Washburn OSCBN Oscar Schmidt OU5 Concert Ukulele
|Price:||£147.68 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details|
|You Save:||£11.32 (7%)|
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Constructed of Hawaiian Koa, Rosewood, Spruce and Mahogany with classic designs and superior resonance, our popular and affortable Oscar Schmidt Ukeleles are hand crafted for years of playing enjoyment.
1 x Oscar Schmidt OU5 Ukulele
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Top Customer Reviews
Already fitted with Aquila strings the sound is great.
Excellent value for money.
Recommended by YouTube's Ukulele Mike, it is everything he said it would be!.
This ukulele is a superb instrument with great looks and a wonderful sound. I doubt there is a more professional product at this affordable price. Really pleased.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Summary: I could not be happier. This is a wonderful instrument for both the first time user and the semi-serious amateur. The ukulele is beautiful. The woodwork is gorgeous. Everyone who has seen it says "wow". It sounds just like a ukulele should. And it is a blast to play!
The worst thing about this ukulele is the product description page. The description provided by Amazon is terrible. At the time of this writing, there is no photo of the product (I bought it on faith based on reviews of a couple others here). The product description is a single, incomplete sentence and uses the word "founf"... and the description is so bad, it's not at all obvious that you're getting an OU-5 (look in the item details under model number), but that is what you get. But please, don't be fooled by what may be the worst page on Amazon's otherwise wonderful site... this is a great product.
One user complained about the strings not holding their tune, and I've seen at least one complaint about the tuners. Well, the ukulele comes with nylon strings, and there is a fair amount of stretching before it will stay in tune. My first couple of attempts were frustrating... the top string would be badly out of tune by the time I had tuned down to the bottom string. It took a couple of days of constant tuning before the strings were properly stretched. There's probably some trick to pre-stretching nylon strings, but I just kept at it and eventually prevailed. Now it stays in tune comparable to my guitar. The chrome tuners appear to be of good quality. They are solid and have a good feel.
The Koa wood is stunning, and has a wonderful finish, especially for an instrument in this price range. The detail in the inlay really makes this uke visually impressive.
I grabbed a chord chart off the internet to learn chords and fingering... there are plenty out there. I decided to learn to play songs from movies featuring the ukulele. A quick search and I found the chords (all two of them) for Joe's Cowboy Song... awesome! It sounds great! Tonight You Belong to Me by Steve Martin was next, followed by Forgetful Lucy featuring Adam Sandler on the uke. I suggest looking for ukulele performances on YouTube for inspiration. You haven't really, truly played a string instrument until you've played Rawhide on the ukulele.
This ukulele looks great. It is a Koa wood laminate with a very nice glossy finish. It also has decent grover tuners. Unfortunately, it doesn't play well because a few of the frets are set improperly resulting in places on the neck where the string bottoms out on the next fret. It is borderline unplayable in it's present condition.
I have consulted with my local guitar tech who generally advises that every new stringed instrument can benefit from a proper set-up - especially the lower end instruments like this one. He indicated it would cost about $50 to adjust the frets, bridge and nut to get the uke into nice playing condition. So, rather than hassle with returning it and hoping the next one is better, I am opting for the professional set-up on the one I already received. This all reinforces my opinion that it is definitely optimum to purchase any instrument in person, if possible.
My only basis for comparison on ukes is the one I own, which is a solid Koa (not laminated wood) tenor made by Cordoba (about as inexpensive as solid koa gets at $350). Compared to that, the tone on the OU5 is just ok. It is a little dull sounding without much sustain or projection.
I looked at other ukes at my local music store in the $100 range and all were flawed in some way or another, so even with it's limitations I still feel the OU5 is a decent deal. The fact that it is very attractive to the eye will hopefully make it more appealing to my niece.
In summary, I would say in the $100 to $150 price range this is a pretty good option. Make an effort to buy in person, as there is so much variation between different copies of the exact same make and model instrument. Also, if you can afford it, I would recommend considering moving up a couple hundred to a solid wood instrument.
UPDATE: After getting the $50 dollar set-up, this uke is now very playable and sounds a lot better. It has better sustain and decent tone. It almost makes me want to upgrade to 4 stars...but not quite. If it sounded this good out of the box I'd go with 4 stars, so, if you're careful and get a good one, you should be quite happy with this uke for the price.
My previous ukulele was a nice low end soprano box that served me well for several years. It looked OK, it stayed in tune and sounded fine to me. However, I wanted something a bit better and the concert sized OU-5 caught my eye. I researched the heck out of ukuleles in the same price range and decided the Washburn OU-5 was the best.
When the ukulele arrived I opened the box and was absolutely amazed. The uke was a beautiful thing--a work of art. Its highly lacquered finish and distinctive Koa wood construction was stunning. I was looking at a true musical instrument. At that moment I knew my old ukulele was a piece of junk--a toy. I suddenly hated it.
The OU-5 sounds ten times better than my previous ukulele and the somewhat larger size makes it easier for me to "play" and move about the fret board. The mellow and resonant tones that come from the OU-5 are stunning. I know my judgment about that is not based on a lot of musical know-how, but the contrast with my old uke was certainly remarkable. I can recommend this Washburn ukulele to anyone who appreciates fine workmanship, a great sound and wants an fine instrument at a bargain price.
Oh, one other thing--the picture of the Washburn OU-5 ukulele in the Amazon.com description is not a picture of the OU-5 with the Koa wood top. The illustration is probably (a mistake) the Washburn OU-13 with a spruce top. Don't be put off by this apparent error. The product is indeed a Koa wood OU-5.