What’s become of the Revelator

I've noticed that the quantities and models of available Elite ukes has gone way down in the marketplace. I assume that taking on the Revelator had something to do with that, but hope they continue offering Elites of various models.
I agree. I have an Elite and really love. One of my favorites.
 
Offset sound holes/multiple sound holes have been a been part of guitars and especially ukes for as long as I can remember. Ukes have the quirky personality that allows for "anything goes" more so than guitars (except for solid body electrics). The Revelator combines several features that are outside the box, but not just to be different. Pete really designed something special, cool looks, great feel to play but especially with a sound that defies the body it comes from. I've not played a Kanile'a D, I'm sure it's awesome but the body size and shape is still in the "norm" for ukes. I have played the L.Luthier which has the top bout sound hole and side sound port. Both of these features give the player more of the voice coming up, as does the Revelator. Gosh I think it's cool how ukulele designers keep pushing the envelop! What a fun time we live in!
 
The Revelator combines several features that are outside the box, but not just to be different. Pete really designed something special, cool looks, great feel to play but especially with a sound that defies the body it comes from.

That's exactly why I felt that Pete calling his offset soundhole a plagiarism needlessly self-deprecating. I mean, someone else invented necks and frets and strings, but it's still possible to build an innovative instrument using those elements!

At the same time, I think Pete is exactly right, that if you look at the Revelator, and all you take away is the offset sound hole, then you're definitely missing the point. That part isn't innovative, or, as you point out, especially unique.

I didn't mention this in my previous post, but as far as offset soundholes go, my favorite is Charlie Fukuba's I'wii with THREE offset soundholes!

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Charlie's been doing this since 1995, so predating the establishment of both the Revelator and Kanile'a. :) Charlie is also the only luthier I know besides Les Paul who's also an award-winning musician, but I think his designs are really special. (He does also make models with a traditional single, centered soundhole!)

I've not played a Kanile'a D, I'm sure it's awesome but the body size and shape is still in the "norm" for ukes.

My impression is that the offset sound hole for Kanile'a is not for anything affecting the sound, as much as for the opportunity to show off their wood. Not that there's not a lot of engineering that went into new bracing and construction to have that offset sound hole still work in the context of the rest of the build, but speaking strictly as an outside observer, it seems to me that the primary intent of offsetting the soundhole is to highlight the larger, uninterrupted expanse of wood, which I appreciate! I love how these look, and I don't think anybody comes close to Kanile'a's wood!

I'm also with you on the side soundport. It happens that, other than a Farallon, the only ones I've played are in the Kanile'a D Series and Platinum models I've sampled, and yeah, I'm crazy about 'em! I won't buy another uke without one, and I'm still sorely tempted to add one myself to the ukes I have. :)


And now that it's got this big boost from (a) Howlett perfecting it and (b) the connection with Kala and that gives it a nice push forwards towards the mainstream way of thinking.

I love everything about this. Pete's been very open about his health struggles, and I'm delighted for him and for us that his design will carry on. I'm also thrilled for Kala, a company that we ALL owe so much to, who it seemed to me was a little adrift for a bit. This appears to be putting some wind in their sails (and hopefully their sales!), which will benefit us all.

I admit that one reason I've never considered myself a potential Revelator buyer is that I want nothing to do with electronics. I know that I'm never going to plug in, so I don't want to pay a penny for a feature set that's the opposite of anything I want. As soon as they offer one sans electronics, I may well be in.

My own buying or not notwithstanding, I'd love for this to go wide! Maybe the lower-priced (Asian-built?) models that Alex mentioned will also help, but in any case, I agree with you, @bbkobabe, this is a story with only winners. :)
 
Might as well chime in with the Ovation 'leaf' style sound holes. I'm actually going to use that idea on one of my bass ukes:

Ovation leaf soundholes.jpg

Hadean veneer curly maple mock.jpg
 
Keep in mind that Pete himself called the Revelator soundhole plagiarized in this very forum, back in 2022. He also mentioned in his interview with Mike Upton at Kala that he got the idea after seeing a guitar guy do it, but he couldn't remember the name of the guy.

I don't know who Pete saw, but I admit that I was intrigued by his notion of plagiarism, so I looked for a few examples just to see what I could see. I know that Adamas was doing teardrops on guitars back in 2005, and still is! Here's one:
I have a classical/folk/nylon string guitar that a friend of mine built in the 1970's. It has the sound hole offset in the upper left "corner." But the similarity to what Pete created ends there. It could have inspired somebody who inspired somebody who inspired somebody who inspired Pete. But the inspiration would have had to jump the pond because my friend was in New York when he was inspired to do it.
 
