Pro musician and ukulele phenom Carl Ray Villaverde just picked up his new ukulele this weekend (youtube: carl ray villaverde). This tenor cut-a-way was co-designed by Carl and I. Besides the request for particular woods, Carl was most adamant on a “C” shaped neck. I’ll have to admit that after shaping this neck to his specifications, I was most impressed by the feel and play-ability–so much so, that I shaped the next 4 instrument necks to the same dimensions. In addition, I added an asymmetric heal as you can see by the back photo. Carl plays “a lot” on the upper positions and I think he will appreciate this modification.
Anyway, Carl is one hell of a musician and he blew away my family and friends with an impromptu performance at the shop.
This instrument is made of Oregon curly big leaf maple, with curly Koa binding. The sound board is sitka spruce. The neck is Oregon black walnut. The head stock is Indonesian Amboyna burl with Paua Abalone “CV” inlay. Fret board and bridge are Macassar ebony and I used LMI’s gold EVO fret wire (no nickle). We decided on a MI-SI under saddle, passive pick-up. Carl requested a Reunion Blues case to protect this instrument and ,I think, this was an excellent choice. Oh, I didn’t mention the new Gotoh 4::1 planetary tuners. Carl also wanted Aquila low “G” strings but uses Concert rather than Tenor. I”ll have to admit this worked well– after all, who am I to complain when there are no rules in ukulele!