Covered Bridge ukulele #051

Covered Bridge Ukulele #051

I have just relieved, from last busy weekend working on client’s photographs, so I take the chance, use this week to finish the blog.

This instrument arrived on June 21, 2014, the first ever Covered Bridge ukulele come to Hong Kong. It was birthday present to myself last year.

Built by brothers Perry Bullinger and Terry Bullinger of Covered Bridge Ukuleles in Oregon, US. Made with Oregon’s local wood – myrtle,  very beautiful as showed in the photos.

The headstock design is a simple “covered bridge” shape as I believe. Below is the quote from Wikipedia.

Most covered bridges in Oregon were built between 1905 and 1925. At its peak, there were an estimated 450 covered bridges, which by 1977, had dwindled to 56.

Covered bridges is great part of Oregon’s history, they had the greatest number of covered bridges in US. Putting its outline design onto the Covered Bridge ukulele which made in Oregon, make perfect sense.

This headstock shape is exactly I am looking for. Simply beautiful. If I execute my future plan of beginning my own ukulele building workshop, I may ask Perry & Terry’s consent to use the same headstock design. 😉

Covered Bridge ukulele #051

While most guitar folks describe myrtle wood generally sounds bright like maple. Someone told me differently, said this wood is neutral like piano, very even sound over the fretboard, neither warm nor bright. It is also placed in the middle of the spectrum chart, according Mya-Moe Ukuleles website.

So I was very curious about the sound of this ukulele. After living with it for over half year, time flies, I feel like I finally got to know this ukulele now, the character of sound is balance, powerful low notes, clear high notes, long sustain, not as highly responsive as thin Koa top wood, it has great projection however. I think it pair better with a low G string. Which enhance its powerful but not overkill low notes performance.

This is sound samples I record with SouthCoast Heavy Medium Gauge Linear classical metals strings on this Covered Bridge ukulele. Suggest listen on headphones or decent speakers.

Bloodwood binding & rosette match nicely with myrtle. I love wood more than abalone on rosette, provided the body more natural look, and less showing off.

Covered Bridge ukulele #051

This is a tenor size ukulele, the ebony fretboard feel smooth, neck thicker than my previous Kala tenor, yet comfortable for my hand.

The hand-rubbed tru oil finish looks & feels naturally smooth. I love tru oil, easy to care & repair. There are some tiny imperfections here and there on the finish coat, only visible under close attention, it added hand craft characteristic. Too perfect will be unreal.

However, I found the non-glossy finish was not effectively showing its beautiful wood grain. So I hand rubbed it into glossy, the wood is now showing its beauty. The rubbing process spent me lots of time, lucky I am a patient person.

Covered Bridge ukulele #051

This piece of myrtle wood has chocolate brown streak combine on curl figure, so complex & three-dimension. Looking at it itself is a great pleasure. Playing it, the sound box vibrates like my KEF speakers, full of enjoyment. I apologize for my strange description & broken english, I have no proper words from my mind to describe. The wood is darken a little now, Terry told me it should only get better with age and playing time, so I believe.

Myrtle wood is also a great part of Oregon’s history, during the 1933 it was used as legal tender. At that time the City of North Bend, Oregon solved a cash-flow crisis by minting its own currency, using myrtle wood discs printed on a newspaper press, coins in denominations from 25 cents to $10. Below is the quote from Wikipedia.

“Myrtlewood” is the only wood still in use as a base “metal” for legal tender.

Combined covered bridges & myrtle wood the two great things from Oregon’s history, makes this Covered Bridge ukulele more special & storytelling. I add some photos took by the builder.

Covered Bridge ukulele #051

Overall it is a great instrument, fulfilled all my desired features.

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