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sam13
05-09-2015, 04:07 PM
Hello All,

I am very pleased to share my latest purchase.

As previously posted, I had the very good fortune (along with my good friend DownUpDave) to meet with Luis Feu de Mesquita. As luck would have we live in the same city just outside of Toronto, ON, Canada.

I put a deposit on a custom Ukulele with Luis many moons ago, and sat patiently. I decided to bother him as little as possible and didn't drop in to visit the Uke in construction, because time spent with me was time taken away from him and his family.

Bella has been completed (Luis encourages us to name the Uke as it helps shape the over all look perhaps?) and I couldn't be happier. To recap.

Details of Bella:

Tenor
Top: Sinker Redwood
Back and Sides: Malaysian Blackwood (Macassar Ebony Family)
Cutaway
Grand Bouche (large mouth sound hole)
Rosette and Binding: Curly Koa
Sound Port
Laskin Armrest: Curly Koa
Radius Neck (of course … Sam I am, I am the Radius man … and you know it!)
Wider neck 1.5 inches at the nut (the neck does look wide, but I am 6’5” and have big hands so … it is perfect for me)
O Fret Bone Nut and Saddle
LR Baggs 5.0 pick up installed
Strings: South Coast HML RW

The Sinker Redwood Tone is just like Luis and Andrew Kitakis (HMS) said: Somewhere between Cedar and Spruce. Warmth and Brightness.

I find it the tone centred, clear, warm with brightness. The sustain is wonderful ... just awesome for the lush jazz chords.

The Action is less than .2 mm at the nut as it is a fretless Uke. I was unsure about it, but Luis is the master so I went with his suggestion and yeah, with a radius ... it plays with effortless pressure when barring ... this is butter!

The tone all the way up the neck is even, and clean ... full.

The sound port is the new standard for me (unless I buy used), is so great. What a gift to get that extra feed back from your Ukulele!

Due to the nature of the wood, I have been trying to get a nice set of pictures to share ... but while taking photos ... the finish produces a reflection so forgive me.

793917939079392

7939379394

A quick note regarding Luis:

He is a wonderful, caring, sincere and thoughtful gentleman.

No inch of this or any Ukulele goes un-noticed nor untouched. His attention to detail is impeccable. I would definitely consider another Uke.

He is looking at Baritones, and another UU member is getting a 19" scale Tenor neck.

Also, while picking up Bella he showed off some other Ukes he had finished and one was with a traditional Uke shaped but Spanish guitar accents. It was beautiful.

If anyone is interested in a LFdM, contact Andrew Kitakis at HMS as he is the distributor world wide.

sam13
05-09-2015, 04:18 PM
Here are a few more from a different shoot. Some of the earlier posted photographs are affected by the over cast.

7939679395793977939879399

hawaii 50
05-09-2015, 04:21 PM
Looks nice Simon...congrats...:)

Ukulele Eddie
05-09-2015, 04:23 PM
Wow, wow, wow, Simon. Quite a looker! The swirl in the wood makes me hungry for chocolate & peanut butter. I might have named it Reeses. ;-)

wayfarer75
05-09-2015, 04:41 PM
Wow, that is some amazing wood! I've read some of Luis's blog posts. His dedication to his work is obvious.

Jim Hanks
05-09-2015, 05:25 PM
Wowee! Loves me some redwood. Wait, did you say fretless uke? Sure looks like it has frets??

Ukejenny
05-09-2015, 05:28 PM
Gorgeous!!! I could look at his work all day long.

Rakelele
05-09-2015, 07:41 PM
Welcome to Ukulele Heaven, Simon! :worship: :worship: :worship:

Bella turned out beautifully! And with that wood combination, I bet it sounds like a canon.

Glad to hear that Luis is considering building Baritones...

Enjoy your new Uber Uke!

rappsy
05-10-2015, 01:24 AM
It looks like your patience has been rewarded. Best wishes on a long musical relationship.

DownUpDave
05-10-2015, 05:13 AM
Wowee! Loves me some redwood. Wait, did you say fretless uke? Sure looks like it has frets??

Hey Jim, Simon meant to say a zero fret. He has lost his mind from the beautiful tone that Bella produces.

As I had said in his "build in progress" thread I was lucky enough to go with him to pick up Bella from Luis. I have played it on two occassions and it is simply amazing. Other than the tone, which is second to none, is the playability. The best compliment I can give is while playing a song I know very well with finger style runs and chiming "Bella" felt like a uke I had played for years. It was effortless and allowed me to make music without thinking about it.

Dan Uke
05-10-2015, 06:21 AM
awesome! Please post a sound sample!!

Nickie
05-10-2015, 12:56 PM
Wow, congratulations! It's gorgeous....makes me drool....:drool: and want one:iwant:
I love the way the bevel looks, is that maple it's made of?
I wonder what kind of price sticker a uke like that has...
I bet it's fun to play!

sam13
05-10-2015, 02:53 PM
Hello All,

Thanks so much for your comments: Hawaii50, Eddie, Wayfarer, Jim, Ukejenny, Rakelele, DownUpDave, nongdam, and Nickie.

