Jazzbox Archtop Spruce & Maple Acoustic Soprano ukulele

My Archtop Soprano

toby chennell jazzbox reclaimed wood Soprano Ukulele
chennell Jazzbox Ukulele arch back
toby chennell archtop Soprano Ukulele
I have put on Aquila Strings and it has a standard g~C~E~A tuning



Jazzbox Spruce & Maple

Jazz Box is the name Bournemouth Luthier Toby Chennell gives to his range of Ukuleles. He specialises in Archtop Instruments and on some of them he uses ƒ holes.

I love Archtop Ukuleles! I love ƒ holes! I spend way to much time in Bournemouth. It was only a matter of time.....

This was a very early commision for Toby's Jazzbox venture, certainly it was one of the first 10, and for some reason this is the only one I am aware of that he didn't name, or feature on his website?

It also was a while coming, (partly my fault), when he first started Jazzbox he listed a price for each scale on his website and I knew, given the look and quality of his Ukuleles, that these prices were only ever going to be introductory so I took my chance while I could still afford one, and contacted him to commission a Ukulele. The deal was done, but it took him a while to get around to it as after he had taken my order and possibly started(?), he got a couple of considerably more lucrative commissions and did them first. Also by the time he did finish mine he had put the price, especially for a Soprano, up on his website. He was a man of his word though and stuck to the original price.

The Ukulele, I think, looks beautiful and worth the wait. The top is sitka spruce, apparently recycled from an old guitar soundboard, the sides are slightly quilted maple, and the back is maple strips joined together like an old Mandolin back. All of the other wood is good quality too, a good neck, amboyna headstock and rosewood fretboard. It is very well put together, no gaps, cracks, rough bits or faults that I can see. On the minus it came with cheap plastic friction pegs and really naff strings but I suppose that's what I deserve for badgering him to to do me one on the cheap?

I have replaced the strings and the tone has improved tremendously. This really was a case of decent strings on a good Ukulele makes a lot of difference. Far more so than when I've done the same thing on budget Ukuleles. I will leave the pegs alone, they might be the least attractive part of the Ukulele but they do the job and I wouldn't want to risk any of the rest of the finish by messing with them and I hope that this is a Ukulele whose tone will get better with time.