made in japan in very limited numbers from only the highest grade hawaiian koa this ukulele looks almost to good to be played, even though the sound and playability really match the appearance.
despite what the logo says they only started building ukuleles in 1957 and since then “kiwaya ukuleles are built as light as possible for tone and projection. the craftsmen pay close attention to details such as intonation, action, playability and cosmetic appearance.” that’s what they boldly state on their own website, but i would agree.
- body: all solid highest grade hawaiian curly koa, abalone and maple bindings, gloss finish
- neck: mahogany
- fingerboard: ebony, abalone markers on 5, 7, 10, 12, 15
- bridge: ebony
- nut & saddle: bone
- gotoh upt planetary 4:1 tuners
- strings: fluorocarbon (fremont medium black, mhs custom clear)
- weight: 500g
- length: 61cm (24″) overall, 26,8cm (10.5″) body
- upper bout: 15,2cm
- lower bout: 20,5cm
- depth: 4,5cm at neck joint, 5,5cm at bottom
- fretboard width: 3,7cm at nut
- string spacing: 2,9cm at nut, 3,5cm at 12th fret
- scale: 381mm (15″) from nut to bridge, 18 frets (14 to body)
- serial #364020
absolutely stunning looks, and plays like butter almost on its own. the sound is well-balanced as you would expect from koa, soft but resonant with brilliant trebles and cosy warm bottom. this is for sure one of the most comfortable ukes i ever played.
images below © by andreas david (www.gute-ukulele.de) who originally sold this instrument. as you can see in comparison to the header image above, the koa color differs depending on the light source.