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Thread: Bruce Wie uke impressions

  1. #1
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    Default Bruce Wie uke impressions

    I'm considering placing a custom order with Bruce for a new soprano. Is anyone currently playing a Bruce Wie Uke? What are your impressions on build quality and playability?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Sep 2013
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    I'm a long time user of Bruce Wei ukes, both off the shelf and custom (see my signature). He does very good work, all of them are done well. I'm about to order another custom. One important note, be sure you are very clear exactly what you want, look over the final spec drawing he sends and be sure every detail you want is correct.


    • Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos
    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, provide ukuleles to kids in hospital music therapy programs.
    • Patronize Bruce Wei Arts eBay store/custom shop in Vietnam http://stores.ebay.com/Bruceweiart-M...nstrument-Shop, good products, reasonable price. (Don't heed old reviews, he makes good stuff.)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by whistleman123 View Post
    I'm considering placing a custom order with Bruce for a new soprano. Is anyone currently playing a Bruce Wie Uke? What are your impressions on build quality and playability?
    Thanks
    Does bruce actually make the ukes? Or does he list ukes he finds that others have made?
    Like.. if you custom something, who's making it?

  4. #4
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    Bruce does both. He builds himself, has his employees build them, and also sells ukes built by other builders. If you buy a custom from him, likely, he will build it. He does make a nice uke. Some out of his factory are hit and miss, but he is quick to make it right if you get a bad one. But a custom, he does pay good attention to detail and builds a nice uke. I have been playing one of his concerts for many years, and it is my favorite go to Uke. Awesome sustain, tone, volume. It is a solid mahogany. I love it. It plays as nice and in many cases, better than ukes I have played for twice the money.
    Mahalo Ke Akua
    ------------------
    Ohana SK-35 a.k.a. "IZ"
    Ohana SK-21 a.k.a. "Ku'u poki'i <Kapookie>"
    Lanikai LU-21 a.k.a. "Cinderella"
    Epiphone Les Paul Concert Uke "Lil' Lester"
    Harmony Banjo Uke a.k.a. "Bango"
    Gibson Les Paul a.k.a. "Hobo Ted"
    Epiphone Les Paul Studio a.k.a. "Barnabas"
    Epiphone Les Paul a.k.a. "Blaze"
    Gretsch Tenor Banjo a.k.a. "Jed"
    Supertone 406, 5 string Banjo a.k.a. "GrandPa Jones"
    Fernendes Telecaster "Suemeh"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tudorp View Post
    Bruce does both. He builds himself, has his employees build them, and also sells ukes built by other builders. If you buy a custom from him, likely, he will build it. He does make a nice uke. Some out of his factory are hit and miss, but he is quick to make it right if you get a bad one. But a custom, he does pay good attention to detail and builds a nice uke. I have been playing one of his concerts for many years, and it is my favorite go to Uke. Awesome sustain, tone, volume. It is a solid mahogany. I love it. It plays as nice and in many cases, better than ukes I have played for twice the money.
    Now, stop that. You're making me want one, and all I did was innocently stroll by....
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Aurora, IL US
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tudorp View Post
    Bruce does both. He builds himself, has his employees build them, and also sells ukes built by other builders. If you buy a custom from him, likely, he will build it. He does make a nice uke. Some out of his factory are hit and miss, but he is quick to make it right if you get a bad one. But a custom, he does pay good attention to detail and builds a nice uke. I have been playing one of his concerts for many years, and it is my favorite go to Uke. Awesome sustain, tone, volume. It is a solid mahogany. I love it. It plays as nice and in many cases, better than ukes I have played for twice the money.
    And yet, you don’t list his uke in your signature but you do list the $80 Lanakai
    Last edited by Cornfield; 10-31-2017 at 12:16 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    And yet, you don’t list his uke in your signature but you do list the $80 Lanakai
    I hadn't updated that list in years. Some I don't even own anymore, and others I now own aren't in that list. I wasn't even aware that those signatures were even noticed that much. The Lanikai I gave away to a kid years ago, and it was only $50.
    Last edited by Tudorp; 10-31-2017 at 12:33 PM.
    Mahalo Ke Akua
    ------------------
    Ohana SK-35 a.k.a. "IZ"
    Ohana SK-21 a.k.a. "Ku'u poki'i <Kapookie>"
    Lanikai LU-21 a.k.a. "Cinderella"
    Epiphone Les Paul Concert Uke "Lil' Lester"
    Harmony Banjo Uke a.k.a. "Bango"
    Gibson Les Paul a.k.a. "Hobo Ted"
    Epiphone Les Paul Studio a.k.a. "Barnabas"
    Epiphone Les Paul a.k.a. "Blaze"
    Gretsch Tenor Banjo a.k.a. "Jed"
    Supertone 406, 5 string Banjo a.k.a. "GrandPa Jones"
    Fernendes Telecaster "Suemeh"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    Bruce has not sold ukes made outside of his operation for years. He told me that directly when I asked. As was said, he stands behind all of his work.


    • Member The CC Strummers: https://www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/videos
    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, provide ukuleles to kids in hospital music therapy programs.
    • Patronize Bruce Wei Arts eBay store/custom shop in Vietnam http://stores.ebay.com/Bruceweiart-M...nstrument-Shop, good products, reasonable price. (Don't heed old reviews, he makes good stuff.)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    I have mixed feelings on Wei ukes...

    One tenor won for under $18 plus shipping at the time IIRC was $60 for a tenor.

    Developed a crack in a dark part of the acacia top and a tiny sideways tress crack on the back I could only guess from shipping. Some humidity and some tight bond after a few questions in the repair forum and shes all good. I let it then sit a year or so as it felt tight and overbuilt. When my Koahola concert came I then compared all my other ukuleles to this sound.

    To make a long story short the Wei tenor is the only one that had the same full sound of the Koahola.


    Fast forward a year or two I see a walnut soprano for $99 plus $60 (now the soprano shipping price). I will admit I first changed the strings to Aquila reds as I do on most my ukes. This little girl is soooooo quiet that to get volume out of it the strings need to be attacked in a manner Ive never used on another uke. Of course this causes the strings to buzz.

    I did buy a cheap EQ and pickup I may cut into and install someday. I do need to switch back to the Aquila whites to see if it changes anything. Oh being prepared with humidity issues I kept this one humidified but missed one sponge drying out. A crack developed in a dark stripe of the walnut top so I just glued it. This might change things though I doubt it.

    Another complaint is he left room for a name inlay at the top of the head stock this makes the pegs too close together but I see hes changed this poor design again.

    After a year they seem to be stable in normal humidity.

    Its like buying tools from Harbor Freight its a gamble. Good Luck if you decide to play the Vietnamese lottery!
    This space reserved for a smart or witty comment or a famous quote. It may also be used to promote my accomplishments should I ever accomplish anything worth sharing.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2012
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    Queanbeyan, NSW Australia.
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    I've bought at least 10 brucewei ukuleles over the years. The very first one I bought was the best. The quality was a bit variable for a while but since brucewei took over completely the quality picked up again. I have a baritone that I bought a couple of years ago that's very good. I have a tenor from a couple of years ago that's well built but its bridge was annoyingly a little out of place.

    I've just won one today on eBay. A tenor. It will take a couple of weeks but I'll tell you how it is when I get it.

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