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whetu
06-11-2010, 02:24 PM
I'm giddy. Yesterday I received my new Backpacker ukulele, made by Captain Ukuleles (http://captainukuleles.co.nz/home.html), which is based out of the small settlement of Te Pahu in the Waikato region of New Zealand.

It features all NZ native timbers, concert scale (or thereabouts), passive under-saddle pickup, strap buttons as stock, custom tuning pegs, Aquila Nylguts and a beeswax finish. It also arrived in a custom made tote bag.

Anyway, enough jabbering, you want to see it. Here you go:

http://www.rawiriblundell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/backpacker1.jpg

The woods used are:
Top: Kahikatea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dacrycarpus_dacrydioides)
Back: Rewarewa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rewarewa)
Sides: Kamahi (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamahi)
Neck: Tawa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawa_%28tree%29)
Fretboard: Rata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metrosideros_robusta)
Bridge: Tawhai (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothofagus_menziesii)

It's also interesting to note that some of the wood used is recycled, so each instrument made by Captain Ukuleles probably has some small story attached to it. Here's mine:


The Kahikatea is a special piece of wood. It came from a log pulled out of the Kaniwhaniwha stream (in Te Pahu) many years ago. It had been buried under the streambed for a long time. Possibly since settler times, as it had the remains of iron dogs for bullocks in the ends. So it’s a little like ‘Swamp’ Kahikatea. Very green. I was very lucky to get some of this wood through a friend who knew the son of the guy who found the log.
The rest of the timbers came from the south side of Pirongia. Trees that have fallen down over the years on a farm owned by an old guy I met recently.

I'd like to draw your attention to the grain of the Rewarewa on the back, it's amazing IMHO :D

http://www.rawiriblundell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/backside.jpg

Because I'm having so much fun playing it I think any sound samples will be a couple of days away. I'm a very happy camper though, so I highly recommend Captain Ukuleles if you're after something unique :)

/edit #1: this cost me NZD$200 so roughly USD$140

/edit #2: jongm has posted his experiences here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?33545-a-go-anywhere-ukulele!)

/edit #3: more pictures of the family can be seen here
mm stan's (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?31729-My-new-Backpacker-ukulele&p=423154#post423154)
cocohonk's (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?31729-My-new-Backpacker-ukulele&p=434362#post434362)
finchiekin the owl's (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?31729-My-new-Backpacker-ukulele&p=433867#post433867)
suzukhammer's (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?34424-Captain-s-%28New-Zealand%29-arrival-of-Soprano-and-Backpacker)

jordan bello
06-11-2010, 03:04 PM
How about a pic next to a conventional ukulele for comparison? Otherwise, looks great. Would love to hear a sample.

Skottoman
06-11-2010, 03:24 PM
Looks great! Probably difficult to hold without a strap though. Looks durable and ready for some travelling action!

What about the "Delicious Ice Cream" magazine?
Cheers,
Skottoman

mm stan
06-11-2010, 03:53 PM
I was looking for one of these type of ukes since martin discontinued theirs. What caught my attention most is that they use old world recycled
timber, logs. I have a few questions about them if I may, the bottom where the tuning pegs have no knobs?? Are the pegs slotted for easy turning
and tuning. Any photo's of that area. Also what are the two round metal things on each side of the tuners. Last of all, how does it sound? I'm guessing kinda bright because of it's size....does it have of the deep richer sounds???What is the scale length and or is it a concert. I like the
price at $140.00 not too bad hmmm. do you have his contact tele# or address or e-mail address? I want to look into this. Hope you will put
up a video and it's sound, I would appriciate it.... Whetu, Many thanks, MM Stan Keep On vibrating those strings
sounds???

Uncle Rod Higuchi
06-11-2010, 03:55 PM
Neat uke. Good idea to compare with a 'regular' uke.

Thanks for the pictures.

Keep uke'in',

whetu
06-11-2010, 04:06 PM
wow... good amount of feedback, ok, I was thinking about a comparison photo when writing the above, I'll do that now and answers for questions:


Looks great! Probably difficult to hold without a strap though.

Yup, it takes a bit of getting used to playing without a headstock. I've had my hand fly right off the fretboard a couple of times! Having a strap there would give my hand some point of reference though


What about the "Delicious Ice Cream" magazine?

Heh... my girlfriend is a chef by trade. We got a couple of bags of Feijoas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feijoa) from a friend's, and she decided to make some vegan friendly Feijoa ice cream for my friend's vegan girlfriend. That's a recipe book she was using for reference, and yes.. it was delicious ice cream (now I want more!)


I have a few questions about them if I may, the bottom where the tuning pegs have no knobs?? Are the pegs slotted for easy turning
and tuning. Any photo's of that area. Also what are the two round metal things on each side of the tuners.

http://www.rawiriblundell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/tail.jpg

They're like small bolts I guess, you need a drum key or a spanner to turn them, it's an odd system with pro's and con's but I'm sure something easier could be conjured up if you get in touch with him. The two round metal things are 1) a strap button and 2) a pickup jack :)


Last of all, how does it sound? I'm guessing kinda bright because of it's size....does it have of the deep richer sounds???

Very bright, though keeping in mind that it's packing Aquila's that haven't been broken in. The deeper sounds are there, though they're subtle.


What is the scale length and or is it a concert.

14.75", I ordered it as a concert and it plays like one :)


I like the price at $140.00 not too bad hmmm.

Ah! Note that this price is including a pickup. Without a pickup you're looking at around USD$104


do you have his contact tele# or address or e-mail address? I want to look into this.

These details should be available on his website. Note that if calling, do so during NZ daylight hours (GMT+12) ;)

rasputinsghost
06-11-2010, 04:24 PM
can we get a video/sound sample? it looks great!

whetu
06-11-2010, 04:41 PM
And here's the comparison, Soprano dolphin on the left, (super?)Concert Kala KA-SC on the right

http://www.rawiriblundell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/comparison.jpg

Uncle Rod Higuchi
06-11-2010, 04:45 PM
Thanks for the pics!

Can't wait to hear a sample of your music.

Lots of good info.

Mahalo,

mm stan
06-11-2010, 05:00 PM
Aloha Again Whetu,
Many thanks for all the info and sharing with all of us. Have fun with your new ukulele!!!will be awaiting you vids on it!!!
"Keep on vibrating them strings" Uke On!!!!

whetu
06-11-2010, 08:38 PM
alrighty, here's a vid of me messing about and generally sounding awful. I recorded a cover of a song but I'm 50/50 about uploading it, as my singing is a bit flat (I have a cold :( )


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_BxkBY3DTM

Sambient
06-12-2010, 01:16 AM
Now my heart aches with want for one of these. Did it come with a drum key for tuning or did you have to scramble around. For some reason I was even thinking of roller skate keys when I saw the pic.

jordan bello
06-12-2010, 03:05 AM
That sounds great. I never would have expected so much sound from such a small body.

jongm
06-12-2010, 03:26 AM
many thanks for the post and for the sound sample/video whetu. i very much dig the backpacker uke look, size and sound. i contacted bevan of captain ukulele and he is going to make me one. arranging things with him is easy and quick (email, and all in one day!). i requested a small headstock with friction pegs to address the concerns raised earlier in this thread.

already too excited to get my hands on it and start playing everywhere my two winged feet will lead me (wish my fret fingers and strumming hand were winged as well).

...uke is the answer!

jong

mm stan
06-12-2010, 04:14 AM
Aloha Whetu,
Many, many thank-you's for the video. My gosh it sounded way better than I expected, then again your uku playing is very good. Are you tuned
in the standard GCEA and I don't think it was pluged in your amp. I wonder how would that sounds like??? Makes me wanna order on right away.
And How much does it weigh??Also I can see it can be used without a strap as you did in the video, is it comfortable without one?How do
you all say thanks in Maori or New Zealand, jus wondering???? Anyways thanks again and "Keep On Vibrating them strings" Uke on!!!MM Stan..

ukulelearp
06-12-2010, 06:34 AM
Almost sounds like a banjo-uke. Cool.

