View Full Version : NUD: Naughty Little Monkey tenor

07-06-2013, 06:44 AM
Well, my Naughty Little Monkey all-solid mahogany uke finally arrived yesterday. NLM is a one-man operation, that man being Will Eikleberry. I found this uke on eBay, via a small store in Washington that he builds ukes for every now and then.

While awaiting the arrival of the uke, I emailed back and forth with Will, who graciously answered all my questions about the uke. The cool thing is that will tries to use reclaimed wood as much as he can, and my uke was no exception. He told me that the mahogany used came from an old door from Olympia, Washington. He cut and milled the wood himself. The wood is absolutely gorgeous. The photos below don't do the wood justice, really.

Quick specs:

Solid mahogany top, back and sides
Mahogany neck, with a rosewood fretboard
Rosewood bridge
Cellulose binding
Gotoh open tuners
Low G Aquila strings (will test out PHD strings, though)
Rosewood saddle
Corian nut
Finish: hand-rubbed Tung Oil
Abalone dots

Here are some answers to some questions I had, straight from Will:

Regarding the smaller soundhole:
"Regarding the soundhole, I do tend to build them smaller on all of my instruments. This also helps with a richer tone as it retains more open surface area on the top, and allows the sound to resonate more before being released through the soundhole. My personal preference is for instruments to have a warmer tone with more bass response, so that's how I build unless a customer wants something different. "

Regarding the fact that the fretboard doesn't go all the way down to the soundhole:
"I prefer to eliminate any excess weight and stiffness that would be added to the body with a longer fingerboard and more frets. This allows the top to move more freely and gives a richer tone."

Personal opinons and stray observations:

This thing is loud!
Very warm tone. Much different from the Koko Pili Koa acacia tenor that I have.
The overall size of the uke is slightly smaller than my KPK tenor. It's kind of somewhere between a concert and tenor size, which I really dig!
The lower part of the uke has a kind of flat shape. Just an observation, I don't think it affects the tone.
Because of the fact that it's built out of salvaged woods, my wife remarked "I like it for that fact!" -- a first.
The neck shape is nice and chunky, which I totally dig.
The action is a tad high, so I'll likely sand some of the saddle down.
Speaking of the saddle, the rosewood saddle actually (to my surprise) suits this uke really well. I tend to like my ukes with bone saddles.
How much did I pay? $555, shipped. Not bad for a handbuilt uke, made in the USA! (Olympia, WA, that is)

Onto the photos:

07-06-2013, 07:39 AM
Congrats on the new uke! Do you have a sound sample?

07-06-2013, 04:36 PM
Good for you. I had that particular uke saved on my favorites list for months but never pulled the trigger. Hope it meets your expectations. By the way, that is one serious saddle - what is it made of?

07-06-2013, 06:49 PM
Hope it meets your expectations. By the way, that is one serious saddle - what is it made of?

Eyeguy, I am extremely pleased to report that it's totally met my expectations -- I was nervous that it was gonna be one of those "looks great, but doesn't sound so great" situations.

Regarding the saddle, it's made of tiete rosewood and I've sanded it down a bit to lower the action. It's a massive chunk of wood, indeed!

- Sean

07-06-2013, 07:51 PM
Sean, the mahogany on that looks great. The fact that it's reclaimed is very cool. Well wishes for much merry music-making.

mm stan
07-06-2013, 08:14 PM
Congrats on the awesome new addition..looks cool man....Happy strummings....

07-06-2013, 09:21 PM
love the body shape-very very cool!

the binding and appointments are well fitted visually to the whole instrument.

thanks for sharing

ukuLily Mars
07-14-2013, 06:23 PM
That's a beauty! Enjoy your 'uke!

01-16-2014, 09:09 AM
Could you please post Will Eikleberry's email address or email it to me at bowtothenow@hotmail.com? I am very interested to find out more about the Naughty Little Monkeys!!

01-16-2014, 12:50 PM
Congratulations on the new uke, Sean! Shoot, anything called a naughty little monkey has to be good! Enjoy it!

01-16-2014, 01:31 PM
Beautiful uke, I really like the styling, body shape, and that is some beautiful reclaimed mahogany as well;
Best of All, the Naughty Little Monkey cartoon character logo on the label. Too Cool!

01-16-2014, 03:10 PM
the shape is very cool. Is the bottom flat enough for it to stand up? Sound sample???