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Doc_J
09-07-2013, 10:04 AM
It's been a little over 3 months since I asked Thomas if he would build a new Makapili tenor for me. My new Makapili tenor has arrived today, and it is wonderful.

Here’s the specs: Port Orford Cedar top and neck with a Spanish style heel, curly Claro walnut back, sides and headplate, rosewood fretboard and bridge, ebony sapwood markers. 13-frets to the body, 17 overall, black Gotoh UPT tuners.

Although it is not a fancy design, the result is stunning! All the elements work so well together. POC for the top and neck was the perfect visual complement to the beautiful dark curly Claro walnut body. The ebony sapwood looks great on the rosewood finger board. The uke is so light weight. The only 'imperfection' on the uke is nature, in the form of 2 tiny worm holes on the back. I think they look cool, and add character.

It is currently in B tuning and sounds awesome, very loud, very resonant. It has exceptional clarity and note definition, some of the best I have ever heard on a tenor, with very uniform volume and tone quality across the strings. Bass, treble, mid frequencies are all there. Each note sounds like it should. Many tenors have some sound element missing or off in re-entrant tuning, not this uke. And this is the first day, it will only sound better with time!

The fit and finish are smooth as silk. I prefer this thin semi-gloss oil finish to the thick glossy types. You can tell the uke is made of wood with this finish. The action and playability are just right for me.


Here’s a sound sample from day 1 in B tuning.
https://app.box.com/s/2bdtkum3fhiivdy9ovsm

More info on Makapili ukes at http://makapilimusic.com/

And here are some fresh pics of my beauty!
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58374&d=1378577161
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58377&d=1378577337
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58375&d=1378577226
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58379&d=1378577418

Shady Wilbury
09-07-2013, 10:11 AM
Beautiful uke!

I'm a little confused by B tuning, though. D'you mean D tuning - A D F# B?

Congratulations!

paw123los
09-07-2013, 10:12 AM
I own two Makapilis ... but I must say I'm quite jelous about this one. It's a real beauty.
Maybe it's time to sell some of my other instruments and order a third Makapili ... :)

Doc_J
09-07-2013, 10:12 AM
I'm a little confused by B tuning, though. D'you mean D tuning - A D F# B?

Congratulations!

B tuning, F# B D# G#


More pics.
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58378&d=1378577376
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58380&d=1378577444
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58373&d=1378577105
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=58381&d=1378577482

CTurner
09-07-2013, 12:36 PM
Hodge,

A truly distinctive uke! I too like the ebony sapwood markers, never seen anything quite like them in design. It's doubly interesting without any top or bottom binding and no rosette. That's your selection, right?

Does Thomas normally do a 13 fret to body, or was that a choice you made? The grain of the walnut is quite special, I like it a lot.

I assume it is 1 3/8 at nut? The Gotohs in black are perfect; I have heard people rave about them, very accurate.

That is a wonderfully full sound. Congratulations on one excellent uke.

Kdogg
09-07-2013, 01:14 PM
Beautiful...

Doc_J
09-07-2013, 02:49 PM
Hodge,

A truly distinctive uke! I too like the ebony sapwood markers, never seen anything quite like them in design. It's doubly interesting without any top or bottom binding and no rosette. That's your selection, right?

Does Thomas normally do a 13 fret to body, or was that a choice you made? The grain of the walnut is quite special, I like it a lot.

I assume it is 1 3/8 at nut? The Gotohs in black are perfect; I have heard people rave about them, very accurate.

That is a wonderfully full sound. Congratulations on one excellent uke.

Thanks, Craig. Yes, it is a 1-3/8 nut. Thomas doesn't offer binding and rosettes. But, the simplicity and clean lines really are beautiful without the extra adornment. The wood stripe markers are now options on the Makapili ukes. I think they are a "must have" on the Makapili ukes. I believe that they were on all his older ukes (at least on the one I had). I wanted to try Gotoh UPTs, so Thomas used them.

12-fret and 14-fret necks are typical on Makapili ukes. 13 frets on the neck was what Thomas and I agreed was a good compromise. With a 12-fret neck the bridge is closer to the sweet spot on the lower bout. Most folks prefer 14 frets above the neck, with slightly less optimal sound. Collings also uses 13-frets on the neck, so I figure I was in good company.

This Claro was an upgraded wood set, I don't know if "master grade" is the correct term, but I can't imagine a prettier Claro set.

