Lutherie Resources

Customer Testimonials ~
An on going collection of quotes
Master Tasmanian Blackwood with Sapwood Back- L00

" I'm lucky enough to own some guitars made by world-renowned luthiers - and Beau's sits in their company with ease. 

The more I play my Beau Hannam, the warmer and more luxurious sounding it's becoming, some gloriously thick woody sounds, yet always crystal clear. I have no hesitancy in recommending Beau's work and when I next have a guitar made, Beau will be who I contact. He was a pleasure to work with, patient with my demands, happy to answer any queries throughout the build.

A top notch artist and thorough professional."

 ~ James Yorkston ~
Maple & Moon Spruce ~

"My husband and I are both deeply impressed about everything. It looks even better than from the pictures.
We love the wood combination, the rosette, the binding, the walnut burl on the back of the headstock, your logo, your special heel and end graft, every detail is so stylish. Just as we were hoping, I think the blonde theme fits your design very well. That Swiss Moon Spruce seems to be amazing stuff. The finish turned out very beautiful, too!

Playability is superb, very comfortable neck profile, perfectly low action, and we noticed the rounded fret ends. The sound port is really working well for me. Those Schertler tuners are super nice, too. Best ones we have come across. But the thing that really impresses us the most is the sound: deep and full, loud and clear, extremely resonant and with tremendous sustain. Just the way we like it, and not as harsh and bright sounding as Maple is often described. Very good work!

Thank you again for making this wonderful instrument for me!"

~ Kerstin S ~
Spiral Nautilus Rosette with Matching Fingerboard End ~

"I recently received my Beau Hannam tenor and am delighted to share my review thoughts with UU readers.

I originally heard a Beau Hannam on the HMS site, a model with redwood top and Tasmanian blackwood sides and back. I was hooked. I was particularly interested in something other than koa. The rich, clear, balanced tones and the artistry of the wood design were what I was looking for. I originally got on Beau’s waiting list with a Player selection, which is generally a simpler design but with all the sound characteristics of his Custom models. But by the time my turn in queue came up, some ideas were swimming in my head. I decided, with Beau’s guidance, to keep the Players redwood/blackwood combo and add some upgrades: side soundhole, bindings and most especially a designed rosette. 

I felt the rosette especially would give it a special quality if we could find the right design. Initially I asked about something reminiscent of a nautilus shell, with a developing spiral. I knew going from very small to large width would be somewhat limited by the soundhole, but I asked anyway. Beau wasn’t sure, he said it would be a technical challenge to get the smoothness of the arc just right. But after some thought he came back with a number of possibilities, one of which I chose as a “direction.” 

I’d like to suggest to any of you reading this who are considering a custom, from any luthier: as much as possible, agree on an idea, a direction for the builder’s creativity and then let him/her design and build. You can never know <exactly> what a custom will look, sound or feel like. What you can know is the builder’s aesthetic and quality. From there, I have always found that luthiers like to follow their own instincts to a large extent. That’s what happened here. I didn’t know exactly what the inside of the spiral would look like, only that I wanted some sense of change and movement within it. 

Spiral Rosette
I think what Beau came up with, moving from dark (at the small end) and finalizing with the lightest (at the widest end) is brilliant. Very dynamic, full of details (consisting of wood variations and mother of pearl dots), and it really pops in contrast to the beautiful redwood.

Fingerboard end
Originally, I had thought Beau might sculpt a cut corner on the end of the fretboard that would accept the widest part of the rosette. That was my idea, but Beau completely transcended that obvious choice with a reverse connection. As soon as I saw it I was thrilled. It had such a sense of liveliness but without any overstatement. The colors, the subtleties of the lines and variations, all the while moving from dark to light are stunning.

Side soundport
I have never had a side soundport on a uke before, but I now understand why it is such an excellent addition for the player’s benefit. I can instantly hear changes in my technique that before I could only pick up on when recording.

Outstanding. There is not one slip among all the surfaces and connections. All lines are clean and clear. Inside appears pristine and precise. Frets are smooth and make for easy fretting. Little details like the semi-hemispherical fret ends, the swoop on the headstock coloration, and the sculpted heel enrich the playing experience. It is exquisite. The finish is excellent (an upgrade, it is the high gloss finish used on his customs). 