Mim
06-12-2010, 06:51 AM
Love the Uke, Love the Wood Grain, Love the Video... awesome purchase there! So unique, but playable! Neat stuff!

whetu
06-12-2010, 09:45 AM
Wow, what nice comments to wake up to. Everyone that I don't respond to directly: thank you for the kind feedback, I was feeling a little protective about my new baby. I also want to put plenty of smileys throughout this post, but I'm limited to 4 or 5. Just know that I'm a really happy chappy right now. :)


Now my heart aches with want for one of these. Did it come with a drum key for tuning or did you have to scramble around. For some reason I was even thinking of roller skate keys when I saw the pic.

Yup, it comes with a drum key. Disclosure (I guess): Bevan did forget to supply one, but then again as it wasn't actually advertised as part of the package I wasn't expecting one - I thought I'd have to find one myself or use a spanner or something. Bevan emailed me and let me know that he'd forgotten to chuck it in, so he was going to post me one along with some extra beeswax polish. I certainly can't complain about the customer service :)

I will say though, this system does provide for really accurate tuning and there's never going to be any slipping.


Aloha Whetu,
Many, many thank-you's for the video. My gosh it sounded way better than I expected, then again your uku playing is very good.

Aww, thanks - I really was only messing around, I'm self taught for about a year and a half so I don't think I'm that good yet. It's always nice to get positive comments though, I really appreciate it :D


Are you tuned in the standard GCEA and I don't think it was pluged in your amp. I wonder how would that sounds like???

Standard tuning, no amp. It has nice projection and sustain for its size, as you can tell. For reference the recording was done on a Canon Powershot A560 approx 1m/3ft away. I can't wait to see what it sounds like amped too, just have to find an amp first, maybe end of next week (after my next payday)


Makes me wanna order on right away. And How much does it weigh??Also I can see it can be used without a strap as you did in the video, is it comfortable without one? How do you all say thanks in Maori or New Zealand, jus wondering????

According to my kitchen scales, 259g/9.2oz. It's comfortable to use without a strap if you're used to it, though I found switching between some chords a bit tricky e.g. Am to Em or G required a rethink of how I'd normally do that change, normally I'd do with Am with my index finger, strapless I have to do it with my middle finger. In Maori you can say thankyou the same way we say hello: "Kia Ora", and in Kiwi we say "Cheers mate" :)

Swampy Steve
06-13-2010, 06:36 AM
Very nice! , Ill echo what others said,, I m surprised so sweet a tone for such a small body. I bet somebodys going to get a lot of orders . Very swwet playing as well.
Steve

kissing
06-13-2010, 06:44 AM
Hehe, wow, if there was an acoustic version of the Uke-stick!

Tudorp
06-13-2010, 07:14 AM
That is pretty cool. But I got to be honest, I have seen Ukes with no "head" in their design like that, I am afraid I would never get used to that, lol. I am a big guy, and I depend on the head to keep my uke from getting away from me and flying across the room.. lol

nobby8126
06-13-2010, 08:30 AM
I can feel UAS kicking in.

Ron
06-13-2010, 10:09 AM
That's a cracker, Whetu. I'm on my way up to see Capt Uke soon, myself. I've got some wood I wan him to convert into ukulele.

CoLmes
06-13-2010, 10:31 AM
And here's the comparison, Soprano dolphin on the left, (super?)Concert Kala KA-SC on the right

http://www.rawiriblundell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/comparison.jpg

Did you make some sort of strip with the notes of the fretboard under it on your makala?

BeachDog
06-13-2010, 03:49 PM
That is pretty cool. But I got to be honest, I have seen Ukes with no "head" in their design like that, I am afraid I would never get used to that, lol. I am a big guy, and I depend on the head to keep my uke from getting away from me and flying across the room.. lol

I'm not big but I can relate to the whole "flying across the room" thing. Apparently it's a uke thing. The blessed thing keeps sliding around so much I'm wondering if I should play it like the kid who plays the guitar in the movie August Rush. :D

mm stan
06-13-2010, 03:50 PM
Aloha Tudorp,
Did that how the flying Vee guitar got it's name???LOL!!
Keep on Vibrating them strings.....Uke On!!! MM Stan..

whetu
06-13-2010, 04:04 PM
That is pretty cool. But I got to be honest, I have seen Ukes with no "head" in their design like that, I am afraid I would never get used to that, lol. I am a big guy, and I depend on the head to keep my uke from getting away from me and flying across the room.. lol

lol, yeah as I said before there were a couple of times where my hand went flying off the fretboard. It's a little weird without a headstock there to give you a reference point, kinda like getting training wheels taken off your bike for the first time or something. It's like the Manx cat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_%28cat%29) of ukuleles - odd, but you get used to it. jongm earlier in the thread requested a small headstock for his so that normal tuners could be used, so getting one customised isn't out of the question. In retrospect I should have got a small headstock with a bottle opener in it (and then I'd also have a hole so that I could hang it off a hook on the wall) :D


I can feel UAS kicking in.

Give in to the dark side of the uke :D


Did you make some sort of strip with the notes of the fretboard under it on your makala?

Kinda... I stole... errr... borrowed a label printer (https://www.brother-usa.com/Ptouch/Ptouch_HandHeld/) from work and labelled it. It gets trickier the further down the fretboard you get - you'll notice the label is trimmed on the 12th fret for example. There's a closer picture in this thread (http://ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?16291-Turning-guitar-tabs-into-uke-tabs).

BeachDog
06-13-2010, 04:58 PM
Okay. UAS? I know it must relate to uke addiction of some sort but can't quite figure it out. What I DO know is that I think I might have it because I love the photos of everybody's ukes and I want most of them! :D

cocohonk
06-13-2010, 05:24 PM
You're evil, whetu!!

ME. WANT. NOW.

ok, I'll wait til I hear it plugged. Doubt it's going to deter me away from wanting to buy one, but at least that will give me time to really think about it.

Meanwhile:

Was the shipping expensive, seeing it's from NZ?
And...congrats to your new uke. I am so very jealous. :D

P-co
06-13-2010, 05:32 PM
That's a very cool little uke. Can't understand how someone can spend the considerable time to hand make something like that and supply the materials for such a low price. I am about to check the web site and get one sent to the other side of the ditch. Cheers.

mm stan
06-13-2010, 06:17 PM
Aloha P-co,
Shhhhhh, don't spoil it for the rest of us.....LOL!!
I'm sure with all the hype from this site, he might sell out.... first come, last sold!!!!
Anyways was it, the early bird gets the uke...
"Keep on vibrating them strings" Uke ON!!!! MM Stan...

whetu
06-13-2010, 07:17 PM
You're evil, whetu!!

ME. WANT. NOW.

ok, I'll wait til I hear it plugged. Doubt it's going to deter me away from wanting to buy one, but at least that will give me time to really think about it.

Meanwhile:

Was the shipping expensive, seeing it's from NZ?
And...congrats to your new uke. I am so very jealous. :D

Heh, I'll try and find an amp as soon as possible... maybe I can visit the local uke shop, it's just a matter of finding time around work...

p.s. shipping wasn't expensive, as I'm in NZ ;) You could get a rough guideline for shipping costs from here (http://www.nzpost.co.nz/Cultures/en-NZ/Personal/SendingMail/AParcelOverseas/) though. Note that that's indicative and I'm not speaking on behalf of Captain Ukuleles at all :)

jongm
06-13-2010, 08:13 PM
great idea for the headstock whetu... :) but alas, i already requested a 1-inch all-around graphic based on my tattoo (see my avatar).

captain ukulele is great! i have had difficulty trying to find quality ukulele here in the philippines. it seemed i need to have it custom-made and it's quite expensive with nearby local luthiers. in a thread here in uu, aldrine guerrero talks about a lumanog custom for 300usd, now the asking price is closer to 500usd. with such prices i'll never be able to play anything better than the souvenir types that abound here. this why i am very grateful for whetu's post and for bevan of captain ukulele. now i will have a custom quality uke that i can bring everywhere everywhen. and i can afford it! :)

based on my email exchange with bevan, it is obvious that he loves building ukes...

jong

whetu
06-13-2010, 11:58 PM
Okay. UAS? I know it must relate to uke addiction of some sort but can't quite figure it out. What I DO know is that I think I might have it because I love the photos of everybody's ukes and I want most of them! :D

Sounds like a typical case of Ukulele Acquisition Sydrome to me! :D

whetu
06-14-2010, 12:10 AM
with such prices i'll never be able to play anything better than the souvenir types that abound here.

