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View Full Version : New uke style category; mandolele (mandolin style ukulele).



kohanmike
01-24-2014, 05:54 PM
I just won this beautiful tenor uke on an eBay auction from Bruce Wei Arts in Vietnam, for, get this, $51 US! They had the same one yesterday that sold for $23. WOW! I did a little research and seems that most everyone who owns a Bruce Wei really likes it. The cost comes in the shipping, $70 and about 30 days wait.

Obviously it's inspired by a mandolin, so I'm calling it a mandolele. I've never seen this style before, and I've cruised the internet a lot looking at ukes. This has a solid Canadian spruce top, solid maple back, sides and neck, koa head, and I'm going to add a preamp/tuner, pickup and strap button.

http://www.fairfax67.com/images/Mando-Uke sm.jpg

cigarfan
01-25-2014, 02:04 AM
Sure is purdy! I like the mando look. Just watch out if you get a mandolin and switch back and forth. The tuning is different and may cause mental issues. :)

Congrats!

hammer40
01-25-2014, 03:41 AM
Jerry over at Boat Paddle has the M style uke, which I think has a very Mando inspired style to it.


http://www.boatpaddleukuleles.com/instruments.php

strumsilly
01-25-2014, 04:15 AM
very cool looking, hope it plays as good as it looks.

focsle
01-25-2014, 04:34 AM
Nice looking mandolele, will be awaiting your review after it arrives. Is there hanging room on the shelf?

I thought maybe you were going to buy that Pono with the cutaway that is on their right now. Liking your cutaways like you do.

PhilUSAFRet
01-25-2014, 05:11 AM
Carefully check intonation before you spend a lot to upgrade it. Also, these babies are even more sensitive to dry climates than regular ukes as the wood isn't dried quite as well as it is on drier climes. Those are the two weak points of some Asian ukes. I have a Bruce Wei acacia teardrop concert that needs some set up work before I do anything else with it. Workmanship and finish "appears" nearly flawless. I live in FL, so I don't worry about humidification. and it is well over a year old with no problems other than a buzz. Fortunately, I have a local luthier that is incredibly reasonable in his charges. Good luck with yours.

kohanmike
01-25-2014, 06:42 AM
Cigarfan; I don't think I will have a problem, don't ever plan on playing a mandolin, the uke has me but good.

Hammer40; Yep, those look very nice, but are they $51? And the f holes really make the look on this one.

Focsle; Yesterday I reworked the hooks on the shelf to fit 8 ukes. Instead of angling them, they will be parallel to each other. (In case you guys have not read all my recent posts, after selling and gifting 2 ukes, I bought three more, a zebra wood to replace the monkey pod I gave away, a spruce/mahogany I sold to make room for the East-Start thinking it was the most plain I had, but afterward liked the look, so I bought another spruce/mahogany, and this mandolele, not to mention the arch-top.)

Phil; I looked at all the feedback on the Bruce Wei eBay site and they were all pretty good. I also checked YouTube and found a couple of very positive reviews, plus other reviews. Being in Los Angeles, the humidity can fluctuate, so that's why I'm improving the shelf with Lexan doors and seals all around. I also have a luthier near by to rely on.

I'll post a review of the mandolele, might be a month or more.

anthonyg
01-25-2014, 12:16 PM
Mike. I'm one of the guys who has posted good reviews of Brucewei instruments on YouTube. I have some great ones still. And a few that haven't stood the test of time. You need to check out the intonation carefully and give them some time to mature and see what they do before you spend more money on them.

My latest purchase from Bruceweiart is an 8 string baritone ukulele. Its a well made instrument and has a great sound already. The nut and saddle are placed accurately so just a little setup work down the road will have it spot on. I am still a little concerned though about what the neck is doing as there is a slight tendency to bow back. This one DOES have a truss rod with double action so I have raised the neck as far as it will go. I'm going to let it settle then it WILL need a little fret work down the road. Still a nice instrument but you have to assess them when they arrive and they will likely need some kind of work.

Anthony

kohanmike
01-25-2014, 01:18 PM
Thanks Anthony for the feedback. I figure it will need some tweaking, but for the price, I'm not too concerned. I've been replacing the plain saddles on my ukes with ones that have different planes to help with the intonation. I hoping to curb my UAS now because the shelf is full, I going to try and control myself.

kohanmike
01-30-2014, 08:53 PM
I just looked up the name for a saddle with angles, it's called a compensated saddle. (I'm posting this just so I can lock it in my brain; compensated saddle, compensated saddle, compensated saddle.)

Lori
01-31-2014, 06:16 AM
Thanks Anthony for the feedback. I figure it will need some tweaking, but for the price, I'm not too concerned. I've been replacing the plain saddles on my ukes with ones that have different planes to help with the intonation. I hoping to curb my UAS now because the shelf is full, I going to try and control myself.
Mike
I know you have the UAS bad... I know from experience. Give up on the imposed limit, because it may be impossible to enforce. You've got some time before the next ukes arrive, so look for new storage possibilities. I know displaying them is fun, but you might have more room if you keep them in their cases. After all, if they are in the show case, their cases are taking up room elsewhere. Unless you only have a few cases and many ukes... well I know you get the picture. Just make sure you don't store them high up in a heated room. I got rid of wrapping paper and ribbon to make room for uke storage. There might be something less important than ukes that could go away.

–Lori

–Lori

paullchter
01-31-2014, 06:38 AM
I bought a uke from BruceWei, and it looks good but is an un-repairable piece of junk!!!!. The neck is sooo bad that Dusty Strings in Seattle said nothing could be done to repair it. Buyers BEWARE.....just cause it looks good.....you know the rest!!!!!

paul

Cohumulone
01-31-2014, 06:50 AM
I just looked up the name for a saddle with angles, it's called a compensated saddle. (I'm posting this just so I can lock it in my brain; compensated saddle, compensated saddle, compensated saddle.)

Very common in stringed instruments. In case you haven't looked it up already, they're made that way to keep the strings all in tune. Instruments have an ideal length from nut to bridge/saddle, and sometimes, all 4, 5, or 6 strings don't need the exact same distance. You'll see "crooked" bridges on banjos often too. No saddle on those though since the bridge floats.

I Ukulista
01-31-2014, 06:58 AM
I have been playing a 'mandolele/ukolin' for a couple of years. It all started with an antique Italian mandolin with only 5 flouro carbon strings tuned: Cc f a d, I love it , all ukulele chords 4 tones up great for finger picking and it's loud.....

kohanmike
01-31-2014, 07:02 AM
Lori - I actually decided on the shelf so I wouldn't have a stack of ukes in cases all over, I got rid of 4 bags, and now have one double for all my equipment, one solid for travel, and one single, very kempt now. I really do want to stop myself.

Paul - Most of the reviews I've seen are very positive, but there's always going to be bad ones. From the posts on Bruce Wei's site, he seems to stand behind his products, maybe you needed to contact him about the problem. I'm going to be optimistic.

Cohumulone- I did look up compensated saddles, that's why I went with them, right now it's a simple way to help intonation. At the NAMM show, Lanikai was showing a new adjustable bridge saddle system for ukuleles, but it looks like they're only going to put it on their higher end ukes, not as retro-fit.