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View Full Version : NUD I'iwi Redwood Walnut tenor



DownUpDave
07-04-2016, 03:37 PM
The very first time I saw an I'iwi tenor I was fascinated by the unique shape. It reminds me of a dreadnaught guitar in it's shape and it has a very guitar like sound. The three sound holes really appeal to me from a visual point of view. It is so different I am sure some people would be put off by the appearance. I have been looking at and lusting after one of these for 2 years now. Charlie Fukuba is the luthier who builds these and has been doing so for over 20 years in Hawaii. He makes this model primarily with all koa, spruce and koa, redwood and macassar ebony. My favorite sound was always the redwood top.

About 4 weeks ago Andrew had posted a video on HMS vimeo channel of this instrument. I loved the sound and it was just posted so I emailed Andrew to ask questions about it and to see if it was for sale as it was not up on the Ukulele Site yet. He responded that he was just putting it up, it was a redwood top with a curly Claro Walnut back. Well that did it, I love walnut and that is the first I'iwi I had ever seen with a walnut back and sides. I bought it before it actually made the Ukulele Site front page so no one has really had a chance to see this particular ukulele that Charlie Fukuba made.

The tone is huge, full, deep, resonant with piles of overtones. It is incredible, everyone that has played it or listened to it is really impressed. I was very lucky to be at the right place at the right time.


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DownUpDave
07-04-2016, 03:44 PM
The Rewood top has a clear pick guard running half way down. Redwood being very soft it is there to protect it. You can see it around the sound holes. The binding is a very nice curly maple and around the top and sound holes is done in mother of pearl.


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sam13
07-04-2016, 03:48 PM
Hey Dave,

This is a fabulous instrument.

I have played it a few times and can attest that it is world class in finishes and sound.

Congrats on a superb purchase.

DownUpDave
07-04-2016, 03:53 PM
This instrument comes with a radius fretboard, a nice medium size rounded neck profile and medium large fretwires. These are all things I like because through trial and error these features help to make an instrument easy for me to play. It is light in weight and very well balanced, playability is excellent. It is strung with Oasis warm low G including a wound 3rd from South Coast. Here is a sound sample just quickly recorded straight into my Samsung phone.

https://app.box.com/s/2nf7d38hcesmipybblz8xg3mnsw8opko

bonesigh
07-04-2016, 04:43 PM
So, you may have found your holy grail. Or um, holey uke? Lucky man!

OhioBelle
07-04-2016, 04:46 PM
Congratulations, Dave! That is so beautiful. Love everything about it. The sound holes, the walnut, the hummingbird.

Play with joy!

Recstar24
07-04-2016, 04:47 PM
Can't deny the beauty of redwood and walnut! I'm sure the combo sounds lovely! Still loving my Mya moe with same combo, good call on the pick guard, Aaron recommended it for mine and installed it too.

Ukulele Eddie
07-04-2016, 05:13 PM
He shoots, he SCORES!!! Nice one, Dave!

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 12:19 AM
So, you may have found your holy grail. Or um, holey uke? Lucky man!

That is sooo funny, holey uke, I love it:p

I name all my ukes but have not been able to come up with a name for this one. Maybe holey Holley or just Holley for short. It is now offically Holley, thanks

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 12:27 AM
@sam13......thanks for your support and encouragement, you know I have been smitten by these. I know you enjoyed it

@Ohiobelle.....very nice compliments, I appreciate it. I think it is an I'iwi bird from Hawaii on the headstock but I might be out to lunch on that

@Restar24......hey Ryan I always love the sound of your Mya Moe redwood walnut, didn't know it had a pickguard as well

@Camuke.......thank you so much Campbell, this was a very unexpected addition but one I have wanted for a very long time. Brenda makes it sound fabulous with the songs you do for her.

@ Ukulele Eddie........excellent hockey reference eh!!! Scores for sure.

Alytw
07-05-2016, 01:12 AM
Very nice Dave! I love the crispness of walnut. Good call.

dkcrown
07-05-2016, 02:27 AM
Congrats Dave. I saw the video, but wondered why it never appeared on the site. Now I know. Fantastic sounding uke! Love them I'iwis!

