FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here you can hopefully find answers to your questions. If not, send me your questions via the Contact Form.
Depending on work load, ukuleles generally take from 8 to 12 weeks. Guitars will take 3 to 4 weeks longer. This may increase if specific tonewoods need to be sourced from overseas ( Hawaiian Koa for instance), or if custom inlays are requested. Also, high gloss finishes take a couple of weeks longer than satin finishes, as a result of increased curing time.
An estimated completion date will be given once the build commences.
Generally, wood grading defines how visually aesthetic the timber is.
Musical wood is usually graded from A grade (1A), to Master grade (5A) dependent on how much figuring, sometimes called curl or fiddleback, is evident in the wood grain.
I have simplified this to three general grades, namely :
- Standard Grade (1A/2A) – Uniform grain with no figuring, may have small knots or imperfections. (Does not affect sound or build quality)
- Premium Grade (3A) – Distinctive grain or little to medium figuring.
- Master Grade (4A/5A) – Distinctive grain with high figuring.
Higher grades does not mean better sound quality!
The grading of musical tonewoods is for the most part based on :
- the visual aesthetic of the timber, and,
- how the wood has been cut, specifically “quatersawn”, where the wood has been milled such that the grain runs perpendicular (or as close to 90 degrees as possible ) the surface. This means the timber can maintain better mechanical and dimensional stability, potentially resulting in a more responsive instrument due to a more favourable stiffnes to weight ratio. (Sorry about the technical stuff)
All of my timbers are selected to be well “quartered”, so the only real difference in the grades is the visual aesthetic.
In short, higher grades are visually more stunning, but all grades will produce similar sound quality, in the same wood species.
The high gloss and satin finish are both the same lacquer (nitrocellulose), the only difference being the satin finish has a matte additive which gives it the satin look and is not polished or buffed. The high gloss is meticulously sanded and polished to achieve a mirror finish. This process takes more time, hence the cost increase when choosing the high gloss option.
The finish thickness is approximately 100 micron ( 0.1mm ) for both finishes.
I offer a number of pickup options. Each have there own pros and cons but are all of high quality and represent the some of the best available.
Just a quick word on the two different pickup systems, Active and Passive.
Active systems are battery powered, have an integral preamp, and may or may not have tone or volume controls. Generally they do produce a higher output and have a better balance across the tonal range.
Passive systems are not battery powered and hence do not have onboard preamp or volume and tone controls. Having no battery to change is a positive but at the expense of lower output signal strength and some would say “thinner” tone.
Pick up systems offered:
LR Baggs Five-O : Active under saddle piezo element : Sound hole mounted volume control, internally accessible battery module. No tone control. No inbuilt tuner. Professional quality. Con is that battery pack can be awkward to access.
MiSi Trio : Active under saddle piezo element : No volume or tone control but has inbuilt rechargeable “battery”, charged via the output jack. 60 secs of charge time will give 6+ hours of play time. Professional quality.
Note : Optional sound hole accessed volume and tone controls can be added.
K&K Sound Aloha Twin Spot : Passive piezo discs glued to underside of soundboard : No volume or tone control, no preamp, but no battery to worry about. Can accentuate “banging” on the body of the instrument…great if you want to do percussive playing. Very good quality.
Note : Although it works well plugged directly into your amplifier, an optional external preamp is available for enhanced signal strength and control.
Fishman Kula : Active under saddle piezo element : Small control panel mounted in the side of the instrument giving volume and tone controls and a built in tuner. Battery access compartment at end pin jack. Good quality at lower price.
Standard strap buttons are included, free of charge, in the price of your instrument but as some people do and some people don’t want them, they are only installed if requested.
Yes. A hard case is included in the price of your ukulele or guitar.
No. As some people like to come and pick up their instruments from my workshop, delivery is not included in the price of your instrument. If you require delivery, this will be added, at cost, to the price of your instrument.
I use Australia Post – Parcel Post with insurance to the full value of the instrument.
Shipping outside Australia can be arranged but is to be organised by the customer.
Head over to the Information page where you will find all the details on purchasing and payment, delivery, warranty and returns.
The Information page is accessed via the top menu in the header.