I'm curious - are you able to import from say, Singapore or Jakarta? Some ukes are available out of SG, Jakarta (or Indonesia really) you might be able to get a decent kroncong instrument, they're apparently very close to the Ukulele - same Portugese heritage etc... It might be a matter of throwing on some Ukulele strings, though YMMV etc...

jongm
06-14-2010, 12:38 AM
i was thinking that since i'm going to indonesia this july (i also read that brand ukes outsource there). the kroncong is now apparently a 3-nylon stringed cuk or 4-steel stringed cak. i am not sure i'll be able to play them but i would love to try. however, i will be on a really tight backpacker budget so most probably i'll just look and ache. for a while, there were indonesia-made samick ukuleles in local music stores - they went fast. it might be that ukulele playing is becoming more popular so maybe more imports in the future...

but right now, captain ukulele's backpacker is a great acquisition. i'll bring it with me when i backpack in indonesia...

edit: i read from another thread the mele ukuleles are made in the philippines. i don't see them in manila music stores though. cebu, down south, is famous for it's guitars. maybe the outsourced meles are made there...

mkatz
07-02-2010, 07:11 AM
I just received my backpacker in the mail a short while ago and it is way cool! No problem at all playing it without the headstock. I actually got the twin to the one Whetu got and I can see why he loves it. I have not yet had a chance to plug it in but will report back after I do.

Mitch

mailman
07-02-2010, 10:02 AM
And here's the comparison, Soprano dolphin on the left, (super?)Concert Kala KA-SC on the right

http://www.rawiriblundell.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/comparison.jpg

Just so you know.... The Kala KA-SC is not a super concert. The "S" refers to the Spruce top. I have the same uke, and it's a standard concert scale length. A super concert is a concert sized body with a tenor-scale neck. Love the travel uke, BTW....

whetu
07-04-2010, 09:28 PM
Just so you know.... The Kala KA-SC is not a super concert. The "S" refers to the Spruce top. I have the same uke, and it's a standard concert scale length. A super concert is a concert sized body with a tenor-scale neck. Love the travel uke, BTW....

Thanks for the clarification, but I knew that the S stood for Spruce. I was confused about the scale as the neck feels longer than previous concerts that I've owned :)

whetu
07-04-2010, 09:54 PM
I just received my backpacker in the mail a short while ago and it is way cool! No problem at all playing it without the headstock. I actually got the twin to the one Whetu got and I can see why he loves it. I have not yet had a chance to plug it in but will report back after I do.

Mitch

In this case, I think words are useless. So I offer you this (http://www.ihighfive.com/) :D

happyslappysoong
07-04-2010, 10:17 PM
choice bro (thats what you kiwis say right? lol), reminds me of the Martin travel guitars! How is the volume seeing as it has such a short body?

whetu
07-04-2010, 11:33 PM
choice bro (thats what you kiwis say right? lol), reminds me of the Martin travel guitars! How is the volume seeing as it has such a short body?

lol despite the bad stereotypes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDxQKPBKpKQ), we're not all like that. Okay, maybe a little bit bro (http://www.mrvintage.co.nz/shop/September+Tees/HANDLE+JANDAL+WOS+V-NECK.html) :D

Watch the video for an idea of volume

telebob
07-05-2010, 03:26 AM
An absolutely VeRy CooL uke. Thanks much for all the info and pix you've shared. I'm certain you've convinced a couple few folks to contact the luthier to acqire one of these cute li'l ukes. And I bet it's difficult to put that uke down. Enjoy! :)

mm stan
07-06-2010, 04:08 PM
Aloha Whetu and all UU members who bought the backpacker,
My Backpaker just arrived today and i think it's wonderful and sounds great. Bevan of
Captain ukuleles is a pleasure to do business with and always responds quickly. Very
Accomadating guy.....Check out his website all of you..Captain ukuleles.
I can't believe the clean and loud sound out of this uke!!!!

princesspoppi
07-06-2010, 04:23 PM
it is a beautiful uke! love the NZ timbers, i would love a little piece of home with this uke!
always be a kiwi - princesspoppi

mm stan
07-06-2010, 04:24 PM
Aloha Jong,
My backpacker arrrived today, and it is just wonderful!!I still cannot believe that
the volume and clarity of the sound out of this little thing. I've taken the scale
length under consideration and tried an alternate tuneing, but since every ukulele
varies it may or may not need fine tuneing. Did you receive yours yet????
Try this if you did: F#-30/-40, B-30/-40, D#-40, G# -40/-50....Please let
me know how that sounds to you...
MM Stan..
BTW- What tuning are all of you using??? Let me know.
And Princess: Bevan uses six different NZ woods and their beautiful,
check Whetu's thread..Mines a little different woods but the grain and
contrast is absoutely gorgous!!! The price is really affordable tooo...
Kia Ora.... Cheers..

cocohonk
07-08-2010, 11:26 PM
I have one more question before I take the plunge:

How heavy is it compared to the two ukes you've got (the makala and the kala)?

Thanks! :D

mm stan
07-09-2010, 12:19 AM
Aloha Cocohonk,
it weighs only 9.7 ounces....dynamite sound.....
fun,fun,fun...MM Stan...

whetu
07-11-2010, 01:32 PM
I have one more question before I take the plunge:

How heavy is it compared to the two ukes you've got (the makala and the kala)?

Thanks! :D

It's light as a feather, I did weigh it and put the weight in an earlier post. I find now that after playing on the backpacker, the Kala feels huge. Kind of like when you pick up a guitar after playing the uke for so long, you get that "geez! this thing's a battleship!" feeling :)

jongm
07-19-2010, 01:24 AM
Aloha Jong,
My backpacker arrrived today, and it is just wonderful!!I still cannot believe that
the volume and clarity of the sound out of this little thing. I've taken the scale
length under consideration and tried an alternate tuneing, but since every ukulele
varies it may or may not need fine tuneing. Did you receive yours yet????
Try this if you did: F#-30/-40, B-30/-40, D#-40, G# -40/-50....Please let
me know how that sounds to you...
MM Stan..
BTW- What tuning are all of you using??? Let me know.

aloha mmstan,

sorry it took me so long to reply... i was waiting for my backpacker ukulele with barely suppressed impatience and frustration. this is not bevan's fault. it just that the philippines is so out of the way from everywhere else when it comes to parcels. i think they have to detour to and around the moon before they land in our ports. then the parcels have to gather an inch of dust in our postal warehouses before they are fit for pickup. no delivery or the dust will scatter and that is no good. :) haha.

so finally the notice for me to pickup my backpacker came today. its smaller than i expected. i saw bevan's video. also whetu's. so i should have had an idea. but i imagined them guys as giants dwarfing the uke. haha. i can really bring it anywhere, even with my smallest backpack. and it sounds great. tinier than my current ukulele (concert size) but more musical. my old ukulele sounds stiff in comparison. i have to try it with an amplifier. maybe i'll visit a music store tomorrow.

top is pukatea. multi-colored rewarewa back, mangeao neck, kowhai headstock. puriri sides, fretboard and bridge. these images are from captain ukulele. will post some of mine later:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs097.snc4/36199_411111888918_787968918_4415670_7700300_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs117.snc4/36199_411111893918_787968918_4415671_7159078_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs117.snc4/36199_411111898918_787968918_4415672_7978753_n.jpg

fun to play. i get whetu's claim that other ukes are too big. and this is just from less a day of playing.

jongm
07-19-2010, 01:32 AM
by the way, captain ukulele has a new backpacker uke page (http://captainukuleles.co.nz/backpacker.html) in his website.

lindydanny
07-19-2010, 03:03 AM
Okay, I haven't played uke all that long, but a backpacker? Really? I picked up my first uke because it was so small and I could carry it anywhere...

