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View Full Version : Back from Kauai - Island Ukulele acquired!



Skottoman
04-26-2010, 08:12 AM
Hi,
I just got back from a week in Kauai, where I was to see a friend get married, and possibly play ukulele before the wedding...

First priority was to find a uke to buy, and search I did. I looked at Kamaka, G-String among others. Was looking for a soprano that called my name. Finally found a brand I was not familiar with. Island Ukulele by Raymond Rapozo, a Kauai local luthier.

Fell in love with this one. Soprano, with sound hole inlay, and "ancient koa" fretboard. The logo on the headstock is inlaid in the shape of Kauai. It has a bowed back, Grover tuners, curly koa front, and one piece mohagany side and back. Workmanship and sound is superb. I am so impressed with the workmanship, I'm going to send Raymond a personal thank you mail for his work.

Finally, I went to the wedding this Sat. The officiant (can't remember her name) was a wonderful Hawaiian woman, who invited me to play the Hawaiian wedding song with her as my friend walked across the sand to meet her fiance to be married. The officiant played a vintage 8 string Kamaka (which she let me try too!) and I followed her lead and played my Kauai built uke with her as she sang. Perhaps someone knows who she is. She definately made me feel the "Aloha" of the islands. What a sweet woman.

So some pix of the uke, and a not so attractive pic of me playing along with her.

Playing a local built uke, next to a local hawaiian, on a kauai beach at my friends wedding. It was mindblowing. More than I could ask for. :)

Cheers,
Skottoman

http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_4.jpg

http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_2.jpg

http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_3.jpg

Skottoman
04-26-2010, 08:29 AM
Few more detail pix... Love how the fretboard curves to the sound hole... Also the Kauai inlay is filled with resin so it feels flush to the touch, even if it looks to be inset.
Really nice ukulele! I'm very happy with it. It sounds of "Aloha" :)
Cheers,
Skottoman

http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_5.jpg

http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_6.jpg

Skottoman
04-26-2010, 08:29 AM
http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_7.jpg

http://www.baileymusic.com/ukulele/kauai_uke_8.jpg

Skitzic
04-26-2010, 08:32 AM
That sure is a pretty uke. Congrats!

Uncle Rod Higuchi
04-26-2010, 08:34 AM
Beautiful ukulele.

I was able to pick up a 6-string Concert Island Ukulele last summer.

I haven't played it much since I got my Kala Soprano Travel Uke, but it's there in its case
waiting for me to pick it up and play some stuff.

Thanks for the story and pictures.

Keep uke-in',

Faricelli
04-26-2010, 08:42 AM
That looks amazing. I am heading to Kauai in 2 weeks. I will check out his store for sure.

rasputinsghost
04-26-2010, 08:44 AM
Great story man! That uke looks beautiful.

wickedwahine11
04-26-2010, 09:07 AM
Congratulations on a really beautiful ukulele. Did you get it at one of the stores (Scotty's or Larry's) or get it from the luthier directly? I'm on Kauai a few times a year, and I'd love to see some of his work in person.

Skottoman
04-26-2010, 09:10 AM
I went to both stores (Scotty's and Larry's), and while there were a lot of nice ukes at both, this one called my name at Scotty's. (My wife really liked it too)
:)
Cheers,
Skottoman

CoLmes
04-26-2010, 09:11 AM
mmmmm that fretboard looks tasty. I love that it dips into the sound hole. Very good looking uke.

dkcrown
04-26-2010, 09:29 AM
Nice score, Scottoman. Been waiting to see what you would come back with. I have talked with Scotty on the phone and heard nice things about his store. If I ever get over there, I will be sure to check it out.

Was the price of your uke comperable to the K brands?

molokinirum
04-26-2010, 10:45 AM
Beautiful uke!!! Congrats

Howie1947
04-26-2010, 11:05 AM
Did you get a chance to see Aldrine and UU Staff??

