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BIGDB
08-01-2012, 09:27 PM
so i have had a few threads about different uke brands and stuff like that cause im kinda a dreamer and hope to have a nice uke one day so when that day comes i want my mind to be set so my question is pretty much in the title im looking in the price range of 2000-2300 i like the sound of james hills DaSilva uke but on his Q&A on his web the first thing he says is mya-moes sound great so what do you guys think?

Hippie Dribble
08-01-2012, 10:18 PM
....or Collings or Pohaku or Black Bear or Kepasa or Covered Bridge or More Bettah or or or or.....any one of another twenty or more incredible custom builders. It's just a gluttons dream these days on the uke building scene, so much awesome stuff to choose from, drool over, lust after, you just can't go wrong BIGDB. Bottom line is you would be ecstatic with either. I envy your choice mate.

Check this (http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?12834-A-Partial-List-of-Custom-Builders) thread out and broaden your horizons even further.... :)

pulelehua
08-01-2012, 10:49 PM
I had exactly this same question. I met Mike last summer and he was really nice. But since then, I've been in contact with both companies, and Gordon and Aaron have been AMAZING at answering questions, making suggestions, etc. I think Mike is just more of an in-person kind of guy. But I'm 5500 miles and 8 hours time difference, so even the phone is tricky.

I find with Mya Moe, I can get a reasonable idea of what their ukuleles sound like, and there are lots of reviews available. They provide as much information up front as possible. And as I say, any questions I've had have been promptly answered. In spite of the time difference, I usually get an answer within the hour.

They are exactly the sort of business I would want to support, and doing so and getting a wonderful instrument in return is just too good to pass up.

mm stan
08-01-2012, 10:59 PM
Every builder has their strong points and what they are popular or known for..after that it is personal preference.
I say do your homework and make your choice....Good Luck..

janeray1940
08-02-2012, 06:39 AM
I had this exact question not all that long ago. All it took for me to be convinced that Mike DaSilva was the right person for the job was a single phone conversation with him (which is the best way to reach him - we've talked a number of times and he has never not picked up, but emails sometimes go unanswered).

In my case, the most important thing was sound quality and perfect intonation. I mean, perfect, on a soprano, up to the 17th fret. Mike went above and beyond and gave me 19 playable frets! He has a scientific/engineering background and really, really knows sound.

Additionally, the wait time was far less than Mya-Moe - I ordered my uke from Mike in late May and it arrived on July 6. Mya-Moe wouldn't have even started my build until October or November. Add to this the fact that Mike gave me a guarantee that couldn't be beat (100% satisfaction and would do whatever it takes to make it that way) and in the end, it was a no-brainer.

This is not to say anything against Mya-Moe - their customer service was great and the MM ukes I've encountered have seemed to be consistently high quality. But they are dealing with a much larger number of orders than Mike, and I don't think the individual attention that Mike gave me is something MM could realistically provide. And, not to be nit-picky, but - I was a bit put off by their extra $50 charge to not have that two-tone headstock.

mds725
08-02-2012, 07:17 AM
Keep in mind that Mike is a genuine custom builder. He will work with you on decisions about all the aspects of your ukulele, from the number of frets to the amount of bling. I have two Mya-Moe ukuleles and love them, so I say this not to disparage them but to explain their business a bit, but Gordon has said that MM is not a custom luthier (although it possibly is for some musicians) but is instead a made-to-order builder. That is, there are certain things you can choose about your Mya-Moe build (wood and binding, headstock, strings, tuners, and even neck width) but there are other things that are simply non-negotiable, like bracing, body shape and dimensions, number of frets). Here's Gordon explaining this in some videos:

Production vs. custom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVYpywbnlGA

Why we say "no" to certain requests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwqFf-Sp2Mg


There's absolutely nothing wrong with Mya-Moe, as its six plus month wait list indicates. If you want to be involved in the specifics of the design of your ukulele, I'd recommend a luthier who does that, like Mike. If you like the Mya-Moe sound, want a Mya-Moe uke, and want to choose from among some of the most beautifule soundwood pieces in the ukulele universe, and you don't want to be involved in the engineering specifics of the design, then go with Mya-Moe and you won't be sorry.

