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NukeDOC
01-30-2008, 10:15 AM
so ive got this wild hair up my butt again. im in NEED of a totally custom uke for myself. something that just screams "THIS IS MY UKULELE". my kala project was great. and i love that uke. but its still not "mine". and anyone can get a similar kala or lanikai and do the same thing that i did with a little bit of elbow grease, some technical know-how (good with your hands), and an incredible amount of patience.

but now i want my own. i realize this is going to be an expensive journey. but in the long run, i think its going to be worth it.

so yous guys wid da custom ukes out there... where did you get em? and how much did it cost you (major factor - poor is me)? and how satisfied are you with their work?

E-Lo Roberts
01-30-2008, 10:18 AM
so ive got this wild hair up my butt again. im in NEED of a totally custom uke for myself. something that just screams "THIS IS MY UKULELE". my kala project was great. and i love that uke. but its still not "mine". and anyone can get a similar kala or lanikai and do the same thing that i did with a little bit of elbow grease, some technical know-how (good with your hands), and an incredible amount of patience.

but now i want my own. i realize this is going to be an expensive journey. but in the long run, i think its going to be worth it.

so yous guys wid da custom ukes out there... where did you get em? and how much did it cost you (major factor - poor is me)? and how satisfied are you with their work?
Nuke, I'm looking forward to this thread...cause I would like one too! Thanks for posting it...e....

NukeDOC
01-31-2008, 06:38 PM
well ive kinda narrowed it down to three:

da silva here in cali
kanile'a
g string

i am leaning more toward g string at the moment... but i still havent gotten a hard quote for the specs that i requested.

does anyone here... anyone... have any say about any of these companies??

im sure any of these companies will make a uke that sounds great. but im worried about:
1. customer service
2. workmanship (attention to detail)
3. price
4. pride in their product

Brad Bordessa
01-31-2008, 07:29 PM
Just to let you know, G-strings have a very bright and in my opinion almost "dead" sound. I was originally leaning towards the G-string when I bought my first quality 'ukulele, but I decided on a Kamaka instead and I’m very glad I did. Be sure you try a few different brands before you buy – just to get an idea of how companies build the ‘ukuleles and how they sound. Give Koaloha a shot as well; I heard from David Kamakahi that they do customs.

Thought I would throw that out there…

NukeDOC
01-31-2008, 07:40 PM
thanks. i dont mind having more to choose from at the moment.

according to the kamaka site, they arent currently taking orders for custom ukes.

ive been intrigued with the koaloha ukes, but im not sure how the crowned headstock would look slotted (classical style)

there was one luthier on the east coast that looked like he had some quality work. but as of the time of his latest pricing guide, his earliest start date for a custom uke is scheduled for mid 2010.

man these quotes that im getting... im basically looking at about $2500 to get the uke that i want made the way i want it.

need to go donate blood now. maybe a kidney while im at it.

JTY
01-31-2008, 07:43 PM
If you can swing a Dasilva uke.. thats what I'd go for. http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif

I have one from Dennis Lake (Pomahina Jazz cutaway) http://www.konaweb.com/mahina/ .. that took around 14 months for delivery.

one from William King, http://www.chantus.com/notes/ , took about 6 months.

a Glyph, http://www.glyphukulele.com/.. it took about 2 yrs exactly.. now his waitlist is 3+ yrs. (I think this is the one you mentioned nuke, mid-2010 build date.. delivery date closer to 2011 :eek: )

another one from King due anyday now, been 7 months and counting..

I got an email a couple of weeks ago from Dave Talsma http://www.davetalsma.com/index.htm , he is gathering up his build list, so nows maybe a good time to contact him? if you're interested..

I'm very satisfied with those builders and the ukes they built for me. Someday I'll have a Dasilva.. someday I'll have a Talsma, and someday (maybe sooner..) I'll have a DOMINATOR Uke too.. yes, I'm sick, and have uke sickness, I need help. I'm not in denial, I have a problem.

GX9901
02-01-2008, 07:11 AM
Holy crap JTY, looks like you've got ukes from all the best luthiers out there. If you could only have one, which one would you keep??? I've got a King tenor and a Glyph mezzo-soprano on order and I'm getting pretty excited about the King. (I try to forget about the Glyph because it's so for away - 2010)

E-Lo Roberts
02-01-2008, 07:30 AM
well ive kinda narrowed it down to three:

da silva here in cali
kanile'a
g string

i am leaning more toward g string at the moment... but i still havent gotten a hard quote for the specs that i requested.

does anyone here... anyone... have any say about any of these companies??

im sure any of these companies will make a uke that sounds great. but im worried about:
1. customer service
2. workmanship (attention to detail)
3. price
4. pride in their product
Nuke, here is an earlier blog that I did back a few months ago about my gstring uke...

I play a G-String Tenor Uke (high g). I recieved it as a surprise B-day present in August. The overall construction is very well made. However, there were (are) a few problems with this uke. 1. Although it is brand-new there are some dead spots on the neck. 2. More distrubing was the intonation for what is suppose to be a "professional" grade instrument. It was flat as you moved up the neck on all strings. This was not a "get a new set of strings" fix or issue. The bridge (from the factory) was not placed in it's correct and exact position on the body. To correct and compensate for this problem I had to re-set the saddle 1/8" closer to the neck. This involved re-routing a new slot (for the saddle) and filling the old slot with a slice of rosewood. Not fun, but it solved the intonation problems. Also, the factory installed pickup was not balanced volume wise from string to string. I had to correct this also. The steps I had to take to correct this $900 Gstring is unexceptable. In the future, my uke's will be played first before any purchase is made. I believe my next uke will be a custom or stock Kamaka tenor. Anyone having any intonation problems with Kamaka's?? Thanks, Ernie..

JumpingPulgas
02-01-2008, 08:16 AM
How about these custom ukes by Chuck Moore..

http://moorebettahukes.com/FORSALE.html

They look very nice, but I don't know about the sound. Does anyone have any info on this?

NukeDOC
02-01-2008, 08:44 AM
Nuke, here is an earlier blog that I did back a few months ago about my gstring uke...

I play a G-String Tenor Uke (high g). I recieved it as a surprise B-day present in August. The overall construction is very well made. However, there were (are) a few problems with this uke. 1. Although it is brand-new there are some dead spots on the neck. 2. More distrubing was the intonation for what is suppose to be a "professional" grade instrument. It was flat as you moved up the neck on all strings. This was not a "get a new set of strings" fix or issue. The bridge (from the factory) was not placed in it's correct and exact position on the body. To correct and compensate for this problem I had to re-set the saddle 1/8" closer to the neck. This involved re-routing a new slot (for the saddle) and filling the old slot with a slice of rosewood. Not fun, but it solved the intonation problems. Also, the factory installed pickup was not balanced volume wise from string to string. I had to correct this also. The steps I had to take to correct this $900 Gstring is unexceptable. In the future, my uke's will be played first before any purchase is made. I believe my next uke will be a custom or stock Kamaka tenor. Anyone having any intonation problems with Kamaka's?? Thanks, Ernie..

wow :eek: good to know. i dont know if you realize how much your opinion matters to me at this point.

are there any others out there with experience with the glyph ukes (yeah JTY thats the one i was talking about) or da silva ukes? after going through this thread again, im now leaning toward those two luthiers. man this is a hard process. :(

NukeDOC
02-01-2008, 08:48 AM
How about these custom ukes by Chuck Moore..

http://moorebettahukes.com/FORSALE.html

They look very nice, but I don't know about the sound. Does anyone have any info on this?

wow, those are some beautiful looking ukes.

unfortunately, my main goal for this uke is not about looks. and though im sure his sound great, before i consider him, i would like to see what kind of reviews there are on his work.

JTY
02-01-2008, 10:09 PM
Holy crap JTY, looks like you've got ukes from all the best luthiers out there. If you could only have one, which one would you keep??? I've got a King tenor and a Glyph mezzo-soprano on order and I'm getting pretty excited about the King. (I try to forget about the Glyph because it's so for away - 2010)
GX9901, ah thats a loaded question but honestly, I do spend more time with the Glyph long-scale mezzo.. The King Tenor http://www.chantus.com/notes/index.php?/archives/479-A-tenor-ukulele-in-koa-and-cypress.html is actually my son's. The new King is going to be a LS concert, Rosewood/Spruce top, slotted headstock, etc. I'm turning on more to the concert/soprano lately. Good choice on the mezzo.. you'll like it. If I may ask, what do you have planned for the King Tenor? Koa, LS ? William does such fine work and not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a custom. My son's tenor is just a work of art and sounds very crisp, responsive, tonal, lightweight. for lack of a better description. Heres a clip of him playing it.. (sorry for the poor Q vid.:o) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HctthPxvQZE

NukeDOC
02-01-2008, 10:18 PM
GX9901, ah thats a loaded question but honestly, I do spend more time with the Glyph long-scale mezzo.. The King Tenor http://www.chantus.com/notes/index.php?/archives/479-A-tenor-ukulele-in-koa-and-cypress.html is actually my son's. The new King is going to be a LS concert, Rosewood/Spruce top, slotted headstock, etc. I'm turning on more to the concert/soprano lately. Good choice on the mezzo.. you'll like it. If I may ask, what do you have planned for the King Tenor? Koa, LS ? William does such fine work and not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a custom. My son's tenor is just a work of art and sounds very crisp, responsive, tonal, lightweight. for lack of a better description. Heres a clip of him playing it.. (sorry for the poor Q vid.:o) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HctthPxvQZE

when i saw that video, i didnt realize that was your son. he's good! may i ask how much you ended up paying for one of the glyph ukes?

Dominator
02-02-2008, 06:16 AM
Heres a clip of him playing it.. (sorry for the poor Q vid.:o) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HctthPxvQZE

Wow Joel, I have to say that I think your son is more than good. I think he is Great!. It is so amazing how far these kids are coming theses days. They are learning so fast. It's pretty incredible the amount of impact one single ukulele player named Jake Shimabukuro has had on teens as well as adults all around the world.

