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View Full Version : Custom in progress - Earnest Instruments Palomino



bonesoup
07-09-2015, 02:08 AM
Check it out! This is a concert in mango. Joel is putting a satin finish on it and then i should have it in my grubby little hands. Cannot wait!

If youre in the market for a custom, ive had a completely positive experience with Joel.

Must be patient. Soon, soon...

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DownUpDave
07-09-2015, 02:16 AM
Congratulations. What a beautiful looking piece of mango he is using, looks like coffee cake and good enoungh to eat. I love the matching headstock overlay, that piece of mango is spectatular. I have heard great things about his instruments and it should sound as great as it looks.

Keep us posted with more pictures as it comes together, would love to see the finished product.

Doc_J
07-09-2015, 02:33 AM
Congrats! Joel builds an incredibly light and flawless uke. I used to play a mahogany Palomino concert, a few years back. It had a nice old-time sound. Joel's work is very impressive.

ksiegel
07-09-2015, 07:32 AM
I've played many of Joel's ukes (Out of my current price range, unfortunately), and they are all beauties. Plus, he is just a real cool guy, and a great player himself.

Have fun with it!



-Kurt

Ukejenny
07-09-2015, 07:51 AM
The wood is stunning!

bonesoup
07-09-2015, 09:07 AM
Congratulations. What a beautiful looking piece of mango he is using, looks like coffee cake and good enoungh to eat. I love the matching headstock overlay, that piece of mango is spectatular. I have heard great things about his instruments and it should sound as great as it looks.

Keep us posted with more pictures as it comes together, would love to see the finished product.

Thamks dave! Coffeecake, haha, that is perfect. Im glad you like the mango grain, me too. I was silly and asked joel how it was sounding. Oops maybe it needs a bridge before he can tell me.


Congrats! Joel builds an incredibly light and flawless uke. I used to play a mahogany Palomino concert, a few years back. It had a nice old-time sound. Joel's work is very impressive.

Hodge you kindly answered some questions i had about this builder. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It pushed me toward ordering from him. I cant wait to hear what light mango sounds like!


I've played many of Joel's ukes (Out of my current price range, unfortunately), and they are all beauties. Plus, he is just a real cool guy, and a great player himself.

Have fun with it!



-Kurt

Thanks kurt. Which of his ukes have you played? Did you have a favorite? I agree joel seems cool. His interviews with jim dville were another reason i picked him. Exhippie, student of roy smeck, seems like my kinda guy.


The wood is stunning!

Thanks jenny!

CTurner
07-09-2015, 09:45 AM
Wonderful texture in that mango! Be sure to give us a sample sound file at some point. I've heard many good things about his work.

brimmer
07-09-2015, 10:25 AM
Looks wonderful. Joel finished my Strad uke right on schedule. He was a pleasure to work with. I am sure you will be delighted with your new Pal.

bonesoup
07-09-2015, 11:12 PM
Wonderful texture in that mango! Be sure to give us a sample sound file at some point. I've heard many good things about his work.

Thanks craig, will do. Ill make a sound sample, and use it all the time in the seasons.


Looks wonderful. Joel finished my Strad uke right on schedule. He was a pleasure to work with. I am sure you will be delighted with your new Pal.

I remember your strad. Hows it working out for you? Thanks for talking to me about joel when i was deciding, brimmer. New pal, thats right!

ksiegel
07-10-2015, 02:35 AM
Thanks kurt. Which of his ukes have you played? Did you have a favorite? I agree joel seems cool. His interviews with jim dville were another reason i picked him. Exhippie, student of roy smeck, seems like my kinda guy.


I played everything he had at a small uke fest two years in a row. From a humor perspective, his "Hootch-a-lele" was the best! (A cigar box uke that opened up to hold a pint of Jack Daniels and a glass), while his Telecaster-inspired electric ukes were fun, too. He had a Boat Paddle shaped uke a few years ago that was just a cannon, and the Stradelele model is a joy. First time I saw one of those, it was Jim D'Ville's personal uke.

Joel is also a proud Drop-Out of Union College, here in Schenectady.