Dan Uke
08-02-2012, 07:22 AM
Gordon has said that MM is not a custom luthier (although it possibly is for some musicians) but is instead a made-to-order builder. That is, there are certain things you can choose about your Mya-Moe build (wood and binding, headstock, strings, tuners, and even neck width) but there are other things that are simply non-negotiable, like bracing, body shape and dimensions, number of frets). Here's Gordon explaining this in some videos:

Production vs. custom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVYpywbnlGA

Why we say "no" to certain requests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwqFf-Sp2Mg




Very good explanation mds725!!

weerpool
08-02-2012, 07:31 AM
personally, i love Mya-moes but i would choose DaSilva all day, any day. his ukes are a little bit more artistic looking. i love body shape and the feel and durability of his UV-cured poly finish. Mike can make the most basic looking uke feel and sound like a warm molasses on a cold vanilla ice cream

coolkayaker1
08-02-2012, 07:52 AM
Keep in mind that Mike is a genuine custom builder. He will work with you on decisions about all the aspects of your ukulele, from the number of frets to the amount of bling. I have two Mya-Moe ukuleles and love them, so I say this not to disparage them but to explain their business a bit, but Gordon has said that MM is not a custom luthier (although it possibly is for some musicians) but is instead a made-to-order builder. That is, there are certain things you can choose about your Mya-Moe build (wood and binding, headstock, strings, tuners, and even neck width) but there are other things that are simply non-negotiable, like bracing, body shape and dimensions, number of frets). Here's Gordon explaining this in some videos:

Production vs. custom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVYpywbnlGA

Why we say "no" to certain requests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwqFf-Sp2Mg


There's absolutely nothing wrong with Mya-Moe, as its six plus month wait list indicates. If you want to be involved in the specifics of the design of your ukulele, I'd recommend a luthier who does that, like Mike. If you like the Mya-Moe sound, want a Mya-Moe uke, and want to choose from among some of the most beautifule soundwood pieces in the ukulele universe, and you don't want to be involved in the engineering specifics of the design, then go with Mya-Moe and you won't be sorry.

yep, what he said. another custom builder is peter hurney at pohaku

The Big Kahuna
08-02-2012, 07:54 AM
If you're lucky enough to know that the most radical departure from the norm that you require is a slotted headstock, then your choices are wide open. I'm planning and budgeting for a custom Uke at some point during next year. Unfortunately, my requirements are (from what I've seen and read over the past few months) somewhat unusual. Working my way through the list that Eugene posted, I can't find a single builder that I'd be confident in approaching (not, I hasten to add, from any belief that they "aren't up to the job").

pulelehua
08-02-2012, 08:57 AM
If you're lucky enough to know that the most radical departure from the norm that you require is a slotted headstock, then your choices are wide open. I'm planning and budgeting for a custom Uke at some point during next year. Unfortunately, my requirements are (from what I've seen and read over the past few months) somewhat unusual. Working my way through the list that Eugene posted, I can't find a single builder that I'd be confident in approaching (not, I hasten to add, from any belief that they "aren't up to the job").

I have a Mike Pereira custom, and I think if you told Mike you wanted a ukulele made entirely out of rubber bands and paper clips, with long, dried Egyptian reeds for strings, he'd give it a go. He might tell you what would be better, but he is VERY accommodating.

patrickmcgill
08-02-2012, 08:57 AM
what are your requirements?

SailingUke
08-02-2012, 09:18 AM
I struggled with the same question, I have both.
I don't really believe one is far superior to another.
The one to choose is the one YOU like best.

The Big Kahuna
08-02-2012, 09:26 AM
A small selection:

Cutaway (no biggie, but the majority of builders don't offer it as an option)
Single sided headstock
All Quilted Maple construction
Subtle antique sunburst finish
Possibly heel-less neck
Sculpted cutaway (thinner body depth at the back of the cutaway)
A metric f**kton of frets on a "staggered" fingerboard (more frets on the treble side of the fingerboard as it extends over the body)
Bound fingerboard
Fret markers which begin on the side of the neck and extend over onto the fingerboard a small way, leaving the fingerboard mostly plain
Radiused fingerboard
Possibly scalloped fingerboard above the 12th or 14th fret
Maybe a very slightly longer scale and fretboard width than a standard tenor (subject to a builder telling me that's a stupid idea)

The list goes on, but I think that's enough to get most builders on UU putting me on their blocked users list.

janeray1940
08-02-2012, 09:53 AM
Keep in mind that Mike is a genuine custom builder. He will work with you on decisions about all the aspects of your ukulele, from the number of frets to the amount of bling. I have two Mya-Moe ukuleles and love them, so I say this not to disparage them but to explain their business a bit, but Gordon has said that MM is not a custom luthier (although it possibly is for some musicians) but is instead a made-to-order builder.

...

