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View Full Version : NUD: 3 custom ukes built by Fred Shields - SAN DIEGO



SoloRule
11-24-2017, 09:35 AM
I came across Fred Shields Ukuleles when I was searching for ukulele music shops in San Diego area . Mr Shields is a custom luthier with a creative mind. His ukulele line includes all the usual sizes plus a unique pocket size which Mr Shields named it 'tiny teardrop'.

I contacted Mr Shield six days before I leave for San Diego. I asked if he could build me an oval shape concert uke with a 1 1/2 " wide nut width and a unique head design. With only a week to work on the design, you can imagine my surprise when he replied NO problem. It will be ready when you are here.

My first impression of my Oval shape uke was that it is very light weight, it has extremely long sustain, it has a very sweet tone. I am a tenor player, concert neck are too tight for me . I can not believe how comfortable it is with the 1 1/2" width. It feels good and sounds good.

Mr Shields shown me his personal pocket uke (tiny tear drop) , I was impressed with the volume that came out of this little instrument so I begged him to sell it to me. He then shown me another one of his own concert uke with Koa top and a cutaway.

I was so impressed with Mr Shields craftsmanship and sound quality, I went back to see him two days later . He generously offered to sell me the Koa cutaway. He said he can always make another one for himself when he has time. I ended up coming back to Canada with 3 FS ukes.

All three ukes are solid wood. I was concern when Mr Shields did not recommend two sound ports. I was blow away by the volume with just the one side sound port.

My demo is rough as the strings have not settled and the wood are new . I need to upload this today because its Mr Shield birthday. He is 80 years young . HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Please watch my video all the way to the end to see Mr Shields plays his 3 steel strings instrument.

If you want to contact Mr Shields . You can reach him through facebook (his page is unlock so you do not need to have a facebook account )
https://www.facebook.com/fred.shields.3/about?lst=618802578%3A100003739926120%3A1511543272

Some of his ukuleles are available in Hale Music ( Near San Diego) , Ukulele Station America Oregon, Illinois (a small town about 100 miles west of Chicago). He was shipping five ukes to Ukulele Station America this week if you can't wait 2 weeks to have a custom build uke.

Mr Shields is located in La Mesa, Calif.. *(619) 464-8599‬

I hope this video do him justice . His unique design , playability, sound quality and craftsmanship are impeccable ! He is truly a hidden gem! I am so blessed to have found him. Thank You Mr Shields!


https://youtu.be/mYRI0nv8fE0

Ukulele Eddie
11-24-2017, 09:48 AM
Congrats, Brenda! Wow. NUD x 3! I expect you will now be receiving personal invitations to visit many luthiers. ;-)

kvehe
11-24-2017, 09:58 AM
Add me to the Fred Shields fan club, please!

SoloRule
11-24-2017, 09:59 AM
Add me to the Fred Shields fan club, please!

Please show the world your Fred Shields backpack uke. He is reading this , you know.....LOL

Doc_J
11-24-2017, 10:01 AM
That concert built in week is amazing! Great decision to get all 3, that was a rare opportunity.
Congratulations on 3 excellent additions!

Nickie
11-24-2017, 10:09 AM
Awesome! I love ukes like these, built off the beaten path!
Congrats!

SoloRule
11-24-2017, 10:26 AM
That concert built in week is amazing! Great decision to get all 3, that was a rare opportunity.
Congratulations on 3 excellent additions!

He works very hard and long hour
He is extremely creative
Yes one week!
He said he can build one in two weeks. He rushed this one to me as I only had four days in SD

mm stan
11-24-2017, 10:55 AM
Congratulations on the three newest additions and your lovely heart buying so many from a nice luthier

DownUpDave
11-24-2017, 11:32 AM
Brenda was head over heels excited about finding out that Fred Shields lived close to where she was travelling. So in Brenda's usual "pitbull" fashion she started communicating with Fred. She was so thrilled to get to visit with him and play his instruments. She came home with three lovely handcrafted instruments and a new friend. If you are ever lucky enough to meet Brenda in person her enthusiasm quickly wins you over.

I dropped by Brenda's house yesterday to see her new babies. They are very well made, the details, fit and finish are all top notch, for a cost less than an all solid wood Kala. Yea you heard that right.

Booli
11-24-2017, 11:41 AM
WOW! I am speechless.

I am glad you took advantage of getting these ukes now all at once.

Congrats BRENDA! :music: :nana: :rock:

Peace Train
11-24-2017, 11:51 AM
Congratulations on such beautiful ukes, Brenda! Love the shape and head stocks on these with such a gorgeous sound. You must be very happy.

SoloRule
11-24-2017, 03:00 PM
Congratulations on such beautiful ukes, Brenda! Love the shape and head stocks on these with such a gorgeous sound. You must be very happy.

I am happy to be in the right place at the right time!
I hope Mr Shields continues to make beautiful instruments for us to enjoy! His price is very reasonable and he is extremely accommodating!

Lapyang
11-24-2017, 03:20 PM
Thanks Brenda for introducing Mr. Shields to us. I need to look him up.

SoloRule
11-24-2017, 03:37 PM
Thanks Brenda for introducing Mr. Shields to us. I need to look him up.

Let’s me know if you can’t find him. I will give you his number.

SoloRule
11-24-2017, 03:42 PM
https://youtu.be/rPUWWgj5maM

thaidye39
11-24-2017, 05:34 PM
Great ukes, Brenda!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Fred!

sam13
11-24-2017, 06:06 PM
Wow. Great instruments. Sound super. Looking forward to playing them soon.

Rakelele
11-24-2017, 07:21 PM
Congratulations, Brenda, and a happy birthday to Fred Shields! Thanks for giving us all a closer look at his work.

Croaky Keith
11-24-2017, 11:16 PM
Looks like you struck the 'gold mine' of luthiers, congrats, Brenda, such lovely ukes. :)

Wishing Mr Fred Shields many more birthdays to come.

Lapyang
11-25-2017, 01:16 AM
Let’s me know if you can’t find him. I will give you his number.

Yes please, Brenda. You can PM me. Thanks.

Booli
11-25-2017, 04:21 PM
Yes please, Brenda. You can PM me. Thanks.

Why not share the info of the website/etc publicly rather than keep it as a secret?

Just post it here on the thread - no need for clandestine activity here on UU. :)

SoloRule
11-25-2017, 04:44 PM
Oh I have not asked Mr Shields if he would allow me to post his phone number. He does not have a website. I will ask him now.
By the way, I just ordered a pineapple shape with cherry wood from him !

He just gave me permission to post his telephone number
*(619) 464-8599‬

kvehe
11-25-2017, 05:15 PM
His phone will ring day and night!

SoloRule
11-25-2017, 06:05 PM
Poor Fred. We will work him to death!
He doesn’t answer his phone right the way, his answering machine kicks in really fast ! He often pick up the phone just as you are leaving the message !

Booli
11-27-2017, 04:39 AM
Poor Fred. We will work him to death!
He doesn’t answer his phone right the way, his answering machine kicks in really fast ! He often pick up the phone just as you are leaving the message !

Maybe he will be happy for the influx of requests from us to build more of his wonderful instruments? :)