View Full Version : New Willie Wixom Curly Koa Sopranino

08-05-2012, 03:07 PM
Well, New Uke day came last week, but I've been busy working, so here's the first bit; (Full review and sound sample to follow later in the week.) If this is too much of a review, I'm not offended if it's moved to Reviews.... but I'm not following the review format for UU.

I ordered my WAW some months back after being impressed with the quality of wood and apparent workmanship in Willie's ukes. I called him up and asked if he could make me a sopranino, and after some discussion it was settled.

Here's the short list:

- Solid curly Koa construction. (Top, Back, sides, neck.)

- One piece neck with Ebony fretboard.

- Radiused fretboard with 'Martin' style tip at sound hole.

- 'Ditson' style dreadnought shaped body, like a tiny guitar....

- Ditson/Martin style diamond in head. (Built out of bone by me, installed by Willie)

- Pin Bridge, bone nut and saddle.

- Friction tuners.

- 12" scale.

- No binding, rosette, etc. Nuthin'. Just gorgeous wood.

It's a great little player, I'm a SUCKER for little ukes they are my favorite. It's like having a puppy that stays small forever! The fit is very good, the finish is good. It is obviously hand made, and is not the glossy studio-like finish like a Kanilea, but I'd rather have this one. It is exactly what I asked Willie to build me.

Willie installed Worth Mediums, I changed them out for Martin Fluoros, I hear and feel no difference, I think they are almost the same. I might try Worth Lights later.

The long and the short of it is this; It has GREAT playability. The scale and frets are perfect, intonation is as perfect as you can get on the size, the sound is wonderful, and it is light. I have read that Willie builds 'heavy' ukes, but this one is not. I have a Koaloha Noah, and it is barely heavier. Keep in mind that Willie traditionally braces his ukes, and of course, Koaloha does not.

That's it, check out the pics.

EDIT: SOUND SAMPLE ADDED BELOW. Warning!! Sad harmonics at the end (player error/loose nut behind the ukulele) and Led Zep warning, ha!!:




08-05-2012, 03:32 PM
Beautiful uke!

08-05-2012, 04:47 PM
Sweet sopranino!

Do you notice any tonal difference with the dreadnought shape?

08-05-2012, 04:51 PM
Oh, she's a cutie! Congrats!

08-05-2012, 05:25 PM
Congratulations, fellow WW ukulele owner! The club is growing!

08-05-2012, 06:26 PM
Beautiful uke! Congratulations!

08-05-2012, 07:15 PM
Regarding the dreadnought shape;

I really do not hear a difference, it has a very 'sopranino' sound, which I find lovely. It's very, very 'ukulele' sounding. I'll record a SoundCloud sample on Wednesday and post it.

However, I really, really LOVE the dreadnought shape. It is very attractive to me, having a wider waist. If you surf around the 'net for Ditson ukulele pics, it's such a unique and pretty design that is underexposed, and IMHO underappreciated. To be fair, Martin built them, but it was the Oliver Ditson Company that sold them. I love it.

Willie will make whatever you like, and I like the simplicity of a wood instrument without fancy trimmings.

08-05-2012, 08:40 PM
Aloha Scott,
Congrats on that great looking uke and welcome to the club. Willie IS a joy to work with. Will visit him when I return to Cali.
Wishing you many happy moments with your uke.............................BO................ ....

mm stan
08-05-2012, 08:47 PM
Aloha Scott,
whoa wow wow that is a nice upgrade it wood...congratulations....yup you don't need anything else...she is beautiful...Welcome to the Wixom Club..Happy Strummings..

08-06-2012, 01:49 AM
Just wondering what the dimensions are on that uke, beautiful looking and very functional. TIA, g2

08-06-2012, 06:27 AM

The dimensions are as follows:

- Total length, 19 1/2"

- Scale length, 12"

- Body length, 8 7/16"

- Upper bout width, 4 13/16"

- Lower bout width, 6 1/16"

- Waist, 4 7/16"

- Soundhole 1 7/8"

- Thickness at top of upper bout, 2"

- Thickness at waist, 2 1/4"

- Thickness at lower bout, 2 3/16"

- Nut width, 1 7/16"

A couple of notes; The head (which has NO veneer at my specification) is a little larger than Willie had planned. This is because I made the 'diamond' headstock inlay larger than I should have. Willie adjusted the size to fit it, which made the overall length a little longer. Willie kept me informed throughout the whole process, and I was aware of this before the fact. (Or after I mailed him the inlay, that is.)

Additionally, the thickness of the body is slightly more below the waist, it goes to 2 5/16", it has a very nice arch. I also requested the arched back, it has been my observation that it helps with sound.

Again, I have read on UU that Willie builds 'heavy' ukes. This is 100% not the case in this uke. It is a very light build, and I am impressed with the slightness of it all. Also, Willie sent me pictures throughout the entire build project. This was from start to finish, including the wood selection to make sure it was to my liking. Willie is a GREAT communicator with the customer, there were no surprises.

I hope this helps. Willie was very open to my requests, I think he is more used to people asking for mixed woods, inlay, binding, rosettes, etc. This was his first sopranino, and as such, I think it is absolutely GREAT!

08-06-2012, 04:29 PM
Hi Scott, thanks for all of the great information - it is a beautiful uke. I travel for work and always take a uke with me (soprano) so the idea of a sopranino is appealing.

08-06-2012, 05:56 PM

No problem, same situation for me. I take a sopranino, soprano, or pocket uke with me to work. The sopranino scale is the smallest scale that I can play without any intonation issues. The pocket uke is much more touchy, but I still love it.

07-31-2013, 05:49 PM
Will Willie be making more? It's gorgeous. How much was it, if you don't mind me asking? Thanks

07-31-2013, 06:25 PM
beautiful shape and woods

Willie, as you mentioned, builds great playing Ukes. The necks and fretwork are awesome, intonation spot on.
Love the whole design of this Uke


08-01-2013, 03:44 AM
Congratulations~ it's a beauty!

Skinny Money McGee
08-01-2013, 07:54 AM
Love the shape and the simple porous finish also