View Full Version : I've now eaten my hat!

Pete Howlett
06-16-2014, 09:38 AM
Many of you will remember how insistent I have been in the past about 'tradition' in ukulele design and building. Due to the way in which the market works here in Europe (K brands are king and I can no longer compete with them on koa grade or price, even with the exchange rate and duties to be paid!) I have done a complete mind shift and imagined the type of ukulele a 'guitarist' would want. As you can see from the video, the only thing missing is a cutaway which I am working to get right.

The IR is 'orphan' dreadnought sides. For $25 I get a back and side set from these. The top is a particular type of spruce which the German seller calls 'moon-spruce' - lovely Alpine variety used principally for classical guitars. Flat African ebony fingerboard on this slotted headstock model - the flat headstock model will be fitted with UPT Gotohs) and will also have a radiused fingerboard and dot markers... I may try snowflakes if my back gets any better... Strung low G - re-entrant will be on request.

So hat eaten more than once here :)


06-16-2014, 09:50 AM
Wow! That's totally cool! Thanks for the video, and good luck with your new design.

06-16-2014, 09:57 AM
Very nice Pete! I really like your new tenor design.

06-16-2014, 10:33 AM
Looks and sounds divine.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
06-16-2014, 11:25 AM
Pete- do you like the sound better then your older trad models?

Pete Howlett
06-16-2014, 11:33 AM
I am not qualified to judge the sound - Tommy likes it and I think most guitarists will. I love the immediacy you get from koa. This combo has a lot more 'throat'.

06-16-2014, 12:39 PM
Very intriguing. Maybe because I was a guitarist first, this is very appealing.

06-16-2014, 02:17 PM
I think it's lovely. I know that the purists are all about koa and perhaps grudgingly some mahogany but what's wrong with the sound of that? Not a uke traditional uke sound, pah? I say, play it and love it, enjoy the rich sounds and make something unique with it. I think you'll sell a bunch of them, the sound appeals to me for sure...

06-16-2014, 02:35 PM
Very nice! Wishing you much success with it. Great design, and thoughts. Upt tuners on the flat head too.

06-16-2014, 04:50 PM
Nothing wrong with permutation and utilizing an existing design to accommodate something new and different. Nice job!

I went the opposite way and used a standard baritone uke design as the basis for my low tuned mandolin:


06-16-2014, 04:51 PM
Definitely sounds more guitar-like...but that's not a bad thing. I like it alot!!