Donner Musical Instrument is an international company that makes different types of high-quality and affordable ukuleles out of China. They’re best represented with the DUC-1 Concert Soprano Ukulele Mahogany.
I’ll say right up front that I really like this Ukulele. Permit me to go over the details of it and tell you why I liked it before we dive into the full review of the ukulele.
I tried it out and the build quality is good, the Mahogany finish is beautiful, and it sounds great once you tune it. But you will need to tune it often though to keep it sounding good.
Here are what the kit came with and the key features of the soprano ukulele:
- Gigbag with straps you can adjust
- High-quality, well-polished, and smooth mahogany finish
- 4 quasi-closed tuning pegs
- 4 Aquilla nylon strings
- Cleaning cloth
Donner Concert Ukulele – Editor's Choice
- Number of Strings: 4
- Size: 23 inches
- Body Material: African Mahogany
- Item weight: 2.74 pounds
Starting with the gig bag, I can see the company has stepped up their game so far as making fairly thick gig bags. The gig bag is between 10 and 12 millimeters thick. It’s a padded gig bag with a sort of canvas material.
The bag features two shoulder straps with a lightly padded side handle. The bag also has a pretty good-sized pouch on it that fits all the different accessories that comes with it.
You have everything you’ll need provided in the kit if you’re a beginner who needs to get started. It also comes with a little card with the basic kind of chords you might need to get started.
Unfortunately, the included accessories aren’t as striking as the ukulele itself. Some users are also not a fan of those carbon nylon strings that come with it. Although the strings can always be replaced.
Also, the instrument needs to be tuned regularly to keep playing nice. But that should not be a problem.
Regardless, Donner created the DUC-1 with a wonderful sound, a sturdy mahogany body, and an easy-to-play shape. It has beautiful architecture, finish, and craftsmanship and includes all the tools you need to get started.
The Donner DUC-1 is a ukulele made of high-quality and appealing mahogany wood. It is comfortable to touch and most importantly, it sounds really good.
Materials and construction
The ukulele is made from laminate mahogany. It has an Indian rosewood bridge and an Indian rosewood fretboard. The fretboard is bound and it is smooth with no sharp fret edges on it.
It has these inlaid-like mother pearl position markers on the neck along with accompanying position markers on the side.
The mahogany doesn’t have fancy figuring but this has a nice little woodgrain fairly typical of mahogany. It’s not as dark as some that I’ve seen. It has an open grain satin finish which I liked. I could find no finish flaws anywhere on this instrument.
The saddle is a compensated saddle and the action is what some might think is a little higher. But it is not too high and is not unplayable.
I do like the bridge saddle. It is not the typical kind of boring shape bridge. It’s an interestingly shaped bridge that ensures better sound transmission.
For those who don’t like doing the tie bar bridges, with this, you just need to tie a knot and the end of the string and then pull the string up onto the little groove and it gets tucked up. So, string changes would be very easy on this.
What I appreciate about this ukulele
The combined tonewoods create a sturdy construction with a transparent sound, tone, and resonation. And the tool is simplistically beautiful.
The included accessories are well suited for starters, providing everything you need to play the ukulele.
Who should get it?
If you want to start playing ukulele and are looking for the ultimate beginner’s kit with unsurpassed quality and a reasonable price, this concert ukulele is for you. This might be one of the best ukuleles for beginners, but it can also be used to improve your skill level.
Why did it make our list?
- Beautiful and durable build quality
- Clear sound with excellent resonance
- Wide fingerboard
- Easy to tune
- Smooth texture on all joints and corners
What is not ideal about it?
- You might need to replace the strings
- It needs regular tuning
Donner remains one of the best ukulele brands for beginners and it hit the mark once again with its DUS-1 pack. It is of durable build quality with blended tonewoods to create great sound and comes with different well-chosen accessories.
Although it’s of good quality, the ukulele tends to get out of tune frequently, but the problem will be solved after a few hours of using the ukulele. Also, don’t forget to have it tuned regularly.