So the Glyph Mezzo soprano has arrived! I don't think I've ever ordered something three and a half years in advance, but I guess there's a first for everything. Anyway, the ukulele is sweet and let's go into the unboxing right away. I'll post some initial thoughts at the end of the post.
The shipping box. Get those bubble wraps out of there!
There is the case. The Glyph is so close I can feel it.
Cool little touch. The case has a Glyph logo plate on it.
There it is, the Glyph "Mini-Jake" in all its glory!
Closeup of the body. The koa is nice and curly. Notice the matching wave pattern on the bridge and fretboard-end.
Slotted headstock on this bad boy. It is somewhat modeled after Jake Shimabukuro's slotted headstock, with the same Gilbert tuners. The Chinese character of my last name appears pretty much exactly as the graphic I sent to Dave. Very impressive.
The monogram on the fretboard. Dave Means totally nailed it. I don't think I could have imagined it being any better then what he came up with. Also notice the wrap-around fret markers on this and the last pictures. It's pretty cool but does take a little getting used to.
Another shot of the koa body.
Soundhole label. It looks like this was the 18th Glyph Mezzo Soprano made.
This ukulele is for all intents and purposes, a super-soprano. I compared it with my Kanile'a super soprano and found the body size to be about the same while the scale length is maybe a few millimeters less. The Glyph's total length is longer than the Kanile'a thanks to the slotted headstock. Despite that big headstock, the Glyph feels pretty well balanced to me, with no detectable weight bias toward the headstock. The entire ukulele is pretty light too, which I knew was a hallmark of Dave Means' ukes. It definitely feel nice to hold. I will try to post some pictures of the Glyph with other ukes to give an idea of it's size soon.
It sounds really nice too. The uke came strung with Aquila strings, which I normally do not use and will probably switch to Worths sometime soon. But it still sounds very nice with those string. It has a very resonant body and the notes really ring out. I think the sound is similar to the Kanile'a super soprano but it is tighter and seems more focused. Sound is always hard to describe for me, so I will post a video impression of this uke sometime soon.
Overall, this uke is definitely worth the wait and I think I'll be playing it very often. Is it my favorite? It's too soon to tell, but my guess it will reside at the very top of the rotation with the King long-scale concert in the long run.