It's pretty obvious your son is feeling the music. He's not just going through the motions of memorizing some tablature and I would guess he didn't need tabluature to put his arrangement together. I look forward to more videos of higher visual quality in the future. Thanks for sharing this one with us.

tripl3thr33
02-02-2008, 04:03 PM
check out this japanese store for some cool ideas for customs...mmmm...:D

http://www.j-guitar.com/sp/lis/sho/stock.cgi?sid=1141

wow thats a huge list of ukes....... all nice looking too. i sooooo wanna get a new uke now.... but i must resist lol

GX9901
02-02-2008, 04:18 PM
GX9901, ah thats a loaded question but honestly, I do spend more time with the Glyph long-scale mezzo.. The King Tenor http://www.chantus.com/notes/index.php?/archives/479-A-tenor-ukulele-in-koa-and-cypress.html is actually my son's. The new King is going to be a LS concert, Rosewood/Spruce top, slotted headstock, etc. I'm turning on more to the concert/soprano lately. Good choice on the mezzo.. you'll like it. If I may ask, what do you have planned for the King Tenor? Koa, LS ? William does such fine work and not hesitate to recommend him to anyone looking for a custom. My son's tenor is just a work of art and sounds very crisp, responsive, tonal, lightweight. for lack of a better description. Heres a clip of him playing it.. (sorry for the poor Q vid.:o) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HctthPxvQZE

Thanks for the feedback. My plan for the King uke is a LS tenor with spruce top and koa side/back and Mi-Si acoustic-trio pickup. I'll probably broadcast it at the various forums once I get it out of sheer excitment. LOL!

By the way, your son is great! You should take more videos of him (and yourself) playing ukes with better video quality. That way we could see great players playing great ukes! It would be such a treat!

ukejon
02-02-2008, 05:01 PM
I am a tenor player and towards the custom end I have an all koa KoaWorks, a Talsma koa with spruce top, an all mahogany Dominator (12th fret joint). All are wonderful. My experience is that you pretty much can not go wrong with an uke by one of the leading makers--the aforementioned as well as King, Means, Potts, Shimizu, Kitakis, Moore, etc. etc....they all are freakin' amazing builders. If you are looking for good sources for customs, MusicGuyMic and Shawn Yacavone have wonderful selections.

JTY
02-02-2008, 06:23 PM
Thanks guys, I passed on the good words to my son.. he's not really into the forums as of yet, but he figured out that Let's Dance by analyzing one of Jakes youtube vids over and over. I agree Dom, the positive influence Jake shows, and the impact of his music is unreal.. Dom, my son was floored to get props from you... stunned more like it, he has learned ALOT thru your tabs and tips, so that means alot to him (and me) coming from you.

Nuke, total came out to around 1200 .. as I was locked in his earlier 2005 pricing structure at the time I sent my initial deposit. BTW, theres a new Glyph LS Tenor right now for sale by a guy named Neal. This one ain't gonna last very long before someone snaps it up..! and what he is asking for it is a steal.. PERIOD!
http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/marketplace/default.asp ..its near the top of the page.

GX, that sounds great! LS tenor.. lots of room on the fretboard. Yeah, its so hard to stay self contained when a new uke shows up lol. I'll be sure to post up vids ..better quality ones, not cellphone cam blurry vids. :o

NukeDOC
02-02-2008, 09:45 PM
Thanks guys, I passed on the good words to my son.. he's not really into the forums as of yet, but he figured out that Let's Dance by analyzing one of Jakes youtube vids over and over. I agree Dom, the positive influence Jake shows, and the impact of his music is unreal.. Dom, my son was floored to get props from you... stunned more like it, he has learned ALOT thru your tabs and tips, so that means alot to him (and me) coming from you.

Nuke, total came out to around 1200 .. as I was locked in his earlier 2005 pricing structure at the time I sent my initial deposit. BTW, theres a new Glyph LS Tenor right now for sale by a guy named Neal. This one ain't gonna last very long before someone snaps it up..! and what he is asking for it is a steal.. PERIOD!
http://www.fleamarketmusic.com/marketplace/default.asp ..its near the top of the page.

GX, that sounds great! LS tenor.. lots of room on the fretboard. Yeah, its so hard to stay self contained when a new uke shows up lol. I'll be sure to post up vids ..better quality ones, not cellphone cam blurry vids. :o

you were right its gone already haha.

ukejon
02-02-2008, 10:35 PM
That long scale mahogany Glyph was a lovely thing--I got to caress it last week for several hours when Neal came over. One little warning about 18" scale: if you are into Jake or James Hill style music, some of the long five or even seven fret stretches on chords can be even more challenging than normal.

catch23
02-02-2008, 11:01 PM
I've had the opportunity to tour the Da Silva workshop and see Mike in action. I think you should definitely get a Da Silva. He definitely puts sound first, but they all come out beautiful as well.

If you want to hear some Da Silvas, are lots of videos on youtube, but i don't think the sound quality is all that great on most of the vids. However you should watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ERIs-2Uct4

It's amazing how he's able to get so much sound out of such a tiny instrument!

BigBruddahJ
03-03-2008, 07:41 AM
so ive got this wild hair up my butt again. im in NEED of a totally custom uke for myself. something that just screams "THIS IS MY UKULELE". my kala project was great. and i love that uke. but its still not "mine". and anyone can get a similar kala or lanikai and do the same thing that i did with a little bit of elbow grease, some technical know-how (good with your hands), and an incredible amount of patience.

but now i want my own. i realize this is going to be an expensive journey. but in the long run, i think its going to be worth it.

so yous guys wid da custom ukes out there... where did you get em? and how much did it cost you (major factor - poor is me)? and how satisfied are you with their work?

