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View Full Version : Bruko No.4 Soprano



crossing_kidron
01-19-2010, 07:53 PM
Before I get to my review, I just want to say that I may be biased, because I'm in love with this little german. Fell in love with it in the store, and even though the top string kept going out of tune, I still loved it (who knows why)! Anyway, that problem was fixed and I'll discuss it below. Hope this review helps the aspiring ukulele player to find out more info on the Bruko - reviews of this great little instrument are few and far between.

Product: Bruko No. 4 Soprano - Mahogany
Price Paid: $170AUD

Features :8
I scored this pretty well in respect of the price you are paying for it. For its price you get: full solid construction and a decent tonewood (mahogany), , good-quality tuners (once I figured out how to adjust them) and really well built guitar with the feeling of something hand-made. Downside is that it's stocked with average strings and no case.

Sound :7
I loved the sound in the store and I love it now. It has a bright tone and responds quite well. I marked this a little lower because I know uke players love sustain, and granted this Bruko doesn't have the sustain of other ukulele's I've seen. Intonation is quite good from what my ear perceived (I'm not perfect pitch, but I can sing in tune). That said, I know it's not perfect, but I know I'm not fussed. It's mellow in an interesting way - best comparison I have is like the way a Maton guitar is mellow, but bright - but it's not the deep and smooth sound of a Martin. Great for singing to pop songs and the perfect sound for singing around a campfire.

Action, Fit, & Finish :10
Action from setup is great by me, from what I think. Others may think it is a little high, but when I think about my first experience with my dad's 70's guitar and a warped neck...I say deal with the action, it adds to the sound. The finish and make looks beautiful. You can tell someone has put time into making this instrument feel like it has been passed through loving hands (although just to clarify, it's still made in a small factory in Germany (http://www.brueko.com/en/company.html)...hey that's still pretty good). Impeccable is all I say. Satin stain, raw look, feels like it came straight from the luthierer and into your hands - I'm a sucker for that stuff.

Reliability/Durability : 7
My experience on this side has been...different. I played for about 3 weeks and the top string kept going out of tune. I was going absolutely crazing thinking the intonation was all out, but it was the tuning peg slipping all the time. After 2 emails, the problem was sorted, and a screwdriver with a quick twist of the tuning peg screw resolved the problem. That said, if this could happen from the store-front, I would imagine that the tuning peg screws will loosen over time. Personally, that doesn't bother me too much looking into the future.

Customer Support :11
One word. Impressive. So I had trouble with my tuning pegs. Naturally, you email the company and expect an automated response. Instead, in 15 minutes, I had a personal email from Hubert Pfeiffer, the owner of the company. One word. Impressive! He was really helpful and just the thought of the company owner responding to you personally about a query just makes you think more about the love put into their instruments.


Overall Rating : 8 +1 for the experience
When I rate something, nothing is ever a 10. Something has to be very impressive to be a 9. And for instruments, anything above an 8 will require the spending of thousands of dollars to get there. So that said, for a good price, I got myself an instrument that sounds great, feels handmade, looks captivating and I corresponded with the owner (+1!). Here's the disclaimer, for the same price (mainly because of the importing price of the bruko), there are a lot of ukulele's that are competitive to it. You'll get great sounding ukes that can hold its note, intonation will be good and it will stay in tune. But what you get too is a factory made instrument that, well, looks and feels factory made. I love my uke, but what's more, I fell for the experience and story behind the instument. Any questions about it, feel free to give me a yell.

buddhuu
01-19-2010, 11:33 PM
Thanks for posting your review! :)

Skrik
01-20-2010, 12:59 AM
Brüko is good. Can you post a pic of the No. 4? I can't find it on the company site. Thanks.

crossing_kidron
01-20-2010, 02:58 PM
Yeah, gotta love the Brukos. There actually is a photo of the No.4 on the company site (or at least a replica of it).

http://www.brueko.com/galerie/vierer.jpg

and another one from a store:

http://acousticcentre.com.au/uploadedFiles/1212384974828-9789.jpg

I don't think photos do it justice though, it looks better in my hands haha. Hope this helps!

Skrik
01-20-2010, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the photos. That colour scheme is not for me, but I expect the build quality to be first rate. Enjoy it.

micromue
01-21-2010, 02:24 AM
Thanks for your review. The No. 4 is a great uke and quite popular around germany. It is actually made from solid maple, not mahogany. Thats why I like its bright and snappy sound. Play it hard!

crossing_kidron
01-22-2010, 01:40 AM
Yeah I love the uke, i'm confused now, the guy at the store sold it to me as having a mahogany body, but looking over the site, i paid the price for a maple one...but that explains the bright and snappy sound because my guitar has got queensland maple back and sides (although how much it affects the tone i don't know)...anyway, i stand corrected if it is a maple wood, but quite confused now haha

micromue
01-22-2010, 08:00 AM
As long as you paid the appropriate price you have nothing to worry about. :D I own three bruekos (incl. the maple No. 4, the mahogany No. 6 and a custom model made from moor oak) and they are all great. BTW, the mahogany ones look like this

http://www.brueko.de/shop/images/product_images/info_images/20_0.jpg

They not only look, but also sound very different. Mellow with a lot of midrange "bark". You should get one as your next instrument ;)!

Bratset
01-23-2010, 04:59 AM
Good review!
Thanks for posting

waterdog226
02-11-2010, 01:31 PM
I purchased a Bruko concert at the factory in Kitzingen Bavaria Germany last year. It has rosewood back and sides, finger board and a cedar top. It came with very bright Pyramid strings. It is a wonderful instrument with lovely tone. I was given a tour of the factory too. I would not hesitate buying another Bruko. They are very well made and I am very happy with it. It is hard to put down sometimes. They also have some swamp oak on hand that is thousands of years old and would make a uke out of that if any one was interested. Maybe some day.