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View Full Version : New Uke Day: Talsma Custom!



mattydee
03-13-2013, 01:32 PM
My father came to Milwaukee to see me in a play last summer. It was the original play that one of his all-time favorite movies was based on, A Thousand Clowns, which if you know it, has a little ukulele number in it. I didn't play in the show, but I taught the actors who had to how to, and then for the curtain call we all played through the number, and I had a little spotlight moment where I played a big chord melody arrangement of the tune.

Anyway, my dad was so impressed that he decided to buy me a new uke as a gift -- it could be anything I wanted. I was ready for a custom!

I had been thinking about a Talsma for a while, I love the look of his ukes, I had heard Gerald Ross play his, and read amazing things about them, so I contacted Dave in October, and it finally came today:

http://mattdanielsonline.com/TalsmaWeb/In%20case.jpg

http://www.mattdanielsonline.com/TalsmaWeb/body%20no%20glare.jpg

This design is his own take on the old narrow-waisted Hollywood style. It's a concert-scale all mahogany with an ebony fretboard and bridge, and ivoroid bindings.

The inlay on the fretboard and headstock is MOP.

http://mattdanielsonline.com/TalsmaWeb/Headstock.jpg

I love the old glamor of this style, so i didn't want to change it up much from his design, but I asked for a personalized inlay of my initials at the 14th fret.

http://mattdanielsonline.com/TalsmaWeb/Inlay1.jpg

And this thing sounds as good as it looks. Intonation is perfect all the way up the neck, no thuds playing way up there either, perfect, clear bell like tone. It's strung with Southcoast mediums now, but I wonder what Aquilas might do to give it that old-timey bark... I haven't had much time with yet, obviously, so, I'm keeping these on it for now.

Dave was great to work with... and he's a true craftsman. Fit and finish are as close to perfect as I can tell -- I literally cannot find a single flaw of any type.

I have a gig tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to christening it there. I hope to get a sound sample soon, maybe for the Seasons this week.

Anyway, this one is here to stay.

mattydee
03-13-2013, 01:33 PM
The soundhole also has the ivoroid binding, such a gorgeous detail.

http://mattdanielsonline.com/TalsmaWeb/soundhole.jpg

Tuners are friction with faux MOP buttons.

http://mattdanielsonline.com/TalsmaWeb/tuners.jpg

Misi pickup.

http://mattdanielsonline.com/TalsmaWeb/endpin.jpg

Edited to add: I just noticed this is my 600th post. Nice way to celebrate!

Wongo
03-13-2013, 01:37 PM
That's one nice looking ukulele. Lovely story to accompany it. Can your dad adopt me?

Dan Uke
03-13-2013, 01:40 PM
Wow Matt!! I love the personalization and I can see you performing with this baby for many years to come!!!

Only if my initials were MD so I can but it from you!! :p

AKuker
03-13-2013, 01:41 PM
Beautiful! Enjoy it and thanks for sharing it with us.

dkcrown
03-13-2013, 02:11 PM
Very nice Matt. It is beautiful. I have admired Dave's ukuleles since RyRod got his custom. I especially love Dave's cocktail tenor.

gonoles
03-13-2013, 02:22 PM
Will you be posting a sound clip or video? Congrats!

aquadan
03-13-2013, 02:24 PM
Congratulations! It's beautiful.

Doc_J
03-13-2013, 02:39 PM
Very nice Matt! Sweet inlay and purlfling on that custom.

hmgberg
03-13-2013, 02:44 PM
Woweee!! Congratulations. A combination of elements of two of my favorite ukuleles: Hollywood (body) and Lyon & Healy (headstock). I'd love to hear this one. The few Talsmas I've heard (on Youtube) sound terrific.

Craig Chee
03-13-2013, 03:07 PM
Matt!!! Congratulations buddy! The uke looks great, why haven't you made a video for us playing it yet???

