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This article was originally published in issue #14
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This is a very reasonably priced concert ukulele with a laminate mahogany top, back and sides, a rosewood bridge and fingerboard and open geared machine-heads. The binding is a very attractive combination of green abalone and an outer strip of cream A.B.S that lends an artistic air of class and the high gloss finish compounds this. There is a slight niggling feeling that the sheer thickness of varnish is choking the sound in a little bit though. The table is quite thick as it is and so to maximise the volume and tone, the TU9 needs all the help it can get. On the subject of tone, this uke sports 14 frets to the body, as opposed to the more usual 12. You have better access at the top of the neck obviously, but usually compromise the full potential tonally of the instrument (this goes for acoustic guitars too, by the way). With the neck moved along a bit, the bridge has to move too and no longer ends up between the widest points of the body (it's now closer to the soundhole) and so the sound is no longer transferring directly down into the most cavernous part of the chamber. Sometimes this can be compensated for in other ways, but the TU9's potential is in my mind, somewhat compromised by this choice in construction. It does however give it a bright, choppy sound that you can strum the hell out of, and that lends itself well to the music hall style of song. This one is good ol' fashioned fun!