|Body And Neck:|
This High Tide Soprano is part of Luna’s premium line in their ever-expanding collection of ukuleles, so we can definitely expect a higher-quality instrument – especially as it comes in at under $300. The High Tide is an electro-acoustic, which is quick to plug-in and play, and excellent for both intermediate and advanced ukulelists. Let’s see what’s on offer.
If you don’t know much about the brand, one thing you’ll quickly realize is that Luna rarely disappoint with the lavish design of their instruments – and the High Tide series is no exception. This ukulele features a soprano sized body, which is made entirely of solid koa (a native Hawaiian wood), with a sleek satin finish, an attractive walnut/maple binding, and an equally eye-catching abalone rosette.
A lot of thought has been put into the decoration on the walnut fretboard, which takes inspiration from – as Luna put it themselves – ‘the full moon at the first fret, which causes the abalone wave fret markers below it to rise as they make their way up the fretboard towards the moon’s pull.’ If only all fretboards were this well thought out! There are 12 frets, and this all sits on a very playable mahogany neck. In fact, the whole instrument feels very premium, as you’d expect for the price.
The High Tide is an electro-acoustic, so is kitted with a piezo pickup and preamp for easy amplification. This is Luna-designed and works very well, with a simple control panel offering three sliders – one each for volume, treble and bass. There’s a walnut bridge while, at the top of the uke, you’ll find a set of open-geared tuners featuring nice little pearloid buttons, offering a smooth action and good tuning precision.
The tone of the High Tide is excellent. The solid koa delivers a crisp, direct, twinkly tone which is exactly what you’d wish from a soprano ukulele. Acoustically it will get warmer with age, thanks to the use of solid wood. Through an amp it also sounds pretty good, and retains the natural brightness of the koa, while the controls allow for a little versatility.
The High Tide is a solid choice for advanced players, although beginners with a bigger budget would also benefit from its solid construction and playability. Ultimately it shows off everything Luna are good for – eye-catching and well-considered design, good craftsmanship, ample tone and a price tag that doesn’t feel too hefty.