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View Full Version : What's the Scoop on Moore Bettah ukes?



Howie1947
07-25-2014, 02:03 PM
They seem very nice, but kind of pricy?

Jim Hanks
07-25-2014, 02:08 PM
Popcorn munching. Here comes the show. :cool:

coolkayaker1
07-25-2014, 02:14 PM
They seem very nice, but kind of pricy?

That's the ones.

Icelander53
07-25-2014, 02:50 PM
They seem very nice, but kind of pricy?

Noticed that myself. I've always thought the artistic value of these ukes must have a lot to do with the price. Not my style but I must admit I'm completely wowed by them. The maker is an artistic master imo. Now as to how well they sound I think that's well established that they sound very good indeed. My only curiosity is do they play easier by far than most other ukes?

Dan Uke
07-25-2014, 03:00 PM
They seem very nice, but kind of pricy?

New Martins like a 5K would be 1 scoop, The K Brands and the Vintage Martins are 2 scoops, while the Moore Bettah would be a 3 scoops of ice cream.

Laouik
07-25-2014, 03:01 PM
Noticed that myself. I've always thought the artistic value of these ukes must have a lot to do with the price. Not my style but I must admit I'm completely wowed by them. The maker is an artistic master imo. Now as to how well they sound I think that's well established that they sound very good indeed. My only curiosity is do they play easier by far than most other ukes?

I've always seen his ukes as a fairly standard setup (for the most part) with whimsical sophistications to exhibit his art. Curious sound holes, much inlay work, etc. If those things speak to you and you've a few thousand to put into an instrument, you'll end up with something unique and special in your arms.

stevejfc
07-25-2014, 03:15 PM
'Tis the only uke I lust for, now that I have my Compass Rose. How to explain it............................. Toyota makes some fine cars. Go to the dealer and take a test drive. Nice car, right? Now go right over to the Porche, Jag or Mercedes dealer, and give one of their new cars a whirl. Just a different level.

Laouik
07-25-2014, 03:32 PM
'Tis the only uke I lust for, now that I have my Compass Rose. How to explain it............................. Toyota makes some fine cars. Go to the dealer and take a test drive. Nice car, right? Now go right over to the Porche, Jag or Mercedes dealer, and give one of their new cars a whirl. Just a different level.

Except you can't get a Moore Bettah test drive.

stevejfc
07-25-2014, 03:41 PM
Yeah you're right; in this case the show room is generally empty. But it's kinda like driving a DeLorian...............you need to know a current owner

wickedwahine11
07-25-2014, 03:54 PM
Except you can't get a Moore Bettah test drive.

True, but if any uke has resale value it is a Moore Bettah.

Why do I want one? I have never heard one - in person or in videos - that did not sound wonderful. Second (and this is subjective), I think they are beautiful works of art. Chuck uses beautiful wood and has intricate, stunning inlay - if you like that, which I do. I recognize everything is subjective, there are people on UU that refuse to buy a KoAloha because they don't like the headstock - just as there are those that won't buy a glossy (or satin) uke because they don't like the appearance. Third, if you are able to get your hands on one of his custom ukes, they are like snowflakes - no two are alike. The same man that did the tiki uke did the coconuts one and the dragon one -- all different but all striking in their own way.

I would never advocate someone going into debt for any uke, even a MB. But my grandfather used to always say, "how many U-Hauls have you ever seen in a cemetery?" You can't take it with you. And if you have the money to afford a beautiful looking, gorgeous sounding, one of a kind work of art, why not?

As to why they cost what they do..they are handmade by one man in a solar powered workshop, and they often involve many hours of intricate work. Like all handmade things, that is going to cost more than anything factory made will. And frankly, you are paying for his expertise and time. I bet there are a lot of folks around these parts that would be happy to pay him to make them a uke. And others that wouldn't - different strokes for different folks.

ukemunga
07-25-2014, 04:34 PM
True, but if any uke has resale value it is a Moore Bettah.

Why do I want one? I have never heard one - in person or in videos - that did not sound wonderful. Second (and this is subjective), I think they are beautiful works of art. Chuck uses beautiful wood and has intricate, stunning inlay - if you like that, which I do. I recognize everything is subjective, there are people on UU that refuse to buy a KoAloha because they don't like the headstock - just as there are those that won't buy a glossy (or satin) uke because they don't like the appearance. Third, if you are able to get your hands on one of his custom ukes, they are like snowflakes - no two are alike. The same man that did the tiki uke did the coconuts one and the dragon one -- all different but all striking in their own way.

I would never advocate someone going into debt for any uke, even a MB. But my grandfather used to always say, "how many U-Hauls have you ever seen in a cemetery?" You can't take it with you. And if you have the money to afford a beautiful looking, gorgeous sounding, one of a kind work of art, why not?

