View Full Version : What Makes a Good Ukulele? (Ukulele Makers around the world answer...)

10-24-2018, 10:16 AM
Hey there!

When I visited the Meet the Ukulele Makers Festival (MUMF) in Wales this year, I talked to quite a few ukulele makers and asked them three questions:

1. Who are you?
2. What makes a good ukulele?
3. What makes your ukuleles special?

Here's the result:

Liam Kirby:


Marco Todeschini:


Kevin Mulcock:


Aiden Smith:


Tom Ziegenspeck (German):


I will add a new video every few weeks (each match day of the European Champions League to be exact, as an alternative to non-free-tv football ;))

Best wishes


10-24-2018, 10:57 AM
Thank you for postng this. Very interesting comments. What struck me was how playability and feel seemed to be universally an attribute. The other was volume. I liked what Marco Todeschini said about tone. That it was so subjective that he did not include it as an attribute of a good ukulele. On UU, tone seems to be thrown out constantly, myself included, and it really is in the "ear" of the beholder.

It would have been nice to have the translation of Tom Ziegenspeck's comments.

Good job!


10-24-2018, 11:48 AM
Very well done! It's great to hear from the builders. Thank you for taking the time and effort for this!

10-25-2018, 05:34 AM
It would have been nice to have the translation of Tom Ziegenspeck's comments.

1. Who are you?
My name is Tom Ziegenspeck of Ziegenspeck ukuleles based in Rudolstadt, Germany. I am specialiced in building high end ukuleles. I started building ukuleles five years ago while doing my master studies in building stringed instruments in Markneukirchen, Germany ("home" of Martin guitars). My final decision to specialize in builing ukes grew while doing an internship at Pete Howlett ukuleles in Wales.

2. What makes a good ukulele?
For me, craftsmanship, tone and playability are the basics of a good ukulele. What makes it special is the character. Character is difficult to describe. For me it is when you open up the case, hold the instrument in your hand for the very first time and think: Yes, this is how it should be!

3. What makes your ukuleles special?
I want to offer a story about each instruments and build sustainable. For example, some of my wood stock is from trees I cut down and dried all on my own.

10-25-2018, 05:51 AM
Thanks for that. good idea.

10-27-2018, 03:38 AM
Liam makes a ukulele that stops you buying ukuleles. I’ve tried but I end up sending them back.

Great post.

Pete Howlett
10-27-2018, 01:13 PM
Well done Andreas. Yes, MUMF is still looking for builders to attend....

10-28-2018, 05:45 AM
Liam makes a ukulele that stops you buying ukuleles. I’ve tried but I end up sending them back.

Great post.

He did not stop me from buying more (Marco is building me a soprano as we speak), but yeah, Liam‘s ukuleles are pretty decent. I own a spruce top soprano (http://ukulelezeit.de/die-entstehung-meiner-wunderkammer-ukulele/) and it is my go to ukulele whenever I am travelling.

10-29-2018, 04:08 PM
Brilliant! Yes, I'd love to hear more of these young chaps who build, and how about some gals too, if you know of any?
Wish I could speak German.
I could tell that each of them have their hearts in it, not just their heads.
1st time I heard a Wunderkammer played on a YouTube video I gasped and breathed "Wow". I believe it was Wilfried W. Can't remember his last name.

11-07-2018, 10:32 AM
It is that time of the month again. Here‘s Paul Barnard of Wildcat ukulele:


11-27-2018, 08:25 AM
Today: Sven Nyström of Argapa ukulele


02-20-2019, 09:51 AM
And here's Richard Cross with his pretty original instruments. Pretty sure, I am gonna pick one up when I see him later this year at MUMF 2019 in Wales