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 Oscar Schmidt Mango Tenor Question
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kaloli
Aloha

2 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2009 :  10:40:54 AM  Show Profile
Has anybody here played one? Any opinions on tone.Looks like a mango laminate,however I have played some of thier other tenors and like them.Any Feedback would be appreciated

hapakid
Luna Ho`omalu

USA
1533 Posts

Posted - 05/03/2009 :  2:32:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit hapakid's Homepage
My two cents: I have not played an Oscar Schmidt tenor but I've strummed plenty of their concerts and I didn't like any of them. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not snob. I have several cheap Chinese ukes. The Schmidts are just too quiet for me, even with heavier strings. If you're comparing one Chinese made uke to another, then they are okay, but Kala and Lanikai are better across the board. Even laminated, Lanikai/Kala are thinner and produce a bigger sound. And there's no comparison to a handmade solid wood ukulele.
Jesse
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Earl
Lokahi

USA
393 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2009 :  04:11:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Earl's Homepage
I'll second that opinion. I see a fair number of beginners with Oscar Schmidt ukulele because of the low price. I have seen a few decent ones though, so there is hope.

OS tend to be very heavily made and heavily finished, both of which hurt the potential for tone. And most of them suffer from poor setup and marginal playability. The factory is just not going to spend the effort getting a good setup on an instrument that sells for under $100. It's not a snob thing, just economics. Just remember that when they add abalone and fancy trim, it all comes out of the total budget for materials and workmanship. If the effort is spent on inlays, it cannot go into build quality or good wood, unless the price goes up too.

Kala seems to be pretty good across the board, as are the Lanikai, Bushman and a few others on the inexpensive side.

You have to evaluate each individual instrument for aesthetics, tone, intonation, and playability. I would not try to buy this one mail order unless you can return it easily.
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hikabe
Lokahi

USA
358 Posts

Posted - 05/04/2009 :  10:18:05 AM  Show Profile  Visit hikabe's Homepage
I agree with both hapa and Earl. Good observations. Makai also makes an inexpensive uke.
I don't know if we can assume you are looking for a cheap instrument just because you ask about the Schmidt. If money is an object, I urge you to save and wait till you can afford a Koaloha, Kamaka or similar instrument that is better quality and sound. The tone and playability is much more pleasurable. Happiness is a warm uke.

Stay Tuned...
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kaloli
Aloha

2 Posts

Posted - 05/09/2009 :  06:52:20 AM  Show Profile
Well thanks for the input folks.I play an old Martin uke and of course love it.I have been looking for a tenor for the last 6 months,I mostly go to the local shop Hilo Guitars and Ukes,ask to see and play something on the wall.Two problems,I love koa I always seem to be playing and enjoying the handmade $1000 plus model,last one I fell in love with was $1969.00 w/o tax.Other problem is I don't have real good hearing.Some ukes do sound like junk to me but most pretty good.A buddy of mine got a mahogany O.S. tenor a while back and I thought it sounded pretty good.So I was kind of liked the Mango Model.But "it is what it is"
So.......... of course the best advise is "Save your money and buy a good one".Griffin Guitars in Palo Alto does have a nice Martin Taropatch online that I am sure sounds great.
One last comment,I know of the legend of Kamaka and have had quite a few over the last 30 years,but the ones I am seeing now have a very poor finish,kind of like orange peel spray paint look.So for that type money I would think twice.
Mahalo Nui,
Michael
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Baritone
Lokahi

USA
136 Posts

Posted - 05/20/2009 :  9:40:20 PM  Show Profile
Okay, Michael. Go back to Hilo G & U. Ask fo Brian. Ask him fo play licks on one solid koa, solid mango, solid mahogany. Let him pick em off the shelf. Then, you point to the ones you like hear. No madda da price, focus on the one you like for da bes'test sound. Set that as your purchasing goal.

I lucked out with a $400 Pono mango tenor from eBay. Two weeks ago I was in Hilo G & U. Had one guy from country-side trying to decide. So, Brian wen "do the licks" on 4 - 5 models. By the way, had the bes'test choice, one Pono SOLID mahogany concert, hiding on the counter, marked down special for the weekend. $200. THAT was da one for scoop-up! But, I got em. This, I goin let my grandkids (7 - 12) wreck em so they can play and learn. No madda if they bust em up. Why? Because they need to learn and hear the true, good sound of music. Otherwise, they goin get 'bad ear' like I had.

Aloha, Herb

Edited by - Baritone on 05/20/2009 9:44:52 PM
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