aNueNue aNN-UT200 Moon Bird Tenor Ukulele
Sometimes, with ukuleles like this aNueNue aNN-UT200 Moon Spruce tenor, words in English aren’t enough. So, I’ll add a ‘C’est Magnifique’ and a ‘Das ist gut’ into the mix right at the start. It is a wonderful thing, a truly fantastic ukulele. So playable, so beautiful, so rich-sounding. Yes, you could say I am a fan!
When I first unpacked one of these ukuleles, after a little happy whimper, I tuned it up by ear. Then I thought maybe my ear must be playing up. I figured I’d tuned it a few notes below where it should have been because the sound was so deep. So, on with the clip-on tuner and I soon realised my ear was fine – it was perfectly in tune. Yet, such was the richness of the sound that it sounded lower pitched than expected. A big, bold, deep, rich, chocolatey, low and fantastic tone. Then, as I progressed up the neck, soaring, sweet-ringing, loud and lovely trebles. The Bird Series from aNueNue is their top of the line range, and with examples like this aNN-UT200 tenor, the name is apt. It sings like a bird.
To look at, the aNueNue aNN-UT200 is a fine thing indeed. There are lots of little touches alongside the obvious ones – like the gloss ebony headstock cap, stylish pearl inlaid logo and the sleek headstock shape. These are perfectly done, and look great alongside the main features, including the interesting rosewood binding that creeps onto the solid Swiss spruce top in an interesting, and beautiful way. Then there’s the off-centre soundhole decoration which is unusual and lovely, and that lovely curved bridge. On the ebony fretboard the positions are marked off with inlaid phases of the moon. Cracking stuff!
The 37mm bone nut (accompanied by a custom cut compensated saddle) gives a spacious feel to the freboard, while the shallow neck profile makes it an easy reach to any particular note. It is effortless to play. The aNueNue aNN-UT200 is fitted with their own brand Black Water fluorocarbons, which also feel nice to the touch – and add a real clarity to the tone, with a lovely chiming harmonics. The action is ideal for fingerstyle playing, though it’ll handle anything. Well not anything, I tried but can’t find anywhere to put an engagement ring on it. Whoah! Going a bit far! I love it, but I’d look a bit odd walking down the aisle with it – much as I’d like to!
There was no surprise that the first aNN-UT200 Moon Spruce tenor I got in was sold on the very first day the World of Ukes store opened. I was sorely tempted to repeat this when its replacement arrived – just as I’ll want to own this uke every time I pick it up. I’ve considered hanging it back to front to remove temptation, but then even the gorgeous solid rosewood back and sides call to me.
I read a forum remark about one of my ukulele reviews recently, which said ‘there’s £500 worth of marketing speak in that description for a start’. I took a bit of exception to that. Do I want you to buy the aNueNue aNN-UT200 from me? Of course! I’d be crazy not to. But, I don’t have to twist people’s arms. I don’t have to stock ukes I don’t like – and this one, I love. So if I speak gushingly of it – well, that’s my honest opinion. If you buy it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine. But know that I only talk well of ukes like this one because I love them. I see no harm in that.
This lovely uke is equipped with Gotoh planetary geared tuners that are a delight. Light, superbly smooth and effective. And it comes in a blue hard case. And it is great, did I mention?