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Big Ben "fly_mo" (Bedford, UK)
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Blue Transparent Case for Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (and B+)
Blue Transparent Case for Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (and B+)
Offered by SB Components Ltd
Price: £5.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Nice case, keeps the monkeys out., 13 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Neat case that does the job!
One can spend a fortune on fancy cases, but this was a reasonable deal when we bought ours. I've made cases from the free almost-tupperware that comes with a chinese meal, but they have their limitations.
It Just Works.
Recommended for keeping dust, cats, and small fingers with scissors out of your RasPi


Aluminum Heatsink set for Raspberry Pi - Set of 3 Heat Sinks
Aluminum Heatsink set for Raspberry Pi - Set of 3 Heat Sinks
Offered by Abergy
Price: £1.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Cooler, if you need to., 13 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Handy little heatsinks for the earlier RasPi - they reduced the temperatures in ours, made me feel more comfortable with our medium over-clock setting.
Recommended if you are planning to overclock an early Pi.


Adafruit Low-Profile SD to Micro-SD Card Adaptor for Raspberry Pi
Adafruit Low-Profile SD to Micro-SD Card Adaptor for Raspberry Pi
Offered by 4tronix
Price: £5.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin!, 13 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Useful little adapter to use Micro-SD cards in the original Raspberry Pi Standard SD slot. Very handy now that we are moving towards the Micro-SD standard.
It still projects slightly - a couple of mm or so - and it does project downwards by a similar amount.
So it won't fit in a 'normal' SD slot - like the particularly nasty ones on Apple stuff and Acer 720s that leave the card protruding to force you to remove the card every time. Another trick to sell the more expensive option. <sigh>
But it does fit the Raspi, which is what it's designed to do!
No problems with ours, It Just Works...
Recommended!


Mens Extrem Hot Thermal Underwear Set Long Sleeve Vest & Long Johns Suitable for Winter, Outdoor Work, Travel, Camping & Ski Wear Size S-XL (X-Large, Charcoal)
Mens Extrem Hot Thermal Underwear Set Long Sleeve Vest & Long Johns Suitable for Winter, Outdoor Work, Travel, Camping & Ski Wear Size S-XL (X-Large, Charcoal)
Offered by CLASSIQUE FASHIONS
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely made warm Thermal Underwear. (But only for the slimmer figure even in XL), 13 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is jolly good underwear! It's warm and seems well made.
The top fits me well, but despite ordering the XL size, the leggings are a bit tight on my (pretty skinny) legs.
How skinny am I?
Well, a 38" waist and well over 6 foot tall should give you an idea.
If I |put on any weight I'll start worry about those leggings.
So even in XL size, they are not for the larger person... Hence 4 stars rather than 5 stars.
They are bound to stretch a bit in time, so I'm not that worried for myself, but if you are bigger than I am, these might be too tight for you.
Recommended for the skinnier person who feels the cold!
(That would be me) Ben


Force Ball Power Gyro Wrist Multicolor Ball (Green)
Force Ball Power Gyro Wrist Multicolor Ball (Green)
Offered by VeeLeisure
Price: £7.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Good alternative to PowerBall, 6 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
We have a couple of PowerBall Technos, and I was curious as to how well this inexpensive but similar item worked.
the answer is - pretty well!
No, this is not the LED-lighting-up like the Techno, but it provides the same sort of exercise and feels very similar to use.
The only thing that is not up to standard is the little red string that one uses to get started. This has a tiny metal ferrule on each end.
When inserting this into the approved orifice to do a start, it can go in far enough to catch on the way out, which can cause a false start.
the PowerBall string is superior in that it never does this.
Almost free alternative is a length of super-cheap (think Pound Shop) plastic-covered clothes line. Some brands are exactly the right size to do the job. Easy as...
Recommended if you need a simple, budget price gyro hand exerciser.


Bryce Ukulele Baritone Strings
Bryce Ukulele Baritone Strings

4.0 out of 5 stars Bargain price Baritone Uke Strings, Linear tuning (DGBE), 6 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bryce Ukulele Baritone Strings
These seem to be identical to the ones supplied on our Bryce Baritone Ukulele.
On this inexpensive long-scale (55cm saddle to nut) baritone uke these strings work pretty well and are in keeping with the overall budget. Putting a £9 set of strings on a £28 ukulele does not make a lot of sense.
Economics aside, we do like these strings on this uke. Once you have wound them up to concert pitch and they have settled down, they work well.

Sound is 'mellow' and 'round' rather than 'bright'. The sound level of the four strings is evenly balanced when tuned up to concert pitch (DGBE, with A=440), but the tension does vary from the treble end to the bass, with the treble being strung tighter than the bass. This is noticeably different when one is examining the tension, but I find it comfortable to play with, both playing finger-style and strumming chords.

Getting them up to pitch is the usual nylon winding effort - I took the whole instrument a couple of semitones sharp from DGBE to EAC#F# and re-tuned every few minutes for about half a day before restoring it to DGBE.
After that one could get a few minutes of playing in before retuning - and gradually that grows over the first day or so. Fully expect the strings to settle down properly within a week. I usually wind them up a semitone or so overnight to help this process.
Nylon strings are so stretchy!

Recommended for your Baritone Ukulele.
They may not be as bright as the Aquila or Worth or Living Water fluorocarbon strings, but they are worth a try at this price. If you like them (we do!) this is a proper saving.

A good set of Baritone Ukulele strings at a sensible price. Might suit you?
Hope they do.


Bryce Baritone Ukulele
Bryce Baritone Ukulele

4.0 out of 5 stars Big beginners Baritone uke that plays OK - at a fair price., 6 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bryce Baritone Ukulele
The great news is that this Bryce Baritone Ukulele is well-enough made to be suitable for beginners or someone who just wants to have a go on a Baritone uke. It has a super-wide fretboard (4.4cm at the nut) and a long scale even for a Baritone (55cm) so there is room for properly large fingers, like mine.

The other side of that coin is that it would probably not suit a very small child, since the neck is thicker than some - which is all to the good structurally, since (as with most Ukes) there is no truss rod.

OK, it's under 30 quid, surely it has problems?
Well, yes, sorta...

The finish is OK for the money - the fingerboard has a hard coating that extends over the 'scratch plate' part of the body and is on the same level as the fingerboard.
Yes there are some small blemishes in the finish on the edges of the neck and soundbox, fingerboard and headstock.
I'm not bothered about appearances, but probably would not choose this uke for a gift.

Frets are small and well-set - they suit the instrument well. The frets are set in a dead-flat fingerboard like a classical guitar. The whole design does remind me of a 3/4 scale classical guitar but with 4 strings.

The main flaw in the one we have is that the bridge is set a bit too near to the neck. So the intonation at the XIIth fret is significantly sharp - nearly half a semitone sharp, depending on the string. So playing accurately much above the VIIth fret is not feasible without modifications - or uncanny technique.

That's probably OK for a beginner or a not-that-serious but experienced uke player.
As my fingers fail with age and arthritis, barre chords become harder and harder to fret, even on a uke, so that will eventually include me...
<sigh>

There are no position dots on the fretboard.
I quite like this - since dots are no use on there - can't see them on the front of the fretboard unless you put your uke down on a table, which makes it hard to play. Or twist your head out like a turtle...
We put some dots on the side with a felt tip. The player can see -our- fret dots.
Highly recommended trick...

The strings provided are really not bad. They do take a lot of winding up to DGBE - this is the standard tuning for a Baritone Ukulele and the same as the 4 higher pitched strings on a Guitar. They do need re-tuning every couple of minutes for the first few hours - not at all unusual for nylon strings.
We wound ours up a couple of semitones sharp to EAC#F# for the first half day or so. This pre-stretches the strings and they settle quicker when dropped back to DGBE.
Afterwards they often needed re-tuning before/after a playing it, which is par for the course on the first day. Would expect them to settle properly within a week.
Good news is that the solid-looking machine-heads work fine.

The sound is 'round' and 'warm' rather than 'sharp' and is pleasant to our ears - we really like it. String tension falls from treble to bass (treble feels tight, bass feels looser), but is fine to play either fingerstyle or strumming. Balance of volume across the strings is substantially even when tuned to concert pitch.

Normally I'd consider swapping immediately to a brighter sounding string (eg Aquila NylGut, or one of the Fluorocarbon strings like Worth or Living Waters) but this is an inexpensive uke - and strings such as those are a significant proportion of the price of this instrument. Is it worth it?
Would definitely not even try a set of Aquila Red strings - these are wonderful, but pricey. Their two wound strings usually wear out inside a fortnight, and might cause damage to this fretboard. Not a great idea.

The Bryce strings are only £1.50 a set, and they do suit the instrument pretty well. It has a warm and cheerful sound that we like.

