Donner Rising-U Concert - REVIEW

bazmaz

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Another plastic offering - clearly trying to go toe to toe with the Nova U Pro

True, those replacement string sets look like cheap junk...the type that I often find bundled together with the off-brand inexpensive instruments I buy for my students... but it's the tuners that caught my attention...

I think I've seen these before. Notice the black nylon ring topped by a thin steel washer stacked onto the shaft under the button. If these are the same as the two ukes I've had that featured these, they fail fairly quickly. Something about the washer - which is curved like a lock washer and acts like a spring to add tension - and it slowly cuts that plastic spacer in half. And then they don't hold at all until it gets replaced. Now, I may be wrong about this because mine have a white nylon/plastic spacer instead of a black one, but otherwise they look very familiar. They get nicked, they split, they fall out and quit working.

Bazmaz, I'm not sure if you feel OK with taking a loaned ukulele apart, but I would love to see one of those tuners disassembled before I "diss" them further... but they sure look like the ones on my Oscar Schmidt Aloha and my older Pono baritones that failed and needed repair.

BTW: They are fixable: I bought a thin sheet of nylon/plastic and cut new ones. Each had one total fail and the others were one the way to splitting so I just fixed them all proactively.

But it's a hassle to accomplish this... and shouldn't be necessary!
 
780g seems way too heavy for a beginner to learn on. My ukuleles are all in the 500 to 650 gram range.
fyi - the black color is currently $100 on Amazon USA.
 
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I wonder how many other ukulele companies are gonna go to plastic before they crash the market?
I still maintain that any company that only sells through Amazon sucks, and will not get my money. I think it's very important to know how a company treats its employees before supporting them.
{Steps down off high horse}
 
True, those replacement string sets look like cheap junk...the type that I often find bundled together with the off-brand inexpensive instruments I buy for my students... but it's the tuners that caught my attention...

I think I've seen these before. Notice the black nylon ring topped by a thin steel washer stacked onto the shaft under the button. If these are the same as the two ukes I've had that featured these, they fail fairly quickly. Something about the washer - which is curved like a lock washer and acts like a spring to add tension - and it slowly cuts that plastic spacer in half. And then they don't hold at all until it gets replaced. Now, I may be wrong about this because mine have a white nylon/plastic spacer instead of a black one, but otherwise they look very familiar. They get nicked, they split, they fall out and quit working.

Bazmaz, I'm not sure if you feel OK with taking a loaned ukulele apart, but I would love to see one of those tuners disassembled before I "diss" them further... but they sure look like the ones on my Oscar Schmidt Aloha and my older Pono baritones that failed and needed repair.

BTW: They are fixable: I bought a thin sheet of nylon/plastic and cut new ones. Each had one total fail and the others were one the way to splitting so I just fixed them all proactively.

But it's a hassle to accomplish this... and shouldn't be necessary!
Sorry - not my ukulele to take apart.
 
780g seems way too heavy for a beginner to learn on. My ukuleles are all in the 500 to 650 gram range.

Right? What gives?

My Pono tenor weighs almost this much, but it's solid wood and metal truss rod strap buttons strap et all... and a tuner clamped on...

And my Kala travel tenor is an even 500g.

This body material must be both thick and dense... and they are laying it on heavily with all that industrial strength interior bracing. I'm guessing the body is at least as thick as those trusses? You could stand on that face I'm sure...

Actually, the back side does look like it's been a bit over fed... This uke needs to go on a diet!

This might be the most solidly built ever... there is a current thread topic on this... we need to link these two... we may have a new entry into the most solid and unbreakable ukulele available.

the black color is currently $100 on Amazon USA.

Black would be better... hides away the extra poundage, as they say...

"We have sighted the great white whale! Alert the Captain!!!"

 
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I wonder how many other ukulele companies are gonna go to plastic before they crash the market?
I still maintain that any company that only sells through Amazon sucks, and will not get my money. I think it's very important to know how a company treats its employees before supporting them.
{Steps down off high horse}
Simple fact is though - there is a HUGE demand for plastic ukes from the actual buyers for all sorts of reasons (travel, damage risk, temperature, water, hiking etc..).. I don't think your ire should be directed at ukulele companies - they are giving the market what they want (and what sells).

