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Thread: custom uke makers that you recommend?

  1. #1
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    Nov 2007
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    Default custom uke makers that you recommend?

    so ive got this wild hair up my butt again. im in NEED of a totally custom uke for myself. something that just screams "THIS IS MY UKULELE". my kala project was great. and i love that uke. but its still not "mine". and anyone can get a similar kala or lanikai and do the same thing that i did with a little bit of elbow grease, some technical know-how (good with your hands), and an incredible amount of patience.

    but now i want my own. i realize this is going to be an expensive journey. but in the long run, i think its going to be worth it.

    so yous guys wid da custom ukes out there... where did you get em? and how much did it cost you (major factor - poor is me)? and how satisfied are you with their work?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by NukeDOC View Post
    so ive got this wild hair up my butt again. im in NEED of a totally custom uke for myself. something that just screams "THIS IS MY UKULELE". my kala project was great. and i love that uke. but its still not "mine". and anyone can get a similar kala or lanikai and do the same thing that i did with a little bit of elbow grease, some technical know-how (good with your hands), and an incredible amount of patience.

    but now i want my own. i realize this is going to be an expensive journey. but in the long run, i think its going to be worth it.

    so yous guys wid da custom ukes out there... where did you get em? and how much did it cost you (major factor - poor is me)? and how satisfied are you with their work?
    Nuke, I'm looking forward to this thread...cause I would like one too! Thanks for posting it...e....
    Dude...it's a ukulele! www.dudeitsaukulele.com

  3. #3
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    Default

    well ive kinda narrowed it down to three:

    da silva here in cali
    kanile'a
    g string

    i am leaning more toward g string at the moment... but i still havent gotten a hard quote for the specs that i requested.

    does anyone here... anyone... have any say about any of these companies??

    im sure any of these companies will make a uke that sounds great. but im worried about:
    1. customer service
    2. workmanship (attention to detail)
    3. price
    4. pride in their product

  4. #4
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    Default

    Just to let you know, G-strings have a very bright and in my opinion almost "dead" sound. I was originally leaning towards the G-string when I bought my first quality 'ukulele, but I decided on a Kamaka instead and I’m very glad I did. Be sure you try a few different brands before you buy – just to get an idea of how companies build the ‘ukuleles and how they sound. Give Koaloha a shot as well; I heard from David Kamakahi that they do customs.

    Thought I would throw that out there…

  5. #5
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    thanks. i dont mind having more to choose from at the moment.

    according to the kamaka site, they arent currently taking orders for custom ukes.

    ive been intrigued with the koaloha ukes, but im not sure how the crowned headstock would look slotted (classical style)

    there was one luthier on the east coast that looked like he had some quality work. but as of the time of his latest pricing guide, his earliest start date for a custom uke is scheduled for mid 2010.

    man these quotes that im getting... im basically looking at about $2500 to get the uke that i want made the way i want it.

    need to go donate blood now. maybe a kidney while im at it.

  6. #6
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    If you can swing a Dasilva uke.. thats what I'd go for.

    I have one from Dennis Lake (Pomahina Jazz cutaway) http://www.konaweb.com/mahina/ .. that took around 14 months for delivery.

    one from William King, http://www.chantus.com/notes/ , took about 6 months.

    a Glyph, http://www.glyphukulele.com/.. it took about 2 yrs exactly.. now his waitlist is 3+ yrs. (I think this is the one you mentioned nuke, mid-2010 build date.. delivery date closer to 2011 )

    another one from King due anyday now, been 7 months and counting..

    I got an email a couple of weeks ago from Dave Talsma http://www.davetalsma.com/index.htm , he is gathering up his build list, so nows maybe a good time to contact him? if you're interested..

    I'm very satisfied with those builders and the ukes they built for me. Someday I'll have a Dasilva.. someday I'll have a Talsma, and someday (maybe sooner..) I'll have a DOMINATOR Uke too.. yes, I'm sick, and have uke sickness, I need help. I'm not in denial, I have a problem.

  7. #7
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    Holy crap JTY, looks like you've got ukes from all the best luthiers out there. If you could only have one, which one would you keep??? I've got a King tenor and a Glyph mezzo-soprano on order and I'm getting pretty excited about the King. (I try to forget about the Glyph because it's so for away - 2010)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NukeDOC View Post
    well ive kinda narrowed it down to three:

    da silva here in cali
    kanile'a
    g string

    i am leaning more toward g string at the moment... but i still havent gotten a hard quote for the specs that i requested.

    does anyone here... anyone... have any say about any of these companies??

    im sure any of these companies will make a uke that sounds great. but im worried about:
    1. customer service
    2. workmanship (attention to detail)
    3. price
    4. pride in their product
    Nuke, here is an earlier blog that I did back a few months ago about my gstring uke...

    I play a G-String Tenor Uke (high g). I recieved it as a surprise B-day present in August. The overall construction is very well made. However, there were (are) a few problems with this uke. 1. Although it is brand-new there are some dead spots on the neck. 2. More distrubing was the intonation for what is suppose to be a "professional" grade instrument. It was flat as you moved up the neck on all strings. This was not a "get a new set of strings" fix or issue. The bridge (from the factory) was not placed in it's correct and exact position on the body. To correct and compensate for this problem I had to re-set the saddle 1/8" closer to the neck. This involved re-routing a new slot (for the saddle) and filling the old slot with a slice of rosewood. Not fun, but it solved the intonation problems. Also, the factory installed pickup was not balanced volume wise from string to string. I had to correct this also. The steps I had to take to correct this $900 Gstring is unexceptable. In the future, my uke's will be played first before any purchase is made. I believe my next uke will be a custom or stock Kamaka tenor. Anyone having any intonation problems with Kamaka's?? Thanks, Ernie..
    Last edited by E-Lo Roberts; 02-01-2008 at 07:32 AM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
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    How about these custom ukes by Chuck Moore..

    http://moorebettahukes.com/FORSALE.html

    They look very nice, but I don't know about the sound. Does anyone have any info on this?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Lo Roberts View Post
    Nuke, here is an earlier blog that I did back a few months ago about my gstring uke...

    I play a G-String Tenor Uke (high g). I recieved it as a surprise B-day present in August. The overall construction is very well made. However, there were (are) a few problems with this uke. 1. Although it is brand-new there are some dead spots on the neck. 2. More distrubing was the intonation for what is suppose to be a "professional" grade instrument. It was flat as you moved up the neck on all strings. This was not a "get a new set of strings" fix or issue. The bridge (from the factory) was not placed in it's correct and exact position on the body. To correct and compensate for this problem I had to re-set the saddle 1/8" closer to the neck. This involved re-routing a new slot (for the saddle) and filling the old slot with a slice of rosewood. Not fun, but it solved the intonation problems. Also, the factory installed pickup was not balanced volume wise from string to string. I had to correct this also. The steps I had to take to correct this $900 Gstring is unexceptable. In the future, my uke's will be played first before any purchase is made. I believe my next uke will be a custom or stock Kamaka tenor. Anyone having any intonation problems with Kamaka's?? Thanks, Ernie..
    wow good to know. i dont know if you realize how much your opinion matters to me at this point.

    are there any others out there with experience with the glyph ukes (yeah JTY thats the one i was talking about) or da silva ukes? after going through this thread again, im now leaning toward those two luthiers. man this is a hard process.

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