A very very nice Ukulele!
I like laser cut sound holes, I think they add a touch of whimsy and individuality, even to mass produced models. I know the idea is suppose to hark back to the ornate hand carved sound holes you see on 17th century Lutes and Mandolins, and I realise that in some way the 21st century computer controlled lasers are an anathema to this craftsmanship but truth to tell, I think the laser cut designs are fun and those hand carved grilles are a bit dull. I particularly liked the whimsy of the little snail design on this model and also its an ebony Ukulele and I wanted an ebony Ukulele. I couldn't easily get hold of one in the UK though so I tried contacting Snail direct and they were very nice and happy to help out, so I managed to get one.
The Ukulele, now I have it is very well made, right up there with the best Kala, Ohana, or any other Chinese made brands you care to mention. I cannot find any faults with the build, and they have worked out that most people are right handed so they put the strings on with the excess at the bridge pointing down so no rogue ends digging into my arm like with Kalas. The wood used is beautiful and a very good quality laminate ebony, (I really thought it was solid to start with, the darkness of the wood hides the usually tell tale signs of lamination), smells great too and it has a lovely open pour matt finish that really suits the dark grain of the wood. Everything is put together solidly and neatly; I can't find any cracks, gaps or bad fitting on this Ukulele. The frets are all smooth and properly dressed, the intonation is spot on right down the fret board and the tuners are some of the smoothest and best I have ever used
The sound and playability of the Ukulele are excellent too. Again, its so good that I really thought it must be solid - this is without doubt the best sounding laminate Ukulele I have ever heard! It might be the side sound port but when playing there is plenty of volume and its a very pleasant tone too, mellow, not as sharp and trebley as a spruce top, its somewhere between cedar and mahogany, and I think that's a good place to be. Its fairly easy to play too, it doesn't quite have that almost mystical property that some Ukuleles have where, no matter how ham fisted you are, all of the chords sound true and there is never a rattle, but its not far off - never a rattle but sometimes it can be caught wrong and produce a duff chord. Its a fine "quality Ukulele" that the novice or intermediate player will have no difficulties playing and and anyone no matter what their skills will appreciate and should thoroughly enjoy owning. On the basis of this Ukulele I would have no hesitation to say to anyone if you get the chance to buy a Snail Ukulele, take it. They are Very Very GOOD!