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NatalieS
05-22-2015, 03:05 PM
It's here! I posted a few months back about placing an order for a custom Kanile'a. Joe Souza was fantastic to work with and helped me design the uke of my dreams. Without further ado, here is my tenor.

There are so many things about this uke that make it special to me. I just love the honu turtle on the fretboard, as turtles are a big part of my life. The radiused fretboard is even more comfortable than I imagined. And the thick abalone rosette just glows. In the dark it looks like it has light emanating from behind it-- it's purple and blue and electric. Speaking of electric, I also got a pickup but haven't yet tried it amplified. Acoustically, it's the best tenor I've played. The tone is bell-like, balanced, loud... just what I was looking for.79845798467984779848

NatalieS
05-22-2015, 03:07 PM
More pics:798507985179852

A dark shot to show what I mean about the rosette glowing:

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wayfarer75
05-22-2015, 03:30 PM
Love the honu!

Debby
05-22-2015, 03:31 PM
Congratulations! That's probably the most beautiful uke I've ever seen! I would love to hear a sound sample, or a video.

kvehe
05-22-2015, 03:36 PM
Natalie, it's fantastic! Many congratulations!

PhilUSAFRet
05-22-2015, 03:38 PM
Very handsome looking, congrats.

caukulele
05-22-2015, 03:47 PM
Lovely! What a beauty!

Kim la
05-22-2015, 04:09 PM
Beautiful! Congrats:)

peterbright
05-22-2015, 04:19 PM
Quite impressive

wickedwahine11
05-22-2015, 04:34 PM
It looks great, congratulations. I really like the honu. :)

Camsuke
05-22-2015, 04:39 PM
Beautiful! Congratulations!

Doc_J
05-22-2015, 04:41 PM
Congrats Natalie! Looks gorgeous and with lots of cool features. Good call on the slotted head with Stealth tuners!

Kanile'a ukes have very comfortable necks and fretboards for me. But, I've never played a Kanile'a with a radiused fretboard.
That must be the Cat's Pajamas!

dalamaricus
05-22-2015, 05:32 PM
Now that's something special! Besides the honu and rosette, I also like the light stripe of sapwood going down the top and back.

Ukulele Eddie
05-22-2015, 05:32 PM
Wow, fantastic, Natalie. Love the personal touches!

mds725
05-22-2015, 06:05 PM
Congratulations, Natalie! That soundboard wood is amazing, and the sapwood accent in the center is wonderful. The honu is a nice touch, and the rosette is amazingly radiant. I love the sound of Kanile'as, and I've had the chance to meet Joe and I really like him. I'm glad to hear that you love it.

Rakelele
05-22-2015, 08:32 PM
Very nice, congratultions! This must be the first Kanilea with a radius fretboard, right?

hollisdwyer
05-22-2015, 08:59 PM
A very nice looking instrument Natalie. You sound so thrilled.

NatalieS
05-23-2015, 12:41 AM
Thank you all for such nice comments! This instrument is exactly what I've dreamed of for a long time. It feels amazing for it to be mine now.

Kanile'a does offer a 16" radiused fretboard for custom instruments. It's so subtle that you can't even see it, but I can definitely feel the difference when playing barre chords. They're effortless now, with much less finger pressure needed.

Another feature I forgot to mention is, I got a satin finish on the neck. Holy wow, it's *incredible*. Kanile'a offers this on the Aldrine and Diamond/Kaimana models. I watched a ton of videos of Kanile'as before I made my order-- everything from HMS's Vimeo channel, as well as every video I could find on YouTube. People seemed unanimously thrilled with the satin neck. When I saw Kimo Hussey rave about it, I knew I had to go for it, and I'm so glad I did. I'm also pleased with the thin headstock and Stealth tuners. At first glance they look rather fragile, but I love the sleek design.

I actually dreamed about my uke last night, and the first thing I did when I woke up this morning was play it again. My fingers are sore, as I've already played this thing so much more than I normally play on a regular basis.

I will definitely make some videos. I filmed when I opened it, but I am a bit self-conscious about putting that video up because all I did was sit there dumbstruck saying, "Oh wow" over and over again, haha. I'll try to do the uke justice in some real videos.

