Oscar Schmidt OU5 is probably in most of our top lists. Be it the best beginner ukulele or the best concert ukulele you will find this baby not only in our top lists but probably in most players or reviewers’ list. And there is a really simple reason for it – this uke is one of the best and most consistent instruments in its price range. While as a beginner you might not be too excited about the prospect of spending over $100 on a ukulele, sometimes buying a uke at a higher price range pays off in the longer term. The OU5 is one of those ukes that gets better and better with time and after five years, you will still enjoy the sweet, rich tones of its Koa wood.
The OU5 is a concert ukulele. If you are someone who is coming from a background in playing guitars or just have bigger hands, going for something like concert or baritone ukuleles is a better idea. This uke has Hawaiian Koa top, back, and sides. There is probably nothing more authentic to ukuleles than Koa wood. It produces the sweetest and mellowest tones that ukes are so beloved for. The 15″ nato neck with rosewood fingerboard is smooth and easy to play. The abalone binding is seamless and the beautiful abalone rosette accentuates the design of the uke. While the OU5 might not be the most expensive and top-notch uke on the market, it still manages to impress through the great craftsmanship and combination of tonewood.
While this uke is for beginners the price might not be that beginner friendly. What you get with the OU5 are quality Grover tuners, rosewood bridge along with ABS nut and saddle. The tuners are really good and don’t create any issue with tuning. While you will have to tune a little bit more often than usual during the first week or so, this should not be a big deal. Trust me, a lot of cheaper ukes need a lot more tuning and for a lot longer. The ABS is synthetic material often used for nut and saddle. While it might not be the best quality, it does not take away from the sweet and crisp sound of the uke. Maybe it is a little bit unrealistic but with a uke over $100, I usually expect better quality than ABD. Apart from that the action on this instrument is pretty damn good and does not create any issues while also being very comfortable for beginners. One of the main issues with some people is that the headstock is heavier than usual.
Quite often people compare ukuleles in $50 and over $100 price ranges and cannot really see a big difference. While browsing online is the most efficient and easy way to look for your next instrument, you probably will not see a big difference unless you play the instrument yourself. Once you pick up the OU5, you know where the “extra” cost comes from. This uke has a mellow and sweet tone that is so characteristic of Koa. Concert size also allows for a bigger sound. All in all, while you have to go through the regular break-in period, you will come out having an astounding uke that only gets better with time.
While with a lot of more affordable ukes you cannot be sure how long they will last, with Oscar Schmidt OU5 concert ukulele you can be sure that after two years, five years and even more it will not be intact but also get more nuanced in sound and have richer toner.