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Thread: Rebel or Romero or something else?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2019


    Quote Originally Posted by snowdenn View Post
    I have a mango Rebel and mango Romero. Overall, I prefer the Rebel to the Romero, but I still like the Romero because of its unique features, with its very wide fretboard and guitar-like sustain. It's like a small classical guitar. But mine's the Replica/Signature, and it's been a while since I tried the other Romero models, so it's tough to say for those. I do recall not liking the unusual shape or the headstock. But if I wanted a really small, high quality soprano, the XS Soprano would be up there.

    I like mango, but for me it ranks behind koa, spruce, and myrtle. These days I tend to prefer bright and loud ukes. But mango does have a sweet, if somewhat softer, tone.

    I think for Romeros, the wood makes less of a difference. Maybe I would have liked a spruce Replica better, but the sound difference seems really minimal. On the other hand, for Rebels, the sound difference is more noticeable, and given the choice, I'd probably choose the spruce over the mango. Still, I'm not sure I'd want both, and I'm actually thinking about replacing my mango Rebel with a KoAloha uke. I love my mango Rebel, but I guess for me it might be too much overlap if I got a KoAloha. We'll see.

    Cadia mentioned Pono, I think one of the woods they're better at is mango. My one other mango uke is a Pono pineapple. I don't love the neck, and I think the volume isn't as loud as I'd like, but it has an incredible tone.
    To me the Rebels seem just a tad better built but I do really like the quirkiness of the XS Soprano or the other ones with the tiny tenor body. I generally prefer koa over mango as well but I already have two koa ukes so that's why I'm looking for something different. I too have read that the tone wood on Romeros makes less of a difference. I know a really good speciality uke shop who sells all the tiny tenor models and the shop owner has described the difference between mango and koa on the Romeros to be minimal, and sometimes the mango model might even sound brighter than the koa model. That's why I would probably go for the koa XS Soprano because I doubt I'd get the typical mango sound from a Romero uke. Argh, such a difficult decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muybien04 View Post
    I would say rebel by far. I have a double cream mango (super concert) and a ktm-00 and they're completely different. Granted, those are different body sizes. But the mango is much more mellow, not to the point of being muddy but definitely a smooth operator. I really love the fretboard on it too, super fast. By comparison, the ktm is a little sharper, the strings come through individually in a little bit of a clear way. Not doing the differences justice but its there. I ended up putting a low g on the rebel and its become my default jazz/blues player and honestly gets more time than the ktm.
    Thank you for the comment. Experiences like these are the reason why I'm looking at mango ukes. I'm guessing the tone wood would make less of a difference for a soprano sized uke but I'm hoping there's enough of a difference in sound. That's why I'm currently probably leaning towards the Rebel at this time. Playability-wise, I've already learned that the Rebels are remarkably similar to KoAloha (hardly surprising) so no worries there.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Oahu Isle, Hawaii


    Quote Originally Posted by eyedoc View Post
    ... ...Also I prefer 14 frets to the body as a chord-melody player....very hard to bar the 10th fret on a 12 fret to the body Uke.
    In general, I like 12-frets-to-body because that puts the bridge very near to the lower bout's sweet spot. My 12th fret ukes (none of them Romeros) are all cutaways so doing a 10th fret barre is no problema.

    As to Romeros --- my Romero Grand Tenor (a 14 fret-to-body) is my absolute favorite ukulele -- its slightly oversized body & reverse fan bracing produce amazing sustain, dynamic range, & resonance.
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