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View Full Version : Quiet Practice Uke - Risa Stick or Pono TE-2?



besley
03-30-2017, 12:25 PM
So I am interested in getting something fairly quiet to practice with in a tenor size. And based on what I've read here the two ukes that come to mind are the Risa Stick and the Pono Teno TE-2. Any thoughts on these, or others? The Risa would certainly be more quiet than the Pono, and a bit cheaper. But I don't really need the ultra portability of the Risa, so I wonder if I wouldn't be sacrificing comfort for a feature that I wouldn't use.

Suggestions?

jer
03-30-2017, 12:42 PM
The Risa is a solid, well-built instrument. Expect to play it with a strap always though and get a bit of a different feel. I've never played the Pono you mentioned. I have played one of these: https://www.elderly.com/lanikai-makau-series-manana-t-tenor-ukulele-chambered-solidbody-with-pickup-gigbag.htm
That's a good option you might want to look at too. It is well built and loud enough to be heard unplugged.

jer
03-30-2017, 12:48 PM
I just found a little review thread I'd started when I had one of these on a trial basis:
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?106868-Lanikai-Manana-T

For the record, I'm not big on the unplugged sound of the Risa either. I do realize they're not made for that though. It's good enough for what it is, but these ukes sound a lot better plugged in, in my opinion. You could put in some headphones with an amp or something and get the low volume with a bigger sound still.

daviddecom
03-30-2017, 01:39 PM
I actually got the Risa Stick partly because it was so compact---not that I really travel all that much, but being so compact, it's easy just to take with me everywhere. It is true that after a week, I'm still in the adjustment phase with mine, but it continues to get easier with practice. And what's better for practice than always having a ukulele with you? Note: I do use it with a headphone amp; I don't particularly care for the unplugged sound.

I've never tried the Pono (or any other solid-body uke, for that matter), but it certainly looks like there would be way less of an adjustment than with the Risa. The Pono body looks like it's still a fair amount thinner than a normal uke, though, so you'd still have that to get used to, and there's also no sound hole, which I guess could affect your right hand a little bit.

Croaky Keith
03-30-2017, 11:50 PM
RISA solid/stick - play it quiet, play it loud (with a mini amp), ultra compact, hard to damage, play it anywhere........ ;)

SteveZ
03-31-2017, 03:22 AM
RISA solid/stick - play it quiet, play it loud (with a mini amp), ultra compact, hard to damage, play it anywhere........ ;)

Love it. Sold one once. Realized soon afterwards that was a mistake. Bought another. Won't make that mistake again.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
03-31-2017, 06:12 AM
I hope I'm not raining on your parade (if you're really looking to get another uke),
but you could also try to muffle the sound of your conventional uke by stuffing
some cloth or a plastic bag in the sound hole...?

just a thought.

otherwise, what our good friends have already suggested... above! :)

keep uke'in',

bborzell
04-02-2017, 10:53 AM
In my view, this is an apples/oranges kind of thing.

The Risa is a solid piece of wood and produces very little tone of it's own. The Pono is not a conventional sold body instrument; it is chambered with a quality piece of wood on top. As such, it produces a fair amount of decent tone as well as volume without being plugged in. Mine is similar to my solid body/chambered Godin mandolin. Both can be played acoustically while producing respectable tone and volume.

As for practicing with either with an emphasis on "quiet", one can get a lot of mileage out of reducing the "attack" on the strings. That said, I rarely play either of my chambered solid body instruments simply because I want to play quietly. None of my acoustics are particularly deafening at any volume.

1931jim
04-02-2017, 03:25 PM
I hope I'm not raining on your parade (if you're really looking to get another uke),
but you could also try to muffle the sound of your conventional uke by stuffing
some cloth or a plastic bag in the sound hole...?

just a thought.

otherwise, what our good friends have already suggested... above! :)

keep uke'in',
Years ago when we had babies around our feet I was playing guitar and I did just what you suggested to quieten the sound. Should I mention a clean diaper in the sound hole.? i know it sounds vulgar but it worked well.

SteveZ
04-03-2017, 02:20 AM
Needing to play quietly can be for many reasons.

If the instrument is never going to leave one's home or other more-or-less permanent lication, the "diaper" solution is not a bad one. That way, should circumstances change, the instrument can be quickly restored to "full voice."

If the instrument is being taken on travel as an entertainment mode when in hotel rooms and other semi-public locations, the RISA stick or something like it is good. The solid-piece-of-wood is great for its ability to take travel abuse while also occupying a smsll amount of luggage space. It can be hauled inside any type of carry-on and stuck in luggage racks with little fear of damage.

Cornfield
04-03-2017, 02:23 AM
https://www.facebook.com/1807323596179621/videos/1900461036865876/

Intersting

ckellogg
04-03-2017, 03:25 AM
I've had an Eleuke Peanut for several years, and it's my most played ukulele. Because it's quiet and indestructible. It doesn't have the best sound; I'm sure the Risa and Pono are better instruments. But at a price point just over $100, it's perfect for me. It fits in a handbag, so it goes on planes, trains, and automobiles with me.

ScooterD35
04-03-2017, 03:49 AM
Tuck a piece of foam rubber between the strings and the top down by the bridge of any Ukulele and that should make it quiet enough to practice pretty much anywhere.


Scooter

1931jim
04-03-2017, 04:30 AM
Tuck a piece of foam rubber between the strings and the top down by the bridge of any Ukulele and that should make it quiet enough to practice pretty much anywhere.


Scooter

Yes. PlusPlus.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-03-2017, 05:42 AM
What ckellogg said about the Eleuke Peanut, now in several models :)

keep uke'in',