Seriously, even after pointing out the flaws it remains a very likable instrument that is easy to play and looks dead good from around 2M away even when I'm wearing my new glasses.

Is it a £100 ukulele? No!
That is more than we paid for a brand-new Tanglewood Baritone complete with hard case from a high street music store earlier this year. The Tanglewood is a much more serious instrument, and a good one is very hard to beat.

But the Bryce Baritone Ukulele is a jolly good (and really big) Baritone Uke for under 30 quid.
(If you have (say) 50 quid plus to spend, there are better alternatives on offer.)

Recommended as a first Ukulele for guitarists (similar tuning! Same chord names!), an inexpensive beginners uke that is different from the herd, or anyone wanting to try out a Baritone uke without spending all their beer money. Makes a better wall ornament than most 'ornamental' instruments.

So if (like me) you're an aging guitar player whose arthritic fingers won't fret an acoustic guitar reliably, this Bryce is a good instrument to try out - it's easier to fret than a guitar, there are only 4 strings, and those strings are exactly the same tuning as the top 4 on a guitar. DGBE is so easy!

I'll try to add stuff in the comments as we learn how this uke gets on.
Hope you enjoy making your music! Ben
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 9, 2015 9:28 AM BST


Tanglewood Union Series TU 5 Baritone Ukulele w/ Hard Case
Tanglewood Union Series TU 5 Baritone Ukulele w/ Hard Case
Offered by JunctionMusic
Price: £107.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good ones are exceptional, but not all TU-5 baritones are good..., 13 Mar. 2015
We bought our Tanglewood TU-5 in the local high street muso store, and I'm glad we did. The tone was what sold it - just so full and resonant. But (the dealer pointed out) the neck was less than straight, so he had a word with his wholesaler, who sent a couple more of them to provide us a choice.
The one we chose was near perfect - with the same big sound and improved action/intonation.
Just loved it!
The case is a necessary item for a ukulele built from such light and resonant materials. Very thin laminate soundbox, much like a Kiwaya, with a minimal semi-matte finish. Let it dry out or get too humid at your peril. This (seemingly) was what had happened to the other two instruments we tried - presumably whilst hanging up in the shop? The tops were slightly out of shape as well as the necks.
So take care when buying, check your local humidity, and use humidity control (desiccant or humidifier) in the case if needed.
Sharp fretty edges on a fingerboard can be an indication that the neck/fingerboard has dried (relative to the time of manufacture) and the wood has shrunk across the grain.

Fit and finish is very good and simply presented, this is not an ornament but a finely made working instrument. We like the simplicity and home-made support slings made from rough twine or leather (or bootlaces!) fit in well with the aesthetic. A support sling is recommended since the long neck and ultra-light sound-box mean that this uke tends to balance neck-down - not unusual in a baritone. The open machine heads do a good job and hold pitch very well once the strings have settled in. The elegant clean-cut bridge is similar to the Martin type, just tie a knot and slot the string in, at least in theory. More on this below.
The action is easy, not super low, it is easy to play up and down the neck on this example.
This instrument is not about looks and ornamentation. It's for playing.
Until quite recently, a traditional way of identifying a racing car was to start it up. If people jump back, it's a racing car.... ;)
Start this baritone uke up, and heads do turn.

Once home, we ran into an interesting situation.
The standard black nylon strings would not come up to concert pitch in gCEA tuning without the A string breaking at the bridge. So we tried dGBE - far too slack. In between there was a point where the strings were nicely tensioned and remained unbroken.
Perfect!
Sounds good and plays easily.
Well, fun to play but not exactly concert pitch. Did sound (and feel) very good. A free set of Aquila NylGut strings was provided by our excellent dealer, and these would come up to pitch with some help (see below). But the sound was now rather drier and more 'brittle'. A bit thin for our taste on this instrument. That came as a surprise.
Aquila NylGut had worked pretty well on our TU-4 Tenor Uke.
But the Aquila Reds (low G) had worked even better on it, so we tried them on the TU-5 Baritone.
Success!
Now, opinions on tone can vary - this is our take on it....
Amazing, resonant sound. Deep, warm, throbbing tone and a light, bright fragile strum too. Best of both worlds for fingerstyle and for strumming, which is great, since I tend to mix the two. Used to play guitar a lot, before my fingers took early retirement.

We were able to get the top two strings up to concert pitch without breaking by wrapping the end near the knot in some heavy gauge linen thread to act as a 'washer'. A thin string wrap might do it too. The interior of the bridge slot may have some sharp edges that are at fault in this - cannot see inside there, but it seems likely.

