June 2, 2011 by Tim
Uluru (You-Lou-Roo) At least that is how Wade Johnston says it in his video
Why is Wade making a video for Uluru you may ask. The Answer is simple, his dad started Uluru ukuleles. How cool would that be? Wade was/is one of those internet made ukulele stars that all the young girls swooned over, I met him 3 years ago, almost to the day of me writing this, at a bushman luau. Nice guy, had a few fans that came to see him, not my style but I see the attraction to his music. Not sure what is up with wade currently, site is out of date and so is his YouTube.
On the flipside, How cool would it be to start a Uke company and have a son that is known in the uke community?
Read on to see what I thought of it.
Concert : 19 Fret
Tuners: Gotoh Friction tuners with wood buttons
Nut & saddle: Bone
Top: Solid Mahogany
Sides: Solid Mahogany
Back: Solid Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany with a Rosewood fretboard
String Attachment: Knot in a slit
First look: (4) The website for it even says that it is boring looking, and I think it works for this uke. One of the things that stands out to me is the rounded bottom. At first you don’t realize what is different until you compare it to another ukulele that have a flat bottom. This girl has a nice round bottom, and it brings all the boys to yard if you know what I mean.
Fit and Finish: (5) For a mass produced, solid wood ukulele, under $300 it is really nice. The finish is perfect and everything straight and you can tell a lot of thought was put into every aspect of this ukulele. I love how everything is just smooth. I could not find one issue such as glue or frets sticking out. Now it is not perfect. the bridge is pulling the top up a bit since it lacking in bracing, and that is causing the saddle to be lowered to its almost lowest state while leaving the action a little high. Keep in mind this is common in most ukuleles that I see. If you pay $400+, it better not have that issue.
Sound Type: Forward and slightly mellow. She sings. Not a trapped note in her.
Intonation: (4) At the 12th fret it is about 5% off, for most this will never be noticed. Some of this is caused by the bridge pulling up on the top.
Volume: (5) Loud. I think the big back end on this uke gives it a lot to work with. Also the larger sound hole lets all that sound out. It feels like someone really thought and may have experimented with the depth and the size of the sound hole to make sure that it would be nice and loud.
Sustain: (5) Long and nice.
String Height: (Med-High) Although the saddle is low, the stings are a little too high.
Neck Radius Depth: (5/8″) Basic C shaped neck but skinnier than “Normal” ukes,
Frets: (5) You really have to look, but it is bound. I love a bound fretboard. it is the fastest way to my heart. The frets are also really well dressed and care was taken to make sure they were perfect.
Tuning: (4) It had friction tuners!!! That is how I think all should come. This one seems to go sharp really quick when tuning. I think the nut slots are a little tight and cause it to hold just enough that when it is about in tune, it lets go and you go sharp.
Comfort: (5) I have only played a few other concerts that are as light as this one is. Also the super rounded edges, larger body, and lighter friction tuners make it a dream to hold. Also the thin neck and super smooth finish make it very easy to move up and down the fretboard.
Sound Hole Smell: Slight smell of chicken. Weird thing is I am vegetarian and not sure how that could happen in my house.
I may get shot, hung, shunned for saying this, but I would say this is contender to the mainland mahogany ukuleles. The Mainland is $30 cheaper, beside that I would say I would put these toe-to-toe on everything else. It sounds really good and plays like a dream. I hope that more people can try these out and see how good a product Steve Johnston is putting out.
Things to note. Since this is a little bigger, you can buy a case from Uluru. Mine came with the case so I can bring it around to all the fests and uke meetings I go to. I would have to say that if you are going to spend $250, I would get the case to protect it.
All Rating on a scale of 1-5
Click here for an explanation of reviews
|Fit and Finish||5|
|Sound Type||Forward Mellow|
|Neck Radius Depth||5/8″|
|Sound Hole Smell||Chicken|
Places to buy on the web:
Flea Circus Music – $245
HD Audio Sample: