Kiwaya KSU-1L Long Neck Soprano Ukulele
Kiwaya are a Japanese company with a great reputation for both all solid ukes, and in particular, very impressive laminate instruments. The KSU-1L long neck soprano is an example of the latter - and, because they’ve set up production now in China, very affordable. I’m going to cut to the chase now and say that the the KSU-1 Soprano, KSU-1L Longneck Soprano and KCU-1 Concert are the best sounding ukes for the money I have EVER come across.
Now, that’s a big claim. I’ve played hundreds and hundreds of ukes. But it is true, they sound amazing! The set up is fab too. True, it is as plain as packet of ready salted crisps. Yes, there are very tiny little aesthetic issues - the soundhole, if you look inside, hasn’t been cut and finished as nicely as a more expensive instrument. You might see a bit of glue where the fingerboard meets the body. All I can say to that is, close your eyes, get hold of the smooth, well proportioned neck, enjoy the space on the 36mm nut-width fingerboard and listen to a simply superb ‘sound-for-the pound’ tone - which shimmers, allows great expression, delivers good balance, sustain, volume, subtlety and rich harmonics.
This model has a soprano body and a concert scale neck. A dull but essential paragraph in this description!
The KSU-1L from Kiwaya comes equipped with a basic padded bag, decent geared tuners, fluorocarbon strings, a bone nut and saddle and a black walnut fingerboard and bridge. The bag is admittedly nothing to write home about, but you can use it to keep your ears in, as you won’t believe them!
If you click ‘additional info’, there’s a video demo.