Barron River ukuleles are made by Allen McFarlen in Cairns, Australia. This soprano has full, warm tone and super easy playability. We are truly impressed with the sound and feel!
Take a listen to a "dry" sound sample from Kalei and read more about it's features below. Pictures AND video show the exact ukulele available here.
This instrument features a Huon Pine top. You may not have heard of this wood before because it is rare but here's some info from Guitar Bench Magazine on this tone wood:
Huon Pine is a conifer which ranges to the wet south-western corner of Tasmania. It is often found along rivers and is the sole species in Lagarostrobos.
Huon pine is slow growing and long lived with some trees over 2 centuries old. It reaches up to 30 m high and has arching branches with spirally arranged leaves.
On Mount Read, North Western Tasmania, a stand of trees, each genetically identical has been estimated to be over 10 centuries old.
Trees were heavily logged in the 20th century for their fine timber. Given the trees’ slow growth, this has led to remaining stands covering less than 105 square kilometers. The remaining stands of this species of tree now has protected status within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Site.
Huon pine has a Golden Yellow hue with fine grain and aromatic rot resistant oils. The oils contain methyl eugenol which is responsible for the timber’s unique smell and resistance to rot.
As a tonewood…
It is softer and heavier than spruce, requiring a fine balancing act in terms of thickness for strength yet thinness for weight.
Australian Luthier, Scott Wise has had good results with Huon and says:
“Steel string guitars with smaller bodies tend to sound bigger in this wood. I first used it experimentally in the early 1980s and have had repeat orders based on the sound of those early guitars.”
….I would broadly characterize the tone of Huon Pine as restrained but with tremendous sustain and great richness and depth in the overtone content over all ranges. It has very similar qualities to New Zealand Kauri in terms of headroom and response.
As a protected species, Huon Pine is no longer commercially harvested and is only rarely available.
The back and sides are made of Australian blackwood, an acacia wood species that’s a close cousin of Hawaiian koa.
It has a a fairly slim neck profile with low action and great playability. Other features include 14 frets to the body, which is rare for a soprano, a unique art deco rosette, pin bridge, and headstock design. It also sports the classy Gotoh 4:1 ratio gear tuners.
Includes an ABS hardshell case and Humistat humidifier.