Playing and Feel
The overall balance of the uke is superb. I find the neck thickness on the thinner side which I much prefer. Light or heavier touch, this uke responds very well. I think the tone has a richness and balance that make the sound distinctive. Equal response across all strings. Intonation is excellent all along the neck. The uke vibrates so easily in response to action. Sustain is long and clean. I’m currently using Oasis brights with a Fremont soloist low g and like the relative tension. Although the size is not that much different from other tenors I have played, overall this uke somehow feels just a bit smaller and more responsive to position as I play. 

Working with Beau Hannam was a true pleasure. He is funny, deeply knowledgeable and very creative. We would text each other with ideas and he was always responsive. As I’ve said, when I wasn’t sure about a choice, I usually left it in the end to his judgment and taste. I’m glad I did. His wait list is long these days, but when he gets to your uke he is focused on making it special. I recommend his work without reservation."

~ Craig T ~
Camino de Santiago Path ~

"This is a wonderful instrument. 
The build quality and design are at the highest level.

I am impressed with the tone. Each string rings true. The intonation is spot on.

Working with the builder, Beau Hannam was very interactive and cooperative. He brings a high level of artistic imagination to his work. He took my simple description of some possible ornamentation for the headstock and made it a scene that captures my experience on the Camino de Santiago."
UU review  

~ Michael M ~
Koi with Baby ~

A fantastic heirloom with perfect aesthetic and sonic appeal to me. 
My Beau Hannam tenor has a redwood top and figured koa back and sides. It has been in the works for sometime and I had been looking forward to it.

This particular ukulele is very special to me as Beau has placed his very best (as always) in it. It was ordered some years, days before we found out my wife is carrying my third baby. Combing my interests in fish-keeping (koi) and my hinted theme on family (baby), Beau conceptualized the amazing headstock inlays which shows a koi cradling a baby. Its amazing!!!! 

Back to the uke, it has prefect playability, aesthetic is prefect and it has a loud, warm mellow sound to the redwood top. I am in love! The LR Baggs 5.0 performs awesomely on this uke too.
UU review

~ Jason T ~
'Halle Birdie'- Selmer with African Grey Parrot Inlay ~

"It is everything I hoped for and more.
This is a Selmer style uke with a scoop done in walnut burl instead of the traditional cutaway that is usual for a Selmer Maccaferri style uke so basically a baritone size body with tenor neck and 17" scale. 

The figured redwood top and back and sides Ziricote are both unique and stunning, the Ziricote in particular with an arrow forming naturally in the grain pattern is one of a kind. Because of the wood choices etc the uke is quite heavy in comparison to other ukes. 
The uke is bound every where including the back of the head stock which is done in the same walnut burl as the scoop. The front of the head stock is done in African Blackwood with the same curly Koa and black, red, black purfling. Beau binds everything including the scoop. The top is also bordered in mother of pearl encased on both sides with the same black, red, black on both sides. 

Parrot Inlay and Rosette
The head stock is a custom parrot in lay done by Jimmi Wingert with a single falling red feather between frets 12-16. The rosette is an eclectic mix of the woods and mother of pearl with the m.o.p. engraved to look like tiny feathers. The neck in Bees wing narra, the fretboard is a stunning figured piece of Madagascar rosewood and the bridge is a string through bridge made of Brazilian rosewood. The tuning machines are Rubner Snakewood tuners. The nut is mother of pearl and I have optional saddles in bone and Tusq. Some have called it Beaus finest most ornate work to date.

In a word it sounds superb. Rich, full with the most sustain I've ever seen on a ukulele and spot on intonation. Plus it's 2 days old, what it will sound like in 6 months to a year remains to be see as it opens up.

 I'll end with one last thought about Beau. When I chose Beau Hannam I did so because I thought was a rising star in the world of ukulele building. A star in the making so to speak, when I chose him. I was dead wrong!!!! Beau Hannam is unquestionably already a star!!!!! and he should be held in the same esteem as any of the noted Luthiers in the world of ukulele building. Any questions just ask."

