2012 Collings UC3KL Concert Koa Ukulele

Absolutely stunning, isn't it? This Collings was built as a lefty but its owner (a uke-faring customer of mine) sold it on and shipped it here for conversion to a righty before heading-off to its new owner. That meant extra side-dots, a replacement saddle, and a setup nudge. Oh -- and I also got to bask in its glory for a bit, too.

As I've noted before, Collings builds instruments that are, not to put too fine a point on it, almost flawless. Natural materials cannot be perfect, but otherwise the builds are impeccable and the styling is satisfyingly tasteful. This one is built light, light, light and sounds lush and sparkly under the fingers -- much the same way a good Kamaka will sound but with a bit of a Martin-ish refinement to the voice.

Aesthetically, this one is intense! The whole body is outrageously-figured koa and a small, reddish-brown sunburst effect at the edges really pops the wood out and gives it contrast.

This one's serial number puts it past the old Collings range for ukes (they've stopped building them), but the previous owner let me know it was a 2012 build.

Geared pegs are used at the headstock.

There's no way around it but to say simply that this instrument is boutique in all ways.

The old  bone saddle was compensated to knock the C string back a bit, so I compensated the new saddle in the same way. The jury is out on whether this is really necessary, as most folks use fluorocarbon these days, but if this happened to be strung with nylon or a permutation of it, that compensation would help a bunch.

My eyes!


Michael Bowen said…
Hey Jake! Hope I don't regret letting this one go! What a stellar piece of koa! And it's a 2012 model. Ordered it specifically as a lefty and waited about eight months for it to arrive. If you look real close I thing the label is signed by Mr. Bill himself........
Jake Wildwood said…
Thanks, Michael! Yeah, it's a beaut. Thanks for the update!