As to why they cost what they do..they are handmade by one man in a solar powered workshop, and they often involve many hours of intricate work. Like all handmade things, that is going to cost more than anything factory made will. And frankly, you are paying for his expertise and time. I bet there are a lot of folks around these parts that would be happy to pay him to make them a uke. And others that wouldn't - different strokes for different folks.

Well put. And an enthusiastic amen! One can dream...

dkcrown
07-25-2014, 05:02 PM
The question asked by the OP cannot be easily answered. But for those of us who are lucky enough to own one of Chuck's ukuleles, it is not just about the artistry of his beautiful inlays. Chuck's ukuleles have the total package. Impeccable craftsmanship, unequaled playability, and most importantly fantastic sound. They inspire you to be your best. I own, or have owned many top notch, high end ukuleles. But my Moore Bettahs are what I reach for more than any other. IMO there simply are no other ukes that compare. High prices do not always mean that you will get a great ukulele. But with Chuck's ukes, you get what you pay for.

Steveperrywriter
07-25-2014, 06:08 PM
I study an esoteric Javanese martial art. A couple years back, I had a bumper sticker made: Pukulan Pentjak Silat Sera: If You Have to Ask, You Don't Need to Know ...

It was a joke, and it seemed like half the people who saw it up pulled up next to me and asked, and I was happy to tell them.

Without any snarkiness intended, I kind of think that applies here. If you know much about custom ukulele luthiers, then you know about Moore Bettahs. All it takes is a fast check on Google -- when they sell for more used than new? That ought to tell you all you need to know about quality.

The most recent one Chuck put up for sale sold within two minutes, and there was a line; you can't get on his list.

That ought to tell you something about the perceived quality, too ...

AndrewKuker
07-25-2014, 06:35 PM
If you're ever on Oahu call me up and I can show you mine. Andrew -(808)781-9168 ….then you can try to get one. It's like Walt Disney said "“It's kind of fun to do the impossible.”

mds725
07-25-2014, 08:47 PM
I have a relatively "bling free" Moore Bettah (the wood is beautiful, of course, and there's a nice rosette with matching inlay on the bridge, but no fancy fretboard or headstock inlay), and it's worth to me what I paid for it because it's easy and great fun to play, it's impeccably built, and it has a very noticably richer tone than any other ukulele I've played that isn't a Moore Bettah. I can's say that it's x times better than an ukulele for which I paid x times less, but I do feel like I got a bargain. My point is that the value of this instruments goes well beyond the visual artistry of them. They're incredibly well designed and built to produce awesome sound.

Patrick Madsen
07-25-2014, 10:01 PM
Like most custom ukes; Chuck puts a little of his soul in each uke. He has a good soul so his ukes have good hana. Mine will be handed down to future family generations as part of the family instrument library as will my Griffin tenor and Webber baritone. The others I have will either be given away or sold.

Icelander53
07-25-2014, 10:03 PM
Amazing tributes to the skills of this builder guys. I certainly hope I get to hear one someday. Played by someone other than me hopefully. I can make really nice ukes sound pretty average. :(

Wicked
07-26-2014, 02:42 AM
To be honest, I have always wondered how Chuck is able to sell them at such low prices. The number of man hours that goes into each instrument must be insanely high.

A custom guitar does not require much more effort, and would be priced much, much higher.

dkcrown
07-26-2014, 02:52 AM
I have a relatively "bling free" Moore Bettah (the wood is beautiful, of course, and there's a nice rosette with matching inlay on the bridge, but no fancy fretboard or headstock inlay), and it's worth to me what I paid for it because it's easy and great fun to play, it's impeccably built, and it has a very noticably richer tone than any other ukulele I've played that isn't a Moore Bettah. I can's say that it's x times better than an ukulele for which I paid x times less, but I do feel like I got a bargain. My point is that the value of this instruments goes well beyond the visual artistry of them. They're incredibly well designed and built to produce awesome sound.

My main player is my re-entrant MB. It is also relatively bling free for a MB. AAA Koa with cocobolo appointments and fretboard, with a simple gold MOP palm tree inlay on the slotted headstock. Just a very classy, rich looking ukulele. I bought it from The Music Emporium in Lexington, MA in the spring of 2010, back when Chuck used to sell to them as a dealer.

Two years ago I was offered $3500.00 plus an almost new KoAloha Picasso styled Red Label in trade for it from another UU member. The KoAloha sold new for $2200.00 from HMS. I thought long and hard about it, but couldn't bring myself to do the trade. Sometimes the best deals are the ones that you don't make. Money can't buy you love. :)

PhilUSAFRet
07-26-2014, 03:45 AM
I haven't seen and heard as many high-end ukes as some UU members, but the MooreBettah's I've seen and heard are the equal to or better than anything else I've seen, both in fit and finish and in tone. I haven't actually played one, so I can't tell you how they feel and play. Just my opinion.
For my money however, a Kanilea fancy koa slot head concert with tortoise binding is at the top of my list.

