Circa 2014. Custom ‘I’iwi Ukulele. Phenomenal player uke! Custom ʻI’iwi Tenor Ukulele handcrafted by luthier Charlie Fukuba of Makakilo, Oahu. This special piece is the premier model offered by ʻI’iwi Ukuleles and is a testimony to Charlie’s commitment to the finest materials and craftsmanship in skilled luthiery by one of Hawaii’s foremost custom ukulele luthiers, Charlie Fukuba.
Gorgeous Hawaiian Koa wood face, back, and sides, this full custom ʻI’iwi ukulele also boasts instrument grade West African Gabon ebony fretboard, bridge, and Hawaiian Koa wood headstock veneer in keeping with the theme of the instrument. Elegant and complimentary curly Maple wood top and back wood binding with an elegant top, back, and side profile purfling for aesthetic appeal. The fretboard has been radiused for ease of play and is an exclusive attribute of Charlie’s best works. The radius on the fretboard provides added comfort on the wrist angle, especially at higher positions up on the neck. Radiused soundboard for increased resonance and projection. The neck itself has been carved from Honduras mahogany with a graphite composite rod insert for increased structural integrity and sustain. Abalone shell markers on positions 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15 add for a quick and accurate reference point to each chord. Gorgeous paua shell rosettes for an elegant appeal. The porting system adds projection, sustain, and accented bass notes for the player and also encompasses a contemporary theme in to the instrument while capturing the true ‘Aloha Spirit’ by which this gorgeous instrument was handcrafted, connecting the people and character of Hawaii. The piece brings you back to a time of simplicity in ancient Hawaii. A time when the feathers of ʻI’iwi birds were gently plucked for the ʻahuʻula (feather cloaks) and mahiole (feathered helmets) of the Hawaiian monarchs or ali`i. Special inlay of the ‘I’iwi bird on the headstock of this beautiful custom I’iwi tenor ukulele.
Tonally, this piece is a true gem and a remarkable piece for recording musicians or weekend jam sessions. Full recording level instrument with voiced high tones, embellished mid-range notes and exceptional bass. Excellent projection as well. This beauty has the sound of a seasoned instrument although it was only recently completed. Very well balanced structurally and tonally with refined notes all the way up the neck and spot on intonation. Professional Gotoh geared tuners for smooth and precise tuning. Highly recommended piece for the seasoned player or aspiring ukulele enthusiast.