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Thread: Bruko questions

  1. #1
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    Default Bruko questions

    Been browsing the Bruko website ...I don’t see much info on these ukes in any of the usual shops...HMS, Mims...
    Is the ‘flat’ soprano the same as a Kala thin body?
    Would the Bruko flat make a good travel uke?
    Can the Bruko be bought in Canada? Do the slimbody sopranos show up for sale used very often?
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Custom Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Lone Tree Custom Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Lone Tree ‘Mutt’ Five String Tenor (cedar/spruce top, hickory sides, koa back, birdseye maple fretboard)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretie View Post
    Been browsing the Bruko website ...I don’t see much info on these ukes in any of the usual shops...HMS, Mims...
    Is the ‘flat’ soprano the same as a Kala thin body?
    Would the Bruko flat make a good travel uke?
    Can the Bruko be bought in Canada? Do the slimbody sopranos show up for sale used very often?
    The flat Bruko Soprano is not the same as the Kala thin body.
    When I had a (Edit. standard size ) Bruko I thought it tough. The flat ones are slim and the lower bout isn’t wide, if humidity changes aren’t an issue then one would be fine for travel - though not everyone likes the Bruko sound.
    Bruko’s are, in my experience, typically bought direct from the factory in Germany or second hand, as far as I know they’ll sell to Canada direct.
    Bruko’s are common in Germany but elsewhere second hand sales tend to be infrequent, maybe post a wanted add here on UU.

    I hope that my answers are a useful start for you.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-10-2019 at 04:49 PM.

  3. #3
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    The slim, flat Brukos have very shallow sides (naturally enough). This gives a much reduced area where the neck is attached to the body. I have had experience of only two of this type of Bruko, but both failed at the neck joint. I don't know if this is a widespread problem, but two out of two suggests that it might be.

    John Colter.

  4. #4
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    Regarding if a Brüko flat body uke is the same as a Kala travel uke, I would say a Brüko is simply not the same as any other! For the best sound, go for an arched back model.

    Whether it makes a good travel uke I guess depends on what sort of travelling you do. If I were 'backpacking' (let's suppose; it'll never happen), I'd take something cheaper (any old soprano), otherwise I'm happy taking my Brüko with me on coach holidays and cruises.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for these replies!
    So, I’m clearly getting the idea that a flat Bruko is not similar to a Kala travel uke but not sure why it isn’t?
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Custom Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Lone Tree Custom Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Lone Tree ‘Mutt’ Five String Tenor (cedar/spruce top, hickory sides, koa back, birdseye maple fretboard)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by fretie View Post
    Thanks for these replies!
    So, I’m clearly getting the idea that a flat Bruko is not similar to a Kala travel uke but not sure why it isn’t?
    Ah, that might be down to transatlantic misunderstanding, you originally asked: “Is the ‘flat’ soprano the same as a Kala thin body?”. ‘Same’ and ‘similar’ have different meanings (to each other) in the U.K. , which is where your answers have come from. The similarity is that they are both travel type Soprano Ukes (ie. thinner than standard) but after that they have many differences, just compare their specifications (details on each ‘maker’s’ web site).

    If I lived in North America then the Kala would be the simplest way to go and lots of people love them, if I lived in Continental Europe then the Bruko would also attract me.
    Last edited by Graham Greenbag; 08-11-2019 at 09:45 AM.

  7. #7
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    The point is that a Brüko has such a distinctive sound. I've never heard a Kala travel uke played, but it's a safe bet it sounds a lot different to a Brüko.

    This is yours truly strumming my maple thin arched-back soprano Brüko:


  8. #8
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    I‘d like to add: „same“ and/or „similar“ in which respect? I mean, of course, regarding the size, a flat Kala and a flat Brüko are quite similar, of course. But regarding stability, for example, I‘d say they are quite diffferent. Brükos are somewhat notorious for being quite sturdy, as the used wood is quite thick (top as well as the back). Here in Germany, some say, the standard flat-back thin Brüko sopranos would be good for playing table tennis, in case you don‘t have a racket at hand, or you could even bang a nail in a wall, when in need of a hammer. From that point of view, they certainly aren‘t bad for traveling.

    Regarding the broken necks ukantor/John wrote about: I heard of a few cases of broken necks on Brükos from a good friend who is into repairing ukes. But in most cases these broken necks had more to do with someone siitting on the poor instruments rather than with to small a joint. I had a flat No 5 (made of mahoggany with the maple neck) and a flat No 2 (all maple) and they both were really sturdy. I used the maple instrument for some time at work - I work in a Kindergarten and I had quite a few kids strumming away on it for hours without any trouble. It certainly took a couple of rough bumps, as you might guess. So I wouldn‘t be worried it all about this.

    Well, regarding the sound, the Kala and the Brüko are certainly worlds apart. Totally different sound aesthetics, I say. The Kala Soprano travel has a smooth, mellow tone. The Brükos (and that‘s probably for most, if not all Brüko ukuleles) are famous/notorious for their harsh, percussive sound, often called the „Brüko plong“ here in Germany. While they certainly do have their own distinct sound, for sure, it‘s an entirely different question, if you like it or not.

    I‘d recoomend to try to get hold of one before buying one. Or at least try a few videos on the net with an at least decent sound quality to get an idea.

    EDIT: jimavery posted his vid while I was still trying to get my thoughts into a decent English... but that‘s the point, the Brüko sound. I found a different video, made by a fellow UU member from Ol‘Germany. The Brüko he is playing has a flat maple body, and a flat back (i.e. not arched), too. You can trust me on this, for I sold him the instrument about two years back....

    Last edited by frolicks; 08-11-2019 at 11:04 AM.

  9. #9
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    I would like to add another difference: The Brüko is solid wood, the Kala is at least partially laminate I think. Personally, I have tried a Kala Travel, did not buy one, because I did not think the relatively harsh and loud sound would add anything to my uke flock — although different strings would have addressed this. The Brükos usually have a similar hard attack, but their sound is still different. You either hate or love the Brüko sound. I own a #6, but not a flat one. Some people say the flat Brükos have a limited volume compared to the normal ones.
    ( o ) == ::

  10. #10
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    Ah, now I have a much more specific idea of the differences between not only the build and sound of these two instruments, Kala Thinline and Bruko Flat, but also of the company and builders that make each.
    Kamaka Tenor (koa)
    KoAloha Tenor (mango)
    Lone Tree Custom Soprano (hemlock, western maple, pacific yew)
    Lone Tree Custom Tenor (driftwood red cedar, black cherry, western maple)
    Lone Tree ‘Mutt’ Five String Tenor (cedar/spruce top, hickory sides, koa back, birdseye maple fretboard)

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