Big Island OE-TRC-EB All Solid Mango Tenor Electro Ukulele
Big Island's designations are confusing. This is the OE-TRC-EB tenor electro with cutaway, made from all solid Hawaiian mango. I can't work out what the letters mean, but that's what it says on the label. Much more important is the fact this instrument is gorgeous in every way.
The 36mm nut with is combined with a shallow profile and generous string spacing, which, with a super-smooth ebony fingerboard, makes for a superbly playable instrument. The set up is lovely, with a smooth, low action. And it really holds its volume all the way up the neck, really singing all the way up to the highest reaches of the neck.
Visually, the wood is the star, but there’s lot of nice detail too, an interesting, non-traditional headstock shape, abalone position markers and koa binding and soundhole rosette. It is striking and just a bit gorgeous.
The OE-TRC-EB from Big Island had very robust, closed, geared tuners, with attractive hardwood buttons. Aquila strings are fitted and while if this were mine, I'd experiment with different options, the tone is gorgeous as it is. Forward, bright, complex and rich, it has a bit of everything. Great sustain and volume too, which given the body isn't the hugely deep, is testament to the fine construction and materials.
There's also a good quality undersaddle passive pickup fitted so you can plug in and play. Plus a smart, black, Big Island branded hard case.
This is one of those ukes with a hefty price tag - but one that once you get to grips with it, is entirely justified.