aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW

10 Sept 2023

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele - REVIEW

Here's a ukulele from a brand that's always done very well on here, but caught me a bit by surprise during my summer break. This is the aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele. 

anuenue ut100 sitka bird tenor ukulele

On my return I hooked up with Matt Warnes at World of Ukes to catch up on new items for review and he suggested this. I freely admit that in my break I had missed that he had put some articles up about these, but was certainly interested. Without wishing to rely on his pieces too much, I too thought 'oh that looks like a cheaper version of a Moon Bird' though also noted his views that it was actually very different in the playing. These are still in the 'Bird' series from aNueNue of which I have reviewed several, though is quite a bit less money than the showstoppers. Anyway - over to my thoughts.


The UT100 Bird series are available in the soprano through to tenor scale and certainly share some DNA with the other Bird ukes from aNueNue in general looks. This tenor goes with less exotic (cheaper woods and less decoration) but is still an all solid tonewood ukulele. For the top here we have solid Sitka Spruce and for the back and sides solid African Mahogany. I didn't like using that 'less exotic' wording because these are two classy, often paired tonewoods that work great on ukuleles both on tone and contrasting looks. No complaints from me and the spruce in particular here is extremely tight grained and even has a touch of flaming. The shape is very much the aNueNue signature with very modern rounded bouts and the staggered upper shoulder creating the cutaway which immediately tells you the brand. I really love the shape of these and it's amazing how something as simple as a staggered shoulder has become so iconic.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele body

The bridge is the usual aNueNue style made from what looks like rosewood and is fitted with a compensated top bone saddle. It's very tidy here and the string spacing clocks in at 41mm.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele bridge

Decoration wise things are simple but neatly done, with more mahogany in the bindings to the top, back and shoulder cutaway. On the top these are paired with brown and white purfling strips and around the sides a thin black purfling line which sets them off. Around the sound hole is as an edged abalone ring and none of it looks ostentatious. It all hangs together subtly yet simply. No, it's not got the interest points of the Moon Bird, but it's still a very attractive instrument and I can't stress enough how well the details it does have are done. The body is then finished in a gloss which is very tidy.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele

Inside is extremely smart with thin braces and reversed notched linings. The top is X braced as you can see and there is no mess I can spy.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele inside

The neck woods is not specified, but looks like mahogany. There are extremely well hidden joints in heel and headstock and it's glossed, something I would prefer to be satin myself. It tapers to a rounded profile but a roomy 37mm nut with 28mm spacing. That combined with a slight radius on the top combines to make for a comfortable neck.

That's topped with more rosewood looking wood for the board with that slight radius. That is edge bound in black which hides the ends of the 20 frets joined at the 14th. Position dots in white pearl face out at the 5th, 7th, 10th and 12th and these are paired with white dots on the side which includes an extra at the 15th.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele neck

Beyond the bone nut is a slot head (the concert version also gets one but the soprano, thankfully a regular head). This is all very tidy and is faced in a dark wood under gloss and carries the aNueNue 'man' logo in pearl at the top face.  Given the choice, I would personally prefer the regular head of the Moon Bird, but that's a purely personal thing.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele headstock

The tuners are aNueNue unbranded open chrome gears, side mounted in regular slot fashion. They look to be good quality and work well too.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele tuners

Finishing it off are a set of aNueNue Clear Water fluoro strings and a thickly padded gig bag with aNueNue branding. That's not quite the joy I had after seen the Moon Bird cases, but it's a damn good bag and certainly on a par with the padded bags that now come with Kanile'a ukes. And as I said from the off, there is one part to this that IS a cheaper version of the Moon Bird and that is the price. These come in at £949. That's still a bit of money, but when you bear in mind a Moon series will cost you at least £450 more, that is quite a saving. You should also bear in mind that at the time of writing I am fairly sure that the ONLY place you will find these (on this side of the planet at least) is at World of Ukes, so hats off to Matt to taking a chance on them. No doubt if they do well you will see them elsewhere in due course.

Clearly all is very top notch here and I have no complaints so far bar wanting a satin neck. The setup is great, but i'd expect that level of checking from Matt and the build and finish are great. It weighs in at 670g and balances great too.

aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird Tenor Ukulele back

Tone wise, I always try to avoid watching shop commentary on instruments before I review because I like my views to be unclouded, but this one landed online when I was on holiday so passed me by. Knowing nothing about it I did watch Matt's video which led to that comment in the opening of this being, in his opinion, not merely a Moon Bird Light, but something quite different. And his views were mainly on tone in which he makes some interesting observations that he struggled with. I'll let you check those out separately and give mine below trying to be as unclouded as I can! I'll tell you now though - trying to pin the sound description down challenged me too!

Both volume and sustain here are both very good with no complaints on either. The sustain has a hint of shimmer and is very pretty indeed.

Tone wise, on the face of it the specs here are similar to the Moon Bird insofar as they both have spruce tops, but the back and sides differ. I found the tone here very different indeed, but still very much top drawer. Whereas I found the Moon Bird quite rich, even mellow in certain styles this has a much more direct almost fizzy ringing tone that cuts through very nicely. Strummed this is peppy and jangly, yet without a hint of muddiness as it is very clear indeed. And I am not saying this is a bright one trick pony as the mahogany is clearly mellowing the sound a touch and adding some warmth in the background, just perhaps not as much as the Moon Bird did for me.

Fingerpicking is absolutely divine for those liking the crystal like zing of bright spruce which when you add in the sustain creates a characterful, chiming bell like sound that is extremely nice to listen to.

I'm not going to get into a 'which is best' argument as sound is 100% subjective. I like both for their differences, though I am more for warmer and woodier tones myself (that's my subjective bit out of the way!). For me the comparison is more with the aNueNue Singer I looked at which whilst also spruce and rosewood like the Moon Bird had a more slightly direct sound. This has a harp like sound to it in certain play. I'm really rambling though and it's good to know that I am as confused as Matt was!!. Listen for yourselves! 

There is no doubt though that this is a very accomplished instrument either way with a wonderful build and finish and a very clean tone. Take your pics on decor and sound style! 

Very highly recommended!


Model: aNueNue UT100 Sitka Bird
Scale: Tenor
Body: Solid Sitka spruce top, african mahogany back and sides
Bridge: Rosewood(?) tie bar
Saddle: Bone, compensated
Spacing at saddle: 41mm
Finish: Gloss
Neck: Mahogany?
Fingerboard: Rosewood(?) radiused
Frets: 20, 14 to body
Nut: Bone
Nut width: 37mm, 28mm G to A
Tuners: aNueNue open gears
Strings: aNueNue Clear Water
Extras: Gig bag
Weight: 670g
Country of origin: China
Price: £949


Great build and finish
Very nice neck
Great volume and sustain
Crisp clear tone with a zingy edge
Some warmth in tone
Good price


Would prefer regular headstock
Would prefer satin neck


Looks - 9 out of 10
Fit and finish - 9.5 out of 10
Sound - 9 out of 10
Value for money - 9.5 out of 10









  1. That's actually Lattice bracing. That's a big change from their usual Mt. Fuji X-bracing used on all of the other bird series ukes. It's strange that it's not listed as a selling point because that is usually boasted as basically an upgrade.


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