At the request of a number of website viewers, we offer the following photos of several of our recently built ukuleles. Please note that we are not accepting any orders for ukuleles at this time.
We normally make concert ukuleles with four strings, but by request we also make some with five strings. In such a case, the third course becomes an octave pair with the second C string an octave higher than the normal middle C. The five string concert is an interesting instrument because of the extra sweetness that the high C gives it; further, the fourth course G may also be replaced with a 0.029″ wire-wrapped nylon-core string and tuned an octave lower to give it a wider picking range and richer sound. Click on photo at right to see larger front and back views.
Beloved of finger pickers and strummers alike, the tenor ukulele comes in several flavors: all koa for the traditionalist, redwood or Western red cedar top for a warmer sound or a Douglas fir top for slightly crisper projection and treble clarity. We first see an all koa 4-string tenor strung with low G in the fourth course; an alternative would be high G, low D, B and E as was promoted by Martin Guitars some years ago. Click on left photo to see larger front and back views of all koa 4-string tenor ukulele. Click on right photo to see 4-string tenor ukulele with redwood top..
The 6-string tenor is a great combination instrument — both picking and strumming, its fuller sound is great for cha-lang-a-lang style playing. The 6-string tenor commonly strung in two ways: with low G in the fourth course and a unison pair of 440 Hz A strings on the first course; with the normal ukulele G (above middle C) on the fourth course and an octave pair of A strings (220 and 440 Hz) on the first course. Click on left photo to see larger front and back views of all koa 6-string tenor ukulele. Click on right photo to see 6-string tenor ukulele with Douglas fir top..
The all koa 8-string tenor strung with octave pairs in the fourth course (G) and third course (C) and unison pairs in the second (E) and first courses (A) makes for an excellent backup instrument. A number of folks have bought these for playing in church along with a guitar to accompany the choir with excellent results. Anyone who can pick a 12 string guitar will have no problems picking the 8-string tenor…Click on right photo to see larger front and back views of all koa 8-string tenor ukulele. .
The baritone ukulele is the largest of the ukulele family. Strung D, G, B, E like the first four strings of the guitar, it has a deeper sound than the soprano, concert and tenor. This instrument can be played fingerstyle, melody chord and even slack key with great results. Both redwood and Western red cedar tops give excellent results for this instrument. It is likely that these baritones will be the basis of my 6-string travel guitar… Click on left photo to see larger front and back views of a Western red cedar top 4-string baritone ukulele. .
Spalted Koa Ukuleles:
Sometimes I deal with koa wood that is a mixture of both sapwood, which is usually more lightly colored, and heartwood. If the wood has been allowed to languish in the elements before harvesting, various fungi enter the wood and discolor it in a variety of ways producing an effect termed “spalting”. Smaller color examples are shown in the page describing Koa Wood . The two examples here show some of the wonderful qualities of this color variant of koa. The 6-string tenor is my personal instrument. The soprano “pineapple” was made for ukulele collector Chuck Fayne. I am considering making 1 or 2 of these each year if the right wood is available to me. Click on left photo to see larger front and back views of a spalted koa 6-string tenor ukulele. Click on right photo to see larger front and back views of a spalted koa “pineapple” soprano ukulele..
See STRINGS and SOUNDS for a further discussion of ukulele sizes, tunings and string tensions, and Our Ukuleles Played For You for a series of sound files played using our instruments.
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