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Thread: Custom Uke Owners

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Bay Area
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    47

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    Quote Originally Posted by fretie View Post
    It is the process of getting a custom ukulele that has me hooked. I like the communication that takes place between the luthier and I. Choosing woods based on the sound I seek and flavoured by the luthier’s recommendations, I savour this step. Next, considering the details like side sound port, radiused fretboard, type of tuners, style of rosette...oh, so many details to luxuriate in!
    Then there is the wait. Waiting for the build to begin, waiting for photos of the bracing, waiting to see how the rosette turned out, waiting to see my signature choice of fretmarkers..,the waiting is better than xmas eve.
    And, finally, there’s the thrill of seeing a totally one of a kind instrument and, even better, hearing its unique tones for the first time.
    Yeah, I’m in love with custom ukulele builds.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    Kanile’a K-2 Premium Concert
    Kala KA-CEM


    If you Uke easy, life will be hard. If you Uke hard, life will be easy.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
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    1,671

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    We've had this discussion before, and it appears there are different understandings of "custom". In a narrow sense, people mean an instrument that has been specifically built for one individual customer, incorporating his or her personal requests. In a broader sense, it refers to any luthier-made instrument that was built as one-of-a-kind. This is how the term "custom ukulele" is applied by specialized stores such as The Ukulele Site (HMS).

    I have both, some luthier-made instruments I bought from HMS or used, whereas others were specifically discussed with the builder and built to my specs. In both cases, I wasn't able to try before buying. And in most cases, I was pleased with the results. Again, most important was to find out what I like in an instrument, and which builders would most likely fulfill this.
    Enjoying instruments by - Beau Hannam - Jay Lichty - Jerry Hoffmann - Luis Feu de Mesquita - Kala - Kamaka - Kanile'a - KoAloha - Ko'olau - Moore Bettah - Pono - Romero Creations - and others

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Toronto , Canada
    Posts
    1,921

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakelele View Post
    We've had this discussion before, and it appears there are different understandings of "custom". In a narrow sense, people mean an instrument that has been specifically built for one individual customer, incorporating his or her personal requests. In a broader sense, it refers to any luthier-made instrument that was built as one-of-a-kind. This is how the term "custom ukulele" is applied by specialized stores such as The Ukulele Site (HMS).

    I have both, some luthier-made instruments I bought from HMS or used, whereas others were specifically discussed with the builder and built to my specs. In both cases, I wasn't able to try before buying. And in most cases, I was pleased with the results. Again, most important was to find out what I like in an instrument, and which builders would most likely fulfill this.
    Very very well said!
    I have been asked does custom mean it’s measured to my hand size like custom made shoes. Sigh.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Posts
    1,151

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    Do you want a stock uke or a custom uke?
    Yes, please. :-)

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    50

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    Mahalo Kurt, it is very gratifying to me that you appreciate your ukulele as you do, you were a delight to work with and I had a lot of fun building it. I would advise anyone considering a luthier built ukulele to take the time to learn as much as possible about the builder as they can and reach out and try to develop as much rapport with them as possible. This will greatly improve the odds for a successful outcome for everyone. In terms of risk, while it can be challenging to manage expectations, my policy has always been to offer a full refund if the customer is not happy. Most builders I know offer the same. Over the last 36 years and several hundred instruments built, I have had two returned. I am no longer accepting custom orders, my life is too uncertain for that, but I am building again and will be offering spec instruments for sale in the UU marketplace. Stay tuned.
    Bradford

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Capital District, New York
    Posts
    3,447

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuzzBD View Post
    Mahalo Kurt, it is very gratifying to me that you appreciate your ukulele as you do, you were a delight to work with and I had a lot of fun building it. I would advise anyone considering a luthier built ukulele to take the time to learn as much as possible about the builder as they can and reach out and try to develop as much rapport with them as possible. This will greatly improve the odds for a successful outcome for everyone. In terms of risk, while it can be challenging to manage expectations, my policy has always been to offer a full refund if the customer is not happy. Most builders I know offer the same. Over the last 36 years and several hundred instruments built, I have had two returned. I am no longer accepting custom orders, my life is too uncertain for that, but I am building again and will be offering spec instruments for sale in the UU marketplace. Stay tuned.
    Bradford
    You are most welcome, Bradford. That uke is a joy and a delight to play - I don't take it out of the house during winter months, unless I have a gig, but everyone who has played it loves it.

    This is not my most expensive instrument, but it certainly is priceless.

    -Kurt

    (If you make a Spec Soprano that doesn't have friction tuners, please let me know - I don't need another uke, but I'd love to have something like an Amy...)
    Last edited by ksiegel; 02-04-2019 at 01:59 PM.
    {watch this space} Magic Fluke Timber Bass * Ohana CK450QEL * Ohana CK-65D * Ken Timms Soprano
    Moku MS-90S * Waterman * National Triolian Reso * Bugsgear Aqualele * Donaldson Concert
    Rosewood Vita Uke * Waverly Street #38 * Ko'Aloha Sceptre Tenor * Ohana Vita Uke
    Fluke FireFly * Epiphone Les Paul Ukulele * Republic Concert * Fluke Tenor M22
    Kala KA-KTG-CT * Cordoba 20TM * 1950s Harmony soprano *1920s Stella banjo uke

    Am I done?

    ...naw...

    My YouTube Channel

  7. #37
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Kekaha, Kauai
    Posts
    50

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Sweet Home Osaka Japan
    Posts
    690

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rllink View Post
    I'm not purposely raining on your parade, but I could never buy a used custom. The whole idea behind a custom instrument is to get one that is specific to the person it is being built for. I would not want a ukulele that was specifically built for someone else. It would defeat the purpose.
    It's not underpants. I am happy to have used customs.
    Last edited by zztush; Tomorrow at 12:50 PM.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Catskill Mountains, NY
    Posts
    2,172

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    "When I reach a certain playing ability..."

    You've reached that ability level. Go for it! "He who hesitates is lost." Getting a custom built will increase your desire to play.
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Bay Area
    Posts
    47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerryc41 View Post
    "When I reach a certain playing ability..."

    You've reached that ability level. Go for it! "He who hesitates is lost." Getting a custom built will increase your desire to play.

    Love the response! I just can’t justify the money when my Kanile’a has me obsessed as it is. Like I said, the custom will be a trophy of sorts. My personal level of accomplishment.
    Kanile’a K-2 Premium Concert
    Kala KA-CEM


    If you Uke easy, life will be hard. If you Uke hard, life will be easy.

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