Beautiful and rare Pepe Romero Jr. “Steck Piano 100yr Soundboard” Tenor Ukulele handcrafted by Pepe in San Diego, California. Only 11 of these instruments were made with this being #6.
Pepe Romero Biography
Pepe Romero Jr. was born into a family that lives the Spanish guitar. From his childhood Pepe loved the guitar. He grew up playing some of the world’s greatest guitars from the incredible collection of his father. Growing up surrounded by guitars made by Torres, Esteso, Santos Hernandez, Hauser, and Miguel Rodriguez set the standard for how a guitar should be made.
At 18 years old Pepe went to the workshop of Dake Traphagen to build a guitar. Upon completion of this guitar, Pepe decided to dedicate himself to being a builder. In 1997, Pepe was lucky enough to spend time in the workshop of Miguel Rodriguez shortly before he passed away. He moved on to study with and receive guidance from J.L. Romanillos, Manuel Contreras II, Yuris Zeltins and Edmund Blöchinger. Pepe and Blöchinger have become great friends and have made 2 guitars together.
Pepe is heavily influenced by the Rodriguez guitars. His style of building is very similar to Rodriguez. He is also inspired by the elegant look and beautiful sound of the guitars by Santos Hernandez and Domingo Esteso. As of spring 2017, Pepe has made over 275 guitars. Each one is hand crafted and built in the traditional spanish method. His guitars are in great demand by concert guitarists and collectors worldwide. He has a waiting list of about 2-3 years for new guitars. He has handcrafted a relatively small number of ukuleles in comparison to his guitars but they play beautifully and have a focus on tone, sustain, and projection.
George Steck Pianos
George Steck was born on July 13, 1829 in Hessen Kassel, Germany. A “piano maker of the old school,” he honed his skills while as an apprentice under renowned European luthier Carl Scheel, an enterprising man who had once worked for the prestigious French piano manufacturer Sebastian Erard. In 1853, Steck left for New York to replicate his mentor’s success and became known as one of the foremost luthiers in handcrafted custom pianos.
This beautifully handcrafted custom Pepe Romero “Steck Piano 100yr Soundboard” ukulele was handcrafted of stained Honduran Mahogany wood back and sides with a 100 year old spruce soundboard taken from a vintage George Steck piano soundboard handcrafted roughly a hundred years ago. While the instrument was handcrafted in 2022, the soundboard reveals its true age with imperfections (splits and repairs) that have been repaired by Pepe in the building process. Brazilian Rosewood fretboard, bridge, and headstock veneer add to the elegant provenance of such a masterpiece. Position markers on 5, 7, and 10 for quick reference. The instrument was built with a classical approach with a 12 fret joint to the body and 18 overall frets to the soundhole. The inside has a thin veneer of spruce as well, giving the instrument tremendous resonance and projection. French polish. Gotoh 4:1 geared tuners for precise and quick tuning.
The tone is something special with a round balanced low-end and bright lights. You can hear and feel the age in this instrument. It has the best of both worlds in that it has the complexity, clarity, and note separation of a new instrument with an aged and round sound typically only found in a vintage instrument. The uke also has exceptional power with great sustain and projection. A wonderful ukulele and rare combination of woods that yields a remarkable sound, perfect for both the professional musician and the recreational ukulele player. ID#230012