Icelander53
07-26-2014, 03:47 AM
To be honest, I have always wondered how Chuck is able to sell them at such low prices. The number of man hours that goes into each instrument must be insanely high.

A custom guitar does not require much more effort, and would be priced much, much higher.

I've heard but cannot prove that he has a magic elf that he has enslaved to do most of the grunt work.

dtikim1
07-26-2014, 04:07 AM
Chuck Moore is indeed a Master Craftsman at his art. I just returned last night after spending a week in Hawaii working if you can believe that...lol I have been trying to meet Chuck for the past few years, but the timing of my trips never proved successful. Well this past weekend at the Ukulele Festival in Honolulu, I had the great honor and pleasure of finally having the opportunity to meet the man...the legend. I also thanks to Len (and with much Aloha and appreciation) I was finally able to hold in my hands and actually play one of Chuck Moore's creation. It is of no wonder why it is Moore Bettah. His creations are truly one of the few that could be considered in the Stratosphere...visual beauty, build quality, and tonality. How much MOORE can be said. I want one!!!

Kanaka916
07-26-2014, 04:18 AM
I've heard but cannot prove that he has a magic elf that he has enslaved to do most of the grunt work.
Chuck will tell ya, it's not an elf . . . in Hawai'i they're called Menehune (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menehune).

Wicked
07-26-2014, 04:44 AM
Chuck will tell ya, it's not an elf . . . in Hawai'i they're called Menehune (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menehune).

So, let me get this straight.... Chuck Moore's "nice guy" persona is just a cover for his illegal Menehune trafficking business. The man is truly evil.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
07-26-2014, 06:35 AM
worthy praise for a worthy instrument...

and an even worthier guy!

keep uke'in',

Tigeralum2001
07-26-2014, 08:56 AM
They seem very nice, but kind of pricy?

As a wise man once told me "It's expensive because it is worth it!"

Jim Hanks
07-26-2014, 09:39 AM
So, let me get this straight.... Chuck Moore's "nice guy" persona is just a cover for his illegal Menehune trafficking business. The man is truly evil.
That's it! :biglaugh: :rofl:

greenie44
07-26-2014, 09:46 AM
That's it! :biglaugh: :rofl:

I believe we have made a complete circle in this thread, from wondering if Chuck's ukes are all that and a bag of chips to exposing him as venal scum. Our job is finished - peace, love and ukulele.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
07-26-2014, 10:57 AM
Hi, Greenie,

Still in Waikiki?

Mmstan, Utako, GeeTee and I had a chance to hobnob w/Corey at Nico's for lunch yesterday,
and then have none other than Chris Kamaka serenade us at the Kanikapila Grille at The Outrigger last night
before Utako flew back to Beautiful British Columbia.

Thanks again for the great one on one time Wed evening.

Keep uke'in',

Laouik
07-26-2014, 11:00 AM
As a wise man once told me "It's expensive because it is worth it!"

You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to hand-crafted instruments.

I decided to spend on an LFdM, but I got to meet him and try it first. I'm really lucky for that experience. Had I not had the chance to try it I would likely have purchased a Kanile'a tenor, because there's a lower element of risk for someone who had only been playing for two years and spending more than logic dictated. I wouldn't be comfortable paying $2k, $3k+ without ever seeing or trying one. An Aston Martin is a breathtaking car, but maybe I won't be comfortable inside, maybe I won't feel "at home" in one. If I can't try one I'll head to the exotic dealership and try different other cars to see which suits me best. The prospect of going from the joy of acquiring to disappointment would be one hell of a ride, and one I don't want. Furthermore, there's the added challenge of waiting for him to build one that I really liked (no boobie sirens, etc.) and hope to successfully bid on it. So instead I enjoy the videos of people playing MBs while Luis build me a fully custom 'petite bouche' tenor :p

Pundabaya
07-26-2014, 11:27 AM
They sound lovely, don't like the fancy inlays.

I think Chuck would die of shock if I put an order in: satin finish, no inlays.. oh go on you can do a black white black rosette, some player position markers and put your name on the headstock, but thats it. Woods? I'll take the plainest you got. Got any sinker redwood, that'll do for the top, whatever you fancy for the back and sides (as long as its plain) and I'm not too fussed about the neck wood. Binding? Nah. Tuning machines? Whatever you got.

GinnyT11
07-26-2014, 12:28 PM
They sound lovely, don't like the fancy inlays.

I think Chuck would die of shock if I put an order in: satin finish, no inlays.. oh go on you can do a black white black rosette, some player position markers and put your name on the headstock, but thats it. Woods? I'll take the plainest you got. Got any sinker redwood, that'll do for the top, whatever you fancy for the back and sides (as long as its plain) and I'm not too fussed about the neck wood. Binding? Nah. Tuning machines? Whatever you got.

