A New Concept from Daniel Ho – Acheived by Pepe Romero

For the last 15 years Daniel Ho has been a major force behind Hawaiian music and the ukulele renaissance. I could list all of his awards and hit albums but you probably already know. Basically, Daniel is the man. A musical mastermind and an intelligent business man.

Pepe Romero is a highly acclaimed classical guitar builder who rocked the uke world a few years back by creating tenors with tremendous volume and range. This new shape and model was born out of a conversation and eventual collaboration with Daniel Ho. Daniel’s idea was for this to be as portable as  a concert sized uke, but with the feel and tone of a tenor. These eclectic minds harmonized in thought and, Vualá! The “Tiny Tenor”!

The portability is concert, and the feel is that of a tenor. It’s a tenor scale, but “the feel” goes beyond scale length. A concert long neck gives you a concert body and tenor scaled neck, but it still feels like your holding a concert, because you are. The Tiny Tenor difference is primarily achieved  by the width of the lower bout, and the way it fits under your forearm. For tenor players this is a large part of their comfort zone, whether they realize it or not. And not only does that lower bout give you the feel of holding a tenor, but it also gives the low end, body of sound, and projection of a tenor. A Pepe Romero tenor!

By working together these two artists we’re able to effectuate this concept to a unique and new instrument with a beautiful voice of it’s own. Sure, it looks different, but that’s part of the appeal for some of us. And the tone is hard to deny. I’ll quote Corey, “Wow! this is really good!”

These instruments will be available at The Ukulele Site. Thanks for checkin’ out the review. Email Subscription will get you entered for our annual FREE Sweepstakes to win a Sundae at MCDonalds! 😀 Just kidding, we’re actually gonna do something cool for you guys, stay tuned. (french fries?)

Comments 46

  1. How much does this cost? Are they available yet?
    Please email me and let me know.

    1. Post

      Hi Suzanne, They are coming out with an affordable import version, but these are the custom ones made by Pepe and sell for $2400. Just made available at our website with some more video’s. Thanks Suzanne (get one and make me jealous)

  2. Pretty unique bodyshape and the headstock looks like one of the Pocket Ukuleles from Kala. I like it, but i wonder if there are costum cases available for it, since they do not really seem to fit into a common case.

  3. As soon as I say Pepe’s post on Facebook about the imports I contacted him about the all koa model. I’m looking forward to playing it. I’m on the list!

  4. I’m not a PIneapple fan, but the different shape and the interesting position of the soundhole makes this look like a uke I’d love to try.

  5. Very cool. It’s always neat to see new takes on design and builders striving to push the design of the ukulele forward. May not be for purists, but I dig it.

  6. Great to see some real design innovation in ukulele world. Shows what a good builder can do when inspired into a new direction. Sounds great, looks funky!!

  7. what I also find interesting with this post is you can hear the general difference between koa and rosewood as back and sides with a spruce top. Same type of uke, same builder, same player, same tune, probably same strings… and probably more or less the same spruce top. Interesting. It gives a general idea.

    Great uke by the way.

  8. These do look interesting. Portability is always an issue for me. A hard shell case would be nice for these as well.

  9. I love the tuners, they look great. It’s wonderful you’re offering the same kind of tuners with different looks to replace the stock friction ones on some models.

  10. I met Daniel in Albuquerque and loved the way his uke sounds. If this is anything close then I’m very excited.

  11. To my ear, this is one of the most exciting variations on the standard Uke that has come along. Sound quality is fat without the frequent tenor blur (a hollow, echoey tone). Oh for an extra 2400 dollars. Is the import version coming in our life time or should we just stand around drooling? RM

  12. Pepe Romero has got to be the best young builder out there and we should expect something great and differant

  13. I love the design and more importantly the sound (of course I bought a KoAloha Sceptre from HMS, so I enjoy unique looking instruments). Plus, Corey makes anything with strings sing!

  14. Been thinking about buying another uke and something different too! I’ll look into it more.

  15. The rosewood sounds richer, but I can’t tell if my 2″ speakers toss away the low end of everything, or if the rosewood is missing the low end of the Koa? The smaller upper body may reduce the high frequencies a bit too much for my taste, but the ukulele is a thing of beauty.

  16. Amazing! As someone who favors a tenor, this was surprisingly full of rich tones, depth, and portability to boot? Love it. Want it. Need it.

  17. Well done, Andrew, for presenting another ‘ukulele that is innovative and different. Wish I could stop by and try a few licks myself. Your reviews are really well done. Thanks for showing us this beauty.

  18. It’s a very pretty design, just which it wasn’t so expensive. They should make some versions that use cheaper materials with no frills but the same shape and setup.

  19. Hey Andrew- your comment about the lower bout and it’s connection to deeper, fuller sound is most intriging. Could you expand a little more? What is the relationship between lore and upper bouts and what does the upper bout contribute to the overall sounds we hear?
    Ike’s you sell vary quite a bit in dimensions of these two. I there something we should be looking for in a uke for ourselves? RM

    1. Post

      RM- The entire instrument contributes to the resonance of a uke, but the range of frequency and projection almost entirely take place in the lower bout of the soundboard. With this design Pepe eliminated almost everything but the essential catalyst for vibration. The belly!
      Their is no specific aspect to look for in a uke. If you like it, it’s good, no matter the size, shape or even sound. What Pepe’s done here is simply make a bigger sound in a smaller package.

  20. This is why I love theukulelereview so much – interesting, exciting, up-to-date news about ukes! This is the only site I trust to buy ukuleles from!

  21. So Andrew: Would Pepe’s variation or pineapple ukes be considered to have upper bouts with no waists or be all lower bout? Also, out of curiosity, is this Pepe the great Spanish classical guitarist or someone else in the family? Thanks for your previous clarifying answer. RM

    1. Post

      This shape I would consider all lower bout. The pineapple I see as more of a no waist. The upper and lower bout on a typical pineapple will have the same measurement as the regular hourglass shape. Pepe Romero Sr., Pepe’s father is the famous guitarist. Thx

  22. Andrew: Thank you for your excellent article here and also about retuning baritone ukes. I have so often wondered if that could be done. The more I think about Pepe’s model above, the more I feel I would really like to have one. Price is the problem. You say there will be an import model coming. Will it be a Cordoba? Do you have any insider knowledge or even educated guesses about when this import model might hit the market? RM

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