PDA

View Full Version : NUD: It's Moore Bettah than I even dreamed



wickedwahine11
08-27-2014, 08:54 AM
To paraphrase Jon Snow, “all the best ukulele have names.” I’ve always named my ukulele. I know some people say that is crazy, why name something that won’t come when you call it? But I’ve always named my cats too, and they sure don’t come when I call them. Warning the story to follow is long. But to understand why this is more than just an ukulele to me, it needs to be told. And sorry the pics are so big -- photos here on the forum have been wonky of late so they are embedded from an external site.

I longed for a Moore Bettah ukulele almost as soon as I first saw one, not long after I started playing the uke in December of 2008 - almost six years ago. As soon as I was fortunate enough to place my order for a custom Moore Bettah ukulele, I began thinking about what I would name it. I had some beautiful looking and nice sounding ukes, and some nice looking and beautiful sounding ukes, but no uke had yet been that perfect combination for me of tone and beauty. From what I could see of Moore Bettah ukes, they seemed to be that rare union of both. Once I looked up “union” in the Hawaiian dictionary, and saw the word “hui,” I figured I would just add the word for beautiful “nani” and came up with the name “Hui Nani.” I had the name for my uke. No uke yet, but I had the name.

As I was talking with Chuck over the course of the months before my uke was built, I was struck by something that he mentioned to me at one point: that his ukes (and I suppose most custom instruments by extension) are a union of the builder and the client — it would be a part of him and a part of me that would exist in this ukulele. I smiled to myself as he said it because I knew that my ukulele’s name now had a double meaning. It was not just a union of sound and visual beauty, but also of a piece of both the luthier and myself.

As we talked story, I told him of my deep love for the Hawaiian island of Kauai. I had been going there many times a year for almost 20 years with my family and it was a place that meant more to me than any other in the world. When my grandmother passed, we scattered her ashes in Kauai, so it always made me feel closer to her when I would return.

I showed him my tattoo of a polynesian honu turtle with the Hawaiian islands embedded in his shell — and mentioned that when I wanted to be particularly close to her, I would touch the island of Kauai. I had particularly chosen a honu tattoo because every time I returned to Kauai, I never failed to see a turtle at some point poking his head above the waves — I always felt it was my grandmother telling me hello.

When we discussed what the inlay would consist of, I was firm in my belief that Chuck should determine what he wished to build. I even told him, I would no sooner tell Picasso what to paint. I only had a wish for some of the curliest koa I could buy, I hoped for a Hawaiian theme, and I wanted some turquoise in the uke, as it is my favorite color. We discussed the Na Pali coast, and I showed him a couple of photographs -- one of a turtle swimming under water and another of a Wyland scene. But I told him he was free to do whatever he wished on this ukulele.

On that day my mom and I met Chuck and his wife at their home, I mentioned that my grandfather was very ill. It had originally been my grandfather’s desire to one day live in Hawaii but he had never made it, yet every time he journeyed back there (when he was still healthy enough to do so), he felt reunited in spirit with the love of his life: my grandmother. I also mentioned to Chuck that when my grandfather passed, we would be scattering his ashes in Kauai so they could be together again.

On February 11th, 2014, I happened to be visiting Hawaii with my spouse and so I flew to Hilo to visit Chuck’s house again and chose my wood. We went through a number of sets, and I picked some koa with wild looking “crushed velvet” style curl. I then flew back to meet my spouse in Oahu. When I got back to the hotel in Oahu that night I received a phone call from my mom that my grandfather had passed away that day. I ended up leaving Hawaii early and flying home to be with my family. What had been one of the greatest days in my life turned into one of the saddest as my grandfather and I had been exceptionally close, and never ended a conversation without saying, "I love you more."

My mom and I returned to Kauai a couple of months later to scatter his ashes along the Na Pali coast. It was a particularly windy day, with incredibly large waves splashing up over the bow of the boat. Despite the rough weather and seas, we sailed out to the water opposite the Kalalau Trail lookout and scattered the ashes, reuniting him with my grandmother once again. He was now part of the reason I love Kauai the way I do.

When I saw the inlay Chuck had created for the first time, it captured that Na Pali coast to me in one image. The green lush cliffs were there, with shimmering water as well. The honu — an image so important to me and symbolic of memories of Hawaii was present front and center, swimming amongst the fish and plants. The lush shades of green that are so present in that island — from Na Pali, to Waimea Canyon, to Mt. Waialeale, they are found on my ukulele.

When I got the final images, I found I particularly loved a couple of the things that were added surprises -- the second little honu swimming by the soundhole, and the bottom of the sea extending onto the fretboard, including the starfish and the seashells. It really feels like a Wyland style painting of the place I love most. And the most striking thing is that instead of paint, Chuck has created this undersea world using cutouts of stone and shell and other materials. He even managed to work my favorite color -- turquoise -- into the strap button! Chuck truly is an artist beyond all compare.

I know every time I look at that ukulele, I will be reminded of a place that I love. And I will be forever indebted to Chuck for making such a beautiful, tangible reminder of memories I shared with two people that meant the world to me.

I named the ukulele “Hui Nani” — beautiful union. It is a union of beauty in both incredible tonal qualities and aesthetic imagery. It is a union of a bit of both luthier and customer — as all custom ukuleles carry a bit of the spirit of both parties. And it is a union between me and a place I love above all others — Kauai, the Garden Isle.

It has only just arrived, so I have only played a couple of quick songs on it. I already appreciate having the side soundport, as it helps to direct the sound upwards to the player. I am about 50% deaf in my right ear and so it is a really nice addition.

I can't believe the finish on the uke. I always liked the Kanile'a UV finish. But this is just as glossy, but also feels so incredibly smooth to the touch -- and it is impeccably applied. Other touches, like the bound fretboard are a nice addition, and the action is at a perfect sweet spot for me in terms of height -- nice and low but no buzz.

