View Full Version : Griffin ukuleles?

04-19-2012, 05:13 PM
Anybody know how to find out any info on griffin ukulele. Any pics, reviews or place to buy?

Patrick Madsen
04-19-2012, 06:01 PM
I own two Griffins and plan on a third one shortly. He is a wonderful 79 yr old devoted to making a good uke. My Tenor is made with a red cedar soundboard that has 373 rings in it's 81/2" bout and Black walnut. Incredible woods he has had stored at least for 44plus years.

Brian just got back from Maui and spent weeks going to as many luthiers he could find for their expertise counsel. He also ordered a Devine tenor that he'll hopefully recieve by his 80th birthday in November.

I can take a few photos of mine if you want. Here's his info. He loves to talk ukes and loves to make that special one just for you. I love that he has a story of how he came across the woods he uses. He also owns house and mill tonewoods you might want to take a look at.

I consider him a true friend and can't say enough on how much I love the ukes he built for me. I feel blessed everytime I play mine and can't wait to order my next one.
Edit: I took his info off as I'm not sure how safe it is to put it over the net. Will send you and anyone else interested in his info.

10-15-2013, 07:56 AM
I have been talking with Brian about purchasing an uke. He is very friendly. I was hoping to see more comments on his Ukes. I just about have my wife sold on the idea that I should own one of Brians Ukes. Anybody else have any knowledge?

10-15-2013, 08:06 AM
I have one. I'm on the fly but I will give you a proper response soon.

10-16-2013, 11:19 AM
Okay, here we go. I can't remember when I got my Griffin. It was before my first year anniversary of playing uke. I'm still not at my two year mark yet, so please know that I'm learning as I go and may not know the right words for everything. But I'm trying to be thorough.

-I got photos of the uke emailed to me before hand. I received the exact uke pictured.
-He put in a misi pickup for me at a very reasonable charge. Haven't had any problems with the pickup at all.
-Included was a two page letter telling about where the wood came from, how to care for the finish, etc.
-Brian was an absolute gentleman from the word go. I'd happily do business with him anytime. I was never put off or ignored and no question went unanswered.
-After a couple months I had some problems with the neck pulling away from the body at the joint. I sent Brian pics of that and we discussed it. He was willing to take it back and attempt to figure it out/repair it at no charge, but it turned out just to be a humidification issue. Michigan is drier than the Pacific Northwest. Still, the willingness to take care of it meant a lot to me.
-The Aloha strings it came with were fine, I later changed to some Living Waters, and will try something else next time, as I'm still experimenting.
-I don't know much about "intonation". I don't play much past the first five frets anyway.
-I don't care for the tuners. I wind up tightening them a lot - there's one that just refuses to stay in tune, and I'm having a friend replace them. If I were buying a Pinecone today I'd ask him to upgrade the tuners.
-The fretboard had a bit of glue mark? I don't know what to call it. Like a smear on one fret. It's a little bit reflective is the only reason I noticed it. No biggie, but something that I would have expected to be caught at this price point.
-The case is nicely made, and fits my other pineapple bodies as well. I have a hard case I got on ebay for it for air travel. Click here: http://www.amazon.com/Soprano-Pineapple-Ukulele-Case-Black/dp/B000GVMMHC/ref=sr_1_23?ie=UTF8&qid=1381958290&sr=8-23&keywords=ukulele+case+hard+soprano
-The soundboard, when you tap it, doesn't have that "bell" tone. It's a little on the dead side.
-The carved back makes it a LOUD uke - projection is great.
-I'd love it if he had a proper label for the inside. The label looks like construction paper.

Here's a vid. I'm a strummer, not a picker! Sorry.


Inbox me if you have any more questions. :) I tried to think of everything.