SpotOnUkes sent me two of their ukuleles as a review sample and to do a giveaway with. The giveaway is already over (but who knows, I might do a second one), and here’s finally a little introduction of the ukulele.
When SpotOnUkes approached my via Instagram I was really excited to test their ukulele, because it is made of bamboo. I know that there are several other companies out there with a bamboolele, but I’ve never tried one before.
So this is the SOU-1 Soprano Ukulele. Front, back and sides are made of bamboo. The headstock is laminated with bamboo, no info on the other woods used for the headstock, neck and fretboard though. The ukulele has a very nice satin finish that adds to the unique bamboo structure. With the ivory colored bindings it looks very classy and has an overall interesting look, that I personally enjoy a lot.
No weird smells when it came out of the box – that’s always a plus. The ukulele came with nylon strings. As you all know, they are not my favorite, but then again, this is something that can be changed real quick and with low cost. The setup is quite nice, no complaints there. There’s some good quality tuners on there and it stays in tune. There are fret markes on the side of the fretboard, no sharp frets and an overall smooth fretboard – so overall very nice finish.
The ukulele is marketed as a beginners ukulele and offers a couple of features for exactly that. The main feature are the chord dots on the fretboard:
The chord dots show you the correct position of the seven most used chords A, G, F, C, D, Dm, Em (Am you have to figure out yourself, but that’s doable). They used color codes for the chords and numbers on the dots to indicate which finger should be used. This can be really helpful for beginners (I saw my dad putting up stickers like that himself when he first started out with the guitar a couple of months ago) and is done in a way, that doesn’t affect the overall look of the instrument.
The sound is very bright and has a good sustain. Changing the strings and trying some fluorocarbon might make it sing even more and would be worth a try.
The ukulele comes with two strap buttons already attached, so no need for a beginner to drill into her/his first ukulele themselves. The gig bag it comes in is very well padded, it only has one strap though (but I guess for a soprano that’s not such a big deal that you can’t wear it like a backpack).
Overall I really like this ukulele. It’s very well manufactured and the idea of a learning ukulele it well thought through – and I am sure you will be happy with it even after you’ve mastered the chords shown and move on to some more advanced stuff. So if you’re just starting out or want to suprise someone with their first ukulele, this might be a great choice.