New Uke Day NUD - Custom Bruce Wei Spalted Maple

KohanMike

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
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Here is the custom spalted maple uke made by Bruce Wei in Vietnam. Came out great, a real beauty and plays so well because I had him thin the top a little more than he usually does. It's a thinline, had him follow the dimensions and curved back of the Kala Travel that always sounds so good. It has Aquila Super Nylgut, but I'm going to change to Worth Browns and see how they sound. I like bright, good projection, not sure the browns will fulfill that.

Spalted thinline frt bk.jpg
 
That’s gorgeous!
 
Congrats! Maybe try Worth Clears or Living Waters for a brighter tone? Browns tend to give a more dark, mellow tone.
 
Looks super nice, congratulations!
 
Came out beautiful Mike. How would you compare it's voice to the Kala thinline you referenced?
See below.
Congrats! Maybe try Worth Clears or Living Waters for a brighter tone? Browns tend to give a more dark, mellow tone.
I did order the Browns and will see how they sound. If I'm not satisfied, I'll try those.
My two Bruce Wei's sound nice but the output is so low on both... I have the same question as @rhiggie: How does the volume compare?And: Why can't BWA come up with a headstock logo?
The thinline he made me a couple months ago of solid acacia koa is subdued, but as I mentioned, I had him make the spalted top thinner and it really helped, it projects much better, not quite like the Kala, but more than acceptable for me. He does custom logos for the buyer on the headstock, like their name and such. PS - I just changed the strings on the acacia koa to Aquila Super Nylgut, the projection and sound has improved considerably.
What would you say is your favorite feature about this Wei?
First, the thinline because I can't play normal depth ukes anymore with nerve damage in my neck from radiation treatments for Hodgkins lymph cancer in 1973, next is the spalted wood. I really like highly figured wood, in fact, I just bought some burlwood veneer to use on another Hadean bass uke.

Burlwood Hadean.jpg
 
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Mike, do you know if Bruce will do a chamfered armrest and a radiused fretboard?
 
This may be a “respond by PM” question but:
Have you ever been dissatisfied with a Bruce Wei instrument? Reason for asking is that I really like the price and the tone woods Bruce advertises for the pineapple soprano with player port but have no better frame of reference than your experience with multiple custom purchases.
 
Ooooooh! That turned out great Mike. A real eye catcher. Enjoy it.
 
This may be a “respond by PM” question but: Have you ever been dissatisfied with a Bruce Wei instrument? Reason for asking is that I really like the price and the tone woods Bruce advertises for the pineapple soprano with player port but have no better frame of reference than your experience with multiple custom purchases.
I can't say dissatisfied, I've bought a couple of his ready mades, they tend to have less projection because he uses a little thicker wood. I wonder if having a side soundhole helps? I choose custom because I can tell him to thin the top, which has made an improvement.

PS - I just changed the strings on that acacia koa to Aquila Super Nylgut, the projection and sound has improved considerably.
 
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Have you ever been dissatisfied with a Bruce Wei instrument? Reason for asking is that I really like the price and the tone woods Bruce advertises for the pineapple soprano with player port but have no better frame of reference than your experience with multiple custom purchases.
My first BWA purchase has a decidedly improvised looking sound port (3 small square-ish holes that are not well aligned and appear to have been added after assembly) that I'm guessing were cut in later to try and improve the output of this slimline tenor I bought. They don't help much. The top on that uke is almost a quarter of an inch thick (and it still developed cracks!) Asking for a thinner top is probably a good idea... these guys like them thick! The tone and intonation are great and it's a beauty for sure - but the output is so low I can't play it in a group without disappearing...

The sopranino I bought also has a sound port... and that is exactly where the cracks originated on that little guy! I'm not even sure if it is repairable...

I also have an 8 string tenor... which also has a super thick top and doesn't project well despite all those extra strings! It sound glorious though...

The craftsmanship is good and each of the three is very good looking and made with lots of interesting tone woods. But the shipping costs are brutal: $60-95 each way depending on the size. BWA has offered to fix my cracks, but I will need to pay two way shipping to accomplish that. Ouch!

I think KohanMike has the right idea: BWA's in-stock instruments are a mixed bag, so ordering custom is probably the safest way to go if you know exactly what you want! There are several on eBay and Reverb, but no two are alike so you can't be sure of what you are getting!IMG_1076.JPGIMG_1010.JPGIMG_0876.JPG
 
My first BWA purchase has a decidedly improvised looking sound port (3 small square-ish holes that are not well aligned and appear to have been added after assembly) that I'm guessing were cut in later to try and improve the output of this slimline tenor I bought. They don't help much. The top on that uke is almost a quarter of an inch thick (and it still developed cracks!) Asking for a thinner top is probably a good idea... these guys like them thick! The tone and intonation are great and it's a beauty for sure - but the output is so low I can't play it in a group without disappearing...

The sopranino I bought also has a sound port... and that is exactly where the cracks originated on that little guy! I'm not even sure if it is repairable...

I also have an 8 string tenor... which also has a super thick top and doesn't project well despite all those extra strings! It sound glorious though...

The craftsmanship is good and each of the three is very good looking and made with lots of interesting tone woods. But the shipping costs are brutal: $60-95 each way depending on the size. BWA has offered to fix my cracks, but I will need to pay two way shipping to accomplish that. Ouch!

I think KohanMike has the right idea: BWA's in-stock instruments are a mixed bag, so ordering custom is probably the safest way to go if you know exactly what you want! There are several on eBay and Reverb, but no two are alike so you can't be sure of what you are getting!View attachment 161668View attachment 161669View attachment 161670
Exactly (along with Mike’s insight) the info I was seeking. Thank you!
 
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