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
Larrivee Guitars was founded 1n 1968 by Jean Larrivee in Toronto, Canada. Over the years it has grown into a large manufacturing outfit and moved, now being located in Vancouver, Canada with a second factory in California, (there is a full history on the website). As well as making Guitars they make Mandolins and in the past they made Ukuleles too, mainly for the Japanese market. The earliest I have seen is 1996 and the latest is 2006, but there are a few out there, mostly Sopranos but some Concerts too in Mahogany Spruce and Koa. The story is they stopped making Ukuleles because none of the craftsmen wanted to make them? and Jean Larrivee regularly said the Ukulele production would start again. It started again in 2015 with Tenors and Baritones added to the range too.
Founded about 2010 and based on the North Shore of lake Tahoe but the California side, this is the coming together of two cabinetmakers Tyler Joersz and Devin Price, (the name comes for their given names combined). The two met while working for a furniture maker where they still work full time along side the luthiery. they make all the standard scales of Ukulele plus Guitaleles and some other simple wooden instruments using a variety of, often reclaimed or offcut from the furniture, woods. The make mainly custom commissions but do make some on speck. I have not seen any additional string options, but they say they are happy to do this if requested, (along with full size Guitars). They are also fond of using a motif of 3 circles of increasing size both as a headstock logo and as a side soundport design as their workshop is called the Three Dot Studio and another motif of their design is the fret mark bars that extend from the sid to halfway across the fretboard.
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