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sailor
02-24-2011, 11:21 AM
Hi all,
I've very excited to announce that I will be the North American distributor for the beautifully handcrafted, custom line of Maestro Ukuleles.
The website isn't fully functional yet, but samples of a few models can be seen at http://maestroukuleles.com .
They are very nicely detailed and look as great as they sound.
Let me know what you think.
Cheers.
Chris

Hippie Dribble
02-24-2011, 11:23 AM
Hi all,
I've very excited to announce that I will be the North American distributor for the beautifully handcrafted, custom line of Maestro Ukuleles.
The website isn't fully functional yet, but samples of a few models can be seen at http://maestroukuleles.com .
They are very nicely detailed and look as great as they sound.
Let me know what you think.
Cheers.
Chris

Hi Chris, they're very pretty for sure. What kind of price ranges are we looking at?

mm stan
02-24-2011, 11:26 AM
Aloha Sailor Chris,
They look well made....just wondering too on the price range and do you have any sound samples...Thanks for sharing..MM Stan

sailor
02-24-2011, 11:36 AM
Thanks John,
Retail numbers aren't totally set yet, but for the custom series (a few of which are shown on the site), the retail will likely start around $350 for the khaya mahogany and go to around $500 for the red cedar/engelmann spruce topped, flame maple/rosewood, granadillo and cocobolo backed models.
The solid acacia will fall somewhere in between.
There will also be a laminate mahogany series with all the sizes and pineapple available too for much less.
As I said though...not set in stone yet. The customs are obviously not going to be available in huge numbers as only so many can be built per month. The laminates (not shown on site yet) will be available in larger numbers.
The customs are absolutely beautiful though.
Cheers,
Chris

sailor
02-24-2011, 11:40 AM
Aloha Sailor Chris,
They look well made....just wondering too on the price range and do you have any sound samples...Thanks for sharing..MM Stan

Aloha!
There will be sound samples up on the site very soon as this is a holding page and the main site is being developed. In the mean time I will find another way to post them up and report back.
They are all very distinct from one another...a nice range of tones.

mds725
02-24-2011, 12:02 PM
Those ukuleles shown on the web page look really nice. I'm looking forward to sound samples and a list of available ukuleles and options. Where are the ukuleles made?

ksiegel
02-24-2011, 12:16 PM
Hi all,
I've very excited to announce that I will be the North American distributor for the beautifully handcrafted, custom line of Maestro Ukuleles.
{clip}
Let me know what you think.
Cheers.
Chris

They are beauties, that's for sure. Any idea on the hardware? (tuner types/ options / pickups) Or where they are made / assembled / finished /setup? Are the bodies standard sizes for standard cases? Will you be selling direct, or through a dealer network?

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.


-Kurt

sailor
02-24-2011, 12:41 PM
Hey guys,

The customs (these are the ones discussed above and shown on the site) are built in Singapore in a small shop consisting of 10 luthiers building each beginning to end by hand. There are a few more models.
Here's some of the specs.
-gold grover tuners
-pickups added by order
-bone saddle and nut
-aquila stings
-abalone inlay
The sizes are standard to fit standard cases. I will post the full line tonight with more series specific descriptions.
I would like to sell through a dealer network, but will likely also be selling direct through the site.

Chris

Faricelli
02-24-2011, 12:58 PM
Thanks for the info Chris. I look forward to hearing and seeing them.

sailor
02-24-2011, 02:50 PM
Here's the whole lineup.

10 Series: Mahogany (laminate) top/back/sides with friction tuners. Great entry level uke. Comes in soprano, concert, tenor and pineapple.

All below here are Full Solid:

20 Series: Full Solid Khaya Mahogany in soprano, concert, tenor & baritone.

Custom Series: The Custom series showcases the craftsmanship of our luthiers. Using only quality and exotic tone woods with aesthetically pleasing
grains, the ukuleles are finished with fine abalone and wood binding to give a distinctive touch. Mahalo!

35 Series: Solid spruce top with solid flame maple back/sides in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
40 Series: Solid Spruce or Cedar with solid Java rosewood in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
45 Series: Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid grandillo in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
50 Series: Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid Cocobolo in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
55 Series: Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid Macassar Ebony. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.

I'm attempting some photos, but I'm having issues attaching more than 4 at a time.

Chris
http://maestroukuleles.com

sailor
02-24-2011, 02:53 PM
Here is the 20 series and the 30 series. Solid mahogany and solid Acacia.

