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Thread: Bonanza Ukuleles Homestead Baritone - REVIEW

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Bellingham, WA USA
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    79

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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    I have a #493 tenor Homestead in cherry. An attractive woody sweet voice, albeit on the soft side. The action was slightly below 2.5mm at the 12 fret—too low for me and a low wound G—so I cut a bone saddle set to 2.75mm. Perfect, no buzzes even at forte and the volume bumped up a notch as well. The tone exhibits slightly more chime in the treble range so bone transmits the tone better than the plastic (Corian) saddle. Plus Corian is not attractive and a mismatch for the natural vibe of the Homestead design. When I have more time I'll replace the plastic nut as well (grooves are super deep and seem to choke the strings). All in all a super good deal for the sound had.
    I swapped in an ebony nut and saddle when I raised the action on mine. They now match the black tuners for a more unified look.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by rorym View Post
    To make a trivial correction to a point you made in the review, my concert homestead is #496, so they started producing this line before #500. I’m certain mine wasn’t the first.
    Ah right - just repeating what I was told!
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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  3. #13
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    Sep 2009
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    UK
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    I have a #493 tenor Homestead in cherry. An attractive woody sweet voice, albeit on the soft side. The action was slightly below 2.5mm at the 12 fret—too low for me and a low wound G—so I cut a bone saddle set to 2.75mm. Perfect, no buzzes even at forte and the volume bumped up a notch as well. The tone exhibits slightly more chime in the treble range so bone transmits the tone better than the plastic (Corian) saddle. Plus Corian is not attractive and a mismatch for the natural vibe of the Homestead design. When I have more time I'll replace the plastic nut as well (grooves are super deep and seem to choke the strings). All in all a super good deal for the sound had.
    Hmmm Corian saddle AND Corian nut on this one. No plastic. I quite like the look of the speckled Corian - been on every Bonanza i've so far seen.
    The GOT A UKULELE REVIEWS DATABASE!

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    Ukes include (!) Kanile'a K1 Tenor, Tinguitar custom solid tenor, Fluke, Flea, Tinguitar Reclaimed Mahogany soprano, KM Ukuleles Dreadnought Concert, Brüko walnut soprano

  4. #14

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    Hi everyone. Chime in here if I may.
    First, yes we did a few homesteads prior to #500. As I say on my website "After almost 500" Sorry Barry if I mislead you.
    As far as the nut and saddle goes it is Corian. Some may think of it as plastic. We repurpose remnants from cabinet makers. The color would be a personal choice I guess.

    Necks and fretboards. For years we have used necks and fretboards from a well known and respected supplier. Mainland ukuleles. When the Cites regulations went into effect we were forced to make our own fretboards from walnut for international shipments. We were getting more and more requests for a wider nut so I december I invested in a 3d program so I could cut my own necks. At that time I changed the profile slightly as well. The neck I sent to Barry was a 2 piece neck. Because the heel is cut from the same board it will often look like a one piece neck. Not always though as grains can run different. Because the headstock is a scarf joint I apply a matching cover plate. This does 2 things. I covers the scarf joint and gives a channel for the nut to set into. Our standard on all sizes will now be an approximate 38mm (1 1/2") nut.

    Durability of our integral bracing. I have been a full time woodworker for almost 40 years. Custom furniture and over 600 kitchens. I have alway been taught don't bind wood cross grain. Let it float. Kitchen cabinet doors are built with floating panels. They expand and contract as humidity changes. They are less prone to cracking. Then the strength issue. I have done an integral bridge plate since I started building wood ukuleles. Not a failure.
    Yes I tested applying tension. no failures. I put bodies in a heated oven then into a freezer. No issues. To tell you there could never be a failure I would be lying. Things can alway happen.

    On the plus side we are finding better sustain up and down the neck. Volume has increased over our earlier builds. Will a thinline be as loud as some deep bodies? Maybe not.

    I know there have been questions brought up over my using full thickness wood and machining it out. Running a business I always have to compare material versus labor. I have tended to use renewable woods. Wood is cheap, labor isn't. That said I still don't want to waste a resource. The sawdust that I generate, probably 2-3 gallons a week is used in my composting toilet, saving water. Any excess is used to heat my shop. It doesn't go into a landfill. Less environmental impact than an instrument shipped half way around the world.

    Shelley and I are proud of the instruments we build. Occasionally something slips out the door wrong. We are more than happy to take care of the issue.

    We appreciate the ukulele community and the support we have received. Feel free to ask questions.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Honolulu
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    798

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    Quote Originally Posted by bazmaz View Post
    Hmmm Corian saddle AND Corian nut on this one. No plastic. I quite like the look of the speckled Corian - been on every Bonanza i've so far seen.
    According to DuPont, the maker of Corian, Corian is made of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate (ATH). Sounds like a plastic like material to me. I do like my Homestead and, of course, it's okay to prefer speckled Corian but I like my nut and saddle plain vanilla!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Bellingham, WA USA
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    79

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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    I do like my Homestead and, of course, it's okay to prefer speckled Corian but I like my nut and saddle plain vanilla!
    I concur. Bonus points to Pete for using excess material that would normally go to waste, though.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    Bellingham, WA USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by gochugogi View Post
    I do like my Homestead and, of course, it's okay to prefer speckled Corian but I like my nut and saddle plain vanilla!
    I concur. Bonus points to Pete for using excess material that would normally go to waste, though.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Twin Cities Area, Minnesota
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    Regarding the Corian, there are lots of color of Corian, and if you don't want a speckled piece, Pete can often find a piece that matches more of a traditional color, as he did at my request with my Amoeba Tenor.
    My ukulele blog: http://ukestuff.info

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  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    North West England
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    82

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    Quote Originally Posted by rorym View Post
    I concur. Bonus points to Pete for using excess material that would normally go to waste, though.
    On the subject of waste, banging the environmental drum here, how much wood is wasted in the production process of these ukuleles as opposed to conventional top+sides+bottom manufacturing?
    I might be totally wrong - I don't make my own- but surely a lot of wood is wasted by routing out 2 pieces of solid wood rather than slicing thin layers off?
    Ukuleles owned:-
    Laka VUC50 Soprano
    Laka LK-JBC Joe Brown Concert
    Rubin RS101 Zebrawood Soprano
    Barnes & Mullins UBJ1 Concert Banjolele
    Sinye YA26 Mahogany Tenor

  10. #20
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    Feb 2012
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    MN metro area
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pashmeister View Post
    On the subject of waste, banging the environmental drum here, how much wood is wasted in the production process of these ukuleles as opposed to conventional top+sides+bottom manufacturing?
    I might be totally wrong - I don't make my own- but surely a lot of wood is wasted by routing out 2 pieces of solid wood rather than slicing thin layers off?
    Read or re-read Bonanza Pete's post #14.
    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a uke which is basically the same thing.

    Ukes are a lot like potato chips. It's hard to stop with just one!

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