~DB

mm stan
07-19-2010, 03:58 AM
aloha mmstan,

sorry it took me so long to reply... i was waiting for my backpacker ukulele with barely suppressed impatience and frustration. this is not bevan's fault. it just that the philippines is so out of the way from everywhere else when it comes to parcels. i think they have to detour to and around the moon before they land in our ports. then the parcels have to gather an inch of dust in our postal warehouses before they are fit for pickup. no delivery or the dust will scatter and that is no good. :) haha.

so finally the notice for me to pickup my backpacker came today. its smaller than i expected. i saw bevan's video. also whetu's. so i should have had an idea. but i imagined them guys as giants dwarfing the uke. haha. i can really bring it anywhere, even with my smallest backpack. and it sounds great. tinier than my current ukulele (concert size) but more musical. my old ukulele sounds stiff in comparison. i have to try it with an amplifier. maybe i'll visit a music store tomorrow.

top is pukatea. multi-colored rewarewa back, mangeao neck, kowhai headstock. puriri sides, fretboard and bridge. these images are from captain ukulele. will post some of mine later:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs097.snc4/36199_411111888918_787968918_4415670_7700300_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs117.snc4/36199_411111893918_787968918_4415671_7159078_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs117.snc4/36199_411111898918_787968918_4415672_7978753_n.jpg

fun to play. i get whetu's claim that other ukes are too big. and this is just from less a day of playing.
Aloha JongM,
I'm glad you received your uke and you must be really having fun with it. I see that you got yours
with a headstock. I also notice that you choose quite different woods from me. I have top, tanekaha
back rewarewa, sides puriri, neck mangeao, fretboard rata, and bridge also puriri. I also ordered
from musician's friend a battery clip on portable honey tone amp by Danelectro, honey tone for
$19.95 and a A/C adapter, all together plus shipping for $34.60. It has quite amount of volume.
I hope the you ordered the pick-up with yours...
Isn't the tone so awesome, and Bevan such a accomadating guy..pleasure to do business with.
Please try my tuning and let me know what you think...F#-20/-30, B-40, D#-40, G#-40/-50 and
for a more funky resonance sound try..F#-20/30, B-40, D#-30/-40, G-30....you must be really
excited as I am still..do you notice the thicker fret board and higher saddle that gives it more
volume ans still retain a nice low action. Such a perfect design. I also ordered mine with a
thinner neck for comfort and playability. I've had mine for over three weeks now and still can't
put it down.. Keep me informed and thanks for sharing the pictures. MM Stan...

whetu
07-19-2010, 01:36 PM
Okay, I haven't played uke all that long, but a backpacker? Really? I picked up my first uke because it was so small and I could carry it anywhere...

~DB

Clearly UAS hasn't kicked in for you yet, just give it time ;)

Everyone who sees mine immediately smiles, and they get an even bigger buzz when I freely hand it over and insist that they hold it. It's like a baby without all the mess and noise. When I take it to uke group sessions, I notice my fellow group members eyeballing it and cave in. I'll swap ukes with someone for a song so that they can have a turn, and they always hand it back with a huge grin and nothing but good words about it.

kalmario
07-19-2010, 03:23 PM
must admit i still lusting after a mangeao top soprano. long story about a wife who pulled rank at the final hour.

whetu any chance of whaling by dave dobbyn next time?

Cliff

whetu
07-19-2010, 05:06 PM
whetu any chance of whaling by dave dobbyn next time?

LOL, someone got the Dave Dobbyn reference finally! :D Hold G, pluck away, C and then D. OK, I'll see if I can hunt down a Whaling tab... I did promise putting up a vid with the thing plugged in after all...

Ron
07-19-2010, 07:30 PM
I saw one on Trademe, started saving and Whetu beat me to it! I'll get it though. Woman who jams with us in Nelson has the bouzoele and it is an absolute gem. She has it tunes with a low G.
I susp[ect Capt Uke is about to get a ot of orders.

kalmario
07-19-2010, 11:14 PM
LOL, someone got the Dave Dobbyn reference finally! :D Hold G, pluck away, C and then D. OK, I'll see if I can hunt down a Whaling tab... I did promise putting up a vid with the thing plugged in after all...

nah bro its C chord bass note c string then strum twice/G chord bass note e string then strum/F chord bass note e string then strum.

kalmario
07-19-2010, 11:16 PM
p.s. Whetu, if you can bust out whaling i will man up and bust out some tiki taane. on the makala dolphin reso no less.

Cliff

whetu
07-19-2010, 11:51 PM
nah bro its C chord bass note c string then strum twice/G chord bass note e string then strum/F chord bass note e string then strum.

Interesting... Here's the tab for what I'm playing in the vid (apologies for the spacing, I inherited the G bit and lazily added the C's and D's):



A|--2-22--2-22-------3------0--|
E|------3-----3-3---0------2---|
C|2--2---2-2---2---0---0--2---0|
G|----------------0---0--2---0-|

A|--2-22--2-22-------3------5-|
E|------3-----3-3---0------2--|
C|2--2---2-2---2---0---0--2---|
G|----------------0---0--2----|


I couldn't find a whaling tab, so I've kinda figured this little bit out (kept it two-string simple):


A|-3---3-5-5s7s5-3-2-2-2h3-0-2---|
E|---3-------------------------3-|
C|-------------------------------|
G|-------------------------------|


But I digress :)

lindydanny
07-20-2010, 03:17 AM
I'm not saying it isn't a great looking instrument, nor am I doubting that it plays well. I just have it in my mind that the point of a travel instrument is portability. The ukulele isn't much in the way of hard to travel with in the first place. But, I guess if you really need the extra 1/4" cubic foot of space...

~DB

jongm
07-20-2010, 03:43 AM
I'm not saying it isn't a great looking instrument, nor am I doubting that it plays well. I just have it in my mind that the point of a travel instrument is portability. The ukulele isn't much in the way of hard to travel with in the first place. But, I guess if you really need the extra 1/4" cubic foot of space...

~DB

say you're backpacking... and you're backpacking light: a 20-litre pack and in it will go 2 pairs of shorts, 4 shirts, a light jacket, some toiletries, some food (maybe granola bars, nuts, dried fruits), and a 2-litre water bladder. all good for 2-4 days of trekking or just travelling. in my experience, a soprano will have no space in the backpack. i just prepared my light pack for 3 days out (travel to the foot of a mountain i'll climb, a day just relaxing in a hot-spring resort after, then travel back to the city) and my backpacker ukulele makes space for an extra small towel. :)

also, say you bike to go work at a university and in your messenger bag goes 2-3 books, a netbook, a notebook, an assortment of pens, papers to read and grade, lunch... again in my experience, there isn't going to be any space for a soprano. but my backpacker will fit right in. :)

people live different kinds of lives. to you, a backpacker is ridiculous for an already small instrument. for me it makes sense...

jongm
07-20-2010, 05:28 AM
Aloha JongM,
I'm glad you received your uke and you must be really having fun with it. I see that you got yours
with a headstock. I also notice that you choose quite different woods from me. I have top, tanekaha
back rewarewa, sides puriri, neck mangeao, fretboard rata, and bridge also puriri. I also ordered
from musician's friend a battery clip on portable honey tone amp by Danelectro, honey tone for
$19.95 and a A/C adapter, all together plus shipping for $34.60. It has quite amount of volume.
I hope the you ordered the pick-up with yours...
Isn't the tone so awesome, and Bevan such a accomadating guy..pleasure to do business with.
Please try my tuning and let me know what you think...F#-20/-30, B-40, D#-40, G#-40/-50 and
for a more funky resonance sound try..F#-20/30, B-40, D#-30/-40, G-30....you must be really
excited as I am still..do you notice the thicker fret board and higher saddle that gives it more
volume ans still retain a nice low action. Such a perfect design. I also ordered mine with a
thinner neck for comfort and playability. I've had mine for over three weeks now and still can't
put it down.. Keep me informed and thanks for sharing the pictures. MM Stan...

hi stan. i did get my uke with a pickup. went to a music store today and played it with amplifiers. hahaha, i had fun. the honeytone amp is not available here. would love to have one. i do love the tone. and it seems to get better as i play it more and more. i am new to ukes and i don't have many to compare it with really. i did notice the thicker fretboard and higher saddle but i didn't know why. your are right, the action is just right. thanks for pointing that out. i promised bevan a review but maybe you will do a better job.... i don't have a tuner so i don't know how to tune it precisely similar to yours. i'll see if i can approximate it using online tuners.

