BARRON RIVER GUITARS & UKULELES

Answers to the most commonly asked questions.

Do I need to place a deposit on a custom instrument?

Yes. Once we settle on the specifications of the instrument you'd like and the cost's have been worked out, I require a 50% deposit before I start building. The balance is due upon completion plus shipping costs and insurance should you choose to add it.

What method of payment to you accept?

I accept direct deposit to my bank account, as well as Visa, MasterCard and PayPal.

How long does it take to build an instrument?

That depends on the level of trim and if you choose a high gloss finish. At the outside, it will be 3 months from the time that I start on the build.

How much will shipping cost?

That depends on the size of the instrument and it's weight. Instruments within Australia cost from approximately $30 for a soprano, up to $60 for a baritone. To the USA or Canada you should plan on $100. These prices are subject to change.

Do you make left hand instruments?

Yes, it's no problem at all. There is no extra charge either.

Is there a cost to using some tone woods over others?

Yes, most definitely. The price for some figured or rare woods can be very expensive. and using them in an instrument will incur a surcharge based on the current market prices. I'm happy to give you a quote based on choices you might consider.

Can I make changes to an instrument once you have started to build?

Only to a very limited extent in so much as those changes do not affect work that has already been commenced. There may also be a change in the cost depending on what those changes are.

What is the nut width and string spacing do your ukuleles use?

I use a 36mm width nut as standard. If you are having a custom instrument built, I can change this to suit. I build with a 42mm string spacing at the saddle.

What type of finish do you use?

I offer a pre-catalysed acrylic lacquer. It's easy to care for, and durable in both high gloss or semi gloss.

As well I offer a French Polish finish for those looking for the traditional look, feel and tone that this provides.

What type of pickups do you recommend?

I recommend and install 2 styles of pickup. The MISI is an active under saddle transducer with built in pre-amp. And the K&K passive sound board piezo.

Will exotic timbers make my uke sound better?

Almost every client asks me what timber combination will sound best. The short answer is that the back and sides make no difference at all to the sound of the instrument when it comes to the species or how highly figured it is. Your choice here is determined by what you like the look of and how much you are willing to pay for something rare and highly figured.

The soundboard species and how it’s braced are where the tone of the instrument comes from, along with string choice.

I've never seen a ukulele with bridge pins. How do I change strings?

Pinned bridges are very easy to change strings. Release the tension on the string and pull the pin out. The string should come out easily. You will see a small 4mm glass or metal bead tied on the end. This bead is very important to use, as it's what pulls up against the bridge plate. You can use a new one, or just re-use the existing one. Tie it on the end of the string with a figure 8 knot and push through the bridge hole. Replace the pin. The rest of the process is the same as changing any other string.