Bundles, bundles, bundles! They are everywhere and every manufacturer or reseller seems to thrive on them. Well, they are so abundant as the demand for them is pretty high. And you probably can guess why the demand is that high – they are just that damn convenient. Unless you are planning on slowly building up your collection of accessories, spending hours on research and a lot of money on them, chances are you have thought about getting a bundle deal. If you have, let me tell you a bit about one of the soprano bundle deals – Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany DUS-1.
The DUS-1 is a traditional soprano ukulele. Soprano ukuleles are usually the smallest one in size and do not have an amazing volume but they make up for it in the tone and comfort. The all-mahogany body and beck work very well to produce a sweet sound that is also pretty consistent. Unfortunately, the work done on the fretboard is not that great. The frets are a bit sharp (this is not the case with all of the products, most probably). The neck is thin enough to be comfortable even in a child’s hands but not too thin to make the instrument toyish.
Hardware & Bundle
While the accessories that come with this ukulele are probably more exciting to a lot of beginners, we should still go through the hardware. Trust me, accessories come and go BUT hardware stays (well… unless you take it to a shop and have them changed, but you get the point). So, this uke ships with Donner patented chrome-plated guitar style tuners but ALAS the problem that so many owners of affordable ukuleles have, will not be avoided. You will have to tune quite a bit in the beginning. That being said, if you “overcome” the break-in period the problem will pretty much go away. There is also a quality rosewood bridge that is also very functional and allows for easy change of strings. Okay, now let’s move on to the exciting part – the accessories. What you get when you buy this bundle is a ukulele bag, strap, carbon nylon string and digital clip-on tuner. Strings are pretty soft and will be gentle on your hands. It also helps produce more mellow and sweet sound. This bundle has pretty much everything to suffice your needs, especially if you have never had a ukulele before.
Yes, it is great to get a ukulele that has nice tonewood and bunch of accessories BUT unless the sound is good, you probably waste your money. While I understand that there is no way for an under $60 bundle to sound as amazing as something in a $200-300 category, there are still instruments that do their goddamn best. The DUS-1, I think, is one of those products. While this soprano ukulele does not have a big sound (if you really do not want small sound, maybe look somewhere else) it is has a nice tonal range and mellow, beautiful sound. All in all, Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany DUS-1 has crisp sound and great resonance. While this uke sounds nice with the strings that come with it, I would recommend switching up with something else to up the pitch and possibly the sound a little bit more.
The under $60 bundle categories are always tricky. While you can find a deal that has pretty much all the accessories you think you need and the uke itself looks amazing, there is always going to be an issue or two with the overall performance of the instrument. That is just a fact. You cannot get a pro-level instrument at this price range AND you don’t need to. A beginner uke like Donner Soprano Ukulele Mahogany DUS-1 is a great cheap/beginner ukulele because it combines good craftsmanship, nice sound, and playability without costing you over a $100.