Youtube review

~ Rick D ~
Custom Sunburst Players with Cutaway ~

This just arrived for the weekend and we are getting acquainted. It's one of Beau's 'Player Grade' ukes, with a few extras such as binding / purfling and a cut-away. The back / sides are walnut and the top is redwood. It has an African mahogany neck, and Madagascar rosewood finger board, bindings, and bridge. Paua rosette and fingerboard /side markers adorn the uke. There's a lovely sunburst, front, back, neck, and back of headstock. BTW, the headstock overlay just may be BRW A nice engraved H in shell says it's a Hannam. 

Beau was great to work with. He's a prince of a guy and the ukulele is better than I had expected the Player's Grade to be. I'm pretty high on this one and feel it's a bargain for what Beau delivers.

~ Greg C ~
Monarch Butterfly with Flowers~

I had the pleasure of visiting Stan the Man's home one day and checking out his incredible ukulele collection. I was particularly blown away by a ukulele he had that was built by Beau Hannam. It felt, looked, and sounded fantastic. I knew right then and there I wanted a uke built by him. I have to thank Stan for putting me in touch with Beau.

Beau was great in terms of us discussing what I wanted in this ukulele. At the same time, I wanted to give him some artistic license. I wanted a monarch butterfly on the headstock, and he came up with the idea of the flower. He set these inlays against wavy zebrawood, creating the illusion of the butterfly and flower in 3-dimensional space. It's one of the most stunning headstocks I've ever seen. The butterfly is exquisite and the flower delicate.

The sides and back are Tasmanian blackwood. The top is redwood. The neck is Honduran mahogany. And the fingerboard is African blackwood. There's a rosette made of different types of wood in a random mosaic pattern, something of a Beau Hannam trademark. The uke has a highly glossy finish.

The uke includes a side port, and the uke has nice projection. The sound is nice and bright. The uke is a little bit heavier than the Kanilea I've been playing in most of my videos, but it feels good in my hands. I love this ukulele and will definitely feature it in future videos.

~ John P ~
  Japan / USA 
'Dirisha'- Agate Window with custom Robson Snakewood tuners-  Sci-Fi Deluxe! ~

All in all, one of the most stunning ukes I’ve laid eyes on, outstanding, clean, and tastefully-blinged. And it is a joy to hold and play, a cannon.

The new toy in no way diminishes any of the old toys, but since it is new, I will be spending some quality time with her. I am thrilled with this instrument, I can't begin to tell you how much ...

​UU review 

~ Steve P ~
Brazilian and Buckeye Burl Beauty ~

It's a gorgeous uke. You've seen Beau's work. This lived up to all the accolades. 
The neck profile is comfy and the action and playability are superb. 

But the best part, is the sound. The sound is warm, yet clear, with nice even and full range tone, very guitar like in B and B flat tuning. It's voice is loud, but not harsh. It is responsive, and can be driven hard. Update: This tenor only sounds better with age and playing.

~ Hodge ~

  (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

  ga('create', 'UA-90314837-1', 'auto');
  ga('send', 'pageview');

19" Grand Tenor Selmer - Sinker Redwood  & Amazon Rosewood with burst

Original UU Review is here

Selmer-shaped 19” Tenor. Sinker redwood top with Amazon rosewood body. Sunburst finish. Tuned linear Bb with Southcoast strings. Long recognized for the tone his instruments deliver and his elegant build details, Beau has continued to hone the finer details on his builds. Absolutely love this uke. Luscious tone, excellent playability, wonderful aesthetics and well-executed details. 

Dry sound sample, no editing:

A ton of photos:

Build Details
Sinker redwood top
Amazon rosewood back/sides
Selmer-shaped body with cutaway and sound port
Honduran mahogany neck with sculpted heel
African blackwood bridge with pyramid appointments
Ebony fretboard with “stepped” end
Black MOP rectangle markers
19” scale with 16 frets to the body
Polished black horn nut; Black TUSQ saddle
Slottted headstock with Brazilian rosewood Headplate (front and rear)
Black nickel Rubner tuners
Nitrocellulose lacquer finish with sunburst
Southcoast (wound 4th)

As compared to a regular tenor, Beau’s Grand Selmer tenor is a little larger. It has a wider lower bout (about the width of a baritone) and a slightly larger waist and upper bout.