SoloRule
07-05-2016, 03:17 AM
Dave , you did it again grab the uke under my nose? (just kidding)
Thank you again for giving me a chance to feel another beauty from your collection. It's time for another show and tell party as you know I too added more to my watermelon collections.
This one is the most guitar sounding tenor I have played ! Glad you made the purchase.

Osprey
07-05-2016, 03:32 AM
Congratulations on scoring a beautiful instrument. Enjoy!

Steedy
07-05-2016, 03:51 AM
Awesome ukulele! :shaka:

keod
07-05-2016, 03:59 AM
Holley is a stunner!!!! Love, love, love your sound bites. So happy you and this uke found each other.
It sounds like a match made in heaven. Congrats Dave.

Doc_J
07-05-2016, 04:33 AM
This instrument comes with a radius fretboard, a nice medium size rounded neck profile and medium large fretwires. These are all things I like because through trial and error these features help to make an instrument easy for me to play. It is light in weight and very well balanced, playability is excellent. It is strung with Oasis warm low G including a wound 3rd from South Coast. Here is a sound sample just quickly recorded straight into my Samsung phone.

https://app.box.com/s/2nf7d38hcesmipybblz8xg3mnsw8opko

Sweet sound. You got warmth, brightness, clarity, harmonics, and resonance all in one. Congratulations Dave.
Classic beauty in the North American woods on that I'iwi, too.

bearbike137
07-05-2016, 04:37 AM
Congrats! I chatted with Corey about that uke (as well as the Koa version they got in at the same time). He told me they both sounded HUGE.

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 04:52 AM
Very nice Dave! I love the crispness of walnut. Good call.

Thanks Adam, you will have to come over and play it. I know your Webber with the walnut back will be amazing.

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 04:59 AM
@ dkcrown...Thanks Danna.....yea I was the sneaky guy that grabbed it, lol

@Solorule...We definitely have to get a backyard jam / show and tell organized

@Osprey....Thank you Cliff, I am enjoying it

@Steedy......I appreciate that.......no sideways pics either :p

SoloRule
07-05-2016, 05:12 AM
[QUOTE=DownUpDave;1867051]@ dkcrown...Thanks Danna.....yea I was the sneaky guy that grabbed it, lol

@Solorule...We definitely have to get a backyard jam / show and tell organized

I will bring my walnut to compare with your walnut:music::music:

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 05:12 AM
@keod...Hey Casey that is such a nice thing to say, thanks. How are things out west, still loving LoLo ;)

@Doc J....You nailed it Hodge. This is the complete package sonically, rivals or betters my LfdM which has always been my fav. Never thought I would say that. Never thought about the North American woods..........from a Hawaiian builder no less.

@ bearbike137....Thanks very much. I always thought I would get a koa I'iwi, being Hawaiian made and all. I was impressed with both the koa and the redwood. The spruce/koa that showed up later was excellent too.

UkeInTW
07-05-2016, 05:14 AM
Amazing sounding uke. Congrats. Welcome to the I'iwi owner's group. As an I'iwi owner, I can vouch for them as really great ukes. Love the unique look and the feel and playability are just right for me. And the tone is great. I really love them. And if I hear another one like yours, I may just be tempted to buy a 3rd.

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 05:18 AM
Amazing sounding uke. Congrats. Welcome to the I'iwi owner's group. As an I'iwi owner, I can vouch for them as really great ukes. Love the unique look and the feel and playability are just right for me. And the tone is great. I really love them. And if I hear another one like yours, I may just be tempted to buy a 3rd.

I remember VERY well your I'iwis...........kinda lit the flame of desire in me. Your tenor with the cuban mahogany is unbelievable.

Three is a nice number :cool:

keod
07-05-2016, 05:29 AM
Lola is always close at hand ROTL and still as loved as ever. Constant source of joy- thanks to you my friend!!!!! Forever grateful.

UkeInTW
07-05-2016, 06:11 AM
I remember VERY well your I'iwis...........kinda lit the flame of desire in me. Your tenor with the cuban mahogany is unbelievable.

Three is a nice number :cool:

I am trying to slow down on my uke purchases, but sometimes one comes up on HMS that just has a tone I have to have.

I have all Oasis strings on mine, but interested to try the Southcoast wound 3rd string that you have. Do you know which Southcoast wound 3rd string it is? Hope I can find it on their website. Thanks.

