Soprano and Soprano Supremo Ukulele

What is known as the soprano ukulele nowadays is often called the “standard” ukulele in Hawaii.  This small, short scale instrument was the original ukulele. It is tuned GCEA or a tone higher at ADF#B.  The model I use is copied from a Kumalae ukulele from the 1920s, which in turn seems to be a close replica of the original ukuleles made popular by Manuel Nunes who was one of the first ukulele makers in Hawaii.  Nunes, a cabinet maker and younger brother of Madeira’s most famous luthier, Octaviano Nunes, is said to have adapted the small Portugese instruments, machete or braguinha and the rajao to make the first ukuleles.
Utilising very similar body dimensions and scale length, my soprano ukulele is a little different to the old original instruments.  Like them, it is very lightly built but has some differences which enhance its sound, intonation and longevity…..
An ebony fingerboard
A compensated bridge for correct intonation
“Peghed” geared tuners for ease and accuracy of tuning.
A cylindrical arch in the top which allows for a finer graduation of the top thickness, making the instrument more responsive and helps prevent cracks due to humidity variation.
A unique arch in the back, formed before the back is joined and reinforced by a single lightweight arched laminated brace running along the seam.  This gives the back the ability to both support lower frequencies and also enhances projection of sound in all directions.  As there is no transverse brace in the back it can handle shrinking and expanding across the grain with humidity fluctuations.  This feature is my own design and is currently unique to my soprano ukuleles only. It produces a very rich, rounded tone for such a small instrument and a wonderful rhythmic “pulse”

You would have to be really interested to have read this far…..I have another variation on the soprano model.  The Soprano Supremo incorporates all of the above features, plus a few extras.  For this model I save extra special pieces of wood.  The wood has to be of ideal strength and flexibility with excellent visual appearance.  I also use additional rope binding on the fingerboard and on a classic 19th century figure 8 headstock, with ebony overlay and inlaid mother of pearl logo and palm tree motif.  The Supremo will be available from time to time and may be ordered either directly from me.