Pundabaya, I don't think you'd get to "put an order in." He only accepts customers he feels an affinity for, and it doesn't have anything to do with how little or how much bling they want. It has to do with who you are as a person, what the meaning of your uke's design concept is, and whether he'd like to work with you through a build. Then, what you receive is a uke of great beauty, playability, and meaning that you'll never want to part with.

PhilUSAFRet
07-26-2014, 12:31 PM
Popcorn munching. Here comes the show. :cool:


Like a lot of movies Jim, not all you hoped it would be, eh? Oh well, at least there was popcorn, right?

Laouik
07-26-2014, 12:33 PM
pundabaya, i don't think you'd get to "put an order in." he only accepts customers he feels an affinity for, and it doesn't have anything to do with how little or how much bling they want. It has to do with who you are as a person, what the meaning of your uke's design concept is, and whether he'd like to work with you through a build. Then, what you receive is a uke of great beauty, playability, and meaning that you'll never want to part with.

No uke for you!

Patrick Madsen
07-26-2014, 12:35 PM
They sound lovely, don't like the fancy inlays.

I think Chuck would die of shock if I put an order in: satin finish, no inlays.. oh go on you can do a black white black rosette, some player position markers and put your name on the headstock, but thats it. Woods? I'll take the plainest you got. Got any sinker redwood, that'll do for the top, whatever you fancy for the back and sides (as long as its plain) and I'm not too fussed about the neck wood. Binding? Nah. Tuning machines? Whatever you got.

You'd never be able to put an order in. Chuck , more than likely, would suggest you try elsewhere. He'd "suggest" cause of the gentleman he is. Custom ukes are more than just an order no matter how plain. Aong with the skill, the luthier puts his hana in it and that's what makes the difference.

Jim Hanks
07-26-2014, 01:27 PM
Like a lot of movies Jim, not all you hoped it would be, eh? Oh well, at least there was popcorn, right?
On the contrary, the thread isn't even a full day ole and there are 40 replies. I just figured it would generate a lot of discussion.

Dan Uke
07-26-2014, 01:51 PM
Luis is very lucky that his clients don't have the same attitude as Canada isn't the ukulele mecca and not too many people will travel to Ontario to try out a uke. Secondly, the variety isn't the greatest in Canada so I commend him for not trying to imitate the Hawaiian sound. Thirdly, he's only made one petite bouche so you don't know how it sounds…you took a leap of faith. The sound is very different between the large and small sound hole.



You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to hand-crafted instruments.

I decided to spend on an LFdM, but I got to meet him and try it first. I'm really lucky for that experience. Had I not had the chance to try it I would likely have purchased a Kanile'a tenor, because there's a lower element of risk for someone who had only been playing for two years and spending more than logic dictated. I wouldn't be comfortable paying $2k, $3k+ without ever seeing or trying one. An Aston Martin is a breathtaking car, but maybe I won't be comfortable inside, maybe I won't feel "at home" in one. If I can't try one I'll head to the exotic dealership and try different other cars to see which suits me best. The prospect of going from the joy of acquiring to disappointment would be one hell of a ride, and one I don't want. Furthermore, there's the added challenge of waiting for him to build one that I really liked (no boobie sirens, etc.) and hope to successfully bid on it. So instead I enjoy the videos of people playing MBs while Luis build me a fully custom 'petite bouche' tenor :p

Dan Uke
07-26-2014, 02:11 PM
That is the point I'm trying to make Len. There's room for all the builders and I believe we are all looking for second best as there's none Moore Bettah ;)

Freeda
07-26-2014, 04:04 PM
I'm probably going to delete this, as I've read this thread after a few beers...... and I know how parochial things can become..

Awww don't delete. It was worth saying, and I doubt Chuck would disagree.

chefuke
07-26-2014, 04:10 PM
No. The sky will not open, the sun will not shine, the tunes will not grace your fretboard un-asked. You will play the uke ONLY to your abilities. Nothing "moore".... (ha)

What Mr. Moore offers is a very well made instrument at a very well made instrument price. What is sold after at a markup is what it is. Is it better than a..... Glyph? A fine Kamaka? A well made "other luthier" uke? Ask Chuck, and I'm sure you'd get the answer that makes sense, "all depends.."

There's no magic in any luthier, just competence or the alternative. Some are better to you, some are obvious firewood. MB ukes are in the "non-firewood" category, along with many other competent luthiers. Stop turning the poor guy into a god. He's a great craftsman.

A few years ago, the same worship was thrown on a few others, and really folks, there are good and bad instruments, his are good, not angelic. YOU are angelic, the uke is your tool. Get a good one, and stop worshipping the maker. His are good, if you can afford it, and have time. But you will definitely not hear angels, or the clouds parting, or your talent increase.

I'm probably going to delete this, as I've read this thread after a few beers...... and I know how parochial things can become..

Amen! I thought of many ways to bring that across and could not come up with one that would not be offensive - but luckily you did!
Thanks!

