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View Full Version : NUD: Alulu solid acacia tenor



Calypso
11-24-2015, 08:34 AM
First of all, I'd like to thank the members of UU who posted about these ukuleles. I've read so many positive things about them, I felt confident enough to buy this little gem from Taisamlu on ebay.

This instrument sounds amazing! It has such a singing, sweet sound. It's the first acacia uke I've owned, the others are mahogany/laminate and while they sound great, this one just sounds so very different.

Build wise, it's immaculate. The grain is so sweet, I decided against fancy inlays on the body. This has abalone around the body (front and back) and the sound hole and it's beautiful. The tree of life style motif on the fretboard is gorgeous and doesn't really come out in the pictures. When the light hits it just right, it's a riot of rainbows. The nut and saddle are buffalo bone. And it came with a hard case which is always a bonus.

The neck is quite slim which is good for me - small girly hands and not very long fingers. Frets are dressed immaculately. The rosewood on the board is so dark it's almost like ebony and is smooth as silk.

I've heard that ukuleles from Taiwan/Vietnam are quite heavy, and maybe some of them are, but this one certainly isn't. It feels no heavier than my laminate Fender T-bucket and lighter than my Luna 8 string.

The only downside to this ukulele was very high action. The first few frets were okay but it measured 5mm at the 12th fret so something had to be done. I've never lowered the action on a ukulele before, so this was a first for me. But Google helped and it only took me 20 minutes to loosen the strings, extract the bridge, mark it and sand it down. Job done and no fret buzz - now it's a joy to play. I'll leave the Aquillas it came with on for a while but I've got a set of Worth Clears which I'll probably put on relatively soon.

My pics just didn't come out well at all so I'm using the seller's images - which I feel okay doing because this is the exact ukulele I got. I checked it, grain for grain. It's the last of the line, it seems. These images are so much better than mine (my phone camera's a bit... meh).

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PhilUSAFRet
11-24-2015, 10:15 AM
Congrats. Don't be too shocked if it mellows out more than you wanted with the new strings (unless that is what you want to do). A lot of Asian solid acacia ukes are kind of heavy and Aquilas will generally give you a loud, woody bark without being overly brash. Good luck and keep us appraised of it's sound.

Calypso
11-24-2015, 11:39 AM
Thanks, both. It really is a keeper.

Phil - noted. But this uke isn't heavy at all, like I said above, it's comparable in weight with my Fender T-bucket so maybe I'll get lucky.

I'll keep you posted on the string change, though. It was only through people leaving their comments on Alulus that persuaded me to go with my feelings and buy one, so I appreciate that all info is valuable to the community. :agree:

dwh
11-24-2015, 05:46 PM
Nice grab.
I got an Alulu guitarlele about 8 months back. It is a very nice instrument. It did develop 2 hairline cracks in the lower bout below the saddle. I was disappointed, but Taisamlu made it good and refunded a portion of the cost. The cracks don't affect the sound at all, and it (the sound) has become even more sweet over time. I would recommend an Oasis humidifier for your uke. Enjoy your new instrument ; its' a beaut!

Bao
11-24-2015, 06:34 PM
Congratulations on the Alulu!
My experiences with their ukes (I've had multiple in the past) were all positive. As with any solid wood instrument, keeping it in the case when not in play will keep it from developing any cracks (at least for me it didn't). The sound was always fantastic with every uke I had but with every uke, there were always physical flaws. Many were ukulele finish chips but were always posted as part of the photos on the auction. Some just didn't have a nice wood grain. Apart from that, if looks don't matter very much to you and you just want a grinder ukulele, Alulu is the way to go!

Calypso
11-25-2015, 01:29 AM
Thanks all.

dwh - thanks for the pointer about the humidifier, although I doubt if I'll need it. I live in the UK and we're not known for our arid, dry climate. ;) Even with the central heating on, the ukulele lives in a coolish room with no direct heat. But I'll take a look at that oasis anyway, cheers.

dwh
11-30-2015, 01:48 PM
Calypso, I think you won't need the humidifier in the UK.
I live in the left bottom coast of the US where humidity fluctuates often, and heat and dryness prevail more often than not.
Cheers!

