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Thread: NUD: Moore Bettah

  1. #1

    Default NUD: Moore Bettah

    This post is very long, but not as long as it could be. The instrument and Chuck Moore both deserve chapter and verse worth of praise for the instrument Iím now lucky to own, but Iíll do my best to keep it in check.

    The extremely short version is this. Iím now one of the lucky few to own a Moore Bettah, even luckier and even fewer now that heís slowed down his production, and officially and fully stopped taking custom orders. Pictures are posted below if you want to skip to it.

    When I first started playing, not being a musician of any sort, I thought it would be crazy to spend more than a couple hundred bucks on an uke. After all, theyíre toy instruments, right? That was my uneducated, ignorant perspective. It only took a month or two of playing before I realized how wrong I was, and I got the itch for something special, really special.

    Fast forward some time, and I knew I wanted a custom. I did my research, read a ton of reviews, read through thread after thread of these forums, and I learned there were some exceptional builders out there. However, one of them seemed to have this kind of mythical existence, and I realized that if I were only to have one custom in my life it would be a Chuck Moore built Moore Bettah.

    Moving this forward in time, I was fortunate to get on his build list. My uke was scheduled to be built during his second build set this summer.
    Then, as many of you know, Chuck ran into some health issues and was forced to completely cut off his custom orders. He sent me the kindest email you could imagine, explaining and apologizing that he wouldn't be able to build my uke.

    After that we emailed off and on, sometimes about ukes, but mostly about other things. He's just a super cool guy, and occasionally I'd reach out to see how his recovery was going. I realized I was far less concerned about having a Moore Bettah ukulele than I was about having a good guy like Chuck Moore around.

    Fast forward to a couple of months ago, and he posted a photo of 3 ukes in the works. It's the photo attached with three unfinished instruments below. A lot of people, Iím sure, gravitated to the two in front, and rightfully so, but it was the one in the back that caught my eye. As soon as I saw it, I thought, "That's my uke."

    Let me be clear. It wasnít my uke. Chuck didnít build it for me. He built it for himself without me in mind. As far as Iím aware, heís still not taking custom orders and doesnít plan to.

    That said, what Iíd asked for when he added me to his build list was simple. (That is relative. Nothing Chuck builds is simple.) I wanted 100% koa. Slotted headstock. No elaborate inlay. (I absolutely love his inlays, but, at heart, Iím really just a fan of the traditional look. Classically elegant was the term Chuck used.) I just wanted something built with impeccable craftsmanship that had that Moore Bettah sound. The rest, with the exception of a few small ĎIt would be nice to haves,í I left completely to him. I basically said, ĎWork your magic any way you want to. I know it will be wonderful.í

    After seeing the picture he posted of the unfinished ukes, I emailed him right away, kind of embarrassed, cause I really didn't know how he was 'doing business' these days, and I hadn't wanted to bother him when he started putting new ukes out again. It went something like this.

    "Hey Chuck. I'm kind of reluctant to ask, but that uke in the back of your recent post looks an awful lot like a classically elegant, koa uke with a slothead. Any chance it's still available?"

    A few weeks later, I held my Moore Bettah in my hands for the first time. It's a work of art. Every time I play a note, I'm awed by it.

    Itís light as a feather, stunningly beautiful, and sounds as wonderful as it looks. It combines brightness and warmth beautifully and is also well balanced all the way through the highs, mids, and lows, at least to my untrained ears. The sustain and intonation all the way up the neck are impressive as well.

    I know he has many people knocking on his door for a chance to own one of his instruments, so I donít know exactly why he agreed to sell this particular one to me. I think it helped that I was on his build list prior to the building of this uke, but either way, I count myself fortunate that Chuck agreed to allow me to be a part of the MBU Ohana. Even more, I count myself lucky to have gotten to know the man a little bit. There's nothing mythical about him at all. He's just a really great guy that pours his heart and soul into his craft. Those that truly know him, through more than just humorous email exchanges, can probably attest to the great guy he really is.

    I donít have great recording equipment, nor am I a great player, but I may get some sound clips up if thereís interest.

    In the meantime, I recommend to anyone that is interested in getting to know a little Moore about the Moore Bettah experience to pick up a copy of ĎBuilding and Owning a Bettah Ukuleleí by Staci Blevins. Itís not cheap, but, just like the instruments themselves, it's totally worth it. You can find it at the link below.

    https://www.blurb.com/b/6910527-buil...bettah-ukulele

    I know this was long. Thanks for reading, and for all of you Moore Bettah owners out there, Iím happy to be part of the Ohana.

    Aloha,

    Matt
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Sparta, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,462

    Default

    Congratulations Matt. Both for being able to own a Moore Bettah tenor, but moore importantly, (couldn't resist) getting to know the builder as a person.

    This is a heritage instrument. Enjoy it.
    There is a subtle yet profound difference between the learning of something and the knowing of that thing.
    You can learn by reading, but you donít begin to know until you begin to try to do.

    óLou Churchill, Plane & Pilot Magazine

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Posts
    436

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    Wow, Matt! Your new ukulele is gorgeous!! I prefer classical elegance too, and that's definitely what Chuck gave you...in spades. And such a marvelous story to go along with it. Thank you for sharing it with us. I see a long and beautiful relationship ahead between you and that Moore Bettah uke. So glad it found you.

    Jan
    KoAloha KCM-00 (koa concert)
    KoAloha Opio KCO-10 (acacia concert)
    Thormahlen Yew-kulele (yew concert)
    Kala KA-SLNG (long neck soprano)
    Flight TUS35 (blue soprano)
    UKE LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME:
    *Snail SUC (solid top mahogany concert)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Saratoga, CA
    Posts
    877

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    Congratulations!! It is hard to explain why Chuck’s ukes are special to those who own them. In addition to the obvious sound and looks, it is the soul that Chuck puts into them.. I should do NUD too, but it is hard to put into words all that I feel.
    Last edited by kerneltime; 10-28-2019 at 07:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
    Posts
    2,094

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    My tastes run similar to yours. Iíd want that design more than any of the other pieces of art made by Chuck. Iíd play that model whereas the others I see would simply be a very expensive display item. Congratulations!
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

    My ukulele YouTube channels:

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    608

    Default

    Congratulations Matt, how absolutely beautiful!
    Grandma Penny

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    CH
    Posts
    1,786

    Default

    What a heartwarming story! Congratulations, and welcome to the MB family.
    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

  8. #8

    Default

    That is a wonderful story and a stunning uke.

    In my head if I had come to the ukulele 5 years earlier, that's the uke by looks and by builder that I'd agonise for months over sending that first email.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Ma., Ga., Fl.
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Welcome to the MBU family Matt!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Woodbury, CT
    Posts
    567

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    Congratulations Matt and welcome to the family. I remember when I received my first MBU and was just amazed at how beautiful it was and equally as important, how great it sounded.

    Mitch

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