Jake Maclay is one of the best ukulele makers you’ll find. He worked under Rick Turner making Compass Rose ukuleles for 7 years and then moved back to the east coast about 5 years ago to build his own brand called Hive.

These are unique tenors, tastefully adorned, classy in design, with the finest tonewoods, and precision craftsmanship.

We first featured Jake here with this article back in 2014 – Hive Ukulele Review. And then did another feature here – Hive Spruce Maple Tenor.

Jake brings knowledge, experience, and dedication to each and every one of his builds. This page is to document the other Hive’s that have come through and hopefully it will grow with time.

Spruce Rosewood Tenor

These are “raw” sound samples with no compression of mastering. Use quality headphones or monitors for most accurate sound.

This tenor has an Adirondack spruce top and gorgeous Indian rosewood. It has a side sound port, Waverly tuners, a beautiful gloss finish, and Jake includes really nice Ameritage cases for these.

There is an obvious dedication to cosmetic and tonal perfection because this tenor is gorgeous and has amazing tone! On top of that it’s easy to play with nice low action while still retaining excellent dynamics and sustain for just about any style of play.

“Wenge, a dense, dark-colored African hardwood unrelated to the rosewoods, has tonal properties remarkably similar to those of Brazilian rosewood.” Dana Bourgeois

Wenge sides and back, with this creamy white Adirondack spruce top made one hell of a Hive here. Other cool details include Jake’s use of aluminum in the rosette and faceplate logo inlay on this one. This material reflects light and can go from looking bright white to a dark gray and it has a really cool textured look.

Spruce/Wenge Tenor

Sinker Redwood/ Rosewood Tenor

The redwood top really adds a sweet richness to Hive’s tone on this one. A little darker than spruce in tone, but with added depth. Pairs famously with the Indian Rosewood.

Other features to mention, the side sound port, the lightweight Gotoh geared 4:1 ratio UPT tuners tuners (recessed into the top), a beautifully mitered butt strip, a one-of-a-kind rosette, and a gorgeous gloss finish.

Spruce/Walnut 14 fret to body Tenor

Jake normally builds 12 frets to body but this one is 14 fret to body. So you get a little more range with two more frets of clearance, and it also gives a slight distinction in tonality. As with many variations in custom ukes, typically the skill and style of the builder comes through in the voicing and this one has a wonderful balance and complex overtones in the higher register that intrigue and inspire.

I should mention again how amazing the feel is on Jake’s ukes. If you struggle with string tension or experience fatigue in your arm or hands after long periods of play then you will appreciate how easy Hive ukuleles are to play.

Adirondack Spruce/ Mahogany

Here’s the latest one we got from Hive. Adi Spruce top mahogany-

We’ll add to this page as we get more of these fantastic instruments from Jake Maclay. Reach out to us to get notification when we get another Hive. They’re a real treat!

Comments 3

  1. Jake Maclay’s instruments are high on my “if I win the lottery” list. Jazz elegance combined with a clean, almost Shaker like simplicity of line and craftsmanship.

  2. I heard Corey playing the Uke, which Jake made for the “Luthiers for a Cause” and although all Instruments were superb, for me his instrument stood out. I never heard a more beautiful sound before. I always thought I never could say a sentence like “He is my favourite luthier” but now I can. He is.

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