here are more pictures:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs084.ash2/37536_419891468918_787968918_4629987_6676067_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs077.snc4/35199_419891578918_787968918_4629988_7274244_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs077.snc4/35199_419891598918_787968918_4629992_4633672_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs037.ash2/35199_419891583918_787968918_4629989_4481984_n.jpg

mm stan
07-20-2010, 09:55 AM
Aloha JongM,
Thanks for your response, as for the thicker fretboard and higher saddle design, I'm sure it's to accomadate the
enhanced volume. I see that you attached an uke string to yours as without it, you have to try and keep your palm
away from the bottom of the strings from muting it. Oh also, in reguards to getting it to my tuning, take it to
the music shop and they should have a digital tuner for you to tune it...it would give you another tuning option..
and you might enjoy it better. Once they tune it for you, you can make slight adjustments by ear. BTW- you
can check out Musician's friend on-line for the Danelectro Honey tone portable amp, and order it with an A/c
adapter so you can play at home without eating up batteries. It's an inexpensive way to have a small amp
to play at home and outside. I paid $34.00 and some change, a really good deal and I am really satisfied.
and about the cloth bag/case...it's kinda tight when new, but as you break it in...it streches out and fits
really good. Congrats on you new ukulele, Captain ukes are awesome and Bevan is really pleasant
doing business with...Take care, until next time ...MM Stan....

mm stan
07-20-2010, 10:14 AM
Aloha Danny,
Just wanted to add, it's not a just unique instrument..it actually plays very well and holds it own. As for
portability, it's a concert scale, but feels way more smaller and lighter than a soprano. If you think a
soprano is portable, you've got to get your hands on this one...less than a pound....Just pick up and play....
It is a well thought of designed instrument, that delivers ....jus awesome.... and so is the price for the
excellent craftsmanship you get..not to mention the various beautiful woods he uses.... MM Stan...

kalmario
07-20-2010, 02:45 PM
But I digress :)

sorry bro read it wrong. those were the chords for whaling that i gave you. it only varies at prior to the chorus from memory. will try your intro at afternoon tea.

was going to get some nz tab going for nz music month but with babies and work audits nothing happened.

kalmario
07-20-2010, 06:52 PM
a|-----3-5-3----------------------------------------]
e|--5---------5----5-3---3-5----------------------]
c|---------------------5---------5-4-5-2-4-0----]
g|-----------------------------------------------------]


second crack not sure if the key is right.

Cliff

Finchiekins the Owl
07-20-2010, 09:19 PM
Ha ha, i got sucked in by this thread.
A sopranino size with headstock and pegs will be making its way to Colorado in the next couple of weeks. I am way excited. Portability isn't a factor with me, although it will make for easy carrying on trips; i just like little ukuleles and these ukes look and sound quality.

Ahnko Honu
07-20-2010, 09:48 PM
Just curious, are the sopranino size less expensive than the soprano? Hmm, I wonder if he'd do one with a regular headstock with friction tuners and a regular style bridge to keep the bottom clean and flat?

jongm
07-20-2010, 10:15 PM
hi ahnko. actually that was my original request. then i changed my mind and asked that the tuners remain at the bottom. i am sure bevan will accomodate the changes that you want...

Finchiekins the Owl
07-20-2010, 10:18 PM
It was the same price, 200NZD, and the headstock with pegs was 20NZD extra. You should ask him about what you want and i'm sure he'll let you know!

mm stan
07-21-2010, 12:50 AM
Aloha Ahnko Honu,
The regular size bevan makes is the concert scale, but it feels like a soprano or smaller. I got mine for $119.00 and with a pick-up for $154.00
I would guess the extra headstock for less than $15.00...You can order it with the woods you like or the way you want it custom. I was lucky
and chose one that he was currently working on so my wait time was about three weeks. I even asked him to make my neck thinner too.
It's a thin body so it can fit in your top desk drawer at work too. You know how it gets when you order a uke and you get sooo excited waiting
for it, and when it arrives you get so stoked and cannot put it down....well it's been three weeks for me and it's still that way...and you
can play quietly too and not bother the rest of the family....LOL Are ya thinkin about one Ahnko??? HMM
BTW- shipping to honolulu is $17.00....so actually the uke without pickup is only $102.00...shipping is included in the above cost already...

mm stan
07-22-2010, 08:41 PM
Aloha,
I have my backpacker uke photo's and testing how to upload them
MM Stan...http://i873.photobucket.com/albums/ab294/hawaii50_photo/001.jpg

mm stan
07-22-2010, 08:51 PM
aloha all,
sending another photo and learning how to upload pictures from photobucket
thanks for patience.....mm stanhttp://s873.photobucket.com/albums/ab294/hawaii50_photo/?action=view&current=002.jpg

mm stan
07-22-2010, 08:59 PM
sorry all, the picture didn't go through... will try again...MM stan..http://i873.photobucket.com/albums/ab294/hawaii50_photo/002.jpg

cocohonk
07-23-2010, 06:21 AM
What a beaut!! Congrats mmstan! How are you liking it? Can I ask what woods were used? (or wait, I'll check the thread, I think you might have mentioned it somewhere)

Thanks to whetu (and everyone else here for their mini reviews and raves) - otherwise I'd never have known about these awesome backpackers - I also gave in to my UAS and got myself one! I opted for pretty much the regular backpacker look with no headstock because I really like the look of the tuning pegs on the bottom style; but I did request a slightly longer neck with 2 more frets. It should be done in a week or so, so I'll post pics when it arrives. Very excited!

p.s. I do hope the regular neck isn't too thick. I didn't think to request a thinner neck since from the pics posted here the neck seems more or less regular thickness, if not on the small size (since the neck is contrasted against the uke itself, which is quite small). Is it?

bt93
07-23-2010, 08:06 AM
how does the pickup sound on these ukes?

mm stan
07-23-2010, 01:37 PM
Aloha All,
I like the tone and with my adjusted tuning 1/2 step lower(check previous thread for tuning)the ukulele sings and the strings
resonates sooo good it almost sounds like mine has an echo/reverb....
When I hooked it up to the honeytone it sounded okay, but when I hooked it up to my Marshell MG 15 DFX it blew
me away....awesome.... MM Stan...
BTW-I haven't seen the regular neck, but I do love my thinner neck...it's so comfortable...and I didn't think of adding
a few frets more making it a super concert...and congrats on your purchase CoCo and betcha can't wait for it too...
I got so excited waiting for mine. Jus can't wait for the pic's to check out that super concert neck.
If you look close at my first picture, You'll notice that the soundboard has a really tight straight grain which I
think improves the sound.

SuzukHammer
07-23-2010, 02:43 PM
I ordered one too and hope to have it in a week or 2.

mm stan
07-24-2010, 01:39 AM
Aloha SuzukHammer,
I betcha can't wait for it eh,,,,,soo excited!!!!
BTW- Kun thai???
MM Stan....

jongm
07-24-2010, 04:35 AM
went backpacking with my backpacker. climbed mount makiling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Makiling) with it shoved in the side mesh pocket of my 20-litre pack. played it a few times during the ascent and then only once at the peak because it started raining. shoved it inside the pack for the trek down.

here's a photo in a los banos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Ba%C3%B1os,_Laguna) hot spring resort beside laguna de bay after the climb:

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs168.snc4/37752_421146853918_787968918_4658042_3905561_n.jpg

the backpacker uke is double fun!

jongm
07-24-2010, 04:36 AM
hi mmstan. tried your tuning of 1/2 step down with an online tuner (http://www.get-tuned.com/ukulele_tuner.php) and it sounds great. relaxed but resonant. mine is already mellow compared to whetu's (in his video). thanks.

mm stan
07-24-2010, 05:08 AM
Aloha JongM,
Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of the beautiful day you had hiking at Los banos hot springs....
And Laguna De Bay is awesome views, jus like a painting...I'm glad also you had the oppertunity to
try my tuning to get a different perspective of the awesome potential of your uke. Everyone has
their own preferences when it comes to tuning, and I always try to find the sweet spot for the
string resonation. I hope you enjoyed it... MM Stan....

SuzukHammer
07-24-2010, 10:37 AM
mm stan.

I am a expat in Bangkok. I just married a Thai lady and trying to get her to play any instrument - ha. I gave her son my Cordoba ukulele, a tuner, and a short instruction booklet in Thai and he loves it and is taking lessons at school. I also gave him Uncle Rod's boot camp chord progression sheets so it will be interesting to see how he progresses. Of all the kids, he is very meticulous about his art; so, I have a feeling his star is gonna shine bright.

Saw some Thai TV tonight where a artist named Lula played uke so who knows? Thais may start showing more of an interest in ukes. I've been happy to hear all the songs I've heard of Thai songs with ukes. Honestly, I haven't heard a bad song when they play uke. Some of their other music is teethrattling sometimes.

