Thursday, May 7, 2009
Where no Collings (uke) has gone before...
...At least that what I think. This week I'm in Taiwan visiting some family and decided to bring the new Collings ukulele with me during the short trip. The picture you see is the Collings uke with Taipei 101 in the background. Taipei 101 was the tallest structure in the world when it was built (I'm not sure if that's still the case) and some serious engineering needed to be done on it since Taiwan is in an active earthquake zone.
The ukulele is pretty much an unknown instrument in Taiwan. I don't even know what its name in Chinese is (or if it even has a Chinese name). I know there are some ghetto (i.e. bad quality) inlaid ukes being sold on ebay that are made in Taiwan, but I'm willing to bet that 10 out of 10 people you run into on the streets couldn't tell you what a ukulele is around here. Being introduced into the market very recently, I'm guessing this is the only Collings ukulele that has ever set..(foot? heel? butt?)...onto Taiwan. But then again, stranger things has happened, so maybe, maybe not.
Having spent a little more time with the Collings UC-1 now, I'm continued to be impressed with it. I've had to adjust to the narrower nut width (I prefer 1.5", Collings is 1-3/8") and the 12-fret joined neck (only other 12-fret join ukes I have are sopranos), but the sound is excellent. I love loud ukes and this one definitely has that covered. It also offers very nice feel and vibration feedback that is similar to some of the custom ukes I have. I've been spoiled by the as-low-as possible action on the William King concert and Kepasa Gypsy Rose, so the Collings doesn't feel quite as low as it probably is. But it's still very easy to play and I have not encountered any action related difficulties with it so far. All in all, I'm still very happy with it and it makes a hell of a travel uke.