PDA

View Full Version : Affordable custom ukulele makers.



bjk
08-04-2016, 03:19 PM
Hello UU users!

I'm looking for a maker that makes more affordable custom tenor ukulele that is around or below the 1000 dollar range.

If you have any suggestions could you tell me please?

Thank you so much!

anthonyg
08-04-2016, 03:23 PM
Where are you and what size ukulele do you want. EDIT: OK you want a Tenor. I've bought a custom Tenor in Canberra for less that $1000 but that may not help you

Anthony

johnson430
08-04-2016, 03:38 PM
Look for a second hand custom. The market is soft and good deals abound. I say this because the wait time on custom ukes can be months or even years.
I would post a WTB: Custom Tenor thread in the marketplace and specify your location and wood desires.

DownUpDave
08-04-2016, 03:50 PM
There is one for sale in the marketplace right now. The builder is Covered Bridge and they are very well received and respected around here. If you don't like the one they have posted for sale here you can naturally order one to your exact specifications, which is a huge part of the fun of getting a custom

DaveY
08-04-2016, 04:12 PM
You can see and hear a number of Covered Bridge ukuleles at https://www.youtube.com/user/CoveredBridgeukulele/videos --and they also have a Facebook page, which shows builds in progress.

I bought a used CB in February, and now am waiting for a new custom from them. You can easily stay under $1,000 -- in fact, I'm not sure if it's possible to get to four figures, unless you asked them to stuff some cash in the sound hole.

Ukulele Eddie
08-04-2016, 04:22 PM
Covered Bridge is worth checking out (I had a lovely western red cedar/walnut one). They're neck profile is on the chunkier side, just so you know.

Ono Ukulele is another to check out as he is right about $1,000 before adding options. I have a 16" alaskan yellow cedar/myrtle concert that I love. He does great work for the price point and consistently makes outstanding looking ukes. big fan here.

I would also check out the Kala Elite series. Their Series 1 is in your target range. Really nice values.

Jim Hanks
08-04-2016, 04:22 PM
Depends on what you mean by "custom" too. Some others to consider would include Loprinzi, Sailor Brand, and Spruce House. Also Cocobolo Ukuleles although they are kind of "unobtainium" right now and not even taking "custom" orders . There's also Bruce Wei.

But I agree with others that you can't go wrong with Covered Bridge here.

Joyful Uke
08-04-2016, 04:23 PM
In the "Experiences with customs" thread, kohanmike mentioned the customs from Bruce Wei Arts. Prices are < $1,000 (seems like quite a bit less), and kohanmike seems very happy with the custom ukuleles that were made for him.

(I have no experience with Bruce Wei Arts myself.)

The thread is here: http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?121860-Experiences-with-customs

Mivo
08-04-2016, 05:34 PM
My Barron River Tenor was $1200 AUD, which was around a grand in US dollars. Not checked exchange rates lately.

anthonyg
08-04-2016, 05:41 PM
My Barron River Tenor was $1200 AUD, which was around a grand in US dollars. Not checked exchange rates lately.

They're $1600 AUD now. Same with Wise ukuleles.

Anthony

stevejfc
08-04-2016, 05:42 PM
Goat Rock ukuleles

Stevelele
08-04-2016, 05:56 PM
I'd go with a rebel

rappsy
08-04-2016, 06:37 PM
David Ingalls of Ono Ukuleles. Easy to work with and quite a builder. http://www.onoukes.com/

mds725
08-04-2016, 08:07 PM
I would also recommend Ono Ukuleles. I've met David and I've had the chance to play several of his ukuleles. He's cool and his ukuleles are well-crafted and very playable, and they sound great. I'm hoping to have him build me a baritone ukulele one of these days.

bonesoup
08-04-2016, 11:35 PM
Ono is real nice. Sounds great and the cantilevered fretboard is a cool feature.

But my recommendation is Wunderkammer (http://www.wunderkammerinstruments.co.uk/boswell/). I love mine. Their tenor is only 550 GBP.

DownUpDave
08-05-2016, 12:23 AM
There is one for sale in the marketplace right now. The builder is Covered Bridge and they are very well received and respected around here. If you don't like the one they have posted for sale here you can naturally order one to your exact specifications, which is a huge part of the fun of getting a custom

I was remise to not mention Ono ukuleles as well. The Covered Bridge will keep you under $1000, the Ono at that price or slightly above. I have an Ono16" concert and it is a great instrument which I would highly recommend to anybody.

hammer40
08-05-2016, 02:39 AM
A lot were affordable at one point. Most have just about doubled in price once word got out around here. Not saying they did not deserve it, just wishing I could still afford them.

kohanmike
08-05-2016, 05:38 AM
In the "Experiences with customs" thread, kohanmike mentioned the customs from Bruce Wei Arts. Prices are < $1,000 (seems like quite a bit less), and kohanmike seems very happy with the custom ukuleles that were made for him.

Yes, I think he does good work for a good price. He has an eBay store with contact for custom builds. I suggest specifying exactly what you want by email and be sure he acknowledges all the details.

whmeltonjr
08-05-2016, 05:48 AM
I am awaiting a custom from Bruce Wei right now. The time difference makes the communication a little inconvenient, but he is good about responding and answering questions.

M3Ukulele
08-06-2016, 03:30 AM
Check out Moodyville ukuleles in North Vancouner, BC in Canada. Exchange is good forUS residents. Fantastic ukuleles. Lite and resonant. They make both gypsy style tenor and 8 shape they call Vega tenor. Shelly Park is luthier and makes great instruments. Check out her authentic gypsy style guitars. Verg good reputation. Great to work with. At $1300 CND$ with exchange you are under a grand! I highly recommend and love my Sitka spruce/black walnut gypsy tenor cutaway.

BearMakingNoises
08-06-2016, 03:34 AM
I have been debating ordering a custom Pelem. The guy seems to be a great builder.

70sSanO
08-06-2016, 04:31 PM
I guess the first question would be why you want a custom? People have different motivations for going that route.

Personally I would think one of the better reasons is because there is a particular luthier that a person is drawn to, but still wants particular woods/features enough to have a ukulele specially made. Typically that person would do a lot of homework before commissioning the instrument.

Then there is a person who just wants something different and not the typical production ukulele. I tend to follow this path and will go a little off the grid for a ukulele as long as it is a quality instrument. Sometimes these instruments can be a little more affordable.

You may want to see if there are any local instrument guilds/associations that may be able to direct you to a luthier that will meet your needs. An example of this is SIMSCal.

Good luck with your quest.

John