Small Manufacturers from North America click for more
Throughout the world there are small manufacturing firms, maybe a luthier who has expanded the operation and taken on some staff, maybe a number of craftsmen who have got together in some form of co-operative. However it started these manufacturers usually make very high quality instruments even if the Ukulele is not the firms main output
This is an Austin, Texas, high end Guitar manufacturing company founded in 1989 by luthier Bill Collings. They added Mandolins to the catalogue in 1999 and Ukuleles in the late 2000's. They make a couple of ranges of Ukulele, but only Concert or Tenor scales; unless you go for a custom Ukulele, and they do a lot of custom work
based in Portland, Oregon, USA, the Koll Guitar Co. was founded by Saul Koll in 1990 and has expanded to employ a number of other craftsmen. They specialise in making Guitars and are members of the Premier Builders Guild. They have made a few Soprano, Concert and Tenor Ukuleles plus Archtop Tenors too.
Scott Seelye comes from Bend, Oregon and his main profession is selling Skateboards at his shop, however he says he has made some Wooden Ukuleles in his spare time, (I have seen a video of him making one), and in 2012 he came up with a design and a plan to start producing quality plastic Ukuleles again via a funding project on Kickstart. The prototypes for this were created using a 3D printer and were I believe the first ukuleles to be made this way. Despite the Kickstart project failing it is being manufactured in the US, with production starting in April 2013, (using more mundane manufacturing methods), with a choice of all plastic friction tuners, so the Ukulele is entirely plastic or metal friction tuners. the first runs really were "any colour you like so long as its black," but in 2014 they introduced a different colour; well not quite colour as it is a see through Ukulele. They have gone on from this to add a number of other colours, though still slightly opaque, and to add Concert and Tenor scale models to the catalogue. They have also given up on the use of friction tuners including the plastic push fit ones that meant there was a 100% plastic model, and they all come with geared tuners now.
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