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Thread: Rubin ukes? Tom Uke?

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    3

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    A few months ago I purchased a Rubin RT-301 Quilted Ash Solid Spruce Top Tenor ukulele and 15mm padded case. They arrived quickly to the US (10 days). My only issue was the nut was not level. My local music shop removed the nut and needed to file down a high spot on the neck under the nut. Now it is great and I love playing it. Also, the case had a strong chemical smell for 1-2 weeks, but I left the case open in the garage until the smell faded.

    I have had a number of discussions with someone (name unknown) at Rubin Ukelele through email. I asked about their product plans since they do not have much for sale currently. I also made some product change suggestions that I think many customers would enjoy, like changing the preamp from the Belcat UK-2000 to the Belcat UK-300T with the integrated tuner, moving the cable jack up to the end of the body, etc. I mentioned to him that this forum has many good reviews of the Rubin Ukulele products. He has given me permission to post his responses to my questions on this forum, so here they are, note the date of these messages was Nov 21, 2014:

    -----------

    From: rubin-ukulele - Amazon Marketplace <[e-mail address removed]>
    To: Jay <[e-mail address removed]>
    Sent: Friday, November 21, 2014 12:25 AM

    Hi friend,
    I am very glad to know so many people are interested in our products, also thanks for your help.
    This is our plan:
    1: zebrawood soprano with pickup (model no: rs-101) will be in stock within 15-30 days.
    2: rosewood tenor with pickup (model no: rt-501) will be in stock within 30-45 days.
    3: zebrawood high gloss finish thin body tenor with pickup (new model: rt-102e) will be in stock within 30-45 days.
    4: spalted maple tenor with pickup (model no: rt-600) will be in stock within 30-45 days.
    5: Exotic mahogany high gloss finish concert with pickup (model no: rc-402) will be in stock within 60-90 days.
    6: solid spruce top + solid mahogany back/side tenor with pickup (new model: rt-302) will be in stock within 60-90 days.
    7: 17" mahogany butterfly style pocket(Sopranino) ukulele (model no: rp-400) will be in stock within 45-60 days.
    8: almost 15 new models will be available in 2015.
    9: almost all rubin's models will be made to 4 sizes(sopranino, soprano, concert, tenor) in 2015 to make our customers have more choices.

    Preamp is still UK-2000, but we will try UK-400T in some models in 2015.
    About the electric instrument cable jack, we really have a plan to move it to the right position, but I don't know when.

    Another news: all rubin's products will ship to the warehouse based in USA first, and then be sold to our U.S customers.

    -------------------

    I followed up his response by suggesting they use the UK-300T preamp/tuner instead of the UK-400T since it requires a simple hole for the cable jack. He replied by thanking me for pointing that out.

    So, it looks like we have more ukulele models on the horizon from Rubin Ukulele. I look forward to seeing what they come up with. I am hoping for a solid Acacia Koa tenor with UK-300T preamp/tuner, and yes I did specifically ask him for that model. We will see if one becomes available.

    Cheers,
    Jay

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Central Coast, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    6,189

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    Did a review of my Tom Pocket.
    It ain't perfect but I really like mine.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    Posts
    1,387

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    jays: thanks for the interaction with rubin. Since you are our POC, for new products I would strongly suggest they do long neck sopranos, both traditional and pineapple styles. Not sure I have an opinion about pickups on any long necks they might do...okay I probably would be most tempted by a longneck pineapple with pickup.
    Last edited by bnolsen; 12-02-2014 at 12:32 PM.
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    Posts
    1,387

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    hokay did something dumb and bought a "factory item". What made it a "factory item" is to me not noticeable.
    For fun I posted pics of the saddle of one I already set up and also this new one before going after it.

    resized02.jpgresized01.jpg

    One fret has some fuzz from the wood on it under the G string. Under the saddle was a sliver of wood from the bridge cutting that hadn't been blown out.

    Measured the saddle at 9mm high. Over the last hour or so I've progressively taken 3mm off using 60 grit with a metal file to polish.
    Will string change tomorrow (can't say enough how bad these chinese aquila knockoffs are), let it settle then may take off up to another mm.
    Interestingly enough the nut slots are very good on this one...at least with stock strings.

    Update: the fretboard takes a dive near the nut, the 'a' string side much worse than the 'g' string. very easy to see with a straight edge. second fret is a touch lower, the first fret really bad so that fretting 'A#' gets me a nice 'B' (E# and C# buzz really bad, G# some). Probably shouldn't have made it out of the factory. will see what the resolution is.
    Last edited by bnolsen; 12-13-2014 at 07:56 AM.
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    4

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    I purchased a Rubin 301 with electronics. It arrived with a broken neck in shipping {This was not the sellers fault} I could clearly see that it was damaged in shipment the box looked like it had something heavy setting on it. I contacted the seller and told him what happened and also sent him some pictures of the damage. He immediately contacted me and said don't worry I've got another one on the way and both of them had fast shipping times. All in all the ukulele is a pretty nice instrument. The setup was a little high but noticed that the bridge set at a angle and as the strings quit stretching the strings started getting closer to the frets. It plays good and sounds great. At that price I may buy another one. The seller didn't want the broken one back so I managed to fix it and it plays and sounds great too. Great Seller took care of the problem fast don't be afraid to buy from him. I hope this review helps anyone that is thinking about buying a Rubin from this Seller.

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    barrington il
    Posts
    594

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    A friend of mine from the local uke club bought a couple and they were nice. Looked and sounded great for the money.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Centennial, CO
    Posts
    1,387

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    rubin refunded the money on the factory sopranino with the bad fretboard. guess its a wall hanger...dont need one of those!
    In order of play time: Martin OXK, Lanikai LU21B, Islander MT4, Rubin Sopranino

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    106

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    Just got a tenor rosewood Rubin, with pickup, for the unbelievable price of $55. It was a factory blem with a trivial bit of excess glue seepage around the bridge. Price included shipping. It arrived in 2 weeks, packed well, Aquila strings. Action was a bit high so my local shop did a setup and restrung the 4th string with my preferred wound low g.

    This is a killer axe. Rosewood body is gorgeous, laser-cut inlays and offset tone holes are striking, and it plays great. Frets are smooth and pickup is perfect. Tone is a little darker than my Lanikai koa laminate, but very good. Highly recommended.

  9. #69

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    If anybody wants to know how these sound compared to a comparable regular soprano, here's a couple of samples:

    Cheap "Rubin rp-400" Chinese Sopranino + (most likely fake) Aquilas

    vs

    Cheap "Homeland UK21-88" Chinese Soprano + (also most likely fake) Aquilas

    https://soundcloud.com/theabsurdman/...no-vs-homeland
    Last edited by theabsurdman; 06-10-2015 at 04:55 AM.

  10. #70

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    The feedback and sound samples included within this thread have been extremely helpful in making an informed decision. I hope to see more of these theads in regard to other lesser-known ukuleles going forward. Thanks to all who have contributed.

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