PDA

View Full Version : Aesthetic Requirements for Customs???



Dan Uke
04-30-2013, 07:56 AM
Are there any things you must have on a custom ordered uke?

For me, I need bound fretboard as I hate seeing the ends of the fret. It's even worse when I see the hammered part a little crooked, there's some space, and worst of all, it gets dirt or greenish mold in the crevices.

I really like slotted headstocks and that is dictated more by the price but not necessary.

What are other things you need on your custom order?

fumanshu
04-30-2013, 08:10 AM
For me the absolute must is a slotted headstock!!!!!!!! I just love that look!!!!!


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

bborzell
04-30-2013, 08:21 AM
With any stringed instrument other than violins or cellos which rarely come with embellishments, I like to start out looking for flawless joinery. I have picked up a few fabulous looking instruments that began to quickly diminish in my eyes upon closer inspection. To me, finish flaws are a fairly reliable indicator of structural issues.

That said, I like wood binding on both top, back and fretboard. I never really thought much about rosettes as most of my instruments have f holes. That changed when I first saw the MP I recently purchased. Luckily for me, all the rosette inlay is wood which I much prefer to shell inlays.

I never knew that I would come to prefer a slot head on a uke. I have a very old Kay classical guitar with a slot head and it has always seemed a bit crude to me. The slot head and hi tech Gotoh tuners that came on the MP changed that view for me.

Figured wood is a mixed bag, in my view. I would rather have well balanced tonewoods that reveal little grain activity than a highly figured wood that does not sound as good.

Headstocks on ukes seem to get a fair amount of graphic treatment and, while I can appreciate the skill and artistry that went into the creation, I prefer a minimal logo. I am a sucker for creativily carved/shaped bridges, though.

BIGDB
04-30-2013, 08:22 AM
Same with the slotted have to have it and have to have a pick up and a radiused fretboard

weerpool
04-30-2013, 08:24 AM
super lightweight, 12,324,934,943 pieces of brazillian rosewood and other exotic woods marquetry rosette, illegally bought abalone shell inlay of my name in mandarin and in reverse italics. an inlayed Mona lisa on the back...with aquila strings. :)

Doc_J
04-30-2013, 08:28 AM
Have the luthier do what they know they do best. Don't ask the luthier to do work out of his/her comfort zone.

Hippie Dribble
04-30-2013, 08:30 AM
super lightweight, 12,324,934,943 pieces of brazillian rosewood and other exotic woods marquetry rosette, illegally bought abalone shell inlay of my name in mandarin and in reverse italics. an inlayed Mona lisa on the back...with aquila strings. :)
eeeeeooooh yes brother. Can you build me one like that but with an inlay of a bald, fat guy :drool:

ukestah
04-30-2013, 08:31 AM
Are there any things you must have on a custom ordered uke?

For me, I need bound fretboard as I hate seeing the ends of the fret. It's even worse when I see the hammered part a little crooked, there's some space, and worst of all, it gets dirt or greenish mold in the crevices.

I really like slotted headstocks and that is dictated more by the price but not necessary.

What are other things you need on your custom order?

Awww Dan, you don't like my Kerry Char tenor then? LoL

Trinimon
04-30-2013, 08:32 AM
If slotted headstock is an option, I'm down for that. Other options I like would be rosewood or ebony binding and a rosette, add an ebony fretboard and headstock. Oh, and ebony buttons on the tuner to match the headstock. :)

Dan Uke
04-30-2013, 08:37 AM
Awww Dan, you don't like my Kerry Char tenor then? LoL

Shoots...I'll make an exception and take it off your hands. Yours is so beautiful that I didn't look at the fretboard...hehehe

gyosh
04-30-2013, 08:41 AM
ZERO bling!!

Apparently, and I didn't know this before reading another thread, bling negates all positive tonal qualities in ukuleles. :)

coolkayaker1
04-30-2013, 08:53 AM
gloss gloss and more gloss

Paul December
04-30-2013, 09:10 AM
gloss gloss and more gloss

...and even more GLOSS :cool:

Dan Uke
04-30-2013, 09:29 AM
...and even more GLOSS :cool:

+ 1 on that...I want to see my reflection!!

hawaii 50
04-30-2013, 09:32 AM
Shoots...I'll make an exception and take it off your hands. Yours is so beautiful that I didn't look at the fretboard...hehehe


I hear it is for sale..at the right price...

coolkayaker1
04-30-2013, 09:44 AM
Hey, I just thought of something else I'd want on a custom: gloss.