Joyful Uke
07-05-2016, 06:14 AM
Great sounding ukulele! One more to put on my wish list. LOL.
Enjoy this beautiful instrument!

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 06:37 AM
I am trying to slow down on my uke purchases, but sometimes one comes up on HMS that just has a tone I have to have.

I have all Oasis strings on mine, but interested to try the Southcoast wound 3rd string that you have. Do you know which Southcoast wound 3rd string it is? Hope I can find it on their website. Thanks.

It is either from the ML set or the HML set. I have measured both and the diameters are the same for the C string as well as the G string. Unfortunately South Coast stopped selling single strings a while ago.Check out the Thomastik wound strings. There is a big thread on here started by none other than Chuck Moore. These are now his favorite wound strings and he is sending out his tenors with them on. You can buy them from Strings by Mail and other on line string stores.

bonesoup
07-05-2016, 08:52 AM
Awesome! I bet having more soundboard really helps the tone. Congrats buddy!

kvehe
07-05-2016, 09:00 AM
What can I say other than "wow"...

good_uke_boy
07-05-2016, 10:36 AM
Amazing tones from that instrument. Wow^2. And congratulations.

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 11:06 AM
Great sounding ukulele! One more to put on my wish list. LOL.
Enjoy this beautiful instrument!

Yes......just when you think you are done another one pops up and must join the list, thanks.

DownUpDave
07-05-2016, 11:12 AM
Awesome! I bet having more soundboard really helps the tone. Congrats buddy!

Hey Dan, good point about the increased soundboard, the bracing can be changed as well. This uke has a lot of volume as well, makes you scratch your head about a normal sound hole.

M3Ukulele
07-05-2016, 11:15 AM
Congratulations Dave, I saw the other ones and really liked the spruce top version. This one is totally sweet! Rivals or better than your LDFM eh! Pretty good endorsement. I really like the sound. So unique and very impressive build. Enjoy.

Alytw
07-05-2016, 11:54 AM
Thanks Adam, you will have to come over and play it. I know your Webber with the walnut back will be amazing.

Absolutely! How does it compare to the LfdM? SoloRule is right about a show and tell party...I saw Simon got a Kamaka a little while ago...

billten
07-05-2016, 03:05 PM
Really wow, my kind of uke. You're collection of amazing uke's is starting to compete with Hodge's Dave, going to be a showdown soon i think hahahaha...

hawaii 50
07-05-2016, 07:00 PM
Congrats on the new I'iwi...nice to see Charles get some props on the UU...he one of the better builders on Oahu and his ukes sound really good..he is a one man shop and does the build by himself... ..have fun with the uke

DownUpDave
07-06-2016, 12:24 AM
What can I say other than "wow"...

Hey Kathryn, I said wow also after I heard Corey play it.........then I bought it ;)

DownUpDave
07-06-2016, 12:26 AM
Amazing tones from that instrument. Wow^2. And congratulations.

Thanks very much. This is my first uke with a redwood top and it seems to live up to it's reputation of being like "cedar on steroids"

DownUpDave
07-06-2016, 12:30 AM
Congratulations Dave, I saw the other ones and really liked the spruce top version. This one is totally sweet! Rivals or better than your LDFM eh! Pretty good endorsement. I really like the sound. So unique and very impressive build. Enjoy.

Thanks Monty, both LfdM and I'iwi are unique builds with great sound, just different. The I'iwi has a deeper bottom end and more overtones but the LfdM is really clear and articulate high up the neck.

DownUpDave
07-06-2016, 12:33 AM
Really wow, my kind of uke. You're collection of amazing uke's is starting to compete with Hodge's Dave, going to be a showdown soon i think hahahaha...

Bill I am a rank amatuer compared to Hodge :cheers:

So I guess this might force you to make another trip to Toronto so you can pop in and play it, you're always welcome.

DownUpDave
07-06-2016, 12:35 AM
Congrats on the new I'iwi...nice to see Charles get some props on the UU...he one of the better builders on Oahu and his ukes sound really good..he is a one man shop and does the build by himself... ..have fun with the uke

Thanks Len, Charlie certainly deserves props, he makes amazing instruments.

