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View Full Version : New Uke Day - Compass Rose



Caboose66
11-04-2011, 02:38 AM
Okay, new uke day was Wednesday, but this was my first chance to post.
Flamed maple back/sides and top Compass Rose Tenor.
Thanks to Gryphon Stringed Instruments for their great service and to Rick Turner and Jake Maclay for their input as well as craftsmanship.
I hope Gryphon doesn't mind my use of their photos... I haven't has a chance to take any yet and Grant from Gryphon is a much better photographer.
Here she is:

roxhum
11-04-2011, 02:50 AM
Wow, it is beautiful. How does it sound? Congratulations on your new uke.

vanflynn
11-04-2011, 03:47 AM
Wow! Congrats. Looking forward to more pics and soundbite

Caboose66
11-04-2011, 04:28 AM
Thanks Rox.
I haven't had a chance to play it a lot yet, but what I've heard so far sounds very sweet. It certainly doesn't sound overly bright or "shrill" which is what some folks have associated with all maple ukes - at least not to my ears. I like the side port and I get a different feel from the solid wood than I do from my laminate back/sides Lanikai. It's hard to describe, but the resonance from the body feels different and more like my guitar (a Larrivee "L"). Whether that's because of the bracing, the solid wood vs. laminate, the different wood species (maple vs. koa) or what, I'm not exactly sure - but I like it.

Dean

rem50
11-04-2011, 04:28 AM
it is beautiful!

coriandre
11-04-2011, 04:58 AM
A real beauty ! Congrats on the new ukulele !

allanr
11-04-2011, 05:21 AM
WOW!!!!!!!

Congratulations. What a beauty.

maclay
11-04-2011, 06:53 PM
Thanks to Gryphon Stringed Instruments for their great service and to Rick Turner and Jake Maclay for their input as well as craftsmanship.

No problem Dean, happy to help.

localmana
11-04-2011, 07:53 PM
I also recently got a Compass Rose w/ a cedar top and rosewood back and sides.
Absolutely the best. Welcome to the club. Rick ought to make t shirts. I'd wear it
proudly.
Congrats.

Trinimon
11-04-2011, 08:25 PM
Damn! What a beauty of a uke! I need to win a lottery!

mm stan
11-05-2011, 03:22 AM
Congrats Dean...May you have many years of happinness playing your uke...happy Strummings..MM Stan

Caboose66
11-05-2011, 04:18 AM
Thanks everyone. I finally had a chance to sit down and play for awhile last night. It really is a light and very comfortable instrument to play. I can now stand by my earlier statement about the sweet sound... I have a hard time describing any ukulele sound as "warm"... But I think that's because I compare it to guitar. In that sense, the sound is not warm. However, compared to some ukes that are very bright, this is warmer than them. I will try to record some sort of sound sample. MGM has a YouTube video featuring an all-maple Compass Rose that might help.
Trinimon... :D. Yeah, I need to win the lottery too... If I did, I would pick up another Compass Rose, a Hive (or six), a Moore Bettah, a Mya Moe... The list goes on.
Anyway, off to play a little more before the real day starts.
Cheers, Dean

Rick Turner
11-05-2011, 08:27 AM
You will find that warmth will come, and not at the expense of the sweetness. I hate to ignite the whole controversy about instruments "opening up"...but they do, and it's in that lower "warmth" zone that it is most apparent. The biggest changes come quickly, and taper off, but that uke has had strings on it for less than three weeks now, so it's still in it's infancy. I've been very pleased with how maple topped ukes age.

Caboose66
11-05-2011, 10:11 AM
Thanks Rick... If this beauty "matures" and sounds better as a result, it will just be icing on the cake... It really has a lovely voice already - even as a youngster :)
I'm already thinking that, someday, I'd like to get a companion To this one, but in darker wood.

Again, my compliments to you and your crew.

