Custom Koa Tenor Ukulele
Here’s a new Custom Koa Tenor Ukulele built especially for a client who has a bit of arthritis and a very light touch. We wanted an instrument that would be easy to play without a lot of effort by either the right or left hand. After some discussion we decided upon a very light weight and low density, dead-fall Koa from the Hawaiian Island of Maui. I like to know something about the wood that I source for my instruments and this custom koa tenor ukulele is no exception. I knew where and how this wood had been harvested and also how it had been cared for prior to being available for purchase. This particular Koa had been air dried for at least 5 years before I purchased it around 2004. I’ve used sister sets from the same tree in other instruments over the year and felt that I had a good idea of what kind of sound the finished instrument might have. I think I spent the most time on this buildwas with the neck, making sure that the profile of the neck would give the player a very “thin” and easy to fret feel. The action was set as low as possible.The new player specifically requested subtle accents for this instrument: the finger board and bridge are Amazon Rosewood and the neck is Honduran Mahogany. I used the Vanuatu Maidou Burl for accents. The sound hole rosette is Paua Abalone, the binding is India Rosewood with black purfling and the tuners are Gotoh Planetary. The strings are GHS flourocarbon, low “G”.When the instrument was delivered we had the opportunity for San Diego Musician and finger-style phenom Kev to play it against another similar Kimo Tenor Ukulele which had been played with regularity over the last year–we were all pleased with an improved and rich voice. This custom koa tenor ukulele should definitely fill the bill as it is played as well.