-Kurt

sam13
07-14-2015, 08:55 AM
Dan,

This looks awesome ... I look forward to hearing your new "Alto" sing some jazzy tunes ... sweetness!

Cheers.

Camsuke
07-14-2015, 12:24 PM
Nice one Dan, looking really sweet mate!

warndt
07-14-2015, 01:08 PM
[QUOTE He had a Boat Paddle shaped uke a few years ago that was just a cannon, and the Stradelele model is a joy. [/QUOTE]


I bought a semi-custom "PADDLELELE" from Joel back in 2009 and I still have it. I opted for black instead of green accents, and he made the most beautiful curly maple bridge for it. It plays and sounds terrific...and I like to just admire looking at it. The word perfection comes to mind.

You'll enjoy that mango Palomino...I'm sure of it!

bonesoup
07-15-2015, 01:39 AM
I played everything he had at a small uke fest two years in a row. From a humor perspective, his "Hootch-a-lele" was the best! (A cigar box uke that opened up to hold a pint of Jack Daniels and a glass), while his Telecaster-inspired electric ukes were fun, too. He had a Boat Paddle shaped uke a few years ago that was just a cannon, and the Stradelele model is a joy. First time I saw one of those, it was Jim D'Ville's personal uke.

Joel is also a proud Drop-Out of Union College, here in Schenectady.



-Kurt

Kurt you are a lucky man to have tried several of joels ukes! Id love to try any of those but especially the strad!


Dan,

This looks awesome ... I look forward to hearing your new "Alto" sing some jazzy tunes ... sweetness!

Cheers.

Haha thanks simon! I want to announce to my friends on the board that from now on concerts shall be referred to as altos. The movement starts here!

As for jazz ill do my best.. Which aint much.


Nice one Dan, looking really sweet mate!

Thanks good buddy. I hope it gives me the same joy youve gotten from your recent customs!


[QUOTE He had a Boat Paddle shaped uke a few years ago that was just a cannon, and the Stradelele model is a joy.

I bought a semi-custom "PADDLELELE" from Joel back in 2009 and I still have it. I opted for black instead of green accents, and he made the most beautiful curly maple bridge for it. It plays and sounds terrific...and I like to just admire looking at it. The word perfection comes to mind.

You'll enjoy that mango Palomino...I'm sure of it!

Thanks warndt. I dont know if he allows shop visits but maybe that could be a way to try his wares, sort of like luis did with his lfdm open house..

Btw if any owners would like to make sound sample videos, id love to see them. There arent many online. Hodge has an audio sample, there are jim dville, rob mackillop, and john king's strads, and one mainlander, and thats it that i recall.

fretie
07-15-2015, 05:12 AM
That's a gorgeous uke, for sure, love the mango wood!

bonesoup
07-24-2015, 08:12 AM
Finished! Pics (http://imgur.com/a/kMvfY#0)


http://vimeo.com/134426505

Specs:
All solid mango body
Satin finish
Mahogany neck
Rosewood fretboard and slotted bridge
Bone nut and saddle
Grover friction tuners
Ivoroid binding
b/r/b rosette
A thin red line continues up the neck and around the headstock, a nice touch.

The sound is exactly what I'd hoped. Joel (http://www.earnestinstruments.com/) builds Palominos light. I was hoping for an open sound with a lot of ring and that's what I got. Even with Aquilas! He put Aquilas on it and I asked him about that. He said he prefers them for their "strong fundamental sound." So I'm going to drive them for a while before I put Worth Clears on.

The sound! The mango is all that I'd hoped. I'd describe it as somehow cheerier than the solid koa and mahogany ukes I've owned. Some kind of xmas crinkle across the low-high range. When I pluck an open string the soundboard vibrates strongly, moreso than K brands I've tried. The notes have consistent volume up the neck. I'm very pleased.

Playability. Terrific action. Comfortable to hold. I requested a flatter neck profile. It came out not as flat as koaloha, but I'm still pleased. One issue here, the back of the neck felt very slightly tacky, so it didn't feel so fast. I asked Joel about this. He recommended rubbing 0000 steel wool on it, and that took care of it.