Calypso
01-12-2016, 06:45 AM
dwh - Yea... the last thing I need is a humidifier! ;)

Bao - no problems yet and yes, I do keep it in the case as a matter of course, as I do with my other ukes. Best place for it when not in use! But I doubt I'll have any atmospheric problems here in the UK. Even in summer, there's enough moisture in the air to stop conditions getting too dry.

Phil - as promised, an update on the re-stringing.

The Worth Clears sound very much warmer than the Aquilas and I personally prefer the sound of them, especially on this uke as the warmth seems to bring out the sweetness of the wood. I got a low G set and this is the first time I've used a low G string without any metal wrapping. Plus side to that is no squeak whatsoever and it seems to resonate very well. The volume has dropped ever so slightly since ditching the Aquilas but that's not a deal-breaker for me, especially as I much prefer the sound of the Worths with the Acacia body.

Btw, I'm not sure why some people say that changing strings on a slotted headstock is difficult. You just need to remember that the tuners all turn the same way and that's it. It was a very easy re-stringing.

I may try Worths on my laminate Fender T-Bucket when it next comes time to restring it - although I leave that uke as a re-entrant (for variety), so I'll get the high G version.

ZappCatt
03-12-2016, 01:06 PM
Can you give us an update on your Alulu Uke a month later? Are you still happy with it? Has it started to crack? Has it "opened up" some, a lot?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

Calypso
05-31-2018, 04:32 AM
I did promise an update - but I didn't intend for it to be this long! Still, this is a good opportunity to let you know what's been happening with it long term.

Which isn't much at all. It hasn't changed/dried out/popped any of its fret wires/cracked wood etc. It's still in the same sweet condition as when I got it. As for the strings, I've been using the Worth Clears on it for a few years now and they're great. I was tempted to try Worth Browns (my husband uses these on his Gretsch) as they give a lovely mellow tone but why mess with perfection, is what I say. The Clears and the Alulu love each other and I'd be the last to break up such a fine romance.

It's still my favourite uke. Ever since I lowered the action and changed the strings, it plays like a dream. I've not heard such a pure, sweet tone from any other ukulele. But then, I've not come across another solid Acacia instrument and you can't really tell absolutely how something sounds on YouTube compared to live.

I see they're still making these although my particular design seems to have vanished - and they've got their own website too - http://www.alulu.com and they're even selling on Amazon US. Bit more pricey but that's to be expected.

So, all in all, I'm still in love with this uke and haven't found another which comes even close. Even Kala are selling solid Acacias now, but for four hundred quid or so! A few years ago most of the Names were sniffing down their corporate noses at Acacia. Different story now.

Ziret
05-31-2018, 04:44 AM
Nice to see the love last so long. That's a lovely uke. Thanks for coming back with an update. It sounds like you two have been making beautiful music.

Nickie
05-31-2018, 05:41 AM
Congratulations! Looks great!

Calypso
05-31-2018, 10:05 AM
Nice to see the love last so long. That's a lovely uke. Thanks for coming back with an update. It sounds like you two have been making beautiful music.


Congratulations! Looks great!

Thanks. 'Tis a thing of beauty and a joy to behold... and play. ;)

Jerryc41
06-01-2018, 02:06 AM
Nice. I like that stand.

Jerryc41
06-01-2018, 02:08 AM
Even Kala are selling solid Acacias now, but for four hundred quid or so! A few years ago most of the Names were sniffing down their corporate noses at Acacia. Different story now.

There's nothing wrong with acacia. Koa is in the acacia family.

Calypso
06-01-2018, 11:22 AM
There's nothing wrong with acacia. Koa is in the acacia family.

I know that and you know that but a few years ago, it was a different story.

Jerryc41
06-01-2018, 11:56 AM
I know that and you know that but a few years ago, it was a different story.

The times they are a changin'. :)