20984209852098220983

sailor
02-24-2011, 02:55 PM
Here's the 40 and 45 series. The 40 is Solid Spruce or Cedar with solid Java rosewood.
The 45 is Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid grandillo


20987209882098920990http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/images/misc/pencil.png

Uke Republic
02-24-2011, 02:56 PM
Looking good!

sailor
02-24-2011, 02:57 PM
Here's the 50 in Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid Cocobolo.
2099120992

I'll post pics of the others when I get them.

Cheers!
Chris

SuzukHammer
02-24-2011, 03:24 PM
Where are these ukes made?

sailor
02-24-2011, 03:46 PM
Thanks! You'd know :)

sailor
02-24-2011, 05:25 PM
Where are these ukes made?

Hey,
Mentioned on the last page. Hand-built in a small shop by 10 highly skilled luthiers in Singapore.
Cheers,
Chris

pulelehua
02-24-2011, 11:16 PM
In what way are they custom?

sailor
02-25-2011, 02:34 AM
"custom series" is used quite a bit to denote a step up and top materials in many products, including instruments.
i may have used "custom" in a post (not sure) as a short form for the series.
i'll watch out for that.

haolejohn
02-25-2011, 02:46 AM
Here's the whole lineup.

10 Series: Mahogany (laminate) top/back/sides with friction tuners. Great entry level uke. Comes in soprano, concert, tenor and pineapple.

All below here are Full Solid:

20 Series: Full Solid Khaya Mahogany in soprano, concert, tenor & baritone.

Custom Series: The Custom series showcases the craftsmanship of our luthiers. Using only quality and exotic tone woods with aesthetically pleasing
grains, the ukuleles are finished with fine abalone and wood binding to give a distinctive touch. Mahalo!

35 Series: Solid spruce top with solid flame maple back/sides in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
40 Series: Solid Spruce or Cedar with solid Java rosewood in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
45 Series: Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid grandillo in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
50 Series: Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid Cocobolo in soprano, concert & tenor. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.
55 Series: Solid Spruce or cedar with Solid Macassar Ebony. Gold grover tuners/Aquila strings.

I'm attempting some photos, but I'm having issues attaching more than 4 at a time.

Chris
http://maestroukuleles.com

so what makes them a custom? Are we allowed to pick our options? Or are they a custom in a sense like a packaged custom? I can't view the site but I am at work. Price seems too good to be true if they are a true custom.

haolejohn
02-25-2011, 02:47 AM
Just curious. Since they are being made in Indonesioa are they being made by the Ko'olau/Pono trained luthiers?

GX9901
02-25-2011, 04:46 AM
The Custom Series look very interesting. Those woods are not used in many other ukes. I'd love to see more soon.

sailor
02-25-2011, 07:08 AM
so what makes them a custom? Are we allowed to pick our options? Or are they a custom in a sense like a packaged custom? I can't view the site but I am at work. Price seems too good to be true if they are a true custom.

Hi,

They are not a 'custom uke' as in tailor made to your specs (although pickups are an option), the higher series is named the 'custom series' denoting their very top quality tonewood, hardware etc. I didn't find it odd since there are many other products including ukes that have a 'custom series', meaning the same.
Perhaps it's slightly confusing....I may change that if it's seen to be misleading...it certainly isn't the intention.

That said, it isn't out of the realm of possibility to have one 'fine tuned' to your specs for a fee.

Chris

sailor
02-25-2011, 07:12 AM
Just curious. Since they are being made in Indonesioa are they being made by the Ko'olau/Pono trained luthiers?

They are made in singapore actually (close though!). The luthiers all have extensive backgrounds in classical guitars and have been building ukes also for the past 5 years.
When they decided to start into ukes they made a "pilgrimage" to hawaii to fine tune their trade learning from some of the best there.

Craftsmanship is very high.

Chris

sailor
02-25-2011, 07:12 AM
The Custom Series look very interesting. Those woods are not used in many other ukes. I'd love to see more soon.

Definitely something a bit different.
C.

haolejohn
02-25-2011, 07:15 AM
They are made in singapore actually (close though!). The luthiers all have extensive backgrounds in classical guitars and have been building ukes also for the past 5 years.
When they decided to start into ukes they made a "pilgrimage" to hawaii to fine tune their trade learning from some of the best there.

Craftsmanship is very high.