Back to the backpacker. I am real jazzed about it. I asked Bev to make me a fret extension nut for converting it to slide uke. We'll see how that goes. I also asked him to mod the end of the fret board to allow clipons (tuner and alligator clips for notes). I'm gonna put the drum key on a special strap I'll make for that uke.

Hey!!! I got a question. How hard is it to tune your backpacker?

Based on expecting my use of my eleuke to plummet, i've been having fun making the eleuke look different - putting an attitude on it. That's fun too. Its solid wood so how can you screw it up with paint, sanding, screws or whatever. solid bodies - what can go wrong? I now know when I want to get nuts, I'll have an instrument that reflects that. One of the practical modifications I am making to the eleuke it is to make sure the wet from rain and sweat don't fry the electrical components. I was reminded of that when jmong talked about rain.

Since the backpacker has a hole, I may look at how I can make sure I can prevent water problems by possibly drilling a few drain holes. I'll ask Bev about that.

mm stan
07-24-2010, 03:19 PM
Aloha Suzukhammer,
A friend of mine who has a website here in hawaii sells ukuleles in bangkok and keeps touch with a music store and a ukulele club there.
The intrest of the ukulele is starting to grow in thailand...check out ribbee on you tube and google ukulele clubs in thailand...My friend is
a member here and frequents browsing...check him out Maysa Hawaii...here and on you tube too.. Miss thailand, it is cool...going to
the resort area's too...Pom loc thaifood, aroi mak, and the poo ying are suway mak!!
As for the backpacker, bevan usually has an area above the nut for clipping on the tuner and I wouldn't suggest putting drain holes
as it would affect the sound..Just cover it up when it rains or put it in a bag of case. And I have no problem tuning it ..as with all
friction tuners, it may take some time fiddleing back and forth. My strings are still breaking in, so I need to adjust them every few
days so they keep in tune pretty good..jus waiting for the strings to settle in. another thing the finish is bees wax..so if you want
to add you own custom designs on it, you should do it before you add the bees wax, which bevan includes with a drum key to tune
the tuners. I have a feeling that you're as excited as I was waiting for mine, don't worry it should be coming pretty soon...

SuzukHammer
07-24-2010, 04:47 PM
Thanks MM Stan. I bought my eleuke from ribbee. I am always looking for reasons to go back; however, they say they are out of stock. Ribbee held a local event recently and it sounds like they sold out of their stock. Some new stock from AnueNue coming in the end of this week; so, If I am here, I'm gonna go take a look. I also want to hang out at their future workshops and payfests. Get the suay ladies to come, why not?

I also may go check out the shop in Singapore. Hell, maybe I'll call them to make sure they are still up and running and with stock.

I was thinking. Yes, you could be right about no drain holes but it rains here alot and I don't know who the electronics behave with water. I sweat a ton as well and I need to make sure my salty dielectric fluid doesn't mess it up.

I wanted extra space for more than one clip on because I will be using alligator clips wo have my notes handy. I am very excited about the arrival.

mackie
07-24-2010, 05:23 PM
aloha mmstan,

sorry it took me so long to reply... i was waiting for my backpacker ukulele with barely suppressed impatience and frustration. this is not bevan's fault. it just that the philippines is so out of the way from everywhere else when it comes to parcels. i think they have to detour to and around the moon before they land in our ports. then the parcels have to gather an inch of dust in our postal warehouses before they are fit for pickup. no delivery or the dust will scatter and that is no good. :) haha..

It's nice to know that a lot more people from the Philippines are getting in to the ukulele.

whetu
07-25-2010, 02:53 PM
Hey!!! I got a question. How hard is it to tune your backpacker?

I find with my tuners that they will jump a little when tightening, but you can get really good control easing back down. Once your strings are broken in though, they hold strong and true :)

jongm
07-25-2010, 06:30 PM
but it rains here alot...

:) six months (sometimes more) a year! whetu, this thread's starter, expressed interest on how new zealand woods will hold out in wet weather. we'll see... but you can invest in water-proofed bags. i use a dry bag (usually the bag of choice for water sports) with backpack straps. really useful during the rainy season. and for going to the beach during summer. it keeps everything dry inside.

by the way, for uu members with backpackers, i remove about 2-3 millimeters from the tip of the drum key with a hacksaw to expose the part that grips the tuner pegs when tuning. no more slipping. still, bevan is sending replacement pegs...

jongm
07-25-2010, 06:37 PM
It's nice to know that a lot more people from the Philippines are getting in to the ukulele.

oo nga! me and another uu member from manila, black_dahlia, are thinking of getting together sometime...

whetu
07-25-2010, 07:08 PM
whetu, this thread's starter, expressed interest on how new zealand woods will hold out in wet weather.

Well, it was more an interest in different climates, but you're right. NZ is a mostly temperate country, I was interested in how they'd hold out in tropical countries, specifically. The progenitor of this line of ukes should be kicking around in a Meditteranean clime, for example :)

jongm
07-25-2010, 08:08 PM
posted a review of my backpacker uke here (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?33545-a-go-anywhere-ukulele!). :)

mm stan
07-25-2010, 09:12 PM
Aloha JongM,
Thanks for the update and review. Glad to hear that you're having as much fun as I am with the backpacker. I am having that same problem with the
stings digging into the bottom of the soundboard. You say that you just sanded down the bottom edge and rounded it, It sounds like a quick and easy fix. check out my first picture.
Only the C and A strings. As for my tuning key, when I got it, it was tight and as i used it, it became worn and loose. I think I'll just go and buy a better one as they are
really inexpensive...$2.00 here. maybe a better and harder metel one I'll look for. As for the the bag, did you get one yet? You could have one
custom made for you by a taylor out of two layers of nice thick vinyl and sandwiched inbetween with foam for protection and add a strap or
handle for carrying it. Man these backpackers are really Fun Fun and Fun!!!. MM Stan..Keep strumming them strings!! Until next time, take care...

mackie
07-25-2010, 09:22 PM
oo nga! me and another uu member from manila, black_dahlia, are thinking of getting together sometime...

Sali ako!! Let's jam!

farmerboy
07-25-2010, 10:04 PM
very nice uke. Sounds amazingly good for the size of it. Do you know what pickup he's put in it for you?

Sorry I'm an idiot - just looked on the website and it says the're artec. I've not had much truck with artecs in the past, but sounds good on this one...

jongm
07-25-2010, 11:47 PM
@mmstan: the strings will still dig in a bit but less than before. they will also partly rest on the puriri side/bottom, which is a harder kind of wood, i think. i guess we should pay attention to use the same grooves when next we string our ukes. for those ordering from bevan, maybe they can request a binding of hardwood or plastic just on that part to solve the problem. good idea about the bag. i'm thinking the fabric they use on umbrellas as outer-shell for the bag to make it a little water resistant (water will still get into the seam) and then a soft fabric as lining. mine got a little wet when it suddenly rained while playing it during my climb. water discolors the finish. but nothing a dab of beeswax and light polishing wouldn't fix.

@mackie: alrayt, sige. will pm you when i arrange a time and place with black_dahlia...

jongm
07-25-2010, 11:56 PM
very nice uke. Sounds amazingly good for the size of it. Do you know what pickup he's put in it for you?

Sorry I'm an idiot - just looked on the website and it says the're artec. I've not had much truck with artecs in the past, but sounds good on this one...

actually whetu played it with the pickup unplugged in the video. mmstan bought a portable amplifier for his and says he loves the sound. no one posted a video of the uke amplified yet. i tried my uke's pickup in a music store and it sounded great... to me. a caveat because i have little experience with amplified sounds.

mm stan
07-26-2010, 12:00 AM
Aloha JongM,
I suggested it to Bevan already a few weeks ago and he said he would try it..add a darkwood binding going across so the strings
would not go with the grain...hence cuting into them. I was talking about the thick vinyl used in boat upholstry for added cushion
and protection..maybe the way to go!!also I was thinking about a strap or handle for carrying and velcro for flap to open and close
it. By the way, I haven't put on my beeswax finish as of yet...jus worried that it would jeopardize the sound and tone....what have
you experienced with that? Many thanks, MM Stan...

whetu
07-26-2010, 02:03 PM
actually whetu played it with the pickup unplugged in the video. mmstan bought a portable amplifier for his and says he loves the sound. no one posted a video of the uke amplified yet. i tried my uke's pickup in a music store and it sounded great... to me. a caveat because i have little experience with amplified sounds.