I find I really appreciate the turquoise fret marker dots, as they pop on the black ebony wood -- it seems to be a much nicer gauge for me than the smaller, less brightly colored dots on some ukes. I had never used Gotoh tuners before and I was really excited to see how easy it was to get this uke into tune with the 4:1 ratio on the gears, that will be nice when changing strings. I haven't tested out the pickup yet but have the same one in another uke, so I figure I will be quite pleased with it.

The tone is lovely. It is strung with Southcoast HML-RW strings, which I had been using on my Kamaka for the past few months to get used to the wound string. It has a sweet tone and is a joy to listen to -- well maybe if someone TALENTED was playing it! I can't wait until it opens up, and I plan to play it a lot to get it to that point! I want to thank Chuck for creating such a wonderful instrument, I will treasure it. Mahalo nui loa Mr. Moore.

Specs:
Model: 4 string tenor, #1421
Body: 5A master grade koa
Binding: ebony
Purfling: B/Gr/B top and sides
Neck: Spanish cedar (carbon fiber reinforced)
Freboard: ebony, bound with turquoise recon stone markers
Inlay: "Kauai Dream" - recon stone, paua and green abalone shell, brown lip mussel shell, acrylic, Tahitian black pearl shell, corian and magic
Rosette: turquoise recon stone
Tuners: Gotoh UPTL (4:1)
Pickup: LR Baggs 5-0 active

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zxexk8zS0hE/U_y-VpUepxI/AAAAAAAAALE/angiqUKHFv4/s1600/DSC_0011-3.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wqId-trNUws/U_y-NvWcltI/AAAAAAAAAK8/TabBPc7WQSM/s1600/DSC_0014.jpg

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-G2wql6Ng2H4/U_z5iSAZsQI/AAAAAAAAAL0/H1DTxqiE7NQ/s1600/DSC_0013-3.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mlqeX_8UuM8/U_4neKk050I/AAAAAAAAAME/6_HzEsKdD7w/s1600/ukewallhangers.jpg

One last note: while Chuck was building my uke, he sent me a series of photographs. I compiled all of them into a video slideshow to memorialize the build process. I want to thank Andrew Kitakis for allowing me to use a couple of his photos with his permission, as I was a dork and did not get a picture of the exterior of Chuck's workshop or the beautiful tree tunnel route to his home myself. I hope that it gives an example of the hard work and lovely output of Chuck Moore and Moore Bettah Ukulele. I hope you enjoy "Making of a Moore Bettah."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6t5mYyzy0A&feature=youtu.be

rockyl
08-27-2014, 09:06 AM
Thank you for sharing this. It touched my heart and my ears.

Shorebird
08-27-2014, 09:07 AM
Congratulations that ukulele is beautiful!

kvehe
08-27-2014, 09:12 AM
Stunning. I am speechless. I have never seen anything so beautiful, and I love your most moving story.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
08-27-2014, 09:13 AM
Wow!

Thank you for the story. So meaningful.

And to Chuck, Wow!

keep uke'in', both of you :)

vanflynn
08-27-2014, 09:14 AM
Wow!

Beautiful story and beautiful uke. Hope you have many joyous hours with it.

dkcrown
08-27-2014, 09:19 AM
Congratulations on the "union" with your new Moore Bettah Staci! As I'm sure Chuck has told you, the ukuleles that he builds with meaningful back stories always make for great sounding and looking ukes. And yours is no exception! Congrats to you and Chuck on a stunning new MB. And welcome to the club!

Pueo
08-27-2014, 09:20 AM
Great story, fantastic ukulele. I am sure you will treasure it always!

janeray1940
08-27-2014, 09:24 AM
WHOA! Congratulations, that's just about the loveliest inlay design I've ever seen. You must be so, so, so over-the-moon happy!

GinnyT11
08-27-2014, 09:24 AM
Staci, I am SO happy for you to receive this uke! I hear great gratitude in your story, which is how you get joy.

I suggest that there is no instrument maker in the world who could take a client's idea of place and memory and incorporate it more thoroughly, so beautifully, so effectively into an inlay. I especially like the tiny honu by the sound hole, like one last nice thought for you to have before going to bed.

Now stop looking at it, and start playing it!

PhilUSAFRet
08-27-2014, 09:25 AM
Great story, lovely uke. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

caukulele
08-27-2014, 09:26 AM
You have a wondrous uke! Thanks you for sharing your story also. A meeting of soul, spirit, and art to create something filled with meaning and beauty. A timeless work of art!

dirtiestkidever
08-27-2014, 09:27 AM
Wow. That is an incredible looking ukulele. Congratulations.

boogie10
08-27-2014, 09:30 AM
That looks awesome! Very envious :-)

mds725
08-27-2014, 09:31 AM
Congratulations! It's a beuatiful ukulele, and the story behind it is both touching and wonderful. The artistry is, of course, breathtaking, and I love that in addition to being a beautiful example of inlay design, the inlay has special meaning for you. I know that the ukulele will give you (and, someday, your descendants) immeasurable amounts of pleasure.

I was lucky enough earlier this year to stumble upon a previously-owned, non-custom Moore Bettah, and that ukulele and I have become inseparable. Chuck (whom I have since had the pleasure of meeting) is a delightful guy who is full of Aloha, and as goofy and cliche as it sounds, he really does put his heart into each instrument he builds. I feel incredibly lucky to be the custodian of one of his instruments. By the way, wherever I play my Moore Bettah, people go out of their way to remark about how much they love the way it sounds.

Congratulations again. yours is a wonderful instrument.

erivel
08-27-2014, 09:35 AM
Wow, what an amazing story and ukulele! Thank you for sharing. Congrats and enjoy!

Newportlocal
08-27-2014, 09:35 AM
Great story and a great uke! Super amazing! Literally my favorite of all time! Chuck's mastery on so many different levels. It looks life like. Just stunning!

rappsy
08-27-2014, 09:41 AM
This very well could be the prettiest instrument I have ever seen.

Congrats on a beautiful new beginning for you and your "Hui Nani"

UkerDanno
08-27-2014, 09:46 AM
gorgeous uke, nice collection and great video!

guitharsis
08-27-2014, 09:56 AM
Absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy it, Staci!

Dan Uke
08-27-2014, 10:01 AM
We need to meet at Kings Hawaiian again and jam. Congrats!!

UkeKnowDamnRight
08-27-2014, 10:02 AM
Wonderful story and incredible uke! Enjoy it!

saltytri
08-27-2014, 10:06 AM
That is simply OMG beautiful.

didgeridoo2
08-27-2014, 10:12 AM
Not much more to say other than congrats on your magnificent uke. Well deserved and so beautiful.

hawaii 50
08-27-2014, 10:23 AM
Congrats Staci...so nice,Chuck gave you his best on this MBU, congratulation to Chuck too....he must of really enjoyed building it for you....so nice!....:)

I am looking forward to meeting you next month...and checking out another beautiful Moore Bettah...no one close to Chuck's builds...so happy for you!!
wait until you have time to play Nani tonight by yourself in your music room.....:) have fun

Ukulele Eddie
08-27-2014, 10:31 AM
The uke speaks for itself but it is even more complete and more beautiful with how personal it is to you. Well done, very well done.

Daktari
08-27-2014, 10:41 AM
Happy new uke to you!!

Wishing you a super time noodling around getting to know your MB. :)

aquadan
08-27-2014, 10:52 AM
Wow, that's amazing work and a wonderful story. I bet it sounds fantastic. Have fun!

BigD
08-27-2014, 10:58 AM
Beautiful, couldn't be happier for you!

mkatz
08-27-2014, 10:58 AM
Congratulations, it is stunning!

Mitch

Camsuke
08-27-2014, 11:18 AM
Congratulations! What a beauty!

mm stan
08-27-2014, 11:30 AM
Aloha Staci..
Congrats on you most beautiful MB and it was such a meaningful and pleasant story...I am so happy you got an amazing MB, they all are..
You know, there is another meaning for Hui too... it can be used as a greeting too, like Hui howzit... meaning Hey hows it going.. and nani means beautiful
so it a way it could mean ...."Hey Hello Beautiful" which matches perfectly for your ukulele and you.... Happy Strummings... :)

Steveperrywriter
08-27-2014, 11:59 AM
Lovely story, lovely uke, lovely music behind the lovely slide show ...

tangimango
08-27-2014, 12:14 PM
awesome video, thanks for sharing your beautiful journey on a moore bettah. top youtube video of all time.:)

niwenomian
08-27-2014, 12:14 PM
I can only imagine the joy you'll have each time you play, or even just look at it. Congratulations!

Patrick Madsen
08-27-2014, 12:21 PM
Welcome to the family! An amazing uke, with an amazing story for a wonderful appreciative lady. Enjoy, it just gets better.

Nickie
08-27-2014, 01:13 PM
Holy wowzer Staci! That is one amazing uke, as Chuck is one amazing guy. The work that comes from that man's heart surpasses anything I've ever laid my peepers on!
I can't get over the detail in the inlay....the turtle is one of my Spirit guides.
It would be nothing less than a sheer honor to have one of this man's ukes. If I possesed such a uke, I think I would feel taht it is still partially his, because so much of him is in it.
And since it tells your story, part of you is in it too, as I imagine so is everyone who is lucky enough to own one. It might be inanimate, but I bet it comes to life every time you touch the strings!
Uke on! and congrats!

wickedwahine11
08-27-2014, 02:08 PM
Aloha Staci..
Congrats on you most beautiful MB and it was such a meaningful and pleasant story...I am so happy you got an amazing MB, they all are..
You know, there is another meaning for Hui too... it can be used as a greeting too, like Hui howzit... meaning Hey hello.. and nani means beautiful
so it a way it could mean ...."Hey Hello Beautiful" which matches perfectly for your ukulele and you.... Happy Strummings... :)

Thanks everyone for the very kind words. And hey Stan, I didn't know that. After I read that, I went into the office/music room to play it and I greeted it with "Hey beautiful." :)

My fingers are sore from playing it for the last hour or so -- but I'm determined to get to know this uke. I have found I need to adjust my playing style a little as I have always rested my thumb on the bottom of the fretboard and played with my index, middle and ring fingers picking alternate strings. I keep finding myself running into the edge of the fretboard near the A string. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not complaining! I love that swerve and that cutie pie little turtle. It is just going to take practice to adjust my fingers a bit. Totally worth it though. Thanks again everyone for welcoming the newest member of my family. I think it is safe to say I'm done now. UAS cured -- the prescription is a Moore Bettah.

sukie
08-27-2014, 02:17 PM
It's gorgeous, WickedW. I love the way the inlay spills onto the fret board. Wow. The colours, yada, yada. It's just wonderful.
Aren't they fun to play? You will want to become "one" with it. Don't they sound so beautiful? It's not just a piece of art, it's a gorgeous sounding instrument.

Welcome to the family!

wickedwahine11
08-27-2014, 02:20 PM
It's gorgeous, WickedW. I love the way the inlay spills onto the fret board. Wow. The colours, yada, yada. It's just wonderful.
Aren't they fun to play? You will want to become "one" with it. Don't they sound so beautiful? It's not just a piece of art, it's a gorgeous sounding instrument.

Welcome to the family!

Thanks sukie. Out of all the MB owners, you are one of the ones that always comes first to my mind. Not only because your uke is so lovely, but because you are "one" with it - it is a monogamous relationship that you have with that uke. It is that uke for you, and no other. I strive to have a similar relationship with this one. :)

Doc_J
08-27-2014, 03:27 PM
Staci, I enjoyed reading about your family connection to Kauai. So wonderful you have a special instrument with a beautiful union to people and a place dear to you. The beautiful imagery created on your Uke is so vivid and kinetic. That all adds to natural beauty of your new instrument. Congrats and enjoy!

ksiegel
08-27-2014, 04:12 PM
What a beautiful instrument, Staci, and a wonderful story.