My low-G tenor was made by Tom Guy who goes by the name "Bluegrass Ukes." His specialty is the cigar box tenor which are sold primarily on e-bay. This video shows Tom playing one of his cigar boxes. He is also pretty generous with showing the details in construction with the videos as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at72yVEBMAA

His son is a friend of mine so I didn't actually go through e-bay to get mine. I have a traditionally shaped ukulele made by Tom, but I will be getting one of these cigar box ukuleles at some point as well. I also am fortunate enough to see most of the newest ukuleles that he puts up for sale. Two things are consistent in all of the instruments I've seen: they are meticulously constructed and they all sound beautiful.

The sound and "playability" of the ukuleles are superb. Since he is an excellent player in his own right (he is the one playing on the videos), he knows how important the sound of the instrument is.

For a custom made tenor, I'm of the opinion that the prices for these are very good (under $500). Each one is handmade. The only items on my ukulele not made by Tom were the tuning pegs, fretboard and strings. He's made instruments from many different types of wood.

The only downside to getting one of these is that he doesn't really offer you a menu of options. Each instrument is uniquely constructed, but there isn't much in the neighborhood of giving specific design preferences. His goal is to get the best sound out of the instrument with the materials he has chosen.

NukeDOC
03-03-2008, 08:58 AM
My low-G tenor was made by Tom Guy who goes by the name "Bluegrass Ukes." His specialty is the cigar box tenor which are sold primarily on e-bay. This video shows Tom playing one of his cigar boxes. He is also pretty generous with showing the details in construction with the videos as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at72yVEBMAA

His son is a friend of mine so I didn't actually go through e-bay to get mine. I have a traditionally shaped ukulele made by Tom, but I will be getting one of these cigar box ukuleles at some point as well. I also am fortunate enough to see most of the newest ukuleles that he puts up for sale. Two things are consistent in all of the instruments I've seen: they are meticulously constructed and they all sound beautiful.

The sound and "playability" of the ukuleles are superb. Since he is an excellent player in his own right (he is the one playing on the videos), he knows how important the sound of the instrument is.

For a custom made tenor, I'm of the opinion that the prices for these are very good (under $500). Each one is handmade. The only items on my ukulele not made by Tom were the tuning pegs, fretboard and strings. He's made instruments from many different types of wood.

The only downside to getting one of these is that he doesn't really offer you a menu of options. Each instrument is uniquely constructed, but there isn't much in the neighborhood of giving specific design preferences. His goal is to get the best sound out of the instrument with the materials he has chosen.
wow, that is the most awesome cigarbox uke ive ever seen/heard. i love the grooves cut into the sides. and the different color woods used in the heel of the neck. very nice touch. if i ever start shopping for a cigarbox... i definitely know who to go to now. thanks for sharing!

any video or pictures of your traditionally shaped uke built by tom?

GX9901
03-03-2008, 11:15 AM
Hey I'm a big fan of Tom Guy's cigar boxes. It has high-end sound and tons of mojo. Plus you don't really need to treat it with kid gloves. I strung mine high-G and it works great.

I wrote a review (http://gx9901ukes.blogspot.com/2007/12/sssssssmoookin.html)on it a while ago complete with a sound clip (http://www.box.net/shared/dczcccdt9m). Check it out.

bluesuke
03-03-2008, 03:14 PM
have you check Glyph ukuleles.I have read some good things about him.and on his website his workmenship looks great. but he is a one man show he told me he is about 2 years out

koa
03-03-2008, 04:03 PM
I play a custom & "from stock" William King A5 #009(soprano). William is noted for his tenor 'ukuleles. The custom arrived & relative to the stock KoAloha (which I really like) has significantly more sustain/resonance, richer brightness and technically much easier to pull & hammer cleaner notes. Loved it so much I purchased his in stock A5 #008 (the twin to my custom but std 35mm wide neck). Actually prefer #008 over my custom. Less resonance with all the characteristics of #009. More balanced overall sound. Easy person to work with. Builds using a Spanish style vs. box construction. Seems to prefer classical tie through bridges. Builds what I consider elegant beautiful instruments. Really brings the woods natural beauty out. No need for lots of inlay bling unless you are really into that.

Have on order a Glyph Concert 14 fret to the body. Start date I think is this autumn. The nice thing about the long wait for a Glyph is the time really to tweak out you custom. Lost track of the number of emails. Dave promptly answered any questions, has provided me with direction/suggestions.

Both of these luthiers are one man shops. Low volume, but real nice instruments at a very fair price. Have yet to see a posting about a dud of a uke. From their websites it looks to be long waits for either of these builders. I'm pretty sure William is booked for '08. Once in a while he has an available "in stock inventory" uke hanging around. You need to check his site daily.

Caspyr
03-09-2008, 10:56 AM
before i consider him, i would like to see what kind of reviews there are on his work.

I love my Moore Bettah.

Build quality is great, sound great, looks are second to none in my opinion. They are really pieces of art.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b260/CSNFan/Ukues%20in%20Maui/IMG_4156.jpg?t=1205092300
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b260/CSNFan/Ukues%20in%20Maui/IMG_4163.jpg?t=1205092365

While they can be considered "custom", he said builds what he he feels, if one of them is your cup of tea, jump quiick because they don't last long. He said most of his sell the day he posts then on his website.

rayan
03-09-2008, 10:59 AM
I love my Moore Bettah.

