July 1, 2009 by Tim
Today we are looking at an Oscar Schmidt Spalted Mango Tenor (OU7T). This being a No Strings Attached Review I will not be rating this instrument. This Tenor is one of the 10 ukuleles I had the pleasure to play while I was at the U.S. Music Corp. factory recently. I was only able to play it for a short time, but I am hoping that I will have an opportunity to do a full review some day. (Wink Wink, Nudge, Nudge Tom)
Specs: Tenor Size, Spalted Mango top, back & sides, Synthetic bone nut & saddle, Abalone binding, Abalone rosette, Gloss finish, Deluxe Grover chrome tuners with ebony buttons.
First look: This uke sticks out, but in a good way. The spalted mango, yes the same tree that produces the fruit, is the most striking woods I have seen. (If you want more info about what spalted means click HERE) The gloss finish also helps the look, making it very rich looking. The ebony buttons help to finish the look very nicely. Frankly I was drawn to the instrument.
Fit and Finish: I noticed no issues with it. High gloss clear finish on the front and back. I did find out that O.S. either does all matte or all gloss. They do not mix a gloss top with matte sides and neck. Tuners where a nice nickel with ebony buttons and like all of their ukuleles the fret board had a nice binding.
Sound Type: This thing sings! I would liken it to a spruce top. Very clear and it projects very well. I would call it loud, but very pleasing. You hit it, it gives it back with no mute or muffle. Not mellow sound like other ukes.
Intonation: Not enough time with instrument to say
Volume: Great projection, seemed to ring out. No issues filling a room with sound. You can feel it vibrate all the way up the neck
Sustain: Notes rang out loud, clear, and long. Keep in mind it has a metal wrapped G. Strings can have as much to do with it as the way the instrument is made.
String Height: Strings are nice and low how I like them. no way to measure while I was there. easy to hit every note and chord.
Neck Radius Depth: A nice C neck. (“I wrote in my notes that it felt like butter) My big hands had plenty to hold onto, but it did not feel too big.
Tuning: With Grover geared tuners it is really easy to tune it. I believe it is a 16:1 ratio and the ebony tuning heads where very comfortable, very smooth. Since it does transfer sound so well up the neck, a clip tuner works really well.
Comfort: It may have been the size, being a tenor, but it felt nice and balanced to hold. No heavy head like the others I played. The frets where nice and smooth on the sides so I did not catch my fingers. just felt super nice to play. Being larger than a concert or a soprano it actually fits on my lap like a guitar, which was nice not having to hold it up against my chest.
In all honesty if my wife would have not killed me, I would have purchased one of these while I was there. Very tempting. I could have been like “But Amy I don’t have one in that size!”
Please comment on your experience with this ukulele.
Sorry for the lack of pictures on this one.
Places to buy on the web: Hard to find