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Thread: A Luthier Decision

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Portland OR, The Rose (and Uke) City
    Posts
    2,645

    Default A Luthier Decision

    I have made a momentous decision.

    I have some vintage ukes and I love every single one of them because they all sound different, even though they are all mahogany sopranos.

    But, two of them have action issues that make them unpleasant for me to play. So, I've decided to use my UAS fund and have the action professionally adjusted.

    I'm bringing sets of Martin strings, and my Ohana SK35 as the model for what I want (action was PERFECT OUT OF THE BOX!) to the luthier to do an exact set-up with the strings I like. $55 per instrument, and you know what, I'm guessing it will be worth it.

    I'll keep you posted. This may not be a new concept for some of you, but it is to me. My Martin guitar was perfect from the day I got it 44 years ago, and I never had the action adjusted. I'm thinking with the ukes, it will be like having a vintage suit altered by a tailor to fit my body! I'm jazzed!
    My Soprano Empire:
    VINTAGE MARTINS: c.'48 Martin 0
    OTHER VINTAGE: c30s Blue Favilla, c50 TV Pal, 30s Redhead
    MODERN MARTINS: OXK; 2012 2M
    KAMAKA: 2010 Pineapple (RIP MGM)

    My Baritone Empire:
    '12 Kala KA-B, '69 Silvertone, c.'53-57 Favilla, c.'63 Martin, '11 Kamaka

    STRUMTESTS//ADD to The STRING DATABASE and UKE CASE DATABASE // Take the NAME THAT MARTIN test.

  2. #2
    RyanMFT Guest

    Default

    Cool, I look forward to hear about the changes! I think it is a wise decision so you can really enjoy them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii 5min away from waikiki
    Posts
    28,167

    Default

    Aloha Thom,
    Let us know how the setups work our for you...keep us informed...Happy Strummings.. MM Stan

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Hills, SoCal
    Posts
    1,186

    Default

    The prospect of setting up a ukulele to play best is daunting to the uninitiated. Fortunately, we are not without resources. In my case, I have Pete Howlett coming to my Los Angeles woodshop to conduct two ukulele building courses. In the process of doing this, he is also offering a special seminar on setting up, adjusting, and maintaining an instrument.

    Not everyone has "access" to a luthier and they can be a secluded bunch to be sure. But when one surfaces, have them show you a trick or two. Or take advantage of build class near you.
    Harold O.

    www.HOPublishing.com
    www.WestHillsWood.com
    Just because shooting fish in a barrel is easy doesn't mean there are some fish that should remain unshot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Portland OR, The Rose (and Uke) City
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold O. View Post
    The prospect of setting up a ukulele to play best is daunting to the uninitiated. Fortunately, we are not without resources. In my case, I have Pete Howlett coming to my Los Angeles woodshop to conduct two ukulele building courses. In the process of doing this, he is also offering a special seminar on setting up, adjusting, and maintaining an instrument.

    Not everyone has "access" to a luthier and they can be a secluded bunch to be sure. But when one surfaces, have them show you a trick or two. Or take advantage of build class near you.
    I think this is good advice. I do want to learn setup. A class later--playable ukes now! Luthier, here I come! :-)
    My Soprano Empire:
    VINTAGE MARTINS: c.'48 Martin 0
    OTHER VINTAGE: c30s Blue Favilla, c50 TV Pal, 30s Redhead
    MODERN MARTINS: OXK; 2012 2M
    KAMAKA: 2010 Pineapple (RIP MGM)

    My Baritone Empire:
    '12 Kala KA-B, '69 Silvertone, c.'53-57 Favilla, c.'63 Martin, '11 Kamaka

    STRUMTESTS//ADD to The STRING DATABASE and UKE CASE DATABASE // Take the NAME THAT MARTIN test.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    N/W Chicago
    Posts
    2,059

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pdxuke View Post
    I think this is good advice. I do want to learn setup. A class later--playable ukes now! Luthier, here I come! :-)
    It is a great idea, but don't be too disappointed if they can't do what you want for what you want to spend. Vintage instruments especially have a lot of factors to consider from sunken tops to changing neck angles to previous poorly done work. Sometimes you just can't tweak it to get it playing it's best. Sometimes it takes a lot more work.

    I hope in your case, it is just saddle, nut and fret tuning to give you what you want.

    As perfect as your Martin may seem, it too could probably benefit from a pro setup. Every instrument I ever bought got setup after purchase and everyone of them needed it. A factory is a factory and Martin is no exception. They are far from perfect. Maybe better than some but they all need some help.

    Good Luck. I hope it works out great!
    Mainland Mango Concert and Red Cedar Soprano, Kala KA-ASKS Soprano, KoAloha Concert, Boat Paddle Tenor, Moore Bettah Tenor, Boat Paddle Mseries Baritone

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Portland OR, The Rose (and Uke) City
    Posts
    2,645

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by olgoat52 View Post

    As perfect as your Martin may seem, it too could probably benefit from a pro setup. Every instrument I ever bought got setup after purchase and everyone of them needed it. A factory is a factory and Martin is no exception. They are far from perfect. Maybe better than some but they all need some help.

    Good Luck. I hope it works out great!
    The Martin was set up by the shop when I purchased it. I'm satisfied with it.
    My Soprano Empire:
    VINTAGE MARTINS: c.'48 Martin 0
    OTHER VINTAGE: c30s Blue Favilla, c50 TV Pal, 30s Redhead
    MODERN MARTINS: OXK; 2012 2M
    KAMAKA: 2010 Pineapple (RIP MGM)

    My Baritone Empire:
    '12 Kala KA-B, '69 Silvertone, c.'53-57 Favilla, c.'63 Martin, '11 Kamaka

    STRUMTESTS//ADD to The STRING DATABASE and UKE CASE DATABASE // Take the NAME THAT MARTIN test.

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