pepe romero jr’s tiny ukuleles have a very distinct look – when you see one there is no second thought about the brand. somehow they seem to attempt to get the maximum sound out of minimum size, kind of opposite to all the longneck ukuleles out there.
the stc model is actually a 3-in-1 ukulele: soprano size, tenor body, concert scale; the x is for all the extras included: best quality koa, a deeper body (real tenor size), gotoh planetary tuners and a deluxe padded gigbag.
- body: all solid premium koa, gloss finish, abalone soundhole rosette
- neck: carved from a single piece of mahogany, pretty flat rounded profile and also gloss finish
- headstock with ebony faceplate and daniel ho logo (mother of pearl)
- fingerboard: ebony, abalone dots & side markers on frets 5, 7, 10, 12
- bridge: ebony
- nut & saddle: bone
- tuners: gotoh planetary 4:1
- strings: pepe romero fluorocarbon strings with wound low-g (la bella)
- weight: 580g
- length: 555mm (22″) overall, 270mm (10.5″) body
- width: 213mm
- depth: 70mm at neck joint, 80mm at bottom
- fretboard width at nut: 35mm
- string spacing: 29mm at nut, 36mm at 12th fret
- scale: 381mm (15″) from nut to bridge, 15 frets (16 on the outer strings)
- serial #20003
- loxx black strap buttons
actually i could spend the whole day just looking at it and enjoying the clean build… it plays like a breeze and has a full sound like a grown-up tenor. endless sustain, clear and balanced tone – really hard to put it down before the fingers hurt 😉 and that is regardless whether you’re strumming or picking. due to the unusual body shape a strap helps feeling comfortable (esp. when thinking about the value you might be dropping accidentally)
a minor gripe though is the wound low-g string of the original romero la bella set: it is not completely squeakless because it is not completely polished and flat (like my favourite wound fremont soloist string). but apart from that the strings are an excellent match for the uke; not exactly a surprise considering that these are “the chosen” ones by pepe romero himself.
i do have to correct my statement above regarding the low-g string, might be it was just a bit old and worn out. the e-string had a small damage from a sharp edge of the last fret at the soundhole, so i decided to change the whole set – and voilà, the squeaking disappeared almost completely. of course i used the occasion to sand down the sharp edges and add some oil to the fretboard… settling time was pretty quick, after a good two days on adf#b tuning i’m done (and back down to gcea) 🙂