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View Full Version : High end luthier Pepe Romero comes to Haleiwa



MGM
04-20-2012, 06:10 PM
Pepe Romero...world renowned guitar maker and now also ukulele maker visited us today and Andrew, Pepe and I had a great lunch at Opals in Haleiwa Thai food....great discussion on ukulele making
and woods and theory of tonal qualities of wood ensued. By the way if you want a great experience in epicurean delight ask Opal to make you what he feels you will like and great ready for a inexpensive yet great dining experience....if you are ever in Haleiwa.....just check the yelp reviews on this place.....Good food. Ahhhhhhh almost as good as a great ukulele.

imabuddha
04-20-2012, 06:24 PM
Good food & great conversation makes for a wonderful day. :)

Harold O.
04-20-2012, 06:26 PM
I don't know anything about Pepe Romero, but I have quick Haleiwa story.

My dad was in the Navy and back in the mid 60s, we lived in Haleiwa. I attended the elementary school there for second grade. Flash forward to 1990 when I got married and came back to the island. I was still able to find the school, church, and even the house I lived in so long ago. Flash forward again to just a couple of years ago when we had our daughters with us. I was able to show them the old house, get some shave ice, and check out the beach just northwest of town. When we stopped at the self-serve for gas, the old Hawaiian station man told me to just sit tight and he'd take care of the pumping for me. It was a simple gesture, but something I will never forget. Even on an island as touristy as Oahu can be, the aloha spirit still exists.

coolkayaker1
04-20-2012, 06:36 PM
By the way if you want a great experience in epicurean delight ask Opal to make you what he feels you will like and great ready for a inexpensive yet great dining experience....if you are ever in Haleiwa.....just check the yelp reviews on this place.....Good food. Ahhhhhhh almost as good as a great ukulele.

Is it as good as a greasy slice of pizza pie on the wooden tables in front of Spaghettini's? lol

MGM
04-20-2012, 06:54 PM
Can't say..I have eaten there but I had the rack of lamb....for the greasy pizzia I have no clue. Great place

Dan Uke
04-20-2012, 06:59 PM
I only eat at Giovanni Shrimp Truck when I go to Haleiwa

itsme
04-20-2012, 07:05 PM
Pepe the luthier is a junior. Pepe the senior is one of the best classical guitarists ever. :)

Rick Turner
04-20-2012, 07:09 PM
Any spruce and Brazilian ukes coming from Pepe?

MGM
04-20-2012, 07:47 PM
I am starring at two as described

Tigeralum2001
04-20-2012, 08:37 PM
I am starring at two as described

MGM, for those of us who haven't seen his work, can you describe it a little? Pepe is known as a Classical & Flamenco guitar builder, how does that influence his ukes? Is there more space between the strings for playing finger style? If so, do they strum well? How do the Spruce & Rosewood ukes sound? He has really captured my attention and I am in the market for a high-end uke. Can you name some luthiers whose his work compares? I always worry about guitar builders coming to the uke as they typically come with too much bracing or too thick of woods and kill the sound. For his asking prices, I want to be sure it is worth the money. What says the most honorable and knowledgeable MGM?
Mahalo!

specialk13
04-21-2012, 03:47 AM
MGM, for those of us who haven't seen his work, can you describe it a little? Pepe is known as a Classical & Flamenco guitar builder, how does that influence his ukes? Is there more space between the strings for playing finger style? If so, do they strum well? How do the Spruce & Rosewood ukes sound? He has really captured my attention and I am in the market for a high-end uke. Can you name some luthiers whose his work compares? I always worry about guitar builders coming to the uke as they typically come with too much bracing or too thick of woods and kill the sound. For his asking prices, I want to be sure it is worth the money. What says the most honorable and knowledgeable MGM?
Mahalo!

