Corey first samples this uke with a Worth all plain high G CH set -
Then Aaron demo’s it with a southcoast set, low g -
Other posts featuring Moore Bettah – HERE
Learn more about Paul & Gaku here www.uketet.com
We hope to continue to show you custom ukes from this remarkable luthier located in Virginia, Tommy Rodriguez is the real deal! Check them out now at your nearest uke shop! (You guys live on the North Shore, right?)
Today we are reviewing three tenor ukes from Luis Feu de Mesquita, aka LFdM, a custom maker from Ontario Canada. Luis’ tenor has become extremely loved in just a short period of time and despite being “untraditional” looking. Based on the Macaferri “Django-style” guitars, these mini versions are called Ukaferri’s, and they aren’t only different on the outside. Luis builds these with the rare “lattice” bracing.
This modern style of bracing is known for strong projection and volume. The Amigos deliver in that department. This style of build allows for a very lively, and ultra thin top. In fact, if you hold a light close enough to the top, you can see the bracing! However, the lattice distribution of support locks the bridge flat. This bracing doesn’t use the normal bridge rotation. Instead, the entire soundboard gets pumped and moves together from the edges. This has been thought to lessen phase cancellation and improve sustain. These certainly give a convincing argument.
As a side note, it’s been a real pleasure getting to know Luis. He’s got the mind of an engineer and the soul of an artist . He drafts, calculates, very methodical, but also asks you to name your custom instrument. Sensible, but still abstract, in a wonderful way. Last week I asked Luis, “Why ukulele?”. His reply…
The ukulele is an instrument I knew from having spent much of my early life in Portugal where my mother was from, the “Braginha” or “Cavaquinho” were familiar to me. The Ukulele for me follows on the same principle as the classic guitars i build, and I wanted to do justice to the instrument”
The tone on these 3 Amigos is well defined, very clear, yet still warm and expressive. Take a listen as Corey Fujimoto samples our first ukes from LFdM!
Different styles of design simply offer us different colours and dynamics. There is no “best”!. Great instruments excel and inspire in different ways. (A collection is optimal):D
All 3 have a 17″ scale and are 38 mm at the nut.
More pics coming..
Please share any thoughts or experiences.
The new Pepe Romero designed 30 series from Cordoba is a flamenco style featherweight 12 fret to body tenor. This uke booms with volume like no other in this price range. It’s now a high gloss finish and cosmetically improved from the first runs. Every 30 series Cordoba has a beautiful character and vibrance. This is to a Pepe Romero what Pono is to Koolau. The affordable version. This is new and just starting to show up on the market but it definitely fills a niche for this style. 12 fret to body with the spanish heel to body design, in this price range, it had the most volume! But is a light build and should not get high tension strings. Aquila or the Nyltech, Labella and a few others. You can inquire on specifics. Limited to store stock presently on this model. And the fourth of the featured is a very new arrival. Some were a bit surprised to see Islander pushing 7 bills. My outlook is different.I don’t know of any jig that makes side bevels assembly line work. This is a lot of hand work and it’s not a useless feature.
Many times after playing I can can see and feel the effects on my forearm. It’s a very practical feature but it’s just not practical in production and that’s why you rarely see it. The slotted headstock, cutaway body, and unique abalone fretboard inlays are nice too but in the end this one makes the cut based on tone. Plenty of bass and a Kanile’a type presence.
Check it out at our site here- Islander FMARM 4-T.
So sound is one aspect and this is one reference in time. 4 mics. Telefunken in the center. Stereo SDC’s are Earthworks/Josephson and a Nuemann gives the room ambiance. I’ve been getting help from the good people at PureSound. They don’t just sell. They educate, specialize and they practice the art. That’s our goal as well at TheUkuleleSite. Thanks for all your support.
Corey Fujimoto gives us an enjoyable listening experience as usual. Really excited for his album still being shaped up. Cellist coming etc…, Share thoughts and opinions below. I’m curious as to what you guys hear.