Build quality is great, sound great, looks are second to none in my opinion. They are really pieces of art.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b260/CSNFan/Ukues%20in%20Maui/IMG_4156.jpg?t=1205092300
http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b260/CSNFan/Ukues%20in%20Maui/IMG_4163.jpg?t=1205092365

While they can be considered "custom", he said builds what he he feels, if one of them is your cup of tea, jump quiick because they don't last long. He said most of his sell the day he posts then on his website.

He contacted us a month or 2 ago about linking to his website. I was wondering what the sound quality of the was like. They obviously look gorgeous.

E-Lo Roberts
03-10-2008, 10:07 AM
Caspyr, looks great! Yes he is one of the best luthier's I've seen. I would love to play that thing... good job dude!.... PS how is (was) the action? Can you give me a gauge measurement at the 14th fret? I heard he sets them up fairly high to let the client change this if they like. e.lo.......

GX9901
03-10-2008, 10:22 AM
Caspyr, looks great! Yes he is one of the best luthier's I've seen. I would love to play that thing... good job dude!.... PS how is (was) the action? Can you give me a gauge measurement at the 14th fret? I heard he sets them up fairly high to let the client change this if they like. e.lo.......

That's exactly what I heard too. I tried 2 Moore Bettahs this past January and the action was nearly unplayable. I was told that the action is set high so the player can adjust it to his/her liking.

Caspyr
03-10-2008, 04:57 PM
Yes, the action was pretty high. The saddle came out pretty easy, and a little sandpaper fixed that.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
03-12-2008, 05:53 PM
While I've been building ukuleles for just over twenty years, selling through cyber space is a new experience for me. Previous to launching my web site last year most of my work was sold directly to my customers who would spend time with the instrument while I made adjustments if necessary according to their playing style. Since moving my shop in 2006 to a remote location in the jungle, most of my work is now sold through my web site or to dealers that I've had a relationship with for many years, and I never have a chance to meet most of my buyers. So I made the decision a few months ago to lower the action to suit most players needs. The clearance of the strings above the 14th fret is .100" (mid way between 3/32" and 7/64"). This seems to be satisfactory to most players. Hope this clears up any misunderstanding.
Happy playing

Chuck Moore
More Bettah Ukuleles
http://www.moorebettahukes.com

Dino
03-12-2008, 06:24 PM
I have a Koa 6-string 2-puka Tenor made by Tangi Ukuleles. Excellent work. He can do custom work also. Just depends what you want. Good prices since you are buying it direct from the manufacterer and not from a retailer with hugh mark-up's.

www.tangiukuleles.com

seeso
03-12-2008, 07:32 PM
I have a Koa 6-string 2-puka Tenor made by Tangi Ukuleles. Excellent work. He can do custom work also. Just depends what you want. Good prices since you are buying it direct from the manufacterer and not from a retailer with hugh mark-up's.

www.tangiukuleles.com

Those look really cool. Never seen one with 2 sound holes like that.

http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/6164/1koa20concert20220pukaqc5.th.jpg (http://img212.imageshack.us/my.php?image=1koa20concert20220pukaqc5.jpg)

Fred Miu
03-12-2008, 10:58 PM
now that i talked to Mike DaSilva, its him for suuuuuure.


his ukes are so beautiful

drubin
03-13-2008, 07:45 AM
Bosko (of Bosko and and Honey fame) plays a Mike DaSilva concert and it sounds fantastic. Good choice!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=wyX6WgzLsOg

E-Lo Roberts
03-13-2008, 07:58 AM
While I've been building ukuleles for just over twenty years, selling through cyber space is a new experience for me. Previous to launching my web site last year most of my work was sold directly to my customers who would spend time with the instrument while I made adjustments if necessary according to their playing style. Since moving my shop in 2006 to a remote location in the jungle, most of my work is now sold through my web site or to dealers that I've had a relationship with for many years, and I never have a chance to meet most of my buyers. So I made the decision a few months ago to lower the action to suit most players needs. The clearance of the strings above the 14th fret is .100" (mid way between 3/32" and 7/64"). This seems to be satisfactory to most players. Hope this clears up any misunderstanding.
Happy playing

Chuck Moore
More Bettah Ukuleles
http://www.moorebettahukes.com
Chuck, thanks for clearing up the specs on the action question. BTW, additional kudos for the reply back on my personal uke questions. Much appreciated brother member. Keep making those amazing ukuleles!! Thanks...e.lo..