Lexxy
03-13-2013, 03:12 PM
What Craig said, also congrats on the beautiful uke!

Chris Tarman
03-13-2013, 04:11 PM
That is GORGEOUS! I decided a while back that when I am ready to have a custom uke built, I want to go with Dave. I haven't seen one in person, but there's an ER doctor who lives not far from me who owns several (including the "Style 5/ Lyon & Healy Bell/ Gibson" mash-up on Talsma's website). I really need to go meet that guy in person... we have mutual acquaintances, but I've only communicated with him via email.
Anyway, I have an idea that I discussed with Dave a year or so ago, and he seemed hip to my design. Maybe later this year...

Steedy
03-13-2013, 04:26 PM
Very nice, congrats!

ChaosToo
03-13-2013, 04:26 PM
That is simply gorgeous! What a cool pressie! :D

connor013
03-13-2013, 04:31 PM
Matt,

As a new dad, all I can think is that this is how it should work.

Congrats to you and cheers to your dad. That's a classy gift, for sure.

Nickie
03-13-2013, 04:45 PM
Congratulations! That is one gorgeous ukulele! I love the way it looks...bet it feels good, too...

mattydee
03-13-2013, 04:45 PM
Matt,

As a new dad, all I can think is that this is how it should work.

Congrats to you and cheers to your dad. That's a classy gift, for sure.

I think it's exactly what he thinks, too, Connor. I can't wait to play it for him.

mattydee
03-13-2013, 04:47 PM
That is GORGEOUS! I decided a while back that when I am ready to have a custom uke built, I want to go with Dave. I haven't seen one in person, but there's an ER doctor who lives not far from me who owns several (including the "Style 5/ Lyon & Healy Bell/ Gibson" mash-up on Talsma's website). I really need to go meet that guy in person... we have mutual acquaintances, but I've only communicated with him via email.
Anyway, I have an idea that I discussed with Dave a year or so ago, and he seemed hip to my design. Maybe later this year...

Yeah -- it's a lovely uke, and I can understand why folks go back to him. Next custom for me will be a Baritone, and I've been thinking Mya-Moe all this time, but now that I have this Talsma in my hands, I may have to go back to him.

(I've got plenty of time to figure that out though...;))

mattydee
03-13-2013, 04:50 PM
Very nice Matt. It is beautiful. I have admired Dave's ukuleles since RyRod got his custom. I especially love Dave's cocktail tenor.

His personal style is what hooked me! It may sound weird, but I love his website, and that drew mw to him, too. I think how an artist represents themselves outside of their art can tell you alot about them, you know?

Anyway, RyRod's custom and his videos here are what cemented it for me. I wouldn't hesitate for a moment sending someone Dave's way.

southcoastukes
03-13-2013, 04:53 PM
...It's strung with Southcoast mediums now...
Dave was great to work with... and he's a true craftsman. Fit and finish are as close to perfect as I can tell -- I literally cannot find a single flaw of any type...
Anyway, this one is here to stay.

We've sent a few of those MU-NW sets up to Dave lately.

That's why I just happen to know of another member who will be getting a new Talsma this weekend. Perhaps another report to come soon?

This fellow will be getting his second, so you may well want to do the same with your next, Matt!

erivel
03-13-2013, 04:55 PM
Congrats on your beautiful uke Matt! Looking forward to hearing what it sounds like.

Mivo
03-13-2013, 04:56 PM
It looks gorgeous! I really like the shape of it! Very unique and special. :)

Hmm.. didn't see any pricing on Dave's site. Roughly how much is he asking for custom sopranos and tenors?

mattydee
03-13-2013, 05:03 PM
It looks gorgeous! I really like the shape of it! Very unique and special. :)

Hmm.. didn't see any pricing on Dave's site. Roughly how much is he asking for custom sopranos and tenors?

I don't want to talk out of school, but as blinged out as this is, it was VERY reasonable. If you shoot him an email with what you are looking for, he'll send you a quote.