I appreciate it. Bella is wonderful to play ... has my Pono Pro Classics crying foul! I am quite sure a few of them just became re entrant ... and perhaps redundant ... lol.

Nickie ... the trim, binding and bevel is Curly Koa.

I have a video of it ... can I post it in a thread in the Uke Talk section or should I post it in the Videos and Links and then link it here?

I will also put together some simple playing video ... I am holding a uber fine Uke for somewhat a novice ... but the tone makes me want to practise even more.

Hippie Dribble
05-10-2015, 02:57 PM
Put it here Simon as it'd be a great addition to the thread! Awesome looking uke mate, massive congrats. :)

Nickie
05-10-2015, 03:03 PM
I'm sure that uke is going to make you play better, it's hard to put down, right?

sam13
05-10-2015, 03:10 PM
Put it here Simon as it'd be a great addition to the thread! Awesome looking uke mate, massive congrats. :)

Thanks my friend ... I will post it here tomorrow. I appreciate you John. Cheers.

sam13
05-10-2015, 03:11 PM
I'm sure that uke is going to make you play better, it's hard to put down, right?

For sure ... it is such a fine instrument in everyway ... I will post a video so people can hear the tone.

billten
05-11-2015, 08:29 AM
Beautiful uke, 1.5" nut is perfect IMO, playability, and i'm sure the tone everything and more... When you find 'the one' what a cool feeling.

Congrats man...

sam13
05-11-2015, 10:51 AM
Beautiful uke, 1.5" nut is perfect IMO, playability, and i'm sure the tone everything and more... When you find 'the one' what a cool feeling.

Congrats man...

Thank you. I don't really notice the difference when I play the 1.5" nut, but when I play the 1 3/8th after ... it seems small.

Bella is my "the one" for a Low G ... I am looking for a cousin for High G. LOL.

sam13
05-11-2015, 11:21 AM
Bella is my "the one" for a Low G ... I am looking for a cousin for High G. LOL.

Simon, every time I tried switching strings on my tenors with high G, I didn't like the sound. Katysax just started a thread on this topic.

All my tenors are in Low G and I'm going to use my concert and soprano for re-entrant tuning.[/QUOTE]

I saw Kaysax's thread ... and will read it. You have a good point re: Tenors ... I have a few too many now with Bella onboard and am trying to figure out if they stay or go.

But I use a Tenor for local Uke jams as a re entrant so I can hear myself and help increase finger memory. I was thinking a Ribboned Mahogany Tenor with sound port and re-entant tuning with a wound 3rd. I quite like DownUpDave's Uke KK from a Canadian builder Webber out in British Columbia.

I like your idea regarding Concert and Soprano for re-entrant tuning. Thanks for the thought ... I like it.

Booli
05-11-2015, 08:51 PM
Oh. My. GOD!

:drool:

(speechless)

Steedy
05-12-2015, 08:09 AM
^^^^ What he said. WOW! Bellissima! :shaka:

Tele295
05-13-2015, 06:30 AM
Fantastic instrument. I'm excited to hear how it sounds.

sam13
05-15-2015, 08:33 AM
Oh. My. GOD!

:drool:

(speechless)

LOL .... Thanks Booli ... I have never seen such a short post from you before ... :) I appreciate it. Cheers.

sam13
05-15-2015, 08:35 AM
^^^^ What he said. WOW! Bellissima! :shaka:

Thanks Steedy and Tele295.

I will get a sound sample up soon. I tried uploading another video from my iPhone and I think it might have been too large as it stopped.

Icelander53
05-15-2015, 09:17 AM
Is there any special reason for that sound hole shape? It's pretty unusual.

Dan Uke
05-15-2015, 09:19 AM
Is there any special reason for that sound hole shape? It's pretty unusual.

it's supposed to look similar to the Selmer guitars

Icelander53
05-15-2015, 09:20 AM
so is there any sound benefit to that shape?

sam13
05-15-2015, 09:50 AM
Is there any special reason for that sound hole shape? It's pretty unusual.

Great question.

While it looks similar to the Selmer guitars, it has more to do with sound production and tonal quality.

Luis is a fascinating man and has a wonderful bracing system which I told him I wouldn't post a picture of ... but he explained it this way "the energy created and tone produced sends more volume and frequencies through the sound hole. The larger the sound hole (Grand Bouche or Big Mouth in French) the more resonance and volume."

Best way to describe it is the tone colour is richer and potentially more volume.

Camsuke
05-15-2015, 12:30 PM
I was lucky enough to enjoy a performance recently by Ian Date here in Australia, he was playing a Selmer Guitar which was on loan to him during his National tour. The sound is very distinctive and very unique. Ian plays lots of Django Reinhardt tunes and for this, the Selmer is ideal. I spoke to him after the show and he said the Selmer was worth as much as a good house!

Congratulations Sam, I'll look forward to a sound sample!