The wound strings were fine, especially with some neck lube applied (which can help the wood too) - although the nut and the bridge needed to be very slightly relieved to accommodate the wound D string. The nut and bridge were clearly intended for re-entrant tuning (high 4th string), but the Aquila Red wound 4th is surprisingly slim.

This TU-5 baritone is now a fabulous instrument that is admired at ukulele gatherings by others. Me? I just love it.
Even my classically-oriented wife loves the sound, it's that good. ;)

Recommended for those willing to be selective in purchasing one and happy to tinker a bit getting it at its best.
The tone and action is worth 5 stars in our view, one star knocked off for the necessary tinkering, although I was tempted to give it 5, since it's so good to play now we are over the fiddly bit.


Aquila 89U RED SERIES, Ukulele BARITONE Low-D Tuning - DGBE (w/ wound D & G-string)
Aquila 89U RED SERIES, Ukulele BARITONE Low-D Tuning - DGBE (w/ wound D & G-string)
Offered by Original Artisan
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent strings, with a few caveats..., 13 Mar. 2015
We now have one of these:- Tanglewood Union Series TU 5 Baritone Ukulele w/ Hard Case
This comes with anonymous black nylon strings that are a bit slack when tuned gCEA and tended to break the top E string when wound up to dGBE. Annoying, and not a traditional baritone linear tuning in either event.
Aquila NylGut strings were tried, but did not suit us on this instrument. Sound was too brittle and thin - but no problems getting up to pitch.

So we bought a set of these Aquila Red strings (for around seven quid) and after learning to fit them to the somewhat sharp-edged bridge of the TU-5 they have performed wonderfully.
Deep, warm, throbbing tone and a light, bright fragile strum too. Best of both worlds for fingerstyle and for strumming, which is great, since I tend to mix the two.
.
Fantastic sound and feel - but I'm primarily a guitar player and un-bothered by the two wound strings (D & G). These do have a well-muted whistle when sliding around the fretboard. But it might unsettle some ukulele string purists?
Balance across the strings is good, and the tone holds up as high as I can fret cleanly, which is around the 12th to 14th on this instrument. Once stabilised, they stay in tune day to day very close to concert pitch even with regular use.
That's the good news.
.
Getting the Tanglewood to bring them up to pitch was a pain. The TU-5 bridge is possibly to blame for that, but the top two strings (B & E) have both broken a couple of times despite our precautions. It took several days before these strings settled to concert pitch - think it was nearly a week. Did not dare wind them over-pitch to pre-stretch them for fear of more breakages.
.
Recommended for your baritone ukulele if you want a Low D (linear) tuning and do not mind wound strings - and are prepared to take time and trouble installing them and winding these up to pitch. Then they are truly marvellous!
Despite the difficulties, these are worth 5 stars for the incredible rich, resonant tonal range they deliver.
We just bought a spare set, just in case. They really do sound that good.


Tanglewood TU4 Tenor Ukulele Mahogany
Tanglewood TU4 Tenor Ukulele Mahogany

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Uke, well worth the 80-odd quid we paid, 5 Jan. 2015
Paid around 80 quid cash to a high street dealer, and it came with a good quality hard case.
This is top quality craftsmanship, one of the best-made instruments I own after a long career in the industry.

The Tanglewood TU4 Tenor Ukulele was the solution to my aging and arthritic fingers - my first uke was a 'GemUke' given to me in the 1950s, it was a small banjo-ukulele that I struggled to play when my hands grew to adult size, eventually switching to guitar in the 1960s. Still got the GemUke, but very rarely play it.

This tenor uke has a string spacing and action that enable me to perform all the stuff I could do as a kid, and more! Much nearer a guitar in feel.
It has a full, resonant tone that varies dramatically with the right-hand style employed. Bright as you like, but very full and rounded with thumb strumming. Oh, and pretty loud, too.

So, I really do like this Uke. I like it very much!
Other Uke players tell me it sounds wonderful - and one offered to swap! No deal...

It's finely made, with excellent fit and finish, but all very simply and elegantly done.

Criticisms?
I had planned to try a Linear tuning with a suitable set of strings (low bass, not re-entrant tuning), but the bridge is precisely cut for the standard re-entrant tuning, and I'm just not willing to modify a work of art with my doubtful skills.

Recommended?
Oh yes! But do shop around for the best price....
Might be a bit big in the neck for a small child - would suggest you try a Soprano (standard) ukelele in that case.


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