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25 December 2012

Clifton Soprano Ukulele

My son J-Uke was lucky enough to receive a ukulele for Christmas. It was a gift from his biker-Grandma... that and his TT Racing T-shirt. I'm sorry to say that he hasn't touched it... but I have ;-) Whilst he's busy with his new Star Wars droid set, I'm going to share a few photos with you. I'd better be quick!

Lidl's Clifton Ukulele Set

You should know me well enough by now to realise that I'm often just as happy with a budget instrument as I am with the high end stuff. It's what you do with it that counts. I haven't found a uke yet that I haven't managed to get some tune or other out of. For me, that's part of the charm of the instrument. I believe that "The Clifton" was bought from Lidl as a once-only promotional offer.

If that puts you off then you're reading the wrong blog. Please leave now.

Clifton Finest Musical Instruments - Sopran Ukulele - IAN 74440
This is the sticker from inside the sound-hole. I thought at first that
"Sopran" was a typo, but if Google Translate is to believed, it's
German for soprano. I've been to the website mentioned in the bottom
right hand corner
, but couldn't find any mention of this particular

I love the colour of the wood on this instrument - especially the neck.
Apparently the neck is alder and the body "sapele". I'd never heard of
sapele, but I've just learnt that it is a West African hardwood. On the
whole I'm impressed with the quality of the build. The frets are real
and everything is tidily finished off.

Here's a picture of the head. It's nothing special, but as you can
see, it's not shoddy either.

This was the only bit of set-up I had to do. The friction tuning pegs needed
tightening up to allow me to tune the strings. I'm so pro that I didn't even need
to follow the instructions ;-)

Here's a shot of the tuning pegs and neck. It has a nice vintage feel to it

The box bills this as a "Ukulele Set" and this I think is because
it includes a DVD and instruction booklet. I've not
watched the DVD, but I've flicked through
the booklet and there is the standard fare of basic
beginner-type info. See this section above on plucktrums.

The first thing that I did was to tune it up. I instinctively tuned it gcea
and it sounded pretty good. Having read the book, the instructions
actually tell you to tune it adf#b. This might surprise you, but I've
never tried tuning any of my ukes this way, so I retuned it to see what
difference it made to the sound. Actually, it didn't make all that much
of a difference. Strumming around, I did recognise the sound, but I
guess it's what you're used to.

Here's a picture of the booklet and DVD

And finally, I've included a picture of the box.


  1. Love it, King - I love a good bargain myself. Oh, and 'sopran' is totally Deustch für 'soprano'. Sapele is beautiful, I have a couple of 60's japanese made ukes that are probably made out of it, and sound awesome! Post sound samples!

  2. Merry Christmas Thiago! I'll see what I can do...

  3. I was given one of these and I don't want it. If anyone would like it let me know. It's unused and still in its box

  4. What a great idea Sue. I'm not sure how people can contact you... but I'll spread the word ;-)