Stevelele
04-30-2013, 09:52 AM
I require that my customs come with a cup holder--serving a dual purpose of humidifying the uke and quenching my thirst


Hey, I just thought of something else I'd want on a custom: gloss.

coolkayaker1
04-30-2013, 10:02 AM
I require that my customs come with a cup holder--serving a dual purpose of humidifying the uke and quenching my thirst
Someone beat you to the punch: a fellow on UU named syfc wanted a drink holder on his custom, too.

sukie
04-30-2013, 10:04 AM
It had to have a flamingo. The rest I could negotiate. But I didn't have to.

Patrick Madsen
04-30-2013, 10:26 AM
Radiused fretboard.A thin, low fast action neck. Perhaps a side soundhole in the upper bout. Anything else is gravy.

pcspud
04-30-2013, 11:42 AM
A cutaway doesn't look too bad either

PBandChelly
04-30-2013, 12:05 PM
Beautiful wood. Doesn't have to be anything particularly exotic, or spalted or anything. Just a gorgeous, simple, solid ukulele made with love.

That, or a Moore Bettah decked out with manatee inlay. :D Either no bling, or ALL THE BLING EVER!

ukestah
04-30-2013, 12:39 PM
A cutaway doesn't look too bad either

Preferably a florentine cutaway.

wayfarer75
04-30-2013, 12:46 PM
Satin finish. No gloss for me. Apart from that, it should be well built and show it. Other things like inlay are nice but not required.

Newportlocal
04-30-2013, 01:08 PM
Hard question to answer.
First and foremost the luthier I pick.
Then wood,how it looks and tone
Side sound port
Pickup
Gloss finish,etc.
Lots of opinions, but it varies greatly depending on the luthier. I always have a very specific vision, but every ukulele is a completely different vision. We have talked about this in person Daniel so you know what I mean.

OldePhart
04-30-2013, 01:39 PM
I haven't ordered any custom ukes (yet) but have other custom instruments. In my case I don't so much have a specific "blingy" requirements as more operational ones. Above all, though, I expect near perfection in what is executed. I love seconds in "production" instruments if they don't affect sound and playability and the price is adjusted accordingly. But, waiting months for a custom build and paying big dollars for it and then finding anything that makes me think the builder was careless would not leave me in a fuzzy warm place... :)

I'd also much rather have a very plain instrument that is executed flawlessly than a blingy one with imperfections of any sort.

John

Dan Uke
04-30-2013, 01:47 PM
The customs I have ordered have wood binding and a simple rubbed oil/wax finish. The binding is specified to protect the join of the top to the body, which is generally a thin piece of end grain. The wood has some figure, which is subtle and gets better with time. When it is put together, it looks good naturally because the maker is a craftsman.
It is always amusing to talk to people who worry about how much stuff costs so much, but they have basically wasted a lot of money buying 5 - 10 cheap ukuleles in succession trying to find one that sounds like one of my customs and when you total up who has spent the most, it is not me. On top of that they are always forking out for strings to compensate for the sound of the low cost uke. Yes my customs do look good and have binding, but one $1000 uke costs less than six $200 ukes and takes up a lot less space in the house, even if the $200 ukes don't have any "bling". Some of them have had trips back to the maker for repairs which haven't cost me any more than postage. People will still be playing them and enjoying them in 100 years, even if they do have binding.

Bill, I am the same. I rather have a couple custom instruments than having many instruments. There are two ways that UAS work. First, is accumulating uke after uke and the second, is constantly buying and selling to find the "perfect" instrument. I am of the latter.

Nickie
04-30-2013, 02:02 PM
Did anyone mention gloss? I can think of one thing that I want that nobody else seems to want....I want a bevel in the front where my right arm rests so I can play for hours without getting taht annoying crease in my forearm...I know, I'm a princess...Momma always said so...

Hippie Dribble
04-30-2013, 02:08 PM
Aesthetics are no biggie for me, but a builder who is able to communicate well with his or her customers is pretty high on my list. The relationship is very important to me. Also that the builder has high QC standards. I have been very blessed in that the several uke makers whom I've dealt with have been great on these fronts.

OldePhart
04-30-2013, 02:09 PM
Did anyone mention gloss? I can think of one thing that I want that nobody else seems to want....I want a bevel in the front where my right arm rests so I can play for hours without getting taht annoying crease in my forearm...I know, I'm a princess...Momma always said so...

