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AC Baltimore
05-06-2012, 08:24 PM
Closer to the end of the year I am going to commission a custom uke. I'm looking for any suggestions on a builder. This is what I know so far.

$1500 budget
Solid cedar top
Solid zebrawood or rosewood b/s???
Figured maple binding and rosett???
Slotted headstock
Waverly gears
Active pickup
Chunky neck
Extensive neck inlay
Indian rosewood fretboard???

That's the basics. Any input is appreciated :)

consitter
05-06-2012, 08:28 PM
Try Wiilie Wixom. He will fall within your budget, I think.

mm stan
05-06-2012, 08:31 PM
extensive inlay may just cost that much or more...

consitter
05-06-2012, 08:58 PM
Stan is right. I skipped right over that. My inlay was worth at least $1500 by itself.

Mandarb
05-07-2012, 04:15 AM
What kind of input are you looking for? It is your custom uke.

Kanaka916
05-07-2012, 04:37 AM
Something to think about, a lot of the builders/luthiers have a waiting list a year or more out. I would contact one of the builders and inquire.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?12834-A-Partial-List-of-Custom-Builders

Patrick Madsen
05-07-2012, 05:38 AM
Griffinukeuleles.com. Brian is a great luthier who love a challenge. I'm not sure on the bling inlay you want done but if it's a great playing uke with fantastic woods, he's the one I would consider. He spends many hours just on the french polishing

pulelehua
05-07-2012, 10:42 AM
You might be able to squeeze a Mike Pereira in for that. I assume you're talking a tenor. Mike is fantastic for trying to do whatever you want. I have a zebrawood ukulele from him, and I know he's done a number of rosewood ukuleles. He prefers redwood to cedar, but I'm sure he's worked with cedar. His necks aren't overly chunky, but he spent much of his career making just necks, so they're awfully nice.

www.mpukuleles.com

RyRod
05-07-2012, 11:01 AM
Try Dave Talsma! That's exactly how much mine cost with all the bells and whistles.

maclay
05-07-2012, 11:28 AM
I think the Waverlys, "extensive inlay", and the pickup are going to push you over budget.

Most builders can do a little bit of inlay, but "extensive inlay" is a very specialized and time consuming task. In my opinion, very few builders can pull this off. The ones that can do it want to be paid appropriately. It's a very expensive job.

Good luck

Dan Uke
05-07-2012, 11:41 AM
I think the Waverlys, "extensive inlay", and the pickup are going to push you over budget.

Most builders can do a little bit of inlay, but "extensive inlay" is a very specialized and time consuming task. In my opinion, very few builders can pull this off. The ones that can do it want to be paid appropriately. It's a very expensive job.

Good luck

Agreed,

Make sure you pick the right luthier as that seems on the low side of what you are asking so you won't have many to choose from at that price point.

I've heard Ryrod's youtube videos and his uke sound fantastic...that might be the way to go.

sukie
05-07-2012, 05:07 PM
RyRod's ukulele indeed sounds fabulous.

Nickie
05-07-2012, 05:13 PM
Try Wiilie Wixom. He will fall within your budget, I think.

I agree, Willie might be able to stay close to your budget. His prices are very reasonable.

AC Baltimore
05-07-2012, 05:54 PM
Thanks for all the input folks. I will probably have to dumb down the inlay. Love RyRods talsama. Definitely on the short list of builders.

Kekani
05-07-2012, 06:51 PM
I have some comments for you. First off, don't say "solid wood" like its something special. It's not, it's the norm. There are a few builders that will laminate parts, like sides.

Your challenge will be finding the builder that can work with the woods you requested.

Personally, extensive inlay in a EIR fretboard, I'd probably shy away from that. Also, most fretboard inlays are over $1K, so maybe a good idea to cut that out.

You have very specific requests, and a very low budget. This will greatly narrow the field of builders that will take you on. Just something to be aware of.

And just my $.02, if that.

Aaron

808boy
05-07-2012, 07:28 PM
Willie Wixom fits your build spec's. Not sure about the extensive inlay. Check out Willie's website, he built a Tenor with an unstained Mahogany top with Zebrawood back and sides, curley Maple bindings and a slotted headstock.
I had the chance to inspect and play it......wonderful. Nice neck profile but too chunky for me.
The only reason I didn't buy it was I had my own ideas for a custom for me due this month. His wait list is now at Jan. 2013.
Good luck in your upcoming build..........................................BO. ...............................
Oh, Steve van Pelt would be another Luthier to consider...he builds nice ukes too.......

AC Baltimore
05-07-2012, 08:15 PM
I can push the budget a tad but once I cut so much out its going to be little more average looking so I may be better off just getting a nice k brand. I'm sorry I said solid wood Aaron. I'm a horrible sob lol

Dan Uke
05-07-2012, 09:12 PM
Just add another grand and get what you want!! LOL

stevepetergal
05-08-2012, 02:15 AM
Closer to the end of the year I am going to commission a custom uke. I'm looking for any suggestions on a builder. This is what I know so far.