Working with Joel. First and foremost I'm pleased. When I contacted him, he estimated the uke would take 4 months. When I told him I'd be visiting the US in 3 months, he graciously said he'd try to finish it by then. He did. After some nailbiting waiting for USPS, it arrived two days before my flight. I very much appreciate all his hard work.

However I had two disappointments. When I was choosing the wood, he didn't tell me that mango would cost extra. When he gave me the final bill, it was $50 more for the wood, so it was $1100 total instead of $1050. Since he kindly rushed the build for me, I paid it without arguing.

The second is something that bugs me a bit. His site said he uses mesquite for the fretboard. At the end he said he used Indian rosewood instead. I was hoping for a 100% green uke with no endangered wood. In fact I was happy when he told me that he gets his Honduran mahogany from Greenwood Global (http://www.greenwoodglobal.org/), a sustainably managed forest. I take some blame for not specifically requesting mesquite or other non-endangered wood for the fretboard and bridge. I just went by what his site said.

Nit-pick dept. Here's something that doesn't bug me but I thought I'd mention it. The fretwork isn't perfect. A few fret edges near the soundhole feel slightly sharp. I'll take a file to those myself. The 14th fret does not quite stretch through the whole fret slot. It stops a hair short at one end. And the rosewood has two teeny indentations on it, perhaps tool marks? I attribute this to the rush he was in. To me these small imperfections add to the handmade feel. I dig it.

In total I'm a happy camper. For less than the price of a US Martin concert, I got a handmade, lightly built uke in my choice of wood, without wondering whether I got the pick of the litter, from a luthier who's been building since the 70s for the likes of John King and Rob MacKillop. Mango, by the way, is special to me. I have fond memories of eating fresh mangos off the ground when hiking on Oahu, and we have a mango tree in our yard here. The uke sounds fantastic both strumming old timey and picking classical. My first custom uke experience wasn't perfect, but the sound it makes is, so high-five!

Camsuke
07-24-2015, 12:46 PM
Wow mate, what a beauty! Fabulous sustain & it rings like a bell! Well done.

Doc_J
07-24-2015, 04:07 PM
Sounds and looks sweet! Congrats!

I appreciate the detail in your review. BTW the resonance on that last note was unreal.

Ukulele Eddie
07-24-2015, 04:23 PM
Lovely sound. And I very much appreciate the candid review. Often we're so very excited about a new uke that we can be (overly) effusive. I have several proper reviews to do and purposely waited until I've had some real time with the instruments and will strive for absolute candor.

Hippie Dribble
07-24-2015, 04:26 PM
Whoa Dan. An absolute beauty. Lovely sound. Sweet playing. Excellent, comprehensive review. Congratulations brother.

bonesoup
07-25-2015, 03:14 AM
Wow mate, what a beauty! Fabulous sustain & it rings like a bell! Well done.

Thanks mate! I appreciate your saying well done. I did soo much research before deciding on this. I mean, the research was fun - watching practically all of the HMS vimeo videos, searching youtube, reviews like Baz's and Jon's, etc. In the end from this uke I got what I'd hoped for.


Sounds and looks sweet! Congrats!

I appreciate the detail in your review. BTW the resonance on that last note was unreal.

Thanks Hodge! You know your way around ukes so if you think mine has unreal resonance, wow! Now I'm keen to see what a fluorocarbon does to the sound.


Lovely sound. And I very much appreciate the candid review. Often we're so very excited about a new uke that we can be (overly) effusive. I have several proper reviews to do and purposely waited until I've had some real time with the instruments and will strive for absolute candor.

Thanks Eddie! I'm glad you thought the review was candid. My thinking is the same as yours. I'd like to see more pros and cons reviews on here, when it's justified. I know how hard it is not to see everything as perfect when you just spent a thousand dollars. But I think it helps the community. You make a good point about waiting before reviewing. I should do that too.


Whoa Dan. An absolute beauty. Lovely sound. Sweet playing. Excellent, comprehensive review. Congratulations brother.

Thanks Jon! Your reviews were a big help in deciding what to buy - sound wise, things to look out for, etc. And I like how you describe UAS. Though I've got this uke in my hands, someday I'd like to own an LFdM, an Iriguchi, a US Martin... The condition is real, haha.