PhilUSAFRet
07-26-2014, 04:19 PM
On the contrary, the thread isn't even a full day ole and there are 40 replies. I just figured it would generate a lot of discussion.

I just figured you expected an "action movie" and got a "drama" instead, LOL

mm stan
07-26-2014, 08:40 PM
I have the highest reguards for Chuck and his work.....what he makes are the finest looking and sounding ukes in the world......
I have not met a nicer more humble, levelheaded and kind hearted people as Chuck and his wife.....

Newportlocal
07-26-2014, 09:20 PM
Having been fortunate enough to play one. The playability,tone,lightness,inlay,etc. Well, I think they are the best out there. Hope to get one in the future. Worth every penny and then some, and Chuck is a super awesome guy. It is a win on all levels for those that have one.

Icelander53
07-26-2014, 09:47 PM
Yeah that seems strange indeed. I don't see any rudeness or any foul in critiquing any luthiers work as long as it's done honestly and respectfully with no attacks on the person. But in this case I've seen almost nothing but accolades for this guy. I would think if he is reading this he would feel pretty good about the tremendously positive influence he's had on this art. I've never heard one but I remember the first time I saw them on the web. I was blown away by the artwork. I'd like him to paint my car :D

Maybe I missed the post referred to.

didgeridoo2
07-26-2014, 09:53 PM
The scoop on Moore Bettah ukes? They're pretty damned perfect. Tone, balance, playability, beauty. You don't need the inlays to see the beauty in Chuck's ukes, but the inlays are works of art, too. The hype is the truth with Moore Bettah. Neal said it won't make you a better player? Maybe he's right. But it will make what you're playing sound better.

AndrewKuker
07-26-2014, 10:41 PM
A few years ago, the same worship was thrown on a few others, and really folks, there are good and bad instruments, his are good, not angelic. YOU are angelic, the uke is your tool. Get a good one, and stop worshipping the maker.

So a player can be angelic with their art and ability, but a builder can't? I really don't glorify either on that level, but I do respect and appreciate MB's from a lutherie standpoint. The designs are attractive and often unconventional so naturally they fascinate me. His construction is refreshingly clean and his final setup work is commendable even in this price range.

But he's still just a dude. Just like a killer musician is. Either way we give props to those that inspire us. I would bet there are no alters of worship getting bowed upon right now. Just some folks that are passionate about ukes chiming in with what they have or have not experienced…

VegasGeorge
07-27-2014, 02:59 AM
I guess I've been out of the Ukulele arena for too long. I hadn't even heard of Moore Bettah. I checked them out at their website. I can't decide if those Ukes are ostentatious, or gaudy, or really beautiful. My eyes kept going back and forth between the Ukes themselves, and all the inlaid stuff. I guess that's the bottom line. If you want to pay for a lot of inlay work, then here you go. On the other hand, if you just want a good Uke, or only want some nice purfling around the edges and sound hole, then these Ukes wouldn't be for you.

Wicked
07-27-2014, 03:19 AM
I guess I've been out of the Ukulele arena for too long. I hadn't even heard of Moore Bettah. I checked them out at their website. I can't decide if those Ukes are ostentatious, or gaudy, or really beautiful. My eyes kept going back and forth between the Ukes themselves, and all the inlaid stuff. I guess that's the bottom line. If you want to pay for a lot of inlay work, then here you go. On the other hand, if you just want a good Uke, or only want some nice purfling around the edges and sound hole, then these Ukes wouldn't be for you.


I must disagree. I would buy a Moore Bettah based on the sound alone. Of course, my preference is completely subjective.

YouTube videos are hit or miss when it comes to sound quality, so I would recommend having a listen to a recording of Chuck's instruments on the Hawaii Music Supply site. Their recording quality is crazy good.

Laouik
07-27-2014, 05:20 AM
Luis is very lucky that his clients don't have the same attitude as Canada isn't the ukulele mecca and not too many people will travel to Ontario to try out a uke. Secondly, the variety isn't the greatest in Canada so I commend him for not trying to imitate the Hawaiian sound. Thirdly, he's only made one petite bouche so you don't know how it sounds…you took a leap of faith. The sound is very different between the large and small sound hole.

Mhmm. I'll have one of each. The bracing for the petite bouche is slightly different, etc. But to ask me to drop $3k on something I've never seen, handled or tried isn't something I could do. And I've had a long conversation with him about the two leading up to my commission. As I said earlier in his thread, it's important for me to have access to the luthier, otherwise I'd order a "custom" factory ukulele from one of the three Ks. But all of this says more about me than MB's work, approach or instruments.

jinsk90
07-27-2014, 05:52 AM
I'm with you Andrew. I'm honestly over UAS but there's still one Uke I want. If you talk to Chuck you will know he puts his heart and soul into all his instruments. Yes, he is just a man, but there is always something special when a person puts his heart and soul into something. There's probably a connection with Chuck when you play his instruments, almost like Chuck sharing his soul.

katysax
07-27-2014, 05:55 AM
As a musician I get great pleasure out of playing a well-made instrument. It doesn't matter if it is ukulele, or a saxophone, or a clarinet, or a guitar. A fine instrument provides pleasure on a variety of levels, not just visually and sonically, but tactically as well. The totality of the experience of a fine instrument is is deeply satisfying. If you feel this way, then the money spent is unimportant.

