I saw this brand-new ukulele package come into one of our stores and I had to try it out. The Ibanez IUKS5 is a soprano (or standard) ukulele with some great features, and it now comes with a gigbag and clip-on tuner for easy portability. Read on for a hands-on review of the IUKS5.
Let’s look at this ukulele from 3 important perspectives: looks, tone, and feel.
Looks: At first glance, the IUKS5 might blend in with other ukes, but there are some special things about it. Its body is made of sapele, which has a rich brown color, a bit lighter than many of the mahogany ukuleles you may see. It also has a full binding all the way around the front, back, and neck, for a nice contrasted look. The included gigbag is a LOUD orange color – I believe it’s called “safety orange”. I love it! Looks great. This package also comes in a full-color box, making it a great gift idea if that’s what you’re looking for.
Tone: The IUKS5 is a bit slimmer than many other soprano ukuleles, with a depth of 2.5” instead of 3”. The slim body combined with the sapele construction gives a very bright tone, just as you would expect from a soprano uke. However, there is still a nice midrange “body” to the tone, especially when finger-picked. There was a noticeable warmth and depth to the Ibanez when played against a few other soprano ukes.
Feel: Here’s where it got really interesting – I felt a little more at home playing the IUKS5 than many other ukes. Why? It seems to have a thicker neck, front-to-back, than most ukuleles. The fretting area is still very small, but that thicker neck profile made it easier for this bassist and sometime guitarist to play. The slim body also made it very easy to stand or sit with. The tuners were an added bonus – you can tell by the touch that they’re solid.
There you have it – high marks in all three categories. I really dug this uke package. Now back to practicing!