The whole thing about connections is pretty great too- I think about you whenever I open that Ameritage case my Donaldson uke is in - it seems a little silly, bondiing over a case. but by sending the case to Bradford before he built the uke, it ensured that the uke would fit the case perfectly, which it does - and I have you to thank for that. And I thank both you and Bradford very, very often. (g)

So since that connection is established, and since I don't think I'll ever be able to afford one of Chuck's masterpieces, I simply have to ask you to play Hui Nani often, and I will benefit from the vibes.

I've never been to Kauai, but my first experience with water on the Big Island was standing up to my ankles on a rocky beach in Kona, waiting for my wife, and suddenly feeling something hitting me in the legs. I looked down, and there was a Honu, about 12 inches long, grazing on the algae, and the waves were just bumping him into me. When we were out in the water swimming, several came over, as if to get a look at the pasty white New Yorker swimming in their water.

So, ukes, cases, honu... We are all connected, after all.

Best of luck with her - I can't wait to hear what she sounds like.



-Kurt

Kmcmichael
08-27-2014, 04:32 PM
Kuai is the the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Nice uke

Ukejenny
08-27-2014, 04:37 PM
Wow, just wow.

WCBarnes
08-27-2014, 05:20 PM
What an amazing story! I love to see custom ukes as you can really see the spirit and personality of the luthier come through. Beautiful work of art!

Edgeguy
08-27-2014, 06:27 PM
Wow that is one beautiful uke, probably my favorite Bettah uke I have ever seen! Thank you for sharing your story. Kauai has a special place in my heart with it being the place where my wife and I honeymooned. We went on a zodiac tour of the Na Pali coast and happened to see a rare event of two sea turtles mating. Your uke brought back all those beautiful. Thanks very much.

Cornfield
08-28-2014, 01:55 AM
Another beautiful Moore Bettah uke. Gorgeous.

geetee
08-28-2014, 03:21 AM
Magic....... Indeed
Congratulations and Mahalo for sharing.

CTurner
08-28-2014, 03:40 AM
As if the story of the uke itself was not enough, your background to it makes for a wonderful read. Thanks for this, and congrats. My MB connects to me in the same ways.

actadh
08-28-2014, 04:16 AM
This is exquisite. So happy for you.

coolcow
08-28-2014, 06:22 AM
This is one of my favourite MB...congradz Staci...happy for ya....
Thanks for the amazing Story and video :)

BlueLatitude
08-28-2014, 06:32 AM
That is absolutely my most favorite MB ever. Just gorgeous. I could look and look and look at it. *Drool*

VampireWeekday
08-28-2014, 07:23 AM
I share your love of honu and Kauai. Your uke is gorgeous. It may be the most beautiful Moore Bettah I've seen posted here, and that's saying something. Congrats!

Trinimon
08-28-2014, 07:34 AM
Holy cripes! That's one beautiful uke! Congrats!! Sooooo jealous! lol

guitharsis
09-01-2014, 02:16 AM
One of my favorite MB's. So beautiful and wonderful story. Staci, the MB body looks smaller than the others in your photo. Is it actually smaller?

sukie
09-01-2014, 05:14 AM
Hey WickedW -- have you played any of your other ukuleles since you got it?

wickedwahine11
09-01-2014, 05:24 AM
One of my favorite MB's. So beautiful and wonderful story. Staci, the MB body looks smaller than the others in your photo. Is it actually smaller?

It is actually smaller than the other three. The Kanilea is the widest at the bottom bout, then the Kamaka, then the KoAloha, then the Moore Bettah. Length wise, the Kamaka and Kanilea are the longest from top to bottom bout, with the KoAloha and Moore Bettah about a half an inch shorter.

When I try each of them in my Kamoa case, the Kanilea and KoAloha are a tighter fit, pushing on the padding. The KoAloha is a perfect fit, and the Moore Bettah is a little loose. Not so loose it requires a cushion (as it does in the Crossrock case) because I have the pickup installed so that end jack pin pushes it out some -- though I am making a cushion for it this weekend, better safe than sorry. But if you did not have a pickup, it would definitely need a cushion to prevent it from wiggling around too much. And in the Crossrock, you have to use the cushion, since that case is larger than the Kamoa.

wickedwahine11
09-01-2014, 05:25 AM
Hey WickedW -- have you played any of your other ukuleles since you got it?

Nope. :) I'm a one ukulele woman right now -- monogamous to my Moore Bettah, like you are.

dkcrown
09-01-2014, 03:15 PM
It is actually smaller than the other three. The Kanilea is the widest at the bottom bout, then the Kamaka, then the KoAloha, then the Moore Bettah. Length wise, the Kamaka and Kanilea are the longest from top to bottom bout, with the KoAloha and Moore Bettah about a half an inch shorter.

When I try each of them in my Kamoa case, the Kanilea and KoAloha are a tighter fit, pushing on the padding. The KoAloha is a perfect fit, and the Moore Bettah is a little loose. Not so loose it requires a cushion (as it does in the Crossrock case) because I have the pickup installed so that end jack pin pushes it out some -- though I am making a cushion for it this weekend, better safe than sorry. But if you did not have a pickup, it would definitely need a cushion to prevent it from wiggling around too much. And in the Crossrock, you have to use the cushion, since that case is larger than the Kamoa.

Staci, I know that you are not a fan of the weight of the Ameritage cases, but your MB will fit in one like a glove. A Cadillac case fore your Bentley of a uke.

wickedwahine11
09-01-2014, 03:35 PM
Staci, I know that you are not a fan of the weight of the Ameritage cases, but your MB will fit in one like a glove. A Cadillac case fore your Bentley of a uke.