I don't have one of Chucks instruments and I have never played one. I hope to be able to have one available to buy some day (sooner rather than later). I don't expect it to make me a better player. What I do expect is that it will be a fine instrument that will be a joy to play.

mds725
07-27-2014, 06:04 AM
I guess I've been out of the Ukulele arena for too long. I hadn't even heard of Moore Bettah. I checked them out at their website. I can't decide if those Ukes are ostentatious, or gaudy, or really beautiful. My eyes kept going back and forth between the Ukes themselves, and all the inlaid stuff. I guess that's the bottom line. If you want to pay for a lot of inlay work, then here you go. On the other hand, if you just want a good Uke, or only want some nice purfling around the edges and sound hole, then these Ukes wouldn't be for you.

You haven't read through this thread or you would have seen this, which is post #17.


I have a relatively "bling free" Moore Bettah (the wood is beautiful, of course, and there's a nice rosette with matching inlay on the bridge, but no fancy fretboard or headstock inlay), and it's worth to me what I paid for it because it's easy and great fun to play, it's impeccably built, and it has a very noticably richer tone than any other ukulele I've played that isn't a Moore Bettah. I can's say that it's x times better than an ukulele for which I paid x times less, but I do feel like I got a bargain. My point is that the value of this instruments goes well beyond the visual artistry of them. They're incredibly well designed and built to produce awesome sound.

It's possible that the galleries on the Moore Bettah website might lead one to believe that MB ukuleles are about the bling and the inlay, but that isn't at all true. They're meticulously designed and built to produce wonderful sound.

hawaii 50
07-27-2014, 06:19 AM
Mhmm. I'll have one of each. The bracing for the petite bouche is slightly different, etc. But to ask me to drop $3k on something I've never seen, handled or tried isn't something I could do. And I've had a long conversation with him about the two leading up to my commission. As I said earlier in his thread, it's important for me to have access to the luthier, otherwise I'd order a "custom" factory ukulele from one of the three Ks. But all of this says more about me than MB's work, approach or instruments.

If you need to know how a Lfdm petite bouche sounds or is braced...you do know that Nongdam is the owner of the only one that Luis has built right?
he is one of Luis best customers and has given Luis lots of info on how the Lfdms are built today...

sukie
07-27-2014, 06:43 AM
...There's probably a connection with Chuck when you play his instruments, almost like Chuck sharing his soul.

I'm gonna say not probably, there IS.

And, I do think a beautiful ukulele makes you a better player. But not for the reason that just having it makes you play better. I think a beautiful instrument makes you WANT to play better. Well, that's how it is for me. I do own a Moore Bettah. I have been working towards making myself worthy of my ukulele since the day I got it. But that means practice. It means practicing on days I don't want to practice. It means working on my technique to make my ukulele sound the best it can.
Chuck's ukuleles are fabulous sounding ukuleles that just happen to also be works of art. Until you hear a Moore Bettah I don't think you can understand how beautiful the sound is. I'm not saying it is a sound for everybody, or that no other ukuleles sound beautiful. I know somebody who can really, really play the ukulele and says the sound is not for them. But I love it.
And dang,I just think my ukulele is one of Chuck's best. I've said it before, and I will say it again (and probably again) -- my ukulele is really personal. I knew I wanted a flamingo theme and I understood Chuck's style. I told him what ukulele stuff I wanted (size, pickup, koa, etc) and then just let him loose. I about fainted when he sent me the picture of the sound hole. And that was early in the build! Every Friday he sent me pictures of the birth of my "baby." Know what? It really is kind of like giving birth -- well, maybe open adoption. It was such a cool process.

Sorry to ramble. I just love my ukulele. Chuck is one of my top "must meet" people.

jinsk90
07-27-2014, 07:34 AM
I'm gonna say not probably, there IS.