Chris
I see. Singapore/Indonesia. No where near the same:( I failed my geography. I know the difference just was being lazy. I stink. I fail:)

Ambrosius
02-25-2011, 07:18 AM
Indonesia? I believe sailor said Singopore.

Ambrosius
02-25-2011, 07:23 AM
Singapore - Indonesia, - big difference.

Anyhow, - sailor, did you ever visit the production locations? Are the instruments made under controlled humidity?

sailor
02-25-2011, 07:31 AM
I see. Singapore/Indonesia. No where near the same:( I failed my geography. I know the difference just was being lazy. I stink. I fail:)

Ha! Not that far off. A little boat ride will get you there :)

Ambrosius
02-25-2011, 08:01 AM
A boatride it may be, but when it comes to economics they are a world apart.

They are certainly great lookers, but I should only wish they (everybody for that matter) would stop calling all and everything for Koa http://www.maestroguitars.com/products_u30.html It might be an Acacia of some sort, how do I know, - but it's certainly not Koa.

sailor
02-25-2011, 08:13 AM
A boatride it may be, but when it comes to economics they are a world apart.

They are certainly great lookers, but I should only wish they (everybody for that matter) would stop calling all and everything for Koa http://www.maestroguitars.com/products_u30.html It might be an Acacia of some sort, how do I know, - but it's certainly not Koa.

Economically they are much further apart than geographically. No doubt about that.

I call it Acacia myself because that's what it is. Maybe related and sound similar, but calling it Koa implies 'hawaiian' wood and can cause problems in my opinion.

SuzukHammer
02-25-2011, 08:23 AM
So, you are talking about Batam Indonesia, then?

I've worked in Indonesia and Singapore. I'd be surprised if they were made in Singapore because they always seem to farm out the work to Indonesian or Malaysia factories.

I respect the workmanship from Indonesia actually.

The reason I asked was: there was another company(?) making ukes that had an M as their logo and they were supplying to Thailand. There were some quality issues with the glue on the bridge. That seems easy to fix so I asked to buy one of the returned ukes with the dislodged bridges; but the local company did not want to sell any until the QA issues were resolved.

I'll ask my Thai source

Ambrosius
02-25-2011, 08:37 AM
I call it Acacia myself because that's what it is. Maybe related and sound similar, but calling it Koa implies 'hawaiian' wood and can cause problems in my opinion. Saw that sailor, and appreciated it. It is not only the marketing people at Maestro, who leaps a bit easy around on the net :-) "Koa" - Brazilian", etc.- tempting to use I guess.

Anyhow, - the wood, whatever it is, sounded great on the soundclip. The mahogany as well. For me, I am a bit reassured when I see they make classics and steel string guitars as well. If they have controlled humidity in the production facilities, and the prices as you indicates, - you might have a winner.

Ambrosius
02-25-2011, 08:49 AM
I respect the workmanship from Indonesia actually. So do I, - as I respect the workmanship from Philipines, Vietnam etc. However, - it's a matter of having resources enough to control the humidity in production and storage.

sailor
02-25-2011, 09:17 AM
Saw that sailor, and appreciated it. It is not only the marketing people at Maestro, who leaps a bit easy around on the net :-) "Koa" - Brazilian", etc.- tempting to use I guess.

Anyhow, - the wood, whatever it is, sounded great on the soundclip. The mahogany as well. For me, I am a bit reassured when I see they make classics and steel string guitars as well. If they have controlled humidity in the production facilities, and the prices as you indicates, - you might have a winner.

Yes, they do sound good. Excellent sustain too. I haven't been to the facility yet (I've seen photos of the shop), but I would assume it is a climate controlled facility (looks like a neat, modern shop). I'd imagine that's an absolute must in that part of the world. I am verifying this however.

sailor
02-25-2011, 09:22 AM
So, you are talking about Batam Indonesia, then?

I've worked in Indonesia and Singapore. I'd be surprised if they were made in Singapore because they always seem to farm out the work to Indonesian or Malaysia factories.

I respect the workmanship from Indonesia actually.

The reason I asked was: there was another company(?) making ukes that had an M as their logo and they were supplying to Thailand. There were some quality issues with the glue on the bridge. That seems easy to fix so I asked to buy one of the returned ukes with the dislodged bridges; but the local company did not want to sell any until the QA issues were resolved.

I'll ask my Thai source

They are most definitely made in singapore. I can see why some companies would farm out manufacturing there though...there's not a lot of space for factories etc.
This is a pretty small shop however.