I'll try to get a video up tonight, I haven't decided on anything to play so it might just be another video of me messing about. I currently have a borrowed amp (a really cheap Chinese job) and one cable, so what I can display is limited... The short version though is it sounds just as good, just... louder :)

whetu
07-27-2010, 01:22 AM
I'll try to get a video up tonight, I haven't decided on anything to play so it might just be another video of me messing about. I currently have a borrowed amp (a really cheap Chinese job) and one cable, so what I can display is limited... The short version though is it sounds just as good, just... louder :)

OK, apologies in advance for the video quality. It's my birthday, I'd just got home from work, I had limited time before going out with the girlfriend for dinner...

Using the Smoke On the Water riff as a demonstration.

First, plugged in with the amp switched off.
Then the amp is switched on, with the tuning to 6/10 treble, 5/10 mid and 5/10 bass
Then finally with the tuning to 1/10 treble, 5/10 mid, 5/10 bass (freestyle lead in)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXmZvvTAcUg

The reason for cranking the treble right down is because there's an annoying (to me, at least) reverb that you can hear. You'll also notice that I have a strap, and the drumkey is strung off that :)

I did record more, but it's getting late, so I'll edit some more footage tomorrow.

/edit: OK, just a quick snippet. I posted a tab earlier for the riff of Dave Dobbyn's "Whaling", here's what it sounds like - fast, slow, up close and with a mistake! Using the dulled treble amp tuning. Damned camera mic loves to pick up my breathing, I swear it's not that heavy!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB9bWfVmDdg

whetu
07-27-2010, 01:39 AM
@ mm stan. I finally saw the pics of yours a couple of pages back (most image hosting sites are blocked at work, showing nothing in the thread where pictures should be :( ), all I can say is - what a beaut! :)

ukulele2544
07-27-2010, 01:41 AM
Thats an interesting looking uke! cool!

eyesmalone
07-27-2010, 04:40 AM
Well - You've all convinced me...the email has been sent to Captain Ukulele and the process has begun. At some point I will have a lovely little Backpackin' Uke. Thanks for all the great posts and video's! Will get back to you with an update and pics when it all happens. UAS has well and truly taken over...and why would I even try to fight it!

jongm
07-27-2010, 05:27 AM
@whetu: thanks for the videos pare (the equivalent of "bro" in filipino). and happy birthday! :)

@eyesmalone: congratulations on your soon to be uke!

@mmstan: the seams of my uke bag are unraveling. i guess i need to have a new one made soon. probably the same simple design but different material. i use my uke strap to carry it with the bag (see pics on page 7). i just remove the part that goes over the headstock, put the bag over it and then put the strap back on. presto!

mm stan
07-27-2010, 04:37 PM
Aloha Whetu,
Thanks for sharing the awesome videos, enjoyed it very much...and the cool comments on my backpacker.....
Aloha JongM,
Sounds like the way to go with the bag, any pics ....thanks for sharing too..
MM Stan..
P.S. sorry for the late response, internet was down over here...and link particially working....

Harper
07-27-2010, 06:18 PM
Oh man, that is the sweetest backpacker uke I've ever seen. I think that Captain Ukulele might have just found himself another customer!

mm stan
07-27-2010, 06:22 PM
Aloha Harper,
Bevan of Captain Ukes is a very accomadating guy who responds very quickly, very good to do business with and an awesome product!!

cocohonk
08-04-2010, 09:32 AM
Oh, neato! Thanks for the videos, whetu! You're a great player! And the uke sounds pretty great amped too.

I can't wait til mine arrives! :D

Finchiekins the Owl
08-04-2010, 10:25 PM
Mine arrived today! It's a sopranino size, here between a soprano and a concert uke
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u132/DSG110/DSC04122.jpg

I really like how the neck and headstock look oversized for the tiny body. It makes the already cute ukulele go way past super adorable, like a kitten with a big head and stumpy legs.

I opted for friction tuners, just because i like friction tuners and wanted a headstock that said the make.

http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u132/DSG110/DSC04123.jpg

It's way quiet, but has a very unique sound. Now i just need a good amp. My roommate's doesn't work for it unless you turn the harshnoisescream switch on. Then it sounds pretty bad-ass. If i didn't have to worry about the neighbors i would crank it up and record a perfectly horrible song to post.

Bevan was great throughout the whole process, updating me with pictures. The turnaround was extremely fast, and he gave me the backstory about the woods used in the uke when i asked.
I'll try to get some pictures next to the pocket uke tomorrow. I think it's a tiny bit taller!

cocohonk
08-05-2010, 09:50 AM
Congrats Finchiekins! Mine arrived today too, and I think I have the same top wood (spalted tawa) as you! (see pics below).

Here's what I think so far:
I'm really loving how it sounds and how different it sounds compared with my other ukes, though I haven't tried it on an amp yet (I have a small amp, but no preamp. Tried plugging in just to see, but no sound at all. Heh. I guess I need to try it with a preamp.) It's not a 'loud' uke per say, but considering the size, it packs a surprisingly mean punch. In short, it sounds adorable.

Also? It looks seriously adorable. It's teeny tiny and less thick than a normal uke, so I imagine it would be much more travel friendly than a regular soprano uke. Basically, for me, it's a only a tad larger than my arm (and the length is a little longer than from my elbow to the tip of my fingers). But anyway, it's a very, very cute size.

There are just a few slight small imperfections - three I can see so far (mostly just little nicks - have to see if I can smooth those out with sandpaper or something) - but on the whole, very nice and well made. Bevan did a great job with the wood choice and the construction, and the end result is one sweet looking uke. I'm definitely curious as to see how this uke will age with time and use. The cool looking tuning pegs on the bottom seem to hold the strings well and are much easier to tune than expected (I didn't experience any problems with the key as mmstan did). And as mentioned, he's also quick to respond in emails and always addresses concerns or any changes you might have/want. All in all, as my first 'custom' ukulele experience, a most pleasant one, and kudos to him getting more business from all over the world.

Anyway, picture time! Lots.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14946
The backpacker, which came with a cloth bag, a little card detailing the woods used, a tune key, and some beeswax. Oh and a piece of string as a makeshift strap.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14948
The 14 fret concert neck, made of Puriri. Will have to get used to the 9th fret being dotted than the 10th, but other wise does its job. The intonation is pretty spot on.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14950
Spalted tawa top. Love it!

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14947
The pegs, the pickup, and the strap buckle.

cocohonk
08-05-2010, 09:51 AM
And two more pics (can't post more than 4 img per post) Btw, much apologies for the size of the pics. Didn't have a chance to size them correctly.)

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14949
The neck. Also spalted Tawa.

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=14951
The back is Rewarewa, which really is intriguing to look at in person. It has a almost pinkish tone to the pattern. The sides of the uke are Pukatea.

mm stan
08-05-2010, 10:24 AM
Aloha Finchiekins the owl and Coco honk,
Congrats on the arrivals of your backpackers.....I'm sure you got excited when they arrived!!
thanks for sharing the pictures of your beauties...Check out posting #46 on this thread, I
have listed an adjusted tuning ..I/2 step lower which makes the backpacker sing.....let
me know what you think...
CoCo Honk, You've got the same beautiful backboard as me, and did you get the free
string for a strap....shucks I didn't get one!!!
Get a Honeytone amp and a/c adapter from musician friend for$34.00 plus shipping...
also they have a mandolin strap for $9.99... Have Fun! and "Keep strumming them strings"
MM Stan..
I've noticed that you have different strings other than Aquilla's on, did you order different
one and what kind are they??

whetu
08-05-2010, 12:48 PM
:love: that backpacker is beautiful! The spalted Tawa is an amazing look, I hope she sounds good :)

jongm
08-05-2010, 02:04 PM
enjoy your backpackers finchiekins the owl and cocohonk! if you play them all the time they will get louder. or you get used to the sound. :) they really sound sweet.

i wish we can get together and compare the sounds of the different tops. the next best thing is to post sound samples, as is and amplified. maybe in this thread. or a new one just for the samples. whetu has them in the beginning and middle of this thread. i have one unamplified sample in a review i posted in the ukulele review section.

i am curious about the strings... did anyone already try other strings on the backpacker? how does it sound? there is a dearth of good strings here in manila but i'll get my hands on worth clears soon from a fellow uu member. will post another sound sample once i get them on the uke.