Byron
03-14-2008, 08:15 AM
BigBruddahJ - Hey thats my Tom Guy Tenor cigar box uke you linked to. Yeah I got the bug bigtime after a good friend moved back to town end of last year and introduced me to the ukulele (guitar player convert). Been playing for three months now. First bought a Kala Spalted Maple tenor from MGM in Jan 08 ( I think it sounds great - very satisfied with it). But once I heard Tom Guy's cigar box ukes I just had to have one, then two, as I bought the last two ukes he has put up for sell on ebay. What is really cool is that Tom offers a personalized label that is signed and dated ("Made Especially For ______", what ever name you want which makes the uke even more endearing) Both came with Hilo Low G strings installed, which I really like as the Kala was high G set up. It is nice to have both high and low G set ups. The Tom Guy cigar box uke's sustain is amazing, Maybe it is the 40+ year old wood cigar box, which is braced BTW, and the fretboard action will blow your mind, when I picked it up I was OMG, it just feels like a fine instrument. BTW, the grooves on the sides are how the cigar box was made and not something added. I just bought a set of AQUILA low G and will put then on one of the cigar box ukes to see what the difference in sound is. For the Price (and maybe any price?), these are simply excellent ukes with excellent sound (the first uke was 270.00 and the second was 330.00, it having fancier wood work.) Both sound equally great.

Bourbon Boy
05-12-2008, 04:57 PM
So....NukeDoc.....Have you ever made your decision? I did not hear much about the Kanile'a. I want a custom. I am feeling either the Kanile'a or Glyph.

What was your take from these posts and any other threads you may have read.?

Do you have a final answer???what custom uke will you get!!!!!

NukeDOC
05-12-2008, 08:47 PM
So....NukeDoc.....Have you ever made your decision? I did not hear much about the Kanile'a. I want a custom. I am feeling either the Kanile'a or Glyph.

What was your take from these posts and any other threads you may have read.?

Do you have a final answer???what custom uke will you get!!!!!
i have actually decided to build my own. its going to be an electric only ukulele based loosely on the bugsgear. but a body resembling more of a les paul, and with a slotted head.

Bourbon Boy
05-13-2008, 05:06 PM
i have actually decided to build my own. its going to be an electric only ukulele based loosely on the bugsgear. but a body resembling more of a les paul, and with a slotted head.
WOW... you must have some good hands to take on a task like that....cool man...Well I wish you the best and I can not wait to see and hear it...

Rubbertoe
05-13-2008, 05:57 PM
Wow! All these custom ukes are amazing! I remember buying my first uke and thinking I want to try out a different size. So I bought a tenor (<$100). Then, I thought I want a good uke that I can take anywhere and my girlfriend bought me a Fluke. After I played the Fluke, I thought "I want a uke with a solid soundboard (at least), possibly with a pick-up". I haven't found my solid wood uke yet and now you guys are making me drool with custom-jobs! Damn UAS!

seeso
05-13-2008, 06:22 PM
Here are my favorite custom builders:

William King (http://www.chantus.com/docs/ukes/)
http://img301.imageshack.us/img301/4309/treasure2cn6.jpg

Mike DaSilva (http://www.ukemaker.com/)
http://img108.imageshack.us/img108/4405/a006santo525lm9.jpg

Dave Means (http://glyphukulele.com/)
http://img118.imageshack.us/img118/5671/fw16dm0.jpg

Chuck Moore (http://www.moorebettahukes.com/)
http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/2989/ukes731732733007op218x5kk7.jpg

seeso
05-13-2008, 06:23 PM
And one more:

Owen Jones Keoholaumakani Holt, Jr. (http://www.roadtoadmusic.com/main.html)
http://img207.imageshack.us/img207/2504/roadtoadil3.jpg

Kekani
05-13-2008, 11:07 PM
Seeso, in addition to WK, DM, CM and OH, don't forget (in no particular order):

Bob Gleason - Pegasus
Paul Okami - KoAloha
Joe Souza - Kanile`a
Casey Kamaka - Kamaka
Chris Kamaka - Kamaka
Derek Shimizu - GString
Rich Godfrey - Koa Works
John Kitakis - Ko`olau
Greg Uyehara - GKU
Shinji Takahashi
Rick Turner - Compass Rose

I know I've missed a few, but its late. This is a good time.

Gaby
05-20-2008, 03:41 AM
Da Silva for sure!

menehunenyc
05-20-2008, 04:57 AM
I believe my next uke will be a custom or stock Kamaka tenor. Anyone having any intonation problems with Kamaka's?? Thanks, Ernie..

I got one for xmas, all I can say is love it love it love it everytime I pick it up to play I giggle with little boy pleasure. If I wasn't married already I'd marry my kamaka. Perfect intonation all the way through, overtones all over the place makes it ring like bells, especially farther up the fretboard. I find that I need to replace the strings again. First time was after 3 months of playing the stock strings, then already, I feel like I need a new set. I know it can't be the uke itself, I wonder if my strumming is too hard? Its weird, I just surprised that someone of my ability feels the need to change strings so often...

IMO...can't ever go wrong with a kamaka. Still, playing first to see which one sounds best to you is the only way to buy a top grade uke...

Howlin Hobbit
05-20-2008, 07:32 AM
I find that I need to replace the strings again. First time was after 3 months of playing the stock strings, then already, I feel like I need a new set. . . Its weird, I just surprised that someone of my ability feels the need to change strings so often...

When I was busking daily with my guitar changing the strings once a week was often "putting it off."

Sometimes I go over a year (too long) with my ukuleles. And since good uke strings are cheaper than good guitar strings, I consider myself way lucky.

