aNueNue UT200 Moon Bird Solid Spruce/Rosewood Tenor Ukulele w/case
NUMBER ONE UKULELE OF 2019 AS VOTED FOR BY SUS AND OUR CUSTOMERS
It has been several years since we sampled the 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 - 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 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 Indian 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. Please note that variegated Ebony is used on the fretboards, so you will get light streaks showing through the darker colour. The photo of the fretboard shows this clearly - it is not dirty, dusty or dry - it is just the colouration of the Ebony!
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 high G strings.
If you are in the market for a K brand or high end ukulele - put this on your list.
Pictures show an average example, not the exact instrument you will receive. These are very consistent looking instruments, with not much variation between them. But if you would like photos of actual stock, please ask!
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
Fingerboard: Variegated Ebony (dark wood with light streaks)
Strings: aNueNue Black Water High G strings
Rosette: Spalted maple
Binding: Indian Rosewood
Nut width: 36mm with 27.5mm G to A string spacing
Scale length: 432mm