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Thread: NUD: Little River custom tenor

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    126

    Default NUD: Little River custom tenor

    Hi, all!

    OK, so “custom” is the key word to describe this uke — it features a giant inlay of my childhood stomping grounds, it's built mostly of wood from my home state of California, and it's all wrapped up in a 19-inch scale tenor with fat 1.5-inch nut… oh, baby, it’s like I conjured it from my head!

    But I didn’t conjure it, of course, this uke was hand built for me by Dave Sigman of Little River, California. Not just built, mid-wifed. He totally embraced my desire for a California uke—he calls it the uke-Cal-lele—and provided expert guidance along the way.

    The headstock inlay depicts a lookout on Bodega Head in Sonoma County, where I grew up. We studied paintings of the spot and exchanged sketches; Dave even sent me a box of wood and shell to test out in various combinations, which allowed my daughter to get involved in the process — holy cow, what a fun journey!

    The body of the uke is claro walnut, which was used for rifle stocks in the Old West. The rosette is mountain mahogany, which was used by Native Americans for arrowheads. Fun fact, huh? (We reached across the pacific for the ebony fingerboard and bridge.) Both the claro walnut and mountain mahogany are used again in the inlay, along with some golden yew and of course some really amazing shell. The abalone, which is native to the area as well, totally captures the sky over Bodega when the marine layer blows in. Sea and sky shimmer and shift color in the light. The oval frame reminds me of old sailor scrimshaw. I get lost staring into it; I love how Dave used the natural figuring of the materials to create the details of the seascape…. amazing.

    Not everybody’s dream uke, for sure, but it’s mine. Reminds me a song by the Bottle Rockets, called “Dog”:

    I love my dog
    He's my dog
    If you don't love my dog
    That's okay
    I don't want you to
    He's my dog

    Hey, I’ve even given the uke a doggish name—Bodi, short for Bodega Bay! ☺

    OK, sound clip to follow when my iMic gets here, since my laptop microphone is useless for this sort of thing.

    If you all are lucky I will record my girlfriend playing instead of me, she’s easier on the eyes and ears, haha!

    Full.jpgTail.jpgLRU.jpgBridge.jpg
    Last edited by mmfitzsimons; 08-06-2017 at 09:17 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    The Bodega Head peghead...Notice Dave has this really cool and original headstock design that allows the strings to run through the headstock to Stealth tuners. No bolts on the front!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mmfitzsimons; 08-06-2017 at 09:19 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    JoCo, NC (near Raleigh)
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    2,958

    Default

    Wow, that's something else! That headstock looks practically three dimensional.

    What's strings and tuning do you have it in?
    Current Stable:
    -Ohana TKS-15E Tenor - Eb cuatro
    -Iriguchi Keystone Tenor "Weeble" - Bb, SC SMU
    -Blue Star 19" baritone Konablaster - DGBE, steel string
    -KPK pineapple SLN - GCEA
    -Cocobolo 16" SC#1 - gCEA, SC SLMU
    -Ono #42 19" baritone, Ab, LW
    -Imua iET - Bb, M600
    -Covered Bridge CLN pineapple - Eb cuatro, SC XLL
    -Rogue bari
    Once upon a time:
    -RISA Concert Stick
    -Bruko sop. custom #6
    -Lanikai lam hog bari
    -Kala SLNG
    -Bruko bari
    -Gold Tone BUT


    Jim's Blog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Hanks View Post
    Wow, that's something else! That headstock looks practically three dimensional.

    What's strings and tuning do you have it in?
    Thank you so much, Jim! Yes, it is super 3D—photos don't even really capture how much. That sky appears to roll into the horizon; Dave's a magician!

    I am using low G tuning, and for strings I have drank the Tomastik-Infeld Kool-Aid for wound basses.... using Oasis Warms for the E & A right now, but have the Moore Bettah 2.0 set on standby.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    McDonough, GA
    Posts
    4,075

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmfitzsimons View Post
    The Bodega Head peghead...Notice Dave has this really cool and original headstock design that allows the strings to run through the headstock to Stealth tuners. No bolts on the front!
    Congrats. Dave's headstock design with the string-thru approach is awesome. That is a Super cool inlay.
    -Hodge
    Humble strummer of fine ukes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Thank you so much, Hodge! Super easy to string, and tunes just like normal. He really did a fantastic job; I can practically hear the waves, and sea lions barking in the distance...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    664

    Default

    Congratulations! That headstock is beyond spectacular.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA
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    Wow, Matt, I'm so happy the wait is over. I'm a fan of Dave's ukes and his inlay work, which is so well executed. You have a special uke there, even before considering its special meaning for you. Look forward to hearing it when you get to do a sound sample.
    More an appreciator of the ukulele than a true player. My motto is: "Don't matter how good it ring if it ain't got some bling."

    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.—Voltaire

    Curious about the relative importance of tonewood vs. the luthier? See Luthiers for a Cause to learn more!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    That is just gorgeous. Well done!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Orleans,MA
    Posts
    2,616

    Default

    Congrats on one sweet looking uke!

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