$1500 budget
Solid cedar top
Solid zebrawood or rosewood b/s???
Figured maple binding and rosett???
Slotted headstock
Waverly gears
Active pickup
Chunky neck
Extensive neck inlay
Indian rosewood fretboard???

That's the basics. Any input is appreciated :)

Good luck. That's a lot for your budget. You may find one of those Oddball Asian ukes on ebay with a lot of what's on your list. It might look great, but but it won't be much of an instrument.

Kekani
05-08-2012, 06:26 AM
I can push the budget a tad but once I cut so much out its going to be little more average looking so I may be better off just getting a nice k brand. I'm sorry I said solid wood Aaron. I'm a horrible sob lol

No apologies. You asked, and we're here to help. I hope we did.

Btw, I liken a custom instrument like a tattoo. . . If you go in and tell the artist you want this and that, then ask him what the final cost will be and you start telling him (or her) "what if we make this smaller, or cut this & that out?" in an effort to reduce the cost, then you're not ready for that tattoo because you'll end up with something thinking, later when you have the funds, "I should've waited." Ime.

Also, there's a resurrected thread that may be a good read in the Lounge relating to customs.

Aaron

ukeykondo
05-08-2012, 11:27 AM
like this? http://www.ebay.com/itm/STORK-INLAY-SOLIDWOOD-ACACIA-KOA-UKULELE-4-STRINGS-TENOR-1685?item=350559916222&cmd=ViewItem&_trksid=p5197.m185&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC.NPJS%26itu%3DI%252BUA%26otn%3 D12%26pmod%3D251053048296%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D63%26c lkid%3D8279135119061003306#ht_4146wt_1110

Who knows, it might sound awesome, but I am skeptical. Can't believe it's going for only $40 though


Good luck. That's a lot for your budget. You may find one of those Oddball Asian ukes on ebay with a lot of what's on your list. It might look great, but but it won't be much of an instrument.

AC Baltimore
05-08-2012, 11:32 AM
That is actually a great metaphor Aaron and I have done that very thing with the tattoo. I have done some pushing and figuring and I will be able to get the budget up to $2000 but that's going to be it. So with that I will have to think a bit more realistically and still get something I am very happy and excited about or just go ahead and buy a stock K brand. I think to some extent because it is my first custom I am overthinking it and trying to go too overboard with certain parts. So I am going to tame that and think more directly about the parts that matter. At this point I am sort of leaning toward a modified version of Ryan's talsama. Thanks for all of your input I truly truly appreciate it.

ukeykondo
05-08-2012, 11:47 AM
Another custom to consider is Brad Donaldson


That is actually a great metaphor Aaron and I have done that very thing with the tattoo. I have done some pushing and figuring and I will be able to get the budget up to $2000 but that's going to be it. So with that I will have to think a bit more realistically and still get something I am very happy and excited about or just go ahead and buy a stock K brand. I think to some extent because it is my first custom I am overthinking it and trying to go too overboard with certain parts. So I am going to tame that and think more directly about the parts that matter. At this point I am sort of leaning toward a modified version of Ryan's talsama. Thanks for all of your input I truly truly appreciate it.

Dan Uke
05-08-2012, 11:59 AM
No apologies. You asked, and we're here to help. I hope we did.

Btw, I liken a custom instrument like a tattoo. . . If you go in and tell the artist you want this and that, then ask him what the final cost will be and you start telling him (or her) "what if we make this smaller, or cut this & that out?" in an effort to reduce the cost, then you're not ready for that tattoo because you'll end up with something thinking, later when you have the funds, "I should've waited." Ime.

Aaron

That's an excellent point!! If you start taking away items from your dream uke, it's not the same uke. At the same time, prioritize what you really want in the custom and you should be able to get an excellent instrument in your price range. There's nothing like being engaged in the build. If you pick the right luthier, you will experience vicarious thrills in the build process.

Good luck and let us know who you choose.

AC Baltimore
05-12-2012, 09:12 PM
Thanks for all your input folks. I've decided I'm going to go with cedar/rosewood. Probably maple bindings and a simple pearl star shaped inlays in the fretboard. Grover gold geared tuners. Definitely a chunky neck. Going to skip the pickup because I don't plugin much and would rather direct that money to more important areas. 99% sure i'll be commissioning it from Dave Talsama.

RyRod
05-13-2012, 02:31 AM
http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/894/chosenwisely.jpg

AC Baltimore
05-13-2012, 01:11 PM
Thanks Ryan. Your amazing uke sealed the deal. That thing is just stellar in sight and sound.