Circa 2018. Beautifully handcrafted full custom baritone ukulele handcrafted by master luthier, Kevin Mason, of Wheeling, IL . In 2002, Kevin Mason began building musical instruments after having played guitars, lutes, and other stringed instruments professionally for over 20 years. Since then, he has made mostly acoustic guitars, but also resonator, classical, and jazz guitars. In 2006, he built his first ukulele, and today he focuses on making high quality ukuleles for professional and amateur players alike.
As a small shop craft builder, Kevin believes in making instruments that are beautiful to the eye, using only the best quality solid woods. Because he was a player long before he was a builder, Kevin is sensitive to the touch and easy playability of his instruments, and to the tone and sustain of the instruments he makes. He does not settle for anything less than the best musical instrument possible and is work is gaining in popularity among professional musicians such as Kimo Hussey and recreational players alike. His instruments are known for their light weight, wonderful tone, and exceptional response.
This wonderful custom baritone ukulele was handcrafted from gorgeous Ziricote wood back and sides with a musicians grade curly Redwood soundboard. Macassar Ebony wood fretboard and bridge. The top head-plate was also done with a Macassar Ebony wood veneer in keeping with the theme of the instrument. Stylish black-white purfling lines on top, back, sides, fingerboard, and more, giving the contours of the instrument greater definition while attesting to the skill-level of the luthier, Kevin Mason. The neck was carved from Mahogany and reinforced with a graphite rod, providing the instrument with a little more rigidity and allowing greater transference of the vibrations back toward the sound box of the instrument. Beautiful figured maple wood top, back, and fretboard binding with a matching birdseye maple “nouveau” style rosette. 15 frets to the body and 20 overall frets to the soundhole with a Zero-fret at the nut and a 9.5″ radiused fretboard for ease of play in higher positions on the neck. The fingerboard inlay of this ukulele is a subtle and classy mother-of-pearl for quick reference to the player. Side sound port for monitor-like experience. Slotted headstock and pinless, string-through bridge. Vintage Amber bone nut and saddle and professional slotted headstock Rubner geared tuners with Ebony wood buttons for precise tuning, and a hand-rubbed french -polished shellac finish are a few more amenities to this beautiful instrument.
This instrument can be tuned in traditional DGBE baritone tuning but it was also created for a FBbDG tuning, which is one full step below the standard tenor tuning of GCEA. The wonderful thing about the FBbDG tuning is that you have the benefit of a nice mellow sound traditionally offered by a baritone ukulele without the floppiness of the strings, which is common on a DGBE set up. The result, a hybrid baritone that is easy to play, defined in its tonal character, and can be played just as you play your tenor as well. Excellent sustain and projection and a true joy to play. The instrument is also very well center balanced which makes for a very comfortable instrument as you cradle it up against your body.
A truly wonderful piece of art themed perfectly on a beautifully functioning and professional grade recording instrument. Wonderful depth of tones from the Ziricote wood combination with remarkable warmth and low end, sharing many of rosewood’s tonal properties with a nice full midrange and top end. A wonderful piece for professional musicians, weekend giggers, and the uke-lover at heart!