View Full Version : Ohana TK-75-CG

02-06-2010, 11:58 AM
This is my second review of the Ohana TK-75CG. While previewing my first one, I tried to close a photo and the whole thing vanished. Here’s proof I am persistent.

The Ohana TK-75-CG is a solid wood tenor ukulele with a cutaway body. The top is bookmatched spruce and the back and sides are flamed maple. The back is also bookmatched but the seam is inlaid with a stripe of abalone. The body, front and back is also adorned with abalone around the edge (purfling, I think it’s called) as is the sound hole and the headstock.

The fretboard is rosewood and there are 14 frets to the body and 19 in all. The entire board is easily accessed because of the cutaway.

The uke has geared tuners which are smooth and precise.

The neck is nicely shaped and comfortable to play. The nut and bridge are bone.

The TK-75-CG is very bright and loud. It is perfectly suited to my style of playing which mostly consists of plucked chords and individual notes. I like to make my uke sound like a harp and the Ohana shines. Chords retain the individual note sounds and are not at all muddy.

Overall the uke is beautiful. There are a few finish issues that I need to mention. When the uke arrived at Elderly Instruments, they called and told me about some issues. There is a ripple in the finish on the side at the cutaway. Honestly, if it had not been called to my attention I might not have noticed.

There is a fleck of some foreign matter opposite the cutaway near the neck joint. The fleck is about the size of a dot made by a felt pen, but triangular in shape. It is under the finish and cannot be felt.

At the point where the fredboard joins the body there is a small finish gap on one side and an overabundance of material on the other.

Most annoying is that the “Ohana ukuleles” decal is not centered on the headstock. It is shifted about 1/8" to the left. Considering the workmanship that went into the making of this uke, with fine bookmatched woods and abalone inlay, you would think they would proudly display the Ohana name and center it so it looks right.

Elderly also said it arrived with a very high action but they lowered it before shipping. It plays very well now with no buzzes or rattles.

The net result is still a beautiful, well crafted instrument despite these minor flaws.

This is a new uke and it seems to be very well built. The top is thin, which I’m certain is the one of the reasons for it’s volume and sustain. I hope it holds up well as time goes on. When it arrived my wife thought the box was empty because it was so light. When I first held the uke, it reminded me of a Phoenix Neoclassical mandolin I once tried. Amazingly light, yet loud and well made.

The finish seems hard and durable but again it is new.

I actually called Ohana when I first ordered this uke. Since it is billed as a “Limited edition”, I wanted to make sure they were still making them. They were very friendly and seemed to take an interest in my questions. I found no warranty information on the Ohana website or on any literature in the box.

I started playing classical guitar in the 70's, then moved to electric and pedal steel for a while in the 80's. The 90's it was mandolin and now it’s ukes. If I had stuck with one, I’d be a virtuoso by now but I guess I change like the winds. I still have several guitars, a lap steel, a couple of mandolins and now three ukuleles. One is a soprano Applause UAE20. I also have the Tenor mahogany Applause and now the Ohana.

On a camping trip, I’ll take the Applause soprano. Small and bulletproof. If I were playing in a rowdy club, the Applause tenor. If I was playing in a church, funeral parlor or a concert hall the Ohana.

If the Ohana got lost, I’d get another. If it got stolen, I’d hunt the SOB down and fill him full of soundholes and string him up. I compared many ukes in the $400 price range before settling on this one and haven’t seen one I like better.

This uke was very hard to find. I ordered it in July of 2009 and it just got here. Definately worth the wait

There is a lot to like about this uke- the quality, sound and then there is the abalone. I have a resonator guitar that has abalone but after seeing this uke, I ‘m sure the stuff on my reso is fake.
This looks like real pieces of shell around 1-2 inches long and inlaid into the uke. It’s amazing and shines like jewels. Beautiful but not gawdy.

I added some photos but the room was dark and the flash was bright. If anyone wants better ones I'll redo.

02-07-2010, 03:19 AM
It looks beautiful friend...

Thanks for your review and photos...Coming from the UK the few issues you had with the action concern me as we don't have retailers here who give ukes the once over, so it may be better for me to buy from smewhere abroad that offers this. That aside it looks as if you have a beautiful instrument...


(may put in an order somewhere later this month when the wages get paid into the bank)


Aunt Betty
02-07-2010, 02:13 PM
Great review. You write well.

I thought I would have to wait longer for my concert than I did. Again, I feel that the Elderly folks, becasue of their honesty and integrety, removed any sting of disappointment I may have flelt becasue of the small flaws in the finish.

It looks like your Ohana inlay is in the same spot as mine.