Swiss Moon and Koa Ukulele

By request, I built this Swiss Moon and Koa Ukulele for San Diego ukulele instructor and musician Kev.

Swiss moon and koa ukulele

Kev has written more than a few instructional books on ukulele playing and alternative tuning.  He’s quite talented.

Swiss moon spruce up close

I’ve told the back story on the Swiss Moon spruce before, but it would be best to visit the website to get more accurate information than I provide. I love “story wood”.

Curly koa back and sides

The build is very conservative:  nice curly Koa and of course the Swiss moon with a super tenor shape.  A mahogany neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge, white/black purfling and a simple abalone rosette compliment the build.

Kev researched amplification since he gigs locally a lot and wanted as much on board power as possible.  He requested a Fishman Matrix system.

I’m not a happy camper when it comes to any amplification and this is probably the only aspect of ukulele that I am most critical about. Here’s my opinion:  The Fishman system worked just fine but is basically an off-the-shelf guitar set-up with a shortened crystal piezo and mini-mic (the piezo was cut shorter than the average saddle width).  The whole set-up (9 volt battery, microphone, signal modification two separate tone and volume controls made only for guitar with miles of wires and funky double stick tape) barely fit into the ukulele and is very heavy for such a small instrument.   I’ll give Fishman an “A” for sound replication and power, but a “D-” for not modifying this device for smaller instruments.  Do I have an attitude or what!  Breath–OM.  Okay, I’m over it!

With every request, I learn something new and there might not be any end to the learning curve.  That’s a plus when it comes to every new build including this one.  Thanks Kev!