Circa 2019. Very good condition – not previously owned. Beautifully handcrafted full custom hybrid 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 hybrid baritone ukulele was handcrafted from gorgeous Cocobolo wood back and sides with a musicians grade curly Redwood soundboard. Matching Cocobolo wood fretboard and bridge. The top head-plate was also done with a Cocobolo wood veneer in keeping with the theme of this beautiful instrument. Stylish black-white-black 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 wood 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 curly Hawaiian Koa wood top and back binding with a Cocobolo wood bound fretboard and a double gold mother-of-pearl shell style rosette. 15 frets to the body and 20 overall frets to the sound hole and a 12″ radiused fretboard for ease of play in higher positions on the neck and a nut width o 1.5 inches. The fingerboard inlay of this ukulele is a subtle and classy mother-of-pearl on positions 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 17, and 19 with an flower accent inlay on position 12 for quick reference. Side sound port for monitor-like experience. Slotted headstock and pinless, string-through bridge. White bone nut and saddle and professional slotted headstock Rubner geared tuners with Rosewood buttons for smooth and precise tuning, and a hand-rubbed french-polished shellac finish are a few more amenities to this beautiful instrument.
This instrument has a hybrid scale of 19.5 inches and can be tuned in traditional D G B E baritone tuning but it is also very sweet in the Bb tuning of F Bb D G, which is one full step below the standard tenor tuning of gCEA. The wonderful thing about the F Bb D G 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 D G B E 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.
This instrument is in very good condition and was not previously owned but used for demonstration purposes by Kevin resulting in some minor cosmetic finish issues. It does have one very small ding below the bridge right below the ‘A’ string and a couple of small blemishes in the finish on the back that can only be seen at certain angles under extreme lighting. A fresh coat of hand-rubbed french-polished shellac finish was also applied to the entire instrument prior to Kevin sending it my way. A truly wonderful piece of art themed perfectly on a beautifully functioning and professional grade recording instrument. Wonderful depth of tones from the Cocobolo wood and Redwood combination with remarkable warmth and low end and a nice full midrange and exceptional clarity. A wonderful piece for professional musicians, weekend giggers, and the uke-lover at heart!