Couldn't say about the second part. How long ago was it?

SuzukHammer
02-25-2011, 09:30 AM
I don't assume its the same build company; but, I'm gonna check. But like I said, I believe its just a matter of using the right glue. I don't know if the humidity would have an effect on the performance of the glue.

GX9901
02-25-2011, 09:40 AM
Checking around the Maestro Singapore website has me really intrigued now. I'm a big fan of Macassar Ebony, and Cocobolo and Granadillo are very interesting to me as well. I actually hope they cost a lot more than $500 otherwise I might not be able to stop myself from getting one. (trying to suppress UAS here) :p

Ambrosius
02-25-2011, 09:46 AM
I don't assume its the same build company; but, I'm gonna check. But like I said, I believe its just a matter of using the right glue. I don't know if the humidity would have an effect on the performance of the glue.

I guess it's not uncommon to outsource parts of the production. Doesn't some of the Hawaiian K-brands do that as well? I guess sailor will know that.

With regard to the glue, one can always ask on the luthier thread, but it would surprice me if they said it didn't have an effect.

ksiegel
02-25-2011, 10:27 AM
Checking around the Maestro Singapore website has me really intrigued now. I'm a big fan of Macassar Ebony, and Cocobolo and Granadillo are very interesting to me as well. I actually hope they cost a lot more than $500 otherwise I might not be able to stop myself from getting one. (trying to suppress UAS here) :p

Oh, yeah... the photos of those ebony ukulele bodies are real cool... I could hear the sound of the big suction machine drawing me in already, and the voice in my head saying "Take the credit card out... It isn't real money, it is just plastic!"

But I am going to resist... for a while... until some others have them in their hands...

Then maybe I'll succumb.

Kurt

haolejohn
02-25-2011, 10:47 AM
Indonesia? I believe sailor said Singopore.

He did, but when you spend 30 minutes reading a thread b/c of multitasking one forgets what was mentioned and they are in a similar area. I know they are different but we can't all be perfect all the time.

haolejohn
02-25-2011, 10:51 AM
Oh, yeah... the photos of those ebony ukulele bodies are real cool... I could hear the sound of the big suction machine drawing me in already, and the voice in my head saying "Take the credit card out... It isn't real money, it is just plastic!"

But I am going to resist... for a while... until some others have them in their hands...

Then maybe I'll succumb.

Kurt

They do look good. Very tempting but I have my wallet set on another new uke at the moment.

sailor
02-25-2011, 01:46 PM
Checking around the Maestro Singapore website has me really intrigued now. I'm a big fan of Macassar Ebony, and Cocobolo and Granadillo are very interesting to me as well. I actually hope they cost a lot more than $500 otherwise I might not be able to stop myself from getting one. (trying to suppress UAS here) :p

Glad you like what you see!

sailor
02-25-2011, 02:00 PM
Oh, yeah... the photos of those ebony ukulele bodies are real cool... I could hear the sound of the big suction machine drawing me in already, and the voice in my head saying "Take the credit card out... It isn't real money, it is just plastic!"

But I am going to resist... for a while... until some others have them in their hands...

Then maybe I'll succumb.

Kurt

I'll be getting some out for reviewers very soon.

sailor
02-25-2011, 03:12 PM
Saw that sailor, and appreciated it. It is not only the marketing people at Maestro, who leaps a bit easy around on the net :-) "Koa" - Brazilian", etc.- tempting to use I guess.

Anyhow, - the wood, whatever it is, sounded great on the soundclip. The mahogany as well. For me, I am a bit reassured when I see they make classics and steel string guitars as well. If they have controlled humidity in the production facilities, and the prices as you indicates, - you might have a winner.

So...just got the response back on the humidity control at the shop.
The instruments are made and stored in "controlled humidity" environment of R.H. 50%. The wood is also air-dried for years before they are used to build.
Hope that helps.
C.

Ambrosius
02-25-2011, 09:29 PM
Hope that helps.
C.

So do I. Building musical Instruments in one climate sone and shipping to a complete different for the remains of it's life, tends to be challenging both for the manufacturer and not the least the receiver. And not the least for Ukuleles with a board thickness of very often less than 2 mm. R.H. in Singapore and area around can be severe at times. However, people in Singapore tends to be professionals. I used to know Singapore very well (how time goes by).

