New Uke Day (NUD) NUD: Enya Nova U Soprano 21"

Any signs of fret wear? I bought my wife the concert size and when we received it I played it exclusively for a month or so, probably 4-6 times a week. I'm already noticing fret wear and seriously wonder about the longevity of these things if they are played regularly. My wife barely ever plays it and I play my other ukes so it's probably not going to be a big problem for us but I'd play it more often if I thought the fret wear wasn't an issue.

I bought the Enya concert around October 2019 and played it quite frequently, but by January 2020 I began to notice fret wear.
I made inquiries here and on other sites, but it seemed at the time I was the only person on the planet with such a problem.
In the following four years I have probably played it less frequently than when first received, but the wear has not become worse.
I now think it may be paint wear rather than fret wear.
Vintage
LIke Vintage, I bought one of the early concerts and noticed the first signs of wear after 6 weeks (I did play it a lot). This was with the original Enya fluorocarbon strings. I left it at my mum's after my Christmas break, so I haven't really played it often since 2020. But even now with the original, worn strings and frets, the intonation is alright. At this point, I don't think it's worth changing strings.

I did buy the tenor with metal frets to take along on trips etc or to leave in the conservatory where temp can change very quickly.
 
Yep, it’s the old issue - though I’m only recently awakening to it. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

A travel Uke might need to be robust - or at least be seen to be so - but it’s also got to be good enough to satisfy. Over the years I’ve had many beaters, stuff you could take anywhere without much concern. The cheaper beaters have been given away ‘cause playing them eventually became less of a quality experience than I’m looking for - I’m neither hard to please or picky. What is nice enough for me to enjoy ain’t that much more expensive (than those beaters), isn’t unaffordable, and can be adequately protected; most of us manage the risks and can financially stand the loss of a more valuable instrument.

My reasoning has changed over the years; now it’s increasingly a case of why waste time, opportunity and even money on ‘bargains’ and / or cheap beaters? They might satisfy the mantras of (high) durability and ’value for money’ but too often fall short on giving joy in use (which purpose we should focus on and regard as a red-line).
I agree. I have had this experience with binoculars. When I got my first >$100 pair, they were my good ones, but when I got a $500 pair I was suddenly happy to keep the old pair in the trunk of the car for unexpected birding opportunities. When I got a better pair I gifted the original pair and the $500 binocs hit the trunk.

The Enyas do have the advantage of being both indestructible, cheap, and as good or better than most things in their price range so they do make a good trunk uke.
 
I agree. I have had this experience with binoculars. When I got my first >$100 pair, they were my good ones, but when I got a $500 pair I was suddenly happy to keep the old pair in the trunk of the car for unexpected birding opportunities. When I got a better pair I gifted the original pair and the $500 binocs hit the trunk.

The Enyas do have the advantage of being both indestructible, cheap, and as good or better than most things in their price range so they do make a good trunk uke.

If a bit of a diversion from the thread (sorry) that’s a really interesting parallel and illustrates how we (multiple forum members), in various ways, value things differently.

To gift a pair of good >$100 binoculars is generous and I guess that that’s around about the usual price of two Enya Sopranos … there are a couple of ways to look at that situation but the Enyas are now considered only good enough to live in your boot (trunk). In your boot too are a pair of binoculars that cost $500 - which to me is a lot of money, certainly outside my comfort zone - and (that sum) could roughly buy two Fleas (Magic Fluke Co) which both sound good and can go pretty much anywhere. That, and I hasten to add in a non-critical way, makes me wonder about relatIve values and how we evaluate what we get back from playing our Ukes.

I‘ve always been one to look after my things and have a best instrument, or instruments, that was shielded by lesser instruments; best only comes out in really safe places, etc. Maybe that way of doing things is not that wise, questionable logic to be applied with care; as the years go by it now occurs to me that someone could end up being the guy in the cemetery with the shiniest instrument rather than the guy who’s had years of fun on a better instrument.

In an earlier post I said my cheapest Ukes were gone, if you can afford to do the same - and I suspect that you can - then you might be well served by replacing the Enyas with something that you’d play most anywhere and that can stand to be in your trunk. I hope that my shared thought process and evolving experience is a help to someone.
 
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If a bit of a diversion from the thread that’s a really interesting parallel and illustrates how we (multiple forum members), in various ways, value things differently.

To gift a pair of good >$100 binoculars is generous and I guess that that’s around about the usual price of two Enya Sopranos … there are a couple of ways to look at that situation but the Enyas are now considered only good enough to live in your boot (trunk). In your boot too are a pair of binoculars that cost $500 - which to me is a lot of money, certainly outside my comfort zone - and could roughly buy two Fleas (Magic Fluke Co) which both sound good and can go pretty much anywhere. That, and I hasten to add in a non-critical way, makes me wonder about relatIve values and how we evaluate what we get back from playing our Ukes.

I‘ve always been one to look after my things and have a best instrument, or instruments, that was shielded by lesser instrument. Maybe that’s not that wise, questionable logic to be applied with care, as the years go by it now occurs to me that someone could end up being the guy in the cemetery with the shiniest instrument rather than the guy who’s had years of fun on a better instrument.

In an earlier post I said my cheapest Ukes were gone, if you can afford to do the same - and I suspect that you can - then you might be well served by replacing the Enyas with something that you’d play most anywhere and that can stand to be in your trunk. I hope that my shared thought process is a help to someone.
Many good points. For me the factors are opportunity, quality, and risk. I use the binoculars in my boot regularly and have only played the uke in my boot a couple times. Like the Enya, the binoculars are quite rugged, so the only risk is theft.

What’s surprising, and I believe you are alluding to it, is that the $ loss at which I would feel pain is irrationally compartmented. The amount I’d risk for binoculars is relative to cost of the binoculars I generally use. I carry a $150 pocket knife. I keep a spare pocket knife in the car, but I would never leave an expensive pocket knife (over $25) in the car. I find the same thing when I go to a restaurant and look at the prices while deciding what to order and then I realize I spent more on gas and parking than the difference between the entrees.

As I indicated earlier, living with the Enya for ten days on the road inspired us to get hard cases for our better ukuleles so we can bring them instead. Reasoning by analogy with binoculars, given what I play regularly, I could certainly afford a decent laminate ukulele in the boot.

BTW, I take no offense at your comments, but do feel self conscious about my hobby spending. Yes these are all 1st world problems. However, I’m 72 going on 73, I spent my career traveling, so I don’t travel these days except to see loved ones and the rare trip to Oahu. While my other retired friends take European vacations I have put that money into instruments, lessons, music, and accessories. We have gotten so much joy from the ukulele, that it has been worth every penny.
 
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