This uke is a great choice in terms of money to quality ratio. It’s a clean build, with beautiful aesthetics. Sound quality is bright and balanced with moderate sustain. Intonation is consistent all along the fretboard. I don’t love the stock strings, but I don’t hate them either. They sound great when plucked or picked individually, but seem to take some effort to ring out when strummed. I will give them a little time and see what I think after they settle in a bit and I get used to their characteristics. My only complaint is that the tuners feel a little cheap, but I only paid $178 USD, so I don’t want to compare that to a higher priced instrument. I have a Kala uke (that I love) but is more than twice this price with very similar features. My Kala is a great instrument, but this Kai edges it out just a bit in terms of build quality, projection, and sustain. The Kala has nicer tuning machines, but those can easily be changed on the Kai and still remain at a very economic price. I play weekly and have the same crew running sound. The normal gain setting I use needed to be reduced with this instrument because the volume difference was quite significant. The side sound port is an excellent feature that allows the player to hear the sound of the instrument, but doesn’t decrease the sound projecting toward the audience. I’ve never had a ukulele with this feature, but I’m now a fan and will add that to the list of things I look for. Being able to hear yourself more accurately will make you a better player. I can better hear the inconsistencies in my playing and adjust to correct them. You likely won’t find a better instrument in this price range.