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View Full Version : Tell me about Bruko



Futch
07-03-2008, 12:16 PM
Hey there!

Ive been playing a cheap soprano, a Tanglewood (I belive it is exactly the same as the lanikai equivelent, made in the same place and simply badged differently) for a while now and am looking to get something a little nicer.

My current instrument is all laminate whoknowswhatwood, i would like to get something with at least a solid top.

Other Uk based members will be aware of the situation of Ukulele shops in the Uk, as in the distinct lack of. Those that do exist are rather too far away to visit really.

Ideally i would like a nice kiwaya, but having recently arranged a trip to see Tom Waits in Edinburgh i can't afford to splash out too much.

I recently discovered Bruko, i had no idea they existed before, despite tireless Uke research for the last few months.

Bruko seem almost too good to be true: made in Europe, Solid woods, great price. It makes me wonder, whats the catch?

Anyone own one or have experience with the brand?

Sorry for the awfully long post :$

WS64
07-03-2008, 12:42 PM
I own three Brükos (well, they are made in Germany, so they are easily available here).

Here's a custom made long neck: http://youtube.com/watch?v=RbAcc_xMMtM
A flat No1: http://youtube.com/watch?v=MVtxwR6Lh-4
And finally a classic No4: http://youtube.com/watch?v=IPCOqdznH6I

These ukes are for sure worth the money!

Futch
07-03-2008, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the response. Great videos, it was actually on youtube that i found out about Bruko.

I take it then that there is no "catch", and that bruko are simply a good product at a good price?

Luke

UkeNinja
07-03-2008, 01:08 PM
Do a search on youtube for Bruko or actually Brueko and you will find quite a few players. I am also amazed at the nice sound but more than that, the low price. Besides WS64's smooth playing, check out youtube user rawuke's arrangements as well. All Brueko ukes.

Ken Middleton
07-03-2008, 01:35 PM
I had one for a couple of weeks and then sold it on eBay. Mine was a custom tenor: spruce top, rosewood back and sides. A really nice looking instrument. Also, beautifully made. So far, so good.

However, my only gripe is that the sound was a little thin. I describe it as brittle. having said that, it was well balanced and crystal clear. The sound I was looking for was the Hawaiian koa mellowness. I bought a Kanile'a.

I am now seriously considering getting another Bruko. I wish I hadn't sold it. Its not that the sound was less good than an Hawaiian uke, it is just different.

Have a listen to these two videos that I recorded on the Bruko. Please leave a comment.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=3Nj5OUXHj4Q

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=542ZssEcFgA

Compare the sound with my other instruments. A koa tenor here

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=B2iAWborJY8

And a mahogany tenor here

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=YhF6j7UqRJo

Hope this helps

KEN

Futch
07-03-2008, 02:00 PM
Thanks Ken

I have been a keen follower of your videos for a while, although i have only recently signed up for my own account (a little slow with these things!). It was you in fact who stoked my desire for a Kiwaya. Wish i could afford one right now, but having just graduated i simply can't. One day though...

Bruko seems a good 'stopgap', though i hesitate to use that word as Im sure they are fine instruments, but not the kiwaya i have my heart set upon if you know what i mean.

robert1325
07-04-2008, 06:11 AM
Hey ,

I recently acquired a second-hand soprano bruko, it has a very loud and melancholic tone which is perfect for strumming and having fun!

The ohana does surpass it for practising and finger picking with its fuller mellower tone. And there's a difference in build quality.

But if you're looking for a healthy energetic strummer the nr6 bruko is really nice:music:

Robert

UkeNinja
07-04-2008, 06:54 AM
Could you be more specific about the build quality and other aspects of these ukes, perhaps even in the review section of UU? The Bruekos are not very mainstream, but good stories roam the internets. Please share more of your impressions with the community.

Aren't Bruekos handmade? If yes, why are they so easy on the budget?

Futch
07-04-2008, 07:14 AM
Aren't Bruekos handmade? If yes, why are they so easy on the budget?

This confuses me too! Hand made in europe yet cheaper than many factory Ukes from China..... How?

Plainsong
07-04-2008, 08:10 AM
I still haven't managed to get my hand on a Brüko, even with as many people who have them here in the local uke network. Someone in the club called the Volkswagen of ukuleles. They're really great, solid, high quality, reliable, playable, uke that you can't go wrong with.