I just browsed his gallery, found the one that I wanted mine to most resemble, told him what I was looking for to customize it, and off we went.

Chris Tarman
03-13-2013, 05:06 PM
I don't want to talk out of school, but as blinged out as this is, it was VERY reasonable. If you shoot him an email with what you are looking for, he'll send you a quote.

I just browsed his gallery, found the one that I wanted mine to most resemble, told him what I was looking for to customize it, and off we went.

I was surprised at his price quote when I contacted him, too. I just keep getting distracted by other things and spending money I should be setting aside for this project!

Mivo
03-13-2013, 05:28 PM
I don't want to talk out of school, but as blinged out as this is, it was VERY reasonable. If you shoot him an email with what you are looking for, he'll send you a quote.

Fair point, and it sounds very intriguing! I just dropped him an email. :) I'm not looking for a custom uke this very moment, but I'm curious about the options -- it's something I might want to do closer to the end of the year, and then get it another year later (those luthier waiting lists seem to get longer). Of the customs I have seen, Dave's are among the ones that I dig the most. Really great stuff.

sukie
03-13-2013, 06:57 PM
Beautiful! I love the shape. I played RyRod's ukulele. Talsma ukuleles are lovely. Enjoy.

coolkayaker1
03-13-2013, 07:05 PM
That's a fetching ukulele! I like the Martin style fretboard end.

I wonder if Dave can make me a pinball machine ukulele? I know he did the DQ uke for Warren's auction. Hmm.

Stevelele
03-13-2013, 07:07 PM
Talsma ukes are flat out gorgeous! That man is capable of creating anything? Have you seen his Beatles Bass reproductions? When it comes to the ability to create something out of the box, he's at the top of the list.

Hippie Dribble
03-13-2013, 08:43 PM
Congrats Matt, that is a truly stunning instrument. A performer of your class deserves something equally classy. Rapt for you mate and looking forward to your using her in upcoming projects.

mm stan
03-13-2013, 09:57 PM
Aloha Matt,
Congratulations.....wow wow it looks amazing...have fun and enjoy...happy strummings...

dkcrown
03-14-2013, 01:52 AM
Matt or Dirk. Is that one of Southcoast's new custom cases from Ameritage? Looks real nice.

strumsilly
03-14-2013, 01:53 AM
wow, that's one shapely beauty. congrats

mattydee
03-14-2013, 02:44 AM
Matt or Dirk. Is that one of Southcoast's new custom cases from Ameritage? Looks real nice.

Nope, that's just a Guardian Vintage hard case.

teruterubouzu
03-14-2013, 03:06 AM
That is a beautiful ukulele. I love the shape and the detail. You certainly have a nice papa!

I am new to this so hadn't heard of this builder before. Bookmarking him in case I need something special one day.

Gerald Ross
03-14-2013, 05:07 AM
Beautiful uke Matt!

Enjoy it. The tone is amazing now I'm sure - it will only get better.

I currently own two Dave Talsma ukes. He is working on #3 for me as I write. Hopefully have it soon.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
03-14-2013, 05:27 AM
Wow. Beautiful. Looking forward to hearing you play that lovely uke in the coming weeks. Your dad gave you a gift that all of your fellow Seasonistas will definitely enjoy as well. Tell him thanks from me.

mattydee
03-24-2013, 07:07 PM
For those of you who don't follow the Seasons threads, here is a sound sample, my entry into Season 57.

(I did end up changing the strings - these are Martins, but I'm still on a quest. I may try Fremont Blacks next...)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNBhFyyniZg

bobmyers
04-30-2013, 10:44 AM
A combination of two beautiful instruments, fantastic, I salute you.
Bob

fumanshu
04-30-2013, 04:24 PM
Congrats!!! You have a really nice uke!!!! I like the tone of it.



https://soundcloud.com/baouke/star-filante-by-caro-bao