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mark howard
06-19-2015, 07:59 AM
Hi all,

I was just trawling around various sites, and started to find a few Luthier made Ukuleles, for the most part prices seem very good considering some are pretty much hand crafted with very little to no cnc
machining, now the very well known ones like Collings are easy to find a wealth of reviews on, also the Tims, but I was wondering about the lovely ukes made by Phil Davidson and Ivor Pickard of Pickard acoustics,
both based in the UK, Phil has a connection with the Ashbury brand, but he also makes his own beautiful ukes, so if any one has had any experience with either Pickard or Davidson, I'd love to hear your Views.

thanks Mark

katysax
06-19-2015, 12:46 PM
Never heard of Davidson or Pickard. Pete Howlett builds in the UK. His prices are very reasonable and his work is excellent. http://petehowlettukulele.co.uk

If you are looking for a builder in the US, there are an incredible number of good builders at a wide range of prices. There is a wealth of information on this site if you use the search engine.

perep
06-19-2015, 06:41 PM
Where are you located? State?

mark howard
06-19-2015, 11:28 PM
Hi perep, katysax

I am based in the UK, I have heard of pete howlet, and seen quite a few of the reviews, along with the tims they seem to keep there design based around the Martin style 0/1 series ukes, I have a new Martin soprano style 2 which is amazing, it was up for sale, as I found a lovely concert uke, but the sale never happened, and I would only sell the Martin for the right concert, anyway Pickardacoustics.com Ivor Pickard makes a very gorgeous concert model and has his own bracing design incorporated in his ukes and guitars, he also uses carbon fibre rod/strip inside the neck, I think Ivor Pickard and Phil Davidson are guitar Luthiers that decided to make ukes, Phils are also lovely, I know buying a uke on looks alone is not a good idea, hence seeing anyone had played ukes from either maker, I will continue my search, thanks for the input

Mark

Pete Howlett
07-06-2015, 09:40 AM
Phil's ukes are very distinctive and beautifully made but his main interest is mandolins and banjo. Never heard of Ivor Pickard - great name tho .... Soooo I went to his website and clearly he has his own unique ideas about ukulele which are a minor player in his repertoire.

I firmly believe that specialist builders have greater opportunity to build great instruments because their focus is on one 'family'. As a ukulele-only builder (I rarely do repairs unless it's on an instrument I have never seen before) I think I have the advantage over the generalists - my haematologist got my diagnosis for Parkinsons wrong... case in point.

WCBarnes
07-06-2015, 01:46 PM
I would have to agree with Pete on this one. You wouldn't take a Morgan to a Jag dealer to get it serviced. Jag service shops have excellent mechanics and could probably service the car correctly, but you would take it to the shop that has the most experience on that particular vehicle.

I have a Timms and it is wonderful! The sound, feel, and look are all spot on! I just took a look at Pete's site and that Dreaduke is gorgeous! If I didn't already have an all koa soprano commissioned I would be all over it!

I understand you were looking for information on two other luthiers, but one of the reasons you can't find much is there isn't a large sample size out there. Have a look At Pete's site, I didn't see any that really resembled the old Martin ukes (like the Timms does). He is an excellent ukulele luthier and his work is well known as being top notch! If it was my money I would be talking to him and see what he can do. You might be surprised.

Good luck with your search!

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-06-2015, 04:29 PM
I firmly believe that specialist builders have greater opportunity to build great instruments because their focus is on one 'family'. As a ukulele-only builder (I rarely do repairs unless it's on an instrument I have never seen before) I think I have the advantage over the generalists .......

Totally agree.

AJ Hill
07-06-2015, 10:37 PM
Rob Collins from Tinguitar.com is a great luthier Ken Middleton has two ukes made by Rob also Phil I have a Taropatch that's being started soon ,,,,I would recomend Rob for sure

barefootgypsy
07-06-2015, 11:11 PM
Dave Morgan (DJ Morgan Ukuleles) is a relatively new uke-builder in the UK... his work is absolutely top-notch; in fact I have just bought my second uke from him in three months! I posted the other day about my new spruce/maple soprano. Do check him out. His prices are extraordinarily reasonable but are sure to rise as his work becomes more well-known!

Pete Howlett
07-07-2015, 08:21 AM
I saw Dave's work at Cheltenham. Very nice...

Nickie
07-07-2015, 08:29 AM
Tommy Emmanuel said that sometimes getting a new guitar gives one new ideas. Is that true about ukulele?

shortcircuit
07-07-2015, 09:45 AM
Nickie, spend some money and find out. Then let me know if I need to spend some for my endeavor. I think only after you spend some time with the instrument you can really bond. But if a new one will do it count me in! Uke of the month club here we come..

Mivo
07-07-2015, 10:01 AM
Dave Morgan (DJ Morgan Ukuleles) is a relatively new uke-builder in the UK... his work is absolutely top-notch; in fact I have just bought my second uke from him in three months! I posted the other day about my new spruce/maple soprano. Do check him out. His prices are extraordinarily reasonable but are sure to rise as his work becomes more well-known!

I hadn't heard of him, but I love several of the ukes he has in his gallery! I'd probably have snatched up that maple and spruce soprano, but (luckily!) it was sold already! (Darn UAS.) I also really, really like this tenor (http://djmorganukuleles.co.uk/portfolio/poplar-and-maple-tenor-ukulele/) of his.

mark howard
07-08-2015, 03:25 AM
Hi all,
I only just realised the post had got loads of interest, so thank for all the input, it's all very helpful, I have managed to get a luthier made concert uke, it's made by a guitar Luthier called Geoffrey Needham, he makes beautiful guitars, no website that I can find, but a little info on the web, and a couple of links to a site selling two of his guitars, I got the uke at a good price and it plays beautifuly, Mahogany back and sides cedar top, and a massive soundhole, you can see in the image81304 what I mean.

thanks Mark

pbagley
07-08-2015, 04:05 AM
Tommy Emmanuel said that sometimes getting a new guitar gives one new ideas. Is that true about ukulele?

Absolutely true. Every instrument has something inside that can stimulate our muse into a creative frenzy. Remember I said "can", not "will". I find that older, more experienced, instruments have more to give than new, and solid woods have a way of communicating that laminates cannot match (probably the glue between the layers that keep the creativity bottled up).

Pete Howlett
07-08-2015, 11:06 AM
I'm not sure you learn a whole lot about the building process on my courses, after all I am still on that journey and don't expect it to end :) but you get one heck of a tenor ukulele Friday lunchtime for your patience and effort. As for laminate instruments, they are thin and lack substance - I think it is this that contributes to the deluge of bland and unexciting copycat work that is daily uploaded to YouTube :(

Nickie
07-08-2015, 03:43 PM
I think I'll sell my cheapest uke, which rarely if ever gets played, and put the money toward a better uke. I have microphones to pay off now....
My better half doesn't understand UAS, she has only one uke, and that cost less than either of my two faves.
But....she has three nice guitars, and she plays them all.