And, I do think a beautiful ukulele makes you a better player. But not for the reason that just having it makes you play better. I think a beautiful instrument makes you WANT to play better. Well, that's how it is for me. I do own a Moore Bettah. I have been working towards making myself worthy of my ukulele since the day I got it. But that means practice. It means practicing on days I don't want to practice. It means working on my technique to make my ukulele sound the best it can.
Chuck's ukuleles are fabulous sounding ukuleles that just happen to also be works of art. Until you hear a Moore Bettah I don't think you can understand how beautiful the sound is. I'm not saying it is a sound for everybody, or that no other ukuleles sound beautiful. I know somebody who can really, really play the ukulele and says the sound is not for them. But I love it.
And dang,I just think my ukulele is one of Chuck's best. I've said it before, and I will say it again (and probably again) -- my ukulele is really personal. I knew I wanted a flamingo theme and I understood Chuck's style. I told him what ukulele stuff I wanted (size, pickup, koa, etc) and then just let him loose. I about fainted when he sent me the picture of the sound hole. And that was early in the build! Every Friday he sent me pictures of the birth of my "baby." Know what? It really is kind of like giving birth -- well, maybe open adoption. It was such a cool process.

Sorry to ramble. I just love my ukulele. Chuck is one of my top "must meet" people.

Makes sense Suki. Every Moore Bettah owner seems to have a personal connection with Chuck. Isn't that what we are all looking for in life, to be part of something.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
07-27-2014, 08:53 AM
Maybe it’s time for me to step in and dispel the MB myth!

At the risk of letting some of you down please know that I am nobody special nor am I even Oz behind the curtain. I’m just an ordinary guy with more flaws than I care to admit to. I get angry at times, I get depressed and I am often impatient with people. I work 60 to 70 hours a week in a small dusty shop with a bare minimum of tools and believe it or not, I struggle to pay the bills each month. I am in no way special but like most of us I do the best I can to not just take up space on this planet.

I have been building ukes since 1985, sporadically at first then full time for the past dozen years. I am versed in many of the hand arts and have made a successful living for myself as a self employes craftsman for ove 40 years. I don’t know much at all about business but one thing I’ve always held to is that in order to be competitive, your product has to be better or at least different than anything else in the market place. I am constantly working toward that goal with every uke I build. I have never wanted to build “just another uke”. Something like 3000 ukes are being built in the world every day. We don’t need more ukes, we need better and more innovative ones. I have never set out to be an uke builder for the people. Otherwise I would’ve chosen the name Volks Ukes instead of Moore Bettah (the name by the way is in reference to my roots on Moloka’i). Some people like ‘em, some don’t. That’s the way it should be. My market represents a very small niche in this community. But it seems there is some demand for work like mine and other builders of this same caliber. I am also by no means in this category alone as there are many very fine builders who share this niche with me.
Working meticulously with an eye for detail has always come naturally for me so the actual building process has never been a problem. My quest for the best sound achievable in an ukulele is a never ending process and at this point I’m pretty happy with where I’ve taken it so far. Once I am comfortable with those two aspects of my instruments it’s only natural that I use some of my artistic skills to embellish an uke in a manner that I find tasteful and pleasing to me. Incidentally, this is the most exciting and rewarding part of my work because it allows me to express what’s in my heart and soul. It not only brings my work to life and gives it a unique character but it also enriches my life by doing so. Bill Cumpiano (who wrote the luthier’s bible “Guitarmaking”) once said “You want to build a better guitar? Try being a better person”. I hope my work represents the highest and best person that I am through the gifts that have been given me. Building ukes and giving people joy through them is what I live for. What I do is about people primarily and not about things. My work is my vehicle to touch people’s hearts and souls.

Also, for those of you not familiar with my ukes, please know that the type of work you see on my web site represents only about 25% of what I do. The rest of my ukes are rather simple and unadorned. It’s been my shortcoming to only showcase the most elaborate of my ukuleles and that’s something I should rectify. I’m only allowed so much space on my web site (it’s always full) and I tend to only post those ukes whichh are the most artistic.

I’ve probably opened myself up to a lot of criticism by posting this. Those who know me will understand. For those who don’t…..well I’ve tried my best. And thanks to all of those who have participated in this. I have to go clean the crap out of the chicken coop now. Aloha.

NewKid
07-27-2014, 08:57 AM
I've never played a Moore Bettah but I've been a fan since 2012 when I saw a bunch for sale on the Music Emporium's website. I was number 25 on the Music Emporium's waiting list but later I found out that Chuck was selling directly and not through that store any more.

Chuck has the luxury of building instruments for people he likes and who inspire him. He is in artist territory rather than builder territory. He makes consistently excellent instruments because they have to be pleasing to himself first and the customer second. Once in a while he'll post a uke for sale on his site and it usually sells within two minutes. If you want a Moore Bettah, you'll have to be patient, and tenacious but there are a couple of UUer's here that have persevered to finally get their MBU.

Last year I sent someone $500 to get on the waiting list to get on Chuck's waiting list. I also bought six Moore Bettah t-shirts that Chuck claims are "washable".

stevejfc
07-27-2014, 12:45 PM
Chuck
As I posted earlier MB is the only uke I "lust" over. I know and knew you are a great builder, but now I know your karma is well represented within each instrument.
Hari Krishna

Wicked
07-27-2014, 12:46 PM
I work 60 to 70 hours a week in a small dusty shop with a bare minimum of tools and believe it or not, I struggle to pay the bills each month.

