View Full Version : Makapili Pineapple Concert Review

12-18-2009, 01:27 PM
I’m following the UU guidelines as best I can. I’ve had this Makapili Pineapple Concert for about a month. I really like a lot.

•Made in 2009, in Italy by Thomas Macomson
•How many frets? 17 frets, (14 to the body)
•All Solid Acacia Confusa (top, back, sides, bridge, head plate, fretboard)
•All acoustic, no electronics
•Neck- Spanish Cedar (Spanish style neck)
•Body style - Pineapple concert
•Bridge style - String through body. Wooden beads inside.
•Tuners - Grover closed geared tuners.
•Neck/Scale (Thin neck, nicely sculpted, easy to hold; a lot like a Kanilea) Design of the neck is thinner close to the headstock. It has a very good natural feel.
•Finger board is slightly narrower than standard, 1.350” at the nut.
•Fret makers 5,7,10,12 (I San Shan wood inlaid strip as both the top and side marker). Frets are quite large, and comfortable. 17 frets, 15 inch concert scale

•How does it suit your music style?
Seems to like being picked or strummed. Has an even sound volume on all the strings, I haven’t done much picking on it. It really strums great, lots of resonation.
•What amps and effects are you using it with? None.
•Rich/Full sound? Bright sound? This has both! The pineapple shape provides a lot of fullness, yet the thin top and Worth clears make it have punch too.
•Likes and dislikes? I like it a lot as it is. Someday I might try new strings. But the worth clears really balance the sound. The uke is really light wight. Very comfortable to hold.
•What kind of sounds can the uke make? Good at the little picking I’ve done. Great at cords.

Action, Fit & Finish
•How well was the ukulele set-up at the factory? (How was the action?)
Set up was perfect. Thomas (the luthier) asked what height I would like and made it so. I asked the action be set at 2.8 mm on the 12 fret. Thomas has checked with me about the uke on several occasions. Very conscientious luthier.
•Properly bookmatched top? YES
•Properly routed bridge? Yes. While the strings seemed to slightly favor one side of the bridge, this was intentional in the design.
•Did the ukulele contain any flaws? Yes, Thomas sold it as a second with one tuner hole lightly off pattern (but this has no effect on performance). Slightly rough on one edge of head stock. (Easily smoothed away with steel wool and wax). No unpleasant surprises.

•Will this ukulele withstand live playing? I think so.
•Does the hardware seem like it will last? Yes, it is well designed for long life with a Spanish heel, Grover sealed gear tuners, through the sound board string knot.
•Is the finish good enough to last, or does it seem thin and easy to wear off with lots of playing? Finish looks great and have had no problems. I did apply Harolds Feed and Wax to the uke for a really great polish.
•Can you depend on it? So far.
•Would you use it on a gig without a backup? Can’t say, as I do not perform. But I would always take a backup for ANY uke.

Customer Support
•Excellent customer service. Thomas is great. Thomas offered to customize the action for me after I’d bought it. He contacted me quickly with all shipping info. He was very honest about his ukulele. His shipping method was fast. Packaging was excellent, really well packaged.
•How long is the warranty. Didn’t ask. I would not send it to Italy for a repair.

Overall Rating
•How long have you been playing? 3 months
•What other gear do you own? Kanilea Super Concert, Boat Paddle Tenor (have formerly owned a Fluke and a Pono. I really did not like the Pono’s quality.)
•Is there something you wish you had asked before buying this ukulele? No.
•If it were stolen or lost, would you buy it again or get something else?
Yes. Immediately. This is a unique instrument, but I would definitely get another Makapili concert pineapple from Thomas.
•What do you love about it? First the sound, Second the feel, Thirdly the looks.
•What do you hate? Nothing, really! Had to get a tenor case to fit it (worked fine).
•What is your favorite feature? How easy it is to play, and quality of the sound.
•Did you compare it to other ukuleles? Which ones? Kanilea, Fluke, Pono (It made my Fluke seem clumsy;I decided to get rid of the Fluke.)
•Why did you choose this one? I heard the same model played by AnnaUK. The sound was amazing. I was hooked.
•Anything you wish it had? Possibly a strap button. But I wouldn’t want to put a hole in it.
•Anything else you'd like to share? I’m not so good a uke player yet, so if you want to listen to it, check out Thomas’ sound clip (http://www.box.net/shared/v1v570eov4 ) or listen to AnnaUK’s youtube videos of her Makapili pineapple concert. (http://www.youtube.com/user/Sheepstar15).

Thomas is a UU member (name “thomas”).
Based on my experiences, I would recommend this uke to a friend.

12-18-2009, 04:46 PM
Thanks for the review Doc. That is one sweet looking pineapple.


12-18-2009, 11:28 PM
Hi Doc J,

Thanks for the great review. I am very glad you like your instrument.

Take care,

12-19-2009, 12:21 PM
I played with AnnaUK the other week, so I've heard the pineapple live. It has a really nice sound. I hadn't heard of Makapili before that. Actually, that night there were two Makapili pineapples on hand. Felt a bit undergunned with my Brunswick. But for £38, it packs a lot of punch...

Good luck and enjoy!

Ed Gilkison
06-05-2013, 08:01 PM
Hi Doc,

I've been looking for the "Harolds Feed & Wax" polish you mention. But not found it - is it under a different name now? Could you send me a link for it? I've got a couple ukes I want to use it on.


06-06-2013, 10:21 AM
Hi Ed,

Here's a link to the product Howard Feed-N-Wax http://www.howardproducts.com/prod-feed-n-wax.php

I was able to buy a bottle at my local Home Depot. Lots of places carry it. Great for fretboards too.