Mim
04-26-2010, 12:10 PM
Beautiful!!! There is nothing about that uke that I don't like. So pretty! And the wedding looks like it was amazing!

phanzo
04-26-2010, 12:16 PM
Beautiful!!! There is nothing about that uke that I don't like. So pretty! And the wedding looks like it was amazing!

I agree with everythign Mim said. What an amazing experience. I would be lying if I said I wasn't jealous :D

Skottoman
04-26-2010, 12:18 PM
Was the price of your uke comperable to the K brands?

Actually since the back and sides are mahogany, it was cheaper than my KoAloha Concert I picked up last year.
I actually really like the sound of mahogany, and the mix of koa and mahogany makes it smell nice too. (Yes, I sniffed the sound hole)...

I didn't see any UU people last week, and I even wore my UU shirt one day on the island... Although I chatted with Sam at Larry's briefly about it. (He has Aloha written all over him, really great guy).

It is a very good looking uke, with K brand quality for a good price. I can't wait for it to break in a little more, it's only a month old!
Cheers,
Skottoman

PaulGeo
04-26-2010, 12:35 PM
Congratulations. That's a beautiful uke and a great story.

experimentjon
04-26-2010, 05:40 PM
Actually since the back and sides are mahogany, it was cheaper than my KoAloha Concert I picked up last year.
I actually really like the sound of mahogany, and the mix of koa and mahogany makes it smell nice too. (Yes, I sniffed the sound hole)...


There's no shame in sniffing your ukes. I do it too. I've noticed that KoAlohas and Kamakas eachl have a distinct brand scent.

Congrats on your purchase. It looks very nice! And playing on a Kauai beach must have been nice. I've never tried that yet.

Ronnie Aloha
04-26-2010, 06:39 PM
That's a beauty! Sounds like it may have been a more perfect day for you than the wedding couple!

Muppet-G
04-26-2010, 07:26 PM
Beautiful story! Lovely Ukulele! Kauai is my favorite island!

guitharsis
04-27-2010, 12:27 AM
Congrats! Beautiful ukulele, great memories.

cletus
04-27-2010, 04:47 AM
Beautiful uke and wonderful story! Thanks!

bbycrts
04-27-2010, 10:55 AM
Stunning! The neck looks a little wider than average - does that seem to be the case? If so...I might have a small problem...that's always my criteria for a soprano that works for me, wider neck. I didn't know there were others out there...

Skottoman
04-28-2010, 03:59 PM
Stunning! The neck looks a little wider than average - does that seem to be the case? If so...I might have a small problem...that's always my criteria for a soprano that works for me, wider neck. I didn't know there were others out there...

I didn't notice that. I just compared to my Martin S-O, and my KoAloha Concert. The Island Ukulele appears to have a 2-3mm wider neck.
So very good eye! I guess this means you'll be buying one? Hahaaa....
Cheers,
Skottoman

Skottoman
04-28-2010, 04:02 PM
I also sent Raymond some photos of my uke, and a personal thank you, for his very fine craftsmanship.
Thought I'd share his reply. Guess I have to go back to Kauai again to visit his shop!
Very nice guy who makes very nice ukes!
Cheers,
Skottoman

---
Aloha Scott

I am really glad you're enjoying your ukulele and your welcome to stop by
anytime and visit the shop
when you're in my neck of the woods again :).
Thanks for the beautiful pictures I will use them on my web site when I get
a chance
to update my web page.
Your friend must have been really proud that you played an ukulele at his
wedding.

Have a great day
Mahalo
Ray

---

bbycrts
04-29-2010, 06:25 PM
I didn't notice that. I just compared to my Martin S-O, and my KoAloha Concert. The Island Ukulele appears to have a 2-3mm wider neck.
So very good eye! I guess this means you'll be buying one? Hahaaa....
Cheers,
Skottoman

Tempting...tempting...

Coconut Willie
04-30-2010, 06:30 AM
Beautiful new uke, great story and even greater memories!!!