BruddahMark
05-20-2008, 02:37 PM
Brah,

Before you make your decision on who is to build your custom ukulele (i guess sometime in the future now that you have decided) I would play, feel and inspect as many different ukuleles as possible. Take your time and see what you like, see who you like then go their factory, shop, etc. and talk to the builder. See how they operate, smell the wood. Find out if they will be building it or someone else in the shop. Interview him/her and make sure you can work with them before you plunk down the deposit. If you can't work with the builder and the builder cannot work with you, what do you think you will get? Sometimes you just click with a builder and they hopefully will become your builder for life. I think this is the most important thing when considering a custom ukulele builder.

There is lot of mana that goes into a custom ukulele. Believe me. I have the utmost respect for any and all ukulele builders but there are some that are right for you and some that are not.

About 3 years ago I had the chance to meet David C. Hurd of Kawika Ukuleles. Whom I consider, used to build one of the finest sounding ukuleles that I had ever heard. I went to his house/shop in Hilo, played his ukuleles talked with him and thought we would work together on a project. I started the "I want" process about a year later but could not come to agreements on some issues. He wanted to build me a Kawika ukulele the way he wanted it to be not the way I wanted it. Maybe I should have listened to him , maybe not. But It just did not work out, I'm sure the ukulele would have sounded phenomenal but I just felt the mana was lost. So we parted ideas.

I had found another innovative builder before Kawika by the name of Andy Berard of O'kona Ukuleles but unfortunately he passed before I was to have him build my next tenor ukulele. Andy, I believe was to be my builder for life. I still own one of his concert ukuleles. RIP Andy

fumanshu
05-20-2008, 02:59 PM
There's so many nice customs in this thread....it's just so hard to choose somehting from all these good luthier...

As for my part...I didn't see anyone mention Mike Periera from MP!!! It's him that I choose to ask for my first custom concert uke that I ordered...

Can't wait to receive it...It should arrive somewhere around mid June!!!\

Plainsong
05-20-2008, 06:10 PM
No love then for Jerry Hoffmann of Boat Paddle Ukuleles (http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/)?

He's building a Uke for Julie of The Gadgeteer and Ukulele Review fame, and it's been great following each of the updates as her uke comes to life. The looks are a bit Rosemary's Baby, but I grok the sound, and the use of pins instead of nut. The price ain't bad either.

Craig
05-20-2008, 06:29 PM
well ive kinda narrowed it down to three:

da silva here in cali
kanile'a
g string

i am leaning more toward g string at the moment... but i still havent gotten a hard quote for the specs that i requested.

does anyone here... anyone... have any say about any of these companies??

im sure any of these companies will make a uke that sounds great. but im worried about:
1. customer service
2. workmanship (attention to detail)
3. price
4. pride in their product

Truly the best workmanship and sound that I've found. However, you'll have to pay for it, but worth every penny. I was once spending over $1,400.00 per year on a frick'n coffee drink! I've gotten every single penny of enjoyment out of my two Ko'olaus.
http://www.koolauukulele.com/ (http://www.koolauukulele.com)

mentalfloss
08-29-2008, 06:23 AM
Tom Guy makes a sweeeeeeeeeet insturment. I have one of his cigar box tenors and his price is a steal....

uke142464
08-29-2008, 10:43 AM
why hasn't anyone written about MP ukes? anyone have experience with one?

deach
08-29-2008, 10:47 AM
why hasn't anyone written about MP ukes? anyone have experience with one?

Here's a couple links


http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4651

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2022

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3143

redsedge
08-29-2008, 10:50 AM
Try our own Pete Howlett. He trades under UKukes and is very friendly, informative and patient. A lovely guy who makes wonderful ukuleles. http://www.uklectic.com/Pete_Howlett_ukulele_maker.html And he is a perfectionist.

Pete Howlett
08-29-2008, 01:10 PM
Brudda Mark

It is very hard for builders who have distinct views as David does to take on board input from so called non-experts.

I personally don't do ideas. I have a bunch of models that can be blinged up from the bottom and that's about it. There are a limited number of specie that I will build with and I draw back from spruce tops except on my concert negra models and J2s. In fatc, there are very few builders who can accomodate the wishes of clients and if they do you gotta pay for it!

The other day I got asked to build a guitar for someone who managed to get their hands on one of my last koa/spruce parlors. It's no deal unless he is prepared to start at $6000 - this may seem extreme but I would have to rebuild my forms and jigs and completely rearrange my workshop which is designed for small instruments.

Waterguy
08-29-2008, 04:51 PM
NukeDOC, I admire you for going the build your own route. It's a route I'm cosidering for my next Uke. I've never built a Uke but I've done lots of woodworking.

There is nothing like making it yourself to make it your own.

I've made hand made cabinets. They were nice and the client loved them. Thing is, that I knew every square inch of them when I delivered them like the back of my hand. Almost better then I know my kids.

I'm pretty sure my next uke will be a kit build at this point. The high end tempts me. The custom luthiers stuff is like porn to me. The thing is, I know from personal experience how much of yourself goes into a handmade item. I used to imagine what it would be like playing a Uke like Jake's, and that was pretty cool. Now I think about how cool it would be to make one, especially one that played well.

I love playing my Uke. I'm not sure that some high end custom would enhance that cause I'm already enjoying myself. The only thing I could imagine that would make that experience more fun is playing a Uke that had been a labor of love by myself.

