New. Custom ‘I’iwi Tenor Ukulele. Handcrafted by master luthier Charlie Fukuba of Makakilo, Oahu, each I’iwi ukulele is meticulously crafted to yield the finest sound possible from each set of wood. Rest assured, a tremendous amount of thought and preparation goes into the selection of woods for each of his builds. Being a seasoned musician himself, Charlie incorporates his twenty-five plus years of experience in fine luthiery with the practical aspects and importance musicians look for in tone, comfort, and aesthetics. With I’iwi, sound is foremost and above all other aspects of the build – albeit his instruments are some of the best you will find handcrafted in Hawaii.
Handcrafted with the ‘1879 Model’ body dimensions, this new model yields an even more refined sound utilizing a hybrid bracing that appeals to both professional musicians and recreational players alike. This model is arguably one of the best sounding I’iwi ukuleles to have come into the shop and the first one of its kind. The body bears a slightly less rounded body shape at the shoulders and a tighter waistline in contrast to the more dreadnought design of his traditional tenor body. Combined with the new hybrid bracing, this body mold offers a wonderful sound with an aesthetic all its own.
Gorgeous Australian Blackwood back and sides with a torrefied Sitka spruce soundboard. Australian Blackwood is similar in appearance and in its wood structure to that of Hawaiian Koa since both woods are Acacia. The ‘torrefied’ process is a process in which the wood is thermo-treated over an extended period in an oxygen-free kiln. This process extracts the natural oils and resins of the wood, rapidly advancing the structural composition of the soundboard and giving it an ‘aged’ and ‘open’ sound. The ukulele also boasts a musician’s grade West African Gabon ebony fretboard and bridge with a Royal Blackwood veneer at the headstock. Elegant and complimentary Rocklike wood top and back composite binding with an classy top, back, and side profile b-w purfling line for aesthetic appeal. Rocklite is a revolutionary and totally environmentally friendly approach to tonewoods for musical instruments. It is an engineered composite produced from eco-friendly, readily available wood species. The neck has been carved from Honduras mahogany wood and has a graphite composite rod insert for increased structural integrity and added sustain with a bolt-on neck that is accessed through the strap pin at the butt of the instrument. Bound fretboard in Hawaiian Koa wood for a smooth feel up the neck. Side sound port for monitor-like effect by which the sound fires upward the player, making it easy to hear each note as well as outward toward the audience. Roman numeral position markers on positions 3, 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15 for quick reference with side-of-neck position markers for accurate top-down reference as well. Hand-rubbed true oil finish for a smooth to the touch feel and professional Gotoh UPT geared tuners for smooth and precise tuning.
The aesthetics of this Custom I’iwi Tenor Ukulele 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. A headstock inlay of the ‘I’iwi bird in paua shell and native Hawaiian ‘Ohia’ flower in reconstructed stone pay homage to the beauty of Hawaii – all tied in with a gorgeous 26 piece Maile lei paua shell rosette celebrating Hawaii, its culture and its natural resources.
Tonally, this piece is a true gem and a remarkable ukulele for recording musicians or ukulele enthusiasts. Full recording level instrument with a balanced and warm tone. Excellent projection and clarity. This beauty has the sound of a seasoned instrument although it was only just completed. Very well balanced structurally and tonally with refined notes all the way up the neck and spot on intonation. Highly recommended tribute piece for the seasoned player, ukulele enthusiast, or collector. ID#220012