I completely believe it, Chuck. At risk of upsetting the people on your waiting list - your instruments are underpriced. (And I'm not just saying that in hope if getting a spot on your list...)

Newportlocal
07-27-2014, 12:47 PM
http://i1077.photobucket.com/albums/w466/Deckhand1/imagejpg1-18.jpg (http://s1077.photobucket.com/user/Deckhand1/media/imagejpg1-18.jpg.html)

stevejfc
07-27-2014, 01:15 PM
Good karma Chuck, real good.................................

Steveperrywriter
07-27-2014, 01:33 PM
Don't you just hate it when somebody whose work you admire turns out to be a really nice guy?

Chuck -- I don't think you dispelled much of anything. We still want a MB, and we still like you ...

VegasGeorge
07-27-2014, 02:38 PM
You guys are right, I didn't see post #17. I was only thinking about the showy instruments featured on the Moore Bettah website. And don't get me wrong, they were eye poppers alright! So, having only seen the pictures online, and never having played one, I really have zero qualifications for commenting further. But it's good to hear that the Moore Bettah ukes are fine instruments regardless of their adornments. Maybe someday I'll be luck enough to get to play one!

mds725
07-27-2014, 09:00 PM
I had heard great things about Chuck - not only as an ostensibly mythical luthier but also as a regular person. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to find a beautiful and recently built MB that was looking for a new home. When Chuck learned that I had one of his ukuleles, he sought me out on FB just to welcome me to the Moore Bettah Ohana, and he took an interest in me not only as someone who had a Moore Bettah ukulele but also as an individual. At the Honolulu Ukulele Festival on June 20, I was lucky enough to meet Chuck and his equally wonderful wife (who makes beautiful hand crafted jewelry, by the way - you can find it here http://www.alohaartjewelry.com/). He's a warm, unassuming, and engaging person with a heart as big as the rumors said it is, and I can't help but think of the love for his craft that he puts into each of the ukuleles he builds, including my unblinged one.

mm stan
07-27-2014, 09:39 PM
I had heard great things about Chuck - not only as an ostensibly mythical luthier but also as a regular person. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to find a beautiful and recently built MB that was looking for a new home. When Chuck learned that I had one of his ukuleles, he sought me out on FB just to welcome me to the Moore Bettah Ohana, and he took an interest in me not only as someone who had a Moore Bettah ukulele but also as an individual. At the Honolulu Ukulele Festival on June 20, I was lucky enough to meet Chuck and his equally wonderful wife (who makes beautiful hand crafted jewelry, by the way - you can find it here http://www.alohaartjewelry.com/). He's a warm, unassuming, and engaging person with a heart as big as the rumors said it is, and I can't help but think of the love for his craft that he puts into each of the ukuleles he builds, including my unblinged one.

I agree with Mark...Chuck and Bonnie are amazing people that are so humble and down to earth...nicest people that you'll ever meet....and with their amazing talent to produce the best jewelry designs and ukuleles possible...they deserve all the praise and more for their handmade creations that are out of this world one of a kind beautiful in looks and chucks ukes have the most amazing tone you'll ever play......

Icelander53
07-27-2014, 11:01 PM
I had heard great things about Chuck - not only as an ostensibly mythical luthier but also as a regular person. A few months ago, I was lucky enough to find a beautiful and recently built MB that was looking for a new home. When Chuck learned that I had one of his ukuleles, he sought me out on FB just to welcome me to the Moore Bettah Ohana, and he took an interest in me not only as someone who had a Moore Bettah ukulele but also as an individual. At the Honolulu Ukulele Festival on June 20, I was lucky enough to meet Chuck and his equally wonderful wife (who makes beautiful hand crafted jewelry, by the way - you can find it here http://www.alohaartjewelry.com/). He's a warm, unassuming, and engaging person with a heart as big as the rumors said it is, and I can't help but think of the love for his craft that he puts into each of the ukuleles he builds, including my unblinged one.

Wow I just checked out that jewelry, she's made really beautiful art there. What an impressive couple of artists. Well some people get blessed with abundance. Good for them and more power to them.:smileybounce:

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
07-28-2014, 06:39 AM
Angelic woodworking?

Jesus was a carpenter. He was probably great on the uke too :)

sukie
07-28-2014, 09:31 AM
Chuck
..... MB is the only uke I "lust" over.
I have one, and I still lust after them. The koi sound hole? Makes me overheat just thinking about it. I'm a sucker for his sound hole work. It's gorgeous.

Steveperrywriter
07-28-2014, 10:59 AM
Yep, the uke pendant is way cool.

69434

ericchico
07-28-2014, 12:29 PM
If I wasnt so old I would want to be adopted by them...Hmmm live in Hawaii making Ukes and Jewelry. Those 2 are living the dream.