NUD - Custom Bruce Wei Thinline Tenor Cutaway

KohanMike

Los Angeles, Beverly Grove West
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near the Beverly Center.
A couple of months ago I realized I was most comfortable playing thinline ukes with damage to my neck spinal cord from radiation treatments for Hodgkins Disease in 1973. I would use my thinline Lanikai Bocote most all the time, so I decided raffle off my seven standard depth ukes and go with four thinline (I can't just have one). So I bought another Lanikai of flame maple, looked for a Kala spruce and spalted maple, but not to be found, so instead I bought a Hricane spruce and walnut that I firmly believe is made in the same factory as the Kala, and not able to find any other, I had Bruce Wei make one in the same configuration as the others.

I knew I wanted a gloss finsih, the others are matte, and a maple fretboard, the others are dark, gold hardware (though he said all he had in stock were black and gold, so I ordered gold from Amazon) and distinct fret markers. Bruce did an excellent job and sent finished photos today. I can't wait for it to get here.

BWA gloss thinline a.koa.jpgUkulele Collection.jpg

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
4 tenor thinline cutaway ukes, 3 thinline acoustic bass ukes, 5 solid body bass ukes
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member Cali Rose & The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
 
Congratulations, that’s beautiful.
What was the turn around time on completion after you placed your order?
I started asking July 14, then made payment on July 20 of $885 including express shipping, so about 4 months, but about 3 weeks ago he said there was a problem with the gloss finish that he had to fix, which added a little extra extra time.

Just to add some accolade for Bruce, my luthier, Eric's Guitar in Sound City, Van Nuys, CA has seen my Bruce Wei instruments and says "this guy is a keeper." Eric is, in my opinion, the best at what he does in Los Angeles, if not the west coast, so I really value his observation.
 
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I started asking July 14, then made payment on July 20 of $885 including express shipping, so about 4 months, but about 3 weeks ago he said there was a problem with the gloss finish that he had to fix, which added a little extra extra time.

Just to add some accolade for Bruce, my luthier, Eric's Guitar in Sound City, Van Nuys, CA has seen my Bruce Wei instruments and says "this guy is a keeper." Eric is, in my opinion, the best at what he does in Los Angeles, if not the west coast, so I really value his observation.
Thanks for sharing this information. I've seen a lot of his instruments on Reverb, eBay, Etsy, etc but wondered about the quality at those prices; however with his currently available discounted stock it makes it a somewhat affordable risk. It's good to hear he's luthier approved locally too by someone who knows what they're doing and you had a good experience with the build and time frame.
Like you I'm a fan of maple neck ukuleles but not so much a fan of all the inlay work on most of his available now, some of the ones he has are way too over the top and kitschy for me, but yours looks so tastefully done, I'm really impressed.
Congratulations on a real beauty!
 
Thanks for sharing this information. I've seen a lot of his instruments on Reverb, eBay, Etsy, etc but wondered about the quality at those prices; however with his currently available discounted stock it makes it a somewhat affordable risk. It's good to hear he's luthier approved locally too by someone who knows what they're doing and you had a good experience with the build and time frame.
Like you I'm a fan of maple neck ukuleles but not so much a fan of all the inlay work on most of his available now, some of the ones he has are way too over the top and kitschy for me, but yours looks so tastefully done, I'm really impressed.
Congratulations on a real beauty!
Thanks very much. I too don't like extra stuff on the fretboard. I almost bought an Enya thinline wood one for $650 with shipping, but didn't like the inlay on it, and the Bruce Wei custom exactly the way I wanted for $885 is well worth it.

Enya Feather wood.jpg
 
A couple of months ago I realized I was most comfortable playing thinline ukes with damage to my neck spinal cord from radiation treatments for Hodgkins Disease in 1973. I would use my thinline Lanikai Bocote most all the time, so I decided raffle off my seven standard depth ukes and go with four thinline (I can't just have one). So I bought another Lanikai of flame maple, looked for a Kala spruce and spalted maple, but not to be found, so instead I bought a Hricane spruce and walnut that I firmly believe is made in the same factory as the Kala, and not able to find any other, I had Bruce Wei make one in the same configuration as the others.

I knew I wanted a gloss finsih, the others are matte, and a maple fretboard, the others are dark, gold hardware (though he said all he had in stock were black and gold, so I ordered gold from Amazon) and distinct fret markers. Bruce did an excellent job and sent finished photos today. I can't wait for it to get here.

View attachment 145722View attachment 145723

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
4 tenor thinline cutaway ukes, 3 thinline acoustic bass ukes, 5 solid body bass ukes
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member Cali Rose & The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
That's a beauty, especially the back!
 
