Review: 2000s Makala MK-S Soprano Uke

This is one of those "by chance" reviews in that this came dirt cheap, by chance, to the shop. It's an unused (but used) $50 Makala soprano uke that, after a set of new Martin fluoro strings and a quick setup, plays just fine. It even sounds just fine, too! ... it's a thinner strummy sort of fine, but still perfectly useful... and there's your review.

I always try to suggest to folks to spend as much as you can on a uke if you're going to buy a new import instrument to learn on. Of course, almost everyone ignores my advice and picks one of these or something similar instead. This is OK but the cheap import rule applies: get it setup at the very least! The factory action at the nut and saddle on this made it relatively unplayable despite the actually-straight neck and actually-decent fretting work.

It's $50 new, shipped to your door. Of course the body is laminate! ...but it's generously wide at the hips which gives it a big enough box to get that modern chimey uke voice with enough volume to jam with.

The tuners, by the way, are perfectly fine but the plastic "ferrules" at the headstock move around quite a bit. I know beginners are hateful of friction pegs but at least they wouldn't look as cheesy as these cheapo guitar tuners...

...and, since it's finished in spray satin, all that ply melds together without much effort.