DownUpDave
07-06-2016, 01:08 AM
Here are some pictures of the curly maple bindings. The other pictures show it as white and washed out. Curly maple has a nice color and figure to it. Just a pet peeve of mine that it is not accurate but these threads are really about exposing elements, woods, designs and details. This is how I learned about all the different woods and components of ukes, through pictures posted by other members. It was always very helpful to me and I appreciated it. I'm a kid from Canada, what did I know about ukuleles. These threads are about sharing with others, not bragging.

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keod
07-06-2016, 02:11 AM
Here are some pictures of the curly maple bindings. The other pictures show it as white and washed out. Curly maple has a nice color and figure to it. Just a pet peeve of mine that it is not accurate but these threads are really about exposing elements, woods, designs and details. This is how I learned about all the different woods and components of ukes, through pictures posted by other members. It was always very helpful to me and I appreciated it. I'm a kid from Canada, what did I know about ukuleles. These threads are about sharing with others, not bragging.
Wow, that curly maple binding is gorgeous! Thanks for posting Dave.
And you are soooo right - it's all about learning about the different woods and components from others. I never think anyone is bragging but I sure do enjoy seeing and hearing what others acquire. I love all the different opinions because it forces me to think seriously about what I like, what works for me. Sometimes I am rather envious of course LOL but that is usually quickly overshadowed by the joy I know that the other person will get from their new "baby". You sooo deserve this and I know it will be well loved which is great testament to the builder (and really all other builders who work so hard to make the instruments we love).

UkeInTW
07-06-2016, 04:51 AM
It is either from the ML set or the HML set. I have measured both and the diameters are the same for the C string as well as the G string. Unfortunately South Coast stopped selling single strings a while ago.Check out the Thomastik wound strings. There is a big thread on here started by none other than Chuck Moore. These are now his favorite wound strings and he is sending out his tenors with them on. You can buy them from Strings by Mail and other on line string stores.

Thanks. Will check those out.

hollisdwyer
07-06-2016, 04:58 PM
Gorgeous sounding and looking instrument Dave. I have been mostly absent from this board lately due to 1000's of trips up and down ladders finishing off my house renovations prior to selling.

It's good to see that UAS is still strong and prevalent in your household. I sold my last guitar yesterday and my instrument collection looks mighty slim right now but it shouldn't be too much longer before my Beau Hannam build starts and the Hoffmann is due around October.

Anyway, I'm sure that you are really enjoying that new I'iwi.

CTurner
07-07-2016, 02:39 AM
Wow, Dave, the subtle shaping of wood on the top is wonderful. As a fellow owner of an I'iwi, I welcome you to the club! Superb work and a great sound. Congratulations!!

DownUpDave
07-07-2016, 11:06 AM
Gorgeous sounding and looking instrument Dave. I have been mostly absent from this board lately due to 1000's of trips up and down ladders finishing off my house renovations prior to selling.

It's good to see that UAS is still strong and prevalent in your household. I sold my last guitar yesterday and my instrument collection looks mighty slim right now but it shouldn't be too much longer before my Beau Hannam build starts and the Hoffmann is due around October.

Anyway, I'm sure that you are really enjoying that new I'iwi.

Thanks Hollis UAS has no geographical boundries. A Beau Hannam and a Hoffman are very worthy ukuleles to retire to:cool: Careful on those ladders my friend and best of luck with the move.

DownUpDave
07-07-2016, 11:12 AM
Wow, Dave, the subtle shaping of wood on the top is wonderful. As a fellow owner of an I'iwi, I welcome you to the club! Superb work and a great sound. Congratulations!!


Thank you Craig, I appreciate being welcomed to club. It's good to hear from other I'iwi owners and as Len (hawaii 50) said Charlie Fubuka deserves some props for the wonderful work he does.

sam13
07-07-2016, 02:30 PM
Here are some pictures of the curly maple bindings. The other pictures show it as white and washed out. Curly maple has a nice color and figure to it. Just a pet peeve of mine that it is not accurate but these threads are really about exposing elements, woods, designs and details. This is how I learned about all the different woods and components of ukes, through pictures posted by other members. It was always very helpful to me and I appreciated it. I'm a kid from Canada, what did I know about ukuleles. These threads are about sharing with others, not bragging.

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by far my favourite Ukulele boudoir photos ... nice shapes, and curves ... and look at those sound holes!