Wow! Mike that is just gorgeous. One of the best looking ukuleles I've seen. Well done.

I hope it plays as well as it looks.
 
A couple of months ago I realized I was most comfortable playing thinline ukes with damage to my neck spinal cord from radiation treatments for Hodgkins Disease in 1973. I would use my thinline Lanikai Bocote most all the time, so I decided raffle off my seven standard depth ukes and go with four thinline (I can't just have one). So I bought another Lanikai of flame maple, looked for a Kala spruce and spalted maple, but not to be found, so instead I bought a Hricane spruce and walnut that I firmly believe is made in the same factory as the Kala, and not able to find any other, I had Bruce Wei make one in the same configuration as the others.

I knew I wanted a gloss finsih, the others are matte, and a maple fretboard, the others are dark, gold hardware (though he said all he had in stock were black and gold, so I ordered gold from Amazon) and distinct fret markers. Bruce did an excellent job and sent finished photos today. I can't wait for it to get here.

View attachment 145722View attachment 145723

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
4 tenor thinline cutaway ukes, 3 thinline acoustic bass ukes, 5 solid body bass ukes
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member Cali Rose & The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
Really a beauty! It's marvelous to know you are able to enjoy playing ukulele!
 
Thanks very much. I too don't like extra stuff on the fretboard. I almost bought an Enya thinline wood one for $650 with shipping, but didn't like the inlay on it, and the Bruce Wei custom exactly the way I wanted for $885 is well worth it.

View attachment 145733
Dittos on the inlay! While looking for a nice mid-tier uke I ran across Mauloa at TUS and liked the sound samples and the ukes look great but the fretboard...ah jeesh...I like simple and elegant such as that beautiful Bruce Wei you have!
 
Nice one!

This looks quite a bit different than my BWA thin-line tenor... in fact they have only the Der Jung tuners and the bowled back in common! A much different build. (It's the second from the left in the photo)

When it arrives, maybe you could take a photo of the connection of the neck to the body. Mine looks like a Model 1 guitar type construction... a style Rick Turner pioneered if I'm not mistaken. I'm curious to see if yours looks the same.

And did you have them put a player's sound port into this beauty? Can't tell from these photos... Mine look like three small square holes... (see below)

Mine sounds distinctly like a mandolin... I call it my mandolele... interested to hear yours if you can send us all a sound sample!IMG_0877(1).JPGIMG_1005.JPG
 
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...It's the second from the left in the photo... When it arrives, maybe you could take a photo of the connection of the neck to the body... And did you have them put a player's sound port into this beauty?
I think I mentioned to you in another post that I gave Bruce the idea of using those ovation style sound holes. I didn't do a side sound hole, the body is rather thin. I'll try and remember to photo the neck heel. I find that recorded sound samples are not very indicative because of the vast differences from computer to computer, but I'll post my impressions when it arrives.

IMG_0877(1).JPG
 
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I think I mentioned to you in another post that I gave Bruce the idea of using those ovation style sound holes.
Well, thanks for doing that! I played Ovation basses for many years as my main instrument, and I always wanted one of the de-lux versions with these "wings" style drilled sound holes. The guitars were also available decked out like this and are still valued today. I always wanted an instrument with this look and now I have one! They had a baritone and a concert for sale recently with this look that I also lusted after for a while...

Frankly, I'll admit it: I like the inlay and the bling... I fell for it when I bought this one, and fell again with the sopranino I recently bought...

And although yours has a really good, tight look...

It appears I am a sucker for bright, shiny objects!
 
A couple of months ago I realized I was most comfortable playing thinline ukes with damage to my neck spinal cord from radiation treatments for Hodgkins Disease in 1973. I would use my thinline Lanikai Bocote most all the time, so I decided raffle off my seven standard depth ukes and go with four thinline (I can't just have one). So I bought another Lanikai of flame maple, looked for a Kala spruce and spalted maple, but not to be found, so instead I bought a Hricane spruce and walnut that I firmly believe is made in the same factory as the Kala, and not able to find any other, I had Bruce Wei make one in the same configuration as the others.

I knew I wanted a gloss finsih, the others are matte, and a maple fretboard, the others are dark, gold hardware (though he said all he had in stock were black and gold, so I ordered gold from Amazon) and distinct fret markers. Bruce did an excellent job and sent finished photos today. I can't wait for it to get here.

View attachment 145722View attachment 145723

Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
4 tenor thinline cutaway ukes, 3 thinline acoustic bass ukes, 5 solid body bass ukes
•Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
•Member Cali Rose & The CC Strummers: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
The wood looks gorgeous, congrats!
 
Congrats Mike, what a good lookin' uke!
 
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