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 with this wood combination and new design. 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 Ziricote wood back and sides with a Sinker Redwood soundboard, giving this instrument considerable warmth and a nice low end. Ziricote has an appearance similar to that of Brazilian Rosewood – being in the family of Rosewoods species. It is a hardwood that is harvested from Central America and Mexico and is known for its wonderful tonal qualities, which include a rich low end and luminous trebles. Sinker redwood are redwood trees that were harvested and sent downriver to processing mills but sank at some point along the way. They are extremely difficult to recover and are often buried under silt that has accumulated over the years. This ukulele also boasts a musician’s grade bound West African Gabon ebony fretboard, bridge, and headstock veneer. Elegant and complimentary Hawaiian Koa wood top and back binding with an classy top, back, and side profile b-w purfling line for aesthetic appeal. 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 Gabon ebony 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.
Tribal Hawaiian Tatoo position marker inlay 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. A wonderful instrument with a dark and warm tone and perfect intonation. Highly recommended tribute piece for the seasoned player, ukulele enthusiast, or collector. ID#220019