View Full Version : Incredible opportunity but I need help with research

09-04-2016, 10:22 AM
Just got the most amazing opportunity.. I'm going to be starting the process of talking with Kala to make a completely custom Delux Baritone Ukulele. I don't know where even to begin..as I'm seriously blown away with the opportunity in building this to be the sound we as musicians chase. The one, that sound that makes our hearts sing(I know we all seek different sounds). The happy/joyful deep yet romantic heart warming sound that really resonates I am looking for.. I've started to try to educate myself as best as possible as I speak to the Kala craftsmen sometime after weds. It definitely will be a curly Solid Koa.. Looking into the types/colors now but it's like where do I as a player begin to look to educate myself to best get a sense of how to communicate my needs and what I should be looking for in regards to sound and appearance. This is from my grandparents to me so it is VERY personal.. Engravings etc.. This is them being apart of the process in creating something with me that years from now after they are gone will be something we both put time into to make special. They know how much I love the ukulele and how passionate I am about it. So this is my sheet below I'm starting with and making notes but anyone that may have some good educational references on ukulele construction and woods/sound.. I would really appreciate as I do my homework. This journey is exciting and I thank anyone that has any info that can help. I may post in the luthier forums as well sometime this weekend.. Let me know what I might be missing please on my sheet to consider for research or any online resources you think I should read for relivance.. As a player I know what I've gathered from playing but from a builder perspective I know nothing and really want to be as involved in the process as I can.. I just found out yesterday I'm still reeling from it sorry if I'm rambling or repeating. thank you thank you for anything you Luthiers can provide as guidance. I've been playing close to 3 years myself and my current baritone is a Pono Baritone Nui which I love dearly and the size of it I may lend to this custom baritone as well because of how the large body lends itself so well to the sound.

This is the spread sheet I've started so far


09-04-2016, 12:38 PM
If you've specified the body wood as koa then you've set the sound basics. Neck wood, fingerboard etc make minimal or no difference to the sound, so you can go solely on appearance.

Working with your chosen koa the luthiers can achieve many different results, so you have to find a way to describe what you want. The same is true for playing characteristics.

If I were building this I'd ask you show me examples (maybe via recordings) of the sounds you like, and those you wouldn't like to hear in this uke.

For playability I'd ask you to describe some ukes you like to play, explaining what's good about them, and to do the same for ukes you're not fond of.

From all that I'd try to produce a description of what I was aiming to achieve.

Maybe this would be a way to think about explaining what you want.