Mmm, the thought did cross my mind. I remember seeing a photo of one in an Ameritage (the tiki one I think?) and it fit great. I am just way too lazy to lug it in a case that heavy. I used an Ameritage for traveling and once I got the Kamoa I never used it again. The Crossrock even feels cumbersome to me in comparison to the Kamoa - due to the lack of backpack straps. So I made the cushion this morning (sewed some foam into fleece) and it fits great now.

But I know you are right though. If I kept it in a case at home that is absolutely the one I would use. And I might still consider one down the road for local stuff (classes or kanikapila). But I travel about every six weeks and love the fiberglass for that.

Dan Uke
09-03-2014, 10:19 AM
Mmm, the thought did cross my mind. I remember seeing a photo of one in an Ameritage (the tiki one I think?) and it fit great. I am just way too lazy to lug it in a case that heavy. I used an Ameritage for traveling and once I got the Kamoa I never used it again. The Crossrock even feels cumbersome to me in comparison to the Kamoa - due to the lack of backpack straps. So I made the cushion this morning (sewed some foam into fleece) and it fits great now.

But I know you are right though. If I kept it in a case at home that is absolutely the one I would use. And I might still consider one down the road for local stuff (classes or kanikapila). But I travel about every six weeks and love the fiberglass for that.

I think ukes are not as delicate as people make them out. I've dropped my MBU in case from the back of a SUV and left it in the trunk for a couple of hours in 85* weather and nothing happened so far. The finish Chuck uses is pretty strong as I've hit the uke on the edge of the table and no dings so far. My other ukes gets dings without me realizing how I got them. I'm pretty careless but at home, any case seems fine in my opinion...most of the time its on the couch / seat of where I played last.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-03-2014, 10:52 AM
I guess I shouldn't say anything but I can't hold my tongue. What I'm reading here is making me cringe. IMO those fiberglass cases do not offer good protection especially when traveling. They are just too flimsy to offer much protection against all of the unusual things that can happen while traveling. Remember the old Samsonite luggage commercials with the gorilla? There's a reason Samsonite is a leader in their industry. If you can stand on your case and throw it around and not damage your multi-thousand dollar uke inside of it then the case is a good one. (Please don't try this at home though kids!). The plywood core cases, especially the Oahu brand with its domed top, offer great protection without much weight. And yes, the Ameritages are awfully heavy to travel with but they do what they are designed to. They need to put wheels on them and an extended handle.
And leaving an uke on a couch? That's a disaster waiting to happen. Ask any repairman about his favorite accident stories. I'm a strong believer that when an uke is not being played it should be stored in it's case. I don't even like them on the wall unless it's in a display case designed for the purpose.

Steveperrywriter
09-03-2014, 11:35 AM
70498

Hoffee. When it absolutely-positively has to get there ...

wickedwahine11
09-03-2014, 11:43 AM
I guess I shouldn't say anything but I can't hold my tongue. What I'm reading here is making me cringe. IMO those fiberglass cases do not offer good protection especially when traveling. They are just too flimsy to offer much protection against all of the unusual things that can happen while traveling. Remember the old Samsonite luggage commercials with the gorilla? There's a reason Samsonite is a leader in their industry. If you can stand on your case and throw it around and not damage your multi-thousand dollar uke inside of it then the case is a good one. (Please don't try this at home though kids!). The plywood core cases, especially the Oahu brand with its domed top, offer great protection without much weight. And yes, the Ameritages are awfully heavy to travel with but they do what they are designed to. They need to put wheels on them and an extended handle.
And leaving an uke on a couch? That's a disaster waiting to happen. Ask any repairman about his favorite accident stories. I'm a strong believer that when an uke is not being played it should be stored in it's case. I don't even like them on the wall unless it's in a display case designed for the purpose.

Sorry Chuck! Ooh I could never just leave it out on the couch -- my cat would end up sleeping on it! But yes, I am guilty of the uke on the wall (though as a mitigating factor the room is hygrometer monitored, and I don't have kids that could bump into it). And yeah, I do take the fiberglass case when I travel. I know it is not as protective as the Ameritage but I would never under any condition hand it over to anyone (I would buy a second seat on the plane or catch another flight before I checked it). I have thought about those Hoffee or Calton ones though. I have given them a lot of thought actually. I have the Kamoa and Crossrock and the Oahu -- but the Hoffee (or a Calton) might be the perfect compromise with better protection than the Kamoa/Crossrock, lighter weight than the Ameritage and more convenient (has strap) than the Oahu.

If it is any consolation...I did add a specific item rider on my homeowner insurance policy for loss/damage/theft of this uke. Probably not going to make you cringe any less though. :( If it makes you feel any better though, I love it to death -- even if you think I have a funny way of showing it! :)

hawaii 50
09-03-2014, 11:50 AM
I guess I shouldn't say anything but I can't hold my tongue. What I'm reading here is making me cringe. IMO those fiberglass cases do not offer good protection especially when traveling. They are just too flimsy to offer much protection against all of the unusual things that can happen while traveling. Remember the old Samsonite luggage commercials with the gorilla? There's a reason Samsonite is a leader in their industry. If you can stand on your case and throw it around and not damage your multi-thousand dollar uke inside of it then the case is a good one. (Please don't try this at home though kids!). The plywood core cases, especially the Oahu brand with its domed top, offer great protection without much weight. And yes, the Ameritages are awfully heavy to travel with but they do what they are designed to. They need to put wheels on them and an extended handle.
And leaving an uke on a couch? That's a disaster waiting to happen. Ask any repairman about his favorite accident stories. I'm a strong believer that when an uke is not being played it should be stored in it's case. I don't even like them on the wall unless it's in a display case designed for the purpose.



I agree with Chuck...I think the Oahu cases do what they are supposed to....keep your uke safe...I have an Ameritage case and it is heavy but it just stays at home..if I am going to travel the Blues Reunion gig bag is hard to beat....

