View Full Version : Risa Concert Stick with geared tuners

10-23-2010, 08:48 AM
I got a request to review my Risa Concert Stick, in particular to compare it to my soprano, which my husband made me sell after getting the concert.

Both are extremely well made instruments, and I'm thrilled with them and would highly recommend them. With the zero fret the action is low and very playable, and the intonation is perfect.

They are quiet enough unplugged to play without disturbing others in the room, but loud enough to hear yourself play. I spent many hours playing my new concert while listening to "family" stories this summer. Plugged in they sound great. I keep a small AmpUPlugNPlay in the case, which brings the volume up to about the level of an acoustic ukulele.

These also travel well. I packed both of them in my checked bag (a large duffle) for numerous flights this summer and didn't have any problems. Not to mention the thousands of miles they traveled with us this summer in our rental car.

As much as I loved the soprano, I had a couple of issues with it that had nothing to do with the instrument, and everything to do with the player.

First of all, I am primarily a concert player. My "main" uke is a concert, and I spent so much time practicing on the soprano that I started having some scale issues. This was a particular problem as I rarely look at my fingers and so I was often slightly "off" where I needed to be, finger-wise.

The second problem is that I really dislike friction tuners. For me, it is an issue of hand strength, the result of a traumatic hand injury. I am frequently annoyed when people say that friction tuners work just as well as geared tuners. This is just not true for everyone. My snarky thoughts on this matter are that some people who don't have issues with friction tuners either have much stronger hands, a great deal more patience, and/or less sensitive ears than I have.

Anyway, when a UU member put his Risa Concert Stick with geared tuners up for sale, I had to have it. And I have no regrets. This uke is perfect for me. The geared tuners are silky smooth and easy to use, and much easier on me than the friction tuners. And the concert size is just right, and has taken care of my "scale" issues.

The only downside is that the concert is enough larger that it won't fit in my backpack. So now I have to sling it over my shoulder instead.

Here is my newest uke, Briony, who has been embellished with stickers.


mm stan
10-23-2010, 10:51 AM
Aloha Sailquest,
I'm still thinking about buying one, their are kinda expensive though...maybe a second hand one such as yours....in the meantime, I bought a
Captain's backpacker concert ukulele, which I use a night..I wonder how the Risa would stand up against it???since the Captain's backpacker has
an body like an regular ukulele, sound wise plug in and not...wish I could have a comparision with the two...What is your opinion of it unplugged..
I see you have adorned your Risa with decals....makes me think of the 60's with the flower power and love theme... Old hippie me, MM Stan

10-23-2010, 02:05 PM
I play my Risa unplugged mostly. It's quiet enough that it doesn't disturb my sleeping husband, but loud enough that I can hear myself play. I also do a lot of "noodling around" with it while I chat and socialize. It's so unobtrusive that it doesn't interfere.

Risa sticks are a bit expensive and I'm glad that I got both of mine used. I would have had trouble justifying the purchase of the concert if I had been buying it new, since I already had the soprano. (Thanks, Kissing!)

As for the stickers...I have "embellished" all of my ukes. My friends tease me, but it makes me happy. I'm feeling groovy. :D