December 13, 2010 by Tim
aNueNue (A-New-ee-New-ee) – The rainbow that fills your soul when you see your loved one smile.
The definition of aNueNue is one that I feel fits all ukuleles and was a great name for a ukulele brand. Also the company seems to try to embrace this concept of bringing joy to everyone with their ukuleles. The one that I am reviewing is the Concert Papa II, one of the least expensive of the aNueNue line, but by no means would I call it cheap. If anything sells me on them more than anything else is that they make a signature Gerald Ross Ukulele. If they are good enough for Mr. Ross, then they must be good enough for me, right? Maybe…Keep reading and I will tell you what I think.
Concert : 18 Fret
Tuners: Grover 9N STA-TITE
Tusq nut & saddle
Top: Laminate Mahogany
Sides: Laminate Mahogany
Back: Laminate Mahogany
Neck: Mahogany with a Rosewood fretboard
Finish: Matte Open Pores
Case: Thick Padded Gig Bag
First look: (5) I am a sucker for cool graphic statements on a ukulele. The dancing guys on the front are a nice touch. The wood grain and the color are very nice and have a lot of depth. When you move it the color changes a little due to the rich color and nice matte finish. By no means is it a “fancy” uke, but really I would take better sound and playability over the aesthetics.
Fit and Finish: (5) I am hard pressed to say anything bad about the workmanship on this ukulele. The quality control of where it was made must be very good. I have been seeing more and more ukes coming out with really bad mistakes and issues because they need to get as many as they can out. I only see 2 things that I would change. The first is the fret board looks like it is missing a fret, not that there is a cut for it, there is room. The other is that the pattern on the front skips the bridge, and that is good, but they left too big of a space and it looks a little weird. These are both small things that are insignificant on a ukulele in this price range. everything else is really well done.
Intonation: (4) It is a hair off as you get to the 12th fret, but really it is not something that the average player would even notice. When you play any chord it sounds right. Unless you are crazy sensitive to it being off at the 12th fret, then you more than likely would not buy a uke like this anyways.
Volume: (4) As I said before, not super loud. but it is not muffled either, it just does not produce a lot of volume. I would think this could be good if it has a pick-up in it, it would reduce feedback.
Sustain: (4) Not the longest in the world, but it rings for a good amount. Again not something that most would even notice or care about. It is just in the $200 price range I would like it to be better.
String Height: (medium Low) It is easy to play and there is no buzzing. Since it is not super low it makes it easier to hit the note and not get any buzzing.
Neck Radius Depth: (3/4″)Average radius depth for a C shaped neck.
Frets: (5) Low and rounded. there are no signs of sanding them down. Also you can run your fingers down the sides of the neck and they are perfectly flush. This is also helped by the fact that they bind the neck.
Tuning: (5) Normally I would say they lose a point for geared tuners, but the ones that are on this uke are very nice. I like the open tuners because it makes it lighter, and they are very stylized. They also work like a dream to boot.
Comfort: (5) Not the lightest uke on the block, but not super heavy either. It is very balanced and easy to hold without the head wanting to go to the floor since it has geared tuners. The one thing that I love about it is the rounded edges of the body. Almost all makers of sub-$200 ukes forget to do that, and for me that shows that they really are focused on details and comfort
Sound Hole Smell: Like glue, as most mass produced ukes do.
In the end this is one of those things that you ask “What am I paying $200 for?”. Well…Yes it is a laminate, but it is made really well, comes with a nice thickly padded gig bag, and it is really nice looking. In the end if you want to get a well made ukulele that will stay stable forever and is well made with care, then this is a great uke for you. I brought it camping and it went from hot to cold with no issues at all, and I did not have to worry about it. I would say it is a good uke to start or an upgrade to the sub-$100 ukes.
All Rating on a scale of 1-5
Click here for an explanation of reviews
|Fit and Finish||5|
|String Height||Medium Low|
|Neck Radius Depth||3/4″|
|Sound Hole Smell||Glue|
HD Audio Clip
Places to buy on the web:
Amazon – $151.28
ZZSounds – $189.95