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View Full Version : Kiwaya Master Series Koa Tenor Ukulele



coolkayaker1
03-19-2012, 03:15 PM
I got a Kiwaya Master Koa tenor ukulele #908. This after owning a Kiwaya soprano Thinline Eco that I adore and play every night across my chest in bed (until my wife, Cathy, tells me to put it up or sleep on the couch).

I bought the ukulele from Elderly Music, and it’s a satin finish all flame pattern Hawaiian koa.

I believe these Master Series Kiwayas are made in Nagano, Japan for Kiwaya by award-winning master luthier Shinji Takahashi of T’s Guitars (as featured on Honey and Bosko here): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fqMKfVcmb8

Kiwaya has now finished the Master Series, and no more are being made except as customs.

It does have Grotoh Deluxe Friction tuners, which are lovely. It stays in tune extremely well, even at the higher string tension of a tenor.

The total weight of this tenor ukulele is 17.85 ounces. I'll post photos and a video, as I know there are Kiwaya fans out there.

Cheers, to those with interest in Kiwaya brand. CK1

whit
03-19-2012, 05:27 PM
I for one want to sincerely thank you. Had I spotted this before you took it out of circulation I would have been sorely tempted. That said, I'll be interested to hear your verdict on it. I may well be taking a trip to Japan this year, and will keep an eye on the local uke scene if I do.

didgeridoo2
03-19-2012, 05:39 PM
I'm looking forward to the pics. Congrats on the new Kiwaya.

efiscella
03-19-2012, 05:46 PM
(and no Ed, you can't have it--lol).

DAMN :mad:
This really sounds great Steve. I'll be looking for that review and maybe I'll get one too-lol.

coolkayaker1
03-29-2012, 06:03 PM
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coolkayaker1
03-29-2012, 06:07 PM
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coolkayaker1
03-29-2012, 06:11 PM
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I post these photo sets because there is a paucity of online information about anything Kiwaya. For those in the market for this brand, it's helpful to see pictures. I know that the UU search will likely turn up other Kiwaya shoppers, and hopefully these will help. Of course, this particular one is based on the Martin 3M design (did they make that one in a tenor?), and all Kiwaya upper end ukuleles are with Martin styling. So, these photos are pretty representative.

Few ukes we can say we will likely never sell, but based on the light weight, superb construction, and playability of this Kiwaya tenor, I doubt I will ever sell it. I'll try to do a sound video sometime when I get my Macbook set up.

Aloha.

didgeridoo2
03-29-2012, 06:22 PM
hot damn that's purty. did you get this new?

coolkayaker1
03-29-2012, 06:24 PM
hot damn that's purty. did you get this new? I did, indeed. The more I look at the photos, the more I note how lousy they are. Sorry, all current and future Kiwaya ukers.

didgeridoo2
03-29-2012, 07:04 PM
I did, indeed. The more I look at the photos, the more I note how lousy they are. Sorry, all current and future Kiwaya ukers.

Do you have any shots of the full front of it?

GX9901
03-29-2012, 07:06 PM
That's pretty awesome. I love style 3 decorations (I own a Kiwaya KTS-7) and didn't know they did one in tenor size. How about a full body picture too? I would love to see a video with this uke. Congrats!

coolkayaker1
03-29-2012, 07:54 PM
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coolkayaker1
03-29-2012, 07:59 PM
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Excellent point, GX and didger---here's a few. Flame koa, like the back.

You're right, GX, that they no longer make tenors except by special order (I got this one stock from Elderly, and the Kiwaya distributor told me this is the last tenor in the USA unless someone custom orders one). The kiwaya website, in fact, has no tenors in any size, or model. Why Kiwaya, with the popularity of Jake et al., would not make tenors in this day and age is a complete mystery. Your -7 is a fabulous uke, too. You have many lovely custom ukes, indeed.

http://takumiukulele.com/kiwayaukuleles.html

I think the best thing about Kiwayas, in general, are the absolute perfection in manufacture. True even of my little Ecoline soprano. Not one spec of joint glue, not one sharp fret, perfect shaping... it's a low volume, high quality (and high price) proposition with Kiwaya. Aloha, friends.

foxfair
03-29-2012, 08:49 PM
3569735698

Excellent point, GX and didger---here's a few. Flame koa, like the back.

