DUKE 10” Tenor SUPER LIGHT acoustic/electric banjo ukulele project video thumbnail
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NZ$ 22,732 pledged of NZ$ 85,000 goal
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By Ed Ackman
NZ$ 22,732 pledged of NZ$ 85,000 goal
backers

About

The DUKE10 started with ideas so simple we didn't know why anyone hadn’t thought of them before.
So the DUKE10 is:-
- light to hold - half the weight of the 4lb+ monsters
- acoustic/electric - a lead instrument as well as a strummer
- inexpensive to buy - without sacrificing quality
- durable - finest components, elegant construction
- accurate - so your music always sounds the way it should
- delivered "ready to play” - right out of the box
- no new chords to learn - tune GCEA just like a uke
- easy to play - with frets that makes shaping chords easy

Interestingly, the solution was to make an instrument that only has what's needed, no excessive hardware, heavy woods, pointless resonators or embellishments that don’t add value or tunefulness, just cost more.

Your judgement will certainly be based on the way the DUKE10 sounds, and we’ve plenty of examples for you here  - performers and ordinary players, solo and in groups. You’ll hear for yourself the true purpose of our project. To make great music!

We know your DUKE10 will give you many years of playing pleasure 

CLICK HERE to see & hear more expert
  testers’ evaluate & play the DUKE10.

  • IT’S ELECTRIC!!
    Using the world’s finest pickup transducer from Schatten Design Acoustics, we have turned your DUKE into an ensemble machine, with a beautiful tone & more than capable of matching any bands’ volume.
  • GEARED TUNERS
    4:1 planetary geared tuning pegs. All the beauty of the originals with the benefits of modern engineering. They’re smooth to turn, quick ​to tune - yet they grip the strings like Schwarzeneggers.
  • ARMREST
    We couldn’t understand why this comfortable tradition has all but disappeared from banjoleles, so we decided to include our own - 2017 DUKE style!
  • ADJUSTABLE DRUM
    Tune it up & it’s country, tune it down & it’s funky. Puts you in charge of how you want your DUKE to sound. ​Yes, the adjusting key is included!
  • “SMOOTH EDGE” TAIL
    The reason you’ve never seen this elegant tailpiece before, ​is that we invented it!! Its smooth design gives you a tail that will never, ever snap your strings.
  • UNIQUE CONSTRUCTION
    Your DUKE10 will arrive in perfect alignment and stay that way due to our one piece spine, which cannot flex or loosen, ever!
4:1 geared tuners - there’s a lot going on inside!
4:1 geared tuners - there’s a lot going on inside!

 

DUKE10 Specifications

Instrument weight - 2lbs 2oz (1kg)
Total length
- 25.9” (64cm)
Drum - 10” (25.4cm)
Frets - 18 - 5ply birch
Action - Fret 1 - 0.5mm to 0.75mm
            - Fret 12 - 2.2mm to 3.0mm
Nut - width 1.4” (35mm)
Distance - nut to 12th fret 8.464” (21,.5cm)
Tuners - 4:1 planetary geared
            - mother of pearl & chrome
Fretboard - rosewood with mother of pearl inlay
Electrics - Schatten Design LP-15 precision pickup
                  with standard 1/4” input jack
Arm rest - Chrome plated aluminium
Neck - solid mahogany
Strings - Aquila Supernylgut
Drum head - high impact polyvinyl
Tailpiece - precision “Smooth Edge”

Included:- Padded gig bag - Fully adjustable DUKE shoulder strap - Drumhead tensioning key - Felt plectrum

Our Story in brief

Five years ago we two guys in Russell, New Zealand made a few banjo ukuleles just for ourselves. They sounded good so we built a web site to see if others were interested too - they were!

As sales grew, our instruments evolved. The DUKE10 is the fourth, and most advanced, model we’ve produced. 

Designed here in New Zealand and made from from high quality components sourced in Canada, China, New Zealand and Italy, the DUKE is a truly international instrument, appealing to uke strummers and banjo pickers alike. You’ll love playing your DUKE10!

Back in the day - Curt & Ed hold their first banjo ukes
Back in the day - Curt & Ed hold their first banjo ukes

 

Work in progress - the team creates the DUKE10
Work in progress - the team creates the DUKE10

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

The development of something as precise as a musical instrument must be slow and sure. Not only appearance, but functionality has to be perfect. Even with all parameters aligned, the manufacturing process has to be scrupulously monitored to ensure each instrument works as it should from the moment it is opened by the customer.
We hand make the prototypes ourselves and then stand by the production line with third party Quality Controllers to make sure each one produced meets our quality standards. None of this is easy, all of it is essential.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 18 or more About $13

    Felt plectrums

    A bag of 6 amazing felt plectrums to make your playing smooth as silk. Fingers & picks just don’t compare!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 60 or more About $42

    DUKE logo polo shirt

    The elegant DUKE black signature polo shirt you see in the video - proudly displaying our logo in white. Don’t forget to tell us - boy or girl and size!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 555 or more About $390

    DUKE10 - 10” acoustic/electric banjo uke

    Your very own acoustic/electric DUKE 10” banjolele complete with SCHATTEN DESIGN LP-15 PRECISION PICKUP, rainbow gig bag and goodies (adjustable shoulder strap, drum tension key, felt plectrum).

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 570 or more About $401

    All of #3 PLUS a collapsable stand

    Your very own acoustic/electric DUKE 10” banjolele complete with SCHATTEN DESIGN LP-15 PRECISION PICKUP, rainbow gig bag and goodies (adjustable shoulder strap, drum tension key, felt plectrum) and collapsable stand to fit in your pocket!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 692 or more About $487

    All of #4 - PLUS wireless connection

    Your very own acoustic/electric DUKE 10” banjolele complete with SCHATTEN DESIGN LP-15 PRECISION PICKUP, rainbow gig bag and goodies (adjustable shoulder strap, drum tension key, felt plectrum), collapsable stand to fit in your pocket and a Xviv wireless system so you can throw away your cables!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,370 or more About $963

    2 x signed DUKE10s with EVERYTHING

    Two SIGNED (by the creator) acoustic/electric DUKE 10” banjoleles complete with SCHATTEN DESIGN LP-15 PRECISION PICKUP, rainbow gig bag and goodies (adjustable shoulder strap, drum tension key, felt plectrum), TWO collapsable stands to fit in your pocket and TWO Xviv wireless systems so you can throw away your cables, rainbow gig bag and goodies (adjustable shoulder strap, drum tension key, felt plectrum)

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Funding period

- (49 days)