Might as well chime in with the Ovation 'leaf' style sound holes. I'm actually going to use that idea on one of my bass ukes:

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Man, I love Ovations so much! I nearly included them in my earlier post. In fact, the Adamas that I DID include has an Ovation connection! They collaborated on a number of models in the 70s, with two in particular that I absolutely adore.

One is this 12-string of John Denver's. It's a symmetrical build, where the offsets look like angel wings, at least to me!

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Then this purple one that belonged to Nancy Wilson of Heart, with Ann playing it here. Angel wings indeed!

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But dude, you crossing those cutouts with a Hofner violin bass? Genius!
 
Great essay there. My point was that design is a process of assimilating your influences. As a whole, the design of The Revelator ought to be referred to more properly as innovative. I used several ideas from a range of builders and pulled them together into a ukulele design using a technique not often employed to make acoustic instruments in mainland luthiery but to be found in many instruments in South America, Africa, The Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This thread shows the weakness of focusing on one element of an instrument and trying to define it by focusing on that one individual element.. Mike coined the phrase 'acoustic anomaly'. It best describes the instrument I think.
 
Glad you chimed in Pete I was hoping you were somewhere reading all this in the background. It's got to be great seeing the reviews of your Revelator. Not that you need another "Legacy" in your life! I love mine! As mentioned above I have a prototype with gloss finish. The flamed Korina really pops with the gloss! Thanks again... Rick
 
I actually gave Bruce the idea in 2018 when I was contemplating having him make me a tenor double cutaway uke. This is my mockup with myrtle.

I like to think they made this one as a result of your inquiry. I bought it cheap (plus shipping!) from their scrap heap, I believe. It also looks a lot like an ovation/applause, the obvious reference point. I really wanted an Ovation acoustic bass with the same top like this, which they made for a while. So I was s sucker for this one when BWA put it up on ebay with no reserve. It's sitting on the couch right next to me as we speak!
 
Man, I love Ovations so much! I nearly included them in my earlier post. In fact, the Adamas that I DID include has an Ovation connection! They collaborated on a number of models in the 70s, with two in particular that I absolutely adore.

One is this 12-string of John Denver's. It's a symmetrical build, where the offsets look like angel wings, at least to me!

View attachment 167143

Then this purple one that belonged to Nancy Wilson of Heart, with Ann playing it here. Angel wings indeed!

View attachment 167144

But dude, you crossing those cutouts with a Hofner violin bass? Genius!

Tim, you need one of these!

 
Right. I was hoping to see more actual production, not just shaping the neck. These aren't turned out by the hundreds, and making a uke by hand takes time. It seems that they are selling fast - faster than they can make them and keep stores supplied.
I too was hoping to see the body building part even if with CNC and putting one together.

But I did enjoy the video and found it informative
 
Tim, you need one of these!


If it didn't have electronics, I'd have bought at least one already. 🤣

I really do love that look, and honestly I miss the sound of Ovation guitars in popular music.
 
If it didn't have electronics, I'd have bought at least one already. 🤣

I really do love that look, and honestly I miss the sound of Ovation guitars in popular music.
I have that model. It's a blast and so easy to play
 
Copied from the World of Ukes FBook post today:

The Kala Revelator Night Owl is coming to the UK this summer. This follows Pete Howlett's modern classic design, but is made in the Far East and comes in at a more accessible price.
I have a form here where you can complete your details to get an email as soon as they're here. A limited number are arriving in the summer and I think they'll be really popular, so if you think you might want a tenor electro Revelator, you can pop your details down and I'll tip you off when they land: https://worldofukes.co.uk/.../kala-revelator-night-owl...

...

The big question is: what will be the quality difference from the California produced ones for the price savings.

(!!!!Just noticed listed at 434 British pounds!!!!!)
 
Having seen the design, I don't care for the proportions of the Night Owl. The upper bout seems as wide as the lower. That may help the sound but you gotta like how your uke looks. There have been some prototypes sold on Reverb.
 
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Wow. From Pete Howlett to Kala to made in China Kala. Where else is there to go with this? A 'Build your own Revelator' magazine in 24 parts, first issue $2.99?
 
Wow. From Pete Howlett to Kala to made in China Kala. Where else is there to go with this? A 'Build your own Revelator' magazine in 24 parts, first issue $2.99?
Concerts and sopranos?
 
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