or see what they have available that are 'ready now'. They also sell a few in the more well respected ukulele stores so it was a delight to see World of Ukes in the UK carrying a few and for them to kindly lend me this one. I believe this is, generally speaking' the '2B' variant of their offering which adds in binding and purfling decoration over the more standard 'A' variant that has no binding at all, the B and C which have black or cream binding and the 3 and 4 series which add in abalone. There are one or two other 'options' at play here though too.

Naturally, these are all solid wood ukuleles with this one being made from a wood which is another first for Got A Ukulele. This tone wood is called 'Black Limba' which is a type of African 'Korina' wood.  I've seen Korina before but not with this black swirling in the grain. It's really striking to look at. Korina has long been used in electric guitars (perhaps most famously by Gibson) as it is light but hard, and is now increasingly showing up in more boutique acoustics. I'm a little surprised that with two pieces on the top, back and sides that the wood isn't in bookmatched matching pairs so the swirls are asymmetrical. That's not a huge complaint, and it makes no odds to the tone, but just an observation. Maybe matching sides would look a bit too regular on a small body? Dunno. I do like it but think i'd prefer a book match. This one has a regular soprano body paired with a concert neck, commonly called a 'long neck soprano' and is an option.

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele body

The bridge is an extremely tidy and simple slot bridge made of ebony and is precisely what I would want to see on such a small body. They just work, no frills and take up little room. Sitting in that is a bone straight topped saddle with string spacing of 38mm.

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele bridge

The decoration is linked to that model name with the 'B' signifying the black binding to the top and back (they also offer cream which becomes the 'C') and the '2' denoting the addition of black and white purfling to the faces alongside the binding strips. It works well and I think I prefer the black on this wood as it ties in with the black swirls of the tone wood. Around the sound hole is a simple black and white purfling ring which is very Martin-esque. Finishing that off is a satin coat varnish which is done extremely well and is clearly thin and not over applied.

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele decor

Inside has a very tidy and standard construction for a soprano body. Notched linings, regular bracing, a tail block and no mess. The top is also nice and thin!

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele inside

The neck employs a design feature that is the signature of LoPrinzi ukuleles and that's a full skunk stripe right through the middle. That means the main neck piece is actually made of five pieces of wood - two outer wings that are unspecified (answers on a postcard - poss mahogany?) with a sandwich of maple and walnut down the middle and right the way through to the end of the headstock. There's no other joint at the headstock end, but there is a stacked heel which I understand with this sort of stripe construction. It looks great and the satin coat is ultra smooth. It tapers down to a very comfortable shallow profile at the nut end that just melts into the headstock. On this one they've employed their wider nut spec of 38mm (30mm G to A) as an option. That suits me down to the ground, but those who prefer a skinnier one will be pleased that this is a 'special order' and their regular soprano nuts are 35mm.

The fingerboard is made of ebony like the bridge and is very uniform and dark in colour. It's also in superb condition and looks moist and smooth.  Remember, this is a concert scale neck on that soprano body so there is much more length here and it holds 19 frets joined at the 14th. They are each dressed impeccably. Outward facing small white dots, also 'Martin-esque' sit at the 5th, double 7th, 10th, double 12th and 15th and they are paired with side dots too at the 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th.

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele neck

Beyond that wide bone nut is another 'signature' to the LoPrinzi look with a uniquely shaped headstock that also carries the other side of the skunk stripe of the neck and the inlaid brand logo in a kind of pearly looking material. I think the headstock looks great and I love how skinny it is front to back.

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele headstock

The tuners on this example look like Grovers to me, possibly only the 2 series. That's the same as you get on a Magic Fluke in standard and whilst I get on with these do wonder if this is a bit of down step for a luthier instrument. Saying that, this is just an example of their builds and looking on their website now it suggests their standard tuners on sopranos are Gotoh UPT's. That would be a whole different ball game, so i'd suggest you check what is coming on the model you go for! I stress though - I find these tuners just fine myself and am so glad to see them on such a small instrument! They are also really easily swapped and leave no screw holes if you must go to the dark side...

