The Tree and Swiss Tenor Ukulele - Custom Build

The Tree and Swiss Tenor Ukulele is the latest to get strings.

The Woods

the tree and swiss tenor ukulele

One piece “the tree” back on this tenor ukulele.

Back and Sides:  The back story on “The Tree” wood is that this Central American Mahogany came into the States in the 80’s.  The log was cut with half going to the East and half to the West.  It has been favored and horded by luthiers and woodworkers for it’s very unusual figure and for it’s unusually  bright tap tone.  I have several 3 and 4 piece sets and they all exhibit different figure from the “Sausage Curl” shown here to the highly prized “Tortise Shell“.  I did not find this wood easy to bend.

The Tree and Swiss Tenor Ukulele

Subtle Swiss Moon bearclaw sound board.

Sound boardSwiss Moon Spruce. Well, you know about this one by now.  I came by a bunch of “Bear Claw” sets to add to the straight grained wood.  They all have light horizontal figure.  I thought this would be a nice touch for the tree back and sides.

The Tree and Swiss Tenor Ukulele

Curly Koa binding.

Binding:  Hawaiian Curly Koa.

The Rest of the Build

Accent Wood:    Curly, Hawaiian Koa.

The Tree and Swiss Tenor Ukulele

Newish head stock shape for me.

Head Stock: I’ll have to admit that this shape is similar to a few others.  It’s new for me though and is kinda fun.  One of the advantages of this shape is it does allow for more tuning room.

Neck: Honduran Mahogany with carbon fiber truss rod.

Finger Board and Bridge:  Ebony species with internal carbon truss rod.

Tuners:  Gotoh UPT.  

Strings:  Pepe Romero low “G”.

Case:  Crossrock ABS

My Comments

Is it the wood, the builder or a combination of both.  I say both.  Each builder tries to optimize the tonal qualities of the woods being worked.  I also believe that we build with a particular sound in mind that we find pleasing.  Since we all have a different “ear” for sound it is very difficult, in my opinion, to say that this or another has superior tonal qualities.  This instrument is no exception.   I wanted a simple build that relies mostly on the wood being used.  I find the sound to be consistent with many of my other builds using Swiss Moon soundboards–I’d say mid-range qualities, warm with good volume and sustain. The Tree Mahogany is very pretty.  Guess that works for me.  The Tree and Swiss Tenor Ukulele won’t let you down for sure.