Circa 2001. Preowned. Stunning Custom Kamaka (4-string) Concert Ukulele handcrafted by Chris Kamaka of Kamaka Ukuleles. The instrument bears the custom label signed by Chris and aside from the unique porting system on this ukulele, in appearance it looks like a typical Kamaka concert ukulele. In reality, however, it could not be any different from the production model concert ukuleles as this Kamaka concert has a unique full custom body shape with greater depth at the upper and lower bout and a slightly exaggerated body design and arching back plate as well – which give this instrument the wonderful tone and personal touch of a full custom Kamaka concert ukulele. Looking to the most apparent feature is the double porting system employed by this custom Kamaka concert ukulele. In theory, this allows the luthier to emphasize the lower end tones a little more by adjusting the porting to a higher position on the upper bout. It is the only custom Kamaka ukulele that I have ever come across with this porting system and is likely the only one of its kind in existence as well.
This beautiful Custom Kamaka concert ukulele is truly a gorgeous piece and an extremely rare one being handcrafted by Chris Kamaka as well. Chris is a highly skilled luthier and a phenomenal musician as well but rarely, if ever, do you find builds handcrafted solely by him since almost all custom Kamaka ukuleles are handcrafted by his brother, Casey Kamaka. The instrument was handcrafted of Hawaiian Koa wood on the face, back, and sides of the instrument. A period specific solid Hawaiian Koa wood neck, fingerboard, and bridge were also used in the construction of this custom concert ukulele. There is consistent fingerboard wear and numerous nicks, dings, and scratches consistent with the age of the instrument. There is also one hairline on the soundboard that is very difficult to see but does not seem to be an issue structurally. It has been there for several years and shows no signs that it has worsened. Passive pick up installed for quick plug and play.
In my experience, the play wear has often been some of the best sounding instruments with regards to vintage or older instruments because the instrument has been played and enjoyed, allowing for the sound to mature over time. The result is a big and bold sound that is very full and robust with great sustain, clarity, and projection. This rare Kamaka certainly has these tonal characteristics, is truly a wonderful collectible, and a great playing ukulele. The ukulele has been set up with a low G since the photos were taken but can easily be set up with a re-entrant high G tuning as well. A highly recommended collectible Kamaka ukulele that is ready that is ready to be enjoyed by the most enthusiastic musician or recreational ukulele lover.