What is it about the 100% Hawaiian made goodness encapsulated in a Kanile’a ukulele that makes it so incredibly cool and unique? Lets take a look at a K-1 Tenor Premium Ebony model and see what all the hype is about.
Kanile’a ukuleles are well known for their detailed perfection, amazing looking koa and refined and resonant sound. Kanile’a has become famous for their progressive construction techniques coupled with traditional wood choices and “classic meets modern” sonic combinations.
Part of the expense of these instruments is the result of the sheer cost of quality Hawaiian Koa. This wood is highly sought after for both its tonal character as well as the cool 3D look of Premium grade curly Koa. Not only is the wood expensive to come by, it must be properly dried, expertly milled and bookmatched in order to be made usable for the the building process.
This model has some very unique custom features, such as an ebony fretboard, headstock cap, and bridge, as well as “Hawaiian sand” inlaid logo and fret markers. Yes, thats right, there is sand inlaid into the fretboard and headstock!
The Premium Tenor also sports and abalone rosette and grover closed capsule geared tuners. The whole thing is framed handsomely by the black body binding.
Other modern features unique to Kanile’a are the UV cured finish (3 layers of finish as opposed to 14 layers on a non-UV Nitro gloss), drilled out bracing (less mass=more reactive), and TRU brace system which enables horizontal and vertical running bracing to cross without touching, allowing the top to vibrate freely yet remain properly supported. Kanile’a ukuleles also have a slightly rounded arch to the back of the instrument (also made possible by the revolutionary bracing), which also contributes to their sonorous tone and remarkable stability. The “pin style” bridge is another feature, and it allows more of the string vibration to transfer to the top, resulting in a more vibrant and brilliant tone.
All this work is done by the small family based company in Kaneohe, Hawaii. The resulting perfection of the instruments created is a testament to their unwavering dedication to flawless craftsmanship coupled with the relentless innovation that Kanile’a ukuleles stand for.
The Kanile’a fit and finish, playability, aesthetic, and tone are uncompromising
and raise a high bar for those aspiring to compete in the fertile grounds of the custom ukulele market. I have to say, Kanile’a are here to stay!