Dan Uke
09-07-2013, 02:59 PM
Great sounding uke Hodge!! It has the nice warm tone you would expect from POC & Walnut. I like the UPT as it's light and keeps the uke nicely balanced.

connor013
09-07-2013, 03:58 PM
Man, that's one beautiful uke. Great aesthetic, and great tone, too.

Congrats.

AKuker
09-07-2013, 04:16 PM
Beautiful, Doc! Enjoy it!

mm stan
09-07-2013, 09:20 PM
Wow Hodge,
It looks great and I heard all good things about them....We hope to hear a sound byte and video of it soon...congrats and happy strummings..

coolkayaker1
09-07-2013, 09:44 PM
Wow Hodge,
It looks great but I never about them....We hope to hear a sound byte and video of it soon...my mya moe has a wicked similar walnut back...congrats and happy strummings..

58411

Hippie Dribble
09-07-2013, 11:18 PM
mmm, what a lovely one doc :drool:

we tigers
09-07-2013, 11:31 PM
That's a beauty, Hodge! I love the no-frills-look. Just beautiful materials used in a beautiful way. Congrats!

Doc_J
09-08-2013, 02:27 AM
Thanks for the nice comments, guys.
My new Makapili is a joy to play.

I do have a brief sound sample from day 1 in B tuning.
https://app.box.com/s/2bdtkum3fhiivdy9ovsm

Michael, I like how you describe Thomas' ukes.....

... beautiful materials used in a beautiful way.

dkcrown
09-08-2013, 02:51 AM
Very nice looking and sounding uke Hodge. I am a big fan of the Claro Walnut as well. How's that PO cedar smell? Aromatic and sweet?

You continue to amass an amazing collection of tenors.

Doc_J
09-08-2013, 04:17 AM
Very nice looking and sounding uke Hodge. I am a big fan of the Claro Walnut as well. How's that PO cedar smell? Aromatic and sweet?

You continue to amass an amazing collection of tenors.

Thanks, Dana.

BTW You've got an awesome group of tenors!

With the side port I get the that nice PO cedar smell while I play. Another plus for side ports. :)

thomas
09-08-2013, 06:42 AM
Hi Doc,

Thanks for the nice words about your new instrument, I am really glad you are enjoying it.

Take care,
Thomas

Ed Gilkison
09-08-2013, 04:40 PM
Hi Doc,

Beautiful instrument! The most stunning use of walnut I think I have ever seen !! Thanks for posting all the great pics -

Was just up to see Thomas today, and checked out the parlor guitars he did. Also very nice-

Ed G

srpompon
09-08-2013, 05:19 PM
very clean, very nice...!!

Ed Gilkison
09-09-2013, 08:15 AM
Hi Doc,
How does the walnut sound, compare to other woods? It certainly looks stunning. : )

Ed G

Doc_J
09-09-2013, 09:44 AM
Hi Ed,

It's hard to say exactly how the Claro Walnut B&S compares to other woods, too many variables for me. But I do love how it looks. :) I'm guessing that much of my Makapili's sound is due to the POC top, and the construction details (lightly braced, thin top,body dimensions, etc.). To my ear, the total sound is warm, clear notes from top to bottom, with a nice bass and mid tones present. How much of that sound is from the walnut, I don't really know. I've had a couple spruce/walnut ukes. I've liked those too, but prefer POC to spruce. I am very pleased with the sound from my Makapili. I'd definitely get the Claro/POC combination again.

Here's the first day sound sample again: https://app.box.com/s/2bdtkum3fhiivdy9ovsm

cigarfan
09-09-2013, 01:10 PM
Very nice. Love the balanced tone and clarity. And the walnut is beautiful.

I am very glad to hear your clip as I am getting ready to order a Cedar over Walnut Kinnard Tenor. I hope to get a similar result sonically.

mkatz
09-09-2013, 03:44 PM
Congratulations Hodge, it is beautiful.

Mitch

coolkayaker1
09-09-2013, 04:43 PM
Congratulations Hodge, it is beautiful.

Steve

Doc_J
09-09-2013, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the kind words. I am loving this uke!

Ukejenny
09-09-2013, 07:55 PM
Looks and sounds fabulous. I really like the fret markers.

Doc_J
09-14-2013, 07:19 AM
Looks and sounds fabulous. I really like the fret markers.

Thanks Jenny.

I had to add today's sound sample. My Makapili tenor is now in C tuning, had a couple days to settle in C and open up a little.

Think I'm keeping it in C tuning.

Here's my Makapili tenor in C tuning sound sample:
https://app.box.com/s/6bq6f7emqn1tzppbycv8