Oscar Schmidt OU5 Koa Concert Ukulele
The Oscar Schmidt OU5 is made from koa, which is the wood traditionally used for ukuleles. Besides having an aesthetically pleasing grain pattern, koa has a tone that lends itself well to the size and playing style of the ukulele.
Koa is similar to mahogany, but as a general rule has a stronger mid-range focus and a bit more separation. It’s not quite as mellow sounding as mahogany, but it does cut through a mix better. It’s also a better choice for more complicated pieces, as the separation helps different notes stand out from one another.
- Top: Koa
- Body: Koa
- Neck: Nyatoh
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Frets: 16
- Extras: None
This uke also seems to have a bit better hardware than the ukuleles that proceeded it in this list, using Grover branded tuners as opposed to no-name generics. The difference between Grovers and off brand tuners isn’t huge (this is largely due to the fact that ukulele strings don’t exert a ton of pressure) but it is noticeable. It’s worth investing a bit more to get better tuners if you’re planning on gigging, though if you only plan to play at home it’s not a necessity.
The only downside to buying this uke is that it doesn’t come with any of the extras you get with the ukuleles above, though you can upgrade to a bundle package for roughly $50 more.