My new Don Tomas cigar box ukulele from Ax Box sounds even better than it looks.
At the Renegade Craft Fair in Wicker Park yesterday, I got to play some of the fine instruments made by Kimmer Olesak, founder of AxBox Cigar Box Guitars. “Handcrafted from found objects and the highest quality custom materials,” each instrument was unique and had something irresistible about it. Kimmer invited me to plug into the small amplifier he had in the booth, and I took him up on it. I was impressed by the sound of these instruments and by the craftsmanship it had taken to build them.
Not only did these three- and four-stringed instruments sound great, but many had that little “chime,” or sweet spot—whatever you’d like to call it—that you get when you play a nice instrument. Kimmer (below left, with yours truly) also makes cigar box ukuleles, and in the end, it was a Don Tomas uke that would not let me leave without it. I’ll be sure to post a pic if I can stop playing it long enough.
Be sure to check out the AxBox Cigar Box Guitars website for more on these quality cigar box guitars and ukuleles.
The Lanikai LU-21CE concert acoustic/electric ukulele, made by Hohner, is made of Nato wood (Eastern Mahogany) with white binding and has an 18-fret rosewood fingerboard. My favorite feature is the Shadow P3 pickup system, which allows the ukulele to be plugged into an amplifier.