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View Full Version : Riptide by Boulder Creek - EUT-2N



deach
12-11-2009, 04:35 AM
Features

* What year was it made? Where was is made? 2009, not sure where
* How many frets? 18
* Solid-Top? Laminated top? Solid Spruce Top, Laminated rosewood sides and back.
* Any pickups or electronics? Yes, ActiveBoulder Creek UK-300T preamp and pickup system with built-in tuner
* Finish Glossy
* Body style Tenor
* Bridge style stop tailpiece
* Tuners generic, sealed, geared


Sound

* How does it suit your music style? It's very bright but that can be control through the on-board electronics. If you don't like bright ukes, this may not be the uke for you.
* What amps are you using it with? Acoustic AG30
* Rich/Full sound? Bright sound? It's very bright but that can be control through the on-board electronics.


Action, Fit & Finish

* How well was the ukulele set-up at the factory? The action starts off nice but gets pretty high towards the 12th fret.
* Properly bookmatched top? yes
* Properly routed bridge? yes
* Did the ukulele contain any flaws? file marks on the frets, sound holes aren't nicely finished, "dent" on the back.


Reliability/Durability

* Will this ukulele withstand live playing? probably
* Does the hardware seem like it will last? yes
* Is the finish good enough to last, or does it seem thin and easy to wear off with lots of playing? yes, the finish is on the medium to thick side.
* Can you depend on it? yes, i think so
* Would you use it on a gig without a backup? no, i always have a back-up


Customer Support

* If you've dealt with the company, how helpful/friendly were they? n/a
* Ever try and get it repaired? n/a
* Was it under warranty? dunno
* How long is the warranty dunno


Overall Rating

* How long have you been playing? 18 months
* What other gear do you own? tons
* Is there something you wish you had asked before buying this ukulele? no, i wanted to check it out for myself
* If it were stolen or lost, would you buy it again or get something else? not sure. probably not.
* What do you love about it? the side-port
* What do you hate? all the small imperfections
* Did you compare it to other ukuleles? Which ones? no, there are no other ukes with side-ports at this price range
* Why did you choose this one? for side-port and pick-up
* Anything you wish it had? better quality control

Sound sample and review.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-tGsLU1OeM

Sambient
12-11-2009, 05:05 AM
Very informative video review of your "Kiptide".
May I ask what the uke is that you do the soundhole finish comparison with? Just that momentary flash of it with it's peacock feather eye shaped soundhole has me very fascinated.

Oh, and as if you were not a cute enough specimen, a Saffire The Uppity Blues Women t-shirt? Hubba hubba!

jerickson
12-11-2009, 06:10 AM
Thanks, Deach for the review and the youtube video review as well. I was curious about those ukes. I think I'll hold off on getting one. Looks like they have a few quality control issues to fix first. Thanks again!

UKISOCIETY
12-11-2009, 06:39 AM
eh. it's alright.:)

deach
12-11-2009, 07:13 AM
Very informative video review of your "Kiptide".
May I ask what the uke is that you do the soundhole finish comparison with? Just that momentary flash of it with it's peacock feather eye shaped soundhole has me very fascinated.

It's a Nalu ukulele.



Oh, and as if you were not a cute enough specimen, a Saffire The Uppity Blues Women t-shirt? Hubba hubba!
Love me some Saffire!

Pueo
12-11-2009, 08:24 AM
Hmm, I was going to get one too, just because:
1. I have outgrown my Lanikai LU21-T. The intonation is so bad it's 10% out of tune by the time you get to the third fret. I am looking for a uke to take around that I can worry about less than my Koa Pono.

2. I too wanted to try a side sound port that was not so expensive

3. The gadget factor, built-in Tuner, seemed like a great idea. Plus, I have no plug-in ukes and I want one.

4. I like the look of it

So, Hmmm. I wish I could play one first, I have only seen them for sale online so far.

After that review, I think my take-along uke will be a fluke/flea or a mainland, neither of which I own (yet!).

Does anyone out there own both a Flea/Fluke and a Mainland?
If you can only afford to get one as your traveling uke, which one would you get?

Hmmm. Should that have been in a new thread?

UKISOCIETY
12-11-2009, 10:01 AM
Does anyone out there own both a Flea/Fluke and a Mainland?
If you can only afford to get one as your traveling uke, which one would you get?

Hmmm. Should that have been in a new thread?

Probably, but the Flea would be a bit more beat-up-able (?) for use as a travel uke. I own a Flea and 4 Mainlands. The Ohana sopranino is an excellent travel uke.

Link
12-11-2009, 10:45 AM
[COLOR="Indigo"]
Does anyone out there own both a Flea/Fluke and a Mainland?
If you can only afford to get one as your traveling uke, which one would you get?COLOR]

I've had and loved both very dearly. The Mainland is far and away the better uke. but for travel the Flea/Fluke cannot be beat. I dropped that thing so many times, no damage whatsoever.

