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As part of their Regent Series, Alvarez Guitars offer a wide range of acoustic guitars, classical guitars and ukuleles that combine an advanced quality at a very affordable price. This RU26T tenor ukulele is an excellent example of what’s on offer with this series, and rightly deserves its place on our chart of the best ukuleles under $100.
The RU26T features a tenor size body, with a length of 26”, so is perfect for those players with slightly larger hands (although a smaller soprano version, the RU26S, is also available). This tenor uke is also great for those wanting a little more depth in the registers, as the rosewood fretboard comes fitted with 18 frets (14 in the clear). This sits on a sturdy mahogany neck, with a comfortable satin finish. The playability on offer is great – it’s as fun as it is good-looking.
There’s something about this ukulele that gives it a pretty high-end look. Perhaps it is the classic acoustic guitar pairing of satin-finished spruce on the top, with mahogany back and sides? It just looks and feels like a quality instrument, especially with the sparkly pearloid soundhole rosette and the refined black ABS binding around the top and back of the instrument. Very elegant, and what we’d describe as a ‘grown up’ ukulele.
This is a solely acoustic ukulele with no electronics, although for the price and build quality, it’s no surprise. However, the RU26T arrives with some good-quality components that make this budget uke feel more than it’s worth. There’s a rosewood bridge, which is equipped with a real bone saddle – a very good addition in this sub-$100 price range, that is matched by a bone nut. The RU26T has a set of sealed chrome tuning machines, with black tuning buttons that complement the binding and give the uke a complete look. Finally, it’s strung with Aquila Nylgut strings, which is a very good string set.
For an entry-level ukulele, the RU26T is adept at producing a good tone – something akin to what you’d find on a pricier model. There’s a full sound, with a rich tone that’s warm thanks to the mahogany, but well-balanced. The top is fan braced for added strength, so this – combined with the slightly bigger body size – makes for better projection than soprano and concert ukes.
Finding a good tenor ukulele in this affordable market isn’t always easy, but you don’t have to search much further than Alvarez Guitar’s RU26T. The design is excellent, and gives you a budget ukulele with a slightly more premium look and feel. The hardware and sound also punch above their weight. Very good.