Custom J. Rieck Tenor Ukulele – Maui Recovery Fundraiser


New. Maui Recovery Fundraiser Donation by Josh Rieck. Beautiful custom J. Rieck tenor ukulele handcrafted in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with the utmost attention to detail and a focus on tone. This is one of those “hidden gem” ukuleles. J. Rieck ukuleles rarely show up on the open market and are truly wonderful instruments. They are meticulously handcrafted and offer a wonderful aesthetic while providing a rich and full tone.

J. Rieck Biography

Seeing luthierie as a beautiful crossroad of music and visual art, Josh Rieck began studying the craft in 2002 at Minnesota State College – Southeast Technical in Red Wing, MN. After graduating with honors from the Guitar Repair and Construction course he moved back to his hometown, Aberdeen, SD and started String Theory Musical Instrument Repair and Custom Construction, performing guitar repair for local music shops while also beginning to build various acoustic and electric instruments.

Because of the local demand, Josh also began to work with violin family instruments while studying double bass performance degree at Northern State University. Double bass studies continued in 2007 at the University of South Dakota under Dr. Rick Rognstad, at which point the business also moved to Sioux Falls.

After completing his masters in 2009, Josh went full time in a newly expanded location in Sioux Falls. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Josh studied the history of musical instruments at the National Music Museum.

As of 2016 the name of the business has changed to J. Rieck Lutherie – this reflects the shift in focus to primarily new instrument construction.


This beautiful custom J. Rieck tenor ukulele is designated as a model T3 and was handcrafted with an old growth Redwood soundboard with a gorgeous set of figured Black Walnut on the back and sides that was sourced locally in Sioux Falls. The ukulele also boasts a rich jet black West African Ebony wood radiused fingerboard and bridge consistent with the finest recording level instruments. Genuine Mahogany wood neck consistent with the finest guitars and ukuleles handcrafted in the world. Elegant and complimentary Rocklike wood top and back composite binding with a classy top, back, and side profile b-w purfling line for aesthetic appeal. Rocklite is a revolutionary and totally environmentally friendly approach to tonewoods for musical instruments. It is an engineered composite produced from eco-friendly, readily available wood species.

Stylish nouveau design rosette with Black Walnut, Ebony wood and mother-of-pearl with “crown” accent inlay and a single diamond shaped mother-of-pearl inlay on the twelfth position for quick reference. Matching West African Ebony wood end graft and wood accent inlay on the back of the instrument, keeping with the earthy feel of this instrument  – a subtle but elegant touch. J. Rieck headstock logo in mother-of-pearl. Side sound port for monitor-like experience by which the sound fires both forward toward the audience but also upward toward the player. The instrument also employs professional Waverly tuners for smooth and precise tuning, camel bone nut and saddle, and a nitrocellulose lacquer finish. 17″ scale. 1.5″ nut width. Bone nut and saddle with a Nitrocellulose lacquer finish. Note in the photos that the left and faintly the right side of the lower bout have a thin vertical lighter hue in the wood that appears to be a crack or repair. This is not a repair as it is a new instrument but rather the natural characteristic and coloration in the wood. Additional photos have been provided for your reference.

In the wake of the tragedy that has struck the island of Maui, I am moved to contribute in my own humble way. In partnership with Ukulele Friend and Mika Kane I am offering one of my hand made ukuleles for sale; 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this ukulele will be donated to Maui’s disaster recovery. This ukulele is made from old growth, reclaimed redwood which was some of the very first wood that I acquired when I began building instruments 20 years ago. The back and sides are locally sourced black walnut. This is my offering of a small piece of my home to aid in the rebuilding effort. As a ukulele maker from South Dakota, I was insecure the first time I came out to Hawai’i to show my work. What I encountered was an open and encouraging culture surrounding the instrument. It’s with that spirit of community that I offer this instrument. My heart goes out to all who have lost their loved ones, homes, and livelihood due to the Maui wildfires. I know this gift is small considering the scope of the disaster, I only hope it will help someone in this challenging time. Warmest regards. – Josh Rieck

This ukulele employs a ladder bracing on the back with a hybrid X/fan bracing pattern on the underside of the soundboard – giving this ukulele a full and mature sound even as a new instrument. This bracing method allows for wonderful rigidity, with the benefits of a traditional fan brace system below the bridge. The back utilizes a ladder bracing system, which offers greater projection. The result is a remarkable tone with excellent projection, a more present mid-range, with fantastic clarity. A beautifully handcrafted custom ukulele with great ease of play, comfort, and tone. A wonderful instrument handcrafted by a skilled luthier who finds excellent balance between aesthetics, function, and tone.

Josh has generously offered to donate this instrument in support of the Maui recovery efforts from the recent devastating fires that have claimed so much in Lahaina, Kula, and Kihei. No consignment fees will be received by Ukulele Friend as well. Profits associated with this sale will aid in the same recovery efforts. The instrument has also been discounted to aid in the quick sale of this instrument. My sincerest gratitude to Josh and his family for his wholehearted support of the people of Maui and to Mika Kane who also generously donated his time to speak from the heart, being a Maui boy himself, and share this demo with you all. ID#230101

Price: SOLD

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