World of Ukes Pioneer 1C Concert Ukulele
This all solid acacia concert ukulele is our first own-brand instrument. The Pioneer 1C uke took a lot of careful thought and consideration – it had to, because it carries the World of Ukes brand. Not just anything would do, and even if I could get a really nice instrument made, I still wanted something different to bring to the ukulele party. So, although it is a pretty, nicely playable, good quality, all solid uke with fluorocarbon strings – it still needed just a little touch to make it out of the ordinary. Hence the idea for the asymmetrical body shape with incorporated strap button. Not a factor that is going to revolutionise music, no, but given the strictly limited numbers that have been produced, not something everyone in your local club is going to have either!
The Pioneer 1C uses a high grade of acacia, selected for both its tonal properties and its good looks. Wood with strongly accented grain has been used for these all solid World of Ukes brand instruments. Black body binding separates back, top and sides, with a layer of abalone around the top and the soundhole. There is a debate about ‘bling’ and ukuleles, with some commentators suggesting that paying extra for fancy extras is not worth it. Of course, they’re right in that the sound is most important, but, a little trade secret here – the addition of these decorative extras really doesn’t cost a great deal, and therefore, I’ve not had to add to the price I initially envisaged. You may as well have your abalone and eat it. It is considered a delicacy as a matter of fact, but don’t ever google abalone and look at the pictures, my word, for such a pretty shell they’re vile looking creatures!
Anyway, enough discussion about what shellfish look like and back to the Pioneer 1C concert ukulele. There’s a compensated bone saddle and 36mm nut, giving accurate intonation up the scale – a key, if not THE key requirement of my order with the factory. After all, I love playing classical pieces which venture right up the neck and if I can’t be satisfied playing there, I didn’t want my name on it! (Well, you know… World of Ukes, you don’t want ‘Matt’ inlaid up the fretboard, do you). To match the shine of the abalone details, I went for geared, open tuners with chrome buttons. These are fixed to an acacia capped headstock inlaid with ‘WOU’, because writing ‘World of Ukes’ really WOULD have added extra to the cost!
I have used a very small workshop operation to make these instruments, where a lot of traditional craftsmanship is used. As a result, I think the Pioneer 1C ukulele delivers seriously good quality for the price, and a love and care not associated with mass produced instruments. The gloss finish is applied by a person, not a machine and therefore, if you hold the instrument up to the light, you may see tiny variations to an otherwise smooth finish. I mention this just in case you are the type of ukulele player who likes to strap themselves to the ceiling and play the instrument directly under a fluorescent strip light – because that’s the only time you’ll see it!
I wanted a ukulele good for fingerstyle playing, directed towards improving players who want a more expressive instrument to get the best out of their advancing skills. That said, there’s nothing wrong with strumming this ukulele, which I feel really chimes when you do! The sound is clear and bell-like when picked, with subtle overtones and a complexity that is really pleasing on the ear.
The Pioneer 1C also benefits from the lack of a distributor – there’s no middle man to pay. I do make a profit, hands up, I have to! But, it is a similar margin to every other ukulele in the store – meaning there’s more ukulele for your money!
You can click on the additional info button at the bottom to view a video demo of the Pioneer 1C concert ukulele. Also, you can get this ukulele fitted with a Mi-Si pickup (but please allow an extra week for delivery in that case!) The Mi-Si option is the one in the video!