There's absolutely nothing wrong with Mya-Moe, as its six plus month wait list indicates. If you want to be involved in the specifics of the design of your ukulele, I'd recommend a luthier who does that, like Mike. If you like the Mya-Moe sound, want a Mya-Moe uke, and want to choose from among some of the most beautifule soundwood pieces in the ukulele universe, and you don't want to be involved in the engineering specifics of the design, then go with Mya-Moe and you won't be sorry.

Really, really well said.

weerpool
08-02-2012, 11:03 AM
damn, im dying to know what kind of stuff do you play to have this mind boggling specs?
A small selection:

Cutaway (no biggie, but the majority of builders don't offer it as an option)
Single sided headstock
All Quilted Maple construction
Subtle antique sunburst finish
Possibly heel-less neck
Sculpted cutaway (thinner body depth at the back of the cutaway)
A metric f**kton of frets on a "staggered" fingerboard (more frets on the treble side of the fingerboard as it extends over the body)
Bound fingerboard
Fret markers which begin on the side of the neck and extend over onto the fingerboard a small way, leaving the fingerboard mostly plain
Radiused fingerboard
Possibly scalloped fingerboard above the 12th or 14th fret
Maybe a very slightly longer scale and fretboard width than a standard tenor (subject to a builder telling me that's a stupid idea)

The list goes on, but I think that's enough to get most builders on UU putting me on their blocked users list.

The Big Kahuna
08-02-2012, 11:11 AM
damn, im dying to know what kind of stuff do you play to have this mind boggling specs?

Nothing particularly remarkable at the moment, but I know what I like in a guitar, and I know what I'm capable of on a guitar, and if I'm going to have one built, I want it built to my spec. When you consider the specs on some of the guitars I've owned over the years, 32 frets, scalloped fingerboards, steel fretless fingerboards etc etc, there's nothing out of the ordinary there, and a lot of the stuff in my spec is purely functional.

pulelehua
08-02-2012, 01:23 PM
I think this is true:

Mya-Moe have built ONE all maple ukulele (excluding resonators): #582, if you want to look it up. Gordon doesn't think it's a particularly good idea, and took some convincing to do it apparently.

I saw the owner playing it on YouTube a while back. Can't find it now. Sorry. :( VERY bright, VERY trebly sound.

Not to put words into Mike Da Silva's mouth, but based on my conversation and e-mails with him, I don't think he'd be too keen on all maple, either.

Hippie Dribble
08-02-2012, 01:25 PM
I think this is true:

Mya-Moe have built ONE all maple ukulele (excluding resonators): #582, if you want to look it up. Gordon doesn't think it's a particularly good idea, and took some convincing to do it apparently.

I saw the owner playing it on YouTube a while back. Can't find it now. Sorry. :( VERY bright, VERY trebly sound.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sx9GS44k3I

dkcrown
08-02-2012, 01:38 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sx9GS44k3I

Hey, I think I know that guy! Whistlin' Jonny!

luluwrites
08-02-2012, 02:19 PM
Hey, I think I know that guy! Whistlin' Jonny!

That man can make any uke sound great.

He's the reason I fell in love with the idea of some day having a Black Bear macadamia concert. It is my grail uke. I know that any Black Bear is going to sound great, but there's something about the way Jon made that instrument sing that has me smitten. Some day. Some day.
Oh, but wait . . . what was this thread about?

hawaii 50
08-02-2012, 03:27 PM
so i have had a few threads about different uke brands and stuff like that cause im kinda a dreamer and hope to have a nice uke one day so when that day comes i want my mind to be set so my question is pretty much in the title im looking in the price range of 2000-2300 i like the sound of james hills DaSilva uke but on his Q&A on his web the first thing he says is mya-moes sound great so what do you guys think?

if you want something different try..
vento ukuleles in hilo hawaii..this is a one man custom shop..sound is very good with the best finish in the uke world(fred was the finish tech for james goodall guitars)..he has been building full customs ukes for about 10 years..and has had his own shop for 4/5 years now.
you can get a full custom uke with everything on it for less then you are planning to spend..
vento ukes one of the very best kept secrets...www.ventomusichawaii.com

pulelehua
08-02-2012, 08:58 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sx9GS44k3I

Well-spotted. Thanks! :)

The Big Kahuna
08-02-2012, 09:08 PM
VERY bright, VERY trebly sound

That's a good place to start for me then. I tend not to use my nails very often when playing, or if I do, I strike the strings with a combination of skin & nail, which gives me the range of tone that I like. A mellow sounding instrument would be unsuitable, as the only place to go would be "mellower".

BIGDB
08-02-2012, 09:30 PM
i just looked at some willie wixom ukes i love the way they look any thoughts on those?