aNueNue US200 Moon Bird Solid Spruce/Rosewood Soprano Ukulele w/case
The Moon Bird soprano ukulele from aNueNue is an incredible instrument. Since we last tested ukes from aNueNue, they've come on leaps and bounds. They're producing really gorgeous, professional high end ukuleles. None more so than the moon bird which aNueNue describe as being the best instruments that they have ever produced.
So, the question is - how good is the best instrument aNueNue have ever produced? The short answer is fantastic. The long answer is this ukulele has taken on board all of the things players love about the Hawaiian K-brands and produced a hybrid that sits up in the elite.
The Gotoh UPT planetary style tuners are lightweight and well suited to this soprano ukulele because the uke itself is featherlight, tight and confidently voiced with a rich bass and balanced mid/treble but somehow feels fairly petite in the hands.
You get a terrific visual ying and yang watching the pale Swiss moon spruce sit in harmony with the dark deep rosewood back and sides. These woods are always a winning combination but seem very deliberately engineered to work as one here. Perhaps that is in part down to the ebony fretboard which not only adds to the visual effect but offers a slightly faster attack than a rosewood fretboard might. An ebony fretboard is perfect for the faster players or players that want a little bit more forgiveness from how hard they have to press down on the fretboard.
The sheer-cutaway allows you access to the higher frets and you may have noticed from the photos aNueNue have cleverly built in an offset spalted maple soundhole rosette and binding to accentuate the curves of the instrument.
Finally, the slightly petite feel and slender neck profile might make this a real winner for those players out there that need precision but might not have the hand strength to really dig into the instrument. There is something so incredibly relaxing about this instrument. It is truly a ukulele that gives out the maximum reward for minimum effort. Who doesn't like that? The bird series ukuleles come with a blue woodshell hard case and clear water aNueNue strings.
If you are in the market for a K brand or high end ukulele - put this on your list.
Cool fact about the AnueNue Bird Ukuleles - They were designed by a superstar Japanese Luthier called Mitsuta Morihiko who spent more than a year tweaking the shape and bracing for the Birds working back and forth with James Hill, Kalei Gamiao and Kyas. He calls the unique central positioning of the soundhole and top brace the Mount Fuji-voice brace. Its subtle but the Bird' ukes have a unique body shape as well which you don't always spot because of the sheer cutaway design.
Pictures show an average example. They are all very consistent looking.
Solid Moon Spruce top
Solid Indian Rosewood back and sides
Bone nut and saddle
Ebony fretboard and bridge
aNueNue Black Water Fluorocarbon High G strings
342mm scale length
36mm nut width, with 28mm G to A spacing
Gotoh UPT planetary tuners
aNueNue Blue Leather woodshell hard case included