Cocobolo Ukuleles Owners Thread

Tiger Camo

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Feels like a dedicated Cocobolo Ukuleles thread is overdue. I suspect, now that TUS will be carrying a few, they will see a surge in popularity and questions. The unique sound and scale lengths of these beauties lends to experimentation with strings, tunings, etc. And, of course, the sound samples and pictures!

I’ve had super tenor #005 (18.5” scale) for about 3-4 weeks or so now. I’m actually not even sure how CU got on my radar but they kind of hit my sweet spot: warm, round tone with excellent attack, string clarity/balance and deep resonance. I’d also been itching to spend some time with a uke that has a side sound port and radius fretboard (turns out, I quite enjoy both, though not so much that I think I’d miss them). Above all, I wanted a super tenor that would be at its best tuned to Bb. I'm pretty die hard about try-before-you-buy when it comes to musical instruments, so this purchase made me nervous, but this uke hits all the marks. Construction is absolutely flawless.

Cons are pretty minimal: Set-up on arrival was quite high and had to be lowered. It's heavy. I've seen references in other posts suggesting that the weight comes from the dense cocobolo wood ... I mean, sure, to some small degree, but my personal feeling is that the added weight is in the neck and oversized headstock. Given the difficulty of acquiring build materials in Nica, I suspect the truss rod is made of a heavier gauge steel than maybe necessary, but maybe that's all they can get their hands on reliably. That's just a guess. On the flip side, the weight really adds to the feeling of it being a serious instrument, in a certain kind of way. (Update: the more time I spend with it, the more I really like the weight).

Strings: I liked the Worth Browns that came on it. For folks who prefer fluorocarbon, they are pretty ideally suited, though if I was in that camp I’d want to try it with Fats; I think the hardwood soundboard benefits from the extra drive of a heavier gauge string. I went from the stock Worth Browns to Aquila Reds (which from a purely aesthetic pov are impossible to beat) but I found the trebles a little too bright/metallic for my tastes. I kept the Red wound Low G string and swapped in D’Addario Nyltechs, which is about as thick of a string as I can abide; I like them a lot, though I prefer a bit higher tension string, so they are just a weee touch softer than I’d prefer. At some point, I’d like to try the flat wound TIs for 4th and 3rd and maybe some baritone Super Nylguts for the trebles to get the tension I like back … but that’s down the road. The Nyltechs are so good, I don’t see taking them off anytime soon.

There is a scarcity of good sound samples floating around the interwebs; perhaps this thread will elicit a few players (better than I) to post some sound samples. But I can, at least, provide specs and pics:

All solid Nicaraguan cocobolo: soundboard, back, sides, fretboard, bridge and headstock overlays.
Solid Nicaraguan Teak neck, heel and bracings
Grover Stay-tight Tuners
Adjustable metal truss rod
1.5mm nut
Upper Bout: 7.3125"

Middle: 6.25"

Lower Bout: 10.0625"

Body: 12.8125"

Depth: 3.4375"

Total Length: 29.3125"

Scale Length: 18.5"
 

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I don't have a truss rod in mine. Does anyone know when they started this or is the truss rod only for an extra-long neck?
 
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Here ya go Annie, it's an early concert model. It is probably the only one with a comfort edge. It's the only uke I play onstage.
Concert #260 3.JPG
 

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I don't have a truss rod in mine. Does anyone know when they started this or is the truss rod only for an extra-long neck?
The different colored stripe of wood up the middle of the neck is called a "truss rod". It's really only decorative.
 
I don’t think there is a trust rod. Definitely not in mine.
 
Here is my concert. #419. It's my everyday player. It's features combine to make it my most comfortable ukulele to play.
Things I love about it.......
The 16 inch scale (in-between traditional 15 inch concert & 17 inch tenor).
The beautiful wood grain. Each one is unique. I see the eyes of an ancient elephant on the back of mine. I get so many comments on this ukulele.
The satin finish.....I'm not a fan of glossy necks.
The radiused fretboard
The side sound port
The warm, balanced sound
The builder.....Kevin is great, and coincidently is from Sandy Utah where I live.
 

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I have a 5-string tenor. It sounds and looks great, but the string spacing is a bit tight for my fat fingers. I recommend getting one with a 1.5” nut, if you get a 5 stringer.
 
I own and love Long Neck Soprano #106; I keep it tuned a half step lower than standard and think the tone is wonderful. It's honestly shocking how beautiful and high-quality of an instrument you get for the money. Also used to have a 5-string tenor from them but sold it on the marketplace here since I only really play fingerstyle and clawhammer now.
 

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I own and love Long Neck Soprano #106; I keep it tuned a half step lower than standard and think the tone is wonderful. It's honestly shocking how beautiful and high-quality of an instrument you get for the money. Also used to have a 5-string tenor from them but sold it on the marketplace here since I only really play fingerstyle and clawhammer now.
The grain on that baby! 😍
 
My Cocobolo Concert #366 is an oddball. Early on, they built a few ukuleles with Cocobolo back and sides and Red Cedar tops. I got one and it's a gem. The softwood top and the Coco B & S are a marriage made in ukulele heaven! 👼

The only disadvantage is the soft Cedar is easily scratched and dented, particularly since I have the habit of anchoring my little finger to the top when fingerpicking. I finally put a clear plastic pickguard on but I managed to add several divots.

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