N.E.O. (Not Even Original Project)


“It is better to be good than to be original.” once said Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, German-born American Architect, 1886-1969. He’s the person who made “Less is more” so well known.  Neo comes from the ancient Greek word meaning young or new. This project was originated based on the three driving forces. 

First, to make a prototype by creating something new from the limited resources using controlled variables. Second, to build responsive ukuleles for different playing style. We believe that good sound is subjective and can vary. Third, to build semi-custom ukuleles at an affordable price range but yet very unique in style. We will not build the same style after this run so customers who support us will get a one-off unique-designed ukulele. That’s our way to say thank you for being the Rebel’s supporters.

“Beyond Natural Selection,” our motto comes from Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by natural selection. It said, to survive is to adapt. If a species fails to adapt to its environment, eventually it will die and extinct! Evolution may take extremely long time to see changes so we mimic that theory but put it in a shorter time span. 

The word “Original” is like a mantra and a highly desirable trait that designers would go to great lengths to pursuit. Once they found it, they seemed to get trapped in that mindset – being original being stagnant. Ironically, the “Original” seems to be vey faithful but at the same time, it’s a silly rule that proves itself to be dangerous to creativity. 

In the postmodern era, there seems to be an invisible force behind people pushing them to be unique, to find their own identity and to find their place in the society to be even recognizable. Again, ironically, it’s the society that rolls itself back to the past whether it’s the retro style in music, fashion, beauty, design, etc. 

The world has come so far in the past few decades but what really changes are that we all look more alike nowadays.

“Not Even Original” is because it’s not just an original. It’s totally something else. It’s not just a prototype to make more copies after. It’s the possibility to discover something new from old.

“There is nothing new under the sun.” We keep asking ourselves this question and profoundly contemplating what our identity really is. We don’t know the answer. There might not even be the answer. But to say the least we always keep changing, keep adapting and avoid getting trapped in the past. 

Being original is nothing to us. What excites us is the possibility to discover new things, new paths and to reach new heights. We don’t believe in the one and only highest point. The same goes for beauty. That’s the Rebel’s N.E.O!

The Rebel Ukulele

N.E.O (Not Even Original Project) IX


Specification Size: Tenor  / Top: Spruce / Back and Sides: Indian Rosewood / Scale: 17-3/32” / Fretboard: 19-Fret / Neck: Mahogany / Nut & Saddle: TUSQ / Headplate & Bridge: Ebony / Headstock Rebel Logo: Woods Inlay / Internal Bracing: Varied / Sound Hole Size & Placement: Varied / Side Sound Port Size & Placement: Varied / Fretboard: Rose wood / Fret Markers (Rebel Signature): Maple Inlay / Fret Stripe: Rosewood / Heel Cap: Ebony / Tuners: Gotoh Geared Tuners / Finish: High-Gloss