NUD - Pops Ukesa Tenor Scepter WOW!


Jan 30, 2013
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Durham, NC
This Scepter has been on my mind starting about a year ago, here's the story of my path to this uke.

My love for the Scepter goes back to 2019 when I took a KoAloha Factory tour and at the end. in the showroom, was a display of prototype Scepters on the wall with creation dates that showed Pops innovations over the years of building them. I instantly fell in love with the unique body design, and when I played a few and liked sound compared to their figure-8 cousins. It had a little "bite" to it that made it stand out. When I returned home, the Hunt was on! There's just not many of these that come up for sale. It took a few years but I finally found a concert KoAloha Scepter, it had the sound, the look, great Koa AND a pickup! I felt lucky because as far as I knew, KoAloha was no longer building new ones.

Fast forward a few more years, and I came across Pops website with custom ukuleles he was building under the Ukesa Hawaii brand, including the Scepter! I sent in a build request for a soprano Koa Scepter and that's how I met Ed Fiscella, Pops "Right Hand Man", and the man behind the website. With Eds help I got a wonderful soprano Scepter, same great voice, custom look, and in a smaller package.

From that same website, I also read the story behind Pops newest innovation, the WOW and a short time later I, was able to find one of the early Wow prototypes. I was so impressed with the difference in the sound of the Wow over the standard KoAloha that I begged Pops to consider building a tenor scale WOW. When I say “I begged Pops”, that really means I begged Ed to beg Pops... Anyway, it finally happened and I received the first tenor Wow ever made and it had a side sound port which I love! The difference in sound between the tenor Wow and the standard KoAloha tenor was immense.

This positive experience led me to wonder if a Wow version of my beloved Koa Scepters would elevate its sound in a similar manner. So I asked Ed to put me on the list for another custom, a tenor Scepter Wow. Pops' dedication to building ukuleles and making improvements into his 80s is truly admirable, making each of his creations a piece of ukulele history. Sorry for digressing, in case you haven't heard, I'm a Pops "super-fan"!

Now, back to my story... before he got to my order, as some may know, Pops took a hiatus from the shop for seven months between August and March. In March Ed mentioned that Pops was back in the shop and making 4 soprano Wows and a mango tenor, and he asked what I wanted in my custom tenor Scepter Wow. I've read some NUD's on these soprano Wows, and I know how happy the new owners are with that incredible uke as I vividly remember the day mine arrived! And like so many others when I first played it, I just said, “WOW!”

So I am now the owner of the very first Scepter Wow (and yes it has a side sound port), and the "good news" is that the sound is indeed very different from the Koa versions. While the Koa is warm, round, and beautiful, the Wow version is full and powerful. It's clean and bold without being thin, and it continues to get louder when you play harder. The side sound port likely contributes to this, directing the sound straight to your ears. The design features, while similar to other Wow models, really stand out on the Scepter, especially the ebony binding and the bridge design that complements the body's unique shape. Plus, it still fits nicely in a tenor hard case. And if you've never had a chance to hold a Scepter the point at the bottom and the scalloped curve below it hangs perfectly on your forearm near "the crook", almost like it was designed that way!

I'm grateful to Pops for the incredible design and wood combination of the Wow, and to Ed for helping make this uke a reality for me.

If there is a downside to my story, it would be that I've decided to part ways with my concert KoAloha Scepter. While it was my first, its sound is too similar to my Pops Koa soprano Scepter. But that USD (Uke for Sale Day) is a story for another Forum here, the "Marketplace", so stay tuned...


And its looks good in it's "Show-Off" case!
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Magnificent WOW
That is one gorgeous uke, Rick. And a true super concert with concert-sized body (all scepters and Pineapple Sundays have a concert-size body) and tenor neck. Pops kept telling me through the build how beautiful the ebony binding looked on the Sceptre form, and it sure does. Congrats. Now you just created another uke I need to get for myself - LOL
We really need to hear some sound samples of all your unique Wow ukes! Congrats
What a striking uke! Sounds like it’s gorgeous in every possible way, Rick. Congratulations!
Your Sceptre will guard your end of the state while this one will guard mine!


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