Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gypsy Rose Pictures

I've had the Kepasa Gypsy Rose concert ukulele for a few days now and so far I've been completely satisfied with it. It came to me strung with Worth BM's and seemed to buzz a little bit. I changed them out to Worth CDs and now it is perfect. Now that I've had a chance to compare its sound to some other ukes I have, the Gypsy Rose is actually closest to my Koa Works tenor. It sounds pretty similar with the same awesome feel. It is perhaps a tick punchier than the Koa Works tenor. Considering that the Koa Works tenor is one of the best ukes I've ever played, the Gypsy Rose has certainly exceeded my expectations.

Once I've had a bit more time with it, I'll try to post some commentary on it. (...I suppose I should get going on the commentary on the William King tenor huh? :P)
Here are a few pics I took:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Gypsy Rose, Initial Impressions

Well, the Gypsy Rose arrived today. I had a chance to play it for several minutes, so here are some quick impressions of it.

First off, the sound and feel are excellent. I was hoping that it would approach the Koa Works tenor in terms of feel, and it does indeed have that nice feedback/vibration while playing it. It's hard to explain in words, but when you play these great custom ukes, you can tell. The sound is similar to the William King LS-tenor, so it is on the punchy side, which is what I like. The redwood top seem to result in a similar tone as spruce tops. So based on some limited playing, I'd say I'm very satisfied with how the sound turned out.

It certainly looks very cool, to me anyway. I've always thought those Maccaferri style guitars looked cool (that's why I wanted one of these in the first place) and this little uke certainly does a good job evoking the Maccaferri gypsy guitar. I specified an odd looking headstock, as seen in the previous post, for this uke just so it has something different, and I think it turned out pretty good. At least I like it now that I have seen it in person.

I haven't had a chance to check out the Mi-Si pickup, but it works great in the William King LS-tenor, so I'm sure it will be just fine here.

I ordered some inlay stickers that I intend to dress up the headstock with as it currently have nothing on it. Hopefully one of the stickers will look nice on the headstock. I'll post pics once I get the sticker applied.

So my initial impression is very positive. This should beat out the Honu concert as my favorite concert uke and should be good enough to vie for the "second favorite" spot behind the William King LS-tenor. I will try to post more complete impressions once I have spent some more time with the Gypsy Rose.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Gypsy Rose, Finally

Well, it's been over two months since I last posted here. Kind of wondering if anyone is still reading this blog. I actually have a lot of ukulele stuff that I could be posting but just haven't had the time or motivation to do it.

Anyway, I just got notified that my Kepasa Gypsy Rose ukulele had shipped yesterday and is scheduled to be in my hands this Thursday. I ordered it in June of 2007, so it has taken a while to say the least. Kepasa ukes have a good reputation and is highly endorsed by the likes of Craig Robertson and Nipper. I ordered a Little Mac, which has evolved into a Gypsy Rose, with a D-soundhole, wide body, and a cutaway. I specified a redwood top, walnut back and sides, maple top and bottom bindings, and a Spanish cedar neck. The fingerboard and bridge are ebony, with diamond shaped position markers. It has a custom headstock shape with PegHeds tuners and is fitted with Mi-Si Acoustic Trio active pickup.

I had planned to to learn "Gypsy Ukulele" in anticipation of receiving this uke, but between the extended build time and being busy with a lot of other stuff this summer, I managed to forget most of what I've learned of the tune (which was about half of the tune). Hopefully once the uke is in hand I will manage some motivation to learn it.

I find myself not beside myself waiting for this ukulele, mainly because I already own what I consider the ultimate ukulele, the William King long scale tenor (hmm...I should get my butt going on a blog entry about it huh?). But also because I've waited so long for it, a few more days doesn't seem like much. To be sure, I am very much looking forward to it and I have no doubt that it will be a very nice playing and sounding uke. I would be very very happy if it is in the same category as the Koa Works tenor in terms of sound and feel. It will be interesting though, as I had asked for a more "guitarish" sound with this uke. So I'm pretty curious about how it turned out. It certainly looks cool.

Here are a few pictures Kevin sent me:

Custom headstock shape I drew and sent to Kevin. Kind of funky!

PegHeds tuners.

Redwood top. I choose a striped piece of redwood.

Mi-Si Acoustic Trio pickup.

Which uke should I bring on my next trip to Oahu???

What's the maximum you'd spend on a ukulele case for your best uke?

If you could steal one of my ukes, which one would it be???

How curly do you like your koa? (preferably on a uke)

What's the maximum number of ukes a perfectly sane person should have???

Poll: How often do you play the ukulele???

Poll: Which guitar company's approach to ukes do you prefer???

Poll: What's your favorite type of headstock???

Poll: The new basic Collings concert uke (UC-1) sells for about $1k, your reaction is: