Rubin ukes? Tom Uke?

bnolsen

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I couldn't stand the very unstable stock fake aquila strings so I replaced them with Worth CHs which are great even with GCEA tuning!
 
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Ukuleledad

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My Pocket Rubin arrived a couple of days ago. I must say that I'm very pleasantly surprised with just how much Uke I've got for the money (around £30 delivered) I'm a big fan of Pocket Ukes and I would have no hesitation recommending this for anyone who is thinking of trying one out.
 

theabsurdman

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i liked my rp-400 so much (see review upthread) i bought another Rubin: the RP-700 Solid Cedar Top Zebrawood 17" Sopranino

$_57.jpg

but this time not so happy.
problem is the fretboard, see image below:
rp-700.jpg
if you look closely you'll see the frets don't actually span the board as there is a strange edge-strip on either side; however the nut is a standard width with the result that the G and A strings fall off the ends of the frets when you play them near the nut!
As a temporary solution, I cut new nut slots for the outer strings further in which of course means the strings are now unevenly spaced, but at least I can play it.
The ultimate solution will be to fit a completely new narrower nut.

Besides this, the uke body is a bit deeper than the rp-400 (about 10%) and it's louder but not as sweet sounding to my ear -- more like a regular Chinese soprano. the C string in particular barks.
It does look nice though.
I'm going to give it to my 11 year old daughter once I've fixed the nut.
 
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Ukuleledad

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My Pocket Rubin arrived a couple of days ago. I must say that I'm very pleasantly surprised with just how much Uke I've got for the money (around £30 delivered) I'm a big fan of Pocket Ukes and I would have no hesitation recommending this for anyone who is thinking of trying one out.

Now the Tom has arrived -this was only a little over £20 delivered!
min 002.jpg
 

snowy

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Rubin Ukuleles seem to have disappeared from Amazon and EBay. Their website returns a blank HTML page.
EBay listings say the instruments were pulled offline by the seller. No reason given.
Anyone have news?

I picked up an RT-301 in July (solid spruce top tenor, laminate blonde back and sides, active "UK-2000" pickup).
My experience was much the same as earlier posters--the nut/saddle needed adjusting, and the electronics were roughly installed and needed some finessing.
But, all-in-all, the "fixes" were easy and the instrument is outstanding considering the $80 (shipped!) price point.

I planned to order a couple more Rubins as Christmas gifts. . .I hope they are transitioning, and not gone forever.
 

bnolsen

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thats a huge shame. i was considering one of their ukes with a pickup. wonder what happened?
 

Olarte

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That is strange that Rubin seems to have disappeared from the internet.
I just got the pocket one last week. For the price it's a beautiful looking mahogany laminate Uke.
I must have gotten one of the last oneS and for $40 it was well worth it.
 
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chenx2

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For those who are looking for a well China made pocket/ mini uke, I would recommend a new brand called "iuke".

They get 11" (yup) and 16" available with options from laminates to all solids.

And they come with REAL Aquila strings specially developed for their mini ukes.

Here is a video of the owner of the Aquila strings, Mimmo playing an iuke when he visited the brand owner's ukulele workshop in Guangzhou, China.

 
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actadh

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That is a pretty strong video - it sounded wonderful with Mimmo playing the iuke
 

bnolsen

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iuke isn't available across the pond and they look to cost almost 3x as much as the rubins.
 

Cuchman72

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I'm very glad so far that I broke down and bought one a couple weeks ago. It is still in transit from China - I hope it all works out.
I bought the acoustic-electric tenor with the solid spruce top.
I noticed that EVERYTHING dried up from these people - ebay, amazon.....vanished.
 

chenx2

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Rubin Ukuleles seem to have disappeared from Amazon and EBay. Their website returns a blank HTML page.
EBay listings say the instruments were pulled offline by the seller. No reason given.
Anyone have news?

I picked up an RT-301 in July (solid spruce top tenor, laminate blonde back and sides, active "UK-2000" pickup).
My experience was much the same as earlier posters--the nut/saddle needed adjusting, and the electronics were roughly installed and needed some finessing.
But, all-in-all, the "fixes" were easy and the instrument is outstanding considering the $80 (shipped!) price point.

I planned to order a couple more Rubins as Christmas gifts. . .I hope they are transitioning, and not gone forever.

I struggled to find any Chinese information about this Rubin brand....but I did come across a Chinese online factory store called "Boyale" which ukuleles resembles quite a lot to the Rubins, though without the pocket uke option.
My guess is that Rubin store operator made custom orders from these low-end factories while requesting a more decent looking pickup.
 
