aNueNue UT-214 Cedar Moon Bird Tenor Ukulele *Exclusive*
The best thing about having a ukulele store is being surrounded by things of beauty like this UT-214 Cedar Moon Bird tenor ukulele. A really gorgeous uke in every way. Even better is the ability to take aNueNue's fabulous design for the UT-200 (spruce top) and ask them to make, exclusively for World of Ukes, a cedar topped version - the UT-214 - to utilise my own favourite tonewood.
But then there's a downside. One being (and I didn't understand this point before starting the store), you can't just sit around playing these things all day! You have to do real work! I mean... imagine a ukulele player with all these ukes within reach, and you can't play any of them. Excuse the crudity of this quote from a comedy show, but it is like 'being a Nomadic Albanian Shepherd who's alergic to wool'.
The other problem is that I'm not different to other uke fans in that I desire to own many of these instruments. The temptation is always there! And when, like in this case, I appeal for people to buy them just to take that temptation away - I really mean it. I WANT this uke - it is superb!
To start with, as mentioned, the UT-214 has a lovely solid cedar top, with a superb tight grain so uniform that it looks like the tree was grown strapped to a set square. Then, there's the slick ebony fingerboard with phases of the moon as position markers. A spalted off-centre soundhole rosette (the moon), and the gorgeous shaped ebony bridge. Such a simple thing, changing it from the regulation rectangle, but so effective.
The back and sides are solid rosewood, which is perfectly and skilfully used like binding around the edge of the top - and this coupled with a really interesting cutaway bodyshape and ebony faced headstock. Completing the picture, a pristine gloss finish, bone nut and compensated saddle, and aNueNue's fantastic Black Water strings.
Keeping the uke safe, a beautiful blue wood shell hardcase is included - but you're not going to want to put it in there much!
It would be difficult to get a ukulele that is more difficult to put down without a liberal coating of superglue on the neck. It rests in perfect balance in your hands and feels a true pleasure to play. With the Gotoh UPT tuners fitted, even tuning up is a pleasure.
And when you play it? It chimes crisply and beautifully, with complex harmonic overtones, stunning clarity, great volume and fantastic sustain. If angels ever progress beyond learning the harp and start playing uke - this is what they'll sound like. It is breathtaking.