C.2000. Custom ukuleles by Kawika Ukuleles. Beautiful Kawika Tenor Ukulele in gently played condition. This piece is tremendously rare and with David Hurd having long retired from making custom ukuleles Kawika Ukuleles are amongst the best sounding, most desired and rare Hawaii-made player ukuleles around. Handcrafted on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawaii.
Kawika makes incredible ukes! We’ve owned a number of his pieces thus far and each one (redwood, koa, cedar, or douglas fir tops) has its own aesthetic appeal and tonal quality. But there are certainly consistent character traits in David’s building in terms of sound that really carries through on each piece. This beautiful ukulele is a more simple build but definitely a great playing and sounding uke. David Hurd, or ‘Kawika’ is now a retired scientist / professor that fell in love with the ukulele and specifically how to scientifically build an ukulele to sound its absolute best. He authored a book called, “Left-Brain Lutherie” and in it he describes the optimal range of tone and how he scientifically approaches the build to achieve a consistently great sounding ukulele. It’s definitely a scholarly read to ukulele lutherie but many of today’s finest ukulele luthiers have benefitted from his approach and willingness to write down his findings. In addition, there are many musicians in Hawaii and in Japan, in particular, who own his ukuleles. They do not show up on the open market frequently as people tend to hold on to these instruments due to their great tone.
This beautiful custom Kawika tenor ukulele was handcrafted of gorgeous Hawaiian Koa back, & sides with Redwood soundboard. 20-fret ebony wood fingerboard with abalone dot inlays, ebony wood bridge, and top faux tortoise shell top binding. 14-fret jointed solid koa wood neck, graphite rod insert in neck for added stability and increased sustain, and a high gloss finish that illuminates the natural characteristics of the wood. The tight grain Redwood top does make for a very rich and full sounding instrument with exceptional warmth and clarity all the way up the neck. Crisp, clean and a precise tone with exceptional volume and remarkable sustain. Some minor finish checking and one small impact below the bridge. The impact is totally stable and is nothing that needs to be fixed or addressed. There are no cracks. The instrument has been refretted with wider frets per the previous owner’s preference in playing and it’s a nice upgrade.