aNueNue aNN-US3K Bird Series Koa Soprano Ukulele
This aNueNue Bird Series ukulele is awesome. I do not use that word lightly at all. In fact, even if I have the temptation to use it, some form of English Barrier springs up in my mind and blocks it. Yet this soprano ukulele can only be described as awesome. Utterly awesome! It is quite incredibly beautiful, both visually and sonically, and must seriously be considered one of the best ukuleles ever made in the East… and it gives even the most top-end ukuleles from the West a run for their money too.
Superb master grade curly koa is used to make the body. Wonderful figuring, contrasting streaks and dark, speckled grain come together in all of nature’s glory. This stuff is just amazing to look at. It is adorned with rosewood binding and a gloss black headstock faceplate that looks very smart. The Bird series, aNueNue’s new top of the range selection of ukes has a lovely offset soundhole decoration that brings to mind a phase of the moon, a visual result you can see their master luthiers were looking for as various moon phases are illustrated in the fretboard markers.
There is an ebony fingerboard and bridge, the latter a good-looking curved shape, which makes for a nice change. The bone nut and saddle are cut perfectly, giving a great playing action. The nut is a spacious 37mm and the neck profile quite shallow – delivering a great balance between ease of fretting, while still having plenty of room for your fingers (tenor players take note – your fingers are NOT too big for this soprano!) There are also Gotoh geared friction pegs, which are exceptional. They even make tuning fun, they’re so easy to use and effective. Finally, the interesting cutaway shape gives good access to the highest notes in this soprano scale, something you’ll want to do as the aNN-US3K ukulele gives away hardly any volume even high up the scale.
So, it looks a real beauty and it plays amazingly well. Can the sound match up to these factors to create a spectacular trinity? Yes, and then some! It is a brilliantly expressive instrument, justifiably described to me by aNueNue as ‘the best ukuleles they’ve ever made’. A crisp, clear attack, defined mids and strong bass come together in a perfection union of balance. It effortlessly performs well in all manner of styles too. In fact, the aNN-US3K ukulele almost feels like it is plugged into an effects pedal as you vary your playing style – different subtle reverbs and chorus effects seem to get switched on as you mix things up.
This Bird Series soprano from aNueNue ukuleles come with a signature blue wood-shell hard case – a very well protected ukulele will reside inside. And you’ll want to keep this baby safe! You may even want to trade in your husband or wife for it, such is its… yes… awesomeness! There, I said it!