Sold FS - Glyph Soprano - Koa - Sold!

Washington, DC


Well-known member
Jun 5, 2013
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Washington, DC
I am selling a lovely Glyph Soprano, built by Dave Means in Annapolis, MD. I purchased it in 2015 and brought it to Dave for more info on the instrument. By that time, Dave was done taking orders for ukes, and was just doing warrant repairs. He told me that he made my instrument in the last year or so of his building career. He said it was modeled on the Martin Ditson design, which has a bit more dreadnaught in its shape compared to the standard Martin uke. The body wood is koa, binding is maple, and Dave recalled using Brazilian rosewood for the fretboard.
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Beautiful uke, beautiful Koa, didn't know Annapolis had a ukulele builder! I agree about selling a uke that doesn't have much reputation. Those are the ones you want to play first. Great playing too!
Dave Means was a fantastic builder. I can't recall the dates for sure, but he was active around 15+ years ago. His instruments were very well made. They were beautiful, light and resonant. If you do a search on the old bulletin board at flea market music I am sure you will find countless posts. His instruments became quite the rage and in time his wait list extended to years. He was probably one of the most highly regarded luthiers at the time. Eventually he stopped taking orders, finished out his list and stopped building.

These days it is somewhat rare to see his instruments for sale. I am sure that this is a spectacular instrument.
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Beautiful uke, beautiful Koa, didn't know Annapolis had a ukulele builder! I agree about selling a uke that doesn't have much reputation. Those are the ones you want to play first. Great playing too!
Dave has been out of the building game for a while, but his ukes have a sterling reputation. It's very rare to see them come up for sale.
In ten years I’ve only seen two Glyphs for sale I think. That probably says something!
Thanks for the responses! I believe Dave was winding down his uke shop when I met him in 2015. His peak would have been around 2010. He talked about building a Glyph for John King, who plays it on one of his YouTube videos. Wilfred Welti also plays a Glyph soprano.

William King was another excellent uke luthier from around that time. I greatly enjoyed playing of of his sopranos for a few years.
Yes, I remember people loved William King's instruments. A few other very popular builders were- Mike DaSilva, Dave Talsma (still active today), Joel Eckhaus (Earnest Instruments) and Kevin Crossett (Kepasa ukuleles)
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Yes, I had an Eckhaus Stradele for a few years and really liked it. It had a very clear, transparent sound that was great for fingerstyle. Sized between a concert and soprano, if I recall correctly. Good to know Talsma is still at it…
Threads like this are some of what makes this forum so awesome and dangerously UAS triggering at the same time. Lots of great uke information with a beautiful and rare uke to ogle, causing a uke'aholic to assess funds and spouse's mood 😏. Both are a no-go for me, unfortunately, but I hope it finds a proper new home soon!
Digging around the web archive, I was able to access pieces of Dave's old site. He had some clips of different sizes. Here is a clip of James Key playing a koa soprano with Nylgut strings. This instrument should be pretty similar in tone.

Glyph soprano

Great playing and great sounding instrument
Well, I imagine that guy could make any uke sound amazing. If you buy my Glyph and can somehow borrow James Key's fingers, that will be you ripping thru the 12th Street Rag!
Awesome uke. When I took lessons froms Matthew Stead, he routinely played a Glyph. I still remember its sound. At the time, Matt had ample access to fine 'ukulele through his 'ukulele consignment and retail business, so his decision to favor the Glyph says a lot about their quality.

A relatively recent Glyph is a rare uke to come available indeed, and this one is priced to sell. GLWS.
I just want to chime in... this is an awesome ukulele and a great offer. I'm kinda sad that I cannot afford this right now, and that I'm living in Europe (where it's a hassle to deliver to, and then there is also hassle with customs and all). Whoever is going to buy this ukulele, I wanna congratulate to this once-in-a-lifetime deal.

Best Regards
Thanks for the post, Wilfried. If you want to hear beautiful arrangements of Celtic and Early Music on a soprano uke, check out Wilfried's website. His playing is a marvel of tone, control, and elegance. He has also innovated some techniques for fingerstyle soprano that are worth mastering.
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Congrats to the new owner...This IS a very special instrument! I was really wearing down and if there was just one more price reduction I was going to be on it...and I rarely even play the ukulele anymore! 🙃
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