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BigMamaJ40
12-21-2013, 02:46 PM
In the New Year, I am hoping to get a ukulele that looks like a classic archtop guitar.

Anyone familiar with Jazz Box Ukes?
http://www.jazzboxukes.com

RichM
12-21-2013, 02:49 PM
Yes, they're quite good! Search the forum for Jazz Box Ukes builder Toby Chennell and you'll find several threads about them.

Ukulele Eddie
12-21-2013, 03:25 PM
I'll add that a few of those posts mention Toby as being unresponsive. I found him to be very responsive. So if you inquire and he doesn't respond, I suggest you follow-up. His work is amazing, no doubt about it. I just salivate over his gallery.

kohanmike
12-21-2013, 05:55 PM
How about a real archtop uke, steel string electric, pickups, the whole nine yards? A group of us just ordered this from a dealer in China. Single price is $400 US, but in a group of 20 they were $165 each plus $80-90 shipping and 4.5% PayPal fee. To arrive the end of January. They said if another group wants to go another round, to get in touch with them through their website, East-Start.com.

http://www.kohanmike.com/images/archtop style.jpg

BigMamaJ40
12-21-2013, 07:19 PM
That uke is cool, and I love the color, but I am thinking more along the line of a jazzy, old-school fat acoustic, f-holes, suspended pick guard, with nylon strings. I have an old Dearmond monkey-on-a-stick "Guitar Mike" that I could use as a pickup.

bborzell
12-21-2013, 08:44 PM
I own a Cort M-Custom hollow body guitar that is essentially a copy of a PRS. The top is carved but the back and sides are routed out of a solid piece. I wonder if the East-Start ukes have similar construction as opposed to separate top/sides/back?

Having raised the question, I should add that the M-Custom is among the best sounding electric guitars I have touched.

WhenDogsSing
12-22-2013, 12:39 AM
The East-Start instruments have neck-through-body construction like a Gibson ES335. The top, back, and sides are all separate.

Rick Turner
12-22-2013, 09:21 AM
335s are not neck-through-body; they're "set-neck" construction with a mortise and tenon neck joint. I have a feeling that the East Start instruments are built the same way...it's a reasonable way to do it in production. You can see an internal block in a 335, and you may be seeing one on this "uke", but that does not mean it's an extension of the neck; it's a separate internal center block.

Is it time for me to get cranky again about mis-information promoted on the UU? :-)

Really, though, please don't post incorrect statements like this; it just confuses everyone and leads to more and more myths and less and less understanding of how instruments are made and why they are as they are.

Pondoro
12-22-2013, 11:40 AM
Broader question, and since Rick weighed in I hope he will answer - what does (or can) an arch top do for a uke with either steel or polymer strings? They look great and I know that jazz guitarists like them (I do not know the reason), but do the advantages carry over to a ukulele?

Habanera Hal
12-22-2013, 12:21 PM
AIUI, an archtop uke (or guitar) will have less sustain than a flat top. Jazz guitarists typically are finger picking, so less sustain means clearer notes without muddy overlapping.

Wicked
12-22-2013, 02:30 PM
As for the Evolve/East Star ukuleles... Rick is correct, they are not neck-through. Back, top, sides and neck are separate pieces. There is a maple block under the bridge connecting the top and back.


Jazz guitarists typically are finger picking, so less sustain means clearer notes without muddy overlapping.

More accurately, jazz is typically harmonically dense, with often rapid chord changes. The limited sustain helps keep the chords from "running into each other." Flat top ukuleles don't exactly have a ton of sustain, so aesthetics are probably the biggest reason, in my opinion. (Which is a completely valid reason, by the way.) Oh, and there are probably more jazz guitarists who flat pick than finger pick.

While we are on the subject of archtop guitars... there seems to be a growing trend back toward archtop acoustics. Some of the new guitars have fantastic sustain, so the old generalizations are less true.

WhenDogsSing
12-23-2013, 01:40 AM
335s are not neck-through-body; they're "set-neck" construction with a mortise and tenon neck joint. I have a feeling that the East Start instruments are built the same way...it's a reasonable way to do it in production. You can see an internal block in a 335, and you may be seeing one on this "uke", but that does not mean it's an extension of the neck; it's a separate internal center block.

Is it time for me to get cranky again about mis-information promoted on the UU? :-)

Really, though, please don't post incorrect statements like this; it just confuses everyone and leads to more and more myths and less and less understanding of how instruments are made and why they are as they are.

Thanks for the correction. Please don't get cranky over the holidays, it's not worth it for your better health and happiness.