You're right, GX, that they no longer make tenors except by special order (I got this one stock from Elderly, and the Kiwaya distributor told me this is the last tenor in the USA unless someone custom orders one). The kiwaya website, in fact, has no tenors in any size, or model. Why Kiwaya, with the popularity of Jake et al., would not make tenors in this day and age is a complete mystery. Your -7 is a fabulous uke, too. You have many lovely custom ukes, indeed.
.....

I would guess that because Kiwaya is a Japanese company and mainly focused on JP market, the majority of JP ukulele market is preferred concert size. Accepting custom order but no production line is reasonable in such case.

erivel
03-29-2012, 09:47 PM
What beautiful and rare uke, congrats! I've owned a couple of Kiwaya concerts in the past and thought they were great. The only Kiwaya tenor I've ever seen is at a local shop, which has an older laminated mahogany Kiwaya tenor that I almost considered buying, but didn't because it's pretty shop worn. Yours is definitely a keeper!

coolkayaker1
05-02-2012, 08:23 AM
Pohaku "Blondie Island Girl" Tenor, that is a snazzy ukulele. I see it in your videos. Because of your videos, I searched the website and see that the luthier makes some neat and different ukuleles. Thanks for tipping me off to his great ukes. He's so "under the radar", I never hear him mentioned on UU, Eric.

Very cool, the girl and all. Cheers!

Pukulele Pete
05-02-2012, 08:34 AM
I'm a Kiwaya fan and I love those tuners with the chrome dot in the white button. Do those same tuners come on the KTS-7 or are these tuners only on these few tenors ?

coolkayaker1
05-02-2012, 08:54 AM
I'm a Kiwaya fan and I love those tuners with the chrome dot in the white button. Do those same tuners come on the KTS-7 or are these tuners only on these few tenors ?

Hi, Pete. Confession time. Those are Gotoh Deluxe tuners with plain white/pearlized tuner buttons. My wife is a papercrafter/card maker, and I finnagled the chrome dots from her. They're stick ons, intended for making birthday and holiday cards. LOL I have no clue how long they're stay on the Gotohs, but they are fetching, no? Available for about $4 a sheet at your local hobby store. LOL

Pukulele Pete
05-02-2012, 11:35 AM
Hi, Pete. Confession time. Those are Gotoh Deluxe tuners with plain white/pearlized tuner buttons. My wife is a papercrafter/card maker, and I finnagled the chrome dots from her. They're stick ons, intended for making birthday and holiday cards. LOL I have no clue how long they're stay on the Gotohs, but they are fetching, no? Available for about $4 a sheet at your local hobby store. LOL
Hey ,..thats funny. I had a feeling there was something going on since I had never seen those before but I dismissed it. I spent a few minutes looking for info with no luck. You got me. I enjoyed that , good joke.

dsummers
05-02-2012, 02:11 PM
I have the Kiwaya master concert size series and it is a superb uke!

Scott S.
05-02-2012, 03:02 PM
Wow what a fetching instrument! Congrats on the new addition to the family. Of course its new and still finding its voice, but how does it sound?

coolkayaker1
05-02-2012, 04:24 PM
I'll try to make a video and post it Scott. It sounds lovely. All 17.5 ounces of tenor joy!

Sorry to make you search it Pete. But, if you want to google it, be sure to look at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. lol

dsummers, you have a master series concert!? If so, and there is one for sale on Elderly music right now, you are the only other Kiwaya master series owner I have ever heard of. Seriously. You should post photos. It's an uncommon bird, man.

Tube
05-03-2012, 10:19 AM
Kiwayas are great and tenors are very very hard to find, especially a KMT-K, lucky man!

Tube
06-08-2012, 11:02 AM
My uncommon bird: KMC-K
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=38783&d=1339188735

Nickie
06-08-2012, 05:27 PM
Wow, what a purty uke!

coolkayaker1
06-08-2012, 05:58 PM
That's pretty freaking awesome, Tube. And I like the way you take a good photo, with that crumpled paper in the back. What's the story on your Kiwaya Master... when'd you get it and why and howzit play, bruddah?

Tube
06-09-2012, 12:25 AM
I already had two Kiwayas and wanted such a masterpiece. Couldnīt find it in Europe, but the people at The Music Emporium were so kind to deal with a german customer.
Took a lot of patience, to get the money thru. I had to explain the abbreviation "KMC-K" to an US-official, that must have sound somehow suspicious to them...
http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=38792&d=1339236238

coolkayaker1
06-09-2012, 06:51 AM
Funny. They probably thought it was a tommy gun.

It sure is a sweet concert. That's a fact.