Oscar Schmidt are an offshoot of the Washburn guitar company. They started out as the ‘folk instrument’ wing of Washburn and seem to focus on Autoharps more than ukuleles. Oscar Schmidt ukes tend to be at the cheaper end of the price scale but have a good reputation for quality.
I have an Ashbury Concert Koa uke which is exactly the same as the Oscar Schmidt Concert OU5 (it’s simply branded differently for sale in the UK). If that’s the case, then I can highly recommend it. When I say ‘koa’ it is, of course, laminated rather than solid (meaning there’s a thin layer of koa wood on top of cheaper wood underneath). Having said that, it still makes a good sound and is the easiest to play of all my ukuleles. The action is low and the intonation is very good. I’ve recommended it to a few people as a great first uke.
Oscar Schmidt ukuleles got a bit of TV exposure and a big boost in popularity thanks to Jason Castro using an Oscar Schmidt OU5 for his performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow on American Idol.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, here’s the World’s richest man, Warren Buffett, playing an Oscar Schmidt.
Elliott Brood give their Oscar Schmidt ukuleles a good bashing on The Valley Town.
On Musician’s Friend
Oscar Schmidt OU-2 Ukulele Review
I own an Oscar Schmidt OU-2. She’s a sweet little honey colored concert Uke named ‘Plinky’. It’s the perfect Uke for me. I recommend this model for any first timer (like myself) who has larger hands. I have been playing for only five months and already can’t get her out of my head, hands and heart. The tone and action is rich.
Review by Michael