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele tuners

It comes as is with nothing else other than a set of their own name fluorocarbon strings. I think some sort of bag would be nice myself, but then I saw the price. In this spec in UK pricing it's on for £799. I think that is astounding value for a handmade luthier instrument from the USA with a LOT of work and detailing going on. In fact their whole range as signified on their price sheet from $550 for a basic hog soprano up to $1,490 for a koa baritone with all the bells and whistles is astoundingly good. Cor! Compare those to another USA brand like Mya Moe - these are half the price.

LoPrinzi Long Neck Soprano Ukulele back

So this is an extremely well made and finished ukulele for a very fair price. I think i'd prefer a bookmatched look but I am nit picking with that as this still has a whole lot of interest. It feels great in the hands and is a diminutive little thing even with that wide nut. It's extremely light at only 425g and balances wonderfully. The setup is impeccable, though Matt at World of Ukes says all instruments he receives from Donna are flawless in that regard!

Remember that this is a small little body so you would expect a rhythmical soprano output from this one, and sure enough, that's what you get. The volume and sustain are both good - perhaps not as much bark as some simple mahogany sopranos i've played, but maybe that's the Korina effect. Both are still very decent though for such a small body and it has a nice response when played.

The tone when strummed is certainly peppy, dancey and bouncy which you'd want from a soprano and it's a great uke to play some old time strum riffs on.  But there is a shimmery interesting character to the tone here that immediately tells you  that you are not playing as stock Chinese factory instrument that can sound a bit 'one trick pony' on the small scales. The more I strum it the more I notice nuances to the sound which I find very pretty to hear. No, it's never going to have the depth and character of a tenor body but for a soprano this one works very well to my ears.

Fingerpicking on a soprano is also the sign of a good build over an average one, with cheaper models sounding rather thin and basic in this regard. Here we have some really nice chimey tones that come through and when you add in a bit of a soft strum with the thumb you can hear it harmonise with itself in a very nice way. Again, there is more going on here that with a basic model you'll miss. Accomplished is what I will call it.

This one has put a pretty decent smile on my face. I am very impressed with the build and finish here and find the price a real surprise for something hand made in the USA (that isn't a more simple build like a Magic Fluke, rather a fully build, braced and lined solid wood instrument. In fact I think their full price range is sensible). And the sound tells you that you are not playing something basic either. Perhaps I would like a different wood finish, but there is no getting away from the fact that this will prompt people to ask questions as to 'what you got there?'  

Donna LoPrinzi lives up to the recommendations I had heard about her instruments. This is a great little uke and I'm pleased to see them in the UK!


Model: LoPrinzi Black Limba Soprano
Scale: Long neck (concert) scale soprano body
Body: All solid Black Limba
Bridge: Ebony slot bridge
Saddle: Bone
Spacing at saddle: 38mm
Finish: Satin
Neck: Not specified, but with signature maple and walnut stripe
Fingerboard: Ebony
Frets: 19, 14 to body
Nut: Bone
Nut width: 38mm, 30mm G to A
Tuners: Grover friction pegs
Strings: LoPrinzi fluorocarbon
Weight: 425g
Country of origin: USA
Price: £799


Stellar build quality and finish
Super comfortable neck with great look
Good volume
Good sustain
Characterful, interesting tone
Decent price considering


Might want to check what tuners you are getting
Would prefer the body woods bookmatched


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









  1. I’m so glad you were able to review one of Donna’s instruments. I purchased my first custom Koa Tenor from her at the 2022 TBUG convention. It was “used” (a whole great story by itself). That ukulele changed my ukulele life forever. The sound and playability was game changing as I had only been playing for 2 years. I have since worked with her to design and build a super tenor, cedar top, Florida grown Rosewood back and sides custom uke with a patriotic theme highlighting my Navy service working on the F14 Tomcat fighter. It turn out amazing due to Donna’s incredible design and luthier abilities. One of a kind. I’d love to send you some photos. Thanks again for getting Donna’s work the attention it deserves by doing your review.


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