While taking the comparison shots for the previous post, I took some pictures of the Mini-Jake by itself. I'm really digging this ukulele right now. Besides nailing the looks for me, the ukulele is also sounding great to my ears. It sounds similar to my Koa Works tenor and Kepasa Gypsy Rose in that it has a fairly boomy but crystal clear sound. I guess it's a sound typical of a high-end koa ukulele, which it is. The scale length, being pretty much the same as a concert sized ukulele, is easy for me to play, although the high frets past the 12th is understandably more cramped compared to my King long-scale concert (by far my most played ukulele since its acquisition). But it should be easy to get used to that.
Let's go to some pictures:
This shot shows the monogram of my initials on the fretboard as well as the matte looking sheen the French Polish gives off for the surface finish. You may see a different reflection at the upper bout. That's from the clear pickguard Dave installed for me. I tend to scratch up the upper bout quite a bit, and this being a really thin French polish finish, I figured some protection is a good idea.
The tail graft with custom inlay. At one point I thought about replacing the inlay with a pickup, but decided later to keep the inlay. I have enough other ukes with pickups anyway, and I figure on a smaller ukulele it's better to not have more things inside than necessary.
The slotted headstock with the Gilbert tuners. I'm a huge fan of Gilbert tuners, and had to have it for this uke. But they do require a rather thick headstock. While I love the thick look, I was a little worried that these tuners would be too big for a mezzo soprano. Now that I have the uke in hand, that concern proved to be unfounded. I personally think the headstock look great and well proportioned for the uke.
I thought the slotted headstock might make the weight bias toward the head too much, but the ukulele turned out really well balanced. I feel pretty much no head-heaviness while playing it.
The wrap-around fret markers. I had actually asked Dave to go with just traditional side markers so that the only thing on the fretboard would be the monogram, but I guess he missed that detail. It might be good that he missed it though, because I like these wrap-around markers. I think they're pretty cool.
A shot of the body. I asked for red lines around the purfling and rosette because Jake Shimabukuro's uke had red highlights in those areas. Yes, I'm a fanboy...
The back. I think the koa looks nice on this ukulele.
That's a quick introduction to the Glyph "Mini-Jake". I will try to post some videos with it soon. Stay tuned!