If you don't mind, I'll jump in and say that Pepe's ukes are exceptional. I have played two different all koa ukes, a cherry/spruce, and a rosewood/spruce uke. They were all winners, all lightly built, and so much fun to play.
They are very quick in response (spruce tops in particular) and they do have wide string spacing so, probably geared more towards finger picking (but can still be strummed as well).
I highly recommend one of his ukes. I ended up keeping a rosewood uke instead of a koa one and I haven't regretted it.
Also, don't expect perfection, they are completely hand built and it does show in subtle ways. It's kind of nice to be able to tell that though when you look at and hold one.
Anyways, just my 2 cents, go try one if you can, they are great!

foxfair
04-21-2012, 04:33 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zKTWP-N1VY

MGM
04-21-2012, 07:21 AM
Being overbuilt like most guitar makers do on their first uke I can say without a doubt NO. The first Pepe Romero I ever touched was a koa tenor and was the lightest tenor I have ever played....I mean this was feather like light. I am still trying out the two new spruce Brazil's....

Dan Uke
04-21-2012, 07:30 AM
Does lightly built mean better sounding?

Trinimon
04-21-2012, 08:03 AM
I only eat at Giovanni Shrimp Truck when I go to Haleiwa

Ditto. Add to that, shaved ice at Matsumotos and never on a weekend!

coolkayaker1
04-21-2012, 01:06 PM
Ditto. Add to that, shaved ice at Matsumotos and never on a weekend!

Ditto. When Matsumotos gets slimed, we go to the little store in the shopping area not far away, right by Patagonia--I forget the name, but the shave ice is sweet and good.

That Pepe Jr video was helpful.

wmboy
04-21-2012, 11:54 PM
Being overbuilt like most guitar makers do on their first uke I can say without a doubt NO. The first Pepe Romero I ever touched was a koa tenor and was the lightest tenor I have ever played....I mean this was feather like light. I am still trying out the two new spruce Brazil's....

Wow ... please share sound samples on the spruce Brazil.

foxfair
04-22-2012, 03:59 AM
Wow ... please share sound samples on the spruce Brazil.
Pepe Romero Jr talked about his 3 uke builds in the video I linked above, and he played a spruce top+RW back and sides uke so the sound around 2:57. I'll link it again here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zKTWP-N1VY

wmboy
04-22-2012, 05:40 AM
Pepe Romero Jr talked about his 3 uke builds in the video I linked above, and he played a spruce top+RW back and sides uke so the sound around 2:57. I'll link it again here:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zKTWP-N1VY

Thanks, seen that video. I totally dig the spruce+rosewood look&tone. Just curious how the two ukes MGM have sound like.

specialk13
04-22-2012, 07:39 AM
Does lightly built mean better sounding?

Lightweight isn't always better but in this case it makes for a very quick and responsive uke, something I think Pepe's guitars are also known for.

Dan Uke
04-22-2012, 08:15 AM
Lightweight isn't always better but in this case it makes for a very quick and responsive uke, something I think Pepe's guitars are also known for.

I actually want a mini guitar sound as I fingerpick more and like Savarez and Daddario strings. Light built usually sound a little hollow to me

specialk13
04-22-2012, 09:01 AM
I actually want a mini guitar sound as I fingerpick more and like Savarez and Daddario strings. Light built usually sound a little hollow to me

I think you would just have to try one and to see.....there's something special about them and the sound just jumps out when they're played. I think the Pepe ukes are some of the loudest I've heard as well FWIW.

wmboy
04-22-2012, 03:23 PM
HMS has put up one for sale ... no sound sample though

http://www.theukulelesite.com/pepe-romero-spruce-rosewood-custom-tenor.html

specialk13
04-23-2012, 03:52 AM
That's gorgeous! Looks like someone snatched that right up!

wmboy
04-23-2012, 06:10 PM
It's back in stock again but it is a different uke cos the back is different. Wish they post a sound sample soon.

AndrewKuker
04-29-2012, 06:40 PM
Sound sample and review - http://theukulelereview.com/2012/04/27/ukulele-the-new-guitar/