View Full Version : True or False?

06-05-2010, 03:48 AM
So in the last couple months I've been in contact with a well known luthier about a custom build. I won't say who exactly, but the person does have a good reputation and makes some nice ukes.

Anyway, some of the specs I gave were:

1. A Cutaway
2. A Classical Guitar style rosette

I don't remember the exact words, but the person basically told me that there was no good way to make/bend a cutaway, and that the one's I've seen were on cheap chinese produced ukes and were made out of more pliable laminated wood.

Now, I'm pretty sure Mr. Moore does not use laminated wood when he makes his ukes, so there is obviously a way to bend the side. I don't know if the person doesn't want to even mess with a cutaway or what...

Secondly, the luthier in question said that they don't make classical guitar looking rosettes for use with ukuleles.
They make them for cavaquinho's, so I don't see why we couldn't fit one on a uke.

I think there's one on the uke in this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nrdlwfc2fPw)(though the quality isn't good and I'm not sure).

I'm not locked into anything yet because I never gave a deposit or anything and we already discussed taking away the cutaway and the rosette.

I know I'll be happy with a custom uke, but now I'm thinking that I won't be as happy if I don't get one just how I want it. (I'm sure people know the feeling or whatever)

I may be a watered down Mexican/Spaniard that barely speaks Spanish, but I really want a uke that looks like a flamenco guitar.

Basically, like this:


The price I've been quoted is amazing though, and if I had to go to another luthier, the uke would cost a lot more with the same specs and I'd have to wait and save up even longer.

What should I do?

Matt Clara
06-05-2010, 04:06 AM
It's obviously false, but you have to ask yourself, what would arguing with him get you? Sounds like you need to decide if you want the uke he's offering or not. If not, I'd find another builder.

06-05-2010, 04:22 AM
Thank's for replying Matt. I forgot to say that I knew it was obviously false because of some of the ukes I've seen. I also haven't really brought the thought up to the person again until I get some feedback from you guys. I guess I will just have to go elsewhere.

06-05-2010, 04:39 AM
It's not "custom" if the luthier won't build to your specs. Find one who will.

Pukulele Pete
06-05-2010, 05:01 AM
Have you considered building it yourself ? There's a guy on UU i think his name is Culprj who built a stew mac tenor kit and did a video on how he did it. I don't know how to direct you to it but I think you can find it. The one he built sounds just like the one you want. Remember "you get what you pay for." .

06-05-2010, 05:08 AM
Is it a Soprano your after ? if so, a cutaway would be more irksome but not impossible.

06-05-2010, 05:18 AM
that is totally false. I think maybe he has never built one or dose not like building them. If a cut away is what you really want don't settle

06-05-2010, 05:35 AM
Thanks everyone.

Pete, I just saw that thread this morning while searching to see if a thread like this had been posted and it looked interesting. I could probably do it.

Timbuck, It's definitely a tenor I'm after. I love the extra room and deeper sound.

Like I said, I haven't discussed it with him since March. I'll bring it up again and if he said he can't do it, well then i'll have to find someone else.

06-05-2010, 05:50 AM
I wouldn't push it. It's your money, and ultimately your Uke. It seems rather obvious that even if he agreed to it, it would be outside his "comfort zone" and the results might reflect that. I'd find someone else whose existing work is similar to what you're looking.

06-05-2010, 05:54 AM
From the sounds of things, this luthier can probably provide you with a very nice, high quality hand-made uke. If that is what you are looking for, then you will probably be happy with what he provides. But... if you are looking for a custom uke, built to your specifications and desires, this luthier has already said that he does not want to build that uke for you. You will need to find someone else who is as committed to your vision as you are.

BTW, looks like you already have a pretty sweet collection in your picture :-)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-05-2010, 06:25 AM
It's obvious the guy doesn't want your commission and there could be a wide variety of reasons for this. Respect his reply. If it's not what you want to hear, move on.

06-05-2010, 06:43 AM
Wow, dang, I totally didn't mean for this thread to be offensive or anything like that. I just wanted some info and insight and it seems like I'm getting ripped a new one.

The luthier and I have talked back and forth and he even drew up a plan of the uke without the cutaway or rosette.

He's been great and I've been nothing but respectful towards him.

I just wanted to make sure I had a good reason to go elsewhere.

Somebody lock this thread before it gets out of hand.

Pete Howlett
06-05-2010, 06:44 AM
Most classical guitar builders make their own rosettes. It is a fairly tedious business and certainly puts the $$$$ on those instruments. I personally cannot think why you would want one on a uke. Cutaways are also very difficult both to design and execute - especially if they are not in your repertoire.

Me, I don't do custom work I cannot agree with. I wouldn't take this job; there are loads out there who will. Go find one :)

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-05-2010, 07:04 AM
RyRod, I really have no idea at all why you are taking offense. If I've offended you, I apologize. No need to lock the post, it's very instructive. I totally agree with Pete. As with anything else, you need to shop around to find someone who is comfortable doing what you want done. I disagree with his thoughts on bending a cutaway design but you didn't ask me. But if someone refuses your request there's got to be a reason for it. He can choose to be forthcoming with it or not.

06-05-2010, 07:25 AM
Thanks Mr. Howlett. I've seen the cutaway you did on the Helsinki tenor. It looks really good and simple(even though it might not be simple to make). I just want simple.
As for the rosettes, I'm not talking big daddy mongo thick. I just want something simple that resembles the classical type.

for example:


And Mr. Moore, I must apologize to you as well. It wasn't just you. I guess I just interpreted a couple posts the wrong way.

You would've been one of the first luthier's I would've asked but I knew there was no way I'd be able to afford one of your masterpieces for a long time. (Darn Michigan Economy)

I appreciate all the feedback

Pete Howlett
06-05-2010, 07:46 AM
The rosettes are constructed by first making up a 'stick' from which you cut tiles, and then and then... you cannot buy them off the shelf for a ukulele!! A classical guitar maker worth his salt will have his own individual design. I've faked it using zipper strip type purflin but it would be diffucult bending it round a pipe for such a small rosette. However, 'Fran Spain' who posts on ukulele cosmos and lives in Seville in Spain knows a Spanish luthier who might be able to do it for you. Go there, hunt Fran down and pm him.