I started playing ukulele this past Sept. I've played acoustic guitar for sometime and have owned a fair number of quality guitars including Martin's, Taylors, Gibsons, Larrivees and Nationals. I've also played many high quality hand builds by well known luthiers. For the past couple years I've hardly touched the guitar... certainly have made no progress in my playing. Picking up the ukulele has again made me excited about playing music. Can't get enough of this little instrument. After catching ukulele fever, I knew it would not be long before picking up a nice hand built. I was never a good enough guitar player to drop $4 grand or more on a luthier built guitar. However, There are so many really amazing ukuleles out there at such reasonable prices.
So.... I am now the very lucky owner of the first Covered Bridge Concert. Just arrived today and I am absolutely thrilled with it. I have a couple hours of playing time and here's my initially impressions.
First, I've never judged an acoustic instrument by how it sounds There are other factors, which I find when present, the tone falls into place. It basically boils down to how it feels. An instrument has to jump to life when played and this uke delivers. It is so responsive and expressive. It is feather light, so much so that I would have guessed that the box was empty when it was delivered. Another factor regarding feel is playability. The action is right in the sweet spot. Not to low, so you can really dig in, but low enough to play smooth and effortless.
I can't help it, but looks are important. In general, I like no bling and humble woods. This ukulele nails it. Perry and Terry really let the wood do the talking. The redwood top is so stunning in its simplicity. The flamed myrtle is truly outrageours (and smells good enough to eat). Now I pay close attention to detail, but I am not super critical of small flaws. I would never expect any instrument to be flawless. There are a few small tool marks and in the sunlight one can see a few swirls in the finish. However, there are many more examples of just how talented Perry and Terry are, such as the way the bindings flow into the heel cap is beautiful. I am extremely impressed with the quality and craftsmanship of this incredible little uke.
This ukulele hits many of the factors I look for... so how's it sound? Again, I'm fairly new to ukes, but have played quite a few over the past months. I also know acoustic guitars inside out. Everyone wants their new instrument to sound great, but I will tell it like it is... This ukulele sounds amazing. It is very rich and full with huge sustain. I truly can't imagine it sounding any better.
Perry and Terry are putting out some very fine ukuleles. I sure everyone knows how reasonably priced they are and I can say without a doubt that they represent an incredible value in the hand built uke market. Perry and I have exchanged a few emails and phone calls. He's been responsive and informative. I wish covered bridge all the success they deserve.
I'm hoping to have time to do a video or two tomorrow, but until then, here's a couple pics.