2014 Ken Timms "Style 0 Replica" Soprano Ukulele

Ken Timms is a builder out of the UK and is much-regarded online for his copycat Martin Style 0 replica ukes. This is one of them and I can tell you straight-up -- the regard is well-earned! This instrument might as well be a vintage Martin from the '30s. It's expertly-built, sounds and feels the business, and looks gorgeous as well. It's as close a match to an old Martin as I've seen and felt -- and easily outpaces the Martin factory ukes these days (no offense, fellas, but they're just different these days).

Praise aside, the mahogany build of this suggests that it'd be mellow and sweet like a '30s/'40s Martin, but it has a surprisingly-agile snap and sparkle to it that reminds me of koa Martins and Sam Chang sopranos. I'm enjoying that, too, as I like a bit of top-end chime in a uke that many Martins mellow out-of as they age.

I only had to do a minor amount of setup work to this, too. I lowered the saddle and added string-ramps behind it for good back-angle, swapped the strings to fluorocarbon, and adjusted the nut. It now plays perfectly with 1/16" action at the 12th fret. Specs are what you'd expect for a Martin clone -- a 1 15/32" nut width, 13 3/4" scale length, 6 1/2" lower bout, and 2 1/4" depth at the endblock. The back of the neck is a mild C/D hybrid shape, too.

This uke uses some nice-looking mahogany that's been finished in a semi-satin coat that looks elegant on it. There are no racks on it at all and it looks, essentially, as-new.

The headstock bears Pegheds tuners which are 4:1 geared planetary units despite their "ebony-violin-peg" appearance. The nut and saddle are ebony and the board is rosewood.

Mr. Timms even manages to nail the look of the fretboard extension sculpt. "Ace" job!

The only real "flaw" is the inkjet-printed label which is a little blurry.

The consignor/owner supplied a brand-new, hard, arched-top Guardian case with the uke. Nice!