World Of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW

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3 Mar 2019

World Of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW

There's this a man I know who likes to develop new ukulele brands for his shop. This man I know has done several of thes ukes. And this man I know has now developed the Eden Origin Tenor uke and asked me to take a look.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele



That man is called Matt Warnes, proprietor of the World of Ukes shop, organiser of ukulele events like the Big House series and ukulele performer both in his own right and in the League of Ukulele Gentlemen. You could say he's rather immersed in ukuleles. Totally immersed. Matt first developed shop specific lines of ukes for his previous workplace Omega Music in the form of the Zedro and Classico ukuleles, and since setting up World of Ukes he brought the Pioneer to the shop as well as the World of Ukes exclusive aNueNue Light Bird. It's a really neat idea when you think about it. Specialist ukulele shopkeepers KNOW what makes a good quality ukulele (it makes sense for their customers to be satisfied rather than returning instruments) and how quality control matters so much more than big box sellers. Put more simply, developing your own lines gives you an important level of control and guards against the unknown. And in the examples I refer to above that I have played Matt got them dead right. I goes without question that I was keen to see his latest incarnation.

Designed by Matt in conjunction with the builder in China, this is a more value level instrument than some of his others, although not that you would know it when you look at it. The Eden Origin is a standard tenor scale and shaped instrument with a solid cedar top with laminate acacia back and sides.  A more value level mix and one I don't object to. And those are two nice woods to choose, with cedar giving a warm tone, and acacia being more striking to look at in this laminate form. It's a nice double act for me, as cedar is, generally speaking, rather plain whereas acacia carries the interesting visuals. The top, back and sides pieces are in pairs each with the more patterned acacia nicely bookmatched, and the grain on the cedar clean and straight. I will say though, this is not the most striking acacia I have ever seen, but it does it's job.

Decoration is a mix really with wooden inlaid purfling around the top to compliment the wooden edge binding. On the back it's just wooden binding with thin black outlines. The soundhole is then also decorated with an abalone ring and to be honest I would prefer if the decor was either one thing or the other. That is to say, either replace the edge purfling with abalone to match the ring, or change the ring to wooden purfling to match the edge binding.  It's a minor and personal aesthetic gripe though. The finish is gloss and pretty decent all over though there is a touch of pooling around the end of the fingerboard. I have seen much worse though and it's clearly not overly thick. When you see the price you will realise why this isn't a Kanile'a 'thousand yard' gloss.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele  body

The bridge material is not specified, but it's a dark wood with an uncompensated saddle with nice end tapering reminiscent of Koaloha. It's a tie bar and no complaints here. I 'think' the saddle may be bone.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele bridge

Inside is very neat, with notched shaped linings and thin braces. There is no mess in here at all and the edge of the sound hole shows you this is a thin top which bodes well.

The neck wood isn't specified but is likely mahogany or okoume. It's made of three pieces with joints at the heel and headstock and finished in gloss too but doesn't feel grippy. At the nut we have 36m and a roomy near 28mm from G to A. That's comfortable, although the profile is a bit too rounded for my personal taste.

Topping this is a dark wood fingerboard that the specs don't specify, looks like ebony but may be a different stained hardwood. No matter - it's uniformly dark and looks in good condition though does have a couple of minor tooling marks. We have 18 frets in total, joined at the 14th and they are all dressed very well. That's helped by the black edge binding and what feels like a slight roll to the edges making it extremely comfortable on the hands. For position markers you get delicate wooden inlaid 4 pointed stars at the 5th, 7th, 10th, a double at the 12th, the 15th and the 17th. As Matt knows his ukes these are, naturally, complimented with dots on the side. All good.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele fingerboard

Beyond the nut, the headstock has and interestingly different wavy shape, perhaps reminiscent of Snail, holding the Eden logo in inlaid wood. Much like the Mr Mai I recently reviewed, the logo design is a bit too retro for me, but hey... i'm a stuffy 47. I get that retro is probably back and I am sniffing at such things in the same way my own father did 40 years ago. Nothing new under the sun with us oldies! What matters more is it's done neatly and doesn't jar the design.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele headstock

Tuners are unbranded sealed gears in all matte black. They look good, they work ok, and that is as far  as I can go.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele tuners