Chuck Rogers
12-30-2009, 12:30 PM
I brought the EUB-2N which is the baritone version of this ukulele. My ukulele arrived with fewer quality problems. The finish on the sound holes is well done, except that the Abalone around the top port isn't perfectly centered. No dents. The action is not too high and stays the same down the frets. It did arrive with a strong smell which said to me that the finish should had been given more time to dry before shipping.

It came with Aquila strings (standard baritone G tuning) which I changed to Aquila strings (C tuning with a low G string.) I agree that the sound is brighter than many would like, but the tone is beautiful and full. As mentioned the electronics are very effective at adjusting the tone. I've found the built-in tuner to work well with either tuning.

Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase.

SweetWaterBlue
12-30-2009, 01:16 PM
I replied to Deach's YouTube thread there, but I will do so here again. Good honest review.

That said, I have come to the conclusion that if you buy a mass-produced uke from a store that doesn't provide setup its a crap shoot. I had to do considerable work to my Kala tenor nut and first fret to make it right, although I could have taken it back and exchanged it if I hadn't been handy and not afraid to work on things myself. When I look at mass-produced ukes in the big box stores I'd say half have fret, buzz, intonation, or other problems. Its definitely buyer beware on those. I would never buy another without a thorough going over by me.

My flea was a different animal (no pun intended) altogether. It just worked well out of the box and just seems well made. I guess its just easier to control the tolerances on pieces of plastic than wood. Not to further derail the thread, but since someone asked, I hinted strongly to Santa at the flea as my sort of knock-around travel uke. It doesn't have as good a tone as my Kala tenor, but as another poster once said, "It is always standing at attention waiting for me to play it." I don't worry much about sitting it on its bottom where my dogs can knock it over, and believe me my dogs make toddlers look sedate. When I see something I want to try out, I reach for the Flea about 90% of the time. Its easier to play with its great action. It fits nicely in a small overnight bag.

ichadwick
01-28-2010, 01:31 AM
Deach sent me his Riptide uke and after a few days playing, I'm still hesitant about it. I haven't fully warmed up to it, but then I don't dislike it either. Lukewarm would be the best description so far. I am taking it to work to play whenever it's quiet, and give me a chance to appreciate it more. Here are my first impressions:

It's loud, it's bright, and it has a certain panache in its looks. It looks a little like an archtop. People who see it in the store seem to like it. The side port really makes it easy to hear myself playing.

Comparing it one-against-one with other ukes, it has a very distinct voice (and like I said, louder than most) and you can clearly hear every string. That being said, the bass G (it was tuned low G) is very noticeable, even a bit boomy. The sideport magnifies it for the player, but that projects forward, too.

Had I been the designer, I would have made the side port a little smaller and the front hole a bit larger.There are low tones that just don't fit through the front, but can be heard in the side. Nice as it is to hear myself, I think what the audience hears will count more.

Sustain, however, is modest and the decay time is short compared to others (the Mainland has the longest sustain I've heard). It's a little shorter (to my old ears) sustain than my Kala cedar or Pono mango. This adds to the sense that every string stands out because with less sustain, they don't blend as much. Not bad, just different.

The top has only two braces, which seems to suggest a thick topboard to hold up against the stresses, thus possibly thicker than others use. There's no indication I can see of sculpting on the inside, so it's just a flat surface. Again, had I been the designer, I would have opted for a thinner top and more bracing. By my understanding, a somewhat thinner top would produce more sustain.

When I put my fingers into the side port, I can feel the rough edge inside. It appears a small piece of laminate broke away from the side when the port was being cut. Not a big deal since it isn't visible, but it reflects less than perfect quality control. There are no outstanding flaws on the exterior. Overall it's as well made as Kala, Mainland or Ohana.

The electronics are okay. Active, rather than passive. Sounds fine through an amp. The tuner is useful, especially since it seems to slip out of tune easily - but that may be just because the stings are still breaking in. You need to balance the output tone a bit with your equalizer because it tends to be boomy on the lower strings when amplified. Overall, I can't hear a big difference between the Riptide electronics and the Kala electronics. It seems to be less prone to feedback than most of my other ukes, probably because of the large, solid surface.

The cable port is on the lower side, and it's closed with a small nut so it's almost flush with the wood. I recommend getting an extruded button-style nut for it so you can put a strap on it. Otherwise you'll have to screw a strap button into the end block if you want a strap. That lower jack will also change how you play when you sit if it's plugged in - at least for me it seems to be located at exactly the point when I balance a uke on my thigh when seated.

Neck is wider than Kala - similar to the Mainland. Smooth enough, too. Fret edges are okay, and strings are a reasonable distance from the edges so they can't get easily pulled off when bending. Uke is light too (will weight today and report back), which is unexpected since the solid top implies a heavier instrument.

The intonation seems good, but the string height is a hair higher at the 12th and upper frets than I'd like. The saddle is already so low I doubt it can be lowered to compensate. There's a slight buzz on the G sting at the1st and 2nd fret too, not really noticeable when strumming, but I can hear it through the side port when picking. That may be just the neck adjusting to the local environment (it's dry winter here).

I'll add more after I've had more time with it to get to know it better.