I told Beau I loved the look of the Selmer-shaped tenor, but I was leary as I previously had a Selmer-shaped uke with lattice bracing that simply didn’t work for me. After explaining my experience, Beau decided to use lighter fan bracing and also suggested we use a 19” scale to make sure the larger top would get sufficient movement. He was so pleased with how this turned out that this bracing and 19” scale now will be standard on the Grand Selmer Tenor model.

Like most of my tenors, I’m tuned Linear Bb. Personally, I love the tone on this uke. The tone is definitely for those who lean toward a guitar sound versus a traditional Hawaiian uke sound. I have not tried it tuned re-entrant, but when tuned linear it’s more suited toward fingerstyle and chord melody than straight strumming (which is generally my experience with all linear tunings).

The 19” scale and the slightly larger body really add to the depth of tone here. To my ears, it's luscious. It’s not just my impression, either. Quite a few people commented to the same point at UGH where it was exhibited. Also, Jason Wolverton, a very skilled classical musician and himself a luthier who makes classical guitars and ukes, also commented immediately on the richness of the tone when I had a chance to show it to him.

I was concerned the 19” scale would be too big for me as I had a 20” scale baritone that was truly an incredible uke but I just could not get comfortable with the larger size. Some of the songs I’m working on (and will be for life, I suspect ;-) have 5-fret stretches and I could not do that at 20”. But I can do it on this 19".

This uke is just inside my comfort zone and felt very comfortable from the very first minute. For me, I think the difference between 20” and 19” is dramatic. The medium profile neck, 38mm width, and slightly smaller body (vs. baritone) also add to the playability and comfort for me.

Because what makes a uke playable for one person may not work for another, Beau will personalize the nut and fingerboard widths, string spacing, neck profile, and scale length at no additional charge.

I love everything about the aesthetics of this ukulele. Elegant lines and curves are what comes to my mind when describing Beau’s design approach. Features such as his fading purfling headstock and his shaped heel are time consuming features that really help set apart Beau’s work. Other niceties include a “stepped” fretboard and pyramid-appointed bridge.

Beau’s mosaic rosettes are stunning and this was a must-have feature for me. He also chose the black MOP for the fretmarkers, which works really well as I think more pronounced white MOP markers would have been too busy.

The sunburst turned out great. Initially Beau was a bit reluctant to burst darker woods. I told him that while I had my heart set on his fantastic sunburst finish, I deferred to him on the final decision to do it or not. He took on the challenge and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I think it’s stunning. He was also very pleased and said he’ll not be shy about bursting dark woods in the future.

Build Execution
I know it has no impact on anything other than aesthetics, but I have seen my share of ukuleles from respected luthiers with sections of wavy purflings, sloppy neck joins, sloppy gluing, poor fret markers and inconsistent finishes. These things matter to me because a large part of my enjoyment of an instrument is admiring the craftsmanship of a finely made instrument. Beau has continued to refine his builds and this uke is extremely well-executed in all respects, as was his Luthiers for a Cause uke.

Build Experience
Beau was great to work with on the build. He provided suggestions and took the time to understand what was important to me.

The build took a lot longer than originally expected, due to several contributing factors. For one, he didn’t have his shop set up yet but actually built it in the last year; for two, I didn’t mind delaying because it gave me more time to hone what I really wanted; and for three, he had a back issue that laid him up for a bit. And since he was also contributing to Luthiers for a Cause, I certainly didn’t mind waiting and volunteered to be bumped back as needed.

In the end, it worked out perfectly because he decided to exhibit this uke at the Hawaii Ukulele Festival, which was pretty cool because he wanted to do some nice touches to really show it off.

Now that Beau has his workshop up and running, I suspect he’ll be better able to meet his target timing. But even if he underestimates – as many luthiers do – it is unquestionably worth whatever wait is required. 
I have some pretty special ukes and this is as good as anything I have. 

~ Eddie ~