I have a hard time understanding people when they say...they will not play their uke as much if it is not sitting right next to them out of the case...:) I just open the case and take the uke out and then practice.....the safest place for you MBU is in the case when not being played...but that could be just me....:)

Dan Uke
09-03-2014, 11:59 AM
I guess I shouldn't say anything but I can't hold my tongue. What I'm reading here is making me cringe. IMO those fiberglass cases do not offer good protection especially when traveling. They are just too flimsy to offer much protection against all of the unusual things that can happen while traveling. Remember the old Samsonite luggage commercials with the gorilla? There's a reason Samsonite is a leader in their industry. If you can stand on your case and throw it around and not damage your multi-thousand dollar uke inside of it then the case is a good one. (Please don't try this at home though kids!). The plywood core cases, especially the Oahu brand with its domed top, offer great protection without much weight. And yes, the Ameritages are awfully heavy to travel with but they do what they are designed to. They need to put wheels on them and an extended handle.
And leaving an uke on a couch? That's a disaster waiting to happen. Ask any repairman about his favorite accident stories. I'm a strong believer that when an uke is not being played it should be stored in it's case. I don't even like them on the wall unless it's in a display case designed for the purpose.

You've met my 2 destructive kids and getting another dog soon...yes there are days when I have a couple ukes on the couch :p

wickedwahine11
09-03-2014, 12:07 PM
I agree with Chuck...I think the Oahu cases do what they are supposed to....keep your uke safe...I have an Ameritage case and it is heavy but it just stays at home..if I am going to travel the Blues Reunion gig bag is hard to beat....

I have a hard time understanding people when they say...they will not play their uke as much if it is not sitting right next to them out of the case...:) I just open the case and take the uke out and then practice.....the safest place for you MBU is in the case when not being played...but that could be just me....:)

For me it is not an issue of ease of play. For me, the ukuleles are also pieces of wall art -- I enjoy looking at them out of the cases. They are kept in the room with a constant hygrometer (usually between 40-60 percent humidity) -- right now at 53%. I can't count how often I glance over at the four of them on the wall and they bring me a great deal of joy. Like I say, I don't have kids, the cat is far more likely to show interest in my ipu or uli uli feathers and he honestly has never shown interest in anything but cardboard boxes.

I agree, a case is the safest place to permanently house the ukes. But the diminishment of the enjoyment I get in admiring the beauty of the uke is not worth it to me -- hence the insurance policy. Yes, I know a MB is priceless. But barring a huge earthquake they are pretty safe here in my house -- and if the earthquake is big enough to knock them off the stands (with the tie downs I added to those wall stands) I have bigger problems.

Is the Reunion Blues gig bag particularly protective? I am not familiar with it in person -- is that more protective than a fiberglass case?

Right now I'm comparing the Hoffee and Calton cases online. My biggest drawback is I don't want to order a $700 or $800 case without ever seeing one in person. @Steveperrywriter -- you are happy with your Hoffee I take it?

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
09-03-2014, 01:00 PM
If you live in earthquake country and want to hang your uke on the wall make sure to strap it down with some steel strapping like they do with the water heaters. If you PM me I can tell you about a local builder who lost months worth of work when a wall of instruments danced off their hangers during an earthquake here a few years back. If you want an uke on your wall take a photo of it, go to Kinko's and have it blown up to life size and mount that on your wall.
(I'm only saying this because I don't want to do any repairs. :) )

hawaii 50
09-03-2014, 02:51 PM
For me it is not an issue of ease of play. For me, the ukuleles are also pieces of wall art -- I enjoy looking at them out of the cases. They are kept in the room with a constant hygrometer (usually between 40-60 percent humidity) -- right now at 53%. I can't count how often I glance over at the four of them on the wall and they bring me a great deal of joy. Like I say, I don't have kids, the cat is far more likely to show interest in my ipu or uli uli feathers and he honestly has never shown interest in anything but cardboard boxes.

I agree, a case is the safest place to permanently house the ukes. But the diminishment of the enjoyment I get in admiring the beauty of the uke is not worth it to me -- hence the insurance policy. Yes, I know a MB is priceless. But barring a huge earthquake they are pretty safe here in my house -- and if the earthquake is big enough to knock them off the stands (with the tie downs I added to those wall stands) I have bigger problems.

Is the Reunion Blues gig bag particularly protective? I am not familiar with it in person -- is that more protective than a fiberglass case?
there is a concert one a HMS...they might be out of tenors for now...if the concert one still there in 2 weeks I will show you it...:)


Right now I'm comparing the Hoffee and Calton cases online. My biggest drawback is I don't want to order a $700 or $800 case without ever seeing one in person. @Steveperrywriter -- you are happy with your Hoffee I take it?

I know that Brittni and Kalei swear by their Reunion Blues gig bags...I think if you look them up on their website...they are the ones who drop the bag from a 10 story building with a uke in it...kind of expensive..but worth it...under $200.00

there is a concert Blues Reunion at HMS but they may be out of the tenor ones....if still there in2 weeks I will show it to you....:)

sukie
09-03-2014, 03:09 PM
I'm curious about the Reunion Blues bags. Are they small enough, concert size, to be considered carry-on? Under $200 isn't bad. $800 for a case has me choking.

My ukulele lives in its case. I have it insured. I look at it just about every day, when I practice. And a humidifier is constantly monitored except in the summer. Man, I love that thing.

PereBourik
09-03-2014, 04:14 PM
I'm curious about the Reunion Blues bags. Are they small enough, concert size, to be considered carry-on? Under $200 isn't bad. $800 for a case has me choking.

My ukulele lives in its case. I have it insured. I look at it just about every day, when I practice. And a humidifier is constantly monitored except in the summer. Man, I love that thing.

Hey Sukie.

I have a Reunion Blues concert case. I keep my Imua concert in it. The Imua is on the small side for a concert and it positively swims in the RB bag. I have to pad it with a couple of towels to make it snug. The demonstration is throwing a guitar in a case of the roof of a one story warehouse. It's playable (from a distance).

I do not like the RB bag. It is very stiff and difficult to use. It's very bulky, really stretching the notion of being a carry-on bag. I have Access, Attitude (from UU Shop), Mono, Reunion Blues, and Uke Crazy bags. Clara lives in the Access; great bag. KoAlana and Pono both have Attitude bags; they work really well carrying on. Martin tenor is in the Mono bag; that's probably my favorite combo. I've already dissed the RB. Uke Crazy holds my KoAloha, but I wouldn't trust it very far.

I will never check a uke with an airline.

Steveperrywriter
09-03-2014, 08:35 PM
If the uke isn't in my hands, it is in a case, and latched. Takes me all of ten seconds to open the sucker and fetch the uke, and that obstacle hasn't stopped me yet. Oh, I'd like to play my ukulele, but ten seconds? I dunno, maybe not ...

Seriously?

I have a variety of hard cases, no gig bags, and they have different functions. It rains a lot here and I bump into things, so the Fiberglas cases are good for casual outings where wet occurs. I wouldn't check one on an airline or a train. If I had to do serious bang-about travel, I would use the Hoffee, which is bombproof. Yep, it is heavy and expensive but I trust it. You can even get them with Thinsulate and a GPS tracker ...

Pegasus Cases in Scotland is working toward making a tenor uke Fiberglas case that will be somewhat sturdier than most Fiberglas, if not quite in the Hoffee/Calton class.

If you have a handmade, one-of-a-kind instrument that is irreplaceable? How could you not spring for a sturdy, quality case?

wickedwahine11
09-04-2014, 12:08 AM
If the uke isn't in my hands, it is in a case, and latched. Takes me all of ten seconds to open the sucker and fetch the uke, and that obstacle hasn't stopped me yet. Oh, I'd like to play my ukulele, but ten seconds? I dunno, maybe not ...

Seriously?

I have a variety of hard cases, no gig bags, and they have different functions. It rains a lot here and I bump into things, so the Fiberglas cases are good for casual outings where wet occurs. I wouldn't check one on an airline or a train. If I had to do serious bang-about travel, I would use the Hoffee, which is bombproof. Yep, it is heavy and expensive but I trust it. You can even get them with Thinsulate and a GPS tracker ...

Pegasus Cases in Scotland is working toward making a tenor uke Fiberglas case that will be somewhat sturdier than most Fiberglas, if not quite in the Hoffee/Calton class.

If you have a handmade, one-of-a-kind instrument that is irreplaceable? How could you not spring for a sturdy, quality case?

Sorry there seems to be a bit of a miscommunication on my part somewhere. I never said the "delay" in playing was why my uke is not stored permanently in its case. I prefer to hang my ukes on my wall, as a lot of other people do as well. And since the room humidity is monitored constantly - with a humidifier applied on the one or two days a year it drops where I live - and there is nobody to knock them, barring an earthquake (which I have insured them against) I think the tradeoff is worth it to me, so I can enjoy them as wall art. I fully admit they are safer in a case, but I prefer them on display.

Plus, I am more than happy to spend the money for a case that is protective and lightweight. If I stored it in a case at home, yes, it probably would be an Ameritage. But that does not work for me for my needs.

I travel out of town every six weeks or so. I spent years carrying an Ameritage on those trips and finally had to come up with a more feasible alternative as it was too heavy for me to manage effectively with luggage. As I said above under NO circumstance would I ever check my uke. I would buy it a seat on the plane or take another flight before I did that. I specifically left my uke at home on my last trip to Asia because I was not confident that I could carry it onboard.

The cost is not a factor, I have paid about $200 for cases on the past and if the Calton or Hoffee is right for me, I will pay for it, even though it is much more expensive than those. I have contacted Calton about a custom case with backpack straps, and am waiting to hear back from them. Or perhaps the Pegasus case will prove to be the answer for me. Thank you for letting me know about it - I will keep an eye out for it.

I have insured the uke on my homeowner policy but you are right, it is irreplaceable. But even playing it I could drop it. Even in a case, it could be stolen by a burglar. On a trip, it could be damaged or lost or stolen - so some folks don't ever even take a MB out of the house. Even then, there could be a fire. There is inherent risk always. I fully admit that the safest course of action would be storage in a heavyduty case that never leaves my home, but for me that would hamper my enjoyment of it. So while that is undeniably the RIGHT course of action, it is not the right choice for me.

hawaii 50
09-04-2014, 06:50 AM
I hear the Calton making the cases for the Kamaka 100th Anniversary Ukulele, but only rumors now....:)

btw I tried to email Calton a few months ago but did not get a response....I was just seeing if they did have a ukulele case in the making....maybe try calling them if they have a phone number in Texas....( I believe that is where they are in the USA)

which ever case you use Staci...is good with me as long as you bring that beautiful MBU with you next week.....:)

Steveperrywriter
09-04-2014, 07:39 AM
WW --

I wasn't dinging you because you didn't store your ukes in cases, but there are folks who invariably bring up the notion that storing instruments in cases makes it harder to overcome inertia. The idea that if it is out, somebody will play it, but if it is in a case, they won't seems passing strange to me. Different strokes.

A woman has got to do what a woman has got to do, and since I don't have one of Chuck's instruments, I can only envy your concerns ...

I have three ukes (one on loan to my daughter) and am about to have another, and they are all terrific, unique instruments. I can't address every possible concern regarding them -- if the Chinese army comes over the hill, or there is an earthquake, or the neighborhood goes up in flames, I'm screwed, but I have dogs who sometimes romp through the house, and grandchildren who sometimes romp through the house, and the dexterity of a bull walrus my ownself, so I can protect the ukes from the thundering herd, and when I go out, from bangs and drops. Life is full of knocks and at best we can only head off a few of 'em ...

katysax
09-04-2014, 08:32 AM
If you have trouble not playing because your uke is in its case - keep a laminate around out of its case. I have a couple of really nice professional level clarinets - they almost never get played. I have a plastic Yamaha student clarinet out its case with an artificial reed on a stand. I pick that up frequently. That plastic clarinet is also the one I have used when playing in a jazz band. There's a reason you see so many Takamine's and the like in the hands of professional traveling musicians.

