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View Full Version : "Ukuleles For All" Custom Builder, Media, Pennsylvania



Snargle
05-21-2016, 03:46 PM
I just learned that there is a custom ukulele builder operating in Media, PA, not unreasonably far from me in Harrisburg. The business name is "Ukuleles for All" and the website is http://www.ukesforall.com/.

Has anyone had any dealings or experience with this builder? The prices seem very reasonable ($300-$600) and the photos look good. I'm very tempted to have a local builder available for a custom ukulele, but I'd like more information.

Any information or feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

Recstar24
05-21-2016, 04:44 PM
Why don't you set up a time to meet or talk with him? That's the best way of getting to know a builder in my experience.

Booli
05-21-2016, 07:12 PM
This builder looks interesting to me.

They are not too far away from me in Northern NJ - Harrisburg is about 5-6 hrs drive.

Were I to have the budget and be interested in spending for a custom, it would be worth it to me to make the drive and to meet the luthier in person and see their shop...and that would help to ease the worry of them being unknown to me, and it seems on the forum here too.

It seems to me that their prices are very reasonable for a custom instrument.

Snargle - thanks for finding this one. It may be some time before I could consider a custom from any builder, but being local is a huge benefit in my eyes.

Snargle
05-22-2016, 03:24 AM
This builder looks interesting to me.
They are not too far away from me in Northern NJ - Harrisburg is about 5-6 hrs drive.
I may have misled you regarding the location. I'm in Harrisburg, the builder is in Media (Philly suburb) so it's probably even closer for you.

I do think I will contact him and schedule a visit. If nothing else, it could be an interesting educational experience. Thanks for the recommendations.

Ukulelerick9255
05-22-2016, 07:52 AM
It sounds awfully inexpensive for a custom build so I'd be cautious. The hours it takes alone to build a well built custom instrument makes his price seem unrealistic, I'd be cautious, ask if you can play one of his Ukes first or at least hear some sound samples. As a point of reference most custom builds start in the thousands not the hundreds.

Jim Hanks
05-22-2016, 08:52 AM
most custom builds start in the thousands not the hundreds.
Most but not all. There are still some fine quality ukes available for under $1000 from small builders

cpmusic
05-22-2016, 09:51 AM
The prices seem very reasonable ($300-$600) and the photos look good.

Where are you seeing the prices? I can't find them anywhere, including the page with instruments for sale.

M3Ukulele
05-22-2016, 10:10 AM
Where did you see pricing? I went to site and did not see pricing. Sound sample should be a must for a new builders site....IMHO. Good advice above about visit to shop, talk to builder, play some ukuleles. I would make the drive if I was close and telephone conversation went well. If you do get to visit and play some of these ukuleles please post results.
Thanks for posting

Snargle
05-22-2016, 10:33 AM
I guess he doesn't have prices on his web site. I first found out about him through a Craigslist posting. Here's what it says:


I am a local luthier (member of the American Luthier Society) making quality and unique ukuleles. Each is hand crafted and hand made with the finest tone and decorative woods. I play ukuleles myself in a local uke orchestra so I know just how they should sound and be constructed. I currently have 15 instruments available and more in production. The attached pictures show the overall style and look of the instruments. The first instrument shown is a special six-string Tenor uke.

I use Mahogany, Koa, Flamed Maple, Zebra Wood, Australian Blackwood and other hardwoods for the back and side construction as well as spruce, redwood and mahogany for the tops. Typically all have ebony fingerboards, most have binding and are decorated with pearl and/or wood inlay and use geared tuners.

Prices vary with size and materials but are in the $300-600 range. No tax or other charges.
All tenor instruments come with a quality thick-padded case.

If you are interested in a quality handmade ukulele, please contact me through Craigslist. I will be happy to arrange for a "test drive" appointment to try out any models listed.

Here's the Craigslist posting: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/msg/5587257944.html

jnmarcus
05-22-2016, 11:38 AM
Hi All

Sorry for the limited information, but at the moment I have been focusing on selling locally here in the Philadelphia area and just getting going in the general media and the appearance in the Ukulele Undergroud (with which I am well acquainted took me by surprise). I have been woodworking for over 50 years and have built banjo necks, hammered dulcimers, and 16 ukuleles. Two are in current production and several more are planned. I am retired and build slowly. Each of my ukes is hand made and each has a different sound. I could create sound bites but haven’t gotten that far yet. I like people to see and play them before they buy. It is possible for me to set up a Skype viewing but I haven’t used that mode of sale yet. If you want to try it out perhaps I can arrange it. My website is under development and doesn’t list prices yet. I expect to do that after Memorial Day. At the moment, I am not making them to order as part of my interest is to find interesting wood that gives good sound and durability. My purchases and interest can vary from time to time. As mentioned, I have two more ukes in production made top, bottom and sides from a block of Australian Blackwood but I plan that the next two will have recycled redwood tops. My prices are probably too reasonable but then I am not a recognized builder. I probably do undercharge for the ukes but at the moment this is what I am asking. From my own experience the best way to buy a uke is to see and play it. I am a member of the Swarthmore Ukulele Orchestra and enjoy playing my own ukes. As a last note, I have started putting soundports in my ukes. It does makes for a lot more time and effort and will probably force me to raise my prices in the future.

