The brown truck brought me the Mainland slotted headstock concert today. It shipped in a huge rectangular box that contained the small wedge shaped box that held the ukulele. I went for the gloss option because in my experience matte finish shows scratches easily and the parts of the uke you touch a lot tend to shine up. Since this uke is probably a candidate to be moved down the road, I figure I might as well go for the more durable option. Besides, I like glossy finish anyway. I have not had much of a chance to play it but got a few quick pictures of it. Initial thoughts:
-I like the mahogany grain and color. A lot of imports use mahogany/sapelle with ribbon appearance, which I dislike. This one does not have the ribbon appearance is of a nice dark color, similar to my Collings UC-1.
-The slotted headstock is well executed. It has nice sharp edges, which I prefer to rounded edges. The slots are nice and clean, and the overall shape looks good. The tuners are just OK, but I don't expect too much from this price range and they do work.
-Initially I thought it sounded similar to the Kala tenor neck soprano I had, but a little more stumming revealed a characteristic mahogany "pop" in the sound. Pretty good.
-My initial feeling is that this is a pretty good value for $250 shipped.
This uke will be going up against the Collings for some no-holds-barred comparison between mahogany concert ukuleles. I will switch out the strings to Worth CD's and probably do a few rounds between the two. I'm also thinking of putting this Mainland up against the William King LS-concert for some slot-head to slot-head comparison just for fun. So stay tuned to the ghetto!
**For whatever reason I got this picture at an angle where the back didn't reflect any light. The back is indeed glossy like the rest of the uke.