Dean

Rick Turner
11-05-2011, 05:17 PM
You won't believe the "Acacia Melanoxylon" tree quarters I just got in. It's "Tasmanian Blackwood" from about 8 miles from here. No flame figure, but beautiful straight grain and really nice color. Tassie Blackwood acacia was brought to California in the late 1800s as a fast growing and potentially large ornamental tree. It "escaped" it's southern California plantings and made its way up the coast. There are some amazing trees up here, and this one was a good 34" in diameter at about 35" above ground. My pal Jeff Wikinson is delivering quarter sawn billets this week. Just waxed the ends of four chunks. This is going to be outstanding tonewood.

mds725
11-05-2011, 05:20 PM
Congratulations on the beautiful ukulele!

foxfair
11-05-2011, 05:42 PM
Congrats! I'm still waiting for mine :)

Caboose66
11-06-2011, 03:33 AM
Rick,
I'm a Larrivee fan and have seen some Australian Blackwood used in A few of their custom guitars. It is a beautiful wood and I look forward to seeing one of your ukes made from it. Will be interested to see the top you choose...

Dean

Rick Turner
11-06-2011, 09:36 AM
This stuff is fairly plain, but very, very clean and straight grained with nice color. I just waxed the ends of four chunks last night, each one weighing in at about 200 lbs. That would make a 28" section of the trunk weigh in at about 800 lbs. I can't imagine what would have happened if this tree had blown over and hit my friend's house!

In my experience, Tassie blackwood lies in between Hawaiian koa and Indian rosewood in hardness and also "tap tone". It's a bit denser than koa, and it is an outstanding tone wood. I think I'll make a series of ukes with this blackwood with redwood tops...redwood from the same guy. It's wood that had been used for some very nice fencing at Stanford University, and was originally put up about fifty or sixty years ago. It's all heart wood, very straight grained, and certainly well seasoned!

Caboose66
11-06-2011, 02:04 PM
I think I'll make a series of ukes with this blackwood with redwood tops...redwood from the same guy. It's wood that had been used for some very nice fencing at Stanford University, and was originally put up about fifty or sixty years ago...
;) ...for the intelligentsia set... I think I fit in better with the group that got the redwood from Bob Hope's poolside bar...:iwant:
Ya' know... There's a really good marketing niche there somewhere... Ukes made from re-purposed wood from celebrities' homes. But then there would be those that wouldn't be happy unless the provenance could be proven and they had a certificate of authenticity.

Can't wait to see 'em

Dean

joeybug
11-06-2011, 08:35 PM
Congrats! Happy New Uke Day :D Looks like a stunner, how does she sound?

Pippin
11-06-2011, 09:40 PM
Beautiful uke. I love the butterbean tuners. I have always loved them on guitars, too.

uke4life
12-20-2011, 02:10 PM
Beautiful Uke!!! Rick makes phenomenal ukuleles!!! I will never let mine go!!

Caboose66
12-20-2011, 03:49 PM
Congrats! Happy New Uke Day :D Looks like a stunner, how does she sound?

Joey, my apologies. I just realized that I hadn't answered back. Lost track of the thread.

She sounds great... Even in the hands of a hack like me! I just spent a couple of hours noodlin' out some Christmas carols/hymns this morning and was struck again by the wonderful tone and resonance. I don't think the sound hole hurts either.

Anyway, I think I will unpack her again and wrestle out a rendition of O' Holy night... My favorite Christmas song.

Happy Holidays all! :)

Dean

allanr
12-20-2011, 04:54 PM
Spectacular looking uke. Congratulations!

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
12-20-2011, 05:03 PM
WEATHER FORECAST: It'll be raining smiles west of that soundhole for years. Congratulations!

Caboose66
12-21-2011, 05:13 AM
WEATHER FORECAST: It'll be raining smiles west of that soundhole for years. Congratulations!

OnlyUke... You got that right!!

By the way... Only a fellow Northwesterner (I consider Portland the Northwest, too) would phrase that in the form of a rainy weather forecast :)

Cheers, Dean