Also... the uke came just in time for today:
http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/ph/Global/australia/volunteer/FEATURE%20PIC.jpg

DownUpDave
05-23-2015, 01:03 AM
That is absolutely gorgeous. The personal touches are what really makes it your's. I can see why you are so thrilled, congratulations.

It is nice to have sore fingers because you love a ukulele so much you just cannot put it down.

guitharsis
05-23-2015, 02:37 AM
I agree, absolutely gorgeous! Congrats, Natalie!

fretie
05-23-2015, 03:17 AM
Brilliant uke all round!

I absolutely adore that big fat abalone rosette! Best abalone rosette on a uke ever!

UkerDanno
05-23-2015, 04:43 AM
Gorgeous! How exciting to open up a new custom...enjoy!

Trinimon
05-23-2015, 05:39 AM
WOW! That's one pretty uke! I love the headstock and honu inlay... damn it, I love it all!! I'd say the wait was totally worth it. Congrats! :)

The Big Kahuna
05-23-2015, 05:48 AM
Beautiful uke, and nicely understated. Are you sure you're American? :)

ps. love the Honu, here's mine...


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Nickie
05-23-2015, 08:10 AM
Wow, Natalie, that is one gorgeous hunk of ukulele! The turtle fits right in too, I like how they placed it on the fretboard.

NatalieS
05-24-2015, 12:52 AM
Thanks, guys. :o

Kahuna, I love your honu tattoo! It looks like there are quite a few other honu lovers here, which I'm grateful for. Turtles and tortoises need all the help they can get from us right now. :shaka:

I'm debating putting a low G on this uke. Ultimately I wanted to go low G, but lately haven't been too impressed with unwound low G options. The uke currently has d'Addarios on it and I am definitely a fan, so maybe I'll just swap out the G string.

The Big Kahuna
05-24-2015, 01:06 AM
The good thing about endpin bridges (as opposed to tie bridges) is the ease with which you can swap strings. I have a few low Gs that I swap for the high G when the mood takes me, play a few tunes, then put the high G back on. Not the best way to treat strings, but it's cheaper than another Kanile'a (although my Fender NoHea is now my dedicated low G uke).

mds725
05-24-2015, 01:33 AM
I'm debating putting a low G on this uke. Ultimately I wanted to go low G, but lately haven't been too impressed with unwound low G options. The uke currently has d'Addarios on it and I am definitely a fan, so maybe I'll just swap out the G string.

I've become a fan of the Fremont Soloist Squeakless Low G string. You can buy it at Hawaiian Music Supply.
http://www.theukulelesite.com/accessories/strings/fremont-soloist-polished-low-g-string.html
It has a very nice tone, is not floppy or boomy like some nonwound low G strings, and blends nicely with other strings.

NatalieS
05-24-2015, 08:16 AM
I've become a fan of the Fremont Soloist Squeakless Low G string. You can buy it at Hawaiian Music Supply.
http://www.theukulelesite.com/accessories/strings/fremont-soloist-polished-low-g-string.html
It has a very nice tone, is not floppy or boomy like some nonwound low G strings, and blends nicely with other strings.

Thank you for this! I just ordered the Fremont string.

mds725
05-24-2015, 01:41 PM
Thank you for this! I just ordered the Fremont string.

You're very welcome. Please let us know what you think after you've had a chance to play your ukulele with this string for a bit. My first low G tenor had a wound G string, and it completely overshadowed the other strings. It may not work well with all string sets - I'm currently using a using Fremont Soloist string with Worth Clears - but I've had good experiences with this string.

NatalieS
05-24-2015, 04:17 PM
You're very welcome. Please let us know what you think after you've had a chance to play your ukulele with this string for a bit. My first low G tenor had a wound G string, and it completely overshadowed the other strings. It may not work well with all string sets - I'm currently using a using Fremont Soloist string with Worth Clears - but I've had good experiences with this string.

I'll definitely let you know how the string sounds with the d'Addarios!

I have decided to name my uke Namaka, after the Hawaiian goddess of the ocean.

mm stan
05-24-2015, 05:44 PM
Aloha Nat,
Congratulations on the kanilea, yes joe and kisten, are great friends and they make awesome ukuleles
Happy strummings

Uke182
05-28-2015, 12:54 PM
MAN oh MAN. For my future custom tenor, I am deciding between a Ko'olau or a Kanile'a. I've just been pushed towards the Kanile'a! Beautiful and congratulations. I'm stoked for you.