This come full circle to - I love my Moore Bettah but it's not the uke I want to use in every situation.

costaricadave
09-04-2014, 08:53 AM
Wow!! One of my new favorites!!! My MB lives in it's case in a safe spot with AC. I keep a Mainland by the TV on a stand for quickies! hahaha

wickedwahine11
09-04-2014, 09:12 AM
I hear the Calton making the cases for the Kamaka 100th Anniversary Ukulele, but only rumors now....:)

btw I tried to email Calton a few months ago but did not get a response....I was just seeing if they did have a ukulele case in the making....maybe try calling them if they have a phone number in Texas....( I believe that is where they are in the USA)

which ever case you use Staci...is good with me as long as you bring that beautiful MBU with you next week.....:)

Len - I am placing an order this week. Apparently you have to go through a dealer I guess. Elderly does them - and also a guy I found online says he can get mine made hopefully within a month. I won't have it for Hawaii next week, but hopefully will for Boston next month. :). And I am trying to get a custom color - turquoise of course.


WW --

I wasn't dinging you because you didn't store your ukes in cases, but there are folks who invariably bring up the notion that storing instruments in cases makes it harder to overcome inertia. The idea that if it is out, somebody will play it, but if it is in a case, they won't seems passing strange to me. Different strokes.

A woman has got to do what a woman has got to do, and since I don't have one of Chuck's instruments, I can only envy your concerns ...

I have three ukes (one on loan to my daughter) and am about to have another, and they are all terrific, unique instruments. I can't address every possible concern regarding them -- if the Chinese army comes over the hill, or there is an earthquake, or the neighborhood goes up in flames, I'm screwed, but I have dogs who sometimes romp through the house, and grandchildren who sometimes romp through the house, and the dexterity of a bull walrus my ownself, so I can protect the ukes from the thundering herd, and when I go out, from bangs and drops. Life is full of knocks and at best we can only head off a few of 'em ...

I got ya! And hey, if it were not for you and Chuck kicking me in the butt I wouldn't be getting a Calton. :)

dkcrown
09-04-2014, 10:42 AM
Len - I am placing an order this week. Apparently you have to go through a dealer I guess. Elderly does them - and also a guy I found online says he can get mine made hopefully within a month. I won't have it for Hawaii next week, but hopefully will for Boston next month. :). :)

Great Staci. I hope that you have it in time for your trip back east. I assume that means that your MB will be making the trip with you. :) :)

Dan Uke
09-04-2014, 10:43 AM
Len - I am placing an order this week. Apparently you have to go through a dealer I guess. Elderly does them - and also a guy I found online says he can get mine made hopefully within a month. I won't have it for Hawaii next week, but hopefully will for Boston next month. :). And I am trying to get a custom color - turquoise of course.

I got ya! And hey, if it were not for you and Chuck kicking me in the butt I wouldn't be getting a Calton. :)

Go Red Sox!! OK...maybe next year

wickedwahine11
09-04-2014, 11:41 AM
Great Staci. I hope that you have it in time for your trip back east. I assume that means that your MB will be making the trip with you. :) :)

I hope so D! I told the guy today that I was going out of town to Hawaii in a week or so and New England next month. I'm hoping the case comes in between the two trips. All I could see last night as I fell asleep was Chuck's face -- saying "You bettah get a bettah case for that Moore Bettah!" Either way though, that uke is definitely coming with me. :)


Go Red Sox!! OK...maybe next year

Ugh...it has been rough. Yet every day I drag myself over to turn on MLB Tv and watch them lose once again. Hey who knows, maybe they will be the first team in history to go from worst to first to worst to first! And I'm loving Mookie Betts and Brock Holt. Even if they were not good players, how could you not love guys with those names. And I admit it...to tie this back to the original post...on more than one occasion I have yelled at my tv, "Mookie Betts is Moore Bettah!"

UkeTX
09-04-2014, 01:11 PM
Great story. Lovely instrument, I can only wish for one some day! Where did you get those awesome uke hangers? I love the fish and the pineapple.

wickedwahine11
09-04-2014, 01:33 PM
Great story. Lovely instrument, I can only wish for one some day! Where did you get those awesome uke hangers? I love the fish and the pineapple.

Thank you. They are made by UU member ToucanMango -- he has a store on Etsy. :)

bearbike137
09-08-2014, 06:40 AM
To paraphrase Jon Snow, “all the best ukulele have names.” I’ve always named my ukulele. I know some people say that is crazy, why name something that won’t come when you call it? But I’ve always named my cats too, and they sure don’t come when I call them.

I don't mean to derail your thread in any way, but I loved this.

You reminded me of a recent experience of mine. In addition to playing ukulele, I am a guitar guy - particularly a fan of Telecasters. I have spent a lot of years looking for "the one". Recently, I found it. I didn't intend to name the guitar, but when I first plugged it in and played it, I was so knocked over by it that I blurted "fini!" - french for "finished" - meaning I was done with my search (though it was a weird thing for me to say because I don't speak French!). The name stuck. The guitar's name became "Finny".

wickedwahine11
09-08-2014, 06:43 AM
I don't mean to derail your thread in anyway, but I loved this.

You reminded me of a recent experience of mine. In addition to playing ukulele, I am a guitar guy - particularly a fan of Telecasters. I have spent a lot of years looking for "the one". Recently, I found it. I didn't intend to name the guitar, but when I first plugged it in and played it, I was so knocked over by it that I blurted "fini!" - french for "finished" - meaning I was done with my search (though it was a weird thing for me to say because I don't speak French!). The name stuck. The guitar's name became "Finny".

That is great! I love it. :)