One day, I'm gonna get one, I just wish they made a slimline concert.

Witters
07-04-2008, 09:17 AM
I have one and I don't particularly like it. It sounds clanky, thin, sorry I can't explain it properly, but not to my taste.

It is however the all maple one which after using mahogany could explain it.

WS64
07-04-2008, 11:10 AM
I just wish they made a slimline concert.

They do. You just have to ask them.
This one here is a slim longneck soprano (concert neck on a flat soprano body).
http://ws64.com/Pictures/Instruments/Pix/buekoconcert2.jpg
I've seen a slim concert too on one of the last German meetings.
They build everything you want.

raindog
07-05-2008, 07:33 AM
Ideally i would like a nice kiwaya, but having recently arranged a trip to see Tom Waits in Edinburgh i can't afford to splash out too much.

:eek: You're gonna see TOM?!? Damn I'm jealous. How about a review after the concert? Damn damn damn I'm jealous...

Plainsong
07-05-2008, 09:48 AM
I know Brüko does really crazy affordable custom stuff, but I was looking more at instant gratification. I do like that thin concert though, "ears" and all. :D

Futch
07-06-2008, 06:29 AM
:eek: You're gonna see TOM?!? Damn I'm jealous. How about a review after the concert? Damn damn damn I'm jealous...

Yep, gonna see Tom alright. As soon as the tour was announced I knew i had to get to one of the shows. Edinburgh is a long way to go for a gig (I live in the south of England), but was the closest available.

As you have asked I will most certainly post a review afterwards. Im sooo excited!

raindog
07-06-2008, 08:38 AM
Yep, gonna see Tom alright. As soon as the tour was announced I knew i had to get to one of the shows. Edinburgh is a long way to go for a gig (I live in the south of England), but was the closest available.

As you have asked I will most certainly post a review afterwards. Im sooo excited!

Awesome! You're gonna have a blast, so it's well worth the long trip.

I just read this "interview" with Tom (he's really interviewing himself) you might enjoy; it's vintage Waits: http://www.antilabelblog.com/?p=288

fergs1
01-16-2009, 04:55 AM
Greetings ws64, may I ask what that concert necked flat soprano bodied maple number set you back, beutiful grain on that one. thanks in advance
cheers fergs

coolkayaker1
12-28-2012, 09:16 AM
I agree with what Ken M. wrote--Brukos are so unique in their sound. They are different. Not bad different, just different. Different is good. Take it from a guy with closet full of koa ukes.

ChrisRCovington
12-28-2012, 09:45 AM
I love my Bruko ukuleles. For the price they are better than anything I've seen out of China to date!

Ben_H
12-28-2012, 10:24 AM
Hey there!

Ive been playing a cheap soprano, a Tanglewood (I belive it is exactly the same as the lanikai equivelent, made in the same place and simply badged differently) for a while now and am looking to get something a little nicer.

My current instrument is all laminate whoknowswhatwood, i would like to get something with at least a solid top.

Other Uk based members will be aware of the situation of Ukulele shops in the Uk, as in the distinct lack of. Those that do exist are rather too far away to visit really.

Ideally i would like a nice kiwaya, but having recently arranged a trip to see Tom Waits in Edinburgh i can't afford to splash out too much.

I recently discovered Bruko, i had no idea they existed before, despite tireless Uke research for the last few months.

Bruko seem almost too good to be true: made in Europe, Solid woods, great price. It makes me wonder, whats the catch?

Anyone own one or have experience with the brand?

Sorry for the awfully long post :$

The Bruko no6 I tried out didn't do it for me.

There are a some English luthiers making sopranos from UK grown woods at prices that might surprise you. They will be more expensive than the bruko for sure, but not enormously so and you'll be supporting UK talent and UK timber.

Have a look here: www.ukulian.com and here: http://www.stuartlongridge.co.uk/Welcome.html and if you like what you see then ask for a quote. I can vouch for Stuart's skills, I have one of his sopranos. I'm waiting on an instrument from Ian but have heard very good things.

bazmaz
12-28-2012, 11:33 PM
No real catch, great ukes at sensible prices.

http://www.gotaukulele.com/2012/05/bruko-no6-soprano-ukulele-review.html?m=1

coolkayaker1
12-29-2012, 05:56 AM
Bazmaz, I enjoyed your Bruko review.

