Tigrillo Koa Super Tenor Ukulele
This Tigrillo Koa Super Tenor Ukulele was a fun build. I originally purchased this Peruvian Tigrillo from Luthiers Mercantile about 8-10 years ago. I had never heard of this wood before and was intrigued so figured “what the heck”. Needless to say, it collected dust in the shop for at least 3 years before I decided to build an instrument out of it. At that time I constructed a Hula Hips (wide body) tenor with a sitka spruce top. It sold almost immediately and was gone.
Tigrillo has a golden color with chocolate brown streaks. It is about the same density as Mahogany Macrophilia which made it an acceptable replacement for an instrument made from that wood. And, it has a very pleasant odor!
I moved the shop and spent most of my time focusing on Koa, at least until recently. I am now pulling out some of my alternative wood back and side sets for new builds. The Tigrillo caught my eye and I decided it was time again. This time I built a new Super Tenor Ukulele. This model will probably replace my classic Hula Hips model.
I have been experimenting with dimensions on this design and have decided it is plenty big enough in shape but have made it the same depth as my baritone model at 3.25″ in the lower bout. This sounds big but I have not found it to feel that way in my hands and arms. The increase in volume has given the instrument just a little more depth of tone and sustain. Definitely more for finger style playing than hard strumming I think.
The top is an unmatched Koa that has some unusual curl and golden undertones to match the gold of the Tigrillo. I complimented the build with a Honduran Mahogany neck, India Rosewood binding with yellow/black accents, a curly Koa back strip, Tigrillo rosette, ebony species finger board and bridge and Australian Malley burl accents.
I am impressed enough with the sound and playability of this instrument, not to mention the appearance, that I have tried to find more. Unfortunately no mas Tigrillo–at least so far. Maybe I’ll run across some in the future?
This instrument went to Hale Ukulele as a shop instrument and was gone in 2 days. I hope the new owner is enjoying both the sound and the rarity of this Tigrillo Koa Super Tenor Ukulele.