Monday, 26 November 2012

Republic Resophonic Ukulele. (Updated).

I've owned this uke for over a week now:
New Resonator Uke
First off it may be helpful to understand some of the history and principles of resophonic instruments by going here: RESONATOR UKULELE
I've linked to the ukulele version but the general principles remain the same for all the resophonic family of instruments.
Essentially they were created to be LOUD so that they could compete with brass and reed instruments in dance bands of days gone by.

This uke certainly looks the business.
Although it says 'Republic' (an American Guitar Manufacturer) on the head-stock it was made in China and the same models can be found with other names attached to them, but they're essentially the same.
You can even get a 'distressed' version.

It's quite heavy, that's to be expected, yet the actual weight still comes as a surprise to anyone unused to this type of instrument.
A strap button on the body would have been nice to facilitate longer periods of 'stand-up' playing, but I could fit one myself should the need arise.

I've written about my dislike/trust of tuning pegs and I still prefer geared machine heads.
Having said that, these pegs seem to be fine, if a little on the budget end of the scale, hold the tuning well and only ever require slight tweaking:
The action is good which makes it so much easier to play index finder style than any of my other ukes:
Build quality is good through out, but I'd like to get a look at the inside of the body.

The neck is a good deal deeper than I'm used to and I prefer it as it seems to feel more 'positive' and I have very big hands.

What's it sound like?
It sounds like a resonator.
There's not a great deal of sustain compared to a wooden uke but I like that.
It really comes into its own when it's 'pushed' and I'd like to play along with a trad jazz band to find out if it can cut through that overall sound.

Mystic Rog (tip-top finger-style guitar player) had a go with it and, after I'd managed to wrestle it out of his clutches, announced that it was 'really nice' which qualifies as high praise from Rog. 

I really like this uke, it's full of songs.


If you consider buying one of these instruments you will need a polishing cloth.
I use one I found in an old glasses case.