Billy Bo.

Now here's an idea..........................................

A customer approached me with a suggestion for a one off build based on the Gretsch Billy Bo. The Billy Gibbons Bo Diddley hybrid that has been applauded as a seriously cool looking guitar. So..... a Billy Bo but not the guitar a tenor ukulele "interpretation". So the brief stands as a Billy Bo shaped tenor ukulele with all of the controls that can be played acoustically and electrically. After drawing, making templates etc I made a model from MDF to check out the ergonomics.

I have started work on the body, an all mahogany affair, which has been a challenge to balance the body shape the constructional  and acoustic requirements. As you can see from the photos I have built a 50mm deep acoustic "box" and have braced the back in a fairly conventional way allowing space for an access plate. The front has a rectangular soundhole where the neck pickup would be so fits in with the aesthetic of the design.

Check out the Gretsch site for details of the original.


Access to the electricvs is via a panel in the rear . I wanted the back to look "complete" so cut out the access panel from the mahogany so the grain all matches.

I have made the hole where the rhythmn pickup would be into the soundhole and lined with plastic binding.

20120720_113218 20120629_111046 20120720_113127 20120629_111303 20120824_152319 20120824_152402

Update 24-08-2012. Have fitted the neck but not glued in and started shaping the profile. The inlays on the fingerboard stand out nicely. Starting to look like a rill 'un.

Ok here we go. Master volume,treble, mid,bass boost and cut. Piezo built into the bridge nice range of tones and pretty cool looking. Lot of r+d and interesting challenges along the way but I'm happy with the results and the sound.

Quite punch acoustically and very flexible through the amp.

20130830_142619 20130830_142805 20130830_142716 20130830_142749