Not all plastic ukes are Amazon only either. Outdoor are a US grown 'buy from them direct' brand - not Amazon, not far eastern. Fluke are also very much pure American and largely plastic (and run by truly wonderful people in the USA). Enya came on the scene with plastic ukes - but are now sold by Southern Ukulele Store, World of Ukes (UK), Uke Republic in the USA... Because they are half decent.

I mean - I know that some plastic ukes are Amazon only, but it's really not the sole preserve Nickie.
 
sustain seems to be an issue with some of these plastic ukes, even if the sound may be pleasing...imo/ime
It is with this one - but I genuinely think it's down to the string tension - the Nova Pro has no issue with sustain - neither does the Outdoor - but both have more suitable strings.
 
Sorry - not my ukulele to take apart.

Thanks for humoring my request!

But seriously: have you done reviews of tuning machines in the past... maybe a cross comparison? I searched this site but didn't see anything recently... a few older posts. Some posts on "tuners"... Did I miss that?
 
Thanks for humoring my request!

But seriously: have you done reviews of tuning machines in the past... maybe a cross comparison? I searched this site but didn't see anything recently... a few older posts. Some posts on "tuners"... Did I miss that?
I remember doing one on the difference with good quality friction pegs and cheap - it's a big bugbear of mine when I see people say that ALL FRICTION PEGS ARE TERRIBLE - they really are not. The amount of parts between GOOD friction pegs and CHEAP friction pegs is startling. Link below
(very old video! but still stands!)

Sorry, never took some gears apart though!
 
Simple fact is though - there is a HUGE demand for plastic ukes from the actual buyers for all sorts of reasons (travel, damage risk, temperature, water, hiking etc..).. I don't think your ire should be directed at ukulele companies - they are giving the market what they want (and what sells).

Not all plastic ukes are Amazon only either. Outdoor are a US grown 'buy from them direct' brand - not Amazon, not far eastern. Fluke are also very much pure American and largely plastic (and run by truly wonderful people in the USA). Enya came on the scene with plastic ukes - but are now sold by Southern Ukulele Store, World of Ukes (UK), Uke Republic in the USA... Because they are half decent.

I mean - I know that some plastic ukes are Amazon only, but it's really not the sole preserve Nickie.
I didn't mean to sound in ire. I understand the need for plastic ukuleles. There is also cost. I met a fellow who only owns a plastic uke from Outdoor, because wood wasn't in his budget, and he hikes. It sounds pretty good.
I bought an Enya directly from the Enya company. My wife needed it for work. A friend of ours bought an Enya guitar, because her house isn't AC'd, and she ruined several wooden guitars. Too MUCH humidity.
We had a Flea many moons ago, but we couldn't hold it standing up....
 
I remember doing one on the difference with good quality friction pegs and cheap - it's a big bugbear of mine when I see people say that ALL FRICTION PEGS ARE TERRIBLE - they really are not. The amount of parts between GOOD friction pegs and CHEAP friction pegs is startling. Link below
(very old video! but still stands!)

Sorry, never took some gears apart though!

I've taken those apart and cleaned them, lubricated with a pencil lead, and they worked great. They aren't my faves, but they're not all lousy.
 
Update review - with new strings - my theory was correct!



I remember you doing this once before, with similar results. Maybe there are others, but in these couple of extreme examples, well with the extra effort! I think I might still lean toward the Enya, but this is a real revelation! Thanks so much!
 
I remember you doing this once before, with similar results. Maybe there are others, but in these couple of extreme examples, well with the extra effort! I think I might still lean toward the Enya, but this is a real revelation! Thanks so much!
Yes - did a similar thing with that Pickapick uke (the one mimicking the aNueNue color) that was night and day different uk with the right strings.

I still won't do these if it's just a case of the strings being a brand I don't care for - but when they patently have the wrong gauge for the scale (as I am sure was the case here) it's worth doing!
 
$53.99 currently on Amazon.....Couldn't resist, it delivers on Tuesday. Multiple sets of quality flurocarbon strings on hand to install, just have to decide which set. LOL
 
It is with this one - but I genuinely think it's down to the string tension - the Nova Pro has no issue with sustain - neither does the Outdoor - but both have more suitable strings.
Wonder what seagurs would sound like on that plastic ukulele?
 
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