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Thread: Alvarez RU22SCE Electro Acoustic Soprano - REVIEW

  1. #1
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    Default Alvarez RU22SCE Electro Acoustic Soprano - REVIEW

    First time i've looked at an Alvarez on the reviews... Based on this one, it falls in the 'could do better' category..

    https://www.gotaukulele.com/2020/01/...le-review.html
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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  2. #2
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    BAZ,
    Fair review. I agree with all you say. STOP putting electronics in. Even in tenor, which I play, NO,NO,NO. Second, I am surprised thAt Alvarez, Kala, etc, etc don’t use graphtech planetary tuners. Especially on a soprano. First, they are light and will do the job nicely despite, the tuner head issues some have had. They will look, better. No ears If nothing else go to open Grover tuners to minimize weight!. Intonation is horrible but proper set up from reliable dealer and perhaps different string could help. Proceed with caution and buy with set up unless you can do yourself. Thanks for review.

  3. #3
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    Yep - agree with all of that! Thanks kindly!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by M3Ukulele View Post
    BAZ,
    Fair review. I agree with all you say. STOP putting electronics in. Even in tenor, which I play, NO,NO,NO. Second, I am surprised thAt Alvarez, Kala, etc, etc don’t use graphtech planetary tuners. Especially on a soprano. First, they are light and will do the job nicely despite, the tuner head issues some have had. They will look, better. No ears If nothing else go to open Grover tuners to minimize weight!. Intonation is horrible but proper set up from reliable dealer and perhaps different string could help. Proceed with caution and buy with set up unless you can do yourself. Thanks for review.
    Kala will do a custom order on their Elite line and install any tuners you want. I had a Koa Elite with the graphtech tuners and three of them failed in the first month (as did two graphtech tuners on a Doghair in the shop). HMS installed Gotoh UPTs on my Koa Elite and they're wonderful. Ultimately I prefer ordinary 16:1 open gear tuners over UPTs for quick fine adjustments mid-song. I have to stop playing to tweak a UPT.

  5. #5
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    I understand the difficulties Graph tech has had with their “moulded” planetary tunes. Yes, UPT are much better. I was speaking more to the weight issue above. Regular sealed tuners are so heavy and generic. Graphtech are lighter. On a inexpensive instrument they or Grover open back tuners would be lighter. That would help solve neck heavy situations. Best example is Kala travel Uke, it’s way to neck heavy. Surely, using graphtech or Grover open back would be a better fit overall for balance of instrument.

    Likewise BAZ illustrates how the big build in block of electronic in this particular instrument makes it body heavy. I personally don’t like the added weight, looks etc of these pickup system. As I’ve found and BAZ points out, the pick up and tuner are just average.

    I was surprised to see Kala use Graphtech on Elite instruments. I’ve read your issues and good for HMS upgrading to UPT. UPT seem much better. Still, there is a place a low end for graphtech planetary tuners. I. Sure they will get it right with material or do a re do. I’m kind of hoping they change material and upgrade design. Pegheds do it.

    From a practical stand point, if a new version had shorter post, it might help? Perhaps adjust material to improve strength would help. But biggest thing I’d like to see of these tuners is get ride of the two screw per tuner to mount. Use a nut and pin systems. The less holes in a head stock the better from my stand point. And, always, the issue that puts off me is the holes left over. Maybe a decorative mounting plate to cover holes.

    I am surprised that more lower end builder in China have not adopted these tuners. I read in another thread they can get cost way down withi volume.

    It will be interesting to see how graphtech sorts this out. I think there is a need at low end. We would all like to see better material for strength.

    My .02 cents worth on this issue.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Whether Graphtech or UPTs - the reason why i'd not want these tuners is not limited to which brand - it's because I cannot bear geared tuners on a soprano. I'd be happy with regular half decent friction pegs. They just look so much better on a soprano, and give me more hand space in first postion chords.

    I don't own a soprano with geared tuners, and I never will. And I know many people who think the same way.
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  7. #7
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    Huh, I didn't know Alvarez were a guitar maker. I thought they were one of those Amazon only brands. The more you know...

    Couldn't agree more on the tuners. I detest geared tuners on sopranos and even concerts. For tenors and larger they are fine. I actually even prefer friction tuners to Gotoh UPTs because the UPTs are so chunky, even though tuning with them is incredibly easy.

  8. #8
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    Yeah - from St Louis - some rather nice Japanese collab guitars too as I recall.
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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  9. #9
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    Yes some very nice relatively inexpensive guitars and very good quality to price ratio, but like you i find the ukuleles i have tried in the shop disappointing.

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