If you are looking to buy a ukulele for yourself or someone you know and just started off with your research, chances are you will encounter Luna quite a bit. While Luna Guitars produces a lot of different string instruments including acoustic and electric guitars, they are one of my favorite ukulele manufacturing company. Well, at least of the favorites. Their range is quite diverse, you can find any sized uke with any sound. So if you are not sure which company to research, Luna might be a good starting point. Their UKE VMS RDS Vintage Mahogany Soprano Ukulele combines amazing price with a quality build. That is pretty much why this model is one of the top ukuleles in our opinion.
First things first, as you might have figured out from the name this is a soprano sized uke. Soprano is the smallest and the most widespread size. It is extremely comfortable and easy to use so even if you have no experience with any other stringed instrument, sopranos are a great beginning point. The VMS RDS has a mahogany flat top. The entire body is also mahogany making the uke sound very sweet while maintaining rigid construction. The C-shaped mahogany neck has a walnut fretboard with MOP shark teeth inlays that is smooth and very comfortable. You might go on several reseller websites that list rosewood as the fretboard and bridge material but most companies have changed it to walnut (due to certain prohibitions on rosewood most companies had to switch from rosewood).
Luna has equipped their instrument with black open gear tuners and 1 3/8″ Urea (OEM) nut. Personally, Urea is not my favorite material for the nut but in this case, it does not seem to do any “harm” to the sound and overall playability of the instrument. As for the tuners, I think they do a good job of helping the instrument stay in tune but they are magical tuners, you will have to tune a little bit in the beginning. This makes also ships with Aquila strings which are very popular but do not really help out the sound. If you have any other set of strings in mind, maybe changing them would not be a bad idea.
Good craftsmanship goes a long way. Whether you have the best material or not, your uke will probably not sound its best unless people who know what they are doing get involved. The choice of all mahogany body and C-shaped neck on this soprano was pretty standard but it delivers something more than just standard sound in its price range. The balanced tone with sweet uke sound that everyone loves so much will make you fall in love with music all over again. The playability of this instrument is also great. The only thing I would change, as I have mentioned before, are the strings which do not let the uke have the intonation that it can actually achieve.
Price does not determine quality and Luna seems to be proving it every step of the way. I could not imagine a uke under $50 would have the sound that this one has. The construction, playability and most of the hardware are definitely beyond what this price warrants. As a beginner, I do not think, you will encounter a lot of ukuleles in this price range that sound, feel, and look this good.