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Stevelele
02-06-2014, 04:28 AM
I had promised myself that I wouldn't buy anymore ukes after spending a lot on customs and having to sell some great ukes for home renovation projects. I am not proud of my UAS and try to control it, but sometimes it gets the best of me. When people started talking about John Kinnard ukes, I told myself that I was going to sit that one out. Afterall, how good could they really be and hadn't I already played enough awesome instruments? Well one UU'er who shall remain nameless (DR J!!!), convinced me that Kinnards are not to be missed. He made some comparisons to some very heavy hitters, so I couldn't resist.

So I had also heard these marvelous tales of the Moore Bettah Milo Spruce uke. I figure I'll never get to try it, so why not have good ole Mr. Kinnard make one for me. I found some excellent milo, which I supplied to Kinnard's business partner Kevin (lovely gentleman).
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And to liven things up a bit, I found a figured piece of wood for the fingerboard, inspired by Chuck (although looks nothing like his personal uke).
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The spruce was supplied by John--and wow, what a nice piece of spruce it is! Looks like it might even have tight curls--hard to see from the photo
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I'm really excited. John Kinnard's work looks very very sharp. I'll keep you updated

billten
02-06-2014, 04:44 AM
Wow, love the fingerboard. Really cool

Doc_J
02-06-2014, 06:00 AM
Awesome looking uke. Brilliant idea on the Milo and spruce top. I assume you are going for a gloss finish. Sound port?
What is wood for that beautiful fingerboard? Cool figuring on it.

Can't wait to hear your impressions of the completed instrument once you have it in your hands.
And yes, I can be a bad influence for UAS :D but you won't be sorry about this one.

Stevelele
02-06-2014, 06:20 AM
Gloss finish--no soundport. The fingerboard is black and white ebony. It's hard to see it with that small photo, but it's super nice. Can't wait to try it.


Awesome looking uke. Brilliant idea on the Milo and spruce top. I assume you are going for a gloss finish. Sound port?
What is wood for that beautiful fingerboard? Cool figuring on it.

Can't wait to hear your impressions of the completed instrument once you have it in your hands.
And yes, I can be a bad influence for UAS :D but you won't be sorry about this one.

Dan Uke
02-06-2014, 06:28 AM
Looking good Steve. Milo seems to be the "prize" wood these days. Can't wait to hear your review!

dkcrown
02-06-2014, 07:22 AM
Congrats Steve. Aside from the fingerboard, for some reason it looks eerily familiar. :)

CTurner
02-06-2014, 08:22 AM
Way to go Steve. Yes, it will be fabulous. Milo is an intriguing choice and I bet will sound great the way John does his thing.

Edgeguy
02-06-2014, 08:48 AM
Very beautiful. Can't wait to see the finished uke.

mds725
02-06-2014, 09:09 AM
Wow! That uke looks wonderful! I love that Milo. What are its properties as a tonewood, and how would you compare it to more common ukulele woods like koa or more common guitar tonewoods like rosewood?

Dan Uke
02-06-2014, 10:28 AM
Wow! That uke looks wonderful! I love that Milo. What are its properties as a tonewood, and how would you compare it to more common ukulele woods like koa or more common guitar tonewoods like rosewood?

I don't know what it sounds like but Chuck Moore, Ko'olau, Jay Lichty, Aaron Oya to name a few likes the wood. I know Chuck likes to pair it with Spruce and Kimo Hussey was playing a redwood/milo tenor Ko'oalu that sounded really good.


http://koolauukulele.com/woods/

http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/showthread.php?61509-Questions-about-Milo

Ukulele Eddie
02-06-2014, 12:03 PM
You won't regret this decision one bit, especially once you get a chance to play one of his well-crafted instruments.

CTurner
02-06-2014, 01:26 PM
I once played a concert that was milo and koa: "the mountains and the sea". From a luthier in Hawaii. It was wonderful.

brUKEman
02-06-2014, 01:49 PM
Great Combination of woods Steve. I've had my Kinnard for about a month now and the craftsmanship on it is incredible.
Looking forward to seeing your completed product.

cigarfan
02-06-2014, 01:49 PM
Love your choices Steve. I read somewhere that Milo was the wood of choice for the early Hawaiian royalty. Must be pretty good. And I consider John S. Kinnard to be ukulele royalty so you are banging on all cylinders. Looking forward to hearing your impressions.

Stevelele
02-06-2014, 04:32 PM
Thanks all...I'm super excited. I can't wait to hear this milo. I think it's really beautiful, too. I completely confess that looks are important to me...got to be honest. And this uke is starting to look really sharp.