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actadh

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iuke isn't available across the pond and they look to cost almost 3x as much as the rubins.
They seem to be available in the USA on Amazon under Aquila iukes for the spruce version.
Would still like a Rubin for the price as it would be for occasional use for me. Hope they resolve whatever the issue was - that cedar top/zebra wood one was nice.
 

snowy

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I struggled to find any Chinese information about this Rubin brand....but I did come across a Chinese online factory store called "Boyale" which ukuleles resembles quite a lot to the Rubins, though without the pocket uke option.
My guess is that Rubin store operator made custom orders from these low-end factories while requesting a more decent looking pickup.

Thanks for the response. It's great to have someone in Asia voice their research/experience.
Strictly from the images, I'm inclined to think Boyale isn't from the same factory, or craftsmen, as the Rubin ukes. This mainly because of the different bridge styles, as well as the different top ornamentation.
I could certainly be wrong though.
I have noticed a few Rubin look-a-likes on EBay lately, with no name printed on the headstock. Wondering if maybe these are some leftovers from the Rubin brand?
At any rate, sad the Rubin are gone. As are others, judging by the posts on this thread.
I'd never propose a Rubin as a first uke for a complete beginner, but for the intermediate player they were a great pairing of price and material
 

theabsurdman

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i liked my rp-400 so much (see review upthread) i bought another Rubin: the RP-700 Solid Cedar Top Zebrawood 17" Sopranino

View attachment 72139

but this time not so happy.
problem is the fretboard, see image below:
View attachment 72138
if you look closely you'll see the frets don't actually span the board as there is a strange edge-strip on either side; however the nut is a standard width with the result that the G and A strings fall off the ends of the frets when you play them near the nut!
As a temporary solution, I cut new nut slots for the outer strings further in which of course means the strings are now unevenly spaced, but at least I can play it.
The ultimate solution will be to fit a completely new narrower nut.

Besides this, the uke body is a bit deeper than the rp-400 (about 10%) and it's louder but not as sweet sounding to my ear -- more like a regular Chinese soprano. the C string in particular barks.
It does look nice though.
I'm going to give it to my 11 year old daughter once I've fixed the nut.

Update:

I'm starting to warm to this uke. After replacing the nut with one with narrower-spaced slots and getting the action down even lower, it's sounding much sweeter with loads of projection from the solid cedar top.
I think my daughter is going to be very pleased with it at Christmas.
 

Brian1

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I have three Rubin ukes the pocket zebera, a zebra soprano, and a spalted maple tenor.

The pocket is my favorite uke of all I wish I bought two of them. However, I think when I left in the house with the air conditioning turned off for a week last summer the texas heat may have not done it any justice. (or it could be my imagination) The soprano is pretty good it is built solid, maybe a little bit too solid. (not solid wood it is a laminate) My only complaint on the soprano is the first fret on the G string is a little tricky. The tuner heads might be plastic made to look metal on the soprano. That said when I pulled it out of its case I have been accused of having bought a very expensive ukulele. The Tenor was damaged in shipping and the seller was quick to reply and "did right by me" I also found a gig bag for the pocket uke from the e-bay shop. (I bought separately for $12) With all of my ukes, the Rubins sound much better to me when someone else plays them so I won't comment on the sound.

The iukes look very interesting to me I have never played one but I have played a Bruce Wei Art pocket, it is much smaller than the Rubin pocket and it is well made like the several other Bruce Wei ukes I have seen (But all the B.W. Ukes I have seen have one cosmetic issue or another I don't care for so I don't own one)

The reason I bring up the Bruce Wei and Iuke in the Rubin thread is that Both Rubin and the much more expensive Kala pocket ukes (which are similar but I like the Rubin better) both have regular geared tuners. The Bruce Wei pocket ukes tend to have "peg-style" tuners that stick out of the back of the headstock. On a tiny uke this style of tuner can get in the way of the left hand making many chords (like G7) very difficult because my hand runs out of room and risks throwing the 1st string out of tune and maybe even the 4th string . For a man, I have medium sized hands and slightly long fingers and although on the Rubin chord positions are "cozy" they are not particularly difficult. I doubt you will be playing like Jake on a Rubin pocket ukelele but I doubt you will playing like him on a Tenor Kamaka either. :)
 

bnolsen

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just checked ebay and they're back again! lots of sopranino seconds that look like small dings.
 
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Squalus

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It seems the Rubin website is up and running http://www.rubinukulele.com/ with a contact address in the UK.
But all the categories are empty, so it's still not operational.

I recently got my Rubin RT-301 Quilted Ash Solid Spruce Top Tenor uke, and I'm very happy with it, much nicer than the cheapo started uke I had.