Kala Ukulele has a few factories in Asia along with a small custom and repair shop at it’s main office in California. The founder and owner, Mike Upton, lived here in Hawaii in the 90′s on the east side of this island, Lanikai, more specifically, which is also the name of a line he developed for Hohner before opting to work for himself. Mike says,
I went out on my own to start Kala Ukulele where I could continue to expand what is possible in the realm of quality, affordable instruments for the Ukulele Enthusiast and Novice alike.
Fair enough. The product, overall, reflects that passion. For over 7 years we have supported the line. They seem to be either a step above or a step ahead.
We are constantly coming up with new ideas and ever-growing innovations in instrument design.
This page highlights some of the models I recommend on a regular basis.
Exotic Mahogany Concerts!
Exotic Mahogany concerts now come in a wide variety of transparent colors that really make the wood grain pop. They run around $120 with our custom setup so it’s a great value, but the reason they are listed here is because they sound fantastic. Take a listen-
Feel free to call or email any questions you have about Kala Brand Ukulele.
Corey Fujimoto- Sound Sampler!
And there are some things I like. So I’ll give you the breakdown.
Out of the box the action was over 4mm at the 12th. That’s high. Especially when there is still a fret buzz on the C string. As I sample a strum I hear the electronics growling from inside. Maybe the 9 volt battery compartment, which adds to an overall heavily built uke. The UkeSB is quite the tank of a tenor and the sound. Not bad. I’d say in the same price range those new Cordoba’s or a Pono would be much more open and musical though.
This next instrument has a European Moon Spruce top and koa sides and back.
We will be posting at our website with more specs and description but wanted to give a sneak peak to our subscribers here at the review. Enjoy!
Almost every week we get instruments from Kanile’a with tremendously beautiful Koa. These last a few days at the most on our website and then disappear . This instrument didn’t make it through the morning so I decided to post it here. Why? Because it’s insanely gorgeous! Radical Koa gives mind altering pleasure!
You all know who Aldrine Guerrero is, right? He’s probably most well known as one of the founders and main teacher/ ukulele instructor at Ukulele Underground. I don’t know Aldrine too well, but what I do know is that he’s an amazing musician. Such incredible energy! His percussive techniques and dynamics will excite and inspire. This was a video I shot at NAMM a few years ago. He’s playing his signature Kanilea plugged into a Fishman amp.
Check out more performance videos from Aldrine at this blog-
Other features of Aldrine’s signature model include ebony appointments with Kailua beach sand inlays, a fat birds-eye maple rosette, a slotted headstock, and Gilbert tuners, which are actually the smoothest tuners I have experienced. Another cool feature is that the body is laquer gloss and the neck is laquer satin. This gives you the best in looks and feel!
Corey sampled it earlier today-
So nothing too newsworthy. Just thought I would share this extraordinary instrument. Behold, the astonishing uke porn star-
On this song, Corey is in the higher register quite a bit with complex harmonies. The longer scale tuned up allows precise intonation to be more attainable. Could this be the tenor’s evolution, natural selection for the bigger and sharper? More stable pitch and space in the higher register will give musicians a different freedom. It can also be a challenge for the increased extension required of your fretting hand. It’s an inexpensive experience if you already have a baritone. If not, even inexpensive baritones often sound really good. And the mid priced ones can be incredible.
So that was a look into Corey’s new Pono’s and upcoming album. This is just a rough track but Kelli Cruz is such a talented engineer. She used the same mic setup as when she recorded Jake S. under direction from Milan. Together Jake and Milan came up with a recording formula that Kelli shared with me. I am working towards a version of this setup as well. But we’re into a whole other blog now. The question at hand; Will the baritone scale tenor rise up as a new trend? Are more string companies gonna make sets? Will Corey have his own signature set? Does his girlfriend know that he bought 2 new instruments while she was in Japan? Find out next time on TheUkuleleReview.com!
Share your experience or post your questions below. A Hui Ho!