Sailor, - consider talking your partners into a small parlor guitar, they are already doing a highly specialized classical alto. I see. I have a notion that there might be a market for small and good quality parlors. At least I would be interested :-) Since I started with Ukes, I can't stand bulky and boomy guitars anymore but still like the two extra strings for some styles of playing.

Pippin
02-25-2011, 09:51 PM
Mickey from Ukulele Player Magazine here. I'd love the opportunity to review some of your instruments for future issues.

sailor
02-26-2011, 04:32 AM
Mickey from Ukulele Player Magazine here. I'd love the opportunity to review some of your instruments for future issues.

I'd love to get one to you. Send me off an email or pm with your info.

sailor
02-26-2011, 04:45 AM
So do I. Building musical Instruments in one climate sone and shipping to a complete different for the remains of it's life, tends to be challenging both for the manufacturer and not the least the receiver. And not the least for Ukuleles with a board thickness of very often less than 2 mm. R.H. in Singapore and area around can be severe at times. However, people in Singapore tends to be professionals. I used to know Singapore very well (how time goes by).

Sailor, - consider talking your partners into a small parlor guitar, they are already doing a highly specialized classical alto. I see. I have a notion that there might be a market for small and good quality parlors. At least I would be interested :-) Since I started with Ukes, I can't stand bulky and boomy guitars anymore but still like the two extra strings for some styles of playing.

Interesting idea with the parlor guitar. They have such a full line of classicals, I'm surprised they don't already. I'm interested in them to for the same reason...I just don't find myself picking up my acoustic much these days. I'll mention it.

ksiegel
02-26-2011, 07:38 AM
I'll be getting some out for reviewers very soon.

As a civilian, I'd be more than happy to review one!

I mean, real, REAL! Happy! And I can get Fitncrafty to review it, too! (She lives not too far away).

And, for that matter, the entire Electric City Ukulele Club. (Ron Gordon is currently testing out a Blackbird...)

-Kurt

sailor
02-26-2011, 03:51 PM
As a civilian, I'd be more than happy to review one!

I mean, real, REAL! Happy! And I can get Fitncrafty to review it, too! (She lives not too far away).

And, for that matter, the entire Electric City Ukulele Club. (Ron Gordon is currently testing out a Blackbird...)

-Kurt

hey kurt,
fire me of a pm or email with your info and i'll put you on the list of the interested. my next shipment has a number of samples for dealers and reviewers going out, but i'll have to see what and how many i can get in the next couple weeks to spread around.
cheers,
chris

ksiegel
02-26-2011, 11:23 PM
Thanks, Chris. Have done so. PM me if you need a phone number.

-Kurt

sailor
02-28-2011, 09:12 AM
so what makes them a custom? Are we allowed to pick our options? Or are they a custom in a sense like a packaged custom? I can't view the site but I am at work. Price seems too good to be true if they are a true custom.

I just wanted to revisit this post since it seems it would be possible to customize (by order) a few things like tuners (gold or nickle grovers) and finish (gloss or matte) as well as a couple pick up options (at end of post).
This combined with the different wood combos may not be a full custom, but you would have a fair amount of control over the end product.

Pickup options are:
-B-Band U1.3T
http://www.b-band.com/index.php?mact=Products,cntnt01,details,0&cntnt01hierarchyid=32&cntnt01productid=74&cntnt01returnid=151
-K&K Twinspot
http://www.kksound.com/twinspot.html

Site should be up soon and sound samples are coming too.

cheers!
chris

PhilUSAFRet
06-26-2011, 08:55 AM
Great pics and sound clips on their website.

http://www.maestroguitars.com/products_ukulele.html

Rick Turner
06-26-2011, 03:28 PM
A couple of comments a bit late in the game:

Saying "koa" does not imply anything; it is a very specific reference to "Acacia koa", the most common Hawaiian "koa". It is a very exact name, and should not be confused with other acacias, no matter how beautiful and appropriate they may be for lutherie. "Koa" is not a nickname or common name; it's the scientific designation for one species.

And...this is a thornier issue...you might want to make sure of your legal rights to use the "Maestro" brand name for these. Gibson owns the trademark at least as far as electronic musical products is concerned, and they are extremely litigious. I'd be talking to an intellectual property attorney if I were you. You could be in the clear, free, and right, and still wind up with tens of thousands in legal fees trying to prove your point. I have both worked for Gibson and been an expert witness for the defense in a legal battle with the company. I do know how they think about intellectual property, and you'd be surprised at how fierce they can be.