Finchiekins the Owl
08-05-2010, 07:08 PM
Looks great, cocohonk!

mm stan- I actually tuned mine up a bit because it's smaller, but it sounds really nice!
jongm is right, the sound seems to have improved after only a day of the strings settling, or maybe i'm just imagining it. It has a very sweet resonant sound, especially for having such a tiny body.
I'd like to try the Ko'olau Alohi strings on this, and probably will next time i order new strings.

SuzukHammer
08-06-2010, 12:14 AM
Fantastic. I think I'll get mine next week.

MaysaHawaii
08-17-2010, 11:59 PM
I borrowed this one from mm Stan. I'm waiting for mine to arrive. My son just LOVES it. I think I finally find the ukulele that both me and my one-year old boy can play.

15425
15426
15424

mm stan
08-18-2010, 01:32 AM
I borrowed this one from mm Stan. I'm waiting for mine to arrive. My son just LOVES it. I think I finally find the ukulele that both me and my one-year old boy can play.

15425
15426
15424
That's some awesome pictures of your son with the backpacker, nice momentos for when
he's grown...wish I had some of when I was young with my islander.....thanks for sharing..
Looks like he's enjoying himself!!! I'm sooo glad you've shared the pictures.......MM Stan..

SimonAlojipan
08-27-2010, 04:18 PM
Woah! That is beautiful :) I'd like to buy one. It looks difficult to hold, though, but it is rather pretty.

darrendiablo
12-01-2011, 02:30 AM
a cracking looking uke i must say :)
now has asnyone from the uk bought one of these and if so how much does it cost altogether with postage?
really tempted for a chrissy present to myself :)
daz

Ambient Doughnut
12-01-2011, 12:22 PM
I Love this - it looks and sounds brilliant and the history behind the wood just sweetens the deal!

Pete Beardsley
12-18-2011, 11:29 AM
I am absolutely blown away by that rewarewa wood. Its fantastic.
Does anyone know anything about the tuners on the Captain backpackers? Are they drum tuners or something bespoke? I can't find any details about them anywhere.

mm stan
12-18-2011, 12:02 PM
I am absolutely blown away by that rewarewa wood. Its fantastic.
Does anyone know anything about the tuners on the Captain backpackers? Are they drum tuners or something bespoke? I can't find any details about them anywhere.
Yes you have a drum key to adust the tuners..I got one of the first ones...woo hoo.. you wouldn't believe the sound and tone for this small instrument...AWESOME

Pete Beardsley
12-19-2011, 03:53 AM
Thanks Stan. It still boggles my mind that a full concert scale ukulele can be made in a shorter overall length than a soprano!
Anyone know where I could obtain the tuners from? They would be mighty handy.
Cheers all.

Shakespeare
12-19-2011, 05:09 AM
It looks cool but I have to question the need for a travel uke. Surely a soprano uke is travel-sized enough?

Drew Bear
12-19-2011, 06:25 AM
It looks cool but I have to question the need for a travel uke. Surely a soprano uke is travel-sized enough?
The name "Backpacker" really says it all. Visit a few backpacking forums and see what folks go through to reduce pack weight by ounces. Besides, since when has "need" ever been a reason for buying another uke? :)

ukudaily.co.uk
12-19-2011, 11:37 AM
absolutely love it, if I travelled more it would be a must, does it sound nice?

mm stan
12-19-2011, 11:41 AM
It is not only for traveling...great for playing at nights..has enough volume, but quiet enough not to bother others....also the concert scale, at that size makes it fun...intonation and build Quality
perfect...
@shiftysquirrel....you can contact Bevan at Captain Ukes. check out his website...

vetcvm
12-19-2011, 01:13 PM
these Ukes are sweet! gonna travel to thailand next month, i saw there is a store in bangkok that sells them, deffinitely gonna check it out!

Pete Beardsley
12-19-2011, 10:55 PM
@shiftysquirrel....you can contact Bevan at Captain Ukes. check out his website...

Thanks Stan, I had thought about contacting Bevan, I just thought it was a bit cheeky though: "Hi there, I don't want to buy a uke from you, but can you tell me where to source the parts from?!" :D
I would actually love to buy a Captain backpacker, the woods used are sublime, it is just the age old cash problem that stops me!

mm stan
12-20-2011, 12:51 AM
these Ukes are sweet! gonna travel to thailand next month, i saw there is a store in bangkok that sells them, deffinitely gonna check it out!
You must mean Baan Ukulele...and my friend Peng...he has a You tube video with my backpaker...tell him Stan Says Hi...he he

vetcvm
12-21-2011, 06:12 AM
You must mean Baan Ukulele...and my friend Peng...he has a You tube video with my backpaker...tell him Stan Says Hi...he he

yes this is the place, will do!
do you happen to know their address? there are like 10 different addresses on their website...

mm stan
12-21-2011, 08:48 AM
I used to...Have to look around for it...I think it is in the Fortune Hotel.. can't Remember the road...Tell Peng Stan said Hi when you go there...thanks..
PM Suzukhammer..AKA Frank...He lives in bangkok and has been there..

darrendiablo
03-04-2012, 02:11 AM
well i just thought i would revive this thread by saying that i have just ordered my backpacker :) (he was too busy rebulding his shed all summer so has mailed me to tell me hes back up and runnign :) )
i had a choice of woods but not knowign really what the sound differences are i went for the spalted tawa on looks alone :)
gettin a bit excited already and i doubt he has even had time to read my mail :) this being my first uke purchase that i have had since my first ever uke
happy days ahead i hope
daz

kaizersoza
03-04-2012, 09:34 AM
congratulations Mr Diablo, hope you bring it along for me to try when you get it...................;)

imperialbari
03-04-2012, 04:33 PM
Very interesting!

Thanks for reviving this thread!

Klaus

koa
03-06-2012, 02:02 PM
It looks cool but I have to question the need for a travel uke. Surely a soprano uke is travel-sized enough?

Past few seasons have been packing the KoAlana soprano inside the carry-on bag. Don't travel with checked luggage. After packing the uke, windsurf harness, helmet(one too many concussions), water purifier kit, camera gear(travel tripod, but still bulky) there is minimal room for much else. The Backpacker should allow for an additional T & board short. For tramping, the body of the Backpacker looks small enough to slip into the side pocket of the Aarn, a great pack company from NZ. A diy silnylon bag for moisture protection + the uke would add no more than 0.3kg to the load. Just need to remember when dropping the pack to avoid crushing the Backpacker. Thought I was through acquiring ukes. This little 'ukulele has got me thinking time to retire the KoAlana. Thanks everyone for the video/audio clips and reviews.

Couloirman
03-08-2012, 02:46 AM
Just ordered a backpacker! They look amazing.

Olarte
03-08-2012, 04:24 AM
I Just sent an e-mail to see about getting one like this one, in a Concert scale :)

I assume "the Captain" is a member here at uu? I'm anxiously waiting to see when I can get one of these puppies.



Mine arrived today! It's a sopranino size, here between a soprano and a concert uke
http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u132/DSG110/DSC04122.jpg

I really like how the neck and headstock look oversized for the tiny body. It makes the already cute ukulele go way past super adorable, like a kitten with a big head and stumpy legs.

I opted for friction tuners, just because i like friction tuners and wanted a headstock that said the make.

http://i167.photobucket.com/albums/u132/DSG110/DSC04123.jpg

It's way quiet, but has a very unique sound. Now i just need a good amp. My roommate's doesn't work for it unless you turn the harshnoisescream switch on. Then it sounds pretty bad-ass. If i didn't have to worry about the neighbors i would crank it up and record a perfectly horrible song to post.

Bevan was great throughout the whole process, updating me with pictures. The turnaround was extremely fast, and he gave me the backstory about the woods used in the uke when i asked.
I'll try to get some pictures next to the pocket uke tomorrow. I think it's a tiny bit taller!

PixieB-C
04-29-2012, 06:09 AM
Just went to Captain Uke - backpacker is no longer available :(, i wanted to order one too!

Oh well, I'll have to keep on looking. I am spending so much time travelling at the moment - this would have been ideal!

Well done to lucky folks who have theirs