Romero Creations - Koa "Tiny Tenor"
- Product Review (submitted on November 22, 2014):
The first thing that struck me when I pulled this all koa uke out of the case was the stunning look and the quality of the craftsmanship. I would say the quality of the build is equal to the higher priced tenor ukes I own. While the shape may seem unusual, the fit is very comfortable. Resting my arm on the wider bout feels very similar to playing my standard size tenors.
I know you want to hear about the sound, but before I get there I need to comment on my buying experience with HMS. First, let me say I would buy from HMS again in a heartbeat, but as with all companies there is always room for improvement and I hope my comments will be taken in the constructive way I intend.
I emailed HMS on a Monday asking when they might be getting in more koa tiny tenors as there were none on the website. I emailed because of the time difference and because, well....they said email us. By Thursday I still had no reply so that didn't give me a warm fuzzy.
So I called on Thursday and got Eli and asked him the same question. He said he didn't know the answer but he would find out and get back with me. Within a half hour Eli calls back and explains they don't have a date yet on future shipments, but he found a koa tiny tenor in the store and asked me if I wanted to buy it. Absolutely! Then Eli waits till I can bring up the HMS web page on my computer before he puts this tiny tenor on the website, so that I can order it instantaneously before someone else snatches it up. Thanks Eli for going that extra yard!
After ordering I realized I hit the order button so quick I had forgotten to ask the uke be strung with D'Addario J71's because I am a high G player, and that's my stock strings. So I replied to my order email with my request. The next day I get an email confirmation they had gotten my request and they would make sure the J71's got put on. Thanks again HMS!
From the date of order to the date of delivery only took 7 days which was much faster than I expected because of the time to setup the uke. The setup was just what you would expect from HMS, superb. Only one problem though. The J71's never got put on, unless I missed where D'Addario is now packaging those with a wound low g. Bummer. I didn't have any J71's at the moment, so I ordered those elsewhere.
Bottom line, yes there were a couple of irritations and no company gets it 100% right every time, but I know HMS is the kind of company that always works to get better. And to repeat, I will buy from them again.
Finally, let's talk about the koa tiny tenor with high g strings. The only reviews I had ever seen, or heard, was with the La Bella low g strings. So I was a little apprehensive as to how the uke would handle the high g's. As said before in other reviews, the uke has plenty of volume and tremendous sustain for coming right out of the box. When picked it responds with clarity. When strummed it doesn't sound as deep as a standard tenor, but it's close! (Maybe different strings would close that difference.) It certainly doesn't sound like a concert. My wife thinks it sounds like my standard tenor.
I would highly recommend the tiny tenor to anybody. It looks great, sounds great, and is fun to play. And you can easily take it anywhere!