21st c. luthiers from Mainland USA click for more

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Michihiro Matsuda experimental bodiless Ukulele
Matsuda experimental Ukulele
In being on the look out for nice Ukuleles I see the work of a number of full and part time luthiers. The instruments they make look very nice and worthy of note.

John Morton - Metal Stringed Instruments

He started out making Banjos in the late 1970's but then he got a taste for metal work and trained as a machinist. Having qualified he went to work in the Engineering department at University of Berkeley and while working there was asked if he could fix and old National Resonator; this was the start of his interest in Resonator Instruments. In the mid 2000's he moved to Port Townsend, Washington State, and started Metal Stringed Instruments. He makes mainly Guitars and Ukuleles, but he has also made Tenor Guitars, Mandolins, lap steel guitars; and one resophonic Banjo. Back to the Ukuleles and he makes them as Concert or Tenor scale, though I'm sure he would have a go at other scales if asked, and he can also engrave them very nicely too.

John Ramsey - Palm Tree

Having started making Guitars in the early 1980's he moved on to Mandolins and then after a trip to Hawaii he started making Ukulele, founding Palm Tree with his wife Pam in 2005. They are located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and only seem to make Concerts and Tenors, with Concert scale Pineapples too. The Ukulele made are very traditional in their styling and often use bridge pins, but I have never seen other scales or other string options.

Michihiro Matsuda

Born in Japan he now lives and works in Redwood City, California. He started out studying at the Roberto Venn school of Luthiery, then when on to study further with others until he ended up working at Gryphon Stringed Instruments as a Repairer/Restorer, (which he still does). In addition to this He also builds mainly acoustic Guitars under his own name and has quite a reputation especially for experimental designs. On the experimental front he has built a quite famous experimental "bodiless" Ukulele

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