Preowned. 2019. Beautiful custom tenor ukulele handcrafted by luthier Toshifumi Usaka of Shikoku, Japan. One of Japan’s renowned luthiers, Toshifumi handcrafts his instruments in the quiet countryside of the Tokushima mountains on the island of Shikoku. Being both a musician and a luthier, he incorporates his knowledge of building and experiences in playing in subtle subtle ways to fine-tune his instruments, increasing comfort, playability, and the tone of his ukuleles.
This wonderful Custom Toshifumi Usaka Tenor Ukulele is crafted from a gorgeous master-grade set of Brazilian Rosewood back and sides with a Sitka spruce soundboard. The 5-piece neck has been handcrafted from Honduran mahogany wood with a curly Maple wood center strip and two elegant African Blackwood stringers which add stiffness to the neck, transferring the vibrations back toward the body of the instrument. Brazilian Rosewood wood fretboard and bridge. Matching Brazilian wood rosette with black-white-torquoise-black outer rosette and scoop cutaway of Japanese “kaki” or persimmon, testifying to the beauty of the Japanese woods and his background as one of Japan’s top luthiers.
The instrument also incorporates a top and back Maple wood binding and black-red-black top purfling. In keeping with the theme of the instrument a stylish Brazilian Rosewood headstock plate was also used on the headstock with a classy ‘Usaka’ custom logo inlay in ‘paua’ or abalone shell. Paua shell diamond position marker inlay on the fretboard for quick reference on positions 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15. Bone nut and saddle and a high gloss finish. The instrument also boasts Grover open-geared tuners for smooth and precise tuning. One tight hairline was professionally repaired on the back of the instrument by a Japanese luthier.
A beautiful sound that is wonderful and nicely balanced. The instrument has tremendous clarity and projection with that classic low end punch from the Brazilian Rosewood and a top end shimmer from the spruce. The instrument is also easy to play all the way up the neck. Highly recommended player piece from one of Japan’s hidden treasures.