World of Ukes Scout 1T Solid Spruce Tenor Ukulele
The Scout is the second World of Ukes own brand series ukulele, commissioned from a small workshop in China. With the first, the Pioneer, so well received, I wanted to explore another option. What I definitely didn’t want though, was a simple ‘stick my name on a generic uke’ exercise - so something had to be different.
With the solid spruce top Scout, I have opted for some very well executed decorative fingerboard inlays (crucially accompanied by side position markers so it doesn’t make it difficult to play). There’s also abalone inlays and soundhole display and a different shape to the bridge.
I know all this ‘bling’ splits opinion very much. Some will love the visual embellishments, others won’t. And even I won’t try and make a case for it NEEDING to have all the decorative elements. Ok, there’s something in the theory that having a pretty uke makes you pick it up more often to practice - but by and large, having great looks is not essential. That said, because I get these direct from the factory, at least some of your money has gone on extra craftsmanship, rather than just a commission for a distributor.
Another difference, and I’m not aware of other ukes with this feature, it has a gloss top, and satin finish body. Having experimented with different options, I liked the protection of the relatively soft spruce tonewood given by the finish. However, although personally I don’t mind gloss on the body at all - over the years I’ve witnessed a number of customers who haven’t got on with the slip or slide of a gloss back against the body. The back and sides are laminate bocote, a fantastically patterned wood that gives great contrast to the plain, but tightly grained spruce top.
The Scout tenor ukulele features a bone nut and a bone compensated saddle, effective open geared tuners, and World of Ukes Clarity strings (fluorocarbons made by Worth - and great for melodies). The resultant tone is bright and full of life, and while the volume from each string is well balanced with the others, it carries melodies beautifully when picked - and delivers a lovely chime when strummed. It is plenty loud as well, as the sustain is impressive - with the notes gently ebbing away like an autumn tide (oops, slipped into language as flowery as the fingerboard).
These ukuleles are something a little different. Far from the mass produced. And, made in very small numbers. You’ll be highly unlucky to unveil one of these at your ukulele club and discover a fellow player has one! Well, to begin with… you may find the odd admirer stumps up for one once they’ve seen it!
Click additional info for a video demo.