This is not your average ukulele. You first notice it has the shape of an A style mandolin and two side ports instead of a sound hole. On closer inspection you can see it has a 3 piece neck with the two outer pieces of mahogany cut and bent to connect and flow down the sides. I’m not sure exactly what his theory or reasons for doing this are but I can say this; 1. It looks super cool. 2. It makes for an extremely strong neck joint. and 3. It helps reinforce the area around the two side ports. The next thing I noticed was pins in the nut holding the strings in place rather than nut slots. I don’t know what he calls this but I call it a great idea. With the break angle and tension of the strings this works perfectly. Go ahead and bend up a full note. Try your best Stevie Ray Vaughn licks. These strings are not going anywhere and you don’t deal with any of the issues you can have with slotted nuts. I’ll stand up and slow clap for this. It’s one of those ideas I wish I had. Maybe others have done it but I haven’t seen it and I’ve been looking at stringed instruments my whole life. It makes a lot of sense and works perfectly. Major respect to Jerry for this design aspect.
Other noteworthy features are the classy and unique pearl fretboard makers and bird inlay, the gorgeous kamagong ebony back and sides, and the modest satin finish that shows this wood in its raw beauty. This custom ukulele from Hoffman Lutherie has a clean construction and a sleek design. Hopefully we will be getting more instruments from Jerry and show you more of his unique line up.
The thing that was keeping this uke from sounding its best was the action. It was at 1.75mm at the 12th. This is really low action and it didn’t have the dynamics and body it does now. I made a new saddle for it and wow, it sounds awesome!
We do final setup work on 99% of the ukes that we send out. This is our expertise. We don’t just sell and review them. We consider ourselves to be part of the process in getting you the best quality ukulele. Before I started Hawaii Music Supply I did warranty repair work and for 10 years did all of the finishing and final setup for Ko’olau ukulele. Joel and Chris have setup over 50,000 ukes in the last 7 years. This is what we bring to the table and a service we provide at no charge. With that said, our goal is to offer the finest instruments on the ukulele market and this is certainly one of them.
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