Perhaps they are less frequent in the USA, but here they are sort of a catch. I'm not saying they're Collings. I'm just saying they are fairly uncommon, and as Mr Covington states, I've not seen a China made uke even in the same ballpark as Bruko for build quality.

ChrisRCovington
12-29-2012, 12:47 PM
I would say Mr. Covington is my dad, but then he would say that Mr. Covington is HIS dad. So really Mr. Covington has been dead since 1978. :)

coolkayaker1
12-30-2012, 05:04 AM
I would say Mr. Covington is my dad, but then he would say that Mr. Covington is HIS dad. So really Mr. Covington has been dead since 1978. :)
Thank you, Christopher. Lol

Hey, man, I notice two Brukos in your signature. I'm getting a no. 6, should be here any day. I avoided the black one just bc of the lack of fret dots. Did you paint some on, or do you just have a cat-like sense of spatial relations? Honestly, I love that look but, I'd die without dots. I die with dots, though, too, now that I think of it.

ChrisRCovington
12-30-2012, 05:53 AM
I love the black flat Bruko. It has a great sound, being all maple. I use it as a strumming ukulele. I don't do much finger picking with it because of the dots (or lack there of). I might pick some songs where I keep my hands on the first few frets. It isn't bad there. If I go beyond the 5th fret though I'm in trouble. I don't see why you can't paint some on or even have a luthier install some. If I want to finger pick with a Bruko I just use the 6 though. I can't wait to see a review of your new No. 6!

NoahOathKeeper
12-30-2012, 10:48 AM
I have a vintage one 1950's and it sounds ok but would sound a world better with a rosewood bridge , bone saddle and nut

13down
04-04-2013, 12:26 PM
I've figured out the "catch" to Bruko and it is not a big one.

One of the best maxims I've ever heard is that nothing can be fast, cheap and good, and if something is two of those things, it can't be the third.

In Bruko's case, they are cheap and good and as a result they are not fast. It takes them a while to make the ukes and it takes them a while to respond to your emails. But if they're also cheap and good... can you really complain?

connor013
04-04-2013, 01:00 PM
I'm happy to see any Bruko thread revived.

They sound different, for sure, but I still think they're the best value out there. My flat maple is good, but my spruce/walnut is great. It probably sees the most playing time of any of my ukes.

Hippie Dribble
04-04-2013, 01:08 PM
Same here Connor. I was fortunate enough to grab a lovely little cherry soprano when it came up for sale last week.

Superbly built ukes with a unique voice and at a price that is such great value. I love em to bits. They had some absolutely stunning special models up last week, most have gone but there are a few rippers still there.

If I could change one thing about Brukos, and it's a minor thing, then I would ask them to make some small adjustments to the action on their set-ups; it's always a little high for me at the 12th fret....but nothing that can't be adjusted relatively easily.

Bill Mc
04-04-2013, 01:57 PM
I own four soprano Brükos, a number 6, a maple flat, a custom maple/walnut fingerboard, custom cherry/solid maple fingerboard. The latter sopranos both have arched backs. The sound from all these ukuleles is pleasing to me all charactericterized by a slight variation on the Brüko "old timey" sound. Each instrument is a solid little gem with flawless craftsmanship at an unbelievable price point. But I have spent considerable time tweaking the action on these ukuleles- especially the maple/walnut to get them playable and improve the intonation. On both custom ukuleles I had to sand down the bridge itself so as to be able to lower the nut to achieve the action I desired - not sanding down the bridge would have resulted in the nut nearly disappearing in the bridge slot. I proceeded with great caution and my time consuming approach paid off with vastly improved action and intonation. I consider the stock action too high for myself but how many customers are willing to take the steps I took to get the playability where it is truly comfortable ? As a side note - Living Water strings sound fabulous on the maple/walnut !

PeteyHoudini
04-04-2013, 02:08 PM
I've owned three Brükos over the years. I have two left. They are very nice instruments. Their sound can be "brittle" as Ken says, and finding a more suited set of strings helps to soften the sound from the original Pyramid strings. The ukes are super well made. I've had a few string buzzing problems. Their uke necks are thicker than one might be used to.

Here's my video review of the flat black model.
http://youtu.be/OqovIUFVSZw

Petey

Hippie Dribble
04-04-2013, 02:26 PM
good points Petey!

here's another review of a custom bruko soprano (curly maple/arched back):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQoGkT9hq8U