View Full Version : New Uke Ordered Day!

05-01-2012, 12:22 AM
Hi all

I'm a daily reader and only occasional poster, but today felt compelled to write!

I've just paid the deposit on my new uke and am beyond excited:

- Pete Howlett custom soprano
- All British-indiginous wood: cherry body, alder neck, oak fingerboard and headstock
- Peghed tuners
- Standard soprano scale
- No binding, rosette, purfling: All sing, no bling!
- It'll be very simple, very beautiful and very high quality with PERFECT intonation, surely the single most important factor...

Aiming for completion mid-September, for my birthday (just about gets through management scrutiny at home!)

Will try to give updates over the next few months for anyone prepared to indulge my child-on-Christmas-Eve excitement!


05-01-2012, 01:19 AM
Is this your first uke?

05-01-2012, 01:47 AM
No, but it'll complete my 'set' of three.

I have long been adamant that I only ever 'want' to have three at any one time. I'm not a 'collector' of things, I tend to have one (or two) very nice versions of something e.g. I'm a cyclist and I have two bikes. Some have 15...how can you ride them all?!

So my uke 'collection' was always to be, and I think always will be:

- Beater (Lanikai CK-C)
- very good concert (Uluru Pukana La II, solid koa; beautiful)
- very good soprano - the impending PH soprano

I might exchange one in the future (clearly never my custom!) but can never see myself having more than this combination of types.

I can NEVER see myself owning a tenor, they do not attract at all - though no offence to the multitude of tenor players on UU, who seem to make up, if not the majority, then certainly the biggest group. For me, the ukulele is a soprano. I realise that now having had concerts first.

I was all set to get a koa soprano from Pete and then had an epiphany. I realised that, despite my affinity for the traditional, I also love being British and so I decided to go for an all British (save Pegheds!) uke. I worried that I would eventually wish that I didn't have an all-koa concert AND soprano and I'm very glad I made that change of mind.

SO exciting!


05-01-2012, 04:17 AM
Ben congratulations on your custom uke. I did the same thing you are doing. I wanted a high end mahogany ukulele but instead I am having one made from local myrtle wood. I like the idea of using local and sustainable woods.

I look forward in hearing all about your build as it progresses.

05-01-2012, 04:29 AM
Congrats on your custom ukulele order!

I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of my custom concert from W.A. Wixom. :)

05-01-2012, 05:31 AM
Looks like you'll be having a wonderful autumn this year. Congratulations!

05-01-2012, 06:05 AM
Congrats! Let us see it when you get it!

05-01-2012, 06:14 AM
I never cease to smile at just how lovely the UU community is. Not sacharrine-sweet lovely, but genuinely, sincerely lovely. I read and post on a number of forums, the others being music/festival based. There are invariably some horrid people on all of them. not trolls trolling, just genuinely mean-spirited people. I'm glad to be part of a community that doesn't see ridicule as its default approach to conversation!

Thanks for all your smashing comments, guys.

I'm hoping to get some pictures of the woods after they've been chosen and set aside, so I'll post them when I have them.


05-01-2012, 06:18 AM
Hi, Ben -

How exciting! I became the proud second owner of a Pete Howlett custom koa soprano just two days ago. It is absolutely gorgeous, both in appearance and in sound. I am thrilled with it, and share in your excitement as your build takes place. Be sure to keep us posted!


05-01-2012, 07:21 AM
Hi, Ben -

How exciting! I became the proud second owner of a Pete Howlett custom koa soprano just two days ago. It is absolutely gorgeous, both in appearance and in sound. I am thrilled with it, and share in your excitement as your build takes place. Be sure to keep us posted!


Thanks Kathryn and congratulations on your new acquisition. I was [I]this[I] close to ordering a koa soprano from Pete, it having been my intention to go 'fully traditional' and complete my stable with the most classically thought-of uke, a koa soprano. Halfway through the conversation I said "Pete, wait, wait. Look I'm sorry to be a pain but, I need you to talk me out of an all British wood soprano". Ten minutes later and the growing feelings I had been having for wanting something very particular for my custom sop had come to fruition. Then and there I was completely sure that I didn't want to go with koa. I just felt that I would always look at my two beautiful koa ukes (having a lovely koa concert already) and wish that they weren't quite so similar - in construction, if not in sound etc.

So now I'm 100% happy that I've made the correct choice. And lovely to hear your account too, reinforcing the fact that I have never read any meh commentsabout any of Pete's ukes - the testimonials are invariably phenomenal!

I'll certainly keep the board posted and please let me know how you get on getting to know your own PH.


05-01-2012, 06:21 PM
Congratulations! I just received a Mya-Moe I'd ordered in September 2011, and the anticipation was both great and awful at the same time! Please post photos as you receive them.

05-01-2012, 07:09 PM
Hot diggety, Ben! You have to PROMISE to post pictures when Pete's done with it! It's always great to hear about (and see pictures of) ukes that are built by great custom builders - it's even better when the builder is an active UU member! I bet you're already starting to count the days!

05-02-2012, 12:40 AM
I promise I'll post pictures at any stages of the build when I have them, bbycrts.

As I said, I think Pete will send me some pics of wood when he's chosen it and set it aside. What are we like, eh? Getting excited at the prospect of seeing some pictures of some pieces of wood!


05-02-2012, 12:43 AM
Thanks mds725. I was having dinner with a pal last week and telling him all about the Mya-Moe operation. How you can see a full schedule of date-by-date activity even before they've begun the build, how they will post updated pictures during the process. I think that's SUCH a terrific thing that they do. It's a little like seeing the serial ultrasound scans of your baby as it grows in the womb!


05-02-2012, 01:21 AM
Congrats! Look forward to seeing the photos of your new custom!

Pete Howlett
05-07-2012, 02:09 PM
Mya Moe do a great job promoting their stuff. Most of us working on our own just don't get the time to photo essay each build. I'm selecting cherry from the stash for this tomoorow so It can go into the 'to do' pile so photos soon...

Pete Howlett
05-07-2012, 02:13 PM
Just in case you missed it Duddles uke was sold to Kathryn I guess - I have three more sets of that koa left. It is extra special...

05-07-2012, 03:31 PM
I've heard great things about your ukuleles but haven't had the chance to play one yet. I look forward to whatever photos you and/or Ben provide of the build. I think you're right that many luthiers working on their own simply don't have the time to market their ukuleles that bigger operations like Mya-Moe do, and that's a shame for us ukulele enthusiasts because we don't get to hear about you guys as much as we'd like to.