aNueNue UC200 Moon Bird Solid Spruce/Rosewood Concert Ukulele w/case
It has been several years since we first sampled the new aNueNue range of ukuleles and boy have they come on leaps and bounds. A company that not too long ago sat as a nice alternative to an Ohana, Kala or Islander ukulele is producing some truly gorgeous professional level, 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 that 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 alongside the spruce top Kanile'a deluxe models as well as some of the custom shop KoAloha cedar/spruce limited edition models I have seen.
The Gotoh UPT planetary style tuners are lightweight and well suited to this concert ukulele because the instrument itself is feather-light, 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.
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 Black Water aNueNue strings.
If you are in the market for a K brand or high end ukulele - put this on your list. These are all extremely consistent looking, so the pictures show an average example.
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.
Total frets: 20
Top: Solid Swiss Moon Spruce
Side: Solid East Indian rosewood
Back: Solid East Indian rosewood
Head veneer: Ebony
Machine head: Gotoh UPT
Nut saddle: Buffalo bone
Strings: aNueNue Black Water fluorocarbon High G strings
Rosette: Spalted maple
Nut width: 36mm, with 28mm G to A string spacing
Scale length: 382mm
Width at 12th fret: 43mm
Free blue leather aNueNue hard case