Thanks for your interest.
Best regards,
Joel Marcus


UKULELE No. 2013 – 2 $680



Tenor Mode: 26-5/8” long

Scale Length: 17-1/16”

Back, sides Figured Hawaiian Koa

Top: AAA Grade Spruce

Fingerboard,: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

MOP Inlayed Peg Head

Geared Tuners

Ebony bridge

Neck: Koa

Tortoise Plastic Binding



UKULELE No. 2013 -3 $900



Tenor Model – Six (6) String

27-1/16” long

Back and Sides: Highly figured Hawaiian Koa

Top: AAA grade Spruce

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP and inlay Position Markers

Slotted Peg Head with premium Gold Plated Tuners

Rosewood Bridge with internal variable support

Abalone Rosette

Strings: (6) with doubled 2nd and 4th

Neck: Tiger Striped Maple





UKULELE No. 2014 - 6 $510



Concert Model: 23-3/4” long

Scale Length: 14-5/8”

Back, Sides and Top: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

MOP Inlayed Peg Head

Standard Tuners

Rosewood Bridge

Neck: Mahogany

BWB Plastic Binding

UKULLELE No. 2014 -7 $600



Scale length 17” compensated

Back and Sides: Zebrawood Neck: Mahogany

Top: Tenor Model: 26-3/4” long

AAA Grade Sitka Spruce

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

Hibiscus Inlayed Peg Head

Fancy Inlayed Bridge

Tortoise Shell (Plastic) binding

Geared Tuners



UKULELE No. 2014 -8 $610



Tenor Model: 27” Long

Scale length 17” compensated

Back, Sides and Top: Waterfall Bubinga

Neck: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

Binding: Black Plastic

Hibiscus Inlayed Peg Head

Bridge: Ebony with String Pins

Geared Tuners



UKULELE No. 2014 -9 $610



Tenor Model: 27” Long

Scale length 17” compensated

Back, Sides and Top: Waterfall Bubinga

Neck: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

Binding: Black Plastic

Hibiscus Inlayed Peg Head

Bridge: Ebony with String Pins

Geared Tuners



UKULELE No. 2015 - 10 $600



Tenor Model: 26-1/2 “ long

Scale length 17” compensated

Back and sides: Highly Figured Mahogany

Top: AAA Grade Sitka Spruce

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

Binding: Fancy Wood Inlay

Bridge: Ebony

Hibiscus Inlayed Peg Head

Geared Tuners

Sound Port with Ebony Binding





UKULELE No. 2015 -12 $600



Tenor Model: 26-7/8” long

Scale length 17” compensated

Back and Sides: Highly Flamed Maple

Soundboard: AAA Grade Sitka Spruce

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

MOP Inlayed Peg Head

Binding BW Plastic

Sound Port with Ebony Binding

Neck: BO Mahogany



UKULELE No 2015- 13 $600



Tenor Model: 26-7/8” long

Scale length 17” compensated

Back and Sides: Highly Flamed Maple

Soundboard: AAA Grade Sitka Spruce

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

MOP Inlayed Peg Head

Binding BW Plastic

Sound Port with Ebony Binding

Neck: Mahogany

Geared Tuners



UKULELE NO. 2015 -14 $390



Soprano Model: 21-1/4” Long

Scale Length: 13-3/4”

Back, Sides, Top: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

Hibiscus Inlayed Peg Head

Bridge: Rosewood

BWB Plastic Binding





UKULELE NO. 2015 -15 $390



Soprano Model: 21-1/4” Long

Scale Length: 13-3/4”

Back, Sides, Top: Mahogany

Fingerboard: Ebony with MOP Position Markers

Hibiscus Inlayed Peg Head

Bridge: Rosewood

BWB Plastic Binding

Each of these ukuleles is hand made by Joel Marcus, member of the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL). They are characterized by exotic or interesting grained tone woods for the back , sides and sometimes the tops. When the tops are spruce, they are always AAA grade with tight grain. Each sports inlay of MOP or abalone and often wood marquetry in the peg heads. All have position markers and are strung with top grade strings such as Aquila, Freemont and C.F. Martin. They all sound great.

Booli
05-22-2016, 12:56 PM
I may have misled you regarding the location. I'm in Harrisburg, the builder is in Media (Philly suburb) so it's probably even closer for you.

I do think I will contact him and schedule a visit. If nothing else, it could be an interesting educational experience. Thanks for the recommendations.

Yes, Philly is under 3 hrs from me.

If you go there, maybe take some photos or video of the shop and anything interesting (with permission of course) so as to help spread the word to inform the global UU community about this builder - it will both be to his advantage as to ours . :)

bonesigh
05-23-2016, 11:03 AM
Media Penn. Hmm, let's see...well, well only 3 hours away. Promising so I'm gunna look into it. Thanks for the info (: