I just returned from New York and checked out Matt Umanov Guitars which is one of the best music stores in the city. This time they had way more ukuleles than I have seen previously and after trying out a bunch of old Martins I came across this James Triggs uke. I have never heard of James before but discovered that he originally was known for making mandolins and then working in Gibson’s custom shop before creating his own high end archtop guitars.
I have played a lot of ukes over the years and the sign of a really good one is that you just can’t put it down! This was certainly the case here and after playing it for a while and pondering for a few hours I decided to purchase it to add to my growing collection. This tenor ukulele is patterned after the rare Gibson tenor ukes of the 1930’s. Mahogany back, sides, and neck, and very finely-grained spruce top.
I couldn’t find anything online about James making ukuleles so I e-mailed him! Apparently this was a one off prototype that he made and he commented that it takes as long to make one of these as a flat top guitar!
It sounds and plays brilliantly and crucially it’s very different sounding to all my other instruments. I have been playing it nonstop since coming back to the UK which is always a good sign when buying a new instrument