1931jim
07-07-2016, 03:07 PM
Hello DownUpDave,
I have enjoyed your postings in this thread since #1 on the 4th. What a feast you have presented for the education of one and all.
I greatly admire the headstock, and the maple bindings, and the sound holes. My Oh My!!
Superb luthiery indeed. Congratulations.
from Jim (a wee bit west of you along the white knuckle highway to Wellington County)

Ukulele Eddie
07-07-2016, 03:08 PM
by far my favourite Ukulele boudoir photos ... nice shapes, and curves ... and look at those sound holes!

I always figured you for a sound hole man! ;-)

MARKbOC
07-07-2016, 03:29 PM
Really beautiful, congrats dave

DownUpDave
07-08-2016, 02:14 PM
Hello DownUpDave,
I have enjoyed your postings in this thread since #1 on the 4th. What a feast you have presented for the education of one and all.
I greatly admire the headstock, and the maple bindings, and the sound holes. My Oh My!!
Superb luthiery indeed. Congratulations.
from Jim (a wee bit west of you along the white knuckle highway to Wellington County)


Hey there distance neighbor Jim, love your part of the province. Thanks so much for the kind words

DownUpDave
07-08-2016, 02:16 PM
Really beautiful, congrats dave

I do appreciate your nice remarks. If I could only play half as beautifully as the uke looks.......but that gives us something to strive for doesn't it. :music:

Nickie
07-08-2016, 03:51 PM
Dave, what an interestingly beautiful uke. It has to be one of a kind. Is that body shape louder than the usual figure 8 shape?

Rakelele
07-08-2016, 07:33 PM
Congratulations, my friend! I loved the video sample of this uke and wondered why it never turned up for sale - so I was really happy to find out it was no other than you who got it! Always good to see one of these really fine ukes at HMS end up in the hands of a good friend and fellow UUer. Your I'iwi is the most beautiful in sound and looks I have come across. I love the wood combo, very classy. Enjoy it!

hawaii 50
07-08-2016, 08:39 PM
Andrew at HMS usually gets them in a batch of 4...three or four times a year.....the tenors are all shaped like Dave's and they sell fast.....the concerts looks like a regular uke with one sound hole in the traditional spot

DownUpDave
07-09-2016, 03:16 AM
by far my favourite Ukulele boudoir photos ... nice shapes, and curves ... and look at those sound holes!

Ok......that made me laugh hard, really hard.

It has not one, not two but three sound holes to sniff.

@Ukulele Eddie you are so right about Simon being a sound hole man.

DownUpDave
07-09-2016, 03:17 AM
Dave, what an interestingly beautiful uke. It has to be one of a kind. Is that body shape louder than the usual figure 8 shape?

Thanks Nickie, it is loud, not sure if it it the shape but it must help.

DownUpDave
07-09-2016, 03:22 AM
Congratulations, my friend! I loved the video sample of this uke and wondered why it never turned up for sale - so I was really happy to find out it was no other than you who got it! Always good to see one of these really fine ukes at HMS end up in the hands of a good friend and fellow UUer. Your I'iwi is the most beautiful in sound and looks I have come across. I love the wood combo, very classy. Enjoy it!

Thanks Rainer considering your collect of excellent instruments that is high praise from someone with a well trained ear.. Too bad we live so far away as it would be fun to sample each others ukes.

How are you enjoying that new Kinnard and when are we going to see a NUD on that one. I know many are interested to learn about that outstanding instrument

hawaii 50
07-09-2016, 08:09 AM
Thanks Rainer considering your collect of excellent instruments that is high praise from someone with a well trained ear.. Too bad we live so far away as it would be fun to sample each others ukes.

How are you enjoying that new Kinnard and when are we going to see a NUD on that one. I know many are interested to learn about that outstanding instrument


I have played many Kinnards and I'iwi ukes...they are both built perfectly...the tone of the I'iwi deep rich with nice highs too and the Kinnards a little more bright(like a Collings)

can not go wrong with any of them...but for sure different tone.....IMO

Kyle23
07-09-2016, 02:51 PM
Awesome Dave. Glad you like it, you deserve it. Not sure if anyone else has asked because I haven't read the whole thread, but do you have a sound sample?