View Full Version : Tenayo Banjo-Uke (similar to...)

07-11-2010, 09:44 PM
OK, I finally did it and bought a Banjo-Uke at Thomann's here in Germany. It was 175 including p&h, ordered on Friday and had it in my Hands on Saturday :o The Brand Name says "Tenayo", but when I compare it with the "Rally" and some "Countryman" offered via eBay and the rest of the Net, I gues those are all the same, made in China.
The specs: It is a concert-sied Uke, 18 Frets. Neck is made out of Walnut, Rim and Resonator made out of laminated Walnut. Fretboard is Rosewood. It has 12 Brackets. Tuners are geared which might be an optical breakdown but they're very easy to handle and you can't expect planetary geared tuners on an Instrument in this prize-range.
The building quality is quite good. I couldn't find any flaws. Frets are well done. Everything seems to be very solid.
After unpacking the Instrument, I was a bit surprised. This is the first banjo-ish Instrument ever that I saw sent with an installed bridge. But OK, nothing happened... The first tuning was, as expected, a pain in th a**. Dunno if this is normal, but all my tuning devices (I use clip on chromatic tuners) have problems with Banjos. I always have to put one Finger on the head and damp the other three strings to get one proper in tune. Even then it always take some time. After the tuning, I started the first strums and felt very disapointed. The sound was very muffeld, not even close to a Banjo. My Vita-Clone sounded more like a Banjo then that thing. So I tried to tune the Uke to ADF#B instead of my standard GCEA. Great Idea... BANG! first string broken. So I headed to the local music store and got some new strings. Unfortunatley they only had daddario nylon strings. I think fluorcarbon strings are better for a Banjo-Uke and I ordered some. But on Saturday it was important to have some strings, no matter which. I restrung the Uke and was still disappointed. I decided to give more tension to the Remo-Head. For that purpose a special wrench is included. Tighten up the Head made a BIG difference! Now it sounds like a real Banjo-Uke :cool: I tried a few settings and ended up with 2,5 turns tighter then the original setup was.
Now I'm very happy with that Uke. Sound is loud and clear but I'm sure it will be even better with the carbon-strings. Playability is very good. Nice low action and no fret-buzzing or anything else.

Conclusion: For the money I've paid, this is a cute little Banjo-Uke. The Broken String might be a Problem of the String itself, dunno which strings were originally on the Uke. A little bit of setup work had to be done what might be a Problem for a Newbie. But I think that's normal for a Banjo-style Instrument. This will definitely not be my last Banjo-Uke. I'm looking for a BU with a great Resonator but currently, I can't afford one of those. But even then I will keep this little cutie for take away and jamming on parties. I'm satisfied with this instrument.

Pictures will follow...

Sorry for my English, I'm not a native speaker. If there is anything that yo can't understand, tell me and I'll try to explain.