Good luck making your Uke.

leaveit2jane
08-30-2008, 09:57 AM
For what it's worth.....

Lori Espanol makes a very fine instrument. I have 2 of hers. She's got one on Ebay presently # 220274396286, where there is more contact info for her as well as a link to many of the ones she has made.

deach
08-30-2008, 11:24 AM
For what it's worth.....

Lori Espanol makes a very fine instrument. I have 2 of hers. She's got one on Ebay presently # 220274396286, where there is more contact info for her as well as a link to many of the ones she has made.

Shhhhhhh. I'm bidding on that one.

leaveit2jane
08-30-2008, 01:58 PM
Shhhhhhh. I'm bidding on that one.

I have one of her walnut/spruce concerts, and a koa/spruce tenor. The concert is just getting it's voice. The Ukulele Spirits must really love Lori. If you're looking for seriously warm, harp like tone, that walnut/spruce is the answer. She sends them out with Worths. I may put a set of Aquillas on when the Worths go dead just for grins, but the tenor is always gonna keep Worths on it.... not going to tamper with perfection there.

UkeBianca
09-02-2008, 12:10 PM
Hi did you ever buy a kanilea uke? If not i know a man in LA who is selling his now.

Pete Howlett
09-02-2008, 12:26 PM
Why didn't he just send it back to G string? By working on it he lost the warranty. Not a good plan...

h-drix
09-03-2008, 02:44 AM
That's right not a good plan.:biglaugh:

am i missing something? 0.o

thesoobz
09-03-2008, 11:08 PM
hey bro i agree the G-string ukes are not to my liking..

but if you wanted a custom ukulele kamaka would be nice but yeah they arent accepting any orders right now. i would try kanilea joe is a very nice man and excellent workmanship. the ukuleles are so nice the UV cured finish is to die for. and their prices arent to bad too.

-thesoobz

ps i just recently got a stock k-1 tenor with an lr bags pickup thing is SWEEET. check it out on my page. for a k-1 the tenor is nice!

trevorg888
09-06-2017, 05:31 PM
well I have owned and played just about every high end custom uke brands in the world from $1000 - $6000 models and have sold just about all of them and replaced them with Barron River Brand ukes I currently own 9 of them - www.brguitars.com

AlohaKine
09-07-2017, 05:28 PM
well I have owned and played just about every high end custom uke brands in the world from $1000 - $6000 models and have sold just about all of them and replaced them with Barron River Brand ukes I currently own 9 of them - www.brguitars.com

That's quite an impressive statement, this certainly has my attention, thanks for sharing.

warndt
09-07-2017, 09:10 PM
C'mon, really...a nine year old thread?

Booli
09-08-2017, 06:05 AM
C'mon, really...a nine year old thread?

There is an apparent epidemic of necroposting recently on UU since nobody sees dates any more.

Bill Sheehan
09-08-2017, 12:47 PM
I got a great little soprano from Al McWhorter at Spruce House Ukuleles (based in Eugene, Oregon) earlier this year, and I am extremely happy with it. Made with great care, intonates accurately, sweet tone. Cost was right around $300.00 by the time shipping was factored in. -Bill

AlohaKine
09-08-2017, 06:49 PM
There is an apparent epidemic of necroposting recently on UU since nobody sees dates any more.

I did notice the date, but I didn't reply first LOL.. ;)

kkimura
09-09-2017, 08:44 AM
C'mon, really...a nine year old thread?

"What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger."

captain-janeway
07-26-2019, 01:09 PM
Gee, looked up Tom Guy for fun, but Bluegrassukes.com no longer appears to exist. Would have liked to have seen one of his cigar box ukes. I kind of like this thread that's risen from the dead. Just looked up DaSilva because I'd seen it somewhere else, and enjoyed scrolling the rest of the thread.

robinboyd
07-26-2019, 06:08 PM
Gee, looked up Tom Guy for fun, but Bluegrassukes.com no longer appears to exist. Would have liked to have seen one of his cigar box ukes. I kind of like this thread that's risen from the dead. Just looked up DaSilva because I'd seen it somewhere else, and enjoyed scrolling the rest of the thread.

I've heard that Da Silva no longer makes ukes, but I had the opportunity to play one a little while ago and it was phenomenal. It blew all the K brands out of the water.

tomthebaptist
07-27-2019, 01:59 PM
I have 3 LoPrinzis. I love Donnas Ukuleles. They're well made, light, very resonant, easy to play, intonate well all way up fret board, well balanced. Beside that, she is easy to work with. I bought all of mine through Mike at Uke Republic.

Tom

CommonCurt
07-27-2019, 06:38 PM
I have 3 LoPrinzis. I love Donnas Ukuleles. They're well made, light, very resonant, easy to play, intonate well all way up fret board, well balanced. Beside that, she is easy to work with. I bought all of mine through Mike at Uke Republic.

Tom

I second LoPrinzi. Donna is definitely easy to work with. I will for sure be ordering a custom soprano from her, and possibly another concert.

Joyful Uke
07-28-2019, 06:02 AM
I second LoPrinzi. Donna is definitely easy to work with. I will for sure be ordering a custom soprano from her, and possibly another concert.

I don't have a custom, but have one from the UU Marketplace.
I think that LoPrinzis are a great ukulele for a great price.