But there is quite a bit more to say about the package. This arrived with me with Worth Brown strings (tick!),  a couple of black strap buttons (tick tick!) but also with a fabulous cream ABS hard case with a lush dark red plush interior and brown trim. Quick double check of the specs.. surely Matt included this to protect it in shipping? Nope. You get that included too. This is a fab case and easily comparable to TGI faux ABS cases that cost about £80 alone in tenor scale. Not a cheap padded bag or a pod, but a case I'd happily put any tenor of mine in. Cool. So that's going to bump the price, right? Wrong. This whole package, ukulele AND case is on the market RRP at £169... Bear in mind what I said about the comparable case cost and... you can see where I am going here... Superb value. Utterly superb.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele case

OK, so that's quite a glowing summary. Minor niggles and ones that are very personal. The ukulele is built and finished very well and also feels great in the hands. It's light, balanced and well finished so doesn't feel cheap or like it will break. The setup is also (surprise surprise, coming from a ukulele store) very good indeed.

Then for the sound. Volume and sustain first, both of these are really good. It's an insturment that will let itself be heard, and the decent sustain makes for pretty fingerpicking. Clearly strings will change this around to some extent, but these are working for my ears.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele soundhole

And on to the tone. I had expected with it being cedar on the top for the instrument to have a dark, broody, woody tone, but I was really surprised with what it delivered. Whilst not overly bright and still with a warmth it projects a really pretty shimmery and jangly tone that really was not what I was expecting. Strumming it has a really sparkly quality that I really enjoyed. And it's supremely clear and chimey when you fingerpick it too, a good thing as I prefer to play tenors that way. All round this is a very pleasing sounding ukulele in all departments. Sure, it's not a Moon Bird, or a Koaloha, but look at the price. 

What I will say is this is punching well above it's weight for the price and should certainly be on your shopping list if you are looking at the likes of Kalas, Ohanas and Snails at this price.  But what 'is' this price - because how do you account for that case? Let's put it this way. I would pay £169 for this ukulele without the case. Just for the uke. And that makes it a steal. To get it for that price with the addition of the case is a total and utter no brainer.

World of Ukes Eden Origin Tenor Ukulele back

So once again I totally get how the proprietor of an actual ukulele store and performing player will get this right. This is light years above the likes of the 'who are they' names flooding Amazon which look sparkly, but are extremely mixed. The boxes are all ticked here and, whilst still a value instrument this looks great, plays great, sounds great and offers remarkable value for what you are getting. At this price these should be in short supply. In fact this might yet be the best deal World of Ukes have offered on one of their own designs.

Recommended? You bet!

http://worldofukes.co.uk/tenor-ukuleles/eden-origin-tenor-ukulele-amp-hard-case-a-world-of-ukes-brand

UKULELE PROS

Great looks with the wood combos
Great build
Terrific voice, volume and sustain at this price
Jangly shimmery tone
Ohhh that case
Stupendous price that justifies the ukulele on its own

UKULELE CONS

Not quite the most perfect gloss, but a minor point
Would prefer consistency in decor choices

UKULELE SCORES

Looks - 9 out of 10
Fit and finish - 8.5 out of 10
Sound - 9 out of 10
Value for money - 10 out of 10

OVERALL UKULELE SCORE - 9.1 out of 10

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7 comments :

  1. Listening to it sounds close to an Islander, the action is it comfortable?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very, but I rarely comment on such things as that is adjustable on any ukulele

      Delete
  2. For the price it's amazing, the sustain is very good

    ReplyDelete
  3. After your review and hearing you play it , i wanted to add this to my collection. But then soon found out they are already out of stock..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have to be quick sometimes with the high scores! I believe he is getting more in

      Delete
  4. I bought one of these and although I've found a few flaws, uneven varnish, and a couple of dings, and the bridge is lifting slightly, it seems to be my go-to when I just want 5 minutes fun. I added some Worth strings and the tone is really nice.
    The case is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I bought one of these and although I've found a few flaws, uneven varnish, and a couple of dings, and the bridge is lifting slightly, it seems to be my go-to when I just want 5 minutes fun. I added some Worth strings and the tone is really nice.
    The case is awesome.

    ReplyDelete

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