Love your choices Steve. I read somewhere that Milo was the wood of choice for the early Hawaiian royalty. Must be pretty good. And I consider John S. Kinnard to be ukulele royalty so you are banging on all cylinders. Looking forward to hearing your impressions.

iDavid
02-06-2014, 07:09 PM
What binidng is that?

Looks great!

Stevelele
02-07-2014, 03:54 AM
I think it's Padauk


What binidng is that?

Looks great!

Ukejenny
02-07-2014, 04:27 AM
That baby looks stunning. Stunning. Wow.

Stevelele
02-20-2014, 06:35 AM
It's done--here are some photos:

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cigarfan
02-20-2014, 06:51 AM
Oh, mighty nice Steve! Congrats! Beautiful.

caukulele
02-20-2014, 06:54 AM
A beauty Steve. I hope you do a review, sound sample of it!

Edgeguy
02-20-2014, 06:56 AM
Really like the fretboard.

Doc_J
02-20-2014, 07:09 AM
Very nice Steve! That is one cool fretboard!
http://forum.ukuleleunderground.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=64040&d=1392917677

Ukulele Eddie
02-20-2014, 07:53 AM
What a beauty and I'll echo others' comments: the fretboard is suh-weeeeeet!!!!

I'm with you on looks. Sometimes a particular uke just grabs me and I can't always explain why. Sound is important but it is not sufficient on its own for me. To wit, I never had much of an interest in a soprano until I saw a Kiwaya KTS-7 and now it's on my "gotta get me one some day" list. The reverse has happened, too, albeit less frequently. The EIR/Western Red Cedar Kinnard I played is a fine looking uke but the sound really swayed me. Kevin almost had to wrestle it from me (uh, since he's about a foot taller it wouldn't have taken him long).

Look forward to hearing your review and sound sample when you can.

iDavid
02-20-2014, 11:47 AM
Just love the look of you uke!

Stevelele
03-05-2014, 06:26 PM
finally got to play the uke. Looks way better in person--you have to really see the details of the fretboard to really appreciate it. Almost feels like I got a custom inlay, the design is so cool. As for the most important part, the sound. Well it might have something to do with recency bias, but it is one of the best ukes I've ever played. Nothing FEELS and PLAYS as good as a Moore Bettah, but as far as sound goes--it doesn't get better than this...pretty sure it doesn't.

Skinny Money McGee
03-06-2014, 01:29 AM
Some photos with a nice camera posted here, would be cool. Would really like to see some close-ups. Uke looks awesome.

cigarfan
03-06-2014, 02:02 AM
I would agree with Bruce. Let's see some close-up photos! :drool:

Doc_J
03-06-2014, 04:48 AM
Congrats Steve! I agree with you, my Kinnard tenor also sounds as good it gets. The quality and consistency of John's builds are truly excellent.

Stevelele
03-06-2014, 07:12 AM
I will do my best guys-- unfortunately i split up with my girlfriend who owned a super duper camera--maybe I'll post a video too--just please don't yell at me for poor sound quality!


I would agree with Bruce. Let's see some close-up photos! :drool:

Stevelele
03-06-2014, 07:14 AM
It may sound weird, but I almost feel like I'm playing an organ--the notes are just so sonorous and pure.


Congrats Steve! I agree with you, my Kinnard tenor also sounds as good it gets. The quality and consistency of John's builds are truly excellent.

Stevelele
03-09-2014, 05:50 AM
Here's my video review--I know the video quality is bad, but I did my best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6R1FIMve7Y

janthony1
03-09-2014, 06:23 AM
Sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing.

cigarfan
03-09-2014, 06:32 AM
Thanks for your review Steve. Love the shirt! And yes, I watched all the way to the end.

Your uke has that signature Kinnard sound. I little brighter than mine (cedar/walnut) but I would expect that because of the different woods. It is absolutely gorgeous. Love the woods you chose. And that fretboard looks crazy good.

dtikim1
03-11-2014, 04:50 AM
Here's my video review--I know the video quality is bad, but I did my best: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6R1FIMve7Y

Beautiful uke! Sounds awesome, like a John S. Kinnard should. I had seen your ukulele in his shop prior to the finish being put on. It was lovely then and was anxious to see the final product. Unfortunately I couldn't see it prior to Kevin sending it to you. Met Kevin on Sunday and he mentioned you review as well as video. Again congratulations. You mentioned the bell like tone, I can only imagine what the Milo/Spruice must sound like to your ear. Since I live here in San Diego, and have struck a friendship with both John as well as Kevin; I have had the honor and distinct pleasure to view and play a few instruments that John has created. I must say that John's ukuleles are absolutely great. Congratulations again mu friend and Happy strumming

Dan Uke
03-11-2014, 06:26 AM
Congrats Steve! That is one nice looking uke and I'm glad you like it.