Actually, that ain't aesthetic - that's functional! If we're talking functional then, yeah, give me a tenor with the beveled top, cutaway, slightly radiused fret board, through-top stringing (reentrant), UPT tuners, nice light and responsive build, and great intonation! Someday I'll have one...

About the only thing that is optional in the above list is the radiused fret board and the beveled top, and that only because there are so few luthiers doing them that it would possibly limit my choices in other areas.

John

Newportlocal
04-30-2013, 02:11 PM
Aesthetics are no biggie for me, but a builder who is able to communicate well with his or her customers is pretty high on my list. The relationship is very important to me. Also that the builder has high QC standards. I have been very blessed in that the several uke makers whom I've dealt with have been great on these fronts.

Agree 110%

mm stan
04-30-2013, 02:29 PM
Any high end builder who can use ordinary materials and a simple design and still make their uke asthetically pleasing in sound and looks, I only know a handful of them....

equina
04-30-2013, 03:05 PM
Hmmm, are we discussing aesthetics or functional? Looks like there's a mix of both in this discussion.

For me, I will focus on 3 functional areas: tone, playability and protection.

Tone means the quality of sound which the player wants, like clarity, fullness, volume ceiling, etc. The builder must have the suitable tonewoods for top, back and sides. I will also request for bone nut & saddle and ebony fretboard and ebony or rosewood bridge. The instrument size and shape, number of strings (e.g. 5-string, 6-string, 8-string), type of finish and type of pickup (if needed) also affects the tone.

Playability means how comfortable it is to play the instrument. I will request for thin necks, radiused fretboard and cutaway (unless the shape already has a cutaway--think KoAloha Pineapple Sunday). Some players may request for extended or long necks (e.g. concerts with tenor necks) as they may wish to brighter sounds of smaller ukes with the comfort of longer necks.

Protection means the options that serve to protect the instrument. For me, I tend to request for body binding, top purfling, soundhole binding, rosette and gloss (not thick) finish. Bound fretboards and headstock are not that important to me as I have never experienced fret wires sticking out and if the builder is thorough enough and the instrument is properly humidified, the frets should not stick out.

For looks, I focus on the mandatory options, like whether the top wood matches the back & side woods, the top purfling, rosette and finish. If I'm going to spend money on purflings and rosettes I might as well have them beautifully designed. For the finish, I prefer satin, but I understand gloss provides better protection, hence I would go for thin-looking gloss finish.

For purely aesthetics with no effect on the functional requirements, like slotted headstocks and fancy position markers, I force myself not to spend $$$ on them. I tell myself I can always use inlay stickers to decorate the headstock and fretboard, which also gives me the flexibility to remove them once I get tired of the design.

haole
05-01-2013, 03:16 PM
If I ever get a custom, it's reassuring to know that nobody here would be interested in stealing it. ;) I don't like slotted headstocks or gloss finishes, and I'm nowhere near good enough for a radiused fretboard to make a difference in how I play. ):

bborzell
05-01-2013, 03:29 PM
Oh, I forget to mention chocolate brown polycarbonate.

subtlestrum
12-28-2018, 08:50 PM
I'd like a beveled cutaway along with a beveled armrest in contrasting wood inserts along with a simple very thin contrasting wood rosette. Rosewood or ebony tuning knobs, fret markers on top/both sides at 3, 5, 7, 10, 12 (double), 15, 17, 19 (eh kind of iffy on this one if it's a concert scale with 14/19, on a tenor scale then yes if it extends beyond 21). No fancy inlay on the soundboard or back, just the simple rosette (if at all). I want the wood to draw attention on it's own and not be fighting for eye time by loud inlay work or shiny gloss finish (prefer satin). In addition, an archback design and contrasting wood heel cap. A nice contrasting wood neck that has 2 different woods sandwiched together going up the back of the neck to a simple headstock (not slotted) with a small shell inlay work design on the front of it, is what I'd like.

Jerryc41
12-29-2018, 01:01 AM
For me the absolute must is a slotted headstock!!!!!!!! I just love that look!!!!!


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

Yes, that is a nice feature.

bratsche
12-29-2018, 10:26 AM
Don't have or plan to get any custom ukes, but my only absolute "must haves" would be ebony fretboard, attractively grained wood, and symmetry (the latter ruling out side bevels, side holes, etc., which I find aesthetically unappealing).

bratsche

fretie
12-29-2018, 01:46 PM
I go for, and have got, light coloured radiused fretboard, fabulous tone wood, clean design, sexy frets and an instrument that plays as if angels from heaven were singing.