View Full Version : European Luthiers?

Johnny Calzone
01-09-2011, 04:37 AM
It's sunday afternoon and I have A LOT of studying to do. So what's the natural thing to do? Yeah, don't study and do some ukulele window shopping. I figure that (optimisticly speaking) some two or three years in the future I will have acquired the skill and financial means to warrant a custom uke and I decided that now's the time to weigh options luthier-wise. The thing is, I'm from Austria and i don't want to deal with customs/taxes that come with importing an instrument from the US.
However, the only European uke luthiers I can think of right now are Pete Howlett and Giaochino Giussani, who built a uke for John King (but I doubt that he's available for us simple folk). That said, I wouldn't mind if you guys shot me some additional options ;)

01-09-2011, 05:51 AM
Depending on what you require, but Timbuck makes beautifull sopranos in the Martin style.

01-09-2011, 05:51 AM
You might look at:

Sven Nystrom in Sweden http://argapa.blogspot.com/

Rob Collins in the UK http://www.tinguitar.com/

Sven describes himself as an amateur, and may only take commissions from friends, but he makes a good uke.

Rob also makes a fine uke and has a distinctive style.

01-09-2011, 10:49 AM
Well sort of - you have to be my friend to put up with the delays and the horrible service! I do make ukes for anyone but I have a bunch to finish before I add any names to the list.

Thanks Prof for the publicity, and the kind words.


01-09-2011, 12:56 PM
Hi (and cheers Prof!)

A couple of other makers in the UK:

Stuart Longridge

Steve Caldwell (Weazel Wharf Ukuleles)

Michael King

ps I really need to update my site. I don't make so many of the biscuit - tin guitars etc now. You're better off checking my youtube channel.

Best wishes,

01-09-2011, 01:16 PM
You can find Dominique Chevalier's ukulele in Paris (R & F Charle's Parisian shop) and on their website (http://www.rfcharle.com/HTML/PhotosInstruments/UkeChevalierSopNoyer10.html) (you can join the luthier through this seller…). On the french ukulele site (http://www.ukulele.fr/dc/index.php/2006/10/18/350-le-site-de-dominique-chevalier), here you will find more informations on how to contact this fine ukulele maker. By the way D. Chevalier's site is out of order, but the guy is still working…

There is also this luthier from west coast of France : Syl'uke (http://www.la-case-a-ukes.fr/creations.html)… fine work too

Johnny Calzone
01-09-2011, 08:56 PM
Wow, many many many thanks to you all. They all make stunning instruments. Keep em coming :D

01-09-2011, 09:09 PM
you can also opt for a semi custom

Brüko in germany make nice ukes and customs won't cost too much over 300 euros.

you can choose fromm all kinds of woods, they're mostly european ish woods (no koa) but plenty of choices and options with the types of bodys


01-10-2011, 07:50 PM
Tyko Runesson is a swede living in Switzerland, I think he's at www.runessonguitars.com


Johnny Calzone
01-13-2011, 06:09 AM
Thanks again!

I got an E-Mail from Giaochino Giussani today and he said that he'd build me an ukulele in his spare time for fun (and 750€).

01-13-2011, 10:32 AM
750€ sounds like fun. I'm nowhere near those sums yet.

I Ukulista
01-13-2011, 11:24 AM
It must be a real work of art.

I Ukulista
01-13-2011, 11:27 AM
I like your blog Sven. Is that spruce you are using for the sound board?

01-13-2011, 09:52 PM
Oh, I haven't used spruce for a while. Robin's new top is cedar. The piccolos all have cherry soundboards.

Have you seen Rob's latest builds? If you want a wonderful handmade uke quick, buy from him.