21st c. Luthiers from Hawaii click for more

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Ryu Custom Concert Ukulele
Ryu Custom Concert
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.

Federico (Fred) Vento

Based in Hilo, Hawaii, he use to work for Goodall Guitars before setting up his own shop some time before 2008. He makes all the standard scales, including Baritone in three levels of decoration he categorises as S, D and A he will also do some semi custom work beyond the standard décor. He makes Guitars as well as Ukuleles and puts a big V on the headstock as a logo.

John Ravary - Raven's Archtop

Form Maui, Hawaii, he makes Archtop Concert, Tenor and Baritone scale Ukuleles only and he hand carves everything, there is no pressing involved. He started making Ukuleles around 2005 and previously branded his Ukuleles Kolaka (Raven) Ukuleles. He makes 5 or 6 instruments a year and is a Member of the Guild of American Luthiers, Hawaii Ukulele Guild, Maui Ukulele Guild. In 2011 he added solid body electric Ukuleles, still in archtop style, to his catalogue and in 2013 he added Mandolins and Guitars.

Ryu Custom

A bit of a mystery? All I know for sure is what the soundhole label says "Handmade in Oahu, Honolulu" and that it looks a little "artisan" in its manufacture with the mishmash of woods (the one pictured has a spruce top, american walnut sides, quilted maple back and mahogany neck!) and the less than perfect, (though apparently functional), neck joint. Its construction makes me think is is handmade by a luthier but the wood choices and label wording make me suspicious of its geographic origins? However I will take it at its word and put it here for the moment until I can find out more, (anyone know anything?)

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