8/13/2017

2011 Oceana Cedar/Bolivian Rosewood Tenor Ukulele





The Oceana brand revolves around Mr. Zac Steimle, who now builds world-class boutique ukes out of Port Orchard, Washington. Around 2012 he began producing all of the Oceana ukuleles himself in the US, but this particular instrument was built in Quito, Ecuador by the luthier who taught him. It's quite high-quality, feather-light, and built with an inordinate amount of attention to detail. The bracing is refined and elegant, edges are crisp and defined, and the end result is an instrument that looks and sounds amazing.

This has a fan-braced cedar top over what appears to be Bolivian rosewood back and sides. The neck is figured mahogany (two-piece) and the fretboard and bridge are something related to the rosewood family. Everything about the instrument is precise and well-executed and so my only adjustments to it were on the setup-side -- I lowered the action a hair (spot-on 1/16" at the 12th fret) and adjusted the nut. It's strung for low-G tuning and sounds excellent in it (even with the older strings), so I left it at that.

The instrument originally had a gloss finish that was taken back to satin by Mr. Zac for the current owner (my consignor), and it's looking good. Condition is "near-new" and it has only the lightest of use-wear throughout. I especially love the rope binding and rosette -- something found on traditional Latin American instruments from Ecuador (where this was made) and also on the Portuguese-descended ukuleles of Hawaii.


The lower bout is 8 7/8" across and the body depth is 3" at the endblock -- giving it plenty of airspace to make that low-G tuning sound rich.


The nut and saddle are bone.

This has a 1 3/8" nut width and a medium, D-shaped profile to the rear. The board is flat and the instrument has a 16 5/8" scale length.


There are no face dots, but the side dots are abalone.




The sculptural bridge